Monday, July 31, 2006

New Element

New Chemical Element

A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Bushcronium." Bushcronium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an Atomic mass of 311. These 311 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. The symbol for Bushcronium is "W".

Bushcronium's mass actually increases over time, since each reorganization causes more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Bushcronium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass."

When catalyzed with money, Bushcronium activates Foxnewsium

This Week on the Daily Show

Mon, 7/31 -- Will Ferrell comedian/actor, "Talladega Nights"

Tue 8/1 -- Vali Nasr Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, author, "Democracy in Iran"

Wed 8/2 -- Chris Paine filmmaker, "Who Killed the Electric Car?"

Thur 8/3 -- Danny DeVito actor, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

This Week on the Colbert Report

Mon 7/31 -- Ned Lamont U.S. Senate candidate

Tue 8/1 -- Peter Beinart author, "The Good Fight"

Wed 8/2 -- Linda Hirshman author, Get to Work

Thu 8/3 -- Paul Hackett Iraq War vet who ran for Senate

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Fooling the Voters - New York Times

Fooling the Voters - New York Times: "July 31, 2006
Fooling the Voters
The two bills passed by the House last Friday and Saturday reflect a single Republican electoral strategy. Representatives want to appear to have accomplished something when they face voters during their five-week summer break, which starts today, and at the same time keep campaign donations flowing from special-interest constituents who are well aware that a great deal was left to do.
One of the bills was a pension reform measure. The other was a grab bag that contains three main items: an extension of the expired tax credit for corporate research; a $2.10 an hour increase in the minimum wage, to be phased in over three years; and a multibillion-dollar estate-tax cut. That�s the deal House Republicans are really offering � a few more dollars for 6.6 million working Americans; billions more for some 8,000 of the wealthiest families.
It is cynical in the extreme. Extending the research tax credit is noncontroversial, yet pressing. A minimum wage increase is compelling � morally, politically and financially � but Republicans generally oppose it. And the estate-tax cut has already failed to pass the Senate twice this summer. So House Republicans linked it to the research credit and the minimum wage, hoping to flip a handful of senators from both parties who have voted against estate-tax cuts in the past. Democrats who vote against the estate tax, Republicans think, can be painted as voting against a higher minimum wage.
This is an attempt at extortion. There is no way to justify providing yet another enormous tax shelter to the nation�s wealthiest heirs in the face of huge budget deficits, growing income inequality and looming government obligations" (Freeway Blogging)

Be a freeway blogger!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Rice tickles the ivories while the Mid East burns

Rice has Mideast on her mind at Asian summit - Yahoo! News: "KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took a day off from her bid to untangle the Middle East crisis, but fallout from the fighting trailed her to an East Asia security summit.

Rice flew all night from Europe to Malaysia to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF), after a crisis conference in Rome and visits to Beirut and Jerusalem.
But amid signs she could be preparing a return trip to the Middle East, she found new foreign policy problems, including opposition to Israel's Lebanon offensive and North Korea's intransigence on nuclear talks.
A senior State Department official said she would leave Malaysia on Friday, a day earlier than first thought -- but Rice refused to reveal her destination.
'I have not yet made a determination about my further travel,' Rice said.
'I am willing and ready to go back to the Middle East at any time,' she said at a press conference with Southeast Asian ministers and dialogue partners.
Earlier, when asked whether a new Middle East shuttle was being planned, Rice told reporters on her plane: 'Stay tuned.'"

Congressional candidate Rick Bolanos to be featured on Discovery Channel

Rick Bolanos Featured in Discovery Channel Documentary
CONTACT: Rick Bolanos 915-584-4583

Rick Bolanos the democratic nominee for the 23rd congressional district in the November election, will be featured in a documentary about veterans who are running for office this year that will air on the Discovery Times Channel in the fall.

A camera crew is following Bolanos throughout his campaign said his aide Placido Salazar. Bolanos an educator and Vietnam Veteran is one of four campaigns that have been selected by the Discovery Channel to document. Cinematographers Brent and Craig Renaud are filming the series. The Renaud brothers ( ) are award winning film producers that recently filmed a documentary about a group of Reserves from Clarksville Arkansas that were activated and sent to Iraq.
The brothers spent 18 months embedded with the reservists and their documentary, which ran 10 episodes on the Discovery channel, was recognized for awards both nationally and internationally. Denise Arrigali, spokesperson for the producers said that Bolanos is one of 50 veterans vying for a congressional seat. She went on to say that the brothers are collectively known as the “Band of Brothers” and that at no other time in history have so many veterans run for national office at the same time.
Bolanos, who is one of the original band of brothers that campaigned extensively for John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election, said that the Band of Brothers are running because they disagree with how Republicans are handling the war in Iraq. From a female Army captain who lost both her legs in Iraq to dozens of Purple Heart veterans (Bolanos included) from the Iraq and Viet Nam wars the series will follow the stories of those veterans as they run for elected offices.

Sigh, the Discovery channel couldn't make it to progessivegranie's house for the fundraiser, pictured here:

Hey Prez, Meet Your New Neighbor!

Boy, this'll thrill Georgie no end! Cindy's movin' in.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Israeli invasion of Lebanon was planned between top Israeli officials and members of the Bush administration.

I found this to be very interesting. Since the administration is so secretive, who knows what is really going on. Makes me wonder about a big October suprise. Just remember the PNAC group said prior to 9-11 that what they needed was another Pearl Harbor. Where does it go? If we follow the money we know it isn't going to the middle class anywhere in the world, but the PNAC guys aren't doing to badly.

July 24, 2006, Wayne Madsen Report
noted the following

The Israeli invasion of Lebanon was planned between top Israeli officials and members of the Bush administration. On June 17 and 18, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Likud Knesset member Natan Sharansky met with Vice President Dick Cheney at the American Enterprise Institute conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado. There, the impending Israeli invasions of both Gaza and Lebanon were discussed. After receiving Cheney's full backing for the invasion of Gaza and Lebanon, Netanyahu flew back to Israel and participated in a special 'Ex-Prime Ministers' meeting, in which he conveyed the Bush administration's support for the carrying out of the 'Clean Break' policy -- the trashing of all past Middle East peace accords, including Oslo. Present at the meeting, in addition to Netanyahu, were current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres. Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir is very old and suffers from dementia and Ariel Sharon remains in a coma after a series of strokes.

After the AEI meeting, Sharansky, who has the ear of Bush, met with the Heritage Foundation in Washington and then attended a June 29 seminar at Philadelphia's Main Line Haverford School sponsored by the Middle East Forum led by Daniel Pipes. Sharansky appeared with Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum who this past Thursday was beating the war drums against Syria, Iran, and 'Islamo-fascism" in a fiery speech at the National Press Club attended by a cheering section composed of members of the neocon Israel Project, on whose board Santorum serves along with Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Virginia GOP Rep. Tom Davis."

Dennis Kucinich: What Happened to the Soul of the Democratic Party?

Dennis Kucinich: What Happened to the Soul of the Democratic Party? : "Being a Democrat can no longer entail a laundry list of slightly less harmful policies than our opponents. The vision of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy as enunciated in the Book of Matthew must be returned to Congress. As you know, 'Fear Ends, Hope Begins' was the theme of my campaign for the Democratic nomination for President in 2004. I continue to call not just for new policies, but a renewed vision of a politics of trust and compassion based on our most basic values of caring for one another.
Who ever imagined that we would live in an America where the 'merciful' would be called soft on crime? Where those who 'mourn' would be called whiners and where the 'meek' would be told that arrogance is a virtue? Who ever imagined that the sacred role of 'peacemaker' as described by Matthew in the Beatitudes would be recast as a traitor? The inversion of truth and the perversion of our basic values must be challenged.
The path for our renewal based on these sacred values is clear. Living Wages, Advocacy of Universal Health Care, a new WPA jobs program funded from military waste, Universal Pre-Kindergarten, tuition-free college, protection of Social Security and all pensions, the green energy of wind, solar, hydrogen, peaceful exploration of space, participation in the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty, and the International Criminal Court are part of a vision of the America that can be, if we are willing to take a stand."

Watch McCain Tap Dance

Last night Jon Stewart interviewed John McCain on The Daily Show. Arizona's senior senator has long benefited politically from his horrible, several-year imprisonment in North Viet Nam. He's a bona fide American hero, and liberals are loathe to criticize him because he gave all for his country.

I apologize in advance for telling things how they are, but that's what we do here at the Kendallian. John McCain is one of the Bush administration's most strident defenders. As such he's due no less than what he's due: harsh criticism.

Jon Stewart has always liked McCain, and treated him with open affection. The last couple of visits to the Daily Show though, Stewart's had tougher and tougher questions for McCain. Not because he's lost his affection for the senator, but because McCain's positions have become increasingly less defensible.

Fast forward to last night: Check this video out. Stewart's brilliant as he says
"President Bush has been very clear that, through his leadership, he has made the world safer. My question to you is simply this: how much safer can the world afford to have him make us?"
McCain tried and tried to dodge, but Stewart made him answer the the best of his ability. McCain spent 9 minutes tap-dancing through the interview, and looked far more foolish than not.

You can't take McCain's service away from him; he couldn't have done more. But he's become almost cartoonish now, carrying water for the fool of a president and his crooked entourage.

Great Quote from Molly Ivins

The poor man who is currently our president has reached such a point of befuddlement that he thinks stem cell research is the same as taking human lives, but that 40,000 dead Iraqi civilians are progress toward democracy.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bonilla votes against Hispanic Texans

(Washington, DC)—During renewal of the Voting Rights Act in the House of Representatives yesterday, Congressman Henry Bonilla (TX-23) voted to restrict access to bilingual ballots, making it harder for Spanish-speaking citizens to cast their vote at the ballot box. By voting for an amendment that would strike down the language assistance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, Bonilla voted to roll back the clock and return Texas to the days of Jim Crow laws. [Roll Call Vote #372]

“Henry Bonilla’s vote for this modern day literacy test is a slap in the face of the Hispanic community both in Texas and across this nation,” said Texas Democratic Party spokesman Hector Nieto. “Discriminating against hard-working, taxpaying citizens because of their language ability goes against everything the Voting Rights Act stands for.”

Despite the fact that Rep. Bonilla’s district is 55% Hispanic, he still chose to turn his back on his constituents and his heritage by ensuring his Hispanic constituents aren’t given every opportunity to have their voice heard at the ballot box. Additionally, Bonilla’s congressional district, which was created under a Tom DeLay-inspired sham redistricting scheme, was recently ruled unconstitutional and a violation of the Voting Rights Act because Hispanic voting strength was unfairly diluted.

“Congressman Bonilla has already supported an unprecedented redistricting plan that disenfranchised thousands of Hispanic Texans. Yesterday, he took it a step further by placing his stamp of approval on another effort to suppress minority voters,” added Nieto. “Bonilla’s vote to weaken a monumental piece of legislation like the Voting Rights Act that protects the rights of millions of voters is more proof he has fallen out of step with the constituents in his majority-minority district and has instead joined the most extreme, divisive, and negative element in partisan politics.”

I say, shame on you Mr. Bonilla!

This Week on the Colbert Report

Mon 7/24 -- Howell Raines former exec. editor of the New York Times

Tue 7/25 -- William Donohue president of the Catholic League

Wed 7/26 -- Neal Katyal attorney

Thur 7/27 -- Joe Quesada Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief

This Week on the Daily Show

Mon, 7/24 -- John McCain US Senator, R-AZ

Tue 7/25 -- Ed Burns actor/filmmaker, "Groomsmen"

Wed 7/26 -- Sharon Weinberger author, "Imaginary Weapons"

Thur 7/27 -- Fouad Ajami author, "The Foreigner's Gift"

Natalie Maines' Dad: I Can See Where She Gets It

I had the good fortune to run into and spend a little time with Dixie Chicks' lead singer Natalie Maines father, Lloyd a week or so ago. I walked up to him and shook his hand, telling him I was a Maines Brothers fan. The familial group was Lubbock's best band for a dozen or more years and were regional legends.

But the reason I approached him was to lend a little fatherly support. The 2nd sentence out of my mouth was to say "Would you tell your daughter not to shut up?" He laughed and offered that no amount of telling was going to cause that anyway. He went on to say how frustrating it was when so few artists and musicians spoke out about the war and about Bush for fear of what happened to his daughter and her band. His politics are much the same as hers, and he worries at what the President and his party are doing to this nation. As such, he thinks people have to make a stand, the price be damned.

He wasn't too happy with Reba's comments ("At an Academy of Country Music awards ceremony in March, singer Reba McEntire read a scripted line about how she could host the event because, "[If] the Dixie Chicks can sing with their foot in their mouth, then I can do anything!")...nor Toby Keith's feud with his daughter.

Strange to think she'd throw gas on the anti-Dixie Chick fire, when they were getting death threats on their families. Reba's got a family too, and you'd think she'd know better. He took it all in stride though, and considers the price she and the Dixie Chicks have paid to be part-n-parcel to taking a courageous stand. Sounds like a bunch of solid Americans to me.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dear Mr. President (Pink)

As you beat the war drums again, and refuse to work for peace, can YOU sleep at night? You spoke today of the sanctity of human life as you vetoed the stem cell bill (which of course was only to make republicans look good for election purposes). We see through your machinations. I do not believe that you really know the value of a human life, unless its for a photo op.

Text of Bush's speech to the NAACP

Wanna read some total BS? Bush's speech is a load of crap, it's half-truths and all out lies.

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Text of Bush's Speech at the NAACP:
"BUSH: Thank you all very much. Thank you very much. Bruce, thanks for your introduction. Bruce is a polite guy, I thought what he was going to say, it's about time you showed up. And I'm glad I did. See, I see this as a moment of opportunity. I have come to celebrate the heroism of the civil rights movement, and the accomplishments of the NAACP.
I want to talk about ways to build what the NAACP has always sought, a nation united, committed to destroying discrimination and extending to every American the full blessings, the full blessings, of liberty and opportunity. It's important to me. It's important to our nation. I come from a family committed to civil rights. My faith tells me that we're all children of God, equally loved, equally cherished, equally entitled to the rights He grants us all...These second founders, led by the likes of Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in the constitutional guarantees of liberty and equality. They trusted fellow Americans to join them in doing the right thing. They were leaders. They toppled Jim Crow through simple deeds: boarding a bus, walking along the road, showing up peacefully at courthouses or joining in prayer and song. Despite the sheriff's dogs, and the jailer's scorn, and the hangman's noose, and the assassin's bullets, they prevailed...[blah, blah] So we've been working together in helping the citizens along the Gulf Coast recover from one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history. [blah, blah] We've got a plan, and we've got a commitment. And the commitment is not only to work together, but it's a commitment to the people of the Gulf Coast of the United States, to see to it that their lives are better and brighter than before the storm. We also worked together to ensure that African Americans can take advantage of the new Medicare drug benefit.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

EWWWWW ! ! !

Bush gropes German Chancellor Merkel. Where is this man's brain? This is totally inappropriate behavior for ANY adult male in a work setting for crying out loud!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

More on the redistricting plans

Perry/Craddick/Dewhurst Plan Excessively Partisan and Disruptive
Dem. Cong. Delegation Plan Narrowly Tailored, Protects Texas Seniority
Hispanic Advocacy Groups Make Bid for Extra South Texas District
Parties to the Texas Congressional Redistricting lawsuit filed maps and supporting briefs with the three-judge Federal District Court on Friday, July 14, 2006 suggesting ways to correct the Texas Congressional map (1374C) ruled illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court. The three-judge panel may choose one of the plans submitted, construct a map using one of the submissions as a basis, or craft a plan entirely its own.
All submitted plans can be viewed at the Texas Legislative Council redistricting website using their RedViewer link here.

There IS a God. And He Doesn't Like Ralph Reed...

Youthful-looking poster boy for the religious right (which is neither) has lost his bid to become Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. As it turns out God, showing his quirky sense of humor, dealt this blow to Reed on his 19th wedding anniversary.

Ol' Ralphie is one of the more twisted of Republican souls. He's a far right-winger who also happens to be a lobbyist. And he lobbies for gamblers (ah, the party of Bill Bennet...). And he not only lobbies for certain casino owners, but against others. In very seedy ways.

Since he lost his bid for office though, perhaps his Time...has run out!

Monday, July 17, 2006

This Week on the Daily Show

Mon, 7/17 -- Gordon Chang author, "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World"

Tue 7/18 -- M. Night Shyamalan film director, "Lady in the Water"

Wed 7/19 -- James Maguire author, "Impresario" and "American Bee"

Thur 7/20 -- Paul Giamatti actor, "Lady in the Water"

This Week on the Colbert Report

Mon 7/17 -- Lee Silver professor and cloning advocate

Tue 7/18 -- Dhani Jones Philadelphia Eagles linebacker and photographer

Wed 7/19 -- Joe Scarborough MSNBC host and former GOP congressman

Thur 7/20 -- Tom Brokaw NBC News

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I Miss Monica This is hilarious!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Putin Jabs Bush

‘We Certainly Would Not Want…The Same Kind of Democracy As They Have in Iraq’
During a press conference today at the G8 summit in Russia, President Bush told President Vladimir Putin that Americans want Russia to develop a free press and free religion “like Iraq.” To laughter and applause, Putin responded: “We certainly would not want to have same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, quite honestly.” CNN’s Ed Henry called it a “tough jab.”

Full transcript:

BUSH: I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq, where there’s a free press and free religion. And I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia will do the same thing. I fully understand, however, that there will be a Russian-style democracy.

PUTIN: We certainly would not want to have same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, quite honestly.

BUSH: Just wait.

Henry Bonilla a War Profiteer

Full disclosure: I am a member of Texas Democratic Veterans. I am posting this article because it is very newsworthy. As the entire middle east stands on the brink of all out war, we need to remember who reaps the rewards, and it is the members of the military industrial complex...just as we were warned by Eisenhower. So folks like Henry Bonilla are making big bucks while we, the people in the trenches, pay the piper.

BCDP News: Henry Bonilla-a War Profiteer: "By Larry Romo (Photo)
Chairman of the Texas DemVets



Congressman Henry Bonilla is a War Profiteer. In 2002, he owned through his spouse, tens of thousands of dollars in stock, Alliant Techsystems Inc., a defense contractor.

That same year the Alliant Techsystems, Inc. Employees Political Action Committee (PAC) gave him funds for his campaign. He has also received thousands of dollars in contributions from the same PAC in previous years.

The end of year 2002, Alliant Techsytems Inc, company report states that $1.25 billion dollars for Army munitions were appropriated by Congress to that company, $94 million more than even the Department of Defense requested. The company reports also states that Alliant Techsystems Inc. will get much more defense appropriations if the US goes to war in Iraq and will at a minimum get double digit earnings the next two years due to these appropriations.

Congressman Bonilla and his spouse made money on his Alliant Techsystems stock by the Appropriations Committee voting for this appropriation and made even more money when Congress voted for and we went to war in Iraq.

The more money appropriated to this defense contractor the more the stock price rises. This is highly unethical as he is profiting from the war. Bonilla with his position on the House Appropriations Subcommittee unethically used his position to enrich himself.

A congressman should not be a WAR PROFITEER especially when they vote to send off our young men and women off to war and he is making money off their efforts and the taxpayers.

Bonilla's 2002 Personal Financial Disclosure"

The Texas Nexus: Where Racial and Partisan Gerrymandering Came Together

As our redistricting comes under further debate today,and as we, the residents of District 23, wait and wonder what will happen I felt it was time to revisit an older article on the DeLay plan that put us where we are today.

The Texas Nexus: Where Racial and Partisan Gerrymandering Came Together: "The DeLay plan also maximizes racial divisions and polarization in Texas by dividing the state primarily into Anglo-dominated Republican districts and a relatively few heavily minority Democratic districts. As a result, the Texas congressional delegate now consists of 21 Anglo Republicans, 9 Hispanic or black Democrats, and only 2 remaining Anglo Democrats. It eliminates both competitive districts and districts that would encourage coalition-building between Anglos and minorities. The plan represents a grim future for Texas and for the nation if the DeLay approach to redistricting became a model for other states.
Nearly as disturbing as the deliberate minority disenfranchisement, is the fact that, if Democrats were in the majority in the U.S. Congress right now, there would be dozens of full committee and subcommittees headed by minorities, blacks or Hispanics. And that�s the basis of significant power within Congress. Under Republican control of Congress, there are no blacks and very few Hispanics. It�s what one observer called a 'peculiar apartheid.' "

Friday, July 14, 2006

Operation !

Remember the game Operation? Well, you can play it Bush-administration style right here.

Rick Bolanos Rocked The House!

We held a little fundraiser tonight in Boerne for Congressional Candidate Rick Bolanos. This guy's a scrapper! What's being a scrapper mean? How about calling Henry Bonilla a "Judas to his culture?"

He's not too fond of Henry, and making no bones about it. The cornerstone to tonight's speech was a quote from the El Paso paper wherein Bonilla said that he had participated in the Republican re-districting efforts to "ensure the majority party" held on to its power. Given that the congressman's stated charge is to represent all his constituents, he obviously has violated that responsibility. Bolanos has a plan to get this before the American public...I think this is going to be a bumpy ride!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Baghdad Burning

Baghdad Burning: "Tuesday, July 11, 2006


It promises to be a long summer. We're almost at the mid-way point, but it feels like the days are just crawling by. It's a combination of the heat, the flies, the hours upon hours of no electricity and the corpses which keep appearing everywhere.

The day before yesterday was catastrophic. The day began with news of the killings in Jihad Quarter. According to people who live there, black-clad militiamen drove in mid-morning and opened fire on people in the streets and even in houses. They began pulling people off the street and checking their ID cards to see if they had Sunni names or Shia names and then the Sunnis were driven away and killed. Some were executed right there in the area. The media is playing it down and claiming 37 dead but the people in the area say the number is nearer 60."

This is a very moving blog posting. I have never experienced war, although I served in the US military. I was born during the Korean War, in an Asian country, where the populace made vases out of left over mortar shells, and my sister found the body of a downed US pilot. But, I know nothing of those things. I was too young. My knowledge of a conflict like this comes from a friend, a new US citizen, originally from Bosnia. Her stories of the war and genocide are innumberable and tragic, a picture of hatred and man's inhumanity to man. I found it interesting that in the former Yugolavia, as in Iraq, people can identify each other's ethnic origin by their names. I did not grow up learning that, although you knew some names signified a certain country of origin, it was not of great importance. Some kids were from Italy, some from Russia, some from other places, but all I knew is that their mothers made great food and were just like my Mom. However, as my friend told me, in Bosnia, if you had a Muslim name, you were a target to the Serbs. She speaks of seeing trucks go by that we full of dead bodies, covered in tarps to hide the evidence, but an arm or a leg might be sticking out. She fled at one point to the woods where they had nothing to eat, and no shelter, and of her fear. Eventually she made it to a refugee camp, pregnant, and starving. From that camp, she came to this country and became an proud US citizen and a Democrat. She believes in the values that many of our citizens have forgotten in their quest for money and greed. That all of us are created equal, that we can all suceed, and that we do not discriminate.
So, aren't these the values our President speaks so highly of? If so, why is it that we invaded a country for no reason, and subjected their people to continuous strife and hardship? Why haven't we fixed the electricity? Why do we allow this sectarian violence to continue? We stopped the genocide in Bosnia, but in Iraq we ignore the violence of one group upon another. This will bring democracy? I don't think so.
Why can't we all learn to celebrate our differences? Well, I believe corporate greed and oil have a lot to do with that. Such a sad state of affairs. May Allah bless Riverbend and her family, and some day grant them peace. The sooner the better.

You Are Not Safe

You Are Not Safe: " You Are Not Safe
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Thursday 13 July 2006
So let me get this straight.
According to the National Asset Database, a list of key locations requiring anti-terrorism protection and funding compiled by the Department of Homeland Security, the District of Columbia has 416 potential terror targets. One assumes this list of DC targets includes the myriad houses of government, defense, intelligence, as well as historical landmarks to be found in the city that is essentially the nerve center for our national security.
Some of the other terror targets indicated by this database, according to a New York Times report, include places and events all across the country such as the Mule Day Parade, Old MacDonald's Petting Zoo, the Sweetwater Flea Market, the Apple and Pork Festival, and the Amish Country Popcorn factory. Multiple listings give no clear indication of the so-called asset, and describe them in the simplest of terms: 'Nix's Check Cashing,' 'Mall at Sears,' 'Ice Cream Parlor,' 'Tackle Shop,' 'Donut Shop,' 'Anti-Cruelty Society' and 'Bean Fest.'
'New York, for example, lists only 2 percent of the nation's banking and finance sector assets,' continued the New York Times report, 'which ranks it between North Dakota and Missouri. Washington State lists nearly twice as many national monuments and icons as the District of Columbia. Montana, one of the least populous states in the nation, turned up with far more assets than big-population states including Massachusetts, North Carolina and New Jersey.'
The District of Columbia, according to the database, has exactly 47 more terror targets than the state of Wyoming. DC has 331 fewer terror targets than the state of Idaho. DC has 3,041 few"

Yep, Homeland Security at it's finest. What a bunch of baloney!
Maxine Waters on renewal of the voting rights act

Sadly there were elected "representatives" who don't want to renew this act. Many people suffered and died for civil rights back in the day, which I remember personally. We do not need to go back to the days of Jim Crow, but evidently some folks want to. Maxine Waters is an excellent voice against these bigots. God Bless her.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gutting Labor Rights for Nurses and more...

Read on my brothers and sisters in the healthcare professions. You think you are screwed now? Two floors too much for you to manage there Mr/Ms RN? Looks like it will just be getting worse. My suggestion? Call SEIU and organize before you end up a slave to the corporation.

Gutting Labor Rights for Nurses -- and Millions of Others
by Nathan Newman
This week, nurses are rallying across the country to protest likely decisions by the National Labor Relations Board that would declare hundreds of thousands of Registered Nurses (RNs) to be "supervisors" under the law and therefore stripped of any protection under federal labor law. If these rulings go as expected, those RNs could be fired at will if they say anything positive about unions or are even suspected of being in favor of unions.
The core of the problem derives from the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act which denies labor rights to "supervisors", meaning that anyone deemed a supervisor can be fired at will if they say anything nice about unions or try to take action to support unions in their workplace.
Once upon a time, it was generally understood that a supervisor was someone who had some degree of power to hire and fire those below them, but the in a series of decisions, the courts and NLRB have expanded the meaning of supervisor to mean people who, because of their expertise, direct the actions of other employees in some way. Now, originally "progressionals" were specifically designated as retaining their right to unionize, but increasingly any professional actions that involve directing other workers actions essentially guts that protection for professionals' right to organize.
Back in the 1990s, the Clinton-appointed National Labor Relations Board had made a strong pro-union ruling in Kentucky River Community Care, stating that where nursing professionals had no power to discipline, fire or hire other employees, RNs overseeing nursing homes using "ordinary professional or technical judgment in directing less-skilled employees" would not be classified as supervisors since they were exercising their judgement for the benefit of patients not employers.
But the Supreme Court in 2001, by a 5-4 split vote between conservatives and liberal Justices, overruled the Clinton NLRB and barred unionization by that group of registered nurses with even nominal oversight of other nurses. So the question became what would happen to the right of RNs not in nursing homes but in hospitals where their authority is even more restricted. A limited bad ruling would deny labor rights to lead RNs, known as "charge" nurses, who oversee other nurses, but many anti-union employers and management attorneys are pushing for a ruling that would deny labor rights to all RNs.
And here's the kicker-- once a group of nominal "supervisors" lose their labor rights and can be threatened with being fired, they are forced to become anti-union shock troops to spy on other employees and undermine unionization by other workers. So not only could this kind of decision threaten unions for RNs, it threatens the labor rights of workers throughout the health care industry.
This is all part of a trend where the NLRB and the courts, without any legislative change, have been overturning decades of rules to deny workers rights to a wide range of employees previously protected under the law. This American Rights at Work memo outlines additional attacks on labor rights by the Bush NLRB in recent years:
July 2004: Graduate teaching and research assistants were deemed students and not employees, making them ineligible for [labor law] protection.
September 2004: The Labor Board determined that disabled workers who receive rehabilitative services from employers should not be classified as workers and are, therefore, ineligible to form unions under the protections of federal law.
November 2004: Employees of temp agencies were barred from organizing with regular employees without both employer and agency permission.
This is on top of a range of other rulings that have weakened protections for workers still covered by labor law but now subject to be fired if they stand up for their rights in the workplace.
But this attack on RNs as nominal "supervisors" could lead to one of the largest number of workers stripped of their labor rights in modern history. It's not surprising that this attack is coming now, as the health care industry has become one of the most successful areas for union organizing in recent years. As California Nurses Association (CNA) Director Rose Ann DeMoro has said:
"Corporate hospital employers also want to roll back the progress of a predominantly female work force which has finally begun to win the compensation and retirement security commensurate with their expertise and education after years of low pay and substandard benefits and pensions, and return to the days when nurses had few rights at the bedside."
So this is a dangerous attack on workers in the health industry, but the anti-union right-wing knows that a ruling against nurses could cascade through other workplaces as employers strategically hand nominal supervisory roles to various workers to strip them of their labor rights. It's typical of the quiet but steady legal assault on workers free speech and right to organize in American workplaces.
* * *
Nathan Newman is a lawyer, policy analyst and longtime community and labor activist. He is Policy Director for the Progressive States Network, a nonprofit that supports state legislative campaigns for economic and social justice. He also writes at TPMCafe and at his own long-established blog at and can be contacted at

Fight Ignorance: Read

It's The Conservatism, Stupid

This is why you can't argue with your repugnant conservative relatives. Of course we know they are stupid, but here's why:

Paul Waldman
July 12, 2006

Ask a conservative what the biggest problem in America is today, and you'll get answers like overtaxation, a sexualized culture, lack of respect for authority, insufficient church-going or big government running amok. But if you then asked the conservative what the real source of the problem was the beating heart pumping blood to each and all of these socio-politico-cultural wounds-you'd get the same answer: liberalism.
On the other hand, you could ask a liberal a hundred questions about the problems facing our country before you'd get to an answer that placed conservatism at the heart of the nation's ills.
And conservatives learn these messages when still young. What does a "campus liberal" do? Well, it depends what his or her issue is: fighting sweatshop labor, or environmental degradation, or the Iraq war, or any of a dozen other problems about which liberals are concerned. What, on the other hand, does a "campus conservative" do? Fight liberals and liberalism."link to full article
The Daily Show - Northa Korea

"The Daily Show” host uses a montage of video clips of Bush alternately dismissing and praising the use of diplomacy in dealing with WMD-bent dictators like Saddam Hussein and North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il."

The world, or at least the middle east, is going to hell in a handbasket, and Jon Stewart can put a face on it that even the uninformed can understand. Thanks Jon.
After all, if I can't laugh about it once in awhile, I will just cry. Look at today, basically Israel has gone to war with its neighbors, and there are no signs they will be quitting any time soon. Obviously this will only get worse. Our fearless leader is clueless and thinks diplomacy just wastes time. Who will he piss off again? Or more? There is no US foreign policy...or maybe there conquest by corporations, whilst screwing the mythical little guy. War means profits for the big guys in DC while our kids get sent off to do their dirty work. PIGS!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Fear as a Weapon: "That we are a strong enough nation to defeat terrorism without fundamentally changing our nation is a message that Americans are clearly ready to hear. We are more than four years away from September 11, 2001, and despite the dire warnings of the Bush administration, people in rural Kansas and suburban Georgia and everywhere else are beginning to realize that on the list of problems and threats that endanger their children and impede their dreams, the potential of a terrorist attack does not predominate. In a rational world, risk is equal to impact multiplied by probability. As the Linguasphere Dictionary puts it: �In professional risk assessment, risk combines the probability of a negative event occurring with how harmful that event would be.� But the administration has spent four years urging Americans to ignore that way of thinking and instead assent to any government measure,no matter the costs of comparative harms, as long as it is pursued in the name of fighting this ultimate evil. "

If you have time, please read this article. Winston Churchill was right when he said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

This Week on the Daily Show

Mon 7/10 -- Ilario Pantano ex-Marine, "Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy"

Tue 7/11 -- John Dean former White House counsel, author, "Conservatives Without Conscience"

Wed 7/12 -- Shawn Wayans actor, "Little Man"

Thur 7/13 -- Owen Wilson actor, "You, Me and Dupree"

This Week on the Colbert Report

Mon 7/10 -- Amy Sedaris

Tue 7/11 -- Tony Hawk

Wed 7/12 -- Mort Zuckerman

Thur 7/13 -- Ron Suskind

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Kendallian Voice Makes the Big Time

Well...kind of. The most-visited liberal website is a blog called Daily Kos. Operated by a guy named Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, it's an incisive compendium of liberal thought. For some reason or another, Mr. Zúniga found his way to the Kendallian Voice when we were at the Democratic Convention in Ft. Worth. Madmomma and I were there representing Kendall County, blogging live from the convention floor. I guess Mr. Zúniga liked what he read and quoted us on a June 11th posting. It's a long column, so if you click edit and do a find on this page and type in Kendallian, it'll take you to this:

From The Kendallian Voice:
"General Clark just left the stage after a rousing speech which left us here in the auditorium with sore hands from clapping, and sore leg muscles from standing up and sitting down with ovation after ovation.
He was critical of the Bush administration on a very deep level. His distrust--his anger--at how they've misled this country was clear, and was felt by everyone here.
His charge to Texas Democrats was that we've got to take back control of this country, and the time is now. In his speech the recurring theme was Enough is Enough! and the crowd chanted right along with him. It sure made a lot of us wonder if the 2004 election might have gone differently if he had been our nominee."

So now this humble little blog for this small Texas county has been quoted by the most-read blog there is. Yowzuh!

Dear Little Right-Wing Loyal Follower

Have all of you noticed that we have a little misguided rightwinger in our midst? Please read some of his/her comments--they're a scream! I kind of feel sorry for him/her, because (s)he has blind trust in our idiot leader. Every time I read a comment from this person, I just want to start baaahing like a sheep.

Listen up, Little Rightwinger:

Ann Coulter is an evil bitch--who also happens to be a plagiarist.

George Bush is a stupid, yet dangerous man who doesn't have a clue of how to run a country.

We ARE NOT better off than we were under Clinton.

There IS such a thing as global warming.

And finally, we ARE NOT fighting a war on terror--and for our freedom--in Iraq. We're just sending fellow Americans over there to either die or come back as empty husks, all in the name of presidential idiocy.

Hey, why don't you go play with other delusional people and stop fighting with people who only feel sorry for you and your kind!

Ok, now I feel better. This is more rejuvenating than a cup of coffee any day!

Friday, July 07, 2006


Media Matters - Coulter dodges CNN cameras: "TERENCE JEFFREY (Human Events editor): Does anyone really think that Ann Coulter is trying to plagiarize Planned Parenthood? Ann is not a reporter, she's a commentator. She takes her facts from other sources." (emphasis mine)

Isn't taking your facts from other sources akin to plagiarism? Love the spin on this one.

Redistricting news

July 7, 2006
Contact: Matt Angle
On the web at

Texas U.S. Supreme Court Decision
Mid-Decade and Partisan Redistricting Unchecked, African American Voting Rights Ignored, South Texas Map Scramble Underway

While the Supreme Court’s Texas decision was split 5/4, included six separate opinions and over 132 pages of text, the bottom line is clear:

The Court did not step in to halt mid-decade redistricting;
There is virtually no conceivable circumstance in which the Court will find illegal partisan gerrymandering;
Regardless of whether African Americans repeatedly demonstrate political control of a district, their voting rights will not be protected unless their voting age population in the district is at or near a raw majority; and
Hispanic districts with a clear majority of registered voters and demonstrating the potential ability to elect the candidate of their choice will continue to be protected.
The following Lone Star Project analysis is divided into two parts. Part One deals with plaintiff claims the Supreme Court rejected. Part Two looks at some various map options that may be offered to the Federal District Court

Part One
Green Light to Mid-Decade Redistricting
The Court refused to block mid-decade redistricting. The Court disagreed with the Jackson Plaintiffs who argued that mid-decade redistricting is illegal when the sole purpose is partisan gain and with the Travis County Plaintiffs who argued that mid-decade redistricting violated the one person-one vote principle because the census information used was outdated. The result of the Court’s opinion is that any state or locality, for solely political reasons, may engage in mid-decade redistricting to take advantage of, or to head-off, a change in the political fortunes of one party or the other.

Partisan Redistricting – It Quacks and Waddles, But It’s Not a Duck
While acknowledging that the sole purpose and ultimate result of the Republican redistricting effort in Texas was to guarantee the election of Republicans at the expense of Democrats, the Court refused to find illegal partisan gerrymandering. Most observers agree with the Washington Post’s opinion that although the Court, “again formally leaves open the question of whether any gerrymander could be bad enough to warrant judicial intervention. But if Texas's case is not bad enough, then the one that is can exist only in some place other than the real world.” (Source: The Washington Post, Editorial, July 5, 2006)

African Americans Voting Rights Discounted
The Court was unmoved by the detailed analysis conducted by both Republican and Democratic experts that demonstrated African Americans in a Fort Worth based congressional district (CD24) had consistently demonstrated that they dominated and controlled the Democratic primary and that their candidate of choice always won the General Election. Instead, the Court cited that the District was only 21 percent voting age African American and relied on non-expert witness testimony. Specifically, they used the comments of now defeated African American former State Representative Ron Wilson who worked with Republicans throughout the redistricting effort. They also took a comment made by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson out of context to justify their decision. Congresswoman Johnson’s quote was actually made when commenting about a different district in an earlier plan and NOT the district and plan that was before the Court. To read the conflicting expert and non-expert testimony, click here

Part Two
South Texas Map Scramble
The Supreme Court struck down Congressional District 23, represented by Henry Bonilla, ruling that the Republican Legislature violated the Voting Rights Act when it removed over 100,000 Hispanics from CD23 reducing its voting age Hispanic population from 63 percent to only 50.9 percent (source: Texas Legislative Council) and attempted to replace the district with a newly drawn Hispanic CD25 now represented by Lloyd Doggett. The Court ruled that Hispanic voting strength in CD23 was reduced in order to protect Henry Bonilla and that CD25 was not sufficiently compact to serve as a “replacement” Hispanic district. The Court has ordered all parties to the suit to present their proposed maps by July 14, 2006.

A scramble is now underway among Republicans representing the State of Texas, Members of Congress and Hispanic advocacy groups to construct a newly drawn plan. Each has their own priorities which will be reflected in their submissions to the Court. Below are some approaches we can expect to see.

Key Target Figures to look for in CD23
The Court determined that Hispanic Voting strength was sapped in CD23 just as Hispanics were on the verge of controlling the District. With this in mind, it is reasonable to suppose that the District Court will require that any remedy to CD23 restore its Hispanic percentages to their previous levels. They were as follows:

Total Hispanic Population - 66.8%
Voting Age Hispanic Population - 63.0%
Citizen Voting Age Population - 57.4%
Percentage Hispanic Registered Voter - 55.3%
Further, the District Court may not accept any map that materially reduces these key racial numbers in any of the other Voting Rights protected Districts in South Texas which are CD15 (Hinojosa), CD16 (Reyes), CD20 (Gonzalez), CD28 (Cuellar).

Potential Re-Map Options
Under a precedent set in the Supreme Court case Upham v. Seamon, the District Court is required to impose a “narrowly tailored” remedy, which requires that any new map (remedy) be limited to correcting the violation of law the Court has found. With this in mind, the options described below are those that would impact relatively few districts. It is assumed that options rippling across the entire State, or far outside South Texas, will not be seriously considered by the District Court.

All of Webb County into CD28 Option

All of Webb County would be moved into CD28 (Cuellar).
The Hispanic population in CD23 (Bonilla) would be increased by moving West Texas Hispanics currently in CD11 (Conaway) and Bexar County Hispanics in CD28 (Cuellar) into CD23.
This also may require population shifts within Bexar County involving CD20 (Gonzalez).
Hill Country Republicans currently in CD23 would move to CD11 (Conaway).
This option may, or may not, include changes in CD25 (Doggett).
Who might support? This option may be favored by Henry Cuellar and some congressional Republicans because it would increase Cuellar’s Webb County base, would not “pair” Bonilla with Cuellar, and it would add relatively low turnout West Texas and Bexar Hispanics to CD23, thus presenting less of a threat to Bonilla.
Who might oppose? Conaway and Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, may object to significant changes to CD11, especially the deep cuts into Ector and Midland Counties that might be required under this option. Also, if map drawers attempt to shift population in Bexar County and impact CD20 (Gonzalez), then Gonzalez may object.
Cautionary Note: CD20 (Gonzalez) is a Voting Rights protected district. Any shifts in population that result in lower Hispanic percentages may not be accepted by the Court.

All of Webb County to CD23 Option
This option most directly addresses the specific concerns of the Supreme Court

Webb County in its entirety would return to Bonilla’s 23rd District.
CD28 (Cuellar) would, in turn, pick up new Hispanic voters in Hidalgo and other nearby S. Texas Counties from CD25 (Doggett).
CD25 would shift northward picking up voters in and around Travis County from CD21 (L. Smith).
CD21 (L. Smith) would reclaim Republican Hill Country Counties currently in CD23.
Who might support? Travis County plaintiffs would likely support the notion of creating a clearly Austin-based district as this option would do. Also, Democrats who have been disappointed and often angered by Cuellar’s consistent support for President Bush, Governor Perry, and Republican House initiatives will like the idea of moving Cuellar’s base out of CD28, leaving it open for a more trustworthy Democrat. Finally, Hispanic advocacy organizations might favor an option that clearly returns the Hispanic voting strength that was removed from CD23, while addressing the Court’s concerns about CD25 compactness.
Who might oppose? It is doubtful Cuellar, Bonilla or Congressional Republicans would like this option. Because Bonilla draws very little support from Hispanic voters, Bonilla’s re-election would be in jeopardy by a return of all of Webb County and the loss of strong Hill Country GOP supporters. Cuellar would not want to be “paired” with Bonilla, who beat him by over 6,000 votes in a head-to-head match-up in 2002.

Leave Districts 28 and 25 Alone Option
Some believe that because the Supreme Court did not specifically direct that CD25 (Doggett) or CD28 (Cuellar) must be changed, that a map may be accepted that leaves them unchanged. This line of thought asserts that the Court simply directed that CD23 (Bonilla) be restored as a Hispanic opportunity district. It is possible to enhance the Hispanic population in CD23 without disturbing the current boundaries of CD28 or CD25.

Move Hispanics from CD11 (Conaway) into CD23.
Replace CD11 population with Hill Country and other West Texas Anglos now in CD23.
Shift population within Bexar County between CD23, CD20 (Gonzalez) and CD21 (L. Smith) to increase the overall Hispanic population of CD23.
Who might support? Congressional Republicans and Bonilla might see this as a better option than moving all of Webb back into CD23. Cuellar would also like the idea of CD28 remaining a Webb based district, not being “paired” with Bonilla and not facing a new primary. Some Hispanic advocacy groups might like the idea of CD23 being enhanced while also maintaining a heavily Hispanic CD25 (Doggett), which would leave seven rather than six majority Hispanic Districts that are S. Texas based.
Who might oppose? Charlie Gonzalez would not want to be embroiled in correcting a problem he has skillfully avoided. It is important to note that Gonzalez’s district 20 is a Voting Rights Act protected district and thus Hispanic voting strength cannot be reduced to any significant degree. Also, Travis County would like changes to be made in CD25 that would return it to an Austin-based District. Finally, the District Court may be leery of ordering a map that leaves CD25 untouched since the Supreme Court stated that it was not “sufficiently compact” to be considered an effective Hispanic district and indicated CD25 would likely change as a result of remedying the voting discrimination against Hispanics that the Republican Legislature did in dismantling District 23.
Cautionary Note: CD20 (Gonzalez) is a Voting Rights protected district. Any shifts in population that result in lower Hispanic percentages may not be accepted by the Court.

Hinojosa Option
Many Democrats and some Hispanic advocacy groups remain concerned that Hispanic voting strength in CD15 (Hinojosa) was significantly weakened under the current Republican-drawn map. Hispanic voting age population in the CD15 was reduced from 74.3 percent to 64 percent. In reviewing the plan, voting rights experts in the Department of Justice specifically noted that Hispanic voting strength in CD15 had been reduced to the point that it may not consistently perform as an effective Hispanic District. (Source: DOJ Section 5 Recommendation Memorandum, December 12, 2003)

An option to correct this would:

Move all of Webb County into CD23 (Bonilla).
Move some of the Hidalgo County population now in CD25 (Doggett) into CD28 (Cuellar).
Shift the remaining Hidalgo County population into CD15 (Hinojosa).
Contract (CD25) to the North and absorb new population in and around Travis County now in CD10 (McCall) and perhaps CD21 (L. Smith).
Rural counties to the north currently in CD15 would move into CD10 (McCall). GOP Hill Country counties now in CD23 would move to CD21 (L. Smith).
Who might support? Hidalgo County and Ruben Hinojosa may favor this type of solution. Also, Democrats who are concerned about the long-term viability of CD15 might like the idea.
Who might oppose the plan? Both Cuellar and Bonilla would likely oppose this approach. Also, those who are concerned that this approach does not meet the “narrowly tailored” requirement.

Will the Remedy Be Enforced in 2006?
While it is not unprecedented for the Court to allow an election to go forward before correcting a Voting Rights Violation, doing so is unusual. Most observers expect that the Court will order its remedy enforced in the 2006 election.

Texas Precedent
The precedent in Texas was set in 1996, when a three-judge Federal District Court ruled that three Texas Districts were unconstitutional and ordered a remedy that changed a total of 13 of 30 districts. Under this scenario:

The Court would vacate the already conducted 2004 primary in effected districts and order an “open” or “Louisiana Style” primary wherein all candidates from either party file and run together on the same ballot.
The primary would take place on the General Election date parallel to the regular General Election.
In any district in which one candidate does not garner more than 50 percent of the vote, a run-off is held 30 days later involving the top two finishers.
In 1996, Nick Lampson (CD9), Ken Bentsen (CD25) and Kevin Brady (CD8) were elected to Congress in December run-offs.
An important note to remember is that under this scenario “straight-ticket” votes would not be recorded in the congressional races. Voters who cast a “straight ticket” ballot would have to also mark their specific preference for Congress.
Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers - Trailer

If there’s one movie I’m anxiously awaiting this year it’s Robert Greenwald’s Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers. It’s a subject that gets almost no media coverage but should be making the blood pressure of all the Angry Dad Jack Caffertys in the world reach the boiling point. I’m proud to say I’m on the list of the 3010 people who donated $5, $10, $50 at a time to make this movie possible. Thanks so much to Robert who has kindly made a copy of the new trailer available on YouTube for our readers to see.

For those interested in the topic, our own Matt O. has been doing a fantastic weekly series every Saturday at 4pm PT/7pm ET. It’s really important stuff. Time to take the country back from the kleptocrats.

Bush does Chicago

President Bush Holds a News Conference in Chicago:
The Prez says: "Major companies have announced plans to add even more jobs.This morning we got some good news: The nation added 121,000 new jobs for the month of June. That's over 5.4 million jobs since August of 2003. That's 34 months of job increases.
First quarter, our economy grew at 5.6 percent. Productivity is high. People are better off. Things are working.

Whereas, CNN Money noted: Stocks tumbled Friday, with the Dow and Nasdaq closing down over 1 percent, after disappointing corporate news and the monthly jobs report pointed to slowing growth and rising inflationary pressure in the world's largest economy. link

Is Bush on crack? Gas prices are up, wages are stagnant, it's nearly impossible to send a kid to college, and economically speaking for the middle class, it sucks. Of course, if you saw him on Larry King live last night, you understand that he is totally deluded, and has no clue about what the rest of the US or the world, for that matter, are feeling right now.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sign the Pledge for Peace

Sign the following pledge here

"I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression, a public position in his or her campaign."

Then go here to watch the cost of this illegal war go up by thousands of dollars every minute of every day. And that's only money. For even more distressing information, go to Iraq Coalition Casualties to see the real cost of the war.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

CIA Reportedly Disbands Bin Laden Unit

CIA Reportedly Disbands Bin Laden Unit:
"A CIA unit that had hunted for Osama bin Laden and his top deputies for a decade has been disbanded, according to a published report.
Citing unnamed intelligence officials, The New York Times reported Tuesday that the unit, known as 'Alec Station,' was shut down late last year. The decision to close the unit, which predated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was first reported Monday by National Public Radio.

Osama bin Laden speaks in this 1998 file photo at a meeting at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. Bin Laden urged Iraqi militants in an Internet message Saturday July 1, 2006 to continue fighting the U.S.-led coalition in Baghdad, or else 'all the capitals in the region will fall to the crusaders.' The message also endorsed Abu Hamza al-Muhajer as the new leader for his terror network al-Qaida in Iraq, succeeding Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed last month in a U.S. airstrike.

So where is Bin Laden? IMHO, holed up at home in Saudi, and issuing tapes whenever Bush needs a boost in his poll numbers. Call me a cynic, but this report shows that when Bush said he doesn't think about Osama Bin Laden, it is true. Why care Mr. Bush? You have other fish to fry, your Iraq war that was not necessary.
And....about North Korea? Gosh you think that's a problem?

This Week on the Daily Show

Wedneday, 7/5--Juliet Eilperin - Washington Post reporter, author, "Fight Club Politics!" (repeat)

Thursday, 7/6--Adam Sandler - actor (repeat)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th of July, and the USA Is Perfect!

Oh wait a minute...this isn't a right wing blog, where they claim there's a direct and unassailable line straight from God through our founding fathers to our current president. This is a blog from the reality-based community, and we can handle the truth.

The truth is this: any system is only so good as it was made to be, and it only stays that way by how passionately people work to maintain that system. Fortunately, our system of politics was soundly built by an extraordinary cadre of Americans who transcended their time and made a country that's been the envy of most ever since.

On this day where we check our skepticism at the door and indulge in the delightful patriotism of our nation's birthday, I urge that we don't just consider that we've managed to keep this country together for 230 years. I also suggest that we renew our vows as patriots.

I'm reminded of Thomas Paine who said:
"When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon."

Times are now changing, but until recently, these have been times where thinking has become unpopular, and blindly following way too common. This Independence Day let's remember the wisdom of the founding fathers and commit to doing what needs doing to be sure this country doesn't continue to slide away from that which made it so good in the first place. That is about the most patriotic act you can do.

No July meeting of KCDC

Sorry for printing the wrong info originally. There will be no meeting this month. Thanks. And Happy Independence Day. Maybe, in the end, we'll be able to keep the rights that our ancestors fought so hard for!

A Victory for Freedom of Speech

Word of advice to censors out there. You DO NOT want to piss off the librarians! I'm thrilled with this decision, and I hope it's a permanent one.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tom Ney aides jump ship and look how Cornyn is connected

TPMmuckraker: "Top Ney Aides Jump Ship
By Paul Kiel - June 29, 2006, 4:24 PM
John Bresnahan over at Roll Call has the scoop.
Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) legislative director is already out the door, and his chief of staff and communications director are on the way out.
And that's not all. One of Ney's aides in Ohio was recently subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury, and 'Additional subpoenas of Ney's staffers are expected soon.'
Brian Walsh, Ney's battle-tested flack (thanks for the memories!), apparently hasn't had enough of the Abramoff scandal. He's leaving Ney to be the spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who's come up repeatedly because of his role in shutting down the casino of the Tigua tribe in West Texas when he was Attorney General there. Ralph Reed, working for Abramoff, was very active in pushing along Cornyn's crusade, something Cornyn has claimed to know nothing about. Oh, but there are emails.
It looks like the Justice Department really has built up a head of steam."

And for more on Cornyn:

E-mails refute Cornyn's denial.

Ralph Reed claimed in a November 30th, 2001 e-mail to Abramoff that he choreographed John Cornyn's efforts as Texas attorney general to shut down the casino. Several other e-mails would seem to refute Cornyn's claims of obliviousness to Abramoff and Reed:

- Nov. 12, 2001: Reed to Abramoff: "I'm scheduled to talk to Cornyn today. He has also been called by Ed Young, pastor of second Baptist, a good friend who he is counting on big time in the Senate race."

- Nov. 12, 2001: Reed to Abramoff: "get me the details so i can alert cornyn and let him know what we are doing to help him."

- Nov. 13, 2001: Reed to Abramoff: "I strongly suggest we start doing patch-throughs to perry and cornyn. We're getting killed on the phone."

- And Jan. 7, 2002 (with victory apparently in sight), Reed to Abramoff: "I think we should budget for an ataboy for cornyn."

Cornyn received a $1,000 campaign contribution from Abramoff.

When Cornyn ran for Senate in 2002, Abramoff contributed $1,000, the maximum amount legally allowed.

Big brother and friends on Fox....

#38353: "FOX really doesn't do a lot to try and combat the widely held opinion that they're the most Republican-friendly news channel out there. In this clip, Big Brother & Friends co-hosts E.D. Hill and Steve Doocy practically fall over themselves to make Arizona Rep. J.D. Hayworth look good.
Hayworth was on the show to give the daily two minutes' hate. Today's enemy? The New York Times.
It's quite possible that a transcript from 1984 was actually streaming across their teleprompters during this segment. "