April 30, 2005

Is drinking beer as part of a Healthy Diet?

Portuguese gym-goers urged to drink beer
LISBON (AFP) - Portuguese gym-goers are being urged to drink beer as part of a healthy diet in a campaign launched by the nation's main association of producers of the alcoholic beverage.

A total of 20,000 fliers outlining the health benefits of drinking up to two bottles of beer per day will be handed out to patrons arriving at gyms in Lisbon and Oporto, the nation's second-largest city, by Friday, according to the Portuguese Association of Beer Producers.

The goal is to "draw attention to some less well-known aspects of beer, such as its agricultural origins, its nutritional value and health benefits when drunk in moderation and responsibly", it said in a statement.

The fliers, which feature a smiling young woman jumping rope beside an image of a large glass of beer, point out that a 200 millitre (six fluid ounce) glass of beer has less calories than a quarter litre (quarter pint) cup of sugarless orange juice or a similar sized cup of milk.

"Forget the myth of the 'beer gut' because it is just that: a myth," it reads.
Hey, it works for me. Pass me an other beer, hold the jump rope. American Beer Producers skip the jump rope and just use the smiling girl to sale the beer.

Bartender one cocktail. Please...

Without the frog.

Rare frogs saved from cocktail blender
LIMA, Peru (Reuters) - Peruvian officials saved some 4,000 endangered frogs from being whizzed into popular drinks after they were found hidden in an abattoir.

"We were checking the fridges when out jumped a frog. It had escaped, they were in big crates," a spokesman for Lima city hall said on Thursday.

Frog cocktails are popular in the Andes because of their supposed aphrodisiac qualities. Shops in central Lima selling the drinks have tanks where customers can choose their frogs.
Frog Cocktails have aphrodisiac qualities? I rather use my natural charm as my aphrodisiac.

Is that a Weapon or a Big Burrito?

School Mistakes Huge Burrito for a Weapon
CLOVIS, N.M. - A call about a possible weapon at a middle school prompted police to put armed officers on rooftops, close nearby streets and lock down the school. All over a giant burrito.

Someone called authorities Thursday after seeing a boy carrying something long and wrapped into Marshall Junior High.

The drama ended two hours later when the suspicious item was identified as a 30-inch burrito filled with steak, guacamole, lettuce, salsa and jalapenos and wrapped inside tin foil and a white T-shirt.

"I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," school Principal Diana Russell said. [..]

The burrito was part of Morrissey's extra-credit assignment to create commercial advertising for a product.

"We had to make up a product and it could have been anything. I made up a restaurant that specialized in oddly large burritos," Morrissey said.

After students heard the description of what police were looking for, he and his friends began to make the connection. He then took the burrito to the office.

"The police saw it and everyone just started laughing. It was a laughter of relief," Morrissey said.

"Oh, and I have a new nickname now. It's Burrito Boy."
Wow, 30inch Burrito. At least the Police had lunch ready for them at the school.

It is my way, if not you support Terrorist!

Latest example of a Conservative using 9/11 to push their agenda.

They are shameless!

Do Conservatives Believe Their Own Lies? 4-30-05

Jonh Tierney of the New York Times is a partisan hack.

Bush as Robin Hood

Democrats like to portray Mr. Bush as King George or Marie Antoinette. But on Thursday night, when he promised to improve benefits for the poor while limiting them for everyone else, he sounded more like Robin Hood...
I know the mission of Conservative hacks is to praise President Bush, no matter what. But, to out right lie for him is truly disgusting. President Bush promise to keep benefits for the poor exactly the same, not increase them under current system. Then President Bush promise to reduce benefits for everyone else. President Bush is the un- Robin Hood, steal from the working classes and make the rich richer.

In Defense of Benedict XVI

Right after Cardinal Ratzinger become the Pope Benedict XVI a few liberals came out an attack the new pope. One line of attack was Rartzinger played a partisan role in the 2004 Presidential election. Andrew Greeley a catholic priest respond to Liberals who disparage the Pope and Conservatives who claim the Pope as one of them.

Don't blame pope for Kerry defeat

Benedict XVI, I discovered upon returning from Rome, was responsible for John Kerry losing the election last year. Fool that I was, I had not figured that out. I can't tell whether the story came from anti-Catholics who wanted to smear the new pope (the same kind of folks who made a big deal of his involuntary membership in Hitler Youth) or fanatic Catholic conservatives who wanted to praise the pope for his good work.

The then-Cardinal Ratzinger had written in response to a letter from the American hierarchy about Catholic candidates who supported abortion. Should they be denied the sacraments? Should Catholics who voted for such a candidate be denied the sacraments? The conclusion of the bishops' discussion of Cardinal Ratzinger's letter was that they would take no common stand but leave it to individual bishops to decide. The important point is that they did not decide to adopt the arguments of a few bishops that Catholics voting for Kerry should not receive the sacraments. The New York Times harrumphed that by not denouncing the stand of the few bishops, the rest of the hierarchy had approved it. One cannot, I suppose, expect a reporter for that paper to grasp that current canon law does not permit the total hierarchy to override the policy of even one bishop. [...]

What's proportionate or not must be determined by the individual conscience and cannot be decided by someone else. As far as I know, no one asked Cardinal Ratzinger whether the sacraments could be denied to a candidate who supports a preemptive war or the death penalty.

In fact, Kerry lost the election not because of "moral values" as the idiots at the New York Times proclaimed on the day after the election but because of "national security" or "the war on terrorism," the mantra that carried the president to another very close victory. Americans were more concerned about this issue than any other, especially women. Kerry, having supported the war, found himself in a position in which he thought he had to say that he would fight the "war on terror" better than the incumbent could. It was not a very persuasive argument. Small wonder that the gender gap favoring the Democrats faded away. It is quite astonishing that Kerry was only one state -- Ohio -- from winning even with that handicap. [...]

Since I don't know whether this slander of the new pope came from the right or the left, I will say merely that it took a very twisted and, indeed, evil mind to come up with the story that Benedict had put Bush back in the White House -- either a viciously bigoted anti-Catholic or demented Catholic conservative who is eager to claim the pope for his own cause. In either case it is a shameful story that, as far as I know, no one has bothered to refute.

I don't know whether Pope Benedict is any more or less "conservative" than his predecessor. I do know that he is against the death penalty and preemptive war and in favor of immigration and of aid to the poor countries. Catholic conservatives should be careful who they are claiming for their own.
It was American hierarchy of the played a partisan role in the election, not Cardinal Ratzinger. Andrew Greeley also make a good point, no one asked Cardinal Ratzinger whether the sacraments could be denied to a candidate who supports a preemptive war or the death penalty, Ratzinger was ask only about abortion. The American bishops only wanted to deny sacraments to Liberal Catholics who support women rights not Conservative Catholics who support the death penalty or a preemptive war. The American bishops are the real partisans.

Benedict XVI is a conservative on the laws of the Church, but he is not a person of the American left or right, it would be unwise to claim otherwise.

Go read the whole article

April 29, 2005

New GOP Talking Point: Retirement Bill!

The GOP is coming up with a new way to sale their Social Security privatization plan, just call it something else.

Retirement Bill!

House Republicans are ready to roll up their sleeves and do some hard work on Social Security. We look forward to searching for solutions so that younger workers aren't left with an empty promise from the government," said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.

Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told reporters he envisioned legislation that "won't just be a Social Security bill."

"It will be a retirement bill," Thomas said, indicating it would also include steps to encourage private retirement savings. He also signaled that the legislation could include provisions to ease the cost of long term or chronic health care for the elderly.
lol, good one Mr. Thomas. It is more like an early retirement bill for Congressional Republicans.

House Republicans announced plans today draft Social Security legislation by June and President Bush continues to scare American people.

House Republicans picked up the pace as Bush made his first public appearance since prodding lawmakers to consider reducing the benefits guaranteed to future middle and upper income retirees as part of a plan to assure the solvency of the Depression-era program.
"I have a duty to put ideas on the table, and I'm putting them on the table," the president said in suburban Falls Church. Va.

"If you're a younger worker, and you start paying into the payroll system today, and 2041 is about the time you start retiring, I'm telling you, the system is going to be bankrupt unless we do something about it," he added.

"In other words, you're working all your life, you're putting money in, and by the time it comes for you to get ready to retire, there's nothing there," Bush said. "That's a problem, folks, and it requires a solution, requires people to come together to make this work."

The outing was a follow-up to a prime-time news conference on Thursday, and he told his audience that "those who block meaningful reform are going to be held to account in the polls."
Those who privatize Social Security and cut benefits for lower/middle income people then call meaningful reform are going to be held to account in the polls.

April 28, 2005

Tom Delay Twenty

House Republicans overturned the ethics rule which was put in place to protect Tom Delay.

Washington -- In a rare retreat, the Republican-led House overturned contentious rules changes made to the House ethics process on Wednesday, with Republicans saying they were surrendering to the Democrats to try to restore a way to enforce proper conduct in the House.

"I am willing to step back," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, the moving force behind ethics revisions forced through by the majority in January.

After a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, Hastert indicated that the reversal was primarily motivated by a need to resolve the torrent of questions surrounding the conduct of Rep. Tom DeLay, the majority leader.

The reversal was a startling turn as Republicans confronted the fallout from a stalled ethics process that Democrats said was rigged to protect DeLay, who was admonished three times by the ethics committee last year. The Republican majority also came under a growing storm of criticism for changing the rules in January in a way that their opponents said would render the committee impotent to pursue wrongdoing by members.
Tom Delay voted yes to change the ethics rules back, but twenty Republicans voted no.

Barton (TX)
Burton (IN)
King (IA)
Price (GA)
Weldon (FL)
The Tom Delay Twenty are Dead-Enders, stick with Delay no matter what. Even after Speaker Hastert told them it was okay.

(Via Talking Points Memo)

One God Under A Nation

Whose Nation Under God?
America, which separated church and state precisely to protect the private right to worship, has long had its share of religious absolutists who have wanted to harness the power of the state to their own view of revealed truth. But never before in our history has the government deliberately and cynically intervened on the side of the zealots.

President Bush, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, and company are playing with serious fire. As the joke suggests, there is no challenging revealed truth. That's why the state stays neutral. [...]

Today's religious extremists are not only trying to use the state, with all its power, as religious proselytizer. They oppose science when it happens to conflict with their version of revealed truth. They twist history to claim that the Republic's freethinking Founders, like Jefferson, Adams, and Madison, were really theocrats like themselves. They long for the predemocratic world of absolutes circa 1500.

Although proponents of state sponsorship of ''faith-based" activities claim that all faiths are equally eligible, the politically dominant soon attempt to dictate the approved faith. Leon Wieseltier has observed, ''It is never long before one nation under God gives way to one God under a nation." [...]

Mercifully, religious extremists do not represent anything like a majority. We still have a proudly independent judiciary -- in the Schiavo case, Governor Jeb Bush could not find a single Florida judge willing to overturn the testimony of countless doctors. And mainstream denominations like the Presbyterians have begun speaking out vigorously on behalf of religious tolerance and pluralism.

But let's be clear: Our very democracy is under assault. History is filled with cases where a small minority was able to overturn democratic institutions.

Zeal on behalf of tolerance seems almost a contradiction. But the large American majority that believes in freedom of conscience and inquiry had better get organized with the same enlightened passion that drove America's Founders.
The Christian right want one nation under their God, a partisan, republican, gun-loving, tax-cutting, gay-hating, democrat, liberal-bashing, social security-cutting, oil-drilling, flag waving, pro-death penalty, anti-labor God.

Go read the whole article

It Not My Fault, Blame The Grunts

On Abu Ghraib, the Big Shots Walk

When soldiers in war are not properly trained and supervised, atrocities are all but inevitable. This is one reason why the military command structure is so important. There was a time, not so long ago, when commanders were expected to be accountable for the behavior of their subordinates.

That's changed. Under Commander in Chief George W. Bush, the notion of command accountability has been discarded. In Mr. Bush's world of war, it's the grunts who take the heat. Punishment is reserved for the people at the bottom. The people who foul up at the top are promoted. [....]

If the president made it clear that men and women up and down the chain of command would be held responsible for the abuses that occur on their watch, the abuses would plummet. Instead, the message the administration has sent is that its demands for accountability will be limited to a few hapless, ill-trained grunts.

The big shots who presided over behavior that has shamed America in the eyes of the world can count on this president's embrace.
With President Bush, the buck stop everywhere but on this desk. There is no one accountable with in the Republican White House and Congress.

April 27, 2005

Anti-Castro Majority Leader Tom DeLay enjoys a fine Cuban cigar

But Did He Inhale?

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes, according to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a cigar is an economic prop to a brutal totalitarian regime. Arguing against loosening sanctions against Cuba last year, DeLay warned that Fidel Castro "will take the money. Every dime that finds its way into Cuba first finds its way into Fidel Castro's blood-thirsty hands.... American consumers will get their fine cigars and their cheap sugar, but at the cost of our national honor."

DeLay has long been one of Congress' most vocal critics of what he calls Castro's "thugocracy," which is why some sharp-eyed TIME readers were surprised last week to see a photo of the Majority Leader smoking one of Cuba's best—a Hoyo de Monterrey double corona, which generally costs about $25 when purchased overseas and is not available in this country. The cigar's label clearly states that it was made in "Habana." The photo was taken in Jerusalem on July 28, 2003, during a meeting between DeLay and the Republican Jewish Coalition at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
Click on the link for photo proof!

I really do not care if Tom Delay smokes cigars, but to hold anti-Castro views for political gain while smoking Cuban cigars is an other example of conservative hypocrisy.

An American Heresy

Al Gore ...
Our founders understood that the way you protect and defend people of faith is by preventing any one sect from dominating. Most people of faith I know in both parties have been getting a belly-full of this extremist push to cloak their political agenda in religiosity and mix up their version of religion with their version of right-wing politics and force it on everyone else.

They should learn that religious faith is a precious freedom and not a tool to divide and conquer.

I think it is truly important to expose the fundamental flaw in the arguments of these zealots. The unifying theme now being pushed by this coalition is actually an American heresy -- a highly developed political philosophy that is fundamentally at odds with the founding principles of the United States of America.

We began as a nation with a clear formulation of the basic relationship between God, our rights as individuals, the government we created to secure those rights, and the prerequisites for any power exercised by our government.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident," our founders declared. "That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights..."

But while our rights come from God, as our founders added, "governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed."

So, unlike our inalienable rights, our laws are human creations that derive their moral authority from our consent to their enactment-informed consent given freely within our deliberative processes of self-government.

Any who seek to wield the powers of government without the consent of the people, act unjustly. [....]

Our founders understood that there is in all human beings a natural instinct for power. The Revolution they led was precisely to defeat the all-encompassing power of a tyrant thousands of miles away.

They knew then what Lord Acton summarized so eloquently a hundred years later: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." They knew that when the role of deliberative democracy is diminished, passions are less contained, less channeled within the carefully balanced and separated powers of our Constitution, less checked by the safeguards inherent in our founders' design-and the vacuum left is immediately filled by new forms of power more arbitrary in their exercise and derived less from the consent of the governed than from the unbridled passions of ideology, ultra-nationalist sentiments, racist, tribal and sectarian fervor -- and most of all, by those who claim a unique authority granted directly to them by the Almighty.

That is precisely why they established a system of checks and balances to prevent the accretion of power in any one set of hands -- either in one individual or a group because they were wary of what Madison famously called "factions."

Yet today that is precisely what a small group of radical Republicans is trying to do. And they threaten a fundamental break with a system that has served us well for 230 years and has served as a model for the rest of the world. [...]

The rules and traditions of the Senate all derive from this desire to ensure that the voice of the minority could be heard. The filibuster has been at the heart of this tradition for nearly the entire 230 years of the Senate's existence. Yet never before has anyone has felt compelled to try to eliminate it.

The proposal from the Senate majority leader to abolish the right of unlimited debate is a poison pill for America's democracy. It is the stalking horse for a dangerous American heresy that would substitute persuasion on the merits with bullying and an effort at partisan domination.
The speech delivered by Al Gore at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill for MoveOn PAC organization.

American would have been a better place if Al Gore would have become President rather than Bush being selected by a partisan court. Al Gore is the first person I ever voted for, I would vote for him again if he ever runs for office.

Go read the whole speech.

According to William Donohue ...

the only good Catholic is a Republican Catholic.

Justice Sunday also featured a token Catholic, William Donohue, who heads the nation's largest "Catholic civil rights organization," the Catholic League. In the battle to confirm far-right judicial nominees like William Pryor, who happens to be Catholic, Donohue has become a key asset for the Christian right's evangelical faction. He has argued that Democratic senators opposing Pryor and others are motivated by anti-Catholicism. "There isn't de jure discrimination against Catholics in the Senate," Donohue claimed on Sunday. "There is de facto discrimination. They've set the bar so high with the abortion issue, we can't get any real Catholics over it."
William Donohue only cares about bashing Catholic Democrats, while his “Christian” friends continue to condemn the Catholic Church.
But for all his concern with anti-Catholicism, Donohue had no qualms about sharing the stage with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Dr. Albert Mohler. "As an evangelical, I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is a false church," Mohler remarked during a 2000 TV interview. "It teaches a false gospel. And the Pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office." Donohue, who has protested against Democrats who have made no such comments about Catholics, was silent about Mohler. In fact, the site of Justice Sunday, Highview Baptist Church, in Louisville, Kentucky, is Mohler's home church.

"We're fed up and we're on the same side," Donohue declared. "And if the secular left is worried, they should be worried."
William Donohue is getting played as a fool by this friends who has anti-Catholic views. I bet he continues to bash Catholic democrats, while his friends continue to bash Catholics, liberals, democrats, Americans, and anybody else who get in their way to have their “Christian/Taliban” nation.

William Donohue has no shame.

Sen. Bill “08” Frist Comrade Has Ties to Racist Organizations

This is how Senator Bill “08” Frist was in introduce by Tony Perkins at Justice Sunday ....
On Justice Sunday, Perkins introduced Frist as "a friend of the family." "I don't think it's radical to ask senators to vote," Frist said from a giant screen above the audience. "Only in the United States Senate could it be considered a devastating option to allow a vote." His face then disappeared, and Perkins returned onstage to urge viewers to call their senators.
Senator Bill “08” Frist family friend has ties to racist organizations.
Senate majority leader Bill Frist appeared through a telecast as a speaker at "Justice Sunday," at the invitation of the event's main sponsor, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. "Justice Sunday" was promoted as a rally to portray Democrats as being "against people of faith." Many of the speakers compared the plight of conservative Christians to the civil rights movement. But in sharing the stage with Perkins, who introduced him to the rally, Frist was associating himself with someone who has longstanding ties to racist organizations.

Four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,000 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke. [...]

For years, Jenkins had been grooming Perkins as his political successor. "To Jenkins, Perkins was like a son, and the feeling was and is mutual," wrote former Jenkins staffer Christopher Tidmore. In 1996 Perkins cut his teeth as the manager of Jenkins's campaign for US Senate. It was during that campaign that, in an attempt to consolidate the support of Louisiana's conservative base, Perkins paid David Duke $82,000 for his mailing list. After Jenkins was defeated by his Democratic opponent, Mary Landrieu, he contested the election. But during the contest period, Perkins's surreptitious payment to Duke was exposed through an investigation conducted by the FEC, which fined the Jenkins campaign.

Six years later, in 2002, Perkins embarked on a campaign to avenge his mentor's defeat by running for the US Senate himself. But Perkins was dogged with questions about his involvement with David Duke. Perkins issued a flat denial that he had ever had anything to do with Duke, and he denounced him for good measure. Unfortunately, Perkins's signature was on the document authorizing the purchase of Duke's list.
Senator “08” Frist family friend Tony Perkins use David Duke mailing list in order to get support from racist conservatives to win an election. Now, “08” Frist is using Tony Perkins in order to get support from “Christian” conservatives in order to win support for President Bush judicial nominees and start up this presidential campaign. Conservatives have no shame!

Obama on Bush Social Security Privatization

Sen. Barack Obama...
Obama talked about the origins of Social Security as a safety net for retirees who had nothing. It was intended to be the minimum, not the maximum, and never to take the place of regular savings and other investments. It was a way, said Obama, for people to share -- and minimize -- risk.

"Since Social Security was first signed in to law, almost 70 years ago, by James' grandfather, at a time when FDR's opponents were calling it a hoax that would never work and that some likened to communism,'' said Obama, "there has been movement, there has been movement after movement, to get rid of the program for purely ideological reasons.

"Because some still believe that we can't solve the problems we face as one American community, they think this country works better when we're left to face fate by ourselves.''

The irony, said Obama, of this "all-out assault against every existing form of social insurance is that these safety nets are exactly what encourages each of us to be risk-takers, what encourages entrepreneurship, what allows us to pursue our individual ambitions.''
Conservatives wanted to destroy Social Security ever since FDR sign it into law, liberals and the Democratic Party are the protector of Social Security.

April 26, 2005

Why I Am Still A Catholic

By Suzanne Camino

Gay marriage? I'm all for it. Women priests? We need them desperately. Married clergy? It's time. Just war? Oxymoronic, from a Christian perspective.

And yet here I am, in the wake of the sexual abuse scandals, in the shadow of politicians denied the body of Christ for their political stands, with the knowledge that some of my weekly tithe is being used to promote legislation that denies civil rights to homosexuals, recommitting to the Catholic faith of my childhood and to the Catholic Church itself, with its looming, maddening, dangerous flaws. A gay friend, not Catholic, asks politely a question that boils down to 'How could you?'

What's the deal? Why not find a nice, progressive Episcopal church where my young daughter would see women in leadership roles and where I could support the ongoing realization of the civil and human rights issues close to my heart?

Blame Pope John XXIII. He opened the first session of Vatican II on Oct. 11, 1962. The modern church and I were born in the same week. 'Let's open the windows,' Pope John famously said, and as I grew I watched the windows fly open and I took for granted the fresh air blowing in. I watched my young, devout parents embrace the new Mass, the new music, and the new architecture that focused on community, on inclusiveness, on the participation of the laity.

I went to catechism classes where they told me that being Catholic was about serving the poor and seeing Jesus in every suffering person. 'If you want peace, work for justice,' were the oft-quoted words of Pope Paul VI, the pope we prayed for and listened to while I was in elementary and junior high school. [...]

I didn't move away from the church; the church moved away from itself, and damned if I am going to let it get away. As one of the nuns at my new parish told me, following a frustrating series of decisions by the church hierarchy, 'Just because they're in charge doesn't mean it isn't our church too.' Amen, sister.


My catechism classes were one factors that lead me to my liberalism.

Senate Republicans to Bush, STFU!

Social Security Plan Is Work in Progress, Republicans Signal

On the eve of the first congressional hearing on the restructuring of Social Security, Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee signaled that they will not insist that personal accounts be part of the legislation and that they will not seek further details from President Bush about his plans for the government-run retirement program. [...]

In yesterday's briefing, the committee official asserted that the contours of Bush's plan for Social Security are already well known and that the panel did not believe the release of further details of the plan would be helpful.
Are they telling President Bush to Shut the F*** Up?

(Via Washington Monthly)

Bush, Delay & Texas

While on the Social Security bamboozle President Bush declares this support for Tom Delay.

DeLay was included in the event held near his congressional district — and offered a ride back to Washington on Air Force One along with a few other Texas Republicans — to show that "the president appreciates his leadership in the House," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.

Bush said just that in his remarks. "I appreciate the leadership of Congressman Tom DeLay in working on important issues that matter to the country," he said.

The president also took care to note that he had talked privately backstage with DeLay, "who kindly joined us today." [...]

Far from trying to distance Bush from DeLay's troubles, the White House has repeatedly responded to criticism from Democrats with steadfast support for the majority leader. Asked today by reporters how strongly Bush was backing DeLay, McClellan said, "Strongly as he ever has, which is strongly."
The Fort Bend County Republican Party Chairman thinks Tom Delay is unbeatable in the State of Texas.

Democrat Richard Morrison pulled 41 percent against DeLay last November, but on Monday ruled against a rematch, citing family and financial obligations.

"No man is invincible. Things have changed in the district," Morrison said before announcing that he wouldn't run.

Fort Bend County Republican Party Chairman Eric Thode disagrees.

"Tom DeLay will not be beaten by a Democrat," Thode said. "It would take a well funded, credible, solid opponent — and that individual is not out here."
President Bush and Tom Delay might be unbeatable in Texas, but Republican Party in the rest of America is very beatable with Bush pushing is privatization of SS and failures on economic and foreign policy, and with Tom Delay, Bill First war on judges the Democratic Party will back in the majority.

The Democratic party will have well funded, credible, solid opponents versus President Bush, Tom Delay, Bill First GOP.

The next two elections in 2006 & 2008 will be national elections versus the failed, moral-less, corrupt leadership of the GOP.

Bush Hearts Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah

President Bush greets Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at his ranch in Crawford, Texas Monday, April 25, 2005.

In other news .....
“Before boarding his flight to Crawford to meet with President Bush Monday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdullah presided over the arrest of 40 Pakistani Christians on Friday. Their crime? The Pakistanis were caught praying in a private home in the capital Riyadh in violation of the state’s strictly enforced religious law that bans all non-Muslim worship.”
When is the Christian Right going to speak against President Bush best friend, Prince Abdullah? Nah, they are too busy telling people the Democratic Party is against people of faith.

(Via Think Progress)

No Dice!

Frist Says He's Not Interested in Deals
WASHINGTON - Reacting to a Democratic offer in the fight over filibusters, Republican leader Bill Frist said Tuesday he isn't interested in any deal that fails to ensure Senate confirmation for all of President Bush's judicial nominees.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid had been quietly talking with Frist about confirming at least two of Bush's blocked nominees from Michigan in exchange for withdrawing a third nominee. This would have been part of a compromise that would have the GOP back away from a showdown over changing Senate rules to prevent Democrats from using the filibuster to block Bush's nominees.

But Frist, in a rare news conference conducted on the Senate floor, said he would not accept any deal that keeps his Republican majority from confirming judicial nominees that have been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"Are we going to step back from that principle? The answer to that is no," Frist said.
Senator Bill “08” Frist does not want to make the wing nuts mad, the only principle the Senator cares about is winning the next election.

"Evangelical Christianity" Is Just Another Republican Special-Interest Group

Jesus Was No GOP Lobbyist
What would Jesus filibuster? The question is bizarre, of course, but the fact that many prominent religious and political leaders believe that there is an answer surely marks our time as pretty strange.

How quickly it has all happened — that the media, particularly television, has convinced itself that Christianity is little more than a Republican political action committee. When the pope died, CNN's Wolf Blitzer introduced former Clinton aide Paul Begala and right-wing pundit Robert Novak this way: "Bob is a good Catholic; I'm not so sure about Paul Begala." At the bottom of the screen, CNN ran an informative factoid for the audience: "Many Catholic doctrines are conservative."

Broadcast media prefer to cast Christianity in the role of "right-wing values PAC" because it's so neat and tidy. They don't much like even to say the name Jesus on air because then we might have to talk about his ideas. "Evangelical Christianity" is much simpler because you can treat it as just another special-interest group, like the Teamsters or the neocons.

Leaders such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson have used the media to redefine Christianity as the "Republican base" — all between commercials hawking family-values videotapes or pleading for more contributions.
Christianity does not belong to Falwell, Robertson, Dobson, and Rove, it does not belong to Republican politicians who are so will go preach about their so called “moral values” to gain power only to push their moral-less economic agenda.

Christianity belongs to people of faith, not solely to a crooked politicians and fraudulent preachers.

No WMD found in Iraq

CIA’s final report
WASHINGTON - In his final word, the CIA’s top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has “gone as far as feasible” and has found nothing, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.

After more than 18 months, the WMD investigation and debriefing of the WMD-related detainees has been exhausted,” wrote Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, in an addendum to the final report he issued last fall.

“As matters now stand, the WMD investigation has gone as far as feasible.”
It is time for Bush and the rest of the Republican Party be held responsible for their lies and failures.

April 25, 2005

Tom DeLay Policy Director Joins K-Street Firm

Are Tom Delay political aids jumping ship for greener pastures?

WASHINGTON, April 25 /U.S. Newswire/ -- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) bid a fond farewell to his policy director, Juliane Carter Sullivan, who starts her new position as a senior adviser in the policy department of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

"As sad as I am to see Juli leave, I'm also very pleased to see her taking on the new challenges that come with her new position," DeLay said. "It's always difficult to say goodbye to such a trusted adviser and key member of my team, but I appreciate all the work she has done over the years and her steadfast commitment to the cause we have dedicated ourselves to." [...]

"While Juli will be missed here, her wealth of knowledge and experience will be a tremendous asset to her new organization. I wish her all the best," DeLay concluded.
Who are the new employers of Juliane Carter Sullivan?

The last 1/2 century has seen an explosion of government at every level. Akin Gump was born in the midst of this trend. To work effectively with government, you need to understand the rhythms, personalities and idiosyncrasies of Washington and other capitals.

When an industry is threatened or legislative and political reform warrant strategic positioning, we help shape the issues and structure a rational approach. Akin Gump lawyers understand how decisions are made, which arguments will work, how to assemble coalitions, how to advocate legislative action - and when to litigate.
You can not get any closer to federal government, than Tom Delay.

Khandker: "I'm sorry, sir, but this is a federal building, and it's against the law of the federal government."

DeLay: "I am the federal government."
If I worked for Tom Delay, I would get my high paying job on K-Street right now.

Third Party in 2008?

Will the use of the internet/blogs lead to a serious third-party presidential bid in 2008? Joe Trippi said yes.
Joe Trippi, a principal architect of Howard Dean's breakthrough Internet strategy in the 2004 Democratic presidential campaign, is one of many analysts who believe that may soon change. The Internet, he says, could ignite a serious third-party presidential bid in 2008.

"This is a very disruptive technology," says Trippi. "And it is going to be very destabilizing to the political establishment of both parties."
What would it take for a independent third party to make a Presidential run?
The Internet could allow an independent candidate to more easily identify an audience and financial base, just as it has allowed blogs like the liberal Daily Kos or conservative InstaPundit to find a community of like-minded readers. More precisely, the Internet has allowed readers to find those blogs. And because the audience mostly finds the product, rather than the other way around, the cost of entering the market is radically reduced.
Trippi believes an independent presidential candidate who struck a chord could organize support through the Internet just as inexpensively. "Somebody could come along and raise $200 million and have 600,000 people on the streets working for them without any party structure in the blink of an eye," he says.
Will the independent third party make a run to the left or right? Joe Trippi

"We are now moving toward a very dangerous place for both parties," he says. "It is becoming much more possible for an independent or third party to emerge because they are leaving so much space in the middle."
According to Ronald Brownstein if Joe Trippi is right, the politicians can take the center is ....

In such an environment, imagine the options available to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) if he doesn't win the 2008 Republican nomination, and former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, now that he's dropped his flirtation with running for mayor of New York. If the two Vietnam veterans joined for an all-maverick independent ticket, they might inspire a gold rush of online support -- and make the two national parties the latest example of the Internet's ability to threaten seemingly impregnable institutions.
I do not think a so called "all-maverick independent ticket" of McCain and Kerrey will have a strong internet fund raising base, it would have a strong elite media base. I like Joe Trippi, but I think he is wrong. The political center is not defined and plus why would a bunch of centrist/swing voters who do not follow politics be willing to spend day and night working for candidates?

Yep, Howard Dean Takes the Subway

Howard Dean is no Terry McAuliffe
Let's just state the obvious: New Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is no Terry McAuliffe . Where the flashy former Clinton fundraiser was a gregarious ringmaster accustomed to the bling-bling of the highest non-publicly elected Democratic job around, Dean is almost a seminarian in his approach to the post. And, oddly, his style seems to fit with the party's bid to build its blue-collar base--just as McAuliffe's meshed with the DNC's need to raise gobs of money and go high tech.
Please, When was the last time the GOP propose and past blue-collar legislation? Estate Tax? Bankruptcy Bill? Energy Bill?

What's so different? McAuliffe would limo around town, dropping in at the Palm to huddle with Washington big shots. The 2004 presidential hopeful, by contrast, takes the bus or subway, buying his own $1.35 ticket. Sometimes he bums rides from staffers or walks the four blocks to the Capitol for meetings. "Please Call Me Howard" never flies first class and always carries his own bags.
Other signs of the ex-guv's modest style: He eats at his desk, stays in a cheap D.C. hotel, and likes oxford shirts and penny loafers. Affectionately dubbed a "geek" by pals, he's often glued to his cellphone and loves E-mail. "His expertise is grass roots and his lifestyle is no different," says an associate. So far, Washington likes what it sees, surprised he's not the oddball that newsies pegged him as last year. Says an aide, smiling: "They're giving him a shot."
Oddball? Again, Howard Dean is a man of the people, hard worker, and honest. Unlike the mainstream of the Republican party who are full with a bunch of oddballs, nuts, and extremist.

The Democrat party is full of a bunch of Howard Dean`s types, not Terry McAuliffe's types. If the MSM ever leave D.C. they might actually meet a rank-file Democrat.

April 24, 2005

Sen. Frist `judges deserve respect, not retaliation'

Republican Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee ...
WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist was telling conservatives on Sunday that judges deserve "respect, not retaliation no matter how they rule," and he defended his effort to strip Democrats of their ability to block votes on President Bush's court nominees.

"I don't think its radical to ask senators to vote. I don't think its radical to expect senators to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities," Frist said. [...]

"Our judiciary must be independent, impartial and fair," Frist said in his taped remarks.

"When we think judicial decisions are outside mainstream American values, we will say so. But we must also be clear that the balance of power among all three branches requires respect - not retaliation. I won't go along with that," Frist said.
Respect? Mainstream? Independent? Impartial? Fair?

Senator, who are you trying to fool?

Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX): "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior" ("DeLay: Judges will answer for Schiavo actions", New York Times, 4/01/05)

Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) Chief of Staff: "I'm a radical! I'm a real extremist. I don't want to impeach judges. I want to impale them" ("In Contempt of Courts", The Nation, 4/11/05)

DeLay: "Our next step, whatever it is, must be more than rhetoric" ("DeLay says judges have 'overstepped' authority", Houston Chronicle, 4/08/05)

Dobson Compared America's Judges to the Klan: "I heard a minister the other day talking about the great injustice and evil of the men in white robes, the Ku Klux Klan, that roamed the country in the South, and they did great wrong to civil rights and to morality. And now we have black-robed men, and that's what you're talking about."
(Media Matters, 4/11/05)

Senator, you might have tone down your rhetoric, but the mainstream of your party does not want a fair, independent, impartial judges. They only respect judges loyal to the Conservative cause.

With the hate rhetoric coming from you and your supporters, retaliation is not far behind.

April 22, 2005

An Other Wife-Cheating Republican

The wife of State Sen. Jeff Miller of Tennessee is accusing him of cheating. Senate Republican Leader Ron Ramsey is defended him, 'Miller won't be asked to step down'.

The top Republican in the state Senate says the party's caucus chairman, accused of cheating on his wife in a divorce case, won't be asked to step down.
State Sen. Jeff Miller, R-Cleveland, has been a leader in his party's fight to raise moral issues in state politics. He sponsored a constitutional amendment aimed at ''solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman.''

But in divorce papers, Brigitte Suzanne Miller accused him of ''inappropriate marital conduct,'' reportedly with a legislative aide.

Senate Republican Leader Ron Ramsey defended Miller.

Ramsey, asked whether Miller should step down, said, ''absolutely not.''
Miller has ''vehemently'' denied any inappropriate marital conduct.

Ok, a Republican supporting an other Republican. The State Senator Miller is just accused on cheating on this wife. I am fine with that hey, I will support my friend if he is wrongly accused of cheating. Let the fact come out.

But, this is a Republican.. lets dig a little deeper.

Sen. Jeff Miller is the primary sponsor of banning same-sex marriage.

Sen. Jeff Miller, R- Cleveland, Senate Republican Caucus Chairman and primary sponsor of SJR0031, said the issue of same-sex marriage is important to Tennesseans.
"It's an issue in every Tennessean's mind ... and it's been thrust upon us by activist courts," Miller said.

Miller added that the amendment would not change current Tennessee law - the state has already had a Defense of Marriage act in place since 1996 that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

"We're not taking anything away from anyone," Miller said.
Fine, just an other Republican pushing his so called moral values on other people.

Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Jeff Miller, the sponsor of Tennessee's Marriage Protection act, is facing divorce because of his alleged relationship with a Senate aide, his wife said.
Miller (R-Cleveland) has been the chief sponsor of the Marriage Protection Amendment, which passed the Senate in February mere days prior to the divorce filing.

Brigitte Miller, Sen. Miller's wife of 15 years, said he is having an affair with a legislative researcher and that he and the young lady accompanied the Millers' three daughters to a November Martina McBride concert in Nashville.

"They've been seeing each other for a while," Mrs. Miller told a Capitol Hill reporter. "Now he admits things. But he said it's only been since he moved out. But I know better. I've got things that tell me differently."

Sen. Miller said at the time of the concert the aide was a "friend," Mrs. Miller said.
Sen. Miller is pushing same-sex marriage ban and he "might" have cheating on this wife. This is a Republican, that mean he has no shame.

Miller described the measure last year, in the first of two passages needed for a constitutional amendment, as a means of preserving the sanctity of marriage.
In addition, while pushing the marriage act through the Senate last year, Miller openly opposed an amendment sponsored by state Sen. Steve Cohen that would have included an "adultery clause."

Cohen's amendment, which failed, stated: "Adultery is deemed to be a threat to the institution of marriage and contrary to public policy in Tennessee."
Wow. This Republican want to ban loving couples from getting married, but he does not support an adultery clause. I wounded why? Is it because he was cheating and committing adultery?

Wait it get worse!

Prior to the passage of the amendment last year The City Paper learned Miller's brother and Nashville resident Gregg Miller was openly gay.
Gregg Miller said at the time he was surprised to learn Sen. Miller was pushing the initiative.

"It's not going to hurt my relationship with [my brother]. He's a grown man and I love him and my whole family loves him and we love each other," Sen. Miller said of his sibling. "We support each other whenever we feel like the other person is in the right. But, if the other person is not acting appropriately according to the belief systems that we all have, then we still love each other but we disagree."

Mrs. Miller said she has suspected the senator to have had extramarital affairs in the past.
This brother is gay, and this fool wants to treat him as a second class citizen. He want to ban same sex marriages on moral grounds, but he does not want to ban adultery.

Is committing adultery breaking a commandment, Senator?

Rep. Peter King back Tom Delay rather than NY

Republican Rep. Peter King voted for the Tom Delay backed bill.

Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas called the vote, `a surrogate vote on Tom DeLay'.

One Republican leader, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, called the MTBE amendment "a surrogate vote on Tom DeLay."

DeLay, who has come under fire from Democrats because of ethics issues, had insisted on the MTBE industry protection in the 2003 energy bill.
The New York Republican Peter King voted to shield MTBE companies from liability.

WASHINGTON -- A Long Island water official said Friday he is shocked by Rep. Peter King's reversal on a controversial water contamination issue _ a vote that pitted local concerns against loyalty to embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

"This really is disappointing, it's not helping New York, and I hope that our representatives rethink the picture here," said Paul Granger, superintendent of the Plainview water district, which is in King's district.

I'm still kind of shocked," said Granger.
The legislative battle revolves around MTBE, a gasoline additive that in many parts of New York has leaked from underground storage tanks into drinking water. DeLay, R-Texas, has sought language shielding MTBE producers from lawsuits over contamination.
The amendment pass 219-213 on the updated version of the energy bill. Who cast the deciding votes?

The vote saw New York Republicans King and Vito Fossella of Staten Island vote to shield the MTBE companies. Also voting for the liability protection were upstaters James Walsh, R-Onondaga, Thomas Reynolds, R-Clarence, Randy Kuhl, R-Hammondsport, and John McHugh, R-Pierrepont Manor.
Two New York Republicans, Sherwood Boehlert of New Hartford, and John Sweeney of Clifton Park, voted against shielding MTBE producers.

No New York Democrat voted to shield the companies.

With a winning margin of just six votes, New York lawmakers could have tipped the balance the other way.
Who are the New York Republicans loyal to Tom Delay or New York?


House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

Today, communities across America are suffering the effects of MTBE. MTBE contamination of groundwater and surface water is a major problem in my state of California, and many drinking water wells have had to be shut down because of this contaminant. MTBE contamination has been detected in all 50 states, and a recent study indicates that it could cost between $12 and $63 billion to clean up. That's $12 to $63 billion to clean up something the industry knew was dirty to begin with, and withheld information about that from Congress.

"Not surprisingly, the MTBE producers and the big oil companies want to be protected from liability for contaminating our drinking water supplies. And not surprisingly, Tom DeLay and House Republicans are happy to oblige. Mr. DeLay insisted on the MTBE provision in the last Congress, even at the cost of killing the energy bill. He insisted on it again this year. In fact, this is the Majority Leader's bill we are debating today.

"Instead of eliminating MTBE now, the Republican energy bill gives nine years for a phase out, nine years of MTBE leaking into our water supply. And a loophole may even allow MTBE to be used indefinitely. It gives MTBE producers liability protection in contamination lawsuits and it gives a $2 billion subsidy to MTBE manufacturers.

"According to the Republican Congress, you pollute our groundwater and you get $2 billion. That's your gift for contaminating our groundwater. Republicans are not even giving MTBE polluters a slap on the wrist; they are giving them a pat on the back.

"But in their attempt to shield MTBE producers and big oil companies from accountability, Republicans have created a huge unfunded mandate for states and localities, and it is taxpayers who are stuck with the bill. Remember unfunded mandates? Wasn't that principle number one of the Contract with America? No unfunded mandates.
The Republican Party has no principles.

April 21, 2005

Senator Salazar slams Focus on the Family

Senator Salazar slams Focus on the Family.

WASHINGTON - Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., lashed out at Focus on the Family on Thursday, saying the group is using "un-Christian" political tactics in the fight over White House judicial appointments.

Salazar defended Democrats' right to filibuster what they consider objectionable nominees and blasted the Colorado Springs-based evangelical Christian group for recent ads urging him to "STOP the nonsense."

"I do think that what has happened here is there has been a hijacking of the U.S. Senate by what I call the religious right wing of the country," Salazar said at a Capitol Hill news conference Wednesday.

He singled out Focus on the Family by name, objecting to full-page newspaper ads that the ministry's political arm recently placed, targeting 20 senators in 15 states.

"I think what has happened is Focus on the Family has been hijacking Christianity and become an appendage of the Republican Party," Salazar said in an interview. "I think it's using Christianity and religion in a very unprincipled way."
Senator Kerry ....
WASHINGTON - Sen. John F. Kerry yesterday attacked Republicans for having an ``orthodoxy of view'' and overly inserting religion into politics, accusing them of using God as a justification for appointing conservative judges.

``I am sick and tired of a bunch of people trying to tell me that God wants a bunch of conservative judges on the court and that's why we have to change the rules of the United States Senate,'' Kerry told a group of Bay State residents who traveled to Capitol Hill for U.S. Rep. Martin Meehan's annual legislative seminar.

``I am sick and tired of (them saying) they somehow have a better understanding of Christianity, of the Judeo-Christian ethic, of values,'' Kerry added. ``We're talking about values? You show me where in the New Testament Jesus ever talked about the value of having taxes and taking money from poor people to give to the rich people in this country.''

The Bay State senator added that the Christian values and Catholic church he grew up with ``was a church of universality and understanding and true freedom of conscience'' and that there was never this kind of ``imposition of values'' into politics.
Both Senators are Catholics. Focus on the Family is just a front group for the GOP.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger back away from Arnold Schwarzenegger

Schwarzenegger: Immigration policy too lax
"Close the borders in California and all across Mexico and in the United States," Schwarzenegger said at the annual meeting of the Newspaper Association of America. "Because I think it is just unfair to have all those people coming across, have the borders open the way it is, and have this kind of lax situation."
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is now back tracking from this comments.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Blaming his faulty English, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday said he misspoke when he suggested that California's border with Mexico should be closed to help solve the nation's illegal immigration problem.

Schwarzenegger made the remark while speaking to newspaper editors and publishers Tuesday. He said he intended to say the border should be secured.

"Yesterday was a total screw-up in the words I used," the Republican said at a news conference. "Because instead of closing, I meant securing. I think maybe my English, I need to go back to school and study a little bit."

The governor's contrition seemed to quell the issue at the Capitol, where a key Hispanic lawmaker accepted the apology a day after criticizing the remark.
Yeah right Arnold!
With 20 dollars in his pocket, and not fluent in English, he moved to the U.S. in 1968. He became a U.S. citizen in 1983, although he has also retained his Austrian nationality. During this time, he earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Superior where he graduated with a major in international marketing of fitness and business administration in 1979.
He was not fluent in English in 1968, it is now 2005. Next time come up with a better excuse.

Sen. Allard: Minuteman Should Be Deputies

Republican Senator Wayne Allard want to deputizing the Minuteman.
A Republican senator said Wednesday the government should consider deputizing private citizens, like the Minuteman Patrol in Arizona, to help secure U.S. borders.

Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., said the U.S. Border Patrol also should look to local law enforcement and state officials for help along the most porous parts of the U.S.-Mexico line.

"I wonder sometimes if maybe we're not looking too much to a federal solution," Allard told Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.

"I happen to believe that those people down along the border that formed the Minutemen organization have some real concerns," Allard said.
Great Senator, rather than training and hiring real boarder agents you want to deputize a bunch of armature cowboys. This is not the old wild wild west!

The Minuteman declare victory.
"Because of the phenomenal success of this grass-roots project in such a short time, the Minuteman Project has declared an unconditional victory in its efforts," he said in an open letter to supporters Wednesday. "We have simultaneously brought national awareness to our national security crisis, of which porous borders and illegal alien and drug traffic are components. The Minuteman Project will take the next few months to reorganize, expand, and to become larger, better, stronger."
The Minuteman want to become larger, better and stronger and a sitting U.S Senator want to make them federal agents. I am at a loss of words.

April 20, 2005

Kristen Breitweiser the Truth-Teller

Kristen Breitweiser was awarded The Ron Ridenhour Prize For Truth-Telling.
Kristen Breitweiser, 9/11 widow and activist, is being honored for her role in pressuring official Washington to provide a public accounting to the American people of what went wrong on the morning of September 11 and in the months leading up to the disaster that claimed the life of her husband and more than 3,000 others.

Breitweiser did not seek to be known as a truth-teller. She was a stay-at-home mom in suburban New Jersey and a George Bush supporter. Yet Breitweiser and the other so-called “Jersey Girls,” transformed by their grief and outraged by a lack of accountability, are widely credited with forcing the creation of the 9/11 Commission and were instrumental in insuring the passage in Congress of the national security reforms it recommended.

Breitweiser recalls the spirit of Ron Ridenhour, the citizen-activist who also went to the halls of power seeking justice and who would not be denied. We applaud Breitweiser for her courage, and we thank her for her tenacity and for what she has done to preserve and protect our democracy.
Kristen Breitweiser remarks on April 19 for the Ron Ridenhour award is a scathing indictment of Bush Administration.
In the past three years I have spent a lot of time talking about being a 9/11 widow and a victim's advocate for intelligence community reforms. I appeared frequently in the print and televised media discussing my transformation from a stay-at-home mom whose specialty it was to design children's gardens to a victim's rights advocate whose specialty has become national security. My transformation was urgent, drastic and not chosen by me. But, I no longer want to talk about my transformation. Instead, I want to talk about my country's post-9/11 transformation. A transformation unlike mine in that it was systematically and deliberately chosen.

Where are we today? Are the democratic principles that Osama Bin Laden tried to destroy on 9/11 still safely intact? Do nations around the world still respect and admire Americans? Are we still 'all Americans' like we were in the immediate wake of September 11th when almost every country in the world declared their solidarity with us? Or have we squandered that worldwide good will, faith and common purpose to fight terrorism? Have we learned any lessons since 9/11? And, most importantly, have our country's choices made us any safer than we were pre-9/11?
Lets remember President Bush and this Administration fought tooth and nail to stop the creation of the 9/11 Commission.
Recently, many people are wondering what the widows will be doing next. It is simple. We will continue to do what we do best. We will continue to ask questions and demand answers about our government's choices in the name of 'national security.' We will continue to work on issues that mean something to our children and to us. Issues that will make our future safer from terrorism like alternative energy resources, human rights abuses, congressional oversight and intelligence community reforms. We will continue to fight for the truth.

And, respectfully, our hope is that in future years this award might be rendered obsolete. Simply because there will be no need to bestow an award or any special status onto a truth-seeker because truth-seekers will have become our new norm."
I agree with Kristen Breitweiser, I hope in the future truth-seekers will become the norm. Instead of politicians seeking to stop the truth for political gain.

Go read the whole transcript of her remarks.

What does Red State Conservative Tom Delay Do For Entertainment?

Basketball, Football, NASCAR, Gun Range, Bar or beating up liberals.....

No, Tom Delay goes to Three Tenors concert. Tom Delay does not sit with the common people, the Red State Conservative sit in the skybox.

Lobbyist Gave DeLay a Skybox for Three Tenors

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay treated his political donors to a bird's-eye view of a Three Tenors concert from an arena skybox leased by a lobbyist now under criminal investigation.

DeLay's political action committee did not reimburse lobbyist Jack Abramoff for the May 2000 use of the skybox, instead treating it as a type of donation that didn't have to be disclosed to election regulators at the time.

The skybox donation, valued at thousands of dollars, came three weeks before DeLay also accepted a trip to Europe — including golf with Abramoff at the world-famous St. Andrews course — for himself, his wife and aides that was underwritten by some of the lobbyist's clients.
Does Tom Delay like the Three Tenors or will he do anything to get money from donors?

I think it is both! One more thing, House ethics rules require lawmakers to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest. Lucky Tom Delay change the ethics committee to benefit his un-ethical actions.

Politics in Illinois

Corruption -- a Proven Winner
On election night 2002, hundreds of Illinois Democrats--politicians, supporters and activists--crowded into the Finkl Steel plant on Chicago's near North Side. They munched Chicago-style dogs, pounded cans of Old Style beer and waited expectantly for confirmation of what everyone already suspected: Illinois Democrats had kicked ass. Rod Blagojevich (whose father had worked at Finkl Steel) had beaten Attorney General Jim Ryan to become the first Democratic governor in twenty-five years. Democrats swept the rest of the state's races, ending the night in control of both houses of the legislature and every statewide office but treasurer. At 11 pm Blagojevich took the stage to the sounds of his favorite musician, Elvis, and told the crowd he was "all shook up" and filled with "a whole bunch of hunka-hunka burnin' love for each one of you!" It was a corny line, but the crowd was too euphoric to notice.

I went home buzzing with excitement, having almost forgotten I'd neglected to check the returns from outside the state. It wasn't until I listened to a series of increasingly dejected messages from my brother that I realized what a disaster the night had been.

Such is the state of politics in Illinois: a bizarro-world inverse of the rest of the country, where Democrats dominate all branches of government, set the debate and drive policy, while Republicans are beset by nasty, public intramural squabbles between moderates and extremists and grasp for a coherent message. Election night 2004 looked a lot like the one we rang in at Finkl Steel: Barack Obama won his Senate seat by a forty-three-point margin over Alan Keyes, and newcomer Melissa Bean, a businesswoman from the suburbs of Chicago, defeated Phil Crane, the longest-serving Republican incumbent in the House. In the wake of the almost-too-awful-to-watch spectacle of Keyes's candidacy (whose intent, one Republican quipped to me, seemed to be to get the lowest percentage of the vote possible), the state GOP is practically on life support.

It wasn't always like this. For much of the twentieth century, Illinois was the quintessential swing state, the Ohio of its day. Its state government tilted toward moderate Republicans. It voted for the winner in the presidential election twenty-one of twenty-four times in the twentieth century through 1996, going for Reagan in 1980 and 1984, George Bush I in 1988 and Clinton in 1992 and 1996. The rock-ribbed Republican suburban "collar" counties around Chicago canceled out the heavily Democratic city, leaving the fate of statewide elections to the fiercely independent voters downstate. Now the state looks like a Democratic lock--Gore and Kerry both won it by double-digit margins--and in these dark days you've got to wonder, How did this happen? And are there any lessons to be gleaned for Democrats elsewhere
What can national Democratic Party learn from Illinois Democrats?
But it's still not enough. Congressional Democrats should take a page out of Gingrich's and Blagojevich's books and propose comprehensive ethics reform. They should talk about the "corrupt Republicans" and "restoring transparency and integrity" at every turn. They should use DeLay's mounting ignominy to tar fellow Republicans who benefit from his fundraising and clout. In short, they should make Republican scandal and Democratic reform one of the central narratives of their opposition over the next two years. "Newt Gingrich came to power because of an ethics scandal," says Obama's state political director, Dan Shomon. "Rod Blagojevich got elected partly because of scandal. You can defeat an incumbent if you can catch his or her hand in the cookie jar."
It is a great article by Christopher Hayes, go read it all.

Judge Order a Mexican Immigrant to Learned Enough English or Lose Her Child

Go read the Matthew Rothschild article at the The Progressive.
It was not your usual judge's order in a case about the potential termination of parental rights.

Last October, Judge Barry Tatum of Wilson County, Tennessee, gave a Mexican woman, who is accused of neglect, six months to learn English up to the fourth-grade level or else he would proceed with the trial that could force her to relinquish her 11-year-old daughter.

The six-month period is up on Monday, April 18, and the judge has set a hearing on Monday to determine whether the woman, who speaks Mixteco, has learned enough English.

"The court specially informs the mother that if she does not make the effort to learn English, she is running the risk of losing any connection--legally, morally, and physically--with her daughter forever," the judge wrote in his original order, according to news accounts. "If the mother is able to learn English, she will be able to speak with her daughter for the first time in a substantive manner and will show her that she loves her and is willing to do anything necessary to connect with her."
This is wrong!

Social Security Privatization Bamboozle Tour in South Carolina

President Bush in South Carolina during this “town hall” meetings.
I don't know if you've ever heard of Dutch Fork High School in Irmo. I met a very innovative teacher who assigned her students this assignment: Why don't you write letters to the editor about their impressions of Social Security? Here's what one of her students wrote: "By the time my generation gets to the age to draw Social Security, there will be no money left for us to draw on." This is a young high school student writing that. This isn't a professor in economics. This is a high school student. He said, "I don't know about other people, but I don't like the sound of that." People are beginning to get the message that there is a problem in Social Security.
Matthew Yglesias over at Tapped ....
This has got to be one of the most clever ways to get around the truth that I've ever heard. The President doesn't quite say that at some point in the future there will be no money left to draw on, but he sure as hell makes it sound like there won't be. Needless to say, as loyal readers know, it's not possible for Social Security to go "broke," "bust," "bankrupt," or otherwise "run out of money." It's structured as a pay-as-you-go system, and until the payroll tax is repealed money will keep coming in every year until the end of time.
President Bush is using a high school student homework paper to lie about Social Security, this man has no shame.

Genocide in Darfur: MTV v. The White House

Who have been more outspoken about genocide in Darfur? MTV or The White House.

..... No, It is not the White House!
Mr. Bush hasn't even taken a position on the Darfur Accountability Act and other bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Jon Corzine and Sam Brownback to put pressure on Sudan. Does Mr. Bush really want to preserve his neutrality on genocide?

Indeed, MTV is raising the issue more openly and powerfully than our White House. (Its mtvU channel is also covering Darfur more aggressively than most TV networks.) It should be a national embarrassment that MTV is more outspoken about genocide than our president.
Kristof of the New York Time is right, President Bush is an embarrassment.

(via Think Progress)

John McCain: Liberals Could Do Great Damage

Republican Senator John McCain on GOP nuclear option to end the filibuster of President Bush partisan, conservative judicial nominations.

"History shows that we won't always be in the majority. And if you had a liberal president and a Democrat-controlled Senate, I think that it could do great damage," Sen. John McCain said recently, explaining his opposition to a GOP proposal to curb minority party rights on judicial nominations.
Great Damage?

Iraq War, Terrorism on the raise, failure to capture Bin Laden, Higher prices of gas, housing, schooling, cost of living, heath care, raise of the American Taliban, attempt to wipe out the American safety net, homosexual as second class citizens, increase of nuclear nations.

I can go on and on, but I you get the point.

History will show that Conservative President and a Republican-controlled Congress, have done great damage to America.

A liberal President and a Democrat-controlled Congress will undo the great damage of Conservative governance lead by Bush, Cheney, Delay, Frist and you too, McCain.

Republican Controlled HSD Omits Right-Wing Threats

The Homeland Security Department is neglecting white supremacists, violent militiamen, anti-abortion bombers and other extremists to focus on environmental and animal rights groups who could potentially support al-Qaida as domestic terror threats.
WASHINGTON - The Homeland Security Department is focusing on possible terror threats from radical environmental and animal rights activists without also examining risks that might be posed by right-wing extremists, House Democrats said Tuesday.
A recent internal Homeland Security document lists the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front with a few Islamic groups that could potentially support al-Qaida as domestic terror threats.

The document does not address threats posed by white supremacists, violent militiamen, anti-abortion bombers and other extremists that Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., called "right-wing hate groups."
Bennie G. Thompson (D- MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
"As the Department of Homeland Security implements a plan to focus on risk as a means of allocating scarce anti- terrorism resources, it must consider the threat that right-wing domestic terrorists pose to critical infrastructure and America. It must re-define what it considers to be critical infrastructure by re-evaluating the risk that right-wing domestic terrorist's pose to schools, large churches, or other public places. Better coordination and sharing of information between the FBI and DHS may be necessary in order to evaluate these risks."
Congressman Bennie G. Thompson continues ...
A recent internal Homeland Security document lists the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front with a few Islamic groups that could potentially support al-Qaida as domestic terror threats.
ALF and ELF "are the left-leaning groups that they identified," said Thompson, the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee. "But they absolutely left out any of the other groups."

"If your responsibility is to protect the homeland from these domestic terrorists, then you have an obligation to identify all of them not just some o
Homeland Security spokesman Brian Roehrkasse ....
Homeland Security spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the internal document which was not meant for public distribution identifies only general categories of threats and vulnerabilities, and is not meant to be a comprehensive list.
"Other classified threat and vulnerability assessments that guide our day-to-day operations and planning are more specific and identify more detailed information," Roehrkasse said.
I agree with the Congressman the DHS need to evaluate all threats. Right wing hate groups should be at the top of the list, with extreme rhetoric coming from leading right wingers hate groups might take their lead and act on their rhetoric.

April 19, 2005

Joseph Ratzinger is the new Pope, Benedict XVI

German Cardinal Ratzinger Elected: Pope Benedict XVI
Rome -- German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's chief enforcer of doctrinal orthodoxy, was elected as the new Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church today and took the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Ratzinger, 78, parted the red velvet curtains draped over the center balcony of St. Peter's Basilica barely less than an hour after his election by the College of Cardinals and was greeted by a roar of approval from more that 100,000 people packed into St. Peter's Square and spilling into the streets of Rome.

He waved to the crowd and gave his first blessing. Other cardinals clad in their crimson robes came out on other balconies to watch him.

"Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me -— a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord," he said after being introduced by Chilean Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estivez.

"The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers," the new pope said. "I entrust myself to your prayers."

The crowd responded to the 265th pope by chanting "Benedict! Benedict!"
I am a Catholic, I welcome the new Pope with open arms and my prays are with him. I disagree with some of the church teachings, but I know one thing about the new Pope.

He was not a Nazi.
When Ratzinger turned 14 in 1941, was forced to join the Hitler Youth, as all young men were required to do throughout World War II. According to biographer John Allen, Ratzinger was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend any meetings.
Mandatory Participation
On December 1, 1936, Hitler decreed "The Law concerning the Hitler Youth" which mandated that all young Germans (excluding Jews) would "be educated physically, intellectually and morally in the spirit of National Socialism" though the Hitler Youth from the age of ten onward. This law also effectively ended the Catholic Youth Organization which had managed to hold for three years amid continual Nazi harrassment.

Parents who prevented their children from joining the Hitler Youth were subject to heavy prison sentences. Membership thus grew to nearly six million. As a result, the organization sprouted into a giant bureaucracy in Berlin and began to acquire the dreariness of a big governmental institution in marked contrast to the dynamic organization it had been in the 1920s and early '30s when members battled daily to bring Hitler to power. The compulsory nature of weekly HJ meetings for everyone led to a gradual decline in morale and discipline.
Let me remind people, the Catholic Church is not a member of American Right or Left. Even if some people claim otherwise. The Catholic Church is not a political party and should never become one.

High School Students: T-shirts, Homosexuals & Christians

Students at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Illinois are trying to promote acceptance of homosexual students with t-shirts which say, gay? fine by me.
Jamison Liang came out to his family members one at a time. A Homewood-Flossmoor High School senior, varsity tennis player and the youngest of four children, he told them each he has known he was gay "forever."

On Tuesday Liang comes out to a much wider audience: the Homewood-Flossmoor community. As part of a daylong awareness campaign, he and as many as 225 other students could wear T-shirts to school that say: "gay? fine by me."

"I feel like I'm ready for it," said Liang, who will enter Washington University in St. Louis this fall. "I mean, I'm confident in who I am. There's no sense in hiding it."
Students sold 225 shirts in the cafeteria during one week in March.

Other Students will counter the gay acceptance t-shirts with their own t-shirts which say, Crimes Against God.
Family Harvest youth minister Jacques Jacobs shows off a shirt he says he's given away to more than 200 area students. It says “Crimes Against God” on the front, and on the back it highlights discrimination against the ten commandments, prayers, values, faith and God.

Jacobs says his churches shirt is not a response to the other shirt and it makes no mention of homosexuality for a reason.

“We don't believe the schools should be a conduit for someone’s sexual preference,” he says.

But the Illinois Family Institute tackled the shirt controversy head-on on its website, citing Homewood-Flossmoor and saying “it's that time of year again, time for a tiny minority of activist students to use our schools to promote sexual lifestyles that are wrong and destructive.
Jacques Jacobs claims Christian students rights have been taking away from them.

Jacques Jacobs, a youth minister at Family Harvest Church, said his church is "not fighting anybody, we are only standing up for the rights of the Christian student." [...]

"I do know that Christian students, their right to pray has been taken from them," Jacobs said. "Their right to believe in their values has become an offense to many people. The Bible has become an offense."

Students who are organize the campaign affirm they are not promoting homosexual lifestyle but rather they goal is tolerance and acceptance of gay students.
The wording on the T-Shirts sold at Homewood-Flossmoor High School say, "Gay? Fine By Me." Senior Alissa Norby helped organize the campaign, and helped to sell more than 200 T-shirts at the school.

"Basically we're using it to promote tolerance and acceptance and safety at our school," she said.

Norby, along with two other students, made school posters promoting the campaign, NBC5's Meredith Welsch said on Monday. The goal is for students to wear them during class on Tuesday.

"We're not promoting gays or anything," said senior Jamison Liang. "It's just tolerance, like acceptance, just so everyone -- it's a public school, everyone is supposed to feel safe there."

"Even just making homosexuals feel comfortable in our school," said another senior, Myca Held. "Like they could sit down on this one day and, say, 'Wow, a lot of my peers support me.'
For some reason Jacques Jacobs, a Christian youth counselor, thinks his God does not support tolerance and acceptance.
On the back, it lists the crimes which is discrimination against my Ten Commandments, my prayers, my values, my faith and my God," said Jacques Jacobs, a Christian youth counselor.
As Christian, Catholic I disagree with some of the church teachings on Homosexuality. But, I did learn many things during my time in Catholic Sunday school, one of them is that God is not your God it is our God our Lord. The God I pray to is a God of acceptance.

April 17, 2005

Tom Delay The Armed Leader of the American Taliban

Tom DeLay at NRA convention

When a man is in trouble or in a good fight, you want to have your friends around, preferably armed. So I feel really good.

Tom Delay supports are armed and ready to follow this lead. These people are scary.

Joe Scarborough: Terrorism Assist President Bush!

Joe Scarborough
Who is running the terrorist's public relations campaign these days?

Kidnappings, beheadings, car bombings are nothing more than sound and fury signifying nothing.

What do these terrorists take Bush for? An Italian PM?

He will not be blackmailed. He will not give in. In fact, he will only be helped by further terror attacks and civilian murders.

With every new terror strike, George W. Bush only grows stronger.
Who are the enemies of President Bush?
His enemies are vanquished. Michael Moore and the New York Times editorial page are historically irrelevant. The Democratic Party is in disarray. George Soros is busy planning ways to waste millions of his fortune on Hillary's 2008 loss.
For Republicans terrorism only helps the Conservatives agenda. The Republican Party does not want to end Terrorism, and defeat terrorist they only want to increase their majorities in Congress, Courts, and hold on to power. They want to create a Tailban of American.

While the real enemies of America run free, the Republican Party want to destroy American, Democratic Party, liberals, media, independent courts, and Bill of Rights. They will demolish anything in their way to have complete power. These people are truly un-American.

Republicans Already Rule Most Federal Courts

94 of the 162 active judges now on the U.S. Court of Appeals were chosen by Republican presidents.

Nixon: 1
Ford: 1
Reagan: 29
G.H.W. Bush: 29
G.W. Bush: 34

= 94 GOP appointed judges. 10 of the 13 circuit courts have Republican majorities.

Now, Conservatives have a dilemma with the courts.

For Republicans, that has become especially clear as the party has moved further to the right, in some cases leaving "conservative" judges looking "moderate."
Conservatives push the Republican party to the extreme right which is now the mainstream of the party. Previous Republican conservative judges now seem down right "moderate" and in some cases out right "liberal".

Though it remains a staple of conservative rhetoric that the courts are "out of control" and driven by "liberal activists," the GOP's control of the White House for 24 of the last 36 years has given Republicans -- if not conservatives -- a firm grip on the federal judiciary.
Now, Conservatives do not only want to appoint conservative judges, but partisan, loyal to the Christian Right and to their big money donors.

That's why last year's Republican Party platform took aim at the GOP-dominated federal courts and pledged to "stop activist judges from banning the Pledge of Allegiance and the Ten Commandments."

The fight may have more to do with the kind of Republican who joins the courts, in particular the Supreme Court. While Democrats are determined to block judicial nominees they see as conservative ideologues, the Republican leadership pushes for right-leaning judges.
Judge Anthony M. Kennedy of U.S. Supreme Court is not their kind of judge.

The importance of what brand of Republican joins the court was driven home in 1987, when Reagan chose the conservative Judge Robert Bork. Senate Democrats defeated Bork, and Reagan chose instead Judge Anthony M. Kennedy of Sacramento, a Republican with a reputation as a moderate conservative. He won a unanimous confirmation by the Senate.
The switch proved momentous.

In 1989, Kennedy cast the fifth vote to rule that burning an American flag was protected as an act of free speech. In 1992, Kennedy and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Reagan's first appointee, cast the deciding votes to uphold the right to abortion and to prohibit public schools from sponsoring prayers, even during ceremonies such as graduation. O'Connor cast the deciding vote to uphold college affirmative action two years ago, and Kennedy cast the key vote last month to strike down the death penalty for juvenile murderers.

Bork, now retired, has said he would have voted the other way on all those issues and given the conservative dissenters the majority.
One of the goal of the conservatives attempt to end the filibuster of judges in the Senate is ...

However, if the Republicans win a change in the filibuster rule, Bush could look forward to easy confirmation for his Supreme Court nominees.

Despite some of their rhetoric, Congressional Republicans have acknowledged by their actions that the federal courts are not wildly liberal.
If conservatives end the filibuster rule for judicial nominees, President Bush can appoint right kind of judges the Christian right wants with out any debate, with out Democrats having a voice in the discussion of the next Supreme Court judge.

April 16, 2005

California Democrats Slam Schwarzenegger

This weekend the California Democratic Party is holding their annual convention, Democratic Speaker at a convention of state Democrats are slamming Republican Governor Schwarzenegger.
The governor has declared war on the state of California," Assemblywoman Judy Chu said. "He declared war on us and I declare war on him."
Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Voters gave Arnold Schwarzenegger a chance when he became governor - they gave him high ratings and listened to what he had to say," said U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "Now they see that what they thought they were getting is something quite different."California State Treasurer
Phil Angelides, Democratic candidate for Governor
We're right and he's just far-right," said state Treasurer Phil Angelides, who has declared his candidacy for governor and has been one of the Republican's most persistent critics.
Phil Angelides advises Democrats should not back down from a popular politician.

"It's wrong for Democrats to go along for the sake of getting along," Angelides said at a budget "town hall meeting" as Westly sat listening nearby. "It is wrong for us to wring our hands and say, 'hey, the governor's popular, he's a big celebrity, maybe we're the ones who ought to change our ways.'"
Go read all the broken promises of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's sagging poll numbers and recent political stumbles, California Democrats are ready to take on the movie star.