Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Barack Obama Visits Ohio

Senator Barack Obama (IL-D) took his presidential campaign to Ohio this week. The visits to Ohio's three largest cities, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, helped Obama win new supporters and collect more campaign contributions. When Senator Obama visited Cincinnati, when met with a large crowd. The Cincinnati area has a reputation for being the most conservative section of the state. However, Obama was enthusiastically received.

Senator Obama's visit to Cleveland is described by the Zanesville Times Recorder:

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama finished an early campaign swing through this politically pivotal state Monday with a rally that had the energy of an election eve.

The Illinois senator fired up a young crowd of both supporters and the politically curious with promises of a new vision and widespread change in policies at home and overseas.

"The election is not about me, it's about you and your hopes and your dreams," Obama said. Obama raised more than $450,000 at two earlier fundraisers in Cincinnati and Columbus, said the campaign, and a third fundraiser was held in downtown Cleveland before the rally. A message seeking the amount raised in Cleveland was left at Obama's campaign headquarters in Chicago.

More than 1,700 people filled a community college gymnasium in suburban Cleveland with chants of "O-bama!" and a large banner overhead read "Obama Rocks!" A drumline warmed up the crowd before he spoke, and a local marching band kept the celebration going as Obama shook hands while leaving the stage.

Thousands more watched his 30-minute speech from several overflow rooms. The campaign estimated the entire crowd at 7,000.

"The turnout exceeded all expectations, and I've got to say this is how we roll these days," Obama said of his strongly embraced early campaign stops. In a dark suit and blue tie, he spoke and carried himself as if the 2008 election weren't all that far away.

Earlier in the day, he told supporters in Columbus that he decided to run now - about 10 years ahead of his personal timetable - because he saw a unique moment when people are listening and wanting change in the direction of the country.

Obama told reporters after the event that Ohio's problems are not unlike other places, and that he's begun campaigning early so people will know his plans for manufacturing renewal, improved public education and better health care.

"I'm going to be spending a lot of time in Ohio so that people are familiar with me, so that by the time I'm the Democratic nominee they don't feel like I'm just parachuting in but that they've heard me and had a chance to kick the tires and lift the hood," he said.

In his three stops to the state's largest cities in his first visit to Ohio for his campaign, he covered a wide range of topics, including ending the war in Iraq - which received the loudest cheer at the Cleveland-area rally - developing universal health care and improving early childhood education.....

I hope that I can see Sen. Obama when he visits Ohio again. I think he can provide leadership and hope for all of us.

Gore Attacked by Science Haters

Did you catch this baloney from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research in their attack on Al Gore? The Tenn. Ctr. for Pol. Research is a fancy name for a bunch of conservative dimwits who do not believe in global warming. They probably had this latest attack on Gore planned. Since the loonies over at the TCPR don't believe in science or intellectual pursuits, they spend a lot of time smearing people.

How did they get Gore's utility bill? According to a spokesperson (link):

Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said: "Sometimes when people don't like the message, in this case that global warming is real, it's convenient to attack the messenger."

Kreider said Gore purchases enough energy from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and methane gas to balance 100 percent of his electricity costs.

Gore, who owns homes in Carthage, Tenn., and in the Washington area, has said he leads a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." To balance out other carbon emissions, the Gores invest money in projects to reduce energy consumption, Kreider said.

Also, Gore's house is 10,000 square feet. In the article, they compare his house with the average house in Nashville, but they don't say the size of the average house in Nashville (1500 sq. ft.? 2000 sq.ft.?). They don't indicate that the Gore family has a contingent of Secret Service agents within their home. There are also other buildings on their property.

We need to face the fact that this "research" group is just a bunch of right wing nuts who don't believe in science and they don't want to respect someone like Al Gore.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Still More Fallout from Republican Scandals and Mismanagement

>It appears that the name of former Republican Congressman Bob Ney keeps appearing in the news. Now Ney's former staff member has landed in legal trouble. Chillicothe Gazette:

The top aide to convicted former Rep. Bob Ney pleaded guilty Monday to federal conspiracy charges stemming from a congressional bribery scandal that downed his boss.
Smiling nervously at times, William Heaton, 28, acknowledged accepting a golf trip to Scotland, expensive meals, and tickets to sporting events between 2002 and 2004 as payoffs for helping clients of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Heaton worked for Ney, R-Ohio, from September 2001 to July 2006, ultimately serving as his chief of staff. Ney represented Chillicothe during the time period.

"You received things of value in exchange for performing functions for Mr. Abramoff and other lobbyists who worked for him, as well as a foreign businessman. Is that correct?" U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle asked Heaton during the 20-minute hearing.
"Yes, your honor," Heaton replied in a firm voice. He pleaded guilty to one count of federal conspiracy.
He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and $250,000 in fines, but probably would serve between 18 and 24 months as outlined under federal sentencing guidelines. No date was set for sentencing.....

>Ohio's Democratic Attorney General, Marc Dann, has been working hard to clean up the mess left by the Republicans. His staff is involved in reviewing the insurance industry. Columbus Dispatch:

Attorney General Marc Dann is after documents that he thinks will show that the nation’s largest insurance brokerage fixed prices to cheat Ohio employers.

Dann went to court yesterday to demand documents showing how Marsh & McLennan Cos. handled the insurance bids of some of Ohio’s largest employers, including Ohio State University, Wendy’s International, the city of Columbus, American Electric Power and numerous others.

To show why the documents are needed, Dann attached to his filing e-mails from 2003 that show Marsh asking for a "fake ‘B’ quote" and "an unattractive premium ... that won’t sell" to fix prices on insurance bids for at least two Ohio companies.

The e-mails "clearly demonstrate the outrageous illegal conduct of Marsh and its co-conspirators," the motion says.....

>The News-Herald's article shows that former Republican Gov. Taft's programs are miserable failures:

Even in retirement, former Gov. Bob Taft can't catch a break. It's not enough that pay-to-play scandals led to a GOP downfall in November.
Or that the Buckeye State's economy tanked during his tenure.
Add in that Taft's Third Frontier plan to attract bio-technology jobs to Ohio has sputtered.
Now comes data that the much-ballyhooed tax reform of 2005 hasn't reaped the dividends that were promised in its first 18 months.....

The Republicans may be out of the governor's office, but the mess left has created even more work for Strickland's administration.

Monday, February 26, 2007

While The Republicans Do Nothing

While Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice travels around the world.......
.......U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3154

While Vice President Dick Cheney travels around the world talking tough......
.......02/25/07 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (part 3)

While the President rides his bike instead of going to a terrorism drill at the White House.....
.....02/25/07 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (part 2)
While the Republicans in the House and the Senate refuse to join the Democrats in bringing our military home.....
....02/25/07 DoD Identifies Army Casualties (part 1) The American people need to continue to contact their elected officials and let them know that we want this war over NOW.

*Statistics and news:

Sunday, February 25, 2007

More News About Iran

>For some reason, this Bush administration wants to bomb Iran. It doesn't matter that this administration has already created a mess in Iraq, now they want to bomb Iran.
Despite the Bush administration's insistence it has no plans to go to war with Iran, a Pentagon panel has been created to plan a bombing attack that could be implemented within 24 hours of getting the go-ahead from President George W. Bush, The New Yorker magazine reported in its latest issue.

The special planning group was established within the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in recent months, according to an unidentified former U.S. intelligence official cited in the article by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in the March 4 issue.

The panel initially focused on destroying Iran's nuclear facilities and on regime change but has more recently been directed to identify targets in Iran that may be involved in supplying or aiding militants in Iraq, according to an Air Force adviser and a Pentagon consultant, who were not identified.....

>As if that wasn't enough to keep you awake at night, here is another story found by Raw Story that says if Bush attacks Iran, some U.S. generals/admirals are prepared to resign:

SOME of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources.

Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learnt that up to five generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack.

“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

A British defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the Pentagon about a military strike. “All the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.

“There are enough people who feel this would be an error of judgment too far for there to be resignations.”

A generals’ revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented....


>While 90 people at the White House conducted a disaster drill, the President was busy. He was riding his bike. The Washington Post has details:

Dozens of high-level officials joined in a White House drill yesterday to see how the government would respond if several cities were attacked simultaneously with bombs similar to those used against U.S. troops in Iraq.

White House homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend and the Homeland Security Council that she heads mapped out in advance a massive disaster involving improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. The attack targeted 10 U.S. cities, both large and small, at the same time, said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Townsend presided over the three-hour exercise, which brought the government's top homeland security officials to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House. All Cabinet agencies were represented by their secretaries or other high-ranking officials, with about 90 participants in all, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said....

....President Bush went on a bike ride yesterday morning and did not take part in the test....

The President was on a bike ride? Was the drill only for the grown ups in the White House? Did he have to get a note from Laura to get excused from the drill? Most presidents would want to be there at the drill to observe and do some problem solving. However, that type of grown up behavior somehow is not part of George W. Bush's character.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Morning---

1. According to Eleanor Clift, Jeb Bush is a possible presidential candidate for one special interest group. Here is an excerpt from MSNBC and Newsweek:

....There’s one politician the Christian right could get excited about: John Ellis (Jeb) Bush. But he’s not running—surely in part because the Bush brand has been so badly tarnished by the Iraq misadventure. A handoff from brother George would have been easy—if only the president had stayed focused on finding Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan rather than rushing off to invade Iraq. But for his brother’s mess, Jeb would be a formidable candidate.
He’s still a likely contender at some point—maybe even as a vice presidential pick in ’08. He can raise money, he has a Mexican-born wife who could help with California, and he can deliver Florida. The restoration is premised on the Republican nominee needing the credibility with the religious right that Jeb could bring......

Enough of the Bush family!!!! I can't even stand to watch that twerp Billy Bush on that entertainment show. Yuck!

2. Anna Nicole Smith's mother is STILL trying to prevent her daughter from being buried in the Bahamas, according to the Chicago Tribune. PLEASE, STOP THIS!!! Just bury the woman now next to her son in the Bahamas!!!!! Why is it so important for the mother to have her daughter buried in Texas? She didn't see her for 10 years? Does she want to sell tickets to her grave? Enough!

3. When I read this about Obama, I was so happy: Yahoo News

Here is what Obama had to say about Cheney---
"In fact, Dick Cheney said this is all part of the plan (and) it was a good thing that Tony Blair was withdrawing, even as the administration is preparing to put 20,000 more of our young men and women in.

"Now, keep in mind, this is the same guy that said we'd be greeted as liberators, the same guy that said that we're in the last throes. I'm sure he forecast sun today," Obama said to laughter from supporters holding campaign signs over their heads to keep dry. "When Dick Cheney says it's a good thing, you know that you've probably got some big problems."

Thank you, Senator Obama!!!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Is that fur on your coat from a dog?

As the owner of two lovely dogs, I became disgusted after reading this article:

That fur trim on your jacket that you think is fake? Tell it to Fido. An animal advocacy group says its investigation has turned up coats _ some with designer labels, some at higher-end retailers _ with fur from man's best friend. Some retailers were set scrambling to pull the coats from shelves, take them off Web sites and even offer refunds to consumers.

The Humane Society of the United States said it purchased coats from reputable outlets, such as upscale Nordstrom, with designer labels _ Andrew Marc, Tommy Hilfiger, for example _ and found them trimmed with fur from domestic dogs, even though the fur was advertised as fake.

"It's an industrywide deception," said Kristin Leppert, the head of the Human Society's anti-fur campaign.

The investigation began after the society got a tip from a consumer who bought a coat with trim labeled as faux fur that felt real. Leppert and her team began buying coats from popular retailers and then had the coats tested by mass spectrometry, which measures the mass and sequence of proteins, to determine what species of animal the fur came from.

Of the 25 coats tested, 24 were mislabeled or misadvertised.

Three coats _ from Tommy Hilfiger's Web site, and a coat from Andrew Marc's MARC New York line sold on _ contained fur from domesticated dogs. The others had fur from raccoon dogs _ a canine species native to Asia _ or, in one case, wolves. The single correctly labeled coat was trimmed with coyote fur, but it was advertised as fake.....

"Americans don't want Lassie turned into a fur coat," Moran said. "In the U.S., we treat cats and dogs as pets, not trimmings for the latest fashion wear."

Other retailers the Humane Society said sold mislabeled raccoon dog fur included Lord & Taylor, and Neiman Designers whose clothes were mismarked included Donna Karan's DKNY and Michael Kors. A coat from Oscar de la Renta advertised as raccoon had raccoon dog fur.

Neiman Marcus, which owns Bergdorf Goodman, said it removed Bogner and Andrew Marc coats from its Web sites. Michael Kors said it was investigating, and a DKNY spokeswoman said the label was unaware that raccoon dog fur had been used.

Donna Karan's executive vice president for global marketing and communications, Patti Cohen, said, "While it is not illegal to use this type of fur, we have taken measures to ensure that it is never again used for any of our products."

A spokeswoman for Oscar de la Renta declined to comment.

Yuck! If it looks fake and the label says fake or man-made, it probably is some little doggie. I'll stay away from the designers mentioned in the article.

What is unfair?

Washington Post:
The Army's surgeon general yesterday criticized stories in The Washington Post disclosing problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, saying the series unfairly characterized the living conditions and care for soldiers recuperating from wounds at the hospital's facilities.

"I'm not sure it was an accurate representation," Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, chief of the Army Medical Command, told reporters during a news conference. "It was a one-sided representation."

The Medical Command oversees Walter Reed and all Army health care....

....In another development yesterday, the White House announced that President Bush plans to nominate S. Ward Casscells to replace William Winkenwerder as assistant defense secretary for health affairs. The Pentagon said Winkenwerder's departure was already planned and was not related to problems at Walter Reed.

Has this administration been fair to our soldiers and Marines? They put our fighting men and women in an unnecessary war that was based on lies. They sent our troops to war without adequate body armor and without armored vehicles. They forced members of our military to go on 2, 3, and even 4 tours of duty in Iraq. They couldn't even get the paychecks correct for our service members. Now, this administration cannot even give clean, healthy places for our injured to recover. This administration, that has claimed it supports the troops, has instead shown little regard for their welfare or that of their families.

I don't care care what the Army's surgeon general says when he calls the criticism of hospital conditions unfair. It is his duty and those of others to get it right the first time.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Are you surprised?

In today's Columbus Dispatch there is a story about a former state senator who is being investigated. Here are some excerpts from the article:

A former state senator could face criminal charges for his efforts to obtain significant reductions in the workers’ compensation rates paid by his company....

Before I continue quoting the article, please guess the former state senator's political party affiliation. I'll wait.
Correct! He is an Ohio Republican!!!!

Here is more from the article:
.....Jeffry Armbruster, a Republican from North Ridgeville, was served with a complaint by the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee in December informing him that the group thinks he might have violated either state law or the code of ethics. Armbruster left the legislature at the end of 2006 because of term limits.

After a future hearing, the committee could refer the matter to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.

A key concern is that Armbruster, while serving as vice chairman of the committee that oversaw issues related to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, allegedly called bureau officials into his Statehouse office to discuss getting his rate reduced.....

These Ohio Republicans are just ........... . I'll let you fill in the blank.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

If the British are leaving Iraq, why can't the U.S.?

According to the London Times, the British will begin pulling out their troops. Here are some excerpts from the London Times:

British troops will start coming home from Iraq within weeks, Tony Blair will announce today almost four years after the start of the war that removed Saddam Hussein from power.

The Prime Minister will say that up to 1,500 of Britain’s 7,000 contingent around Basra could be out by the summer, with the first coming home by April, and 3,000 by the end of the year if the process of handing over control to the Iraqi security forces continues to go well, The Times has learnt.

Mr Blair will say that Operation Sinbad, the security and reconstruction plan conducted in Basra over the past six months, has been a success. Since it ended this month Mr Blair and forces’ chiefs have assessed the ability of Iraqi troops to do the job.

Mr Blair will give the go-ahead for withdrawal despite President Bush’s decision to send more than 21,000 reinforcements to Baghdad. The decision will be seen by some as a signal that the Government is prepared to demonstrate its independence from the US.......

What will the White House say to this latest development? I'm sure they'll find a way to spin it with their usual lies.

George Washington vs. George W. Bush

Here are some excerpts from an opinion piece from the Baltimore Sun:

Thursday is the 275th birthday of the Father of Our Country, and somehow the current President of Our Country seems to have felt a need to show that he's living up to the old man's standards. "I feel right at home here," he told a crowd at the Washington estate. "After all, this is the home of the first George W."

The Revolution, you see, was about independence, for Americans. It wasn't about fighting in somebody else's civil war, on a false pretext and with an uncertain aim.

"George Washington's long struggle for freedom has also inspired generations of Americans to stand for freedom in their own time," Mr. Bush said yesterday, after a longish recitation of the first president's accomplishments in war and in peace. "Today, we're fighting a new war to defend our liberty and our people and our way of life. And as we work to advance the cause of freedom around the world, we remember that the father of our country" - see what we mean? - "believed that the freedoms we secured in our revolution were not meant for Americans alone."

Sorry. You can't blame Iraq on George Washington.

The First Decider was wary of both military power and executive power. He may have believed that America had a westward destiny, as Mr. Bush averred, but he would have been shocked and awed at the horrendous idea of freebooting around the Middle East with 150,000 of America's best men and women. He didn't have the advantage of a Yale education, but we're willing to bet he would have seen through the ludicrous claim that Americans must fight in Iraq, and give up their civil liberties at home, so they won't have to fight "over here," as Mr. Bush put it in a different speech just last week.

Actually, two similarities between then and now do come to mind. From 1775 to 1783, 4,435 American soldiers were killed in battle, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The war in Iraq is getting close: 3,144 American dead.

Also, as he left office, President Washington warned his countrymen against entangling alliances. And you have to hand it to President Bush on that one: He's untied just about every alliance this country ever had.

Bush thinks we should believe everything he says because he said so. How can you compare this miserable failure with the 'Father of Our Country'?

Monday, February 19, 2007


Sen. John McCain (AZ-R) is a declared Republican candidate for president. Some people think that John McCain is very firm in his beliefs. Unfortunately, John McCain is just another flip-flopper.
Philadelphia Inquirer--- this point, it's impossible to ignore the fact that McCain has been riding the Double Talk Express for the better part of a year, flip-flopping with an alacrity that would humble Hamlet.....
...McCain used to dismiss Jerry Falwell as an "agent of intolerance," but tomorrow he will trek to a Florida religious convention to woo the guy.

McCain, until recently, was pushing for a reform law that would require conservative groups to reveal their financial donors. But, after fielding protests from evangelical Christians and antiabortion activists, McCain decided last month to strip out the provision.

McCain in 2000 assailed Bush's proposed tax cuts as a sop to the rich, and a year later, with Bush in office, he voted against those cuts, declaring that "the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans." But a year ago, he switched sides and voted to extend tax cuts for the wealthy.

McCain in 1999 said that, "even in the long term," he would not support the repeal of Roe v. Wade because "thousands of young American women would be performing illegal and dangerous operations." But last November he said that he now favored repeal because "I don't believe the Supreme Court should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe v. Wade."

McCain in 2000 was incensed when a pair of Texas businessmen, Sam and Charley Wyly, bankrolled some Bush-friendly TV ads that distorted McCain's record. McCain declared at the time that their "dirty money" did not belong in national politics. But last year, McCain decided that their dirty money belonged in his campaign; he took $20,000 and allowed them to chair a McCain fund-raiser. (McCain later had to give back the money, because, it turns out, his new friends are reportedly under federal investigation.)

McCain, who has long deplored negative politics, defended John Kerry in 2004 when the Democratic candidate's war record was being impugned by the Swift Boaters. But today, one of McCain's top advisers is GOP hardball specialist Terry Nelson, who has worked as a consultant with one of the principal Swift Boaters. Nelson also produced the notorious '06 TV ad that implied, in the Tennessee Senate race, that the black Democratic candidate cavorted with white women.

McCain has voted against a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but last fall, regarding his own state, he supported an Arizona referendum that would have banned gay marriage.

McCain in 2006 suggested that creationism was not a fit topic for the schoolroom: "I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not." But he suggested the opposite in 2005 ("all points of view should be presented"), and Friday he is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a confab sponsored by the Discovery Institute, a prominent creationism advocacy group.....

With awhile to go before the primaries and the election, McCain has plenty of time to do some more flip flops on issues.

Rep. Tim Ryan Won't Back Down!

Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Youngstown, is making Ohioans proud because he stands strong and tall against the Republican propaganda. Here are some excerpts from the Plain Dealer's Politics Blog:

A Republican, identified by Ryan staffers as Indiana's Steve Buyer, took loud umbrage at several points when Ryan attacked Republicans for calling his party's distaste for the war "unpatriotic."

Buyer was gavelled down several times as he attempted to object to Ryan statements such as these:

"We never called the other side unpatriotic ... We've called you incompetent. We said you're incapable. And we've said you're derelict of your oversight responsiblity. But never, Mr. Speaker, have we called anyone in this House unpatriotic."

When Ryan was asked whether he'd yield the floor to a parliamentary inquiry from Buyer, he snapped "I don't yield" with belligerence reminiscent of his congressional predecessor and former mentor, Jim Traficant.

"We've heard a lot over the last couple of days about the American Revolution, and the Civil War and World War II," Ryan concluded. "Well, Mr. Speaker, our president today is not Washington, he is not Lincoln, and he is not Roosevelt. And so I think our Republican colleagues should take the advice of the Secretary of Defense. And that's: You go to war with the president you have, you don't go to war with the president you wish you had."

See Tim Ryan's video here:

In my humble opinion, Rep. Tim Ryan's theme song should be Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down." Thank you, Rep. Ryan, for your strong voice. I wish Ohio's 15th district had someone like Ryan. However, we are stuck with Republican Deborah Pryce who follows her party's orders instead of the desires of her constituents.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Republicans and Lieberman Like War

If your U.S. Senator is on this list, they want our American troops to stay in Iraq forever. They are unwilling to do anything that would bring our troops home sooner. They voted "NO!" on the Iraq resolution.
El Paso Times:

Republicans No
Alexander, Tenn.; Allard, Colo.; Brownback, Kan.; Bunning, Ky.; Burr, N.C.; Chambliss, Ga.; Coburn, Okla.; Cornyn, Texas; Craig, Idaho; Crapo, Idaho; DeMint, S.C.; Dole, N.C.; Domenici, N.M.; Enzi, Wyo.; Graham, S.C.; Grassley, Iowa; Gregg, N.H.; Hutchison, Texas; Inhofe, Okla.; Isakson, Ga.; Lott, Miss.; Lugar, Ind.; Martinez, Fla.; McConnell, Ky.; Roberts, Kan.; Sessions, Ala.; Shelby, Ala.; Stevens, Alaska; Sununu, N.H.; Thomas, Wyo.; Thune, S.D.; Vitter, La.; Voinovich, Ohio.

Others No
Lieberman, Conn.

Are you proud of your senator? E-mail or call these senators and tell them why their vote was wrong.

Friday, February 16, 2007

What would you do?

Let us imagine that you are a celebrity and you have been asked to speak at a charitable event. Knowing full well that the charity needs every penny for its cause, what demands would you make to the charity? What would you charge as your speaking fee? How should the sponsors of the event pay for your transportation?

I am not a celebrity. However, if someone wanted to hear me speak, at the most, I would ask for a round trip airline ticket, and $1 as my speaking fee. I would even pay for my own hotel accommodations. I think that is very reasonable.

Raw Story is reporting that presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani, asked for and received an obscene amount of money for a speaking engagement for a charity. Here are some excerpts:

In the video below, CNN reports on Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani's eye-opening speaking fees.

While charging speaking fees is a regular practice for expert and celebrity speakers, some are criticizing Giuliani for collecting speaking fees from charities. CNN reports on one appearance at a 2005 tsunami fundraiser for which Giuliani received $100,000, and also mentions a contract stipulation that the former New York City mayor be given the use of a "private aircraft -- must be a Gulfstream 4 or bigger."

Link for video. Giuliani's $100,000 speaking fee could have fed many people and provided an incredible amount of medical care for the tsumani victims. We will just never know how many could have been helped because Giuliani took the money.

The Reality of War

What is this war doing to our men and women in uniform? An exhibition tries to show us the results of war. Hinessight:

....The Sacrifice," by award-winning war photographer James Nachtwey, shows U.S. soldiers in Iraq receiving frantic medical treatment in a helicopter and medics working to repair the carnage of war at a field hospital.

That chaos is shown beside more tranquil views, such as a returned serviceman with a prosthetic leg holding his surfboard after riding a curl and a one-legged young man chatting with his fiancee during a break from his rehabilitation regimen.

"This is one of the costs of this war. The money is the easy part. This, the injuries and the people that are lost, is the real cost," Nachtwey said while hanging the exhibit, which opens on Friday at 401 Projects.

"It's important for the people of our country to understand the nature of the sacrifice being made.

"These are mainly young people, mainly in their 20s, athletic, active people who have sustained a great loss and want to move on with their lives."

Since the Iraq war began with the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, there have been 3,125 U.S. personnel killed and 23,417 wounded....

....The exhibit includes a 35-foot-long (10.6-meter) print comprising 60 images taken in a field hospital in Iraq, aimed at giving what Nachtwey called "a sense of being on the edge of chaos and control in the emergency room."

But it also includes more upbeat images -- a returned veteran stretching after a run on an athletic prosthetic leg and another recovered soldier, with two prosthetic legs and a prosthetic arm waiting his turn at a golf tee.

Nachtwey, who spent two months taking pictures in a field hospital in Iraq, said the preponderance of leg injuries in his exhibit reflected the human cost of the conflict.

"There are a lot of leg amputations.....

Here is the article from National Geographic about Nachtwey's report called The Heroes The Healing. A photo gallery about the wounded is here. We should force those who support the war in Iraq to view these pictures. Better yet, e-mail the photo gallery link to those who support the war in the House and Senate.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bush's News Conference

I watched President Bush's News Conference until I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to change the channel. It was just plain embarrassing to watch him spin his lies and avoid the truth. Bush's talk about Iran and the 'Quds Force' reminded me so much of the buildup before his invasion of Iraq. It is just so frightening. Here is an excerpt from the news conference as reported in Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

...What we do know is that the Quds Force was instrumental in providing these deadly IEDs to networks inside of Iraq. We know that. And we also know that the Quds Force is a part of the Iranian government. That’s a known. What we don’t know is whether or not the head leaders of Iran ordered the Quds Force to do what they did.

But here’s my point: Either they knew or didn’t know. And what matters is that they’re there....

"That's a known." Didn't Bush swear that there were WMD's in Iraq? Is this just another lie?

Another point in the text is this quote from Bush:
....You know, in recent months I’ve discussed our strategy in Iraq with members of Congress from both political parties. Many have told me that they’re dissatisfied with the situation in Iraq. I told them I was dissatisfied with the situation in Iraq.

And that’s why I ordered a comprehensive review of our strategy. I’ve listened to a lot of voices. People in my administration heard a lot of voices. We weighed every option....

Do you think that Bush really weighed every option? I doubt it. I don't think Bush is willing to 'weigh every option.' He knows what he wants and he thinks he is 'the decider.' Somehow I think President Bush was sleeping during his high school civics class when the topic was the balance of power in the federal government.

It is so sad to see this administration continue on this horrible path in Iraq. Our young men and women are being sacrificed for this administration's failures and lack of knowledge about the world. Because this administration has refused to use diplomacy, our young men and women are caught in the middle of a civil war.

I wish that one person can start a chorus with the word ENOUGH! If Americans could take 5 minutes from their day and e-mail/write/call their Member of Congress and Senators, and tell them this, "If you support the war in Iraq in words and actions, I will never vote for you in your next election. If you support the war in words and actions, I will oppose you in all ways possible."

It is time for all Americans to say ENOUGH!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


We've had quite a lot of snow here in central Ohio. Schools, businesses, and cities are closed. Even Ohio State University, with 51,818 students at the Columbus campus, is closed.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


*Right now (8:17am) there is a discussion about the vaccine for preventing cervical cancer on the Today Show. There is one lady who obviously is some right winger who is against the vaccine for school age girls. She said there haven't been enough tests. However, 20,000 girls were tested and followed for ten years with excellent results. Why do these right wingers want women to get cancer?

*3125 Americans have died in Iraq. (

*Vice President Dick Cheney is refusing to meet with a representative of one of our allies.
(Taipei Times):

US Vice President Dick Cheney plans to spurn meetings with Japan's defense minister next week in protest over his having called the US-led Iraq war a "mistake," a news report said yesterday.

Cheney is to meet top officers in Japan's Self-Defense Forces during a visit starting next Tuesday but has asked Japan not to schedule any talks with Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma, Kyodo News agency said.

Late last month, Kyuma told reporters the decision to invade Iraq was a "mistake" because it was based on the erroneous assumption that the government of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.....

*Mitt Romney will be announcing his candidacy at the Ford Museum. Henry Ford was a big supporter of Hitler and anti-semitic. Does Romney support the beliefs of Henry Ford?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Looking for Inspiration

With a war in Iraq and new rumors of war with Iran, the American people are looking for a better future. For many Americans, Senator Barack Obama represents a break from the usual candidates. Obama is young, highly motivated, intelligent, and has not yet been tainted by the politics of Washington, DC.

When I was a young girl, a Democratic presidential candidate came to our small town in Western Pennsylvania. I don't know how my parents found out that he'd be there, but they made sure that we arrived early for his speech at the fire station. They told my brother and I, that they hoped that this man would be the next President. Although I didn't know a whole lot about the candidate, I did listen. The crowd was very excited about his visit and his speech. After the speech, the candidate moved to a roped off area to shake hands with the people near the fire station. Lucky for me, I was able to shake the hand of John F. Kennedy.

JFK inspired a generation of young people. He spoke about a promising future and public service. Today, Sen. Barack Obama has many of those same characteristics that inspire a new generation. Although it is still early in the presidential campaign, I think that Obama has the ability to gain many supporters in the months to come.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Republican Geoff Davis

Kentucky Republican Rep. Geoff Davis (KY-4th) needs to get to work on ending the war in Iraq. Davis wanted to pay tribute to the Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro, according to the Cincinnati Post. Here are some excerpts from the Post article:

Kentucky Congressman Geoff Davis hasn't gotten this kind of attention from the national press since he whipped Democrat Ken Lucas in last November's election.

The Politico, the newest media outlet in Washington, slammed the Hebron Republican hard on Tuesday, naming him its "Pander of the Week.''

Davis' sin? Authoring a House resolution that paid tribute to Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner who had to be euthanized last month because of complications from a leg injury that he suffered in last year's Preakness.

Davis' resolution honored "the historic achievements of Barbaro, his unparalleled athleticism and his unwavering spirit'' and thanked the champion horse "for capturing the hearts and imagination of racing enthusiasts across the country and across the world.''

All six of Kentucky's House members signed onto the resolution, but The Politico reserved its criticism for Davis, who was the lead sponsor. The paper accused Davis of "exploiting a popular racehorse's death for meaningless political points.''

If Davis wants to honor Barbaro, he can write an editorial for his local paper in Kentucky. However, according to Iraq Casualties, Kentucky has lost 54 service members in Iraq. Davis should be doing something to make sure that more American don't die in Iraq.

What has Geoff Davis done? Here are some samples:

Think Progress:

Predatory lenders are seriously harming the U.S. military, and one member of Congress is fighting to keep it that way.

A Pentagon report last month found that as many one in five U.S. service members “are being preyed on by loan centers set up near military bases” that can charge interest of 400 percent or more. Increasingly, soldiers have debt levels so high they are barred from serving overseas; others suffer from “bankruptcies, divorces and ruined careers.” (More facts HERE.)

The Pentagon has joined consumer, military, and veterans groups in backing a bipartisan amendment from Sens. Jim Talent (R-MO) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) that places a cap of 36 percent on high interest rates for short-term payday loans to military members.

But one conservative congressman, Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), is trying to gut the amendment. Davis has proposed his own language — praised by the payday lending industry — that sets no real limits on predatory lenders. One of Davis’s aides admitted last week that he consulted on the legislation with “CNG Financial of Mason, Ohio, one of his top campaign donors and owner of national payday lender Check ‘n Go.”

Here are some additional facts about Geoff Davis (Link-Vote Smart):

Davis voted against Stem Cell research, and Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendation Act.

Has Davis supported Veterans? No. Here is some info from Project Vote Smart:

2006 In 2006 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Representative Davis a grade of D.

2006 Representative Davis supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 66 percent in 2006.

2005 Representative Davis supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2005.

Davis needs to do some serious work.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Same Old Story: Republicans in Trouble

California has a Republican in trouble. This time it is Republican Rep. Gary Miller (CA-42nd).
The San Bernadino County Sun is reporting the following information:

In closed-door meetings this week, Rep. Gary Miller provided Republican leaders with additional documents he says show he is innocent of wrongdoing in a series of land sales now under federal investigation....
.....Miller maintains he sold the land to the city under threat of eminent domain, which allowed him to exercise a special exemption in the tax code.
Miller used part of the proceeds from the Monrovia sale to buy several Fontana properties from Lewis Operating Corp., a former business partner and a major donor to his last two congressional campaigns.
Miller turned around and sold the Fontana properties to the city in 2005 and 2006. Miller said he paid all necessary taxes on the proceeds. He has declined to turn over his tax records.
FBI agents have contacted current and former city officials in Monrovia and Fontana to discuss details of the deals.
The liberal nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint in August with the IRS following press reports of the deals alleging Miller engaged in tax evasion.

With the Democrats in power, behavior like this will certainly be investigated.

WXYZ-TV is reporting about another Republican in trouble:
The chairman of a Michigan young Republican group has been accused of raping a 21-year-old woman while both were in Cleveland for a convention last July.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury returned a 17-count indictment Wednesday against Michael A. Flory, 32, including charges of rape, kidnapping, aggravated burglary, gross sexual imposition and witness intimidation.

Flory is chairman of the Michigan Federation of Young Republicans, an organization for Republicans from age 18 to 40. He attended the convention of the National Federation of Young Republicans last summer.....


Thursday, February 08, 2007

More Americans Killed In Iraq

With Bush's surge/escalation already in force in Iraq, we are witnessing the results of this strategy. According to the Iraq Casualties site, the U.S has had 30 Americans killed in the last 8 days. Here are some headlines from

02/08/07 MNF: MNF-W personnel attacked - 4 marines killed

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How do you lose $12 billion?

George Bush and the Republicans have a dirty little secret they don't want you to know about------
(Yahoo News)

Our government sent pallets of money to Iraq: $12 billion.

How the hell do you lose $12 billion? When Medicaid, Medicare, housing, education, medical research, food safety, agriculture programs, and other federal programs are cut, just remember that somewhere our good old American dollars were given away in Iraq.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


1. Scooter Libby, according to this article, says he has a faulty memory. How can he explain the fact that he knows the names of all 79 episodes of Star Trek? I want like to see Patrick Fitzgerald squeeze Libby like a bug.

2. According to Ohio has lost 137 of our military members in Iraq.

3. How do the people in Oklahoma feel about having a dimwit like James Inhofe as their U.S. Senator. Inhofe doesn't believe in global warming. Does he believe in gravity? I doubt it.

Nothing Shocks Me Anymore

There are two points for discussion this morning and both items are not shocking.

1. The Ohio Republican scandal associated with the the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation continues. The Dispatch has more ugly details from the Taft administration and the OBWC. Here are some excerpts from the Dispatch article:

Clarke T. Blizzard showered a former top official at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation with tickets and gifts, including $2,300 cash to his former girlfriend and more than $9,000 for his son’s college tuition, authorities said yesterday.

In return, companies that Blizzard represented received or kept hundreds of millions of dollars in bureau investment business and more than $2.5 million in fees and commissions, according to a bill of information filed in Cleveland federal court.

Blizzard was charged with one count of conspiring to bribe Terrence W. Gasper, the bureau’s former chief financial officer. A bill of information typically means the defendant has agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors.

Blizzard, 53, a Florida resident, also is expected to face one felony charge of money-laundering in state court, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said.

In all, Blizzard is accused of paying more than $20,000 to Gasper or those close to him from 1998 to 2004 — including a $9,005 tuition payment in 2004 for Gasper’s son and a check for $2,300 in 2002 to Gasper’s girlfriend at the time.

Blizzard also provided sports tickets, theater tickets and a fishing trip in return for Gasper steering agency dollars to businesses affiliated with Blizzard, said U.S. Attorney Greg White in Cleveland.

The charges are the latest in the investigation by a federalstate task force into bureau investments and other matters that started in 2005 with coin dealer Thomas W. Noe.

In all, 12 individuals, including Noe, Gasper and former Gov. Bob Taft, have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to various charges, and authorities said yesterday that the investigation continues.......

So many dirty Republicans, so few clean ones!

2. President Bush and his administration are so focused on proving their Iraq war policy a success, they are now sacrificing our men and women without enough training and equipment. Here are some excerpts from the Dispatch article:

Soldiers of the 1 st Brigade, 3 rd Infantry Division had so little time between deployments to Iraq that they had to cram more than a year’s worth of training into four months.

Some had only a few days to learn how to fire their new rifles before they deployed to Iraq — for the third time — last month. They had no access to the heavily armored vehicles they will be using in Iraq, so they trained on old military trucks instead.

And some soldiers were assigned to the brigade so late that they had no time to train in the United States at all. Instead of the yearlong training recommended before deployment, they prepared for war during the two weeks they spent in Kuwait, en route to Anbar, Iraq’s deadliest province.

As the Pentagon prepares to boost troop levels in Iraq by 21,500 people and Congress debates nonbinding resolutions on that surge, such logistical and training hurdles are emblematic of the struggles besieging a military strained by unexpectedly long and grueling commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It’s happening just about to all the units now," said Law- rence Korb, who oversaw military manpower and logistics as assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. "No unit is completely combat ready."

Lawmakers consider the situation so serious that they plan to question Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about troop readiness on Wednesday, when the officials are scheduled to testify before the House Armed Services Committee, said a spokeswoman for Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas.

The lack of overall preparedness, in terms of both training and key equipment, is underscored by a recent Pentagon survey, statements by military leaders and interviews with defense experts.

"A typical soldier shows up in Iraq without the knowledge of the language, without the knowledge of the people," said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst at the Lexington Institute, in Arlington, Va. "If he also isn’t experienced with his unit or with his weapon, that maximizes the potential for disaster."

A survey conducted by the Defense Department inspector general’s office last spring found that U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan lack sufficient armored vehicles, heavy weapons such as artillery or large machine guns, devices designed to jam signals used to detonate roadside bombs, and communications equipment. As a result, they are sometimes forced to put off operations while they wait for equipment, according to the classified report, a summary of which the Defense Department made public last week.....

Looks like this Republican administration and the Republican Senators and Congress Members are using our Soldiers and Marines as cannon fodder. After you read this definition of "cannon fodder" from Wikipedia, I am sure you'll agree with me:

Cannon fodder is an informal term for military personnel who are regarded or treated as expendable in the face of enemy fire. The term is generally used in situations where soldiers are forced to fight against hopeless odds, such as occurred during trench warfare in World War I.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Opposition to Cervical Cancer Vaccine is Ridiculous

A new medical breakthrough will allow young girls to be vaccinated against cervical cancer. This sounds like a wonderful way to prevent cervical cancer. However, there are some people and groups, who feel that this vaccine will encourage their young women to pursue sexual promiscuity. Are these people just plain stupid? If you can save your daughter from going through the misery of having cancer, why wouldn't you grab the opportunity? People who would deny their daughters this vaccine are just plain ignorant.

In the coming months, right wing groups will be out there trying to oppose massive, statewide vaccines for girls. They'll be talking about risks, sex, parental rights, and a whole bunch of stuff that will attempt to mask their stupidity. Ignore the opposition to the vaccine. Here are two reasons to let your daughter have this vaccine (Link):

• About 10,000 women each year are diagnosed with cervical cancer. And another 1.2 million will develop a pre-cancer affliction, dysplasia, reports Aging & Elder Health Week.

• A vaccine made by the Merck Co. immunizes against strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most cervical cancer cases.

Be smart and immunize your daughter as soon as you can.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Our Government: Lying With Statistics

During a statistics class I took in grad school, one topic for discussion was how people can lie with statistics. Little did I know then that my government would use some of the same strategies in changing the death toll in Bush's war in Iraq. This administration will not stop covering up the true costs of this war even if they have to manipulate death and casualty rates.

Here is an excerpt from an article in The Register-Guard:

Statistics on a Pentagon Web site have been reorganized in a way that lowers the published totals of American nonfatal casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Michael Kilpatrick, deputy director of force health protection and readiness at the Defense Department, said the previous method of tallying casualties was misleading and might have made injuries and combat wounds seem worse and more numerous than they really were.

The old method lumped many problems under the label ``casualties,'' including illnesses, minor injuries and injuries from accidents, as well as wounds sustained in combat....

.....On Monday, the bottom line of the Defense Department's Web page on casualties in Iraq listed a total of 47,657 ``nonmortal casualties.''

By Tuesday, the same page no longer showed a total for nonmortal casualties. The bottom line is now ``total - medical air transported,'' and the figure is 31,493.

The new total excludes 16,164 soldiers who were wounded but did not require medical air transport because their injuries were minor. The total does include combat wounds, nonhostile injuries and diseases serious enough for medical transport....

.....Paul Sullivan, director of research and analysis of Veterans for America, said the changes actually meant that the Pentagon was trying to conceal the rising toll of injuries and illness.

Sullivan, formerly a project manager at the VA, also said the department was not prepared to provide the health care that returning veterans would need for mental and physical disabilities.

Shame on our government for "revising" the death toll. The lies from this administration started with the reasons for the war and still the lies continue. I hope that the Democrats will look into this. These statistical lies are so reminiscent of how the governments in other countries re-wrote history in their textbooks to further their propaganda.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Little Secret

Hidden somewhere in some report was a little matter about the real numbers of troops that will be part of President Bush's surge/escalation in Iraq. The American public was told that there would be 20,000 additional sent to Iraq. However, a report from the Congressional Budget Office indicate that as many as 28,000 support troops would be added to the original number of 20,000. CNN has the complete story. Also, with the total number at about 48,000 troops, the costs would be higher than originally announced.

How many lies can we take from this administration? Now more families will have loved ones put in harm's way. While the administration just keeps sending more troops and money to Iraq, Americans will have to pay emotionally and financially for the incredible failures of Bush's war and his administration.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

What teacher only works 36.5 hours per week?

A recent article about teachers has really gotten me angry. A researcher from the very conservative Manhattan Institute says that
(a) teachers on average only work 36.5 hours/week, and (b) teachers are overpaid. The article was published in the Columbus Dispatch (LINK). Here is an excerpt from the article:

....The bottom line: The commonly held truism that public-school teachers earn low wages compared with workers in the private sector is a flat-out lie, said Jay Greene, a senior researcher with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative advocacy group based in New York City.....

In my humble opinion, Mr. Jay Greene is a weak-kneed, pompous pencil pusher who could not survive a year in an inner city middle school. I know what it takes to be a teacher and Mr. Jay Greene hasn't figured out what that is.

As a former teacher, I taught both in middle and elementary schools. I worked in rough inner city schools and rich suburban schools. In all of these settings, I never worked just an average of 36.5 hours per week.

What do teachers do? I'm glad you asked! Here is a brief list:

-write lesson plans, and individualize plans for special needs.
-meet with parents, step-parents, psychologists, and other teachers.
-make home visits.
-call and e-mail parents to notify them of behavior and homework issues.
-grade papers, record grades, complete interim reports, and report cards.
-supervise lunches and playground activities.
-spend hours each evening and weekend doing class preparation/grading papers.
-continuously monitor the behavior of students in the classroom while teaching.
-attend staff meetings, staff development conferences, maintain and upgrade teacher certifications.

In the world we live in, teachers do more than teach. Teachers are social workers, counselors, nurses, problem solvers, peacemakers, psychologists, technology experts, and hall monitors. Many teachers do not have uninterrupted lunches because they are grading papers or helping students when they should be eating.

During my years in the classroom, I saw several people who thought they could teach, but could not cut the mustard. Teachers today face hostile students and parents, violence in the classroom, unfunded mandates (like No Child Left Behind), and increased duties.

Teachers are underpaid and Mr. Jay Greene needs to research ways to improve the salaries and status of teachers.