Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cordray Discovers Land

Although he has been the State Treasurer for only a few weeks, Democrat Richard Cordray has discovered state owned land that could be worth millions of dollars. Here are some excerpts from the Columbus Dispatch:

Thousands of pieces of state-owned property - including one on McKinley Avenue where prisoners quarried stone to build the Statehouse - are unused and uncataloged, state Treasurer Richard Cordray said today.

Cordray, who has been in office since Jan. 8, has already done a preliminary inventory of state property in 20 counties.

He found 7,364 parcels of state property. He estimated 446 of those could be sold for private development or use for community projects. The McKinley Avenue plot, 12 acres just south of I-670 is valued at $312,000, his office said.

Cordray said years of "disorganization and lack of accountability" means the state does not even know all of the property that it owns....

and an AP story found at 10TV:

...Among first 20 counties inventoried are Franklin, which includes Columbus; Lucas, which includes Toledo; Hamilton, which includes Cincinnati; and Stark, which includes Canton.

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said a coordinated effort between the state and cities, where most of the abandoned properties are located, could bring new life to struggling areas such as the McKinley Avenue area.

"Vacant, state-owned land does nothing to help the economy or build our local tax base, and we can change that by working together to put properties into the hands of people who can and will develop them for housing or commercial sites," he said.

Cordray has told Gov. Ted Strickland, a fellow Democrat, that he can complete the inventory statewide in two or three months, and would then like to see a commission appointed that would spend 90 days gathering local input on which are the most promising properties for development.

After that, the state would begin accepting both public and private proposals for developing the land.

Strickland said in a statement that Cordray "truly understands the challenging budget we are facing and is creating an opportunity through his office to achieve real savings."

Absolutely amazing! What the heck did the Republicans do while they were in power? Why has all this land been sitting empty and undeveloped?

Congratulations to Cordray and his staff for their work! We are looking forward to other items that were neglected by the Republicans.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


People think they know Sen. John McCain. Last night as I watched TV, I heard some Republican adviser call Republican Sen. John McCain a "moderate." Moderate? McCain is NOT a moderate. A new web site exposes the truth about McCain. Check out the video called McCain vs. McCain.

>John McCain voted against having a federal minimum wage. Is that a moderate position?
>McCain wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade. McCain wants to interfere with a woman's right to make decisions about her own body.
>McCain voted against creating a holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. McCain's behavior during a recent MLK holiday raised even more suspicions.
>McCain supports Bush's troop surge/escalation. McCain has become Bush's biggest cheerleader.

John McCain is not a moderate. Having someone like John McCain as president, would only continue the miserable failures of the current administration.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Mr. President, Clean Up Your Own Mess

I remember seeing a sign in a school industrial tech class that said----
"Your Mother Doesn't Work Here, Clean Up Your Own Mess"

These particular words of wisdom should be directed to President George W. Bush. Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton has already made some suggestions (My Way News):

Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday that President Bush should withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq before he leaves office, asserting it would be "the height of irresponsibility" to pass the war along to the next commander in chief.

"This was his decision to go to war with an ill-conceived plan and an incompetently executed strategy," the Democratic senator from New York said her in initial presidential campaign swing through Iowa.

"We expect him to extricate our country from this before he leaves office" in January 2009, the former first lady said.....

Just as a teacher would tell a student, clean up after completing an assignment or a project, the President should clean up his mess in Iraq. Every parent reminds their child to clean up his/her mess, and the President should also tidy up his war in Iraq. Bush sent the troops, and he should bring them home. Bush and his administration lied us into war and they must get us out of it.

I hope that President Bush takes Senator Clinton's advice. However, I doubt that he will follow it. Bush grew up in a wealthy family and he is accustomed to having other people clean up his dishes, rooms, and other messes. When he has gotten into legal trouble before, his father's friends and lawyers were able to save his behind. This President has never been able to take responsibility for his actions, and, unfortunately, he won't start now. We can wish and hope for an end to this war, but we must be realistic. The next President will have to deal with the war in Iraq and the financial, physical, emotional, and diplomatic fallout. Bush won't end the war if he has a chance to dump it into someone else's lap.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Rove and Bartlett -- Come On Down

I'm watching Keith Olbermann and he is quoting breaking news from Newsweek---- Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett have been subpoenaed by the defense in the Libby trial. Wouldn't it had been nice to be in the room when both those guys got the news? Do you wonder what they said?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Agree With Olbermann

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has started to call Fox News "Fox Noise" and I totally agree with him. How is it that anyone in their right mind can actually take the propaganda on Fox as news? It is the propaganda wing of the Republican Party. In recent days, "Fox Noise" or "Faux News" has tried to smear both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton. It really is disgusting. When we have political discussions with people, we can tell when people watch too much of the "Fox Noise" channel because they begin mouthing the mantra of the GOP smear machine.

Whatever Keith Olbermann or anyone else calls it, Fox has NOTHING to do with news.

This just in from Raw Story----
Republican Rep. Mica of Florida walks out of a meeting because he doesn't have a chair at the head table. (What an a**!)
A Florida Republican, who is the ranking minority member of the Transportation Committee in the House of Representatives, stormed out of a meeting last week, leading other Republican members with him. An article today in Roll Call reports that he was angry because he was not seated properly during an orientation session.

Ben Pershing writes in this morning's "Heard on the Hill" column that Rep. John Mica was not seated at the head of the room with the committee's Democratic chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) and two guests during the meeting. Instead, he was offered a seat in the audience section set up in the room. The gathered representatives and their staffs were to hear basic introductory information about the committee's work and remarks by former U.S. Ambassador Felix Rohatyn and ex-Transportation Chairman Bud Shuster (R-Pa.).

Mica was angered that he was not given a seat at the head. He asked for a new chair, and while waiting outside the room for it to arrive, asked all the Republicans to quit the meeting. "I was not pleased with the arrangement to sort of exclude the ranking member at the first meeting," he told Roll Call.

One of the Republican members pulled from the meeting was Rep. Bill Shuster, son of the guest speaker of the same last name.

Mica now claims he believes the matter was an unintentional mistake, and expected it would not happen again...

...The Transportation meeting was slated to be a basic orientation session for the panel’s Republican and Democratic members, who would get some introductory information about how the committee would operate and also hear from a couple of expert guests, including former U.S. Ambassador Felix Rohatyn and legendary ex-Transportation Chairman Bud Shuster (R-Pa.).

Unfortunately, the panel’s Republicans — including Rep. Bill Shuster (Pa.), son of the former chairman — never got to hear the elder Shuster’s pearls of wisdom.

Here’s why, as Mica described it to HOH: “I went in to the meeting and there were two chairs in the front for our guests and one for [Transportation Chairman James Oberstar] (D-Minn.) and I said, ‘Where am I supposed to sit?’”

Mica said a Democratic staffer kindly told him that he could sit in the audience, along with the panel’s staff and rank-and-file members. According to two sources familiar with what happened, Mica then gave the staffer a bit of a tongue-lashing.

Shame on Mica. Who does he think he is? He works for the people in his district!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


> I caught the Democratic response to Bush's State of the Union. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) did a great job in his speech and made the Democratic position clear (Yahoo):

"...We need a new direction. ... An immediate shift toward strong regionally based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq's cities, and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq..."

> The expression goes......."A leopard can't change its spots." In the case of former Ohio Attorney General, Jim Petro (R), it is apparent that he does not understand that his new job makes him look sleazy.

Former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro has taken a job at a law firm with which he brokered four potentially lucrative contracts as the state’s top lawyer.

Petro is joining two of his former deputy attorneys general in the new Columbus office of Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley, the Cincinnatibased firm announced yesterday.

As attorney general, Petro gave the firm plum legal contracts representing state retirement systems that claimed investment fraud by mortgage lenders and another deal for the Department of Job and Family Services and other state agencies that alleged price-gouging by drug companies.

While most state legal contracts are billed by the hour, Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley gets a percentage of settlements in cases for the state. In the one case already settled, against the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., the law firm is entitled to 15 percent to 20 percent of the $4.65 million settlement.

The firm is headed by Stanley M. Chesley, a prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates who also has donated to Republicans including Petro and Betty D. Montgomery, who unsuccessfully ran for Petro’s seat.....

>>> According to Iraq Coalition Casualties, Ohio has lost 130 of our service members in Iraq. See this map for further information.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Save Time-- Don't Watch the State of the Union

Please don't waste your time tonight. Skip the State of the Union speech that will be given by President Bush. Last night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart, explained that the president's previous speeches could predict what he'll say tonight. Raw Story has the video here: Jon Stewart on You Tube
I wonder where Bush found Roget's Monosaurus?

* Have you ever visited the It is the site for the GOP members of Congress and their campaign events. I was searching their event list and discovered that The Associated General Contractors PAC has a townhouse (the AGC/Associated General Contractors townhouse) where many of the Republican fundraisers are held. According to Open Secrets, the Associated General Contractors PAC contributed quite a lot to candidates in 2006. The AGC PAC gave, according to Open Secrets:
Total to Democratic House Candidates: $80,834
Total to Republican House Candidates: $691,246
Total to Democratic Senate Candidates: $26,500
Total to Republican Senate Candidates: $109,500

Isn't it amazing that the Republicans are still cozy with these PACs despite the Abramoff, Ney, Cunningham, and other lobbying scandals? The reason why the Republicans will never change their behavior is that they love money more than people. These Republicans were the same ones complaining that the new Democratic leadership was forcing them to work 5 days per week. I guess the 5 day work week was cutting into the Republican fundraisers at the AGC Townhouse and other places.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Republicans Can't Work 5 Days Per Week! Boo hoo!

It is hard to believe, but the Republicans in Washington, DC, are still complaining because they are are being forced to work 5 days per week. After the election, the Democrats said they would push for a longer work week. When the Republicans were in control, the Congress worked 3-4 days/week. According to Raw Story, the Republicans are still crying like babies because they don't want to put in the time and effort for a longer work week. (They must miss all those weekend fundraising trips to ski/golf resorts.)

Here are some excerpts from Raw Story:
...Speaking for the House Republican leadership, Roy Blunt, the Republican Whip, complained during the floor debate that the five-day work week was making life harder for Members of Congress from both parties. He also described the schedule as "a disservice to the institution," because "It is like assuming that a surgeon only does the surgeon's work when they are in the operating room."

In an e-mail response to RAW STORY, a Democratic Leadership aide stated unequivocally that no changes to the five-day work schedule were planned.

Blunt complained about the tone of discussions regarding the longer work week dictated by House Democrats, saying that "the majority has had the better of this argument so far because it is a lot of fun to talk about Members of Congress that don't work." He also mentioned that "The late night comedians love the idea that Congress was suddenly going to work 5 days a week."

His remarks came after the House voted unanimously to reform the management of the Page Board, prompted by last Fall's scandal involving Republican Rep. Mark Foley of Florida.....

...Rep. Steny Hoyer, the Democratic Majority Leader who set the House's five-day work week, acknowledged Blunt's point. "I agree 100 percent with the minority whip when he indicates that our Members are working, whether they are here on this floor or they are at home," he said.

But the Maryland Democrat held firm. He noted that a continuing resolution would need to be passed for the government's budget because 9 of 11 appropriations bills were not completed during the last Congress, and added "I want you to also know that I think it is our responsibility and duty to the American people to be here in sufficient time to allow us to do the people's business."

In response, Blunt tried to shift the blame for the failure to complete the nine spending bills away from the Republican majority in the 109th Congress....

I have no sympathy for these Republican jerks. I have a few reasons why they need to work as much as possible.
1. We have a war going on and they need to work longer and harder to end the war and get our troops home. People are dying in the war.
2. We are paying the salaries and benefits for these elected lawmakers. They need to work for the money like regular people.
3. If these Republicans feel they are being forced to work, they should resign. They are an infinite number of more talented people who will gladly take their jobs and be grateful for the money.

Republican Rep. Roy Blunt enjoyed the gravy train while the GOP was the majority party. If Blunt can't work with dedication, honesty, and effort, then he needs to go home.

Not Much to Say After Reading This

From Iraq Coalition Casualties ----
U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3025
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 29
Total 3054

Bush may attack Iran before Blair resigns (Hinessight)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I Think I've Heard Everything Now

....Whispers learns that the 25-year-old blond twin of Barbara Bush is shopping a book proposal to major publishers in New York City. We're told that the project is vague and that she's initially only gauging publishers' interest. The White House wouldn't comment, but others say it will be a young-adult book based on the former grade school teacher's experiences with charity causes in Latin America..... US NEWS

I like the phrase "former grade school teacher's experiences..." because it is incredible. How many years did she teach? One or maybe two??????? Did she have body guards with her in the classroom? Did she only teach in schools that were called safe? Did she have yard duty? Did she have to worry about a "pink slip" if a school levy failed??????? Did she really teach or was she a classroom helper?

As a former teacher myself, I could write a book about my 18 years as a public school teacher. I know many teachers who are infinitely more qualified to write a book about their days in the classroom.

Now we know of possibly two books for the George W. Bush Library at SMU----
My Pet Goat
and Jenna's Big Book On Teaching School.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Totally Wrong

Some recent news stories have really made me feel things have gone terribly wrong. Here are some examples:
1. JC Penney sold coats with dog hair.
MSNBC News: J.C. Penney Co. removed some fur-trimmed coats from its racks around Christmas after animal-rights activists objected that the fur came from wild dogs in China.Last week, the department-store company put the coats back on the racks — but only after directing employees to use marker pens to blot out the line on the label that identified the trim as raccoon fur....

They've put profit above ethics, I won't be buying anything at Penney's.

2. Comic Rich Little will be at the White House Correspondents Association annual dinner. According to Raw Story, Little has been told not to "bash" the President or mention Bush's war in Iraq. Freedom of speech has obviously died with this group of journalists. Now we know why some of the correspondents don't have the ba**s to ask tough questions --- they don't want to 'offend' the president.

Do you know what offends me? These journalists and their pandering to this White House offend me. A war pushed by this administration based on lies, offends me. Our young men and women dying and being maimed in Iraq shocks me. The fact that this president wants to send more troops to Iraq to save face, offends me.

3. Consumer Reports messed up their research on the safety of infant car seats and now has withdrawn its report.

Chicago Tribune:

Consumer Reports was forced on Thursday to retract a report on infant car seats after the federal government said test crashes on the seats were conducted at drastically higher speeds than the magazine had claimed.

The revelation amounts to an embarrassment for the trusted consumer guide, and a relief to parents frightened after the original report came out....

I lost confidence in Consumer Reports when they gave a high rating to a certain car a few years ago. Unfortunately, I followed their advice. It was the worst car I ever owned.

4. Why would Deborah Pryce vote against HR 6? -
To reduce our Nation's dependency on foreign oil by investing in clean, renewable, and alternative energy resources, promoting new emerging energy technologies, developing greater efficiency, and creating a Strategic Energy Efficiency and Renewables Reserve to invest in alternative energy, and for other purposes.

It must be that Pryce has learned to enjoy all those contributions from oil companies and their lobbyists.

5. The Taft administration really left a financial mess in the Ohio government. (Must have been because of the GOP political appointee who was paid $49/hr to assemble pamphlets during Taft's administration.)
Toledo Blade:
Gov. Ted Strickland yesterday dampened expectations that his first budget proposal will contain major new spending, saying spending projections left behind by his predecessor were too optimistic.

The new governor and his number-crunchers said they've advised state agencies that had been told to draft budget requests based on 3 percent growth in the first year to scale back their hopes....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Does Sen. Mitch McConnell support unending war?

According to NPR, Senator McConnell of Kentucky will try to filibuster a non-binding resolution Democrats are pushing about resisting Bush's surge/escalation in Iraq. Does McConnell like war? Call/contact his office and tell him you are tired of his support of this war:
Contact Offices

Washington Office
361-A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2541
Fax: (202) 224-2499

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

President Obama?

The U.S. Constitution sets the qualifications to be President. With so many possible candidates for the 2008 election, we are left to wonder who would be the best candidate.

*The current President, was governor of Texas. The Texas legislature meets no more than 140 days and only in odd years (not exactly the most active state government). Other than the fact that he was the son of a President and was responsible for the execution for hundreds of Texas convicts, was he really the best person to be president?

*Is centrist and Democrat, Senator Hillary Clinton (NY-D) the best candidate? Many people are upset that she voted for Bush's use of force in Iraq and has remained unapologetic about it.

*Could it be a flip-flopper? Senator John McCain (AZ-R), a candidate for President, is being criticized because of this flip-flops on Iraq. Hinessight found the story at Alternet:

John McCain's been all over the map when it comes to Iraq for a long time. Cliff Schecter notes that way back in 1990, two and a half weeks after Iraq had invaded Kuwait, McCain said that Americans shouldn't support a ground war in the Middle East because "we cannot even contemplate, in my view, trading American blood for Iraqi blood." Less than two months later, though, McCain not only contemplated the possibility, he voted to go to war on behalf of Kuwait.

As the war drums sounded for the current fiasco, McCain, echoing Dick Cheney and the administration's legion of half-baked neocons, promised a cakewalk. In September of 2002, he warned us that there might be a few casualties: "As successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women." That same month, he told CNN, "We're not going to get into house-to-house fighting in Baghdad … we're not going to have a bloodletting of trading American bodies for Iraqi bodies." And in early 2003, he promised viewers of MCNBC, "We will win this conflict. We will win it easily."

This month, though, he told MSNBC that he knew all along the Iraq war was "probably going to be long and hard and tough," and that he was "sorry" for those who voted for the war believing it would be "some kind of an easy task." "Maybe they didn't know what they were voting for," he said.

In October, John McCain was just as sure that 20,000 more U.S. troops would do the trick in Iraq -- bringing about stability, democracy and prosperity, and restoring America's image in the world (or something) -- as he had been about the ease with which it would be prosecuted in 2003. When reporters asked him to elaborate on his statement about the need for more combat troops in Iraq to quell a "classic insurgency," McCain said: "Another 20,000 troops in Iraq, but that means expanding the Army and the Marine Corps."

** Why are so many people excited about the announced candidacy of Senator Barack Obama (IL-D)? Even though he is young, Senator Obama (he is younger than me!) has a few attributes that the other candidates do not have---

Senator Obama did not vote for/support the war in Iraq. He represents the hopes, dreams, and the leadership for a new generation. Senator Obama speaks with a common sense approach to solving problems. He has served in public office in Illinois. Obama has served in a leadership capacity in many different areas. As someone mentioned in USA Today,
"He doesn't have a lot of people he owes things to."

Check out the Barack Obama website. President Obama sounds like a real possibility.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Libby, Libby, Libby

Today Scooter Libby will begin his trial on perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case. Here are some of the articles today about the case:
The Guardian --- I. Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is being tried on five counts related to the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's name in 2003....

Lewis Libby -- who used to be Vice President Cheney's chief of staff -- is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.Cheney is expected to testify in Libby's behalf. But he won't be the only unusual witness. A number of reporters are likely to be called, since the trial's subject is Libby's conversations with them about C-I-A officer Valerie Plame.Prosecutors accuse Libby of lying to hide his role in news stories that blew Plame's cover. Her husband, ex-Ambassador Joseph Wilson, was a prominent Iraq war critic, and the couple maintains the leak was White House payback......

ABC News ---
Libby has been called a master of discretion, and the trial promises to be a high-profile bloodletting. It will pit senior White House officials against senior vice presidential staffers as well as vice presidential aides against prominent journalists.

Among those on the star-studded witness list are former White House press secretary Ari Fleisher and NBC "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert.

Perhaps potentially more damaging for the White House is that the trial shines a spotlight on some of the questionable tactics used to justify the war in Iraq, just as President Bush tries to gain some traction on the issue....

>>Another story has surfaced about some controversy with the National Guard. Here is an excerpt from the Kennebec Journal:

Last week, state National Guard officials were apparently misinformed or uninformed about a significant Pentagon policy change affecting soldier deployments to Iraq. The rampant confusion in evidence was a cruel and unconscionable disservice to our soldiers and their families, for whom such changes in policy can be matters of life and death. We hope it gets sorted out soon.

In brief, the day after President Bush announced that he would send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq to contain that nation's growing civil war, Gov. John Baldacci and Maine National Guard Adjutant Gen. John Libby held a press conference to reassure Maine's Guard families that citizen-soldiers would be unaffected by the increase. Libby told reporters that the president's plan would have "no immediate impact on Maine National Guard men and women."

Not so fast.

Evidently, at almost the same time, Pentagon officials were announcing in Washington that they were discarding longstanding policy that limited to 24 months the cumulative amount of time a Guard or Reserve member could serve. Citizen-soldiers could thus come home after serving the time they signed up for -- and be sent right back.

While the Pentagon spokespeople took great pains to say that the change in policy didn't mean they were actually going to do it, the shift was a frightening blow to military families and triggered a spate of panicked telephone calls to legislators. And the state's top National Guard official as well as the governor, who had made public statements reassuring Maine families, looked like they were victims of Pentagon carelessness. "This is not what we were told today," said a spokesman for General Libby. "This is not what we were briefed on." Indeed, it now looks like at least one Maine squadron out of Bangor -- the 112th Medical Airlift unit -- will be mobilized in 2008 as a result of this change....

While the White House and the Pentagon play games with words, they are adding stress and danger to the lives of our men and women in uniform. Since they cannot justify the war, they cannot justify the increase in troops.

Monday, January 15, 2007

What is the truth?

Do you really think that our government is telling us the truth about what is going on in Iraq? What is the truth?

At Iraq Coalition Casualties, a quick glance at some of the news stories makes you wonder how much of this information will make it into our newspaper or radio/tv news?
Here are some headlines from Iraq Coalition Casualties:

* 01/14/07
Rebels make $1bn from refinery
(Remember when we were told that the money from Iraq oil would pay for the war?)

* 01/14/07 Reuters:
Baghdad morgue took 16,000 bodies in 2006

Friday, January 12, 2007

‘We're not really doing anything here’

MSNBC has a story about what the troops think about Bush's plans for an escalation in Iraq. Here are some excerpts:

"The general feeling among us is we're not really doing anything here," Caldwell said. "We clear one neighborhood, then another one fires up. It's an ongoing battle. It never ends."

"We're constantly being told that it's not our fight. It is their fight," said Sgt. Jose Reynoso, 24, of Yuma, Ariz., speaking of the Iraqi army. "But that's not the case. Whenever we go and ask them for guys, they almost always say no, and we have to do the job ourselves."

"You do have corruption problems among the ranks," said Sgt. Justin Hill, 24, of Abilene Tex., the squad leader. "I don't know what they can do about that. They have militias inside them. They are pretty much everywhere."

"The intel they give us and the intel we get are two different things," Lake said....

The Iraqis are not willing to fight for their own country, but they are willing to let Americans sacrifice their lives. We should not fund an escalation of the war. Congress needs to provide enough money to get our troops home. Let the Iraqis decide for themselves.

* Have you watched Tony Snow at a press conference? If you have, you'll understand why Stephanie Miller calls him 'Tony McSnowjob' and the 'Presidential Spokesliar.'

**Democratic Rep. Zach Space (OH-18) is making a name for himself. His recent speech in support of stem cell research has brought him a lot of positive attention. Space certainly is a bright change from corrupt Republican politician, Bob "sushiholic" Ney.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Reality of War

According to the Guardian----
President George Bush yesterday led a small army of administration officials in trying to turn around almost total opposition to his plan for Iraq, and head off a showdown with Congress that carries echoes of the Vietnam era.....

How do you try to sell a failed policy? How do convince mothers, fathers, spouses, brothers, sisters, and children to send their loved ones to a war without a plan and without an end? When will we have enough troops in Iraq to win a war for which the president cannot define its purpose? We were lied to about the reasons for the war and the lies continue. How many more lies will we hear from this administration? How many more of our troops will have to die for this unnecessary war? When will Bush decide to send troops into Syria and Iraq? How many more of our military leaders will be forced to resign because they do not agree with this president?

I was checking out some of the military blogs and I found this one --- Lumberjack in a Desert. This American service member has a blog but there were no updates for a period of a couple weeks. He was wounded by an IED in Iraq. Part of his right arm was amputated and he lost part of his left hand. This young man's story is the reality of war and we cannot forget it.
Call/e-mail your members of Congress/Senate and tell them it is time to bring our troops home.

Dust Off Your Old Anti-War Buttons

I was in college during the war in Vietnam, so I clearly remember the anti-war protests on college campuses and in the streets of this country. It appears that this administration refuses to listen to the people and will go ahead with an escalation in Iraq. As Americans, we have an obligation to let those in Washington, DC hear our voices about the continuation of this war. Those of you who are younger might not know how to register your opposition to the war. With the availability of the internet, we have the ability to contact thousands, and possibly, millions of people. Here are a few of my suggestions on how to get involved in peaceful protest:

1. e-mail/call your U.S. Senator and your Congress Member. (Note: In your call/e-mail, be polite and succinct.)
2. buy an anti-war bumper sticker (just do a Google search to find one).
3. start a blog (if I can do it, so can you).
4. organize your neighbors, friends, and family members, make signs, and stand on street corners at rush hour.
5. find a local anti-war group.
6. write letters to the editor of your local newspaper.
7. when the National Anthem is played, put your right hand over your heart, and raise your left hand in a peace sign.
8. imagine our troops coming home soon.

Let your voice be heard.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Congress: Moving Ahead

The new 110th Congress will provide some interesting events in the weeks and months to come. If you have the opportunity, watch CSPAN to see how your individual representative or senator is doing.

Democrats will push to raise the minimum wage. According to MSNBC, the increase would occur over 26 months. Watch how your representative and senator vote on these important bills.

According to The Huffington Post, President Bush will ignore his military experts and work to increase our troop levels in Iraq. Remember when he said he was listening to his generals? Obviously he is not listening and he is also forcing retirement on those in the military who disagree with him. Very sad. While Bush pushes to increase the number of our military into Iraq, more of our service members are dying or being maimed. (See for information.)

* A new poll by USA Today and Gallup shows that ---
...... 59% of Americans disapprove of Bush's job as president
...... 72% disapprove of the situation in Iraq and only 26% approve.
Don't you wonder what took some people so long to come to their senses?

Friday, January 05, 2007


We leave tomorrow for Glendale to watch the Buckeyes. Check out USA Today for some interesting articles on the Buckeyes--- Antonio Smith, and Line up for Championship Game.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Still No Exit Plan for Iraq

While President Bush ponders whether to send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq, we still have no evidence of an exit plan. As we've seen, any general who provides truth in the advice to this president, is forced to retire. It doesn't take a lot of research to see that our death toll in Iraq has climbed over 3,000 and those service members being killed are getting younger. Perhaps the only way to end this war is to have the new Democratic Congress cut funding for the war.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


It looks like President Bush wants the new Democratic Congress to "share the responsibility" with him, according to MSNBC. Really? The new Congress hasn't even started and now Bush is warning of partisanship? Doesn't he realize that we had a Republican controlled Congress and they were guilty of partisanship?

One good thing about the Republicans in the minority is that we won't have to see pompous, suntanned Republican Rep. John Boehner pontificating every minute of the day.

Have you seen the latest Mother Jones? There is an article, written by Elizabeth Gettelman, which shows how the U.S. Army has lowered its standards to keep up their enlistment numbers. Here are some excerpts:

Then ............ Now
34 ..................... 42 ......... AGE LIMIT
10% ................. 19% ........ High School Dropouts
3 years ............. 1 day ........ Length of active duty before non-citizen soldiers can apply for citizenship

See the rest of the article at Mother Jones.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Surge and Accelerate?

'Surge and Accelerate' are the terms that President Bush will use to explain his intentions in Iraq. According to NBC Nightly News, Bush will announce his new strategy very soon. The "surge" will bring an increase in troops and the "accelerate" will push the timeline for Iraqi independence. I might call this "Stay the Course +" (more of the same, but plus more troops).

According to Hinessight, it appears that another general might be out the door. This time, it is General George Casey. If this administration doesn't like what the military leaders suggest, they just force them to retire. You can't disagree with the President's 'strategy' (or as SNL's Will Farrell called it "strategery").

A Father's Tribute to His Son

Today's Dispatch has an article about a father who created a special monument to his son who was killed in Iraq. Here are some excerpts from the article:

Mike Hodge agonized for months over how best to ensure that the world wouldn’t forget his only son.....

...For Army Sgt. Jeremy Hodge, a 20-year-old killed in 2005 when Iraqi insurgents attacked his convoy in Baghdad, nothing ordinary would do.

So his father spent six months designing a $12,000, 3,300-pound black granite headstone with an almost life-size image of his uniformed son, his M-16 at the ready. Set on the grave in October, the 5-foot-10-inch tall marker looms large atop an otherwise barren hill in a corner of the Rushsylvania Cemetery in Logan County. Its 5-foot-wide base covers one cemetery plot and part of another....

...Hodge constantly gets comments from people who marvel at the intricacy of the details on his son’s marker.

The image of Sgt. Hodge on the front of the stone is remarkable, with a seriousness only a soldier would know captured in the gaze of his hooded eyes. An American flag is draped across his shoulders; his battle-scarred helmet lies on the ground beside him.

"He loved attention," Hodge said as he leaned over and wiped a speck of dirt from the back of the stone. "And after what he did for us, he deserves it now more than ever."

Visit the link to see pictures of the monument.