June 30, 2005

An Other Casualty of War, Marriages

Divorce rate doubles for Army couples.
While U.S. casualties steadily mount in Iraq, another toll is rising rapidly on the home front: The Army's divorce rate has soared in the past three years, most notably for officers, as longer and more frequent war zone deployments place extra strain on couples.

''We've seen nothing like this before,'' said Col. Glen Bloomstrom, a chaplain who oversees family-support programs. ''It indicates the amount of stress on couples, on families, as the Army conducts the global war on terrorism.''

Between 2001 and 2004, divorces among active-duty Army officers and enlisted personnel nearly doubled, from 5,658 to 10,477, even though total troop strength remained stable. In 2002, the divorce rate among married officers was 1.9 percent -- 1,060 divorces out of 54,542 marriages; by 2004, the rate had tripled to 6 percent, with 3,325 divorces out of 55,550 marriages.
Who are the family value conservatives going to blame for the high divorces rate among army couples?

Homosexuals, Liberals, Saddam, Bin Laden, Judges, 9/11, devil, Democrats, or the failed policies of President Bush which lead higher stress levels among military families.

June 29, 2005

Tom Delay, Pay Raise & Purchasing Power

Tom Delay ...
"It's not a pay raise," said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. "It's an adjustment so that they're not losing their purchasing power."
Who are ‘they’ in the above quote by Tom Delay?
The House on Tuesday agreed to a $3,100 pay raise for Congress next year — to $165,200 — after defeating an effort to roll it back.
Is Tom Delay becoming a populists? He does not want this colleague in congress to lose any purchasing power. What about minimum wage adjustment for working Americans?
“The legislation that Senator Kennedy introduced in the Senate and that I introduced in the House doesn’t go as far as I would like, but it is a critical first step towards restoring the purchasing power of the minimum wage, which is now nearing a 50-year low. The minimum wage hasn’t been raised in seven long years, the second longest period of Congressional inaction in the history of the minimum wage.
The purchasing power of minimum wage is now nearing a 50-year low, so using Tom Delay rational for supporting congressional pay raise he must now support minimum wage adjustment, right?

(Hat tip to Sirotablog)

Headline: Big contributors to GOP reap big post-election rewards

Big contributors to GOP reap big post-election rewards
Just six months into a new term for President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress, some of their heaviest donors are scoring victories on the legislative and regulatory fronts.

From rewrites of the laws governing bankruptcy and class-action lawsuits to relief for oil, timber and tobacco interests, GOP supporters who gave millions of dollars last year are reaping decisions worth billions from a Congress with more Republicans.

"Clearly, the election outcome has helped," says Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "We are heading in the right direction. A lot more has been done by this time in a new session than usual."
What a shock? Who knew the GOP will reward there big money donors?
The finance sector gave nearly $195 million to the GOP in the 2004 elections. And 105 of Bush's 548 elite fundraisers - those who raised $100,000 or more - were from the world of finance, making it his biggest base of top-dollar support, at $34 million.

"Many of the traditional business supporters are really getting the agenda they wanted, and it seems to be speeding up," says Larry Noble, director of the Center for Responsive Politics, which studies the impact of money on politics.
Who the next to get their agenda pass in the GOP congress?
The Senate overwhelmingly approved a new national energy policy Tuesday that would provide more than $18 billion in tax breaks to spur more efficient use of resources, greater development of nuclear energy and increased reliance on renewable fuels such as ethanol.

The Senate measure, adopted by a bipartisan 85-12 vote, would offer no immediate reduction in gasoline prices at the pump. But some of its tax breaks are aimed at increasing domestic oil production.
Energy and natural resources interests gave $39.3 million to the GOP last year, three times the amount given to Democrats.

In other news, the sky is still blue, 2 + 2 = 4 and some Democrats still vote against working families to support GOP backed bills to repay GOP donors.

June 27, 2005

IL GOP takes aim at Gov. Blagojevich

DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett of Wheaton ...
"He doesn’t know how to lead — he’s never learned it," noted long-time DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett of Wheaton, a potential gubernatorial candidate and a speaker Saturday evening at the annual Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner of the Grundy County GOP Central Committee.

"He was not a distinguished state representative, he did nothing of distinction in congress, and he was a ghost payroller when he worked for the state’s attorney’s office in Cook County. That’s what our governor is. No wonder our state is in such abysmal shape, with a man like that at the helm.” [...]

"We’ve got to light the fire of reform in this state — that we are not going to tolerate the climate or corruption that exists in Springfield and Chicago. Rod Blagojevich has broken every single promise he made to the voters in Illinois," Birkett said.

"He promised to change the way we do business in Springfield — the way we operate government. Well, he hasn’t ended it. It’s business ad nauseum as usual on steroids. He’s outpaced the former governor (George Ryan, GOP, Kankakee) by a margin of more than 3-1 in his ability to raise money from contracts and contributions. That’s intolerable." [..]

"We don’t have a revenue problem in this state — we have a spending problem. We need a governor who knows how to lead."
Bloomington-area state Sen. Bill Brady ....
"Last year, when we had to seek a candidate from outside the state to fill a vacancy ... I decided to position myself so that we didn't have the same problem putting forward our best candidate for defeating Rod Blagojevich," he said. "I believe that I am that candidate." [..]

"The pay-to-play politics of this administration are second to none in the nation," he said. [...]

"We need to rein in state spending, promote the economy so there will be more revenues without a tax increase, and promote revenues through growth so we can fund our schools," he said.
Ron Gidwitz ...
“We don’t have adult leadership in the governor’s mansion. We can hardly get that man to go to Springfield to take care of the peoples’ business,” Gidwitz said.

Gidwitz echoed Birkett in saying Blagojevich has no interest in making Illinois a job-friendly state.

"I love this state, and I’m fed up with what the governor is doing to it. He’s a career politician who makes decisions according to his career, not the families and children of Illinois," Gidwitz noted.

He said the state needs a leader with vision, and not one beholden to special interests and political insiders.

"A leader who will clean up the mess Gov. Blagojevich has made, and that’s precisely why I’m here today," Gidwitz said. "He’s wasting our tax dollars, raiding our pension funds, bankrupting Illinois, and he’s using the system where political insiders win and we all lose.

“It’s time for adult leadership in our governor’s mansion in Springfield."
The basic IL GOP line of attack against Gov. Blagojevich is ‘pay-to-play politics’, failure of ‘leadership’ and the standard tax spend liberal . All the candidates will use the same line of attack against the Governor leading up to the general election in 2006.

Headlines like this does not help Gov. Blagojevich refuting the ‘pay-to-play‘ attacks, Did gov's donor clean up in deals? or AP: Blagojevich Contributor Gets Contracts.

This might be a blue state, but this is still going to be a tight race for governorship of Illinois. Democrat Rod Blagojevich need to shape up for this race of this life now or it is going to be too late. Rod Blagojevich used corruption, pay-to-play criticism of the GOP to win the governorship and the GOP might use the same criticism to defeat the Governor. Oh the irony!

Bill Daley: It's time for the Democrats to embrace CAFTA

William M. Daley the Midwest chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co comes out in favor of CAFTA in Sunday editorial in the Chicago Tribune.
I encourage my fellow Democrats--as hard as it may be--to support CAFTA, while at the same time holding President Bush and congressional leaders accountable to deal with the impact of this agreement realistically and without resorting to political games. And I ask both parties to take a leadership role in making America competitive for the next generation.
Who is William M. Daley? The brother of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, former Secretary of Commerce under President Clinton and chairman of former Vice President Al Gore Presidential campaign, who was in charge of choosing the vice presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket.

Should we take William Daley seriously in this call for Democrats to embrace CAFTA?
Most Republicans and the business community extol the virtues of trade, depicting it as an engine of economic progress, while most Democrats and unions attack the exportation of American jobs, claiming that trade agreements are destroying our economy.

Washington is gearing up for another fight about global trade and it's looking like a movie we've seen before. Every trade agreement has triggered the same debate, yet all of them eventually passed. This time, however, the outcome could be different. Democrats are more united in opposition, and Republicans more divided, than ever before. The business community, seeing little in the way of serious economic benefit, is not pressing for approval of the Central America Free Trade Agreement the way it has done for previous agreements.

CAFTA's failure would be a tragic result. But it would largely be a product of the poison--and the paralysis--that infects our national politics today.
No. If he wanted to be taking seriously, he should have not started off this editorial by repeating a typical GOP talking point, which I pointed out in the bold quote above.

Next, William M. Daley should not give President Bush bipartisanship cover on any issue.
One glimmer of bipartisanship Thursday came and went with little notice in the midafternoon, when Bush spoke at a gathering at the White House complex to promote the Central American Free Trade Agreement, a pact that is facing uncertain prospects in Congress.

Among those in the audience was William M. Daley, who was Commerce secretary under President Clinton and served as chairman of Democrat Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.
Nice, First this brother undercuts the senior senator in this home state, then you undercut Democrats again with your bipartisan support of CAFTA.

Well, William M. Delay you might want to run in a for Governor in Democratic primary in Illinois, but by the actions of you and your brother, you might want to reconsider. It is time for the Delays to leave political offices.

June 26, 2005

Obama on Bush Anti-Intellectualism

Senator Barack Obama on glorification of anti-intellectualism.
"Our kids aren't just seeing these temptations at home, they're seeing them everywhere. Whether it's their friend's house or the people they see on television or a general culture that glorifies anti-intellectualism, so that we have a president that brags about getting Cs. It trickles down, that attitude," Obama said.
One of the leaders of glorification of anti-intellectualism is our dear President.
Now, Mark McClellan, he's -- you got to have a smart guy around you all the time, and he happens to be one. He's a PhD -- yes, he's got a PhD and a medical degree. Now, for those of you who are interested to know how government works, I want you to pay attention to this. See, he's got the PhD and the medical degree, and I'm the C student. (Laughter.) Notice who's the advisor and who's the President. (Laughter.
Well, President Bush. Not, all of us had rich Senator as a Grandfather and Father who would become President growing up. Not, all of us had this father rich friends set up business after business for us. Not, all of us had the ability to drink and wastes most of our adult life without any consequences. It is fine for you to show no interest in education and intellectualism in order to succeed.

People like Senator Obama use this education and this intellectualism to pull himself up by this boot straps. As you glorify your anti-intellectualism in order to pander to like minded people, you are doing a disservices to children who only hope to pull themselves up is education and their intellectualism.

June 25, 2005

The Next Step on Anti-Lynching Bill

The next step on the anti-lynching resolution should be more than words, it should be back up by action in the Congress.

Talent wants federal unit to focus on civil rights killings
U.S. Sen. Jim Talent is calling for the creation of a Justice Department unit focused on unsolved civil rights era killings. [..]

Talent says both witnesses and suspects in such cases are aging. As they die, they take with them the last chance for justice.

"This would guarantee the attention necessary in these cold cases to learn the truth while the witnesses and the perpetrators are still around," Talent said. "And we would prosecute when possible."

Under Talent's plan, the Justice Department would coordinate with local and state authorities on old civil rights cases; an annual report to Congress would be made on the progress of investigations.

Talent hopes to introduce legislation creating the unit before the July 4 congressional recess.

"This isn't symbolic," Talent said. "This is the government trying to perform its law enforcement function."
I am leery about the motives behind Senator Talent call for a Justice Department unit focused on unsolved civil rights era killings, but Democrats in Congress should proposal something similar or support Senator Talent legislation.

This will put more heat on Senators who still can not support anti-lynching resolution. The Congress should be on the record if they support finding criminals and racist who committed terrorist acts against the American people.

Conservatives vs. ‘Real’ Conservatives

I received this comment on my blog on a diary I wrote called, None Dare Call It Treason.

I wrote ...

At the time, I never knew how despicable the Conservative movement was. I never image the depth of their corruptness, lack of ethic, morals and their utter disgust of Americans and their liberal principles.

Mr. Bugliosi ask the question, can we be serene about continuing to place the adjective "great" before the name of this country? Thanks to the American Conservatives and the Bush Presidency, America can no longer be called great.

Then, mississippi scott left a comment ...
I agree that these people have damaged our country in ways we haven't even seen yet -

but to call them conservatives, I think, is inaccurate. Real conservatives are as disgusted by this crap as we are (though for different reasons).
Mississippi Scott use the word we in this comment, so I am making the assumption we are both liberals. I use the term conservative in the diary due to the fact, Karl Rove use word conservative to describe himself and this supporters in this latest attack on Liberals. Mississippi Scott thinks called them conservatives is inaccurate and ‘real’ conservative are disgusted by this crap.

I hear this logical on the right and few people on the left, that ‘real’ conservatives are disgusted by President Bush and the modern GOP. Who are these ‘real’ conservatives? Is it John McCain or Pat Buchanan? Both of them are conservatives, but are they real conservatives?

I disagree with Mississippi Scott, I use the term conservative accurately in my diary. The face of American conservatism is the face of Karl Rove, President Bush and the rest of GOP leadership in Congress, Media and Christian right.

The logic of ’real’ conservatives versus conservatives is flawed in political terms. All of the Leadership of GOP is conservative and should be hold accountable for their failures. If you call yourself a ‘real’ conservative and you are disgust at the GOP, then stop calling yourself conservative.

June 23, 2005

None Dare Call It Treason

None Dare Call It Treason
That an election for an American President can be stolen by the highest court in the land under the deliberate pretext of an inapplicable constitutional provision has got to be one of the most frightening and dangerous events ever to have occurred in this country. Until this act--which is treasonous, though again not technically, in its sweeping implications--is somehow rectified (and I do not know how this can be done), can we be serene about continuing to place the adjective "great" before the name of this country?
This article by Vincent Bugliosi in the Nation was on posted January 18, 2001. The editorial goes in-depth about December 12, 2000 ruling by the US Supreme Court handing the election to George Bush. At the time, I never knew how despicable the Conservative movement was. I never image the depth of their corruptness, lack of ethic, morals and their utter disgust of Americans and their liberal principles.

Thanks to the American Conservatives and the Bush Presidency, America can no longer be called great. I find my self repeating the words of Langston Hughes.

Let America Be America Again

Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.") ...

It will be a long and hard road to repair the damage done by American conservatives on American, but I am determined to return American to it greatness. Let America Be America Again.

Bernie Sanders Makes The Run Of His Life.

Mother Jones give us a brief history of Rep. Bernie Sanders as he prepares to run for the Vermont Senate seat that will be vacated by Independent Sen. Jim Jeffords in 2006. Michael Scherer of Mother Jones calls Bernie Sanders a man apart.
Only one Congressman hangs an engraved portrait of Eugene Debs, the Socialist Party's candidate for president in 1920, at the entrance to his Capitol Hill office. And no other House member can boast of performing in Brechtian puppet pageants with a Marxist acting troop in his native Northeast Kingdom. But then Rep. Bernie Sanders has always been a man apart.
Michael Scherer assert in this profile of Bernie Sander that the Congressman entire career has been leading to this race for Vermont Senate seat.
In many ways, Sanders' entire career has been leading to this race. He first entered politics three decades ago on a fluke run for the same Senate seat he now seeks. In 1971, he had followed a friend to the meeting of the Liberty Union Party, a liberal, anti-war group, in Plainfield, Vermont. "When I arrived, I soon discovered that the purpose of this meeting was to nominate candidates for the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives," he wrote in his memoir, Outsider in the House. The son of a paint seller from Brooklyn, he had graduated seven years earlier from the University of Chicago, where, a poor student by his own admission, he'd spent much of his time as an activist for peace, racial equality and proliferation of nuclear weapons. By the time he left the meeting in Plainfield, he had accepted the nomination for his first political race. Several months later he would win 2 percent of the statewide vote.
It took three more state races as a Liberty Union candidate, before Sanders entered the first political contest he actually had a chance to win. By a margin of 10 votes he defeated the Democratic incumbent to become mayor of Burlington in 1981. The national media cheered him as a curiosity -- he didn't even own a suit at the time -- as the "socialist mayor" in the "People's Republic of Burlington." Doonesbury ran a cartoon to commemorate the victory.
Rep. Bernie Sanders is going to run on same liberal themes that have carried him through eight statewide election victories civil liberties, environmental stewardship, economic justice, and media reform.

Go read the whole Mother Jones profile of Rep. Bernie Sanders.

If you have some time check out Bernie Sanders post over TPMCafe..

Watch What They Do, Not What They Say

The Right's Consolidation of the Media

The Decline of the American Middle Class is THE Issue

I am a progressive because that is what I believe at my core. It is not some position of convenience to be shed the next time some Washington wonk decides it's more advantageous to be a centrist. And in my experience, voters are much more sophisticated in being able to spot insincerity than those inside the Beltway give them credit for. When American people believe someone is truly fighting for them and their families, they respond.
The Fight to Preserve American Democracy

June 22, 2005

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn,"

.....named No. 1 movie quote .
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Neither the Godfather nor 007 can top Rhett Butler when it comes to being the most quotable character in the movies.

Results were released on Tuesday in a television show that aired on the CBS network.

"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse" from 1972's "The Godfather" was No. 2, and Marlon Brando, who spoke those words, also claimed No. 3 with his line from 1954's "On the Waterfront:" "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody instead of a bum, which is what I am."

The American Film Institute, a top U.S. film education group, annually conducts a poll of favorite movie moments, genres and characters. This year, AFI asked some 1,500 creative industry professionals for their favorite quote.
How can "Say `hello' to my little friend!", "Scarface," be number 61 on their list? It is one of my top 5.

Sen. Barack Obama on Fatherhood

Sen. Barack Obama in a Father's Day sermon Sunday at a South Side church in Chicago, Illinois urged fathers begin acting like 'full-grown' men.
was reflecting in Scripture in preparation for this discussion. I came upon 1st Corinthians, Chapter 13: Verse 11, ... "When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things."
It raises for me the issue of what does it mean to be a full-grown man. Because there are a lot of folks, a lot of brothers, who are walking around and they look like men. ... They've got whiskers, they might even have sired a child, but it's not clear to me that they are full-grown men. What I mean by that is one of the difficulties that African-American men in particular face is that many of us grew up without fathers.
Sen. Barack Obama appealed to fathers in the black community in this sermon, but this plea to fathers is truly color blind.
The essence of Obama's speech appears on the Commentary page of today's Tribune. Yes, as you'll read, the father of two daughters tailored his words to his audience: "[O]ne of the difficulties that African-American men in particular face is that many of us grew up without fathers."
But if you're a father who is not black, read Obama's sermon and ask yourself: What part of this is not for me?

Is that the passage in which he speaks of fathers who are present in the home, but are so distant, so preoccupied, that it's difficult for their children to know or understand them?

The passage in which he declares that parents should view graduation from 8th grade not as an end to be celebrated as a triumph, but as one step on the road to graduate school?

The passage in which he urges that fathers weigh their choices in life, and their behavior, against the simplest of tests: How does this affect other people?

Obama's tone Sunday was respectful, his words colorblind. It will be difficult for anyone to read those words and lump him with comedian Bill Cosby, whose scathing criticism of poor black parents--"I can't even talk the way these people talk: `Why you ain't, Where you is'"--has provoked charges that Cosby cruelly stereotypes those whose children he aspires to rescue.
Sen. Barack Obama continued in this Father's Day sermon to redefined values in liberal terms.
I know that our schools don't have all of the equipment. ... I understand that the school-financing system in the state is screwed up. ... I understand that our teachers need more money. And I understand that we need more computers and equipment. I understand all those things, but let me say this: That is no excuse.
We have to get beyond making excuses if we are going to be full-grown.... To be full-grown, you have to live out your values, and teach your children to live out your values, not just give them lip service to your values. You can tell what's important to somebody, not by what they say, but by what they do. Where they put their bite, where they put their energy, where they put their time....

One of the values that I think men in particular have to pass on is the value of empathy. Not sympathy, empathy. And what that means is standing in somebody else's shoes, being able to look through their eyes. You know, sometimes we get so caught up in "us" that it's hard to see that there are other people and that your behavior has an impact on them. And sometimes brothers in particular don't like to feel empathy, don't like to think in terms of "How does this affect other people?" because we think that's being soft. There's a culture in our society that says we can't show weakness and we can't, therefore, show kindness. That we can't be considerate because sometimes that makes us look weak. That sometimes we can't listen to what our women say because we don't want to act like they're in charge.

And our young boys see that. They see when you are ignoring your wife. They see when you are inconsiderate at home. They see when you are thinking only about yourself. And so we've got to learn to pass on the value of kindness.
Go read the whole Father's Day sermon.

Go read the Chicago Tribune editorial on Sen. Obama Father's Day sermon.

The Senator in this sermon does not lay out government programs in order to achieve better father, rather he urges father to reconnected with values and put away childish things to become a man for the improvement of their children. The Senator emphasis the value of kindness, better treatment of women, and empathy rather than the value of acting 'tough' to show off your manhood.

If you have the time, please also read Sen. Barack Obama commencement address delivered at Knox College on June 4. David Kusnet in the New Republic calls it the best case for liberal politics in recent memory.
Like so much of the American story, once again, we face a choice. Once again, there are those who believe that there isn't much we can do about this as a nation. That the best idea is to give everyone one big refund on their government--divvy it up by individual portions, in the form of tax breaks, hand it out, and encourage everyone to use their share to go buy their own health care, their own retirement plan, their own child care, their own education, and so on.
In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society. But in our past there has been another term for it--Social Darwinism--every man or woman for him or herself. It's a tempting idea, because it doesn't require much thought or ingenuity. It allows us to say that those whose health care or tuition may rise faster than they can afford--tough luck. It allows us to say to the Maytag workers who have lost their job--life isn't fair. It let's us say to the child who was born into poverty--pull yourself up by your bootstraps. And it is especially tempting because each of us believes we will always be the winner in life's lottery, that we're the one who will be the next Donald Trump, or at least we won't be the chump who Donald Trump says: "You're fired!"

But there is a problem. It won't work. It ignores our history. It ignores the fact that it's been government research and investment that made the railways possible and the internet possible. It's been the creation of a massive middle class, through decent wages and benefits and public schools that allowed us all to prosper. Our economic dependence depended on individual initiative. It depended on a belief in the free market; but it has also depended on our sense of mutual regard for each other, the idea that everybody has a stake in the country, that we're all in it together and everybody's got a shot at opportunity. That's what's produced our unrivaled political stability.
Sen. Obama is becoming the best speaker and advocate for liberalism in American.

We've had it.

Paul Waldman over at the Gadflyer is just disgusted with his capitulation of Sen. Durbin.  He has decided to write a statement that Democrats with spine might consider signing on to.
We've had it. We've had it with the attacks on our patriotism and the charge that we don't "support the troops" because we are, as a rule, reluctant about sending them off to be killed and wounded for dubious reasons. We've had it with being called unpatriotic by chickenhawks who would never dream of encouraging their own kids to sign up for the military or signing up themselves, but are all too happy to send other people's kids off to die.

We've had it with being told that if you think torture is a betrayal of American values, you don't support the troops. We've had it with being told that unless you think the unadulterated clusterfuck that is Iraq is really just a land of butterflies and puppy dogs, then you don't support the troops who are there fighting and dying every day. We've had it with being told that if you use soldiers as props for your photo-ops when your approval ratings dip then you support the troops, but if you mourn those soldiers' deaths then you don't.

We've had it with being told that if you think America is supposed to stand for something more meaningful than just kicking ass, you don't really love your country. We've had it with having every policy criticism we make responded to with an attack on our motives. We have goddamn had it.

But we've also learned that just protesting these vicious, cowardly attacks doesn't work. So here's what we're going to do.

We are delivering the Grand Old Party and its supporters an ultimatum. Henceforth, when you accuse us of hating the military or hating our troops or hating America, we will not bow down and beg for forgiveness. We will stand up and hit back.

From this point forward, until you cease and desist this kind of attack, Democrats will start acting like Republicans. In every debate about national security, we will accuse Republicans in general and individual Republicans of hating our troops, hating America, and secretly sympathizing with terrorists. We won't imply it, we'll say it.

For instance: to this day, there are still American service members driving around Iraq without sufficient armor on their vehicles. As a result of the negligence of the Bush White House, the Pentagon, and the Republican Congress on this issue, dozens, maybe hundreds of American soldiers have died. So Democrats will now start asking, why do Republicans hate our troops so much that they'll let them die this way? Why can't Republicans support our troops?

Why do Republicans hate America so much they'll let us join the list of countries that torture people under their control? Only someone who hates America could do that.

Why does this administration keep giving Al Qaeda new recruiting tools? Are they pro-terrorist?

Why do this administration's supporters keep advocating policies that make America hated around the world? Do they hate America so much they want everyone else to hate it, too?

Why haven't the administration's supporters been screaming bloody murder about the fact that Porter Goss says he knows where Osama bin Laden is, but he hasn't gone to get him? Why don't they want bin Laden captured? Are they hoping he'll organize another attack on America?
I, for one am a Democrat with a spine and I fully support the rhetoric of Paul Waldman. It is time to punch back at the Conservative movement.

President Harry S. Truman once said, Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive. And don't ever apologize for anything.

Democrats should never apologize for anything the right wing ask for, hit them hard and give them hell.

June 21, 2005

The Progressive Promise

Congressional Progressive Caucus is going to unveil a set of goals to focus broadly on fostering economic justice, protecting and preserving civil liberties, promoting global security, universal healthcare, a balanced-budget amendment and the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Progressives to unveil 'core principles'
A group of House Democrats will unveil a set of goals dubbed "The Progressive Promise" next week in an effort to put liberal priorities higher on the Democratic agenda and offer an alternative to conservatives' vision of an "ownership society."
The announcement by the 57-member Congressional Progressive Caucus will join a cacophony of voices in the Democratic Party that have been pitching new ideas and approaches in the wake of losses at the polls in November.

It will also direct attention to the liberal members of the House, some of whom have felt sidelined as more centrist Democrats have chosen to side with Republican leadership on several issues.
In the Hill article notes there is tensions between so called 'Centrist' and liberal factions among House Democrats.
Tensions between centrist and liberal factions among House Democrats came to a head in April during a whip meeting in which progressives voiced their displeasure that centrists had worked with Republicans on the bankruptcy reform bill, a measure progressives have vehemently opposed. The bill passed with the support of 73 House Democrats.
The Progressive Caucus had been considering raising its profile long before the bankruptcy bill came up, but that disagreement -- especially the fact that centrists had urged House leadership to bring the bill to a vote without telling the rest of the party -- "lit the fuse," a House Democratic aide said. [..]

The New Democrat Coalition, a group of 42 centrists, has been constructing its own set of shared views, to emphasize initiatives in economic growth, national security and personal responsibility. The group held a brainstorming session two weeks ago to begin formulating ideas for its centrist agenda. That process is expected to take at least three months.

Progressives are moving much more quickly to formulate their agenda and plan to have it ready for an event next Tuesday. They are expected to be joined at the event by representatives of various liberal organizations, including, potentially, Progressive Democrats of America, the Institute for Policy Studies, Peace Action, National Priorities Project, Jobs with Justice and The Nation magazine.
Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) come to the defense of progressives politics versus the politics of centrism.
I am a progressive because that is what I believe at my core. It is not some position of convenience to be shed the next time some Washington wonk decides it's more advantageous to be a centrist. And in my experience, voters are much more sophisticated in being able to spot insincerity than those inside the Beltway give them credit for. When American people believe someone is truly fighting for them and their families, they respond. It's time to end the mixed messages and recommit ourselves to creating an economy that works for all Americans.
Go read the whole post by Rep Bernie Sanders at TPMCafe .

I am with Rep. Bernie Sanders it is time to stand up and fight for the American families. The Progressive Promise is just the start.

(Hap Tip to Sirotablog)

June 20, 2005

Barbara Boxer Interview

Senator Barbara Boxer is interviewed in the Progressive Magazine.

Q: You described having a change of heart after 9/11. You were going to retire. And you said it was Tom DeLay's aggressive speech to the Democrats not to criticize the Bush Administration that made you decide to stay.

Barbara Boxer: Yes. Absolutely. I've always thought the most patriotic thing you could do in a democracy is to speak the truth as you see it. And that's what we're supposed to be about in America. Freedom of speech. We were very upset because the economy was going down and education was not being funded after No Child Left Behind. There were so many issues being neglected. And we were very upset because there wasn't enough attention being paid to homeland security. So we went down and in a very appropriate way we talked about these things. And, boy, he came out and called us every name in the book. Said we were arrogant and unpatriotic, and that's when I said this is not the time to leave. The system itself of democracy is being threatened.

Senator Boxers disuses a wide range of topics in the interview such as Bolton, Democratic Party, GOP, her outspokenness, Patriot Act, Iraq, abortion, and birth control.
Q: What makes you stay hopeful that you can make change?

Barbara Boxer: I'm an optimist, and I think you have to be an optimist to be in politics. And the thing is, it's all about growing up. The day you realize you're a grownup is the day you realize that you have to do something. When we're kids, we don't have to do anything. Then all of a sudden you realize, if I want this to be better, I've got to do something. Every American at some point has got to make the connection between their own hopes and dreams and who is elected to office. It's essential. It's very easy to pull the covers up over your head and say, "I can't handle it. Too much." But we just have to handle it and we have to accept that it's our job. Each of us. Nobody is going to take care of it. Barbara Boxer is not going to make it all better. It's got to be everybody. Everybody in the progressive community. Everybody has to take part.
Go read the whole interview.

June 18, 2005

Bleeding Hearts Liberals & Tax Cuts

If Dems don't like tax cuts, they could just pay more.
President Bush's bipartisan Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform should propose a measure to assist a neglected segment of society: the avowedly undertaxed. The H.O.T. Tax would give those who think their levies are too low the ability to pay the steeper tax bills they say they deserve. This is the truly compassionate thing to do.
The H.O.T., or Higher-rate Optional Tax, would offer relief to powerful Democrats and wealthy liberals who cannot stand it when Republicans cut their taxes.
An other bright idea from a out of touch conservative, voluntary tax plan for a segment of the American society who have been bless to be wealthy and powerful to pay higher tax rate to make their bleeding hearts feel better about themselves.
The H.O.T. Tax would ease all this pain. The IRS would add a small box to the 1040 tax form beside these words: ''If you believe you should be taxed at a rate above that assigned to your income bracket, please indicate here the higher rate you prefer. Kindly calculate your tax liability, and send it in.''
With that easy step, congressional liberals and residents of Malibu and Martha's Vineyard no longer would have to keep the tax cuts conservatives keep throwing their way. Instead, they could send 50, 75 or even 99 percent of their incomes to Washington so the GOP Congress and President Bush can spend it even better than they can.
Compassionate Conservatism at it best. Let others be compassionate while we do the bidding of our corporate donors and screw over the middle America.

I have a bright idea too, L.O.T, or Lower-rate Optional Tax for conservatives who think they are paying too much in taxes.

It would offer relief for powerful Business and wealthy Conservatives who cannot stand it when American Government spend their money for protection our Troops, Social Security, Medicare, education, roads, environment, and Homeland security, ect.

Opps, my mistake the GOP already pass L.O.T. but they called it Tax relief for every American. Or, at least every wealthy American.

June 17, 2005

Senator Durbin, "Let me remove that splinter from your eye?"

Matthew 7:1-5

Stop judging that you may not be judged. For as you judge so will you be judged. And the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, "Let me remove that splinter from your eye?" while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite. Remove the wooden beam from your eye first. Then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.
American Life League is using Swift Boat Veteran style attacks on Senator Dick Durbin for being a pro-choice Catholic. This is the full-page ad appears in Thursday edition of the Chicago-Sun Times. In the ad it attacks Senator Durbin, "you CAN'T be Catholic and pro-abortion."

Carol Marin of the Chicago Sun-Times argues American Life League should look at there own eyes before they attack other people beliefs.

Believe me, I am no biblical scholar. And yet I find there is something particularly beautiful and haunting about this passage from the Sermon on the Mount. And it speaks directly to the dreadful full-page ad that appeared in Thursday's Sun-Times.
Paid for by the American Life League, it is an attack on Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a pro-choice Democrat and minority whip of the U.S. Senate. Its appearance was timed to coincide with this week's meeting of the United States Conference of Bishops here in Chicago. And in classic Swift Boat Veteran style, it doesn't let the truth or any sense of fairness get in its way. [...]

But worse than the liberty taken with the language is the willingness on the part of the American Life League to take it upon themselves to decide if Durbin is, in fact, "Catholic" or entitled to receive communion. And even worse than that, to beseech followers to "pray that Cardinal George will have the courage to enforce Church law, thus protecting Christ from sacrilege and having pity on Senator Durbin's eternal soul."

Exactly what kind of true believers are so bereft of humility, charity or self-doubt that they can presume to look into someone else's soul?

This is, of course, not just about one group's unhappiness with one politician.
Should Senator Durbin apologize for condemning torture?

You could argue Dick Durbin is a bunch of hot water right now. That includes his recent statements about the prison at Guantanamo Bay for which he refuses to apologize. In case you missed it, Durbin is one of a number of members of Congress questioning the justice of our conduct toward "enemy combatants," citing an FBI report detailing instances of torture. Durbin compared such torture to that of the Nazis or the Soviets.
Why should Durbin apologize for condemning torture? Again, I'm no theologian, but aren't issues of human dignity, justice and fairness critical parts of every faith's teaching?

For some reason, abortion has become the defining issue of American politics, eclipsing many other wrenching issues that speak to the human condition. Senator Durbin said Thursday from Washington, "It is interesting where they draw the line. Some who are so certain about abortion have nothing to say on the issue of the death penalty or helping the poor. They think those votes don't count. They think there is only one issue that drives Catholics."

Not to mention the Protestants, Jews, Muslims, atheists and agnostics among us.

Is that a splinter in your eye? Or mine?
American Life League attack the Senator for being pro-choice and right wing noise machine attack the Senator for being against torture.

You hypocrites!

The Senator is standing up for human dignity, justice and fairness which is a critical part of this Catholic faith and this political, moral beliefs. Conservatives thinks Christianity should start and end at abortion and gay marriages.

Conservatives should remove the wooden beam from your eye first. Then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.

I won't be holding my breath.

June 13, 2005

The GOP's poverty gambit

THE POVERTY pimps ripped us off again. We are not talking about those folks, real or trumped up, who are vilified by conservative politicians for running off with federal dollars for poverty programs. They are almost out of business. There are hardly any federal poverty dollars left to plunder.

Today's pimps are conservative politicians who run off at the mouth about poverty-stricken nominees of color. Janice Rogers Brown, the conservative and African-American California Supreme Court judge, was finally confirmed this week to the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia. Her confirmation came after a host of Republican senators made her childhood part of her qualifications for the job.

Janice Rogers Brown was the daughter of a sharecropper, which her conservatives supporters pointed out over and over.

Supporters repeatedly noted that she is an African American who grew up in segregated Alabama and raised a child as she worked her way through law school. Her status as a sharecropper's daughter was cited so many times that Specter simply mentioned "sharecropper's" near the end of yesterday's debate, and everyone seemed to know what he meant.

The conservative politicians pimp Brown poverty, her life during the Jim Crow South and pulling herself up by her 'bootstraps' to become a judge as example of the
American Dream. As they deny the American Dream to people who live in poverty
right now.

All this comes from the party that has slashed the budget for literacy, housing, youth programs, and community development grants for the millions of other would-be Janice Rogers Browns. While praising Brown for pulling herself up by her bootstraps, the White House and the Republican majority in Congress won't raise the minimum wage and has even taken to trashing Head Start. Janice Rogers Brown, born in 1949, should be thankful that she is old enough to have had a boot with a strap. Most of today's black girls are expected to excel in public schools funded on shoestrings.

The judge is just the latest black or brown face to betray the ''color-blind" game of the Republicans. They eviscerate affirmative action and job training programs for
the masses of African-Americans and Latinos under the guise of ''merit," then they turn around and stereotype black and brown nominees as being up-from-poverty to obscure their conservative views.
Judge Clarence Thomas and Alberto Gonzales are two more examples of the color-blind game conservatives play.

They did it so well with Clarence Thomas that the lead in The New York Times on
Oct. 16, 1991, was, ''Judge Clarence Thomas, who was born to unlettered parents
living in abject poverty in rural Georgia, won confirmation as an associate
justice of the Supreme Court tonight by one of the narrowest margins in history
. . ." They did it so well with Latino Alberto Gonzales that his rocky road as
the son of migrant workers was at or near the top of the stories on his confirmation as attorney general, alongside the controversy over his legal role in prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay.
The Janice Rogers Brown conservatives pimps supporters are hypocrites , liars and shameless in their praise of Brown. They praise her story as example of the American Dream, which fit their conservatives views. If Janice Roger Brown was a liberal her story would not be essential qualifications for the job.

June 12, 2005

Iowa's Republican Party Platform

Gilbert Cranberg, a former editor of the Des Moines Register's editorial pages, thinks Iowa should be knocked down a few notches.
With just seven electoral votes, Iowa ought to be a minor player in presidential politics.

Instead, presidential candidates and the press flock here because of the skillful way Iowa manages to keep its idiosyncratic precinct caucuses in the leadoff spot. Now, with at least six Republican U.S. senators eyeing the White House, Iowa GOP conservatives are leveraging the caucuses to give them even greater clout. Never mind that the caucuses won't even convene until nearly three years from now. [...]

Republican presidential candidates have to pay attention when the right wing speaks in Iowa because the sparsely attended party caucuses give the highly motivated and well-organized groups who do attend a major edge.
Gilbert Cranberg think Iowa GOP platform is scary and an example of extremism.

Iowa GOP will play a major role in the next Republican Presidential nominee in 2008. Each Republican candidates should be ask if you support the Iowa GOP platform.

We, the Republican Party of the State of Iowa, meeting in Convention on June 12th, 2004, share these common and believe they provide the best framework for guiding this State and Nation into the future:

We believe in retaining the moral absolutes that our Founding Fathers drew from the Holy Scripture as the principal foundation for our Constitution. We acknowledge God’s blessing on our country and our continued dependence upon God for the preservation of our nation.

We support and encourage those leaders who uphold the principles of individual responsibility, adherence to traditional moral standards, a strong national defense, a free enterprise system, and respect for the sanctity of human life. We believe that
these are the foundation of the Republican Party. We encourage the proliferation
of these principles and their passage to future generations.

We believe that since government does not create wealth, but only redistributes it, that the proper function of government is to do for the people only those things that
cannot be done individually, and that the most effective government is the
government closest to the people. To that end, we believe that the United States
must maintain a strong military force to secure our borders, enforce government
policies, and protect our national interests.
Howard Dean was criticize over his comments about the GOP as "pretty much a white, Christian party" but in the preamble of Iowa GOP platform it state ‘We believe in retaining the moral absolutes that our Founding Fathers drew from the Holy Scripture’. Howard Dean was right again about the GOP.

Here is a small sample of planks of state party platform.

"We believe the United States should withdraw from the United Nations and the UN headquarters should be removed from U.S. soil.

"We believe that health care is a privilege and not a right.

"We assert that the phrase, `the separation of church and state,' as is commonly
used, contradicts the original intent and practice of the framers of the Constitution.

"We believe in the eventual privatization of Social Security.

"We oppose balancing budgets by raising taxes.

"We believe that the local choice to teach creation science, or intelligent design
science, should be allowed in government schools.

"We favor posting the 10Commandments in public schools.

"We believe that the marketplace and not the government should set the minimum wage."

Iowa GOP platform continues the national GOP platform of hatred of homosexuals.

“We support a landlord’s right to refuse leasing property to cohabiting
homosexuals based on moral grounds.”

“We oppose the teaching of homosexual behavior as a normal, acceptable or alternative lifestyle, and believe that sex education must emphasize traditional heterosexual lifestyles. “

“We oppose Governor Vilsack's scholarship program for self-declared homosexual students.”

“We believe no group or individual should be accorded "minority" or protected class status, or given the existing statutory benefits that come with the designation, based solely on sexual behavior or so called “sexual orientation.”

“We oppose any legislation or executive order granting rights, privileges, or status for persons based on sexual orientation.”

“We favor spousal benefits for legal, heterosexual marriages only.”

Go read the whole GOP platform.

This platform should be tied around the neck of every single Republican who visit Iowa and ask for the support of extremist in the Iowa caucuses.