Friday, March 31, 2006

25 Years?

According to the New York Times, the man in charge of rebuilding the Gulf Coast, Donald Powell, predicted it could take as long as 25 years to rebuild New Orleans. Incredible. In my opinion, the reason it would take as long as 25 years is because of the lack of effort by this administration to get the job done. It did not take 25 years for the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. Shame on Mr. Powell and this administration for its lack of effort, planning, and dedication. How can they let an American city die without any hope of its revival?


John Dean is currently (3/31/06, 10:43am) testifying at the Feingold hearing on presidential censure. Sen. Cornyn from Texas had a few digs at Dean and wondered why a convicted felon was there to testify. Dean, in turn, noted that Cornyn had left the hearing room before Dean started to talk. (Must be some bad blood between Dean and Cornyn. Dean also said there was something in his new book about Cornyn.)

Dean says there is no constitutional law against a presidential censure. Dean says impeachment is pre-mature, but censure, appropriately worded, could be done.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

What is the truth?

Secretary of State Rice (she is also known as the Secretary of Shoes for her designer shoe shopping during Hurricane Katrina) is starting to turn up the rhetoric on Iran. However, we must be careful that she doesn't use some of the same words/phrases she used in the build up to Bush's war in Iraq. Thankfully, the BBC has saved some of Rice's quotes. Check here for the complete list. Some excerpts follow:

There will always be some uncertainty about how quickly [Saddam Hussein] can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.
September 2002

Any time you have a situation in which you are calling for more time rather than calling for Iraq to immediately comply, it plays into the hands of Saddam Hussein.

We do need to remind everybody that tyrants don't respond to any kind of appeasement. Tyrants don't respond to negotiation. Tyrants respond to toughness. And that was true in the 1930s and 1940s when we failed to respond to tyranny, and it is true today.
February 2003

and on the 9/11 Inquiry...
There was no silver bullet that could have prevented the 11 September attacks. There was nothing demonstrating or showing that something was coming in the United States. If there had been something, we would have acted on it.
April 2004

(HOWEVER---Remember this PDB (found on CNN): Bin Laden determined to attack inside the U.S.--This was delivered to the President at his ranch in August 2001.)

Now Rice is saying similar things about Iran (Washington Post): "I think there's no doubt that Iran is the single biggest threat from a state that we face," Rice told a Senate panel.

What are we to believe? This administration lied about Iraq, the pdb's, the cost of Bush's war in Iraq, and so much more. What is the truth?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Thinking Points

**Found at Huffington Post, and originally posted at Media Bistro:
In the first quarter of 2006, MSNBC's Countdown with
Keith Olbermann beat CNN's Paula Zahn Now in the 25-54 demographic. "This marks MSNBC's first quarterly primetime victory over CNN in the demo in almost five years (2Q01 MSNBC Investigates beat CNN at 8 p.m. ET)," MSNBC's press release said today.
Countdown averaged 164,000 total viewers in the quarter, up 41% from Q1 2005. Zahn averaged 158,000 demo viewers (down 33 percent), according to MSNBC. Bill O'Reilly averaged 450,000 in the demo (down 24 percent).

Olbermann also beat Headline News star Nancy Grace in the demo. According to program ranker data, Grace averaged 154,000 demo viewers...

**The Associated Press (AP) is taking articles from Raw Story without crediting Raw Story. Aren't journalists supposed to do news gathering on their own?

**Senator Hillary Clinton's Republican challenger, K.T. McFarland, has an interesting background that has been unearthed. From the Wilmington Star: Here are some excerpts from the article---
...McFarland was hit with embarrassing disclosures about her voting history, including her registering in two places and missing several elections. Records suggest she did not even vote in 1984, when Reagan, her boss and political hero, was seeking re-election, though she believes she didn’t miss that one...

...The New York Times reported that she had inflated her resume by overstating her rank in the Pentagon and by claiming to have written Reagan’s Star Wars speech.

There was also the disclosure of an internal memo in which McFarland appeared to distance herself from evangelicals and called herself liberal on social issues like abortion...

** Americablog found at Explore for Truth:
Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. of Missouri called for the removal of our troops from Iraq. That is not all he said
"President Bush took this country to war by choice, not because we had to fight but because he wanted a fight," Clay said, according to a text of the speech he gave Monday at St. Louis Community College at Meramec in Kirkwood.

"I have a question for President Bush," said Clay, who voted against the resolution authorizing Bush to go to war in Iraq. "If you really believe that the war that you started in Iraq is a fight to defeat terrorism and to defend our freedoms, why haven't your girls enlisted?"

***I hope that Katie Holmes yells and screams when she is in labor. What kind of people would promote a totally quiet birth with no talking or screaming when delivering a baby? Obviously, the 'quiet birth' idea must have been hatched by some men! Someone needs to rescue Katie Holmes and her baby!!!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Why does Limbaugh hate women and minorities?

Why does Limbaugh hate women and minorities? Why does he call women who think "femi-nazis"? Was he beaten up by a girl when he was in elementary school? Is Limbaugh hiding some deep-seated hatred of women? Why has he been married and divorced several times? Does he have problems (other than his anal cyst and drug addiction)? Why is he attacking a 16 year old girl? Does it make him feel better?

Found at Think Progress: Radio host Rush Limbaugh has turned his guns on 16-year-old golf prodigy Michelle Wie. In a recent interview with

[Wie is] a triumph of marketing. … Do you think these PGA Tour guys really think she deserves to be a tournament with them? The political-correctness situation will just not allow them to say it. … [Golf champion Vijay Singh, who was criticized for saying of another female player, “If I’m drawn with her, which I won’t be, I won’t play“] learned like many people in our unfortunate society where political correctness is prized most. Vijay was honest and look what it got him. Attacked by a bunch of liberals and femi-nazis.

What do you think? is reporting Sen. Charles Schumer's reaction to the minor shuffling of the White House staff: "The good news is the administration has finally realized it needs to change its ways, but the problems go far deeper than one staffer," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "Simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic by replacing Andy Card with Josh Bolten without a dramatic change in policy will not right this ship." (Well done, Senator!)

>Did Jean Schmidt cut and run????? She's pulled out of a debate! The Enquirer has the story.

>How do you think our men and women in Iraq will feel when they find out that Bush lied to them? Do you think they've read the Downing Street Memo? Do you think our military reads Raw Story? Do you think they know that more and more service members are fleeing the U.S. to avoid going to Iraq? (just like Vietnam!) Will they be able to express themselves in the mil blogs? I doubt it.

>Ohio's Lt. Gov. Bruce Johnson, a Republican, said that Ohio's schools are not getting the job done. He blames parents. Johnson is wrong. He should blame the Republican controlled state legislature which has yet to act on school funding despite rulings by the State Supreme court. If anyone is failing in Ohio, it is the Republican controlled government. Johnson should also blame Bush's No Child Left Behind Act which has forced schools to follow a federal mandate without federal money.

In the same article, Republican Rep. Bob Ney, under investigation because of his ties to Jack Abramoff, said he supports President Bush. Ney also said "that we rooted out the Taliban. President Bush did the right thing." Ney is wrong. There have been increasing attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan because the Taliban is coming back. Why? Bush didn't do the job in getting Bin Laden and instead invaded Iraq.

>Ohio Republicans are attacking each other. The Tom "coingate" Noe scandal has provided enough stuff for Republicans for even the primaries.

>You've got to see this new ad---Bob Ney sold out for sushi????

Monday, March 27, 2006

Republicans Are At It Again!

> Anyone see Iowa's Republican Senator Chuck Grassley's Mr. Roger's look on C-SPAN? Nice sweater vest, Chuck. Are these Republicans losing it?

>Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo is an extreme right wing twit. He wants to penalize people who help illegal immigrants. If you offer help, food, medical attention, etc. to an illegal immigrant, you could be arrested. Tancredo is the same guy who wanted to bomb Mecca. Is Tancredo an example of the best and brightest in the Colorado Republican Party? If this bill is passed, would churches have their entire congregations arrested because they fed the poor?

>Maureen Dowd's recent column was quite interesting. If one of us screwed up at work, we'd be fired. However, if you are a member of the current administration and you mess up, you get to keep your job. Read Dowd's column here.

>Tom Noe's activities are playing into Ohio's politics, according to the Toledo Blade. Here is an excerpt:
Nearly a year after scandal erupted at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Tom Noe is everywhere.

Flip through the most recent copy of the Ohio Turnpike's annual report, he is there.
Walk through the office of the Ohio Board of Regents, and Mr. Noe's portrait hangs in the board room. There are three other pictures of him in a hallway, smiling and surrounded by his fellow regents.
The former Toledo-area coin dealer and GOP fund-raiser pops up in court regularly to defend himself. Mr. Noe, who resigned last year from the regents and the Turnpike Commission, is accused of stealing from the $50 million rare-coin investment he managed for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. He also faces federal charges of illegally funneling $45,400 to President Bush's re-election campaign...

>Kenneth Blackwell, Republican candidate for Ohio governor, is against all abortions----even if the life of the mother is at risk. I wonder if he'd feel the same way if his wife or daughter were in a similar situation?

>Want to see something frightening? Here

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Stupid, but True

1. Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from New York, K. McFarland, has accused U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton of spying with helicopters. Ms. McFarland must desperately want to get her name in the news to come up with this accusation. Really? Do you think Senator Clinton has a battalion of helicopters at her disposal to spy on an unknown candidate? McFarland must be overdosing on the Republican koolaid. Here is an excerpt from the Raw Story article:
"The whole room sort of went silent when she said it," one person said.
"You could see peoples' jaws drop after she said it. A guy next to me just turned to me and said, 'I guess she didn't take her Xanax today,' " the witness added.

In my opinion, McFarland is just another goofy N.Y. Republican.

2. Sensenbrenner is an arrogant, prejudiced, fool. Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the guy who took the gavel and shut off the lights and microphones to end a congressional hearing, is at it again. This time Sensenbrenner has pissed off many Latinos and other immigrants. (This must be another way the Republicans are trying to win the hearts and minds of Latinos and immigrants.) This weekend's HUGE (500,000 in L.A.) marches show that many people are upset with Sensenbrenner's archaic and draconian plans to ram his hard-line immigration stance down the throats of every American. (Hey, people! This is why we have to vote Democratic and get these strange Republicans like Sensenbrenner out of office.) There are several stories about the peaceful marches here and here and here. My favorite picture is here.

3. Students who left Louisiana because of Katrina are facing a new hurdle: Texas school exams. Many relocated students have had major difficulties in the Texas schools. Many problems may have been caused by emotional problems having to do with lost relatives/friends, change of lifestyle, etc. However, school officials in Texas are already creating an expected outcome for students from Louisiana by saying that the Louisiana schools are inferior to Texas schools. I beg to differ. In my capacity as a teacher, I had a number of students who moved to our district from Texas. Those students from Texas always tested in the lower average of my class. They also seemed to have more information about Texas history than American history. I think the students from Louisiana have to face the fact that some administrators in the Texas education system are prejudiced and have been unwilling to be responsive to their needs.

4. -I was in sunny Florida last week. While in Florida, I searched for a progressive radio station. Unfortunately, I only found 6 stations with Limbaugh and 2 O'Reilly stations. I thought I'd listen to Limbaugh for a few minutes until my blood pressure spiked. While I listened for only a few minutes I caught a college student calling in for Limbaugh advice on a term paper. I would rather ask my neighbor's dog for advice about a college term paper instead of Limbaugh, who is a college drop out and a oxycontin-addict. When Limbaugh started to give his advice, I could no longer listen. I had to change the station before my blood started spurting out of my ears. I just could not handle listening to the idiot.

5. Senator George Allen is bored in the U.S. Senate. Gee whiz! Why the hell is he running for re-election? Poor bored George! If he needs something to do, perhaps the good people of his state should retire the guy. Obviously, he doesn't want to be there. The New York Times has an article about this bored George.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

No Withdrawal Before 2009

President George W. Bush indicated that a total troop withdrawal from Iraq will be left to the next President who will take office in 2009. With that tidbit of information, we have made Iraq into the quagmire of Viet Nam. The Bush Administration has no intention of total withdrawal of troops during their time in office. What does this mean? More Americans will die in Iraq (2321 confirmed dead) and nearly 17,000 injured. American money will continue to be spent. Our Marines and troops will end up serving 4 to 5 rotations in Iraq. Bush's war has caused a huge mess and it will all be dumped on the next President. Incredible.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

John Boehner: Living the Goodlife (Unlike His Constituents)

U.S. News and World Report will have a story that details how the government conducted physical searches of homes without a court order. Someone on Keith Olbermann said that this would 'gut the 4th amendment.' By the way, U.S. News and World Report is considered an extremely right-leaning publication.

You've heard about them, and now you can get your own! Order your official 'Don't Shoot I'm Human-Dick Cheney Hunting Vest' at (Next week they'll have hats and t-shirts.)

The news is out on Republican Rep. John Boehner: He is a high roller. He likes the goodlife and enjoys having other people pay for it. The Washington Post has the goods on Boehner. Here is an excerpt:

...The Center for Public Integrity said that Boehner accepted 42 privately sponsored trips from January 2000 to December 2005. That put him on the road to foreign countries and "golfing hotspots," often with his wife, Debbie, for about half a year, "only nine days of which he listed as being 'at personal expense,' "the center said...

Boehner also flew at least 45 times on corporate jets owned by companies "with a financial stake in congressional affairs" from June 2001 through September 2005, the center reported. The corporations on whose planes Boehner flew included tobacco companies such as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco (15 times), UST Inc. (seven times) and Swisher International Inc. (seven times)....

...Among the places Boehner traveled on privately financed trips were Edinburgh, Scotland; Venice; Brussels; and Barcelona, the center said. Two of his domestic destinations, which the center pointed out are famous for their golf courses, were Boca Raton, Fla., and Scottsdale, Ariz.

The report said Boehner received more than $160,000 in food, lodging, transportation and other expenditures on his privately paid journeys. His benefactors included the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CSX Corp. and the Sallie Mae Foundation.

The congressman also "hosted many high-end fundraisers to wine and dine potential donors and Republican colleagues," the center said. Boehner's Freedom Project political action committee, which he used to help fellow Republicans get elected to Congress, paid more than $119,000 for golf-outing fundraisers from March 2003 through the end of 2005, the center said. It also paid $25,000 to Duck Soup, the "unofficial band of the PGA Tour."

WHOA!!!!!!!! Now if we can just find out his tanning secrets!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Republicans Aren't Listening to Americans

>Missouri Republicans have lost their minds, according to the Kansas City Star---- The Missouri House voted Wednesday to ban state funding of contraceptives for low-income women and to prohibit state-funded programs from referring those women to other programs.
Critics jumped on the proposal, saying it would lead to more abortions and more unwanted children on welfare....

>An anti-environmental governor, Dirk Kempthorne, has been picked to replace Gale Norton at the Department of the Interior. The Washington Post is reporting that Bush biking buddy, Kempthorne, has ...fought to open national forests to logging, mining, and oil and gas drilling. They said he worked to weaken water safety and endangered species laws...

>How did your member of the House of Representatives vote on the Sabo amendment? The amendment written by Rep. Sabo was intended to increase port security. The amendment lost by a few votes. To see how your representative feels about port security visit here. You probably should bookmark that voting record for future reference.

>Americans have been doing some serious about the progress being made by the administration. Raw Story reveals the numbers on the latest polls. Here are some excerpts:

A new poll finds that a plurality of Americans favor plans to censure President George W. Bush, while a surprising 42% favor moves to actually impeach the President....
...The poll found fully 43% of voters in favor of actually impeaching the President, with just 50% of voters opposed. While only 18% of Republicans surveyed wanted to see Bush impeached, 61% of Democrats and 47% of Independents reported they wanted to see the House move ahead with the Conyers (D-MI) resolution....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Republicans Vote Against Port Security

I thought you'd like to know that THINK PROGRESS has posted the vote for/against Sabo amendment. Moments ago, the House of Representatives narrowly defeated an amendment proposed by Rep. Martin Sabo (D-MN) that would have provided $1.25 billion in desperately needed funding for port security and disaster preparedness....

Go to Think Progress, read the post, and see the image of the vote. Obviously, the Republicans have voted against port security. Let me make it perfectly clear ----The Republicans are against increased port security.

Those Poll Numbers

Not me!
When celebs start staying away, you've got trouble. Raw Story found a Wired News story that indicates that Jessica Simpson refused to meet with President Bush. Here is an excerpt from Wired News:
Concerned about politicizing her favorite charity, singer-actress Jessica Simpson on Wednesday turned down a invitation to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush, a snub that left Republicans dismayed.

The apparent final word that Simpson would be a no-show at a major Republican fund-raiser with Bush and congressional leaders on Thursday night came after a day of conflicting reports from her camp and organizers of the event....

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll: President Bush has a job approval of 37% and a disapproval at 58%.
Some excerpts: ...just 26 percent believe the nation is headed in the right direction, a tie from the previous Bush administration low, which also occurred in November....
...According to the poll — which was taken of 1,005 adults from March 10-13, and which has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points — 61 percent disapprove of Bush’s handling of the situation. Moreover, 57 percent are less confident that the war in Iraq will come to a successful conclusion, which is a seven-point increase since December. And 61 percent say the United States should reduce the number of troops there, while just 31 percent want to maintain the current troop level....

The war in Iraq is Bush's war and it will define his presidency. As our young men and women continue to be killed in Bush's war, the American public continues to support the troops but not the war. Bush's war was something he wanted. Saddam had no WMD's. The American military, their families, and all Americans are paying the price for this administration's arrogance and incompetence.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Republicans: They're at it again!

1. Drilling
Raw Story is reporting that there will be a vote on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Here is an excerpt from Raw:
Republicans have inserted language into the budget bill that would allow drilling in the Alaska wildlife refuge, RAW STORY has learned. The move would make the matter immune to filibuster, requiring only a simple majority to pass....
Call your senators office and tell them that we are taking names and we will let everyone know who votes to drill in the wildlife refuge.

2. Did Bush sign a bill that did not pass?
Raw has this also:
Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) has alleged in a letter to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card that President Bush signed a version of the Budget Reconciliation Act that, in effect, did not pass the House of Representatives.

Further, Waxman says there is reason to believe that the Speaker of the House called President Bush before he signed the law, and alerted him that the version he was about to sign differed from the one that actually passed the House. If true, this would put the President in willful violation of the U.S. Constitution....

3. Republicans stop bill for port security.
Despite the fact the Americans are asking for more secure ports, Republicans shot down Democratic efforts to push for oversight and security in foreign investments. Shame on the Republicans. ABC News has the story.
{Note: I learned that only 5% of the containers coming into our ports are inspected. I also found out that other places have a much higher rate. Hong Kong has a 100% container inspection rate. Why can't we do this?}

4. From the Houston Chronicle: PEW POLL: President Bush has an approval rating of 33%. Here is are some excerpts from the article:
...Several recent polls, including the AP-Ipsos poll, have found Bush's approval ratings in the 30s. The Pew poll found Bush's job approval at 33 percent, the lowest ever in that poll.
_Bush's approval on handling terrorism was at 42 percent, down 20 points from the start of his second term...

When Should We Start To Worry????

The bird flu is making the rounds in Europe. How long will it be before it reaches us in the U.S.? Have we had any leadership from this administration as to what to do?

There was a new case of Mad Cow Disease in Alabama. However, despite this new case, this administration plans to cut back on testing. Oh, that makes sense!!!!!?????? Despite complaints from consumer groups, the administration is sticking with their plans. has the details.

Bush wants to have Richard Capka run the Federal Highway Administration. Who is Capka? He is the man who was in charge of the "Big Dig" in Boston. Many people considered Capka as incompetent and controversial. Senator John Kerry hopes to block the nomination. The Houston Chronicle has the story. (The last thing we need is another "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job" person in charge of highways.)

We are seeing the beginnings of a civil war in Iraq. When will our President have a plan to get us out of Iraq?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Republican Elitists

What is an elitist?
I have heard some Republicans call liberals elitists. They are incorrectly using the word.

*People like the Bush family could be called elitists (they go to private schools/ivy league schools because their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers went there). They have money, come from money, and have always had money.

*Someone like Republican Senator Bill Frist could be called an elitist. He owns a $7 million dollar home in Washington, DC and a mansion in Nashville, Tennessee. He has his stocks in a trust (and may have illegally sold those stocks which is why he is under investigation by the SEC).

*Republican Senator Trent Lott could be called an elitist. Lott complained when an ethics proposal sought to limit to $20 the amount of money a lobbyist could pay for lunch. Lott was worried that he might have to pay for his own lunch or go home and have lunch with his wife.

*Republican Rep. John Boehner is an elitist. He golfs at private clubs and has one of the best handicaps in golf. Where does he get that tan?

The Republicans are attempting to end free public education by promoting school vouchers. This would rob public schools of tax money. defines elitism as---

  1. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.
    1. The sense of entitlement enjoyed by such a group or class.
    2. Control, rule, or domination by such a group or class.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Still No Plan

President Bush is out again trying to drum up support for the war in Iraq. However, his public relations tour is not a plan to leave Iraq. Instead of taking the time to travel around the country and visit pre-screened, cool-aid drinking supporters, the President should stay home and meet with Rep. John Murtha. Why John Murtha? Up to this time, ONLY John Murtha has presented a plan to get troops out of Iraq. But Bush only wants to speak to people who agree with him.

The war continues. Our young men and women continue to be wounded and killed. Because of the billions of dollars spent in Iraq, New Orleans cannot be rebuilt. Because of the billions of dollars spent in Iraq, the poor and the elderly lose programs to assist them. Because of the billions of dollars spent in Iraq, our country and its people lose. Because of the billions of dollars spent in Iraq, Osama bin Laden is still running around free and alive. It is time to step up, take responsiblity for the mistakes and bring our young people home. We need them and we miss them.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Blackwell On A Church-Owned Plane

Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell is a Republican candidate for Ohio governor. (If you are not from Ohio, I'll refresh your memory: he counted the votes in Ohio for the Presidential elections. Need I say more?) There are 2 things that have come out about Blackwell:

1. Blackwell has been flying around on a church-owned plane, according to the Cincinnati Post. This means that one of the pastors, Rod Parsley, Russell Johnson, or some other pastor owns a private plane. Here is an excerpt from the Post:

Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has met with two conservative pastors more often than alleged in an IRS complaint accusing the pastors of improper support of his campaign for governor, according to a review of documents by The Associated Press.

While the complaint looked at nine publicly reported events sponsored by the pastors, a review of Blackwell's daily schedule found 19 other meetings or contact with the pastors, including flights on a church-owned plane, meetings in Blackwell's office and attendance at church services.

Blackwell, a Republican and favorite of conservatives, had contact with pastors Russell Johnson and Rod Parsley or their churches 28 times from January 2004 through March of this year, according to sources that include Blackwell's confidential schedule obtained through a public records request....

2. Kenneth Blackwell has also taken money from those he gave work to through no-bid contracts. The Columbus Dispatch has the information. In summary, both Blackwell and Jim Petro (both Republican candidates for Ohio governor) are unethical. Here is an excerpt:
A review of Blackwell’s campaign-finance reports and the personal-services contracts or other unbid work from the secretary of state’s office since 2002 shows Blackwell has taken at least $38,000 from those vendors.

For example, Blackwell has awarded no-bid personal-services contracts to Bostonbased Keane Inc. for computer-related work and has taken $6,300 from company officials and their spouses in Ohio since 1999.

Blackwell also has gotten at least $35,000 from vendors who have state contracts that, although not competitively bid, are negotiated by the Department of Administrative Services.

Besides those contributions, Blackwell has accepted more than $23,000 from specialcounsel lawyers representing his office and thousands more from other members of their firms through the years....

Once again the Ohio GOP Culture of Corruption story just keeps rolling on and gathering steam.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

You Be the Judge

Congrats to Congressman Murtha!!!!----U.S. Rep. John Murtha will be given an award:
Mr. Murtha was named yesterday one of two winners of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

Mr. Murtha, a retired Marine Corps colonel and a ranking member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, reversed his support for the war in Iraq in November and called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. That resulted in some questioning his patriotism and his record as a decorated soldier in Vietnam....
...In a news release from the John F. Kennedy Foundation Library, the late president's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, said Mr. Murtha's decision exemplifies "the kind of courage my father admired most."

According to the
Jackson News-Tribune:
The active-duty U.S. Army, which fell short in recruiting in fiscal 2005, met its February goal, the Pentagon said on Friday, but fell short in the number of recruits netted in the year to date compared to last year.
Four of the military‘s six reserve components -- the part-time Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Air National Guard missed their February goals. The active-duty Navy, Air Force and Marines met their quotas...
But the Army had attracted 27,440 recruits through the first five months of fiscal 2005, a recruiting year in which it ended up about 7,000 short of its goal of 80,000...

From the LA Times: ...
The latest public opinion survey, an AP-Ipsos poll published Friday, found increasing numbers of Americans, particularly Republicans, disapproving of Bush's performance in office, questioning his character, and no longer rating him a strong leader in the fight against terrorism — the last two among his political strengths when he ran for reelection in 2004.

The poll found that 37% approved of his overall performance, the lowest of his presidency in the AP-Ipsos poll. His job approval among Republicans, while still high at 74%, dropped from 82% in February.
Support for his handling of foreign policy and terrorism dropped from 47% to 43%, while approval of his dealings with Iraq remained steady, at about 40%.

My view: Those silly Republicans only just noticed the incompetence of this administration. The GOP is a little worried about those midterm elections. Some have even removed pictures of themselves with President Bush from their websites.

Have you visited the Very Fancy Frist page? You remember Sen. Bill Frist: 1. diagnosed Terri Schiavo via videotape, 2. is under investigation by the SEC for his stock deals, 3. flies on the private jets of drug companies and gets them to write the medicare drug benefit. Do you think he deserves re-election? I think Frist has forgotten about the real people in America. He has become accustomed to the "good life" of the rich and richer.Media Matters has a story on a flip-flop by Frist.

*Has anyone else noticed that Chris Matthews has been drinking from the Republican kool-aid recently?

*Have you seen the cool picture of Sec. of Interior Gale Norton with Abramoff?

*Do you know where all those new jobs were that the administration has been mentioning today? Those jobs included cashiers, waitresses, clerks, etc. Those are all jobs that a low-paying and usually without benefits. All the high tech jobs are in India.

*Dr. Dobson denies his ties to Norton and Abramoff. TSK! TSK! TSK! Raw Story has the truth about Dobson, Reed, Norton, Abramoff, and Phyllis Schafly, and the rest of the liars.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Yo, Philly!

Yo, Philly! Rick Santorum has some shady stuff going on with his "charity" and lobbyists and campaign staffers. Right wing Republican Senator Rick Santorum is in deep, deep trouble. WTAE in Pittsburgh has found some interesting information about Santorum's "charity." Here are some excerpts:
...But politics is involved in the charity. Santorum put political lobbyists and campaign staffers in charge of Operation Good Neighbor.
Charles Black is a member of the board of advisers for Operation Good Neighbor, and a federally registered lobbyist with the Washington firm BKSH...
...Barbara Bonfiglio is treasurer of Operation Good Neighbor. She's also treasurer of Santorum's reelection campaign and his political action committee, America's Foundation. Bonfiglio is a principal in Williams and Jensen, a top Washington lobbying firm....
...Santorum isn't the only member of Congress with his own charity. Former House Speaker Tom Delay also established a non-profit. His charity's secretary was Barbara Bonfiglio, the same lobby firm principal who is in charge of the purse strings at Operation Good Neighbor.

Although I'm not a lawyer, I'd guess there is some fraud going on somewhere in that "charity."

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Dubai Port Fiasco

I think it sums up this administration at this time. From the Financial Times:

The decision by the United Arab Emirates on Thursday to order state-controlled Dubai Ports World to end its control over US port facilities marks the lowest point yet in the relationship between President George W. Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress....
...But with his public approval ratings at record lows and his Republican party abandoning him, one of the US’s closest allies in the Arab world concluded that he was no longer in control in Washington...

The Republicans are scared because they know that the public has turned against them and the midterm elections are months away. We need to keep working to protect our nation and get our country back on the right track.

Real People vs. Trent Lott

Those Republicans haven't paid for their own lunch in a looooooonnnnnng time. I found this at Wonkette:
...the Senate agreed to a ban on undisclosed meals from lobbyists. The job of infusing the dully obvious with the breathless gravitas of the narration in the Shawshank Redemption fell to Barack Obama, who said: “In cities and towns all across America it turns out that people pay for their own lunches and their own dinners…People who make far less than we do.”

Senator Trent Lott had a different take on the ban: “It’s totally ludicrous that we are doing this. I’ll be eating with my wife and so will a lot more senators after we pass this one.” Classy, that Trent Lott. What a catch...

Oh, my goodness. Senator Trent Lott will be forced to eat lunch with his wife!!!!! At least Lott is eating lunch. Some people in our country can't afford to eat lunch! Trent Lott should win an award for being an arrogant pig.

Raw Story exposes MSNBC's Chris Matthews and his speaking engagements at conservative organizations. This may explain why he is playing lap dog for the Republicans. Do you think MSNBC will allow this to continue? I hope not because this makes Tweety on the same level as Rush, and the goofballs at Fox News.

There have been some leaks about possible nominees for the Pulitzer Prize. E&P has a sneak peak.

Huffington Post had a tip about a story posted at The Tennessean about Sen. Bill Frist. Frist has been getting the movie star treatment from drug companies for years. Read the article here.

The Huffington Post has a posting by Rep. John Murtha. For those who have family/friends in the military, this shows you that things are not good for our young men and women, and we should be very concerned.

News from All Over, and Ohio

*Former President Jimmy Carter had a few things to say about the war in Iraq:
"It was a completely unnecessary war. It was an unjust war," said Carter, the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner. "It was initiated on the basis of false pretenses. All of those are true, but we can't just pre-emptively withdraw..."
He urged the Bush administration to bring home as many troops as possible within the next 12 months...

The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, is lending his talents to help the Big Easy. USA Today says: ...The Boss hits the Big Easy on April 30 with much of the ensemble that recorded his upcoming We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, rootsy folk and Americana songs popularized by folk dean Pete Seeger..

****Speaking of music-- ABC News is reporting that Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are expressing their feeling about the Katrina cleanup: Here is an excerpt: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw — two stars who usually stay out of politics — blasted the Hurricane Katrina cleanup effort, with Hill calling the slow progress in Louisiana and Mississippi "embarrassing" and "humiliating."

"To me, there's a lot of politics being played and a lot of people trying to put people in bad positions in order to further their agendas," McGraw, a 38-year-old native of Delhi, La., told ABC News Radio.

"When you have people dying because they're poor and black or poor and white, or because of whatever they are — if that's a number on a political scale — then that is the most wrong thing. That erases everything that's great about our country."

McGraw specifically criticized President Bush. "There's no reason why someone can't go down there who's supposed to be the leader of the free world … and say, 'I'm giving you a job to do and I'm not leaving here until it's done. And you're held accountable, and you're held accountable, and you're held accountable...."

***Do you think that Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh could have an entire show without saying the word "liberal?" Why do they continue to demonize the word? I'm proud to be a liberal because it shows that I care about people. Hannity and Limbaugh are just self-centered jerks who repeat the Republican mantra over and over again. And they say Democrats don't have any new ideas???? How many months did Hannity mention the missing girl in Aruba rather than discuss real issues---like Katrina, unemployment, the war, etc.???

*Poor Tom "coingate" Noe can't go judge shopping. According to the Toledo Blade, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer rejected Noe's plea to have his trial out of Lucas County, Ohio.

*Ohio Republicans Are Continuing The Culture of Corruption (Haven't these guys learned anything?):
Also, from the Blade: A bill created by Ohio Republicans allows more political corruption in the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Despite the fact that we've had all these coingate scandals, this Ohio GOP controlled state will allow it to continue.
....The bill also rolls back a rule enacted by the BWC Oversight Commission that prohibited investment managers and others seeking to do business with the bureau from contributing more than $250 to statewide elected officials. The move raises that cap to $1,000 in line with existing Ohio law.
“You could have knocked me over with a feather that we would this quickly move to override the decision of our oversight commission on something as fundamental as political influence,” said Sen. Eric Fingerhut (D., Cleveland), a commission member.

“I would never have believed it in a million years,” he said. “It sends a message we don’t want the oversight commission to be zealous in its duties, that we don’t want to get to the root of these problems.”

The bureau has lost an estimated $228 million in a risky offshore hedge fund and a failed rare-coin fund investment with GOP fund-raiser Tom Noe, which was first reported in The Blade in April, 2005...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Jack Abramoff is giving interviews. According to Think Progress, Abramoff is dropping those Republican names again: Bush, Mehlman, Burns (MT-R), Newt, DeLay. How nice! An upcoming Vanity Fair article reveals the juicy tidbits. Raw Story has more about the interview. There is even more on Conrad Burns here.

Bad news from Detroit: GM plans to cut pensions for 42,000. The Detroit Free Press is reporting the following:

After decades of giving its U.S. salaried employees generous pensions, General Motors Corp. announced a sweeping change in direction Tuesday that will place more of the burden on workers to save for their retirement.

The changes are the latest hit to benefits for GM's 42,000 salaried workers who have already been forced to pay more for health care while losing other perks such as tuition reimbursement....

According to Blue NC, Republican Elizabeth Dole is sending out a very misleading fundraising letter that is disguised to look like a government form. Americablog also has info and an image. If you have relatives in North Carolina, especially elderly, make sure that they don't respond to this scam.

News You Don't Want to Lose

USA Today has an article about the death of Dana Reeves and why her passing has touched so many of us.

Pat Robertson, extreme right wing TV evangelist, is making predictions again: He is predicting another vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

I read somewhere that Rudy Giuliani is cosidered a front runner in the Republican race for the White House. This is just what we need. Giuliani has been married 3 times, divorced twice, and was a public adulterer. Once a cheater, always a cheater (only my opinion).

Did you know that Ohio Republican Rep. John Boner is a chain smoker? Yuck! Is he subjecting his staff to second hand smoke?

If cable subscribers are allowed to drop certain channels, the first channel I'd drop is FOX. It would be a pleasure to not subject myself to the ugliness of O'Reilly, Hannity, and their ilk when I'm channel surfing. (Bill O'Reilly said this recently: "Brokeback Mountain seeks to humanize gays." O'Reilly is an idiot.)

Indicted Republican Rep. Tom DeLay won the primary yesterday in Texas. It just goes to show you some people are just plain WRONG.

Have you noticed that our war dead in Iraq has now gone over 2300? Is there an exit strategy yet?

According to Newsweek, Houston is pulling up the welcome mat for Katrina evacuees: In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, Houston earned a loving moniker among many of the evacuees who sought refuge there: the Big Heart. This, after all, was the city that housed, fed and mended more than 150,000 survivors in a herculean effort that won national acclaim...
...But six months after the evacuees arrived, the city's heart seems to be hardening...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bob Ney-Will his name be on Abramoff's list?

Tonight on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Howard Fineman of Newsweek said that Abramoff has threatened to name names in the penalty phase of his trial. Do you think Republican Rep. Bob Ney (OH-18) is worried? I hope so. Ney must believe he is above the law.
This is from the Chillicothe Gazette:

One of Rep. Bob Ney’s Democratic challengers Tuesday called for his resignation if Ney is named in the Jack Abramoff corruption probe.

But Ney isn’t planning on giving up his seat any time soon, his spokesperson said.
Chillicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer was joined by Ohio Democratic Party Chair Chris Redfern in calling for Ney’s immediate resignation in the event that Abramoff names Ney as “Representative Number One.”
Abramoff's attorney said Monday that the disgraced lobbyist would "name names" and "provide the public with evidence" of Abramoff's cooperation in the federal government's case. Ney has been linked by sources close to the probe as “Representative Number One.”
"When Jack Abramoff 'names names,' ‘Representative Number One’ will likely be first on the list," Sulzer said. "That is why I am calling on Bob Ney to resign immediately if Jack Abramoff names him. The ongoing investigation of Ney's corruption is keeping him from doing the job that we elected him to do."
Ney — through his spokesperson, Brian Walsh — called the announcement another in a series of negative attacks. He also hit at Sulzer’s connection with trial lawyers.
“Joe Sulzer has a history of siding with and taking money from trial lawyers so it's not a surprise that he would base his latest negative attacks solely on the tainted words of a slick trial lawyer and a convicted felon like Jack Abramoff,” said Walsh.
Tuesday’s announcement was not unexpected since Sulzer is considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in the 18th District race. The primary is May 2.
"We sent Bob Ney to Congress to protect our jobs and uphold our values," said Redfern. "We didn't elect him to take golfing trips to Scotland, wine and dine with corrupt lobbyists, and raise money for his legal defense fund."

Republicans Don't Care About Real People--Only Business Buddies

The Republicans are selling out our safety and protection to their buddies in food businesses. When you hang around big shots, get to ride and their private jets, play golf, and dine on lobster, you forget about the real people and their needs. This is an example of how the Republicans control the agenda. We will continue to fight them.

First Coast News: Lawmakers seeking to curtail food warning labels have personal ties to food industry lobbyists, critics said Monday.

House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and several other lawmakers support a bill that would keep states from adding warnings that go beyond federal rules.

The lawmakers have family, friends and former staff among the lobbyists for the bill.

"This helps explain why the food industry has blocked any efforts to have hearings," said Ben Cohen, attorney for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a watchdog group....

According to reports filed with Congress, the bill's lobbyists include Blunt's wife, Abigail, who works for Altria, parent of Kraft Foods. They also include former Boehner staffers Mason Wiggins, lobbyist for the Food Products Association, an industry group, and Brenda Reese, lobbyist for the American Beverage Association.

Also listed is Brad Card, brother of White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and former top aide to Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y. Brad Card has lobbied on food labeling issues for the Food Products Association. The association is headed by a former congressman, Democrat Cal Dooley of California....

Would you like this job????

Would you like Negroponte's job? I found this link at the Huffington Post:

On many a workday lunchtime, the nominal boss of U.S. intelligence, John D. Negroponte, can be found at a private club in downtown Washington, getting a massage, taking a swim, and having lunch, followed by a good cigar and a perusal of the daily papers in the club’s library.

“He spends three hours there [every] Monday through Friday,” gripes a senior counterterrorism official, noting that the former ambassador has a security detail sitting outside all that time in chase cars. Others say they’ve seen the Director of National Intelligence at the University Club, a 100-year-old mansion-like redoubt of dark oak panels and high ceilings a few blocks from the White House, only “several” times a week....

...Negroponte spokesman Carl Kroft takes serious issue with that portrayal.

“He’s the hardest working person in U.S. intelligence,” Kroft said. “He’s hard at work from the early hours of the morning to late every night. The job never ends...”

Wow! This must be what the administration means when they say they are tough on homeland security. Obviously, the University Club is very well protected, while the rest of the country is footloose and fancy free. I wonder how many other Bush administration officials are also getting massages at the University Club.

Monday, March 06, 2006

If You're in Iraq, The Truth Is NOT Available

This is fascinating. If you are a Marine, in the Air Force, in the Army, and serving in Iraq, your military leaders and the Pentagon do not want you to know the truth. Only "pre-approved" right wing extremist websites which support this administration and the unending war in Iraq are available to the military.
According to Wonkette and FireDogLake:
Alex at Wonkette writes today about web sites that are being blocked by military computers in Iraq, as opposed to those that are deemed "acceptable":

Wonkette - blocked

O'Reilly -- OK (chickenhawk)
Air America -- blocked
Limbaugh -- OK (chickenhawk)
ABC News "The Note" -- OK
Al Franken Show -- blocked

G. Gordon Liddy Show -- OK (convicted in Watergate break-in)

Here is a new list of websites to check:

God forbid if our service members should find out the truth. They might start to question things.

Did you know....?

George Clooney is cuter than Bill O'Reilly.

Ken Lay, former Enron CEO, is down to his last $650,000. Boo-hoo.

The Three 6 Mafia (where did they get the name) won an Oscar for their music. I'd like to see Trent Lott dance to "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp."

Republican Senator John McCain is against a woman's right to choose. Update: Raw Story has more on McCain here.

If you call O'Reilly's radio show and mention Keith Olbermann, he'll hang up on you and get the Faux News security after you. (I'm shaking in my booties!)

Democratic Rep. John Murtha is correct in saying that the only people who want us in Iraq are Iran, al Qaeda, and China. Murtha has been right about about his assessment on the war in Iraq.

Many polls put Bush's job approval ratings under 40%. Ouch!

A right wing site has an article called Black Republican Candidates to Keep an Eye On. Can you guess the length of the list? 25? 50? 100? answer: only 4
(I am surprised that there are even 4.)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Reflections on Being a Democrat

I think that the reason the NRSC isn't doing well in online fundraising has to do with the fact that some Republicans are technologically-challenged. Take for example Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld and Sec. of Homeland Security Chertoff. Neither Rumsfeld nor Chertoff use e-mail. Do you think Bush uses e-mail? What are his favorite search engines and blogs?

Democrats, on the other hand, are more technologically advanced and we should use it to our advantage.

As an Ohio Democrat, I see the results of how the corrupt Republicans have ruined our state. I know that Democrats can and will do better. Why? Democrats have hearts and passion. Passion? Democrats care about school kids, senior citizens, the poor, the single mother, all families, equality, justice, creating good paying jobs, and national security. Democrats want to include everyone in the Democratic Party. Republicans---just don't want everyone in their party. They like big political money, big businesses, and the rich. Democrats are willing to take small but meaningful campaign contributions from people who are passionate about change.

In order to get things back on track, we've got to demonstrate that passion in how we work, write, speak, and inspire.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Fascinating Information

>In New Delhi, India, approximately 100,000 people participated in protests against President Bush.

>Former Rep. Duke Cunningham had a bribe menu:

Prosecutors will ask federal Judge Larry Burns to impose the statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The sentencing memorandum includes the California Republican's "bribery menu" on one of his congressional note cards, "starkly framed" under the seal of the United States Congress.
The card shows an escalating scale for bribes, starting at $140,000 and a luxury yacht for a $16 million Defense Department contract. Each additional $1 million in contract value required a $50,000 bribe.
The rate dropped to $25,000 per additional million once the contract went above $20 million.

>From the News Corpse Blog:
The just released February ratings (pdf) for cable news networks tell a tale that is decidedly downbeat for Fox News. In a comparison with February 2005, the numbers for every network are up except for Fox.

This may come as some surprise to Bill O’Reilly who, in a moment of empathy for his competition at MSNBC, started a petition to replace Keith Olbermann with former MSNBC host, Phil Donahue. O’Reilly felt sorry for what he said was the net’s poor performance. Never mind that Olbermann’s show drew more viewers than MSNBC’s conservative hosted shows. And I certainly doubt that Bill was just being indignant because Keith was being mean to him on a nightly basis. Now Bill has to swallow the difficult truth that Keith’s viewership is growing while his own is shrinking. In the key demographic group of viewers aged 25-54, the Total Day ratings for MSNBC rose 47% while Fox declined -13%.
Fox’s Prime Time erosion was even greater at -21%. In fact, in every hour in the daypart, from 3:00pm till midnight, Fox numbers were lower. This is a distinction that only Fox, of the five nets surveyed, was able to achieve.

The largest decline was suffered by Greta Van Susteran’s On The Record (-22%), followed closely by O’Reilly (-21%). Hannity & What’s His Name took the Bronze (-17%). Of the MSNBC programs opposite those losers, Olbermann’s Countdown was the biggest gainer (55%), which I’m sure doesn’t bother O’Reilly at all....

Whoa! Looks like Americans are finally getting tired of Fox News and their lies.

Ameriblog had this linked----HERE:
Air Force and Navy pilots are being retrained for special ground units to detect and destroy IED's. Who is running the Pentagon? Oh, yeah, Rummy.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Unending Corruption

The Billings Gazette has a page devoted to the ties between Montana's U.S. Senator Conrad Burn and disgraced lobbyist, Jack Abramoff. It is a good reference for the people of Montana who may need more information about Burns.

In Ohio Republican corruption news: Tom "coingate" Noe, former Republican fundraiser wants some new judges for his trial. While he is at it, he should ask to change the location of his trial, as well as a special pool of jurors. I have a great idea-----We'll get the juror pool from the 308,000 voters your wife, Bernadette Noe, removed from the Ohio voter registration lists. I am sure they would do a great job deciding your guilt.

Katherine Harris lost an aide to a defense contractor. The Herald Tribune has this:
An aide to Rep. Katherine Harris quit last year to work for a defense contractor who at the time was pressing the Longboat Key Republican to secure federal funding for a counterintelligence project....
...The move last April by Mona Tate Yost, Harris' former schedule coordinator, to MZM suggests the contractor was more tightly tied to the congresswoman's office than previously known. Wade had asked Harris over dinner last year to seek funding for a project in her district that would benefit MZM...

Can't Harris do anything right?

Republicans: What reform?????

The Republican controlled House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are doing very little to enforce the ethics rules. Despite Republicans vowing to do something big to improve ethics after the Abramoff scandal was revealed, they have no big plans to revise anything. It made a good show while it lasted. The Philadelphia Inquirer has the story.

According to a Zogby International poll, 72% of American troops want out of Iraq in a year. Raw Story has the details.

More details are emerging about the Duke Cunningham scandal. Here is an excerpt for the San Jose Mercury
News: Former U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham bullied and hectored 10 Defense Department officials to ensure that a contractor who has admitted bribing him and another accused of doing the same "received their pound of gold," federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Cunningham lobbied to take money away from other programs to ensure more money for what he described to an aide as his "top two priorities" - defense contractors Mitchell Wade and Brent Wilkes. When his request for Wade's company came up about $1 million short, the Republican lawmaker stormed into his office and said "he might as well be a Democrat," according to a 2002 e-mail exchange between two of his staff members.

The revelations, including Cunningham's interactions with 10 unnamed Defense Department employees between 1999 and 2005, are contained in the prosecution's objections to a pre-sentence report. The report stated there was no way to distinguish between defense contracts funded through Cunningham's intervention or legitimate means.

Cunningham, 64, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday for accepting $2.4 million in bribes from Wade and others in exchange for steering government work to their companies....

Despite loads of evidence to the contrary, Senator Conrad Burns (Montana-R) claims he has done nothing wrong. The Democrats are pushing hard to get the Abramoff beneficiary out of office.