Thursday, May 31, 2007

What Homeland Security?

It looks like the Bush administration's Homeland Security is not really protecting the country. The airport security will stop you from taking a large bottle of hand cream on a plane, but you can travel if you have a highly contagious case of TB (see NY Times). Grandmothers are patted down, but if you have the ability to infect 300 people on an international flight with TB, you can step to the front of the line.

The CDC and Homeland Security need to examine how this man was able to move about without any restrictions. How many other people could have been infected--- airline ticket personnel, restaurant employees, cab drivers, and store clerks? We may never know the full extent of this security failure.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sen. DeMint Labels People "War Wimps"

Republican Sen. DeMint of South Carolina said the following (RAW STORY):

Sen. Jim DeMint on Tuesday blamed Democratic “wimps” in Congress for American casualties in Iraq, and cited Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for special censure.

During a luncheon speech to 100 constituents in Spartanburg, DeMint also took issue with the now widespread belief that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, saying the executed Iraqi dictator had “stockpiles of chemical weapons” that still exist....

....Asked later who he had targeted in his comments, DeMint replied:

“To a large degree, the Democratic party and those who basically declared defeat like Harry Reid.”

Reid, a Nevada Democrat, became the Senate leader after his party gained control of Congress in November....

I just called Senator DeMint's office and I found out that DeMint has no military experience (even though he was of age during Viet Nam). Apparently, DeMint himself is a war wimp. Also, no one in DeMint's immediate family is in the military. It looks like DeMint feels the need to call people "War Wimps" even though he himself has never served in the military nor does he know the anguish that family members go through when loved ones serve in a combat zone.

Is DeMint really a big supporter of veterans' benefits? NO! According to Project Vote Smart, DeMint had the following voting record on Veterans' Issues:

2006 In 2006 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Senator DeMint a grade of F.

2006 Senator DeMint supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 60 percent in 2006.

2005 Senator DeMint supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 33 percent in 2005.

2004 Senator DeMint supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2004.

2004 On the votes that the The Retired Enlisted Association considered to be the most important in 2004, Senator DeMint voted their preferred position 33 percent of the time.

2003 On the votes that the Disabled American Veterans - House considered to be the most important in 2003, Senator DeMint voted their preferred position 0 percent of the time.....

In conclusion, DeMint (contact here) thinks if you oppose Bush's Iraq War that you are a wimp, even though he has never fought in a war. However, DeMint, who doesn't support veterans, is all for our Marines and soldiers to keep fighting forever, and ever in Iraq. What a guy!

Hybrid Cars

I confess. As the owner of a Honda Civic Hybrid, I do try to get the best mpg I can from my car. I try to impress my family and friends with the great mileage I get, but I think they are all tired of hearing about it. (Yesterday, on the freeway, I got 61mpg. In the city, I can get between 44-49mpg.)

Apparently, there are other Hybrid drivers like me who have become obsessive about their gas mileage:
(Buffalo News)

The passion that burns in Laurie With isn’t visible until she gets behind the wheel of her Honda Civic hybrid — and drives real slow.

She accelerates gently when the light turns green, and coasts down hills to save gas. On highways, she stays in the right lane and watches the big SUVs zoom past.

“When I see someone roar past me, I think, ‘They just used enough gas to last me a week,’ ” she said.

She is part of a small and extremely dedicated group of drivers around the country who call themselves “hypermilers.”

....Chuck Thomas, a 49-year-old computer programmer from Lewisville, Texas, milks his hybrid Honda Insight for about 75 miles per gallon....

I have learned that if I do drive 61 mph on the freeway (when the speed limit is 65mph), I can get higher gas mileage. As you can tell, Hybrid owners love their cars!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday's Roundup of News

>Columbus Mayor Coleman Young presided at the grand opening of the Zangmeister Center this morning in Columbus, Ohio.

>Former President Bill Clinton will be the commencement speaker for Ohio State's June graduation. (The Lantern)

>Isn't it amazing that Paul Wolfowitz is blaming the media for his recent fall from power? (See MSNBC) Why won't these guys ever take responsiblity for their actions?

>According to a recent story in the Dispatch, right wing evangelical voters who have historically voted for Republicans are not supporting Giuliani. Here are some excerpts from the Dispatch:

Many evangelical Republican voters who love to loathe Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton might deem the comment you are about to read as heretical.

But Lori Viars doesn't care. She sees Republican presidential front-runner Rudy Giuliani as a greater threat to the values of conservative Christians who underpin the GOP than Clinton or any other Democrat running for president.

"He's a card-carrying liberal, and conservatives, particularly evangelical conservatives, are not going to vote for him," Viars said. "Rudy, being pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, is a deal-breaker for me. I will not vote for him, even against Hillary."

Viars is not just another face in the Republican rank and file. She is a board member of the Warren County Republican Party and executive director of Family First, a pro-family political action committee....

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ohio Lawmakers: Keep Your Hands Off My Retirement Money!

A bill in the Ohio legislature is trying to force the State Teachers Retirement System and other pension funds in Ohio, to rid themselves of any investments with companies that do business with Iran. According to the Akron Beacon Journal:
...The Iran divestment bill being heard in the Ohio House would require the state's five pension funds to sell all their stock in companies that have invested millions of dollars in Ohio and employ thousands here, because those foreign companies have financial ties to Iran.

A list of companies with ties to Iran developed by a private research company for the State Teachers Retirement System includes some of Ohio's largest employers, such as Honda Manufacturing of America, DaimlerChrysler, Nestle and Siemens....

The group, Conflict Securities Advisory Group, has been providing packets, briefings, and even talking points to Ohio legislators who are willing to join their cause. (CSAG has been promoting this idea in other states. They've left confusion and massive retirement losses wherever they've gone.)

What does Conflict Securities Advisory Group hope to gain from this? Are they trying to sell their own professional services to the pension funds? Have any legislators received contributions from CSAG? The most important question is this ---- Are teachers and others with state pensions willing to lose millions and millions of dollars from their retirement funds if the Ohio legislature goes through with this measure (127 HB 151)? If you are concerned, call your pension fund office and state legislators. You should contact the sponsors of this bill:
Josh Mandell (
Shannon Jones ( )

...and co-sponsors (from
John Adams ( ),
James Aslanides (,
Matthew Barrett (,
Tom Brinkman (,
Danny Bubp (,
Armond Budish (,
Jim Carmichael (,
Thom Collier (,
Courtney Combs (,
Timothy DeGeeter (,
Dan Dodd (,
Matthew Dolan (,
Larry Flowers (,
Bob Gibbs (,
Jay Goyal (,
Cliff Hite (,
Robert Latta (,
Dale Mallory (,
Jim McGregor (,
Tom Patton (,
Jon Peterson (,
Carol-Ann Schindel (,
Arlene Setzer (,
Joseph Uecker (,
Jeff Wagner (,
Mark Wagoner (,
Shawn Webster (,
Larry Wolpert (,
James Zehringer (

Ohio's legislators just don't seem to get it. Last month they worked on a bill about strippers, and now they are working on a bill which could destroy state retirement funds in Ohio. However, these same state legislators have managed to avoid an order from the state Supreme Court to fix school funding in the state. It is time to send two messages to these legislators---
1. Keep your hands off my retirement money.
2. Fix the school funding issue for the children in Ohio.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Message

Since I did not watch yesterday's press conference from the White House, I had to rely on Keith Olbermann to show me the bird pooping on President Bush. Thankfully, the good people at Raw Story and Think Progress
have captured the bird pooping on the Commander-in-Chief:


The message in the bird pooping incident is this: Birds AND the American people don't believe him.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Oh, No!

The View isn't on today. However, President Bush is having a press conference. I'd rather stick a fork in my head than watch him answer questions. The Turner Classic Movie Channel is showing an old movie, The Little Shop Around the Corner, with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. Even though I've seen it many, many times, it is still infinitely more exciting than watching a Bush press conference.

Do you want to know what I think?

-ABC's The View is the only thing worth watching during the day! People who are watch daytime TV no longer have to be subjected to soap operas, cooking shows, and craft programs. I firmly believe that Rosie has brought world issues to daytime TV and I think it is great. Unfortunately, Rosie will be leaving The View in a few weeks. I think that ABC should have worked harder to keep her.

By the way, Rosie did not say that our troops were terrorists. Obviously, Elizabeth Hasselbeck is too dumb to understand what she really said. Elizabeth has to stop getting her "news" from Fox. Yea, Rosie! Thank you for bringing political discussions to daytime TV!

-Why would a 60 year old woman want to have a baby, let alone twins?????? Can you imagine getting up in the middle of the night for a feeding?

-Keith Olbermann is right on the money!

-From the Dayton Daily News:
In the wake of the May 8 defeat of a 15.17-mill operating levy for Dayton Public Schools, House Speaker Jon Husted, R-Kettering, said Tuesday that community and educational leaders will meet June 11 at the University of Dayton.

"The time has come for all those who care about Dayton's future to suspend factional interests and organizational challenges and discuss ways we can collaborate for the benefit of Dayton's children and the community's well-being," Husted wrote in an invitation sent Monday to 39 people.....

If Ohio Speaker Republican Jon Husted would get his Republican cohorts in the Ohio legislature to work on school funding instead of bills controlling strippers, school levies would not fail. Husted and his Ohio GOP members are robbing the state's public schools of funding by supporting charter schools. Many of the charter schools are using uncertified teachers and inappropriate curriculum. The only people who benefit from the charter schools are the owners, who are getting richer. When charter schools fail, public schools have to deal with the infusion of poorly prepared students coming back into the classroom.

-Sun-baked Republican, John Boehner, doesn't like the Senate immigration bill. According to First Read at MSNBC News, he called it a "piece of ----." I think that Boehner should stay out of the sun/tanning beds because he is frying his brain.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ponder This

-Just as we've had wars named after people, perhaps historians may call the current Iraq War "Bush's War."

-Yesterday, gas was priced at $3.49/gal. here in central Ohio.

-Looks like things are heating up for former Rove assistant, Susan Ralston. Bloomberg:
Susan Ralston, former executive assistant to presidential adviser Karl Rove, is seeking immunity from prosecution before testifying about any knowledge she has of contacts between administration officials and lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a House committee disclosed yesterday.

Representative Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said the panel will seek information elsewhere before deciding whether to grant Ralston's request, according to a memo to committee members on the panel's Web site.

Before working for Rove, Ralston was an assistant to Abramoff, who is in jail for pleading guilty to conspiracy to corrupt public officials, mail fraud and tax evasion. A federal corruption probe of Abramoff's lobbying business has led to the jailing of one ex-congressman, the conviction of a former White House budget official, and guilty pleas from several former congressional aides and government officials....

It was over 100 degrees in Baghdad yesterday. The New York Times has a picture and an article about what our military is facing in Iraq:

....Where Sgt. Justin D. Wisniewski, 22, had just been standing there was now a crater five feet wide and three feet deep. His body lay nearby. The wounded were scattered around him.

The soldiers swore.

“It was Ski,” one said, using the sergeant’s nickname.

Sgt. Joshua Delgado, 23, the unit’s medic, rushed in and went to work on the most seriously wounded soldier, who lay with shrapnel wounds to the face, arm and side. Two other Americans and an Iraqi were also hurt.

One of the wounded, Staff Sgt. Robert Simonovich, 31, knelt off to the right. He had taken his body armor off and, with just a T-shirt on, it was clear he had not walked far enough yet to sweat. His hands rested on his knees, his head tilted down. Eyes closed, he said he couldn’t see.

“It’s not one of our guys, is it?” he said. No one answered.

Capt. Blake Keil, 31, who commanded the group of 11 Americans working with about 50 Iraqis, called for a medevac helicopter.

The bomb was the third planted away from a road that the soldiers had discovered since May 12, when they began searching for three soldiers from their unit who had been captured after an ambush that left four Americans and an Iraqi soldier dead....

Isn't it time to end Bush's war?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Silly Tucker Carlson

On MSNBC this afternoon, Tucker Carlson was practically jumping up and down about John Edwards' speaking fees. However, Tucker only mentioned John Edwards.

Rudy Giuliani's speaking fees are reported to be at a minimum at $100,000 PLUS he demands a specific kind of private lear jet. No wonder Rudy has made millions of dollars.

Can you believe this?

Raw Story: The Department of Defense is studying the possibility of "maintaining a core group of forces in Iraq, possibly for decades," reports National Public Radio.

"We have published no orders directing the planning for the overall withdrawal of forces," General Peter Pace, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate when asked if the Pentagon had any contingency plans in place for Iraq troop withdrawal....

...But, reports NPR, the Defense Department is discussing different scenarios for Iraq.

One scenario includes a "series of military installations [that] could be maintained around Iraq, with a total of total of 30,000 to 40,000 U.S. troops, for a long period of time — maybe a few decades."

Well, isn't that great??? They want to keep our troops in Iraq for decades??? Are these people nuts?

Looks like Republican Rudy Giuliani has decided he doesn't need Iowa. Yahoo News:

Some Iowa Republicans are questioning whether presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani intends to largely skip the state's leadoff caucuses.

A sluggish start to campaign organizing and indecision about whether to compete in a high-profile straw poll in August has prompted speculation that Giuliani will pay only cursory attention to Iowa and instead focus on other early election states where his high name recognition would pay off.

Giuliani has led in national polls of Republican voters. However, a recent poll by the Des Moines Sunday Register of likely GOP caucus-goers in Iowa gave former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a strong lead of 30 percent, compared to 18 percent for Arizona Sen. John McCain and 17 percent for Giuliani....

Does Rudy think he is too big for Iowa?

Republican Sen. John McCain has joined the "F-Bomb" club with Dick Cheney. AZ Central:
Senator John McCain's well-documented temper put him on the front page of Saturday's New York Post.

You won't find this blow-up on YouTube. During a private meeting off the Senate floor, McCain fired an f-bomb at fellow Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, after Cornyn questioned McCain's participation in bipartisan talks over the new immigration reform bill.

The temper issue has dogged McCain for years, and gets at whether he has the temperament for the White House. The Arizona Republic brought up his "volcanic temper" during his run for president in 2000. Republic reporter Bill Muller found several anecdotes for his series on McCain in 1999. McCain himself has dealt with it in his books....

McCain has anger management problems? Looks like there are lots of resources to back that up: Slate, Western Missouri Shooters Alliance,

News about the Smart Car from MSNBC:
Hundreds of people at the Irvine Spectrum took the smart fortwo for a 5-minute test drive this weekend – the first stop of a U.S. tour to unveil the 104-inch long car.

The vehicle, which as been available in Europe for 10 years, goes on sale early next year, starting at under $12,000 for the entry model. It will become the country's smallest car. Admirers like its novelty, compact size and gas mileage; others worry about sharing the road with SUVs and big-rigs.

The car is dubbed "smart'' because of features such as the gas mileage (40 miles or more per gallon) and the low maintenance costs, and the small size helps with parking, said Ken Kettenbeil, spokesman for smart USA, a division of Mercedes....

Can't wait for a test drive!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Staples, Ludacris, and Newtie

Good News:(Boston Channel)
Staples Inc. is expanding its electronics waste recycling program by accepting used computers and monitors that can now be dropped off for a $10 fee at any of the office products chain's 1,400 U.S. locations during store hours....
Thank you, Staples! It is nice to see some real corporate leadership!

Ludacris will be on Law and Order tonight! (Ludacris is Bill O'Reilly's favorite rapper.)

Capital Hill Blue
helps us see Newt Gingrich for what he really is....a right wing extremist!
Here is an excerpt from Capital Hill Blue:

Newt Gingrich is back and as rabid as ever, lobbing verbal bombs at anyone who disagrees with his narrow, right-wing view of the world.

Appearing on Meet the Press Sunday, Gingrich was his usual bombastic self, offering doomsday scenarios, predicting "one or more" American cities would be destroyed by a nuclear bomb or biological attack by terrorists, comparing the Iraq conflict with the American civil war and claiming, in true war-mongering Republican fashion, that the only answer is victory in the Iraq war.

When moderator Tim Russert asked Gingrich how he would win the war in Iraq, he answered:

First of all, you, you would empower General Petraeus. You'd pass the supplemental immediately. You'd give him the money. Second, you would encourage the Iraqis to triple the size of their regular army. Third, you would, you would encourage the development of a, of a military tribunal system to lock people up the way Abraham Lincoln would've done it. Fourth, you would establish a nationwide ID card with biometrics so you can actually track everybody in the country. Fifth, you would make sure that the State Department actually staffed the embassy with people in favor of winning the war and you actually had your fully, fully equipped intelligence and economic development teams. Six, you would say to the Iranians, "If you don't cut off everything you're doing, we'll begin to bring enormous pressure to bear with you," if necessary, blockading the flow of gasoline into Iran, which has to import 40 percent of its gasoline because it only has one refinery in the entire country.

So I would take-I would lean forward and say to the world, "We are, by George, going to make sure that the allies of America and the forces of freedom win, and we are the most powerful nation in history, and we have more than enough assets to do this." And we ought to do what it takes to win, not tolerate legislating defeat.

In other words, let's be even more of an international bully than we are now, set up a KGB "your papers please" national ID system in Iraq that is no doubt a prelude to putting one into place in this country and institute the same military tribunal system that courts in this country have found un-Constitutional....

Do we need a thrice married, right wing extremist in the White House? No. We also don't need a thrice married former New York mayor either.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Dobson Won't Vote for Giuliani

Dobson won't vote for Giuliani. So will the 'sheep' follow Dobson's command? Probably. LINK

Here are some excerpts from the article posted at Breitbart:

...Earlier this year, Dobson said he won't back John McCain because of the Arizona senator's opposition to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Dobson has given no public indication on how he feels about the other top-tier candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The two, however, have met privately.

Dobson called Giuliani an "unapologetic supporter of abortion on demand" and criticized him for signing a bill in 1997 creating domestic-partnership benefits in New York City.

He said there were other "moral concerns" with Giuliani, including that he's on his third marriage to "his mistress" from his second marriage and "appears not to have remorse for cheating on his wife."

Who will Dobson support? Brownback? Tancredo?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Did you hear...

-Bo Diddley has been hospitalized (MSNBC).

-Apparently, Wolfowitz wants it all----
New York Times:
After six weeks of combating efforts to oust him as president of the World Bank, Paul D. Wolfowitz began Wednesday to negotiate the terms under which he would resign, in return for the dropping or softening of the charge that he had engaged in misconduct, bank officials said.

Mr. Wolfowitz was said to be adamant that he be cleared of wrongdoing before he resigned, according to people familiar with his thinking....

--Sometimes when I watch Chris Matthews on MSNBC, I start yelling at the TV. Matthews, who appears to be in love with Rudy Giuliani, rarely smacks down Republicans. However, Matthews finally showed some chutzpah yesterday while interviewing spineless lapdog, Rep. Jack Kingston (GA-1st-R). From Crooks and Liars (see C&L for the video):

Matthews: Will the people of Georgia support ten more years of American involvement, military involvement in Iraq?

Kingston: Well, people know we're still in Germany and in South Korea…

Matthews: Yea, no no no no. I won't let you get away with that. That's not a fair comparison. We do not have a war in South Korea. There's no German that's fired on an American since 1945. That's not a fair comparison…That is not an acceptable argument! These comparisons to previous eras…it's lazy thinking, Congressman. It's the kind of propaganda that does not help this country understand the situation. You stepped into a dishonest comparison. Some people come on this show over and over again saying things that-JUST-aren't-true.

Whoa!!!! I didn't know Matthews had it in him! Kingston has four children. Are his children of age to be in the military? Does he care about the sacrifices of military families? Here is an interesting quote from Harper's Magazine about Kingston:

Democrats in Congress announced that beginning in January members of the House would work five days a week. “Keeping us up here eats away at families,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R., Georgia), who spends more than half his week at home. “Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families--that's what this says.” The Democrats were also trying to stop smoking on the Hill, and attempting to block a $3,300 congressional raise.

If Kingston is so concerned about being away from his family because he is forced to work 5 days per week, he should resign.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN-R) is unapologetic about her support of her Republican party's agenda. Bachmann, who has appeared uncomfortably head-over-heels in love with George W. Bush, has voted against some important bills in the House. The St. Cloud Times has the details:

...She was one of seven Republicans who voted against legislation that helps protect taxpayers from identity theft and tax fraud....

...In siding with her party, Bachmann voted against raising the minimum wage, against the 9/11 Commission report and in favor of President Bush's Iraq policy....

Bachmann is a real extreme right winger. She is frightening! Have you seen the Bachmann video on You Tube? Check it out here.

More Tragedy

With Bush's surge/escalation continuing in Iraq, many expected an increase of injured troops. However, as Americans, we were hoping and praying that we would not see the capture of our troops by insurgents.

The Buffalo News:
The seven American victims of a weekend ambush in Iraq were members of the storied 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team from Fort Drum in Northern New York, Army officials said Tuesday.

The attack near Mahmoudiya, in a Sunni stronghold 20 miles south of Baghdad, killed four U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi translator and left three other soldiers missing. The Pentagon believes that the missing soldiers are in terrorist hands.

The Islamic State of Iraq — an al-Qaida front group that has claimed it captured the soldiers....

I've been praying to St. Anthony of Padua, who is known as the patron saint of lost items and missing people. Perhaps St. Anthony can lead our special search teams to the location of our captured troops. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those killed in this latest incident and those who are missing and feared captured.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and the Obscene

The Good:
Ohio Governor, Ted Strickland, has a very high approval rating. From The Youngstown Vindicator:
An Ohio Poll shows Gov. Ted Strickland with the highest inaugural approval rating for a governor in the survey's 26-year history.

Of those polled, 68 percent approve of the performance of Strickland, a Democrat formerly from Lisbon. Among the rest, 16 percent disapprove and 16 percent didn't have an opinion.

The Ohio Poll, released Monday by the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research, shows Strickland's approval rating among self-described Republicans at 64 percent.

The Ohio Poll is traditionally an accurate political gauge of state voters, correctly stating the winners in 2006 and 2002 statewide elections before Election Day.....

Strickland has brought honesty and common sense back to Ohio government!

The Bad:

Have you noticed the large number of resignations coming out of the U.S. Department of Justice? Why are so many leaving, but Alberto Gonzales remains? Newsweek has a story on the recent resignations:

The White House was hit by two sudden resignations late Monday when Paul McNulty, a top Justice Department official, and Lanny Davis, the only Democratic member of the president’s civil liberties watchdog board, announced they were stepping down. Both resignations are likely to fuel allegations of White House political meddling in law enforcement and national security issues....

....McNulty was stunned last March to discover that Gonzales’ former top aide, Kyle Sampson, and White House officials—including deputy counsel Bill Kelley in a crucial March 7 strategy session—had failed to inform him and one of his deputies about the early White House role in the decision to remove the prosecutors, the associate said....

Who the hell is running the Department of Justice? How can the DOJ operate with resignations, firings, and political maneuvering? It looks like everything that Bush, Cheney, Rove, and this administration touches turns to garbage (Iraq, immigration, Afghanistan, homeland security, etc.).

The Obscene:

Gasoline prices are positively obscene. In Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce's (OH-15) neighborhood, gas price range from $3.08 to $3.23 per gallon, according to MSN. Even though regular citizens are being hit hard with the rising cost of filling the tank, Pryce has enjoyed contributions from oil and energy. In some small but significant way, Pryce and the GOP's cozy relationship with Big Oil has contributed to the outrageous shockers at the pump.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Venice and the Female Gondolier

The New York Times has a terrific article about the first female gondolier in Venice, Italy. Apparently, Alexandra Hai, has received threats and insults from the male gondoliers.

Two years ago when we visited Venice, we rode on a gondola. During our ride, we saw two gondoliers almost punch each other. Our gondolier spent a good portion of his time on his cell phone while navigating the canals. As we were getting off the gondola, our gondolier failed to get us close enough to the dock and I got my feet wet.

If having female gondoliers would bring civility, polite behavior, and increased safety to the canals of Venice, I'm all for it! There is no reason to hold back progress, even in Venice. Ciao!


Keeping the Truth from the Troops
Breitbart: Soldiers serving overseas will lose some of their online links to friends and loved ones back home under a Department of Defense policy that a high-ranking Army official said would take effect Monday.

The Defense Department will begin blocking access "worldwide" to YouTube, MySpace and 11 other popular Web sites on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by Gen. B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander.

The policy is being implemented to protect information and reduce drag on the department's networks, according to Bell.....

Breaking news: CNN is reporting on TV now that some American troops were shot at the Pakistan border. CNN

The Oil Companies:
There was a interview on The Today Show with the president of The Shell Oil Company. He is on a national tour trying to whip up sympathy for oil refining companies so that they can drill in Alaska and on our shores. I was felt so sorry for the man. (Note: According to the Casper Tribune, Shell Oil Company....had worldwide profit last year of $25 billion.....). When you are filling up your SUV just remember that you are contributing to their profits.

The Sopranos:
I am a faithful viewer of The Sopranos and last night there were several surprises.
-The car accident and what happened to Chris seemed to come out of nowhere but it did solve a lot of problems for Tony.
-Paulie continues to annoy Tony and there are hints that it may lead to something happening to Paulie.

Just asking....
Why are there only Republicans on Meet the Press and other Sunday Talk Shows?
How can Rush Limpballs continue to make racist comments and no one has moved to kick him off the air?
Is Karl Rove really running the country?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday's News

-There is an excellent article in the Washington Monthly about Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-17). Ryan and the other Democratic "Young Turks" are bringing more and more young people into the Democratic Party.

-From ICasualties:
U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3379
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 6
Total 3385

-USA Today has an article on a new Army Hotline (800-984-8523):
Disputes with the Army over disability ratings, out-patient health care and misplaced medical records dominate the more than 700 complaints received by a new Army telephone hotline, public records provided to USA TODAY show.

There were far fewer phoned-in complaints than the Army anticipated after seven weeks. The hotline started March 19, shortly after the revelations of problems with care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.

The largest portion of phone calls — more than 40% — related to issues that have triggered several investigations, commissions and task forces following news coverage about Walter Reed: the Army's disability process, out-patient health care and lost records.....

- Rush Limpballs is under fire for a racist song he plays about Barack Obama.
Raw Story and BBC News:

....Limbaugh has been playing a song called Barack the Magic Negro, to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon.
The right-wing talk show host defended himself by saying he is an entertainer and the song is a parody.....

This isn't a parody. It is racism.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Iraq's Parliament: Going on Vacation???

I was shocked to read the news that Iraq's Parliament plans to go on a two month summer vacation.
Concord Monitor:
...U.S. officials traveling with Cheney said he was also concerned that Iraq's parliament was considering a two-month summer vacation at a time when important legislation is pending. The Iraqi government has made little progress on the benchmark goals established by the Bush administration, including amending the constitution to address Sunni concerns, passing the oil law, and allowing some former members of the once-ruling Baath party, who were driven from the government en masse after the invasion, to return to their jobs.....

-While our young men and women are dying and being wounded in the streets of Baghdad, the Iraqi officials will be hitting their vacation homes in the Middle East?
-While our military endures IED's, mortar attacks, and fights with insurgents, the Iraqi Parliament will be enjoying rest and relaxation?????

This is wrong. If the Iraqi government goes ahead with their planned vacation, we should pull our troops out immediately.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is providing real leadership and inspiration. Pelosi posts information about the activities of the House of Representatives through her website, The Gavel.

(The Hill)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is threatening to take President Bush to court if he issues a signing statement as a way of sidestepping a carefully crafted compromise Iraq war spending bill.....

Nancy Pelosi has demonstrated grace under pressure, intelligence, and just plain hard work in her post as Speaker of the House. What did Republicans fear before the last election? Were they afraid of progress?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Iraq War Taking Lives, Money, and Equipment

ICasualties has the latest in the fatalities in Iraq:

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3368
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 10
Total 3378

Besides losing our young men and women in Iraq, the untold stories of wounds and lost limbs, and the scars of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), our country has lost billions and billions of dollars. Now another cost of the war has become evident--- National Guard Members and their equipment are in Iraq and cannot respond to disasters here at home.

When Kansas National Guard equipment was being shipped to the war in Iraq, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius warned that if a major disaster hit here, Guard troops wouldn't have enough equipment on hand.

The destruction of Greensburg by a tornado Friday night has stretched Guard resources thin, the governor said Monday.

"About 50 percent of our trucks are gone; we need trucks," she said in an interview with CNN. "We're missing Humvees; we're missing all kinds of equipment that can help us respond to this kind of emergency."

However, the administration had a different story (WBAY):

The White House is rejecting criticism from the governor of Kansas that the war in Iraq has exposed holes in disaster response to events like the Greensburg tornado.

Governor Kathleen Sebelius (seh-BEEL'-yuhs) says much of the National Guard's equipment and some key personnel are in Iraq. She says the lack of resources has hurt the response to the twister that killed nine and virtually wiped out the town.But White House spokesman Tony Snow says the National Guard has equipment in place around the country to respond when states need it.....

The failures of this administration's ability and desire to respond to natural disasters is evident when we remember one word-----KATRINA.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Moody Rudy & Republican Defectors

In their search for the truth, Raw Story has found an article that shows scores of Republicans are supporting Obama for President: (Link)

DISILLUSIONED supporters of President George W Bush are defecting to Barack Obama, the Democratic senator for Illinois, as the White House candidate with the best chance of uniting a divided nation.

Tom Bernstein went to Yale University with Bush and co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team with him. In 2004 he donated the maximum $2,000 to the president’s reelection campaign and gave $50,000 to the Republican National Committee. This year he is switching his support to Obama. He is one of many former Bush admirers who find the Democrat newcomer appealing.....

****Think you've heard everything? It appears that the Giuliani campaign has complained to NBC News about MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. Here is an excerpt from the Huffington Post:

In an angry commentary on April 25, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann accused Rudolph Giuliani of using the language of Osama bin Laden with "the same chilling nonchalance of the madman" to argue that Republicans would keep Americans safer than Democrats from terror.

Eight days later, Olbermann hosted MSNBC's coverage of the first debate among Republican candidates for president.....

....The Giuliani campaign privately expressed its concern to NBC News about Olbermann's role in the days leading up to last Thursday's debate....

.....But MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said a Giuliani campaign representative had called NBC News to complain about Olbermann being part of the debate telecast following his commentary. Olbermann was not told about the protest until after he came off the air Thursday, he said.

Other GOP presidential campaigns have expressed concerns about Olbermann to NBC News, according to a New York political strategist who requested anonymity to protect his clients.....

"Moody" Rudy complained before that his wife Judi was being treated unfairly in the press (because of her ties with U.S. Surgical that killed dogs {see Dog Politics for more}). Now "Moody" Rudy doesn't like Keith Olbermann to discuss his performance in the debate? Is this an indication of how Rudy would act if he were President? Would he try to put controls on the press and public opinion? Just asking.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Newsweek Poll: Bush Approval at 28%!!!!!

Ooooops! Newsweek's new poll is probably going to cause some Republicans to get a little queasy. Not only does President Bush have an approval rating of 28% (64% disapproval) but the poll also shows that any of the top 3 Democratic presidential candidates would easily beat the top Republican presidential candidates. Wow! Of course, the election is more than one year away and anything can happen. (Bush could become even less popular!) Here are some highlights from the poll (For complete information, check the Newsweek link.)

Question 18
Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?
Satisfied....... 25%
Dissatisfied ... 71%
Don't Know.... 4%

....and my favorite....

Question 22
Which comes closer to your view of Bush’s recent actions in Iraq…
30% They show he is willing to take political risks to do what's right

62% They show he is stubborn and unwilling to admit his mistakes

8% Don't know/Refused.
................ 7%GOP...... 5%DEMS....... 9%Indep.

My advice to the Democrats is to just keep sending those Iraq funding bills to President Bush even though he says he'll veto it if it contains a timetable for withdrawal.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Gas Prices Soar

I just paid $3.19/gal. for gasoline here in Columbus, Ohio. Thank goodness for my Honda Civic Hybrid because I can get at least 42mpg driving in the city.

I think we should all thank our Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH-15) for her overwhelming support of the Energy and Oil Companies. She has received, according to Open Secrets:
Energy/Nat Resource $317,270 $255,570 $61,700

When you go and fill up your tank, just keep in mind that Deborah Pryce and her good buddies at the Energy and Natural Resource PACs helped bring up those prices with her votes for bills that protect oil/natural resources. Need more information on how Pryce's cozy relationship has assisted big oil? Visit HERE.

May 4th

I was a student at The Ohio State University on May 4, 1970. I still remember the shock we all felt at the news that students had been shot and killed at Kent State University. One of the students who was shot had attended my high school in the Youngstown area. That day, we kept asking ourselves how this could have happened.

Jack Whiting, of New Jersey, also remembers that day.
North Jersey Media Group:
Early in the evening the week before May 4, 1970, Jack Whiting's buddy had a favor to ask: He needed someone to walk his girlfriend to the library.

Whiting said sure.

Kent State University was expansive -- about 200 acres. Walks across campus were usually long, though this one took just seven minutes, Whiting, a senior at the time, recalls.

But then time stopped.

"All of a sudden, everybody was screaming and running," said Whiting, the city tax assessor since 1971.

Whiting turned in horror to find Ohio National Guardsmen charging at him and other students with bayonettes mounted.

He pushed his buddy's girl through a first-floor window of the library, then ran for his life. He made it around the building to the front entrance and ducked inside. He and the girl waited for a good hour, until it was quiet outside.

It was a preview of the greater horror to come....

This from ThrashersWheat---

Thirty five years ago, on May 4, 1970, an anti-war student demonstration at Kent State University, Ohio left four students dead, one paralyzed, and eight others wounded.

The demonstration ended when the National Guard fired into the crowd of students. The shootings ended the lives of four students Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Schroeder, and Sandra Scheuer.

Shortly thereafter, Neil Young wrote what would become an anthem of a generation -- the song "Ohio" in memory of the "Four dead in Ohio"......

Democracy Now has a several pieces on the shootings at Kent which was originally publish on May 4, 2005:

On May 4th, 1970 - 35 years ago today - National Guardsmen opened fire on a crowd of unarmed students at Kent State University. Four students were killed and nine others wounded. We commemorate the 35th anniversary by airing an excerpt of the documentary, "Kent State: The Day the War Came Home" that includes interview with students and National Guardsmen who were there....

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Let Them Hear From YOU!

Wouldn't you like to know the names of the members of Congress who voted against overriding the President's veto of the Iraq Appropriations Bill that contained a timetable for withdrawal? Wouldn't you like to give them a piece of your mind? Wouldn't you like to remind them that unless they vote to get the troops home now that they'll lose their next election?

Here is the list of the members of Congress who voted against overriding the veto: (Washington Post)
Robert Aderholt, Todd Akin, Rodney Alexander, Michele Bachmann, Spencer Bachus, Richard Baker, J. Gresham Barrett, Roscoe Bartlett, Joe Barton, Judith Biggert, Brian Bilbray, Gus Bilirakis, Rob Bishop, Marsha Blackburn, Roy Blunt, John Boehner, Jo Bonner, Mary Bono, John Boozman, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, Henry Brown, Ginny Brown-Waite, Vern Buchanan, Michael Burgess, Dan Burton, Steve Buyer, Ken Calvert, Dave Camp, John Campbell, Chris Cannon, Eric Cantor, Shelley Moore Capito, John Carter, Michael Castle, Steve Chabot, Howard Coble, Tom Cole, Michael Conaway, Ander Crenshaw, Barbara Cubin, John Culberson, Geoff Davis, Tom Davis, David Davis, Nathan Deal, Charles Dent, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, John Doolittle, Thelma Drake, David Dreier, John 'Jimmy' Duncan, Vernon Ehlers, Jo Ann Emerson, Philip English, Terry Everett, Mary Fallin, Tom Feeney, Mike Ferguson, Jeff Flake, Randy Forbes, Jeff Fortenberry, Vito Fossella, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Elton Gallegly, Scott Garrett, Jim Gerlach, Paul Gillmor, Phil Gingrey, Louie Gohmert, Virgil Goode, Bob Goodlatte, Kay Granger, Sam Graves, Ralph Hall, J. Dennis Hastert, Doc Hastings, Robin Hayes, Dean Heller, Jeb Hensarling, Wally Herger, David Hobson, Peter Hoekstra, Kenny Hulshof, Duncan Hunter, Bob Inglis, Darrell Issa, Bobby Jindal, Tim Johnson, Sam Johnson, Jim Jordan, Ric Keller, Steve King, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Mark Kirk, John Kline, Joe Knollenberg, Randy Kuhl, Ray LaHood, Steven LaTourette, Doug Lamborn, Tom Latham, Jerry Lewis, Ron Lewis, John Linder, Frank LoBiondo, Frank Lucas, Daniel Lungren, Connie Mack, Donald Manzullo, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Michael McCaul, Thad McCotter, Jim McCrery, Patrick McHenry, John McHugh, Buck McKeon, John Mica, Jeff Miller, Candice Miller, Gary Miller, Jerry Moran, Tim Murphy, Marilyn Musgrave, Sue Myrick, Randy Neugebauer, Devin Nunes, Ron Paul, Stevan Pearce, Mike Pence, John Peterson, Thomas Petri, Chip Pickering, Joe Pitts, Todd Platts, Ted Poe, Jon Porter, Tom Price, Deborah Pryce, Adam Putnam, George Radanovich, Jim Ramstad, Ralph Regula, Dennis Rehberg, David Reichert, Rick Renzi, Thomas Reynolds, Mike Rogers, Hal Rogers, Mike Rogers, Dana Rohrabacher, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Peter Roskam, Edward Royce, Paul Ryan, Bill Sali, Jim Saxton, Jean Schmidt, Jim Sensenbrenner, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, Christopher Shays, John Shimkus, Bill Shuster, Michael Simpson, Adrian Smith, Christopher Smith, Lamar Smith, Mark Souder, Cliff Stearns, John Sullivan, Tom Tancredo, Lee Terry, Mac Thornberry, Todd Tiahrt, Pat Tiberi, Michael Turner, Fred Upton, Timothy Walberg, Greg Walden, James Walsh, Zachary Wamp, Dave Weldon, Jerry Weller, Ed Whitfield, Roger Wicker, Heather Wilson, Joe Wilson, Frank Wolf, Don Young, Bill Young

Of course, our super-duper, Bush cheerleader, and big rubber-stamper, Deborah Pryce (OH-15) is among the NOs. These Republicans want us to continue the war. These Republicans want your sons and daughters to continue to be injured and die in Iraq's civil war. These Republicans continue to serve their party before their country. Let them know you are fed up with their behavior and their votes. Let them hear from YOU!

Why do Republicans want to continue the Iraq War?

It is time to start putting pressure on the Republicans to abandon their talking points and their ridiculous support of the President's failed policy in Iraq. The Republicans have decided to choose their political party over the good of the country. Shame on them. Young men and women are dying in Iraq because the Republicans have refused to act courageously and say, "Enough!"

Ohio News

Buckeye fans: The Dispatch has posted the football schedule for the Ohio State Buckeyes:

Sept. 1 Youngstown State TBA
Sept. 8 Akron TBA
Sept. 15 at Washington 3:30 p.m
Sept. 22 Northwestern TBA
Sept. 29 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Oct. 6 at Purdue 8 p.m.
Oct. 13 Kent State TBA
Oct. 20 Michigan State 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 27 at Penn State 8 p.m.
Nov. 3 Wisconsin TBA
Nov. 10 Illinois TBA
Nov. 17 at Michigan TBA

*There continues to be more news surrounding the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation scandal from the former governor, Republican Bob Taft: (Toledo Blade)

Before Terrence Gasper's kickback scheme began unraveling, the former chief financial officer of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation had his golden years "well-planned," prosecutors said in documents filed in federal court yesterday.

Gasper planned to retire in October, 2005, with a full pension after 10 years with the bureau and was looking forward to living "at least part" of the time in a Florida Keys condo provided to him by two Cleveland-area investment brokers, prosecutors explained.
He also would collect a salary from another broker - not yet named or charged - who previously made cash payments to Gasper in exchange for favors he arranged through the bureau's investment department....

Gasper is scheduled to be sentenced on May 9 in Akron after admitting that he took bribes from the bureau's money managers, including $25,000 from former Toledo-area rare coin dealer Tom Noe, in exchange for doling out hundreds of millions of dollars in lucrative state investment business.....

The next time that Ohio Republicans Robert Bennett, Jon Husted, and Kevin DeWine, or any member of the Ohio GOP, say that they are the party of ethics, just laugh in their faces!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mission Accomplished?

As I drive around town in my Honda Civic Hybrid, I wonder how people are handling those high gas prices.

Right wing columnist, William F. Buckley, Jr., is wondering if the Republican party can survive. (National Review)

Americablog has written about Limbaugh racist songs and comments about Sen. Barack Obama. (I won't repeat Limpballs words here, but I suggest you visit Americablog.) How is it that Limpballs can say this stuff? Isn't this the same racist stuff that got Imus fired?

According to GAS BUDDY, on 1/1/2002, gasoline in Columbus, Ohio sold for $1.15/gal.

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