Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Check our calendar

I posted a few activities that I know about in Feb. in case anyone is interested. Questions? Just email me.

Is it treason?

These documents are written by VP Cheney (aka the Sith Lord or Darth Vader), and are exhibits in the Scooter Libby trial.

But Cheney's notes, which were introduced into evidence Tuesday during Libby's perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial, call into question the truthfulness of President Bush's vehement denials about his prior knowledge of the attacks against Wilson. The revelation that Bush may have known all along that there was an effort by members of his office to discredit the former ambassador begs the question: Was the president also aware that senior members of his administration compromised Valerie Plame's undercover role with the CIA?

Further, the highly explicit nature of Cheney's comments not only hints at a rift between Cheney and Bush over what Cheney felt was the scapegoating of Libby, but also raises serious questions about potentially criminal actions by Bush. If Bush did indeed play an active role in encouraging Libby to take the fall to protect Karl Rove, as Libby's lawyers articulated in their opening statements, then that could be viewed as criminal involvement by Bush...

However, when Cheney wrote the notes, he had originally written "this Pres." instead of "that was."

During cross-examination Tuesday morning, David Addington was asked specific questions about Cheney's notes and the reference to President Bush. Addington, former counsel to the vice president, was named Cheney's chief of staff - a position Libby had held before resigning.

"Can you make out what's crossed out, Mr. Addington?" Wells asked, according to a copy of the transcript of Tuesday's court proceedings.

"It says 'the guy' and then it says, 'this Pres.' and then that is scratched through," Addington said.

"OK," Wells said. "Let's start again. 'Not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy ...' and then what's scratched through?" Wells asked Addington again, attempting to establish that Cheney had originally written that President Bush personally asked Libby to beat back Wilson's criticisms.

"T-h-i-s space P-r-e-s," Addington said, spelling out the words. "And then it's got a scratch-through."

"So it looks like 'this Pres.?'" Wells asked again.

"Yes sir," Addington said.

Thus, Cheney's notes would have read "not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy this Pres. asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others." The words "this Pres." were crossed out and replaced with "that was," but are still clearly legible in the document.

The reference to "the meat grinder" was understood to be the Washington press corps, Wells said. The "protect one staffer" reference, Wells said, was White House Political Adviser Karl Rove, whose own role in the leak and the attacks on Wilson are well documented.

Furthermore, Cheney, in his directive to McClellan that day in September 2003, wrote that the White House spokesman needed to immediately "call out to key press saying the same thing about Scooter as Karl."

Source for above

Wikipedia: In law, treason is the crime of disloyalty to one's nation or state. A person who betrays the nation of their citizenship and/or reneges on an oath of loyalty and in some way willfully cooperates with an enemy, is considered to be a traitor.

So, is it treason to out a CIA officer, particularly one in charge of a covert weapons of mass destruction unit, and their entire operation, thus jeopardizing the lives of all involved? Is it treason to break the oath you took to protect and defend the constitution of the US? I think so.

Why isn't this on the so-called news? Oh, wait the news has been cancelled. We only get propaganda of the pro-Bush variety.

Molly Ivins 1944 - 2007

Texas Observer

Wednesday 31 January 2007

Syndicated political columnist Molly Ivins died of breast cancer Wednesday evening at her home in Austin. Molly's enduring message is "Raise more hell."

Although short, Molly's life was writ large. She was as eloquent a speaker and teacher as she was a writer, and her quips will last at least as long as Will Rogers'. She dubbed George W. Bush "Shrub" and Texas Governor Rick Perry "Good Hair."

What a loss to our nation. Molly was so witty and funny, and so approachable. She fought a hard battle, and a long one. I lost my younger sister to breast cancer, so I have first hand experience with the kind of battle that Molly fought. It takes extraordinary courage and grace. She had those in abundance.

My memories of Molly include The March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C. where I heard her speak, and Democracy Fest in Austin, where I got her autograph which included the statement: raise more hell! ... So I have raised more hell.
Thanks Molly.

We've lost one of our voices today.

Molly Ivins has died of cancer. The world is just a little bit worse tonight.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What is habeas Corpus and what does it mean to you?

In simple English, what does Habeas Corpus mean to you?

What is Habeas Corpus? Is it some obscure Latin legalism? One of the tricky clauses the ACLU uses to get evildoers out of jail? Does it mean the prosecution has to show a body in a murder case? Or is it the basis of your protection from tyranny?

It is the right to be brought into court.

It is fundamental to - and a sort of shorthand for - the right to be in a legal system, with laws and judges, evidence and a defense.
"Hi, there John Doe," says the policeman at the door. "We've come to take you away."

"But I'm Jane Roe, not John Doe," you say, which is true, and you have the body parts that support such a distinction, as well as some paperwork. "And why are you taking me away?"

"Don't really care who you claim to be, and the charge is none of your business," says the more talkative of the two officers, or soldiers, or whoever is grabbing you.

"Wait, let me tell my family and call my lawyer," you say.

"Not a chance," says the friendly police person, cuffing you and throwing a bag over your head.

"Blouff, blouff, blouff," you cry through the hood.

"That'll teach you to sneer at the president," says the talkative officer, kicking you to make you move. "And undermine his War on Terror!"

"It's not against the law to sneer," you try to say, but they can't hear you. And neither will anyone else, because you have no right of Habeas Corpus.

Under Habeas Corpus, you have the right to say, I want to be brought into the court to determine if I am the right person charged, if there's an actual law prohibiting what I'm charged with, if the people who are holding me have the jurisdiction to do so, and I want that publicly known and I want the right to dispute all of that and the right to be tried too.

Without Habeas Corpus you can be swept up off the street and never heard from again. Period. Nobody has to know. Nobody - including yourself - has to know why. Nobody gets to determine if there is a law against what you're charged with. You have no rights at all.

In America, the Constitution forbids taking habeas corpus away from you (except "in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety shall require it.") It was written that way because the right of habeas corpus was a basic right even under the King of England. It was the most basic check on a king's tyranny. It was assumed.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales now asserts something he thinks is very tricky and clever. What if you never had such a right? Then not giving you the right of Habeas Corpus would not be taking it away. That would allow his president to order someone snatched up off the street, or from their homes, and then anything could be done to them. Prison for life. Tortured. Killed. Sent to another country. And nobody would even have the right to ask if our government imprisoned that person. Or why. Or if it was the right person.

Gonzales' assertion is intended to do two things.

First, it is to allow the government to remove rights that are so fundamental that they are pre-constitutional, that they enable all our other rights.

The second, is a defense in advance for the president and his minions. They can claim that they thought what they were doing was legal. After all, the Attorney General of the United States wrote them a memo that said it was. And if, he was wrong, well then, if it goes to court and the court says so, then they'll stop. See, they acted in good faith.

Habeas Corpus means you are in a society of laws. Without it, you are in the land of Saddam Hussein, August Pinochet, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Ivan the Terrible ... and ...

Currently reading :
1066 & All That: 75th Anniversary Edition (Methuen Humour)
By W. C. Sellar
Release date: By 01 September, 2006

Monday, January 29, 2007

Just when you think it can't get any worse....

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 — President Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy.
In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president’s priorities.

This strengthens the hand of the White House in shaping rules that have, in the past, often been generated by civil servants and scientific experts. It suggests that the administration still has ways to exert its power after the takeover of Congress by the Democrats.

full article

On Knowing Our Presidents

My sister in Virginia sent this to me.


By H.C. Nash

Americans can learn a very great deal if they will study the men they elect to the highest office in the land.

Consider Dwight David Eisenhower, “a son of the prairie” who had nothing but
contempt for the demagoguery of Senator Joseph McCarthy but refused to discredit him in public. It was Ike who thoroughly disliked his 1952 running mate, Richard Nixon, but went along because of party pressures. Thus did the ever-handy hysteria of pervasive “anticommunism” become a staple of political opportunism in both parties.

Consider the health and sexual compulsions of John Kennedy, who had reason to believe he would not live to be 30. A victim of Addison’s disease (systematically hidden from the public), a chronic back problem, and other maladies, he suffered greatly, in the words of Theodore Sorensen, his speech writer, “every day of his life.” By 1963 the FBI had compiled “raw files” on more than thirty women with whom he had been intimate. (Could J. Edgar Hoover have asked for a likelier candidate for blackmail?)

Lyndon Baines Johnson: the prime exemplar of the corruption of mid-century Texas politics. A man perceptive enough to comprehend that his Southern roots would keep him from the White House—barring an event totally unforeseen. A man so crude and aggressive in personal terms that Robert F. Kennedy once referred to him as “a sort of animal,” yet one who went out of his way to comfort the widow of his slain predecessor. Most tragically, a man who comprehended the futility of the nation’s illegal adventure in Vietnam but lacked the courage to find an alternative to military escalation.

Consider Richard Nixon, perhaps the most neurotic bundle of anxiety, insecurity, and paranoia ever to awaken in the White House. At bottom his ambitions were fairly mundane, given the clichés of “the American dream.” He wanted to be a millionaire and—according to his mother Hannah—enjoyed most of all . . . “mashing the potatoes.” In character, a pathological liar and a man deeply attracted to Mob figures and to state-sponsored mass violence.

Gerald Ford: a mediocre politician chosen to succeed Nixon because he was such a pliant (and decent) study in contrast.

Consider Jimmy Carter and the hidden factors that undermined his presidency: 1) a concerted effort to sabotage his administration by CIA personnel whose covert careers had been abruptly terminated by his choice for director of central intelligence; 2) an over-reliance on the counsel of those who advocated loyalty to Reza Shah Pahlavi regardless of consequences “on the ground” in Iran; and 3) a hostage crisis in Tehran covertly and treasonously extended by key figures of the Reagan election campaign in summer of 1980—i.e., George H.W. Bush and William Casey. A moral and well-meaning man defeated by forces beyond his control—an altruist whose worldwide reputation today rests on a quarter century of dogged advocacy in the name of international sanity, mediation, and peace.

Ronald Reagan: A man of the most compelling contradictions whom his own biological son found a personality “no one will ever know” (with the possible exception of Nancy).
A conservative who came to office brandishing the slogan “Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem,” and set in motion economic policies that within a generation would make of the United States the greatest debtor nation on the globe.

Consider George H.W. Bush: our first covert CIA president, a man closely associated since the late 1950’s with fanatical elements that regarded John F. Kennedy “a traitor” because of the Bay of Pigs failure of 1961. Father of an eldest son who has turned out to be the most reckless, incompetent, and anti-intellectual president in modern history.

Bill Clinton: the most charismatic communicator of our time, but one who was himself probably associated with the Central Intelligence Agency as early as his tenure as a Rhodes scholar in England in 1968-1970. (See George Archibald’s article on the subject at;jsessionid.) This question aside, the most intellectual of our presidents since Woodrow Wilson and a potential rival to Jimmy Carter as the most influential American good-will ambassador of our time.

George W. Bush: Review your copy of the Constitution. Read the newspapers. Sample global opinion. Connect the dots of 9/11. Weep if you truly care for your nation, for the cause of international justice, for the moral imperatives of peace, and for the generations to come.

H.C. Nash is a teacher and writer living in Buena Vista.

This Week on the Daily Show

MONDAY 1/29 -- Bill Gates -- Chairman, Microsoft Corp.

TUESDAY 1/30 -- Neil DeGrasse Tyson -- host of TV's "NOVA scienceNOW" and author, "Death by Black Hole"

WEDNESDAY 1/31 -- Joe Biden -- Senator, D-DE

THURSDAY 2/1 -- Sienna Miller -- actor, "Factory Girl"

This Week on the Colbert Report

MONDAY 1/29 -- Barry M. Lando -- author, "Web of Deceit"

TUESDAY 1/30 -- Donna Shalala -- former Clinton cabinet official and President of Univ. of Miami

WEDNESDAY 1/31 -- Jed Babbin -- editor of Human Events Magazine

THURSDAY 2/1 -- Chuck Schumer -- Senator (D-NY), author, "Positively American"

Look up Kendallian on Google

We're all over the place! It's gratifying that we're making a difference. If you are interested in being a part of our dialogue please email

Air America Gets Stay of Execution

Good for them! Click here for the rest of the story. I have to say that I'm one of those who no longer listens very much. I can't get it on the radio, and the signal drops out way too often on the Internet. If they had a good signal in the S.A. area I would listen all the time! Right now I listen to my Sirius satellite radio and Stephanie Miller podcasts.

McCain is all about doublespeak.

Please don't be fooled by him. McCain is NOT a friend of the left AT ALL! If a Republican gets into the White House, lord forbid, let's make sure it's not this jerk.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

ACS? What's that?

I was watching one of my favorite tv shows tonight, Crossing Jordan, and I just burst out laughing at one of the character's lines. One of the guys told a very bitchy woman that he didn't know she suffered from ACS. She looked quizzical, and he explained, "Ann Coulter Syndrome." I think I'll start referring to real a-holes as having ACS!

An Explanation

These Americans, shown being questioned on Australian television, help explain how we ended up with the current administration. Some proud Texans were filmed in San Antonio on the river walk.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Peace March in Austin Jan. 27, 2007

It was a beautiful day for a drive to Austin. We drove the back roads for the scenery, and the fact that with less traffic it's also faster. However, we got to downtown Austin late due to an accident in Austin. Fortunately we had enough time to park 2 blocks from the capitol (on Congress Street no less) and walk up to the capitol to watch the protesters come up Congress Street.

Once they reached the street directly in front of the capitol, several protesters held a "die-in".

The news media estimated the crowd at a mere 1,000, but I am certain that 2 blocks of people is more than 1,000. Of course the media has been underestimating crowds since the March For Womens' Lives in DC, so I believe my own eyes, not media hacks.
Here are some more photos of the march:

I was impressed with the quality of speeches given by the college students, and amazed that they had spent time studying how the anti-Vietnam protests were done, how students organized, and gave our generation great respect. The news media, even in Austin, never noted that fact, of course. I am telling you, there is hope for the liberals in the younger generation, if they just get out there and vote, and run for office. These young adults exhibited qualities of fairness, concern for others well being, and concern about the direction of our nation, and were quite eloquent.

Now, I must confess that because of the distance of the drive, we figured we might as well kill two birds with one stone, and stopped at the new Ikea to check it out. Besides, I needed a fix of lingonberry jam and Austin is a heck of a lot closer than Houston's Ikea!

This was our first time to leave the house without worrying about my mother (God rest her soul), and hurrying to get home before dark and to make sure she had dinner.
It was strange, but a bit liberating all the same. Bittersweet, I guess.

Let us all work for peace every day. We must stop allowing corporate America to wasted our blood and treasure so they can stuff their pockets with money.

One more photo from the Austin American Statesman:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

American Fascists: The Christian Right

I have been saying this for a long time and folks just thought I was crazy. I have repeatedly said that one of the most prophetic books that anyone should read is Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. I did not use the word fascism, but as time goes by it seems more and more appropriate. Smarter people than me have figured this on...'s Review (excerpt)
In a 2004 article that served as the basis for his new book pulling the fire alarm on thuggish Christian fascism, Chris Hedges recalled:

"Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told us that when we were his age, he was then close to 80, we would all be fighting the 'Christian fascists.'

The warning, given to me 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government. Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global, Christian empire. It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality of those who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery. The Nazis, he said, were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors had found a mask for fascism in the pages of the Bible.

...All debates with the Christian Right are useless. We cannot reach this movement. It does not want a dialogue. It cares nothing for rational thought and discussion. It is not mollified because John Kerry prays or Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School. These naive attempts to reach out to a movement bent on our destruction, to prove to them that we too have "values," would be humorous if the stakes were not so deadly. They hate us. They hate the liberal, enlightened world formed by the Constitution. Our opinions do not count.

This movement will not stop until we are ruled by Biblical Law, an authoritarian church intrudes in every aspect of our life, women stay at home and rear children, gays agree to be cured, abortion is considered murder, the press and the schools promote "positive" Christian values, the federal government is gutted, war becomes our primary form of communication with the rest of the world and recalcitrant non-believers see their flesh eviscerated at the sound of the Messiah's voice.

The spark that could set it ablaze may be lying in the hands of an Islamic terrorist cell, in the hands of the ideological twins of the Christian Right. Another catastrophic terrorist attack could be our Reichstag fire, the excuse used to begin the accelerated dismantling of our open society. The ideology of the Christian Right is not one of love and compassion, the central theme of Christ's message, but of violence and hatred. It has a strong appeal to many in our society, but it is also aided by our complacency. Let us not stand at the open city gates waiting passively and meekly for the barbarians. They are coming. They are slouching rudely towards Bethlehem. Let us, if nothing else, begin to call them by their name."

Hedges's book is a wake-up call to how the Christian-male "warrior" zealots are waiting for the chance to turn America into an Apocalyptic Unmerciful Christian theocracy.

If you believe this is sensationalistic fear mongering, read the book. Hedges is a former award-winning New York Times reporter and mainstream journalist. He is writing based on his research and analysis.

This is not fiction. link

The book is: American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America

Repubs Block Minimum Wage Hike

This should come back to bite the Republicans in 2008.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hey frogs is the water boiling yet?

I read the frogs comment on Huffpo and loved it. Why? It's true we are like frogs in hot water, and don't know that it has come to a boil. We, as a nation, are still simmering, and trying to be civil, even though our President's speech was total B.S.! It was rehashed crap from earlier, and part of it was taken from earlier Nancy Pelosi speeches, and the remainder was pure D fear mongering. Total baloney.

Most of what Bush proposed it total B.S. Ok my word for the night is B.S. It's all B.S.

Sen. Webb, rocks! That was one of the best speeches I have heard in ages. Clear, precise and to the point. Bush...take that! Whack!

Monday, January 22, 2007

The woman who would not talk

An interview with Susan McDougal. It is well worth

This Week on the Daily Show

MONDAY 1/22 -- General Rupert Smith -- Retired British General, author of "The Utility of Force"

TUESDAY 1/23 -- Terry McAuliffe -- former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, author of "What a Party!"

WEDNESDAY 1/24 -- Scott McClellan -- former White House Press Secretary

THURSDAY 1/25 -- Charles Schumer -- Senator, D-NY, author of "Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time"

This Week on the Colbert Report

MONDAY 1/22 -- Tom Schaller -- author, "Whistling Past Dixie"

TUESDAY 1/23 -- Michael Steele -- former Lt. Governor of Maryland

WEDNESDAY 1/24 -- Lou Dobbs -- author, "War on the Middle Class"

THURSDAY 1/25 -- Mike Wallace -- former 60 Minutes correspondent

Kendallian readers

Hillary Clinton has asked for submissions to her website for her blog when it opens. So, write and send it on in. I did. I figure it can't hurt.

Gonzales questions habeas corpus!

Gonzales Questions Habeas Corpus

By Robert Parry
January 19, 2007

In one of the most chilling public statements ever made by a U.S. Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales questioned whether the U.S. Constitution grants habeas corpus rights of a fair trial to every American.

Responding to questions from Sen. Arlen Specter at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Jan. 18, Gonzales argued that the Constitution doesn’t explicitly bestow habeas corpus rights; it merely says when the so-called Great Writ can be suspended.

“There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution; there’s a prohibition against taking it away,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales’s remark left Specter, the committee’s ranking Republican, stammering.

“Wait a minute,” Specter interjected. “The Constitution says you can’t take it away except in case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus unless there’s a rebellion or invasion?”

Gonzales continued, “The Constitution doesn’t say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says the right shall not be suspended” except in cases of rebellion or invasion.

“You may be treading on your interdiction of violating common sense,” Specter said.

Torquemada speaks.....what an ass! Did he ever actually READ the constitution? Worse yet, does he think that our founding documents are mere suggestions? Read this article, it will amaze and shock you.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Iraq is Not Delightful

From Huffpo (Huffington Post)
Bob Cesca: Iraq Is Not Delightful, Mr. President
After last weekend's 60 Minutes interview, I thought perhaps someone somewhere in Washington would inform our chief executive that grinning like a mental patient might not be the best way to express concern over the violence in Iraq. And if someone did in fact mention it to him, he didn't listen. Or he forgot. On PBS's NewsHour, he was doing it again. A lot. But unlike the sly, giggly grinning before, the NewsHour expressions more closely resemble a man who just finished watching a litter of puppies being fed ice cream by floating babies dressed in sunflower costumes.

Bob Cesca's article may be very biting, but it's true. To me it is apparent that our Fearless Leader is a bit psychotic or at the very least delusional. Totally clueless about anything serious and only concerned with his big plans to continue to be the world's biggest bully.

Why I won't support Hillary Clinton

This article by Molly Ivins is right on target. The venerable writer Ms. Iviins, verbalized the reasons why I won't support Hillary Clinton, and why I have been upset that she has even decided to run for President. I have blustered about it at home to my husband, kids and grandkids, but have been unable to state my reasons concisely. Thank you Ms. Ivins!

Here is an article
from Common Dreams (
Published on Friday, January 20, 2006 by the Columbus Free Press (Ohio)

I Will Not Support Hillary Clinton for President
by Molly Ivins

I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

The recent death of Gene McCarthy reminded me of a lesson I spent a long, long time unlearning, so now I have to re-learn it. It's about political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for leadership. There are times when regular politics will not do, and this is one of those times. There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief.

If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure junior senator from Minnesota with the guts to do it. In 1968, Gene McCarthy was the little boy who said out loud, "Look, the emperor isn't wearing any clothes." Bobby Kennedy -- rough, tough Bobby Kennedy -- didn't do it. Just this quiet man trained by Benedictines who liked to quote poetry.

What kind of courage does it take, for mercy's sake? The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it. The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do "whatever it takes" to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools. WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

I listen to people like Rahm Emanuel superciliously explaining elementary politics to us clueless naifs outside the Beltway ("First, you have to win elections"). Can't you even read the damn polls?

Here's a prize example by someone named Barry Casselman, who writes, "There is an invisible civil war in the Democratic Party, and it is between those who are attempting to satisfy the defeatist and pacifist left base of the party and those who are attempting to prepare the party for successful elections in 2006 and 2008."

This supposedly pits Howard Dean, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, emboldened by "a string of bad news from the Middle East ... into calling for premature retreat from Iraq," versus those pragmatic folk like Steny Hoyer, Rahm Emmanuel, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman.

Oh come on, people -- get a grip on the concept of leadership. Look at this war -- from the lies that led us into it, to the lies they continue to dump on us daily.

You sit there in Washington so frightened of the big, bad Republican machine you have no idea what people are thinking. I'm telling you right now, Tom DeLay is going to lose in his district. If Democrats in Washington haven't got enough sense to OWN the issue of political reform, I give up on them entirely.

Do it all, go long, go for public campaign financing for Congress. I'm serious as a stroke about this -- that is the only reform that will work, and you know it, as well as everyone else who's ever studied this. Do all the goo-goo stuff everybody has made fun of all these years: embrace redistricting reform, electoral reform, House rules changes, the whole package. Put up, or shut up. Own this issue, or let Jack Abramoff politics continue to run your town.

Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them. I've said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means. That, or you could just piss on them elegantly, as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines). Or point out the latest in the endless "string of bad news."

Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.

Friday, January 19, 2007

weather resources

Check it out, I just added this to my blog! The nice thing about this site (weatherunderground) is that there are so many local weather stations. Ashborne Farms is between Boerne and Tapatio Springs, which is pretty close, so temps are fairly accurate.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Snow Days

We have had all the fun of throwing snowballs, "sledding" on the mini hill on sheets of plastic

...and playing Pictionary in the semi darkness.

We have kept warm by the fireplace when the power went out, and wished for marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers only to find that the pantry only held graham crackers. In addition, the 9 of us in our multi-generational household, including 5 kids ages 4, 5, 6, 8, 12, have survived being cooped up without electricity for part of one day. Imagine young kids without video games and TV..what do you do? Board games. They are what God invented to keep parents sane!

The dog was also mystified by the cold and white stuff, but sooned learned he could eat "ice cookies" (what we call ice cubes) and better yet, snuffle the snow with his nose, and run like hell around the back yard, slipping and sliding and having a great time.

The kids were awestruck by the giant icicles that formed, loved sliding around on the ice, and decided that any piece of grass or tree that was encased in ice was to be called a fossil, even if it really wasn't. Why? Because it was like flies in amber, and totally cool.

Chipping one inch of ice off the cars took a long time, but a good time was had by all.

The saddest thing was listening to branches of trees break all day today. It was so quiet, with no traffic on IH10 and no planes going over that you could hear the sounds of the melt water dripping off the roof, the cracking of tree limbs and best of all, the cracking of the ice as you walked on it. That was a sound I had not heard in years!

So, the wild Indians (kids) are now snuggled in their beds with dreams on another day off school tomorrow. They will remember these days for the rest of their lives. I can only hope that we had enough fun....but I think we did. I know I had a great time.

We have now chipped our way out of the ice and will be making our ways to work tomorrow. Sad to leave the family group, bur ready to get out of the house!

Monday, January 15, 2007

This Week on the Daily Show

MONDY 1/15 -- Josh Bernstein -- History Channel host, author of "Digging for the Truth"

TUESDAY 1/16 -- Michael Oren -- author of "Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present"

WEDNESDAY 1/17 -- Jerry Rice -- former NFL wide receiver, author of "Go Long"

THURSDAY 1/18 -- Robin Wright Penn -- actress, "Breaking and Entering"

This Week on the Colbert Report

MONDAY 1/15 -- Alex Kuczynski -- author, "Beauty Junkies"

TUESDAY 1/16 -- Dinesh D'Souza -- author, "The Enemy at Home"

WEDNESDAY 1/17 -- Richard Clarke -- author, "Breakpoint"

THURSDAY 1/18 -- Bill O'Reilly -- host, "The O'Reilly Factor"

Official Attacks Top Law Firms Over Detainees

Published: January 13, 2007

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 — The senior Pentagon official in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism said in an interview this week that he was dismayed that lawyers at many of the nation’s top firms were representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and that the firms’ corporate clients should consider ending their business ties.

Ok, doesn't this sound like a generalissimo speaking in a police state? Where are we going as a nation? A majority of voters want something entirely different from El Presidente, and the dictator does not feel he needs to listen to the American people. link to story

People Party vs. Money Party: The Players

David Sirota, author of "Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government -- and How We Take It Back" has compiled a list of what he calls People Party and Money Party leaders. The People Party members are Democrats who are economic populists, members who have been strong active voices against economic inequality. He then names Democrats who have consistently voted for corporate interests, or the Money Party players. Most on his admittedly incomplete list fall into his 'leans People Party' or 'unclear' categories.

Why would a Democrat vote against allowing seniors to buy lower priced drugs from Canada, something the pharmaceutical companies naturally strongly oppose? Why would a Democrat vote for the oil industry written Energy Bill? I believe the answer is the need for corporate money to be re-elected to Congress. Until we have publicly funded campaigns, we will see our own interests voted down. When we have public funding, just think of the money we'll save.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

a generational-defining moment

An article in Truthdig noted......I"n an interview with Truthdig research editor Joshua Scheer, Ron Kovic, author of “Born on the Fourth of July,” argues that Americans this week have a patriotic and generation-defining duty to speak out against Bush’s proposal to escalate the war in Iraq with more U.S. troops."

It is true, those under the age of 42 (the new max age to serve in the military) need to do some serious thinking about this war, and where it looks like it will be going. The megalomaniac, Bush, will likely soon invade Iran and who knows, maybe even Syria. We must stop this NOW.

plan? No Plan? Or Secret Plan?

Harry Shearer Huffington Post


In the "I thought I dreamed it" department, I was listening to Condi Rice's testimony before Senate Foreign Relations Thursday (Hearings! Blessed hearings!), when I heard her say, in reply to a Senator--I forget who--grilling her on what happens if this plan doesn't work, that she didn't do Plan Bs, the administration preferred to concentrate on making Plan A work.

It sounded, as the Brits say, daft. But I didn't tape it, so I couldn't be sure, until I saw this item, quoting Condi to much the same effect.
What stunned me was not that she, a college grad and all, would say such a bizarre thing. It was that the Senator, obviously unaccustomed to asking followup questions not fashioned by his staff, didn't pursue her with a protocol-correct version of "Madame Secretary, are you shittin' me?"
The question remains: Are we watching an administration so cocksure and dumb they really don't have a Plan B for almost any contingency, or are we watching an administration whose Plan B for Iraq is an attack on Iran and, as Andy Card once memorably said of unveiling the original war plan in August, it was just too early for a new-product intro.

Universal Health Care? Not Yet!

Big business is seeing the positive side of universal health care. Health insurance adds $1,500 to the purchase price of a General Motors car
and Starbucks pays $200 million to insure 80,000 employees. Ford plants are closing, with thousands of jobs lost, thanks to the high cost of health care. Too bad the CEOs of these companies weren't more forward thinking during the Clinton health insurance debacle in 1993.
In a 2004 blog from the Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel reported 43 million uninsured. Now the number has risen to 47 million and will continue rising. The insurance companies are in total control of our health care, and will be until they no longer finance political campaigns.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


From a contributer to Andrew Sullivan's blog:

Just One Reader

10 Jan 2007 07:50 pm

He writes:

I am one of the Americans most untouched by the war going on. I have no friends or family in the military, and to extend that even further, none of my friends have any friends or family in the military. I live in a nice secure bubble, where I get to enjoy a lifestyle amongst the highest in human history. I received a tax reduction so I get to enjoy the fruits of my labors more than I might have otherwise. The war affects me not at all. I recognize the mistakes made, and consider our entire exercise in the middle east to be futile at best, harmful to our country at worst.

Yet, I remain ambivalent. I decided, as long as nothing is asked of me, I will continue to turn my head from the events. The moment a sacrifice is asked of me, I will turn actively against it. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I mean any sacrifice. A dime in taxes to pay for rebuilding an army Bush has misused would be too much.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Check out these smart young ladies Impressive blog by some young women in New Mexico. There is hope out there, and they are smart, young women!

Monday, January 08, 2007

This Week on the Daily Show

MONDAY 1/8 -- Louis C.K. -- comedian

TUESDAY 1/9 -- Harry Frankfurt -- Professor of Philosophy at Princeton, author, "On Truth"

WEDNESDAY 1/10 -- Gov. Mike Huckabee -- Arkansas governor, author of "From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 Stops to Restoring America's Greatness"

THURSDAY 1/11 -- Peter O'Toole -- actor, "Venus"

This Week on the Colbert Report

MONDAY 1/8 -- Ethan Nadelmann -- drug legalization proponent

TUESDAY 1/9 -- Jim Cramer -- host of CNBC's Mad Money

WEDNESDAY 1/10 -- David Kamp -- author, United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation

THURSDAY 1/11 -- Judy Woodruff -- PBS' The Newshour

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Pat Robertson satire...had to share this!

From Truthdig:

Satire by Andy Borowitz: God Denies Talking to Pat

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Posted on Jan 5, 2007

By Andy Borowitz

Just days after the Rev. Pat Robertson claimed on his “700 Club” program that God had warned him of “mass killings” that would occur in the United States late in 2007, God held a rare press conference today to deny having spoken to the controversial televangelist.

For the usually publicity-shy King of the Universe, the press conference at the Chicago Airport Marriott signaled a sharp break with tradition.

Appearing before the press in his trademark flowing robes and white beard, and carrying what appeared to be a lightning bolt, God said he had decided to convene the extraordinary press briefing because “I had to set the record straight about this.”

"I want to make it clear that at no time at the end of the year did I have any conversation with the Rev. Pat Robertson,” the Supreme Being said. “Personally, I think the guy is delusional.”

God then distributed his personal phone logs for the month of December to prove that he had in fact no contact with the Rev. Robertson.

"I don’t make a habit of talking to TV personalities,” God emphasized. “Although on New Year’s Eve I did have a brief chat with Ryan Seacrest to wish him good luck.”

Answering a reporter’s question, God acknowledged that with war raging around the globe, 2006 had been a “difficult year” for the forces of goodness, but he remained upbeat, pointing to some of his accomplishments in the year just past.

"At least I got Judith Regan fired,” he said.

Elsewhere, Britney Spears checked into a rehab center after being driven there by her 1-year-old son, Sean Preston.

Fox News...they're Fairly Imbalanced...

Proof you say? I've got your proof! Check out the still...and note just below the red banner where it says "100 hours to turn America into San Francisco."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Adding horrible insult to disgusting injury

What a horrible story. Is this military being run by George Bush? This has his incompetence written all over it!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bush says he will balance the budget

Laughable initially until you really look under the surface of his comments, found on

"In February, Bush will submit a proposal to balance the federal budget by 2012, he said Wednesday.

The plan will make defense against terrorism a budget priority while preserving tax cuts that Bush said have led to an improving economy.

Lawmakers must then tackle entitlement programs, Bush said.

"We need to reform Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid so future generations of Americans can benefit from these vital programs without bankrupting our country," he said.

Line-item veto power would be a key tool in entitlement reform, Bush said, because money that could be used there is now wasted in a "secretive process" that often doesn't ever face a vote in Congress."

So hold on to your hats, and hope the Dems will save medicare, medicaid and social security. Get ready to march in the streets -- gray power of the boomers!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

This makes me sick to my stomach!

Barack Obama being compared to Osama and Hussein is bad enough, but this is freakin' ridiculous!

While we weren't looking....

Here's an article from Richard Clarke in the Washington Post.

Monday, January 01, 2007

As my mother's life ebbs

As my mother slowly passes away, I have some thoughts I would like to write. I spent the day today, sitting in the nursing home (where she has been for the past 9 weeks) and contemplating her life. My Mom, has lived with us since 1987. My daughters hardly remember a day without grandma with us. She wasn't terribly kid-friendly in the current way, but she was always there. Today, my youngest daughter, asked me to leave the room while she said goodbye to her grandma, perhaps for the last time. I cried and cried as I stood in the hallway outside the door. My daughter came out of the room with red eyes, but had nothing to say. Her sister went in and said her peace. That was around 2 pm on Dec. 31st. I left at 10 pm, and my Mom, was still with us, but her labored breathing echoed in my ears. The nurses encouraged me to go home (2 miles away) and be with my family, and my young grandchildren, who had expected to have a party and fireworks. So, I went home, with a heavy heart. Before leaving, I told my mother that it was ok if she went to join my Dad and my sister Mary, and that it was ok to leave this plain of existence and be with God.

I got home to see 3 of my grandkids who where anxious to see me, and were worried about Great Grandma. Leo worried that Great Grandma was going to die. Ever the sensitive child, he worried and wondered. How do you discuss death with an 8 year old? The loss, but the hope that there is a life beyond death? After all, matter is never lost, it is merely transformed...a law of physics, of the universe and the heart of all religions.

It has been a very wierd day. I knitted, I read Barack Obama's book , the Audacity of Hope, and listened to selections my husband read from Senator Dorgan's book, Take this Job and Ship It. I stopped by my church (where I attend on a irregular basis) and although church had just let out, the priest had already left and the assistant rector told me he could not help me because he was immediately leaving on a mission. So, I was thwarted from any religious comforting, and had to leave a message at the parish office. 10 hours later, no return call from my parish. I resorted to calling the Catholic priest, where my grandchildren attend. Again, an answering machine. How interesting. When I grew up, as the daugther of an Episcopal priest, we took messages if needed and relayed them immediately to my Dad or whoever was covering for him. There were no answering machines. There was immediate assistance. Not today. There may be no sacrament of the sick for my mother, as she lays dying. No comfort for me, beyond my family and the kind (if fundamentalist) nursing staff. Who, I must say, are extremely caring, and gracious.

Looking back, my mother had a very interesting life and a very challenging life. She was very pretty, but very shy. Not very adventerous, but circumstances forced her to be so. She learned to camp, fish, drive, and raised 5 children, mostly by herself, as my Dad was TDY much of the time. So she had an inner strength that I am sure I will never know. She was tested by WWII, at which time she raised my 2 older sisters alone. Mom braved horrible living conditions, rats, snakes, blizzards and earthquakes, with a calm demeanor. She was petrified of lightning, and used to stand us girls in the door in Omaha, and have us watch the terrible beauty of lightning so we would not be afraid.

My mother also gave us another gift, her mother. Grandma Ida was the go-to person, the person who greeted us with warm home-made cookies every day after school and listened to our laments. She was the one who adored my husband made him pies, with the most tender pie crust on the planet. I will be forever grateful that my Mom and Dad saw fit to bring Grandma Ida to live with us when I was 6 . My parents may not have been perfect, but they worked darn hard to make sure that we had everything a kid could want, from the 1940's to 1970's when the last kid left home. That is a huge generational span, and they met the challenges for each one.

My mother is a typical northeasterner, she did not share her feelings, was not demonstrative, but fiercly loved her family. It is with great sadness that I see her reach the end of her 92 years. I just surely hope she does not linger too long, and will be soon reunited with my Grandma, Dad and sisters. They are calling her, and she just needs to let go.

May peace be upon her soul.