Saturday, December 31, 2005

Bill Bennett is the new Robert Novak

CNN apparently has no decency left in it. It's hard to believe this was once known as the Clinton News Network.

This could be a very merry, Happy New Year!

Abramoff's close to a plea deal.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Rethuglicans again trying to cut VA benefits...

December 30, 2005

Dear Sally:

This week, the Washington Post reported on an increasingly politically charged debate in Washington centered on one of the most serious costs of war -- post traumatic stress disorder, and its impact on war veterans.

At the center of the debate is a sharp increase in recent years in PTSD claims filed with the VA, largely accounted for by Vietnam veterans who are only now seeking treatment for combat related stress. According to the Post article, the increase in PTSD benefits does not account for new claims coming into the system from Iraq and Afghanistan vets, many of whom are suffering from severe trauma.

"What they are trying to do is figure out a way not to diagnose vets with PTSD," said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, a veterans advocacy group. "It's like telling a patient with cancer, 'if we tell you, you don't have cancer, then you won't suffer from cancer.' "

As long as three years ago, Veterans for Common Sense argued that a tremendous hidden cost of going to war in Iraq would be the long term costs associated with medical care and treatment of veterans. What we did not anticipate then would be increasing attempts from the VA, the House Veterans Affairs Committee and the Administration to redefine veterans health care and disability as an "entitlement" program.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Them's Fightin' Words!

I love Keith Olbermann, and I can understand why Stephanie Miller refers to him as her future husband! On tonight's show, he lambasted John Gibson as the Worst Person in the World, but it didn't end there. No sirree. Watch it here.

Monday, December 26, 2005

This Week on the Daily Show

Sorry this is so late. I forgot today was Monday.
There will be no episodes of the Daily Show this week. New episodes will return on Wednesday, January 4, 2006.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Santa brought just what I wanted!

The "Barbie Tar" filled the bill and Nana loved it! We had a blast, hope the rest of you did as well.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas from VTex and Madmomma!

May you and your family have a very special day today.

Media Matters' Misinformer of the year 2005

Man, I would have thought that it would be Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity, but no, it's Chris Matthews! Click on the link and find out why.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Those crazy folks in Boston! Brrrrr !

The annual Speedo run, benefitting The Ellie Fund, which is a non-profit organization that helps families in their fight against breast cancer.

A motion for censure, thanks Mr. Conyers!

[posted online on December 22, 2005]

On December 20, 2005, I issued a 273-page report outlining the Bush Administration's panoply of misconduct associated in the run-up to and since the Iraq War.

In brief, I have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice President and other high-ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration.
full article

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Arianna's List of Republican Accomplishments for 2005

Sadly, some Democrats are on the list because of their Republican-esqe behavior.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Darth Vader breaks a tie

$40 billion from federal spending will be cut over five years, including cuts to social welfare programs such as health care for the elderly and poor, funding that helps enforce child support payment, funds for college, and more.
Darth Vader (Vice President Dick Cheney)broke a 50-50 tie when he voted in favor of the spending cuts.

This looks like another way to make sure women and children live in poverty and have no way out. God forbid anyone wants to do the old fashioned American thing..pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. Darth Vader took the bootstraps so you are on your own and best of luck.

Secret History of the Credit Card

If you have not seen this Frontline report, you missed something great. watch online

This is truly the screwing of the American people. But then, we have been stupid enough, and strapped for cash enough that we just fell into the abyss.

Debunking Clinton and Carter "did it" claims that they authorized spying on US citizens

DEBUNKING THE EXECUTIVE ORDER MYTH: Conservative activist Matt Drudge yesterday posted the following headline on his popular website: "Clinton Executive Order: Secret Search on Americans Without Court Order." This is false. Drudge highlights one sentence from an executive order issued by President Clinton in February 1995: "The Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order." But the order also includes the following text: "Pursuant to section 302(a)(1) [50 U.S.C. 1822(a)] of the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] Act (FISA), the Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year, if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that section." That section of FISA requires the Attorney General to certify that the search will not involve "the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person." That means U.S. citizens or anyone inside of the United States. In stark contrast, Bush’s program permits, for the first time ever, warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens and other people inside of the United States. Neither Clinton’s 1995 executive order, nor President Carter's 1979 executive order (which Drudge also claims allows warrantless searches of Americans) authorizes that.

American Progress Report

2005 the year in review

Jib Jab came up with another good animation worth watching.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Riding with a minor devil

Well, I'm back from the Big Apple. It was a great trip, but it sort of ended with a negative note. I had to ride on the plane with Phil Gramm and his wife. Yuchh! He appeared to be the pompous ass he's rumored to be. Why couldn't I be on a plane with Harry Reid, Russ Feingold or even Rep. John Conyers? BTW, I truly hate Bush and his dictatorial ways. Can you believe this jerk is getting away with illegal wiretapping, and with a chuckly smirk to boot?

This Week on the Daily Show


Monday, 12/19: Michelle Yeoh, actor, "Memoirs or a Geisha"

Tuesday, 12/20: David McCullough, historian/author, "1776"

Wednesday, 12/21: Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the U.S.

Thursday, 12/22: Ken Auletta, author/reporter for the New Yorker

Professor Pollkatz's Pool of Polls

Do you love statistics? Do you want to see how Bush compares with Clinton and Daddy Bush in the polls? Would you like to see which pollsters like Bush best? Professor Pollkatz's Pool of Polls has answers to those questions, and lots more.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Honey, I'm Home!

Robert Novak is finally going to the place where he'll really be appreciated. Good luck, Bob. You can finally be a national disgrace with all your fellow national disgraces.

Friday, December 16, 2005

OMG! WTF! "Defective" Veterans?

As a Veteran, I am offended, apalled and incredulous! Read on....

TSA Wants Access to Veterans’ Files to Add ‘Mental Defectives’ to Watch List
By Jeff Stein, National Security Editor
Is there an efficient, legal way to keep crazy people off airplanes altogether, like the manic depressive man shot dead at the Miami airport last week?

As it turns out, the government was taking steps in that direction almost a month before Rigoberto Alpizar was plugged by U.S. air marshals after he ran down the Jetway with a bundle in his hands while saying, according to the government, that he had a bomb.

A Nov. 15 notice put out by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is always thinking about new ways to keep potentially dangerous people off our airliners, states TSA is looking for contractors to add a number of new databases for screening passengers and airport workers.

Up first are the files of the Defense Department (DoD) and Veterans Administration (VA), which the TSA says it wants scoured for “mental defectives.”

As if troubled veterans didn’t have enough to worry about. According to a 2004 Government Accountability Office (GAO) study, about 15 percent of the soldiers coming home from the intense guerrilla wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to be afflicted with what was once called “combat fatigue.”

The New England Journal of Medicine also reported in 2004 that “15.6 percent to 17.1 percent of returning soldiers from Iraq exhibited signs of anxiety, major depression or other mental health problems.”

Today those symptoms are lumped together in what’s called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, which afflicted hundreds of thousands of soldiers who came home from Vietnam combat with “a thousand-yard stare” and fell into depression, suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse.

One of them might be sitting next to you on an airplane: More than half, or 53 percent, of the 1 million combat veterans of Vietnam were afflicted to one degree or another, said a four-year, $9 million study published by the VA in 1990.

And the trend line for the new generation of veterans is going north. The number who sought help for depression at VA clinics in 2004 grew tenfold over the year before, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“In all, 23 percent of Iraq veterans treated at VA facilities have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder,” it said. The VA is struggling to keep up with services for the troubled veterans, GAO said, thus exiling many to the streets, where they could be walking time bombs.
full article

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A Witness to a Wondrous Event

Hey, I'm still in the Big Apple (actually New Jersey) and I'm having a wonderful time. I just witnessed something so moving tonight that it made me cry. A friend of mine, who used to be a Catholic priest, had to leave the Catholic Church because he's gay. For several years he's been with a wonderfully liberal Episcopal Church in New Jersey, but he wasn't allowed to be called a priest--until tonight. I was fortunate to be present during his acceptance as a priest in the Episcopal Church. I'm not a religious person, but I was truly moved tonight. Everyone not only knew he was gay, but they actually referred to churches that didn't accept ALL people, as shameful. I was proud to be among people who obviously loved my friend for his ministry, and they didn't judge him at all. It's cool to know there are Christians out there who are still preaching love and acceptance, and not hatred and bigotry.

Are we really this stupid?

Cenk Uygur, Huffington Post
The deficit is careening out of control. Health care costs are through the roof. We’ve started a disastrous war in Iraq that threatens the stability of the whole region. Osama bin Laden has never been caught. The 9/11 Commission says four years after the attacks on this country, we are failing to protect the American people.

And what are the Republicans talking about? Tax cuts that go largely to the upper class. The war on Christmas. The gay marriage amendment. Flag burning. Does anyone believe these are the real pressing concerns of the American people? Is our top problem that the rich don’t have enough tax breaks?

Cenk Uygur is co-host of The Young Turks, the first liberal radio show to air nationwide. The Young Turks began as Sirius Satellite Radio’s first original program, and, while still on Sirius, is now nationally syndicated and available on itunes and online at and


In the Kingdom of the Half-Blind

Bill Moyers does it again with an awesome speech on 12/09/05 for the 20th anniversary of the National Security Archive at GW University.
summary and link

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Greetings from a Blue State

Hey, I'm in the Big Apple this week. I love being around people who have common sense and common decency toward their fellow humans. I'm staying with a gay couple who have been together for seven years, and MY marriage is still intact. Oh, by the way, I'm going to do my best to take the Christ out of Christmas while I'm up here. I've heard that's the latest crime I'm supposed to be committing! Ta Ta For Now.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm Declaring A WAR on Christmas

Okay...I'm just kidding. But I do want you to go this place to watch Sam Seder rail about the War on Christmas on CNN. This is VERY VERY VERY funny. But it's also very serious. The Fox News Network created this tempest in a teapot, and Sam Seder takes them on quite effectively. Go there. Laugh. Think. And the next time you hear this war on Christmas tripe, you'll have something specific to cite.

This Week on the Daily Show

Monday, 12/12: Adrien Brody, actor, "King Kong" REPEAT EPISODE

Tuesday, 12/13: Howard Stern, radio personality, host of "The Howard Stern Show"

Wednesday, 12/14: Tom Brokaw, former anchor of "NBC Nightly News"

Thursday, 12/15: Sarah Jessica Parker, actor, "The Family Stone"

Barack Obama Should Watch What He's Saying

He's making a lot of sense. Washington doesn't know how to handle sense. A recent speech indicates that last year's keynote at the Democratic Convention wasn't a fluke.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Look into Bush's Tiny Little World

This article from Newsweek paints a portrait of a man who doesn't know how to reach out to the people who can truly help him.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Commentary from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Iraq war debate enters new phase
You might not expect a West Point graduate, Vietnam vet and career soldier to come out with a book titled "The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Addicted to War." But that's what Andrew Bacevich, who now directs the program in International Relations at Boston University, has done.
A self-described conservative, Bacevich argues that Americans have fallen prey to a "military metaphysic." By that he means all international problems are seen as military problems and the likelihood for finding a solution except through military means is discounted. The result is war as a permanent condition with the only acceptable plan for peace a loaded pistol. One has only to consider the relative weight given to the Pentagon and the State Department to get the point.
During the military buildup of the '80s, the claim of proponents was "peace through strength." Having a big enough military meant you wouldn't have to use it. But having such a large and sophisticated military has proved a tough temptation for politicians and people alike to resist. It's an old story: When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
As a pastor what most interested me is Bacevich's careful tracing of the role of leading religious conservatives in promoting a "crusade theory of warfare," to replace the more long-standing and cautious doctrine of just war. A crusade theory of warfare provides the mindset and justification for offensive military action, for so-called preventive wars like the current war in Iraq. The just war ethical tradition mandates the use of force for defensive, not offensive, purposes.
How did this change, a crucial element of American's seduction by war, happen? Beginning in the '70s a growing number of politically active religious conservatives told Americans, and their conservative Christian followers, that communism was everywhere on the march and America's subjugation was imminent. There was, however, not only this frightening side to their message but an urging to action. Christian America's true destiny is to wield military power in the death struggle with godless communion.
Beneath this rhetoric lies a theology declared heretical in the early centuries of Christianity: Manichaeism from a third century teacher, Mani. Manichaens of every age divide the world simply and starkly between the forces of good and the forces of evil, and urge the former to stamp out the latter. Appealing in its simplicity, Manichaeism is disastrous in reality. Early Christians regarded Manichaeism as heretical precisely because it blinded people to their own capacity for evil and encouraged gross self-deception.
After the Soviet Union imploded (in part due to its own military excesses), and 9/11 stunned Americans, these same politically active religious conservatives were quick to substitute Islam for communism. Falwell and Robertson recycled old lines with a new infidel. Franklin Graham, son of Billy, denounced Islam as "a very evil and wicked religion." Southern Baptist President Jack Graham declared, "Satan is the ultimate terrorist" and "this is a war between Christians and the forces of evil, by whatever name they choose to use." A crusade theory of warfare marched on, giving sanction to a new stratagem, "preventive war."
Eclipsed in the storm of fear and rhetoric was the older tradition of mainstream Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. The ethical tradition of just war lays down rigorous tests if a war, always understood as a tragic option and always to be a last resort, can be considered just and justifiable. Such conditions include, but are not limited to, "just cause" (usually self-defense); public declaration of war by a lawful authority; no ulterior motives (self-aggrandizement or vengeance); reasonable probability of success, and avoidance of harm to non-combatants.
As the debate on the Iraq war enters a new phase, those who foisted a crusade theory of warfare on Americans, and those who bought it, have much to answer for. Such a mentality encourages an overreliance on the nation's military, a rush to war, the failure of careful analysis and the erosion of proscriptions against torture and abuse. In moving from a just war ethic to a crusade theory of warfare Americans have lost their way, and some Christian leaders have betrayed their faith. Christian faith ought always to be a check on war's excesses and a challenge to an overreliance on the military, not a cheerleader in war's camp. As a Christian and a soldier, Andrew Bacevich is arguing exactly that.
Anthony B. Robinson, a pastor of the United Church of Christ, is a speaker and teacher. He can be reached at

Friday, December 09, 2005

Tell Bonilla We've Had Enough

Congress has reached a tipping point on Iraq. Over two-thirds of Americans want an exit plan to bring our troops home from Iraq. To make sure Congress gets the message, we’ve launched the Bring The Troops Home petition drive. On December 14th, MoveOn members will gather outside their representative’s office, speak about the need to end the war, and then deliver the petitions to congressional staff.

14 Dec 10:00 AM
Front of Rep. Bonilla's Office, 11120 Wurzbach
San Antonio

Monday, December 05, 2005

This Week on the Daily Show

Monday, 12/05: Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the U.S.

Tuesday, 12/06: Michelle Yeoh, actor, "Memoirs of a Geisha"

Wednesday, 12/07: David McCullough, historian/author, "1776"

Thursday, 12/08: Jake Gyllenhaal, actor, "Jarhead" & "Brokeback Mountain"

Texans, we got screwed!

Editorial from the NY TImes
Fixing the Game
But The Washington Post's Dan Eggen reported last week that the Justice Department has been suppressing for nearly two years a 73-page memo in which six lawyers and two analysts in the voting rights section, including the group's chief lawyer, unanimously concluded that the Texas redistricting plan of 2003 illegally diluted the votes of blacks and Hispanics in order to ensure a Republican majority in the state's Congressional delegation. That plan was shoved through the Texas State Legislature by Representative Tom DeLay, who abused his federal position in doing so and is now facing criminal charges over how money was raised to support the redistricting.

Full article

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Get your copy of the RollingStone and read this!

The Man Who Sold the War
Meet John Rendon, Bush's general in the propaganda war
link to RollingStone

Rendon is a man who fills a need that few people even know exists. Two months before al-Haideri took the lie-detector test, the Pentagon had secretly awarded him a $16 million contract to target Iraq and other adversaries with propaganda. One of the most powerful people in Washington, Rendon is a leader in the strategic field known as "perception management," manipulating information -- and, by extension, the news media -- to achieve the desired result. His firm, the Rendon Group, has made millions off government contracts since 1991, when it was hired by the CIA to help "create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power."
Costco CEO Finds Pro-Worker Means ProfitabilityHigh Wages, Employee Benefits Build Loyalty -- and P.R. Ambassadors


This year's sales total more than $52 billion from 462 stores in 37 states and eight countries. Costco is now the nation's fourth-largest retailer, selling everything from crab legs to flat-screen TVs to caskets — and even a Picasso painting.
In an era when many CEOs are seen as greedy and sometimes corrupt, Sinegal is proving that good guys can finish first — and without all the corporate frills.

Sinegal is unfazed by his critics. "Wall Street is in the business of making money between now and next Tuesday," he said. "We're in the business of building an organization, an institution that we hope will be here 50 years from now. And paying good wages and keeping your people working with you is very good business."

Friday, December 02, 2005

A Review of Franken's New Book

A nice little review of Al Franken's latest attack on those disgusting, lying pigs in the Bush Administration.

Is he indeed the worst president EVER???!!!

How bizarre it must be to know you could perhaps be the worst president in the 230 year history of your country! You almost have to feel sorry for the little feller.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Republicans: the party of 'no'

Here's what the Republican party has said "no" to since the middle of October:

*Money to provide for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. (Twice)
*Increasing the maximum Federal Pell Grant award by $200
*Providing additional funding for title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
*Increasing appropriations for Head Start programs
*Additional funding for part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
*Funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program within the Health Resources and Services Administration.
*Increasing appropriations for after-school programs through 21st century community learning centers.
*Providing a 6-month transition period for coverage of prescription drugs under Medicaid for the elderly whose drug coverage is to be moved to the Medicare prescription drug program.
*Amending title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide the authority for negotiating fair prices for Medicare prescription drugs.
*Establishing a national commission on policies and practices on the treatment of detainees since September 11, 2001.
*Providing enhanced eligibility for retirement pay for non-regular service members in Iraq
*Amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax benefits for areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.
*Repealing certain tax benefits relating to oil and gas wells intangible drilling and development costs.
*Reinstating for millionaires a top individual income tax rate of 39.6 percent, the pre-May 2003 rates of tax on capital gains and dividends, and to repeal the reduction and termination of the phase out of personal exemptions and overall limitation on itemized deductions, until the Federal budget deficit is eliminated.
*Sense of the Senate amendment concerning the provision of health care for children before providing tax cuts for the wealthy.
*Tax increase on incomes in excess of $1 million to eliminate child poverty.
*Providing an additional $500,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010, to be used for readjustment counseling, related mental health services, and treatment and rehabilitative services for veterans with mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance use disorder.
And that's just the damage they've done in the last 45 days

From The Yellow Dog Blog on Novemeber 29, 2005