February 21, 2007

Some People

Senator Hillary Clinton of New York attacks straw man in order to defend her Iraq vote of 2002.
"To underscore a point, some people may be running who tell you we don't face a real threat from terrorism. I'm not one of them."
Who are these Democrats, Senator?

I would like to know, what Presidential Candidates of Democratic Party you think won’t protect the American people from terrorism?


Maureen Dowd

The New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is the prefect example of what is wrong with today’s pundits, they never let facts get in the way of a good story.

Especially, when it’s smears Democrats.

February 19, 2007

The Latest Examples of …

… Republicans supporting the troops.
"Concerns Mount Over Waiting Lists at Veterans Affairs Mental Health Centers: Marine Jonathan Schulze, who hanged himself Jan 16. His family says four days earlier, Schulze had called doctors at the veteran's hospital in St. Cloud, Minn., and told them he was suicidal. They told The Associated Press that he was turned away on account of a waiting list for beds at the hospital. As a rule, the VA does not put off veterans with suicidal tendencies, say VA officials." - FOX News, 2/13/07

- "Veterans Have Reduced Access to Mental Health Care at Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities, Investigation Finds: Veterans with mental illnesses on average had almost one-third fewer visits with mental health professionals in 2005 than they did in 1995, according to an investigation conducted by McClatchy Newspapers, McClatchy/Miami Herald reports.... almost 100 VA clinics 'provided virtually no mental health care in 2005,' McClatchy/Herald reports." - Kaiser, 2/12/07

- "There are two troubling reports, one out today, that point to serious problems affecting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' ability to treat military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.... Our veterans' mental and physical health is not something to play games with. They have served their country, and their country has an absolute obligation to return the favor." - Macon Telegraph, 2/14/07

- "Bush budget cuts veterans health care in 2009: The Bush administration's budget assumes cuts to veterans' health care two years from now -- even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system." - AP, 2/13/07

- [I]t is the invisible psychological harm - primarily post-traumatic stress disorder - that is the most pervasive and pernicious injury from this war and that is emerging as its signature disability. Veterans' advocates say it is the number-one issue facing soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The scope of the problem is daunting: 35 percent of Iraq veterans sought psychological counseling within a year of coming home, according to the Department of Defense....

Many VA PTSD programs are too full to accept new patients.... A survey of VA and Defense mental-health providers conducted by VA psychologist Steven Silver found that 90 percent had no training in the four therapies. Many said they did not treat PTSD at all because they did not know how. - Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/19/07

- Veterans Affairs to end some medical research after computer data breach, AP, 2/16/07

- Veterans clinic cancels routine appointments: Understaffed center seeks staff physician, Texarkana Gazette, 2/18/07

- Growing Claims Backlog Frustrates Veterans: a growing backlog of disability compensation claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs has left many veterans waiting years for benefits they expected and needed much sooner.... VA workload reports for early February 2007 show that more than 600,000 disability compensation claims are waiting to be answered. - KFox TV, 2007.

- A year ago on Thanksgiving morning, in the corrugated metal pole barn that housed his family’s electrical business, Timothy Bowman put a handgun to his head and pulled the trigger. The bullet only grazed his forehead. So he put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger again.

He had been home from the Iraq war for eight months. Once a fun-loving, life-ofthe-party type, Bowman had slipped into an abyss, tormented by things he’d been ordered to do in war....

But an investigation by McClatchy Newspapers has found that even by its own measures, the VA isn’t prepared to give returning vets the care that could best help them overcome destructive, and sometimes fatal, mental-health ailments. - Columbus Dispatch, 2/11/07
Veterans deserve better, but under leadership of a Republican President and Congress supporting the troops is only a campaign slogan. The Republican House leadership removed a Congressman from the Veterans Affairs committee in order to save money.

[T]he House Republican leadership had removed [GOP] Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey as chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. The extraordinary purge buttressed the growing impression of arrogance as Republicans enter their second decade of power in the House.

The party's House leaders purportedly removed Smith, a tireless promoter of spending for veterans, to save money....

The leadership's problem with Smith has been his insatiable desire to make life better for veterans during 24 years on the Veterans Affairs committee (six years as vice chairman, four years as chairman).
Shameful. This is the same party who lost billion on top of billion of tax dollars in Iraq without any Congressional oversight. Now, they want to under fund Veterans healthcare to save money.

Republicans do not support the troops, heck they don’t even want to be seen with a veteran who is an amputee.
Are you telling me that I can’t go to the ceremony ’cause I’m an amputee?‘” asked David Thomas, an Iraq war veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart. Thomas was told he could not wear shorts to attend a ceremony with President Bush because the media would be there, and shorts were not advisable because the amputees would be seated in the front row. David responded, “I’m not ashamed of what I did, and y’all shouldn’t be neither.” When the guest list came out for the ceremony, his name was not on it.
Republicans have no shame; they will go to any length to hide the true cost of this war.


President Bush, October 25, 2006
Q Are we winning?

THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely, we're winning. Al Qaeda is on the run.
Yes, they run out of Afghanistan and set up base in Pakistan.
Senior leaders of Al Qaeda operating from Pakistan have re-established significant control over their once-battered worldwide terror network and over the past year have set up a band of training camps in the tribal regions near the Afghan border, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.

American officials said there was mounting evidence that Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, had been steadily building an operations hub in the mountainous Pakistani tribal area of North Waziristan. Until recently, the Bush administration had described Mr. bin Laden and Mr. Zawahri as detached from their followers and cut off from operational control of Al Qaeda.
With their new base of operations al Qaeda and resurging Taliban forces can launch attacks on American troops in Afghanistan.
Officials said the training camps had yet to reach the size and level of sophistication of the Qaeda camps established in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. But groups of 10 to 20 men are being trained at the camps, the officials said, and the Qaeda infrastructure in the region is gradually becoming more mature.

The new warnings are different from those made in recent months by intelligence officials and terrorism experts, who have spoken about the growing abilities of Taliban forces and Pakistani militants to launch attacks into Afghanistan. American officials say that the new intelligence is focused on Al Qaeda and points to the prospect that the terrorist network is gaining in strength despite more than five years of a sustained American-led campaign to weaken it.
Al Qaeda is getting stronger, not weaker under the leadership of President Bush and this Republican Party while American military is in middle of a civil war in Iraq.

A war of choice, not necessity.


John '08 McCain Flip-Flops Again

John ’08 McCain only believes in one principle, do or say anything in order to become President in 2008. The so called ‘Independent Maverick’ flip-flops on abortion to fall in line with the right wing base of the Republican Party.
McCain, gearing up for the "Straight Talk Express" in 1999:
"[C]ertainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations."
And now, gearing up for the "Bullshit Express," today:
"I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned," the Arizona senator told about 800 people in South Carolina, one of the early voting states.

McCain also vowed that if elected, he would appoint judges who "strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States and do not legislate from the bench."
It’s clear; a vote for Senator McCain for President is a vote against a women right to choose. It gets worst.
Most presidential candidates are trying to get people to say "yes." Republican Sen. John McCain will be encouraging South Carolina students to say "no."

The Arizona lawmaker is scheduled to speak Sunday night to about 1,500 middle and high school students about abstaining from premarital sex. Abstinence and abortion loom large as issues in this first-in-the-South primary state in the heart of the Bible Belt.

"Senator McCain has a long legislative record of supporting abstinence-based initiatives in his record in the U.S. Senate," said Trey Walker, McCain's South Carolina campaign director. "He thinks that abstinence is healthier and should be promoted in our society for young people."
Did Senator McCain practice abstinence before he was married and during the time he was divorced and not married?

No, he did not.

If you advocate abstinence only education, the American people has the right to know if you saved yourself for marriage, and whether they were abstinent between multiple marriages.

John ’08 McCain is a right wing Republican without any principles. He is the successor to President Bush failed social, economic, and foreign policies. If you love the Bush years, then you will love the John ‘08 McCain.

February 14, 2007

Politics of Marriage

Personal lives of politicians should be off limits in most cases, but Conservatives has made morality a political issue in which they are superior to dirty hippies Liberals.
Perhaps it is a coincidence - some may call it karma - but two of the three presidential front-runners in the self-described ‘party of personal responsibility’ have, to put it mildly, sloppy private life stories.

Republicans have long chastised Democrats as the party of loose morals yet while Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-New York) try to court the support of social conservatives, both have at least one failed marriage and bouts of infidelity. Rumored presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has a lot of both.

McCain married his second wife a month after his previous marriage, which included an affair, was dissolved.

Giuliani was married to his second cousin for fourteen years - illegal in dozens of countries and forever dubbed ‘the weirdness factor’. He had an adulterous affair while married to his second wife and publicly announced his intention to separate from her before he informed her. (However, it is not even close to former House Speaker Gingrich, who served his first wife and former high school math teacher, with divorce papers while she was in the hospital for cancer. It takes a certain kind of assholeness to do that.) Giuliani is currently working on a third marriage and appears to have forgotten about his past.
If part of your political ideology is to claim moral superiority over your opponents, then your leaders should at least live up to your own high standards.

February 6, 2007

Middle Class vs. Wealthy

President Bush's proposed budget for 2008 does no favors for the middle class.
$77 billion in funding cuts for Medicare and Medicaid over the next five years, and $280 billion over the next 10.

$223 million in funding cuts (4 percent decrease from this year’s levels) to the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

$4.9 billion, or 8 percent, cut in education, training, employment and social services grants.

$100 million cut for Head Start, which provides child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families.

$2.4 billion cut in community and regional development grants, which often provide funding for low- and middle-income communities to $16.5 billion from $18.9 billion.

$400 million — 18 percent — cut in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides $2.2 billion to help people pay heating bills this year.

$172 million nearly 25 percent — cut in funding for housing for low-income seniors.
While at the same time, the people who income is over one million would get tax cuts averaging $162,000 a year.

There is no shared sacrifice in this in this budget, or any budget proposed under the Bush years. Also, there is no shared sacrifice in the war effort. The fact is Republican Party is giving tax cuts to the wealthy and passing on the cost of the Iraq war to middle class Americans.


I Need to Move ..

(Tribune photo by Nancy Stone)

.. but, to where?

February 5, 2007

SB XLI: It Is What It Is

And it’s a loss.

It was a great season that ending with a disappointing loss. But, as we say in Chicago there is always next year.

So, when does the baseball season start? Go Cubs!