I hate to bring up such a sad subject at such a tough time but, considering times don’t appear headed for wild wonderfulness any year soon and the subject’s too important to ignore, here goes:
With the hospitalizations of two of the Senate longest reigning Democrats, Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who will be our new lions? Do we have any in the making?
Vermont’s newest Senator, long-time Socialist House Rep, Bernie Sanders is already proving to be a fire brand. But he arrived in the upper house a bit late. Wellstone is dead. Corzine, who showed promise, went to be governor of New Jersey. We’ll have to see if Hillary and Barack remain in the Senate after this year (some speculation has Hillary being handed the governorship of New York on a platter, but I’d love to see what resigned-gov Eliot Spitzer’s replacement, David Patterson as the state’s first leader of color, will do).
For those who worried over the very emotional turn W VA Senator Robert Byrd took last week over Ted Kennedy’s brain tumor, there is new cause for concern: Byrd had a “spell” late today and has been hospitalized at least overnight.
At 90, such spells cannot be unexpected. But it’s hard to hear about Kennedy and Byrd both having such a time when America itself suffers so.
Now, to be fair, it’s never taken all that damned much to get Connecticut Senator (formerly Dem, now independently installed up the butt of the Bush/McCainies) Joe Lieberman to wander off the reservation. And whenever he wanders, it reminds you that the mind is one hell of a thing to waste but that his is more like loooonnnnng overpoached goose.
I’d call Joe an ass, but the anal sphincter is useful at least once a day whereas I can’t recall the last time my former senator (Lieberman) was ever useful (unless trying to inflict a sick migraine headache upon yourself).
Hopefully, most of us realize that the Memorial Day many will celebrate this long weekend indeed stands in memory of something: soldiers dying for a noble cause as designated by our government.
Sadly, what does this Memorial Day tell us when:
* we see how the veterans’ folks in the Bush Administration would rather spin the number of soldier suicides each month than try to address the real problem
* when cemeteries are booked solid for services for soldiers who have died in Iraq or Afghanistan or by their own hand
* that to fulfill quotas, the Pentagon is accepting those convicted of everything from wife- and parent-beating to felony murder
* that many of our soldiers who DO manage to get the military to declare them as disabled must often wait 6, 8, 12 or MORE months to see their first check, with nothing to live on in the interim
* more and more, soldiers on the battlefields are having to call back home to their banks to try to keep their families from being foreclosed upon – there are supposed to be checkmarks in place to be sure this can’t happen, but few soldiers seem protected
For those of you who have served us, thank you. And my sincere apologies that the Republicans who want so to use you for photo ops for e-election are the same ones who keep trying to block you from getting any of the thanks you are due.
As noted, however, the battle isn’t over. The Senate could pass the latest Iraq-Afghanistan spending bill from Bush, which would bring it back to the House to work through, perhaps as a newly minted entity. And unless the bill is defeated by a LOT, Bush will veto anything that comes to him with less than he demands (the tin-plated God he thinks he is).
So give your support by telling your House and Senate reps to vote AGAINST more blank checks that do nothing but kill and maim Americans, Iraqs, and Afghans while making war profiteers like Bush and Cheney’s best friends even richer than they were before.
I think I can speak for most (all) who visit here when I extend my best wishes to Senator Ted Kennedy and family as the Democrat who has served in the Senate since 1962 (wow) undergoes tests for what some outlets are referring to as a probable stroke.
Like the Kennedys or not, this family has given back much, and not just in assassinated sons. Some of the very best social programs born during the 60s and 70s had a Kennedy on the board if not spearheading the effort altogether. I was very, very little when the whole ’69 car crash around Martha’s Vineyard happened, but I vaguely recall the way people alternately called for his head or insisted no Kennedy clan member would ever have to be held accountable. Many made terrible remarks about how great a shame it was John and Bobby were shot while leaving “the lesser brother” alive (another brother, Joe, died in WWII).
Regardless of whatever Ted did or didn’t do then at Chappaquiddic, he’s generally been a man of some conscience and compassion, while having enough weight (literally and figuratively) to sustain the slings and arrows. For those who thought the death of his campaign worker in the crash should get Kennedy kicked from the Senate, I wonder if you may feel, as I now do, that on the great cosmic scales, Ted’s balanced out a few big, bad (and in one case, deadly) mistakes with many good works.
Let’s hope Ted returns to health and to the Senate floor. We need him now as much as ever.
As early as tomorrow, the House will vote on Bush’s latest arrogant, insane demand for another blank check to pay for Iraq and Afghanistan – money that always ends up in the hands of ranking (and rank) Republicans and defense contractors.
Join me – and I just completed my call to Peter Welch’s office (D-VT) as the sole Congressman from my home state – in telling your reps NOT to authorize this. It’s NOT going to pay for our troops – just for more fat cat war profiteering.
That representatives of us, the citizens of the United States of America were DIRECTED by senior members of the Bush Administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. and with Bush’s full blessing) in secret meetings we now KNOW were held and chaired by former NSA director, Condoleeza Rice (now flunking her way through YET another job as Secretary of State) to perform waterboarding on multiple detainees/arrestees is against our Constitution, against what we claim to hold sacred, and AGAINST U.S. law.
For Republicans who LOVE to present themselves as the moral authority (with their 2, 3, 4 ex-wives, multiple mistresses and other extracurricular sex partners – or whatever the hell Larry Craig was up to in airport bathrooms) yet who can’t think about upholding this nation’s laws and Constitution et al, this is about the most atrocious “sin” I can imagine.
But for Americans as a whole, and certainly for anyone who has read and embraced our Constitution, have a CIVIL, ETHICAL, and MORAL obligation not simply to impeach the Bush Administration as a whole, but to arrest them immediately on charges of war crimes – and I would suggest they more than meet the criteria for charges of treason as well – and try them fairly in a court of law.
To do anything less is immoral and yes, unAmerican. If not, we need to perhaps charge ourselves with a complete patriotic failure.
Perhaps not so common. On Monday, Sen. George Voinovich, the weak half of my great state of Ohio’s Senatorial couple, seems to have grown half a nut to compliment a new half of brain:
Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) said that, because of the Iraq war, “we€™re at a point where we€™re really strained and stressed out.” “I hate to agree with Sen. Feingold,” he added, “but I think Osama bin Laden is sitting back right now looking at this thing [and saying] in effect, ‘We€™re kinda bankrupting this country.’ We are eating our seed corn. We€™ve got some really big problems today, and we are in a recession, and God only knows how long we€™re gonna be in it.”
It’s not eloquent, but it’s progress. Actually, Think Progress has the video.
President Bush has vetoed the law banning the CIA from using the waterboard and other torture methods. The headline the N.Y. Times slaps on this story reads: Bush Uses Veto on C.I.A. Tactics to Affirm Legacy.
That headline should be a source of tremendous embarrassment for any American. The President’s legacy is affirmed by allowing the CIA to torture people? For the quadzillionth time we are left pondering the question: “what has happened to America”? Continue reading →
Today, King George, in all his nervy, twitchy splendor, delivered a speech about the Protect Mah Buds America Act. And who wouldn’t want to Protect America? Well, terr’r’sts, of course.
The Senate bill will provide fair and just liability protection for companies that assisted in the efforts to protect America after the attacks of September the 11th. Without this protection, without this liability shield, we may not be able to secure the private sector’s cooperation with our intelligence efforts. And that, of course, would put the American people at risk.
Oh, Georgie, I so hoped you would make it through the whole event without referencing the one thing that is really hanging up the House. That would’ve been clutch.
Namely: a whiles back the Bush Administration went to AT&T and other telecommunications companies, sidled up to ’em, and in quiet, spastic whispers spat out “Heh heh, hey. Hows about you give us all your phone records. Wha? Of course it’s legal. I’m Big G – that’s what they call me, heh heh – and I don’t do nothin’ illegal, so if I’m doin’ it, it’s not illegal. We’re savin’ ‘Merica from terr’r’sts. Caprice?”
So the telecoms handed over their records, the media found out and Holy Crap! – about five thousand people really gave a shit for about fifteen minutes, then it dropped to a few dozen lefty blogs.
I watched a bit of the House Oversight Committee’s hearing on the Mitchell baseball steroid report this morning. There is a lot of noise going around that the hearings are a waste of time and the committee could be doing more important business… but I have a bit of a different take on this.
There is a public service spot on the radio which asks the listener to respond to a series of question. When is the last time you watched a movie? The last time you watched a sitcom, and so on and so forth. The final question is when is the last time you went to your child’s school? There are several such ads with different questions but the moral of the campaign is unmistakable.
When is the last time the average American watched a baseball game? On average, how often does the average American take a moment to catch up on the local team or watch baseball highlights? Now… how many Congressional hearings will the average American citizen watch in a given year? I have no doubt that the numbers of the baseball viewing audience far far surpasses the crowd which tunes into Congressional hearings. Continue reading →
The media LOVES to grab on any story – Elian Gonzalez, as just one extreme example – that plays directly into the “Castro Ate The Fascists Who Came Before Him And He Must Die” contingent still alive and well, if only in the Cuban exile communities and Congress who greedily accepts their money. Today’s “big” story on CNN are videos from Cuba showing how “unhappy” Cubans are at home.
OK, I’ll bite.
However, this is the SAME damned media who largely ignores – or, when they notice, laughs at or condescends to – a LOT of anger here at home with the way the government is being run and its citizens run into the ground. Bet they’re not showing those videos in any collection.
Castro may be bad. But Bush-Cheney and Company? A fascist dictator can sound pretty good by comparison.
Imagine if the media spent as much time devoting intelligent discussion on all the under-handed nastiness going on to ruin the U.S. Constitution, take us to war with Iran (which will make Afghanistan and Iraq together seem like a bleeping picnic!), how many of our elected leaders are bought and sold by corporations, and how bad the outlook is for far more Americans than just the same 43-47 million health care insurance-less, for example, as they do on:
– Britney Spears’ lack of panties
– Paris Hilton’s latest sleaziness
– Pam Anderson’s divorces
– those “hero” pro sport types
– the latest missing pretty and invariably white middle class woman/wife
– how wonderful all the corporations (often, the same ones who OWN those media outlets) and all their products are
My apologies that I just stumbled (literally) onto this sucker today, since it’s been kicking around Capitol Hill since last summer and the House (blind, repressive motherbleeping Constitutional assassins that they are) already passed it BUT… it’s not through the Senate yet and we need this mofo deader than Ken Lay, Fred Thompson’s campaign, Bush’s brainstem, and Dick Cheney’s humanity ALL ROLLED together.
The bill is S.1959 with the designed-to-scare-your-pants-into-a-brown-mess name of The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (see here and here) which is likely to do NOTHING but kill my right and your right to speak out against an unjust, corporation-controlled government (like the one we have).
Wait… let me pile about a thousand soapboxes atop one another before I say… (whew…. wiping righteous sweat from my brow)
LEARN ABOUT THIS BILL. CALL YOUR SENATOR. KILL THIS BILL!
Well, we know Congressional Oversight failed with watching the White House; apparently, we’re the ones who need to oversee Congress! The Media, after all, is too busy watching Britney’s crotch to detect a lack of underwear.
Benazir Bhutto was assassinated hours before she was to tell U.S. lawmakers of an alleged plot to rig Pakistan’s elections, sources tell CNN. Violence, ballot-tampering or intimidation could be used, according to a dossier Bhutto requested, the sources said. Pakistani officials have denied the claims.
If Missouri is still the “show me” state, then its elected idiot, Kit Bond, is apparently determined to show HE is something less than human with his pronouncement today that waterboarding isn’t torture, that it’s more like “swimming”. This is like the ex CIA agent this week who said the practice was “a little uncomfortable”, even after he admitted that he could withstand it for less than a minute.
I say this with complete sincerity after MUCH thought: anyone in our government promoting waterboarding and other torture techniques as something OTHER than torture must undergo the procedure and preferably in a format that – just like the Muslims and others we routinely subject to this practice – does not coddle and comfort the test subjects knowing that, unlike the Muslims, they’ll be rescued before they actually die.
Karl Rove has a new fairy tale he’s spinning to anyone who will listen: that it was Congress (and the Democratic MINORITY in Congress at the time at that) that forced the Bush Administration to attack Iraq when George W. Bush (who pumped his fist and grinned just before he gave the orders, so happy he finally got to be the BIG man to wage war from in front of his TV set) really didn’t want to do so.
This latest Rovism goes way past a bald lie and into complete and utter unconscionable, treasonous, murderous psychopathology. But then, that’s all the Bush Administration and its pals have displayed from BEFORE they stole the election in 2000.
True. The president who has spent the most time on vacation EVER (and the official count fails to note time he’s really off the job but claims he’s “home thinkin'”) is telling Congress it better get to work. Translation: “Do what I tell you to do WHEN I tell you to do it and exactly how Cheney wants it done.”
This from a man who keeps telling us he’s got “hard work” then spends a big hunk of every workday napping and biking and having Condi help him read “My Pet Goat” which he still hasn’t been able to finish since September 11th, 2001 (but hey, the book’s like 35 pages long so it’s understandable it’s taking him this long).