Friday, September 28, 2007
The problem came in when the shrub, never one to pas sup a chance to deny help to those in need, threatened to veto the legislation. His reasoning: he doesn't think children ought to have "government" health care. And so, with the dictator threatening a veto in order to prevent kids from getting desperately needed health care, the Senate watered down the House version of the bill -- HR 3612.
Kucinich had voted for the House bill, but the watered down version tossed too many kids -- namely, children of legal immigrants -- off the program, so he voted against the Senate's gutted legislation.
"Legal immigrant children deserve the same quality health care as other children receive. It is Congress’ responsibility to address the main difficulties that prevent legal immigrant children from gaining access to health care. Today, we did exactly the opposite," he explained in his official statement.
Okay, understandable. Dennis voted against a watered down version of a bill he had supported. In this, he is no different than most members of Congress in either chamber. It's a very common occurrence. But, most members of Congress are not running for president -- nor are most members trying to pass universal, single-payer health care (Dennis is). So why was this fact left out in yesterday's Kos entry?
I suspect it's because it's because the writer had an agenda to press against Kucinich, and was therefore not inclined to explore the nuances of the vote or present the full range of facts so readers could make up their own minds. A lie of omission is still a lie. Daily Kos has a duty to be honest with its readers. In yesterday's diary entry blasting Dennis Kucinich, it failed in that duty.P.S.
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Thursday, September 27, 2007
What is surprising, and most disappointing, is how willing so many Democrats are to throw their support behind Clinton even though she does not represent the values of the base (or even most so-called moderates). It seems that far too many Democratic voters have learned nothing from the failure of the "anybody but Bush" mentality that handed the wimpy John Kerry the party nomination in 2004. And we all know how disastrously his campaign failed, and how he gave up so easily when it was clear even on election night that the election was being stolen out from under him. So desperate to see a Democrat, any Democrat, replace the shrub in the White House that these voters are content to remain oblivious to an obvious truth: just because there's a 'D' next to the candidate's name doesn't mean that person is fundamentally -- or any -- different from a candidate with an 'R' next to his name.
Joe LIEberman is a prime recent example. What ought to be crystal clear to Americans in general, and Democrats in particular, is that having George W. Bush's seal of approval is a warning sign about the Democrat whose candidacy he is warm to.
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Anyway, Day Two of my thousand-dollar fund raising drive is officially upon us. So please whip out your plastic and donate to help me maintain my discussion forum and pay my bills.
Monday, September 24, 2007
The goal of this initial fund raiser is one thousand U.S. dollars. You don't have to make large donations (though I certainly will not turn them down -- for example, if a hundred people donate ten dollars each, that would help me reach my goal), but however much you plop down will help. So please break out your credit and debit cards and click the PayPal link above. Thank you.
Why must we constantly put up with a liar who says he's representing his state and the rest of the country, but who almost always buckles under to the wishes of his political party? Voinovich is up for re-election in 2010. A truly progressive, truly anti-war candidate needs to mount a serious challenge to him before then. Why wait until 2009? Start going door to door, raising money, and filing the necessary paperwork -- now. Today.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
When ass-kissing chickenshit David Petraeus lied his ass off before Congress about the failed "surge", capitol hill police tackled and arrested a pentecostal minister, damaging his ankle in the process. His "crime"? Trying to get in to watch and listen to the hearings.
As reported in the Nation magazine, sixty-year old Carol Trainer -- a Vietnam veteran -- was arrested and hauled away as the mayor of Louisville, Kentucky sat and glared at her.
Last November, a student at UCLA was assaulted, tasered and arrested by campus cops, for failing to show his identification. A blogger who wrote about this abuse of power also pointed out how, in Houston, Texas that same month, a bunch of striking union workers were trampled by police on horseback, arrested, and subjected to what amounts to torture.
As writer Naomi Wolf writes,
once society has been acculturated to that use of force, the 'blurring of the line' begins and the parameters of criminalized speech are extended -- the definition of 'terrorist' expanded -- and the use of force begins to be deployed in HIGHLY VISIBLE, STRATEGIC and VISUALLY SHOCKING WAYS against people that others see and identify with as ordinary citizens. The first 'torture cellars' used by the SA, in Germany between 1931 and 1933 -- even before the National Socialists gained control of the state, during the years when Germany was still a parliamentary democracy -- were informal and widely publicized in the mainstream media. Few German citizens objected because those abused there were seen as 'other' -- even though the abuse was technically illegal. But then, after this escalation of the use of force was accepted by the population, students, journalists, opposition leaders, and clergy were similarly abused during their own arrests. Within six months dissent was stilled in Germany.If you think America isn't undergoing the same slide into fascist dictatorship today as Germany did in the 1930s, you're kidding yourself. Each of the six examples of police brutality I cited, all of them against nonviolent students and protesters, has taken place within a roughly ten-month period. But where is the outrage in the mainstream media? Why aren't the steps of the Capitol Building and the gates of the White House being flooded with protesters demanding accountability for abuses of executive power that has so permeated society that it infects our local police departments?
And therein lies one reason why this is happening. Although there has been some dissent, some outrage, it has been largely confined to the blogosphere and political discussion forums. People dare not stand up publicly against these police state tactics to silence dissent. They dare not risk being beaten down. Another reason, pointed out by the Rude Pundit, is that there are those in American society who not only actually approve of this shit, but go so far as to cheer it on! "Yeah!" they think. "Show them what they get for stepping out of line!"
Those two reasons, more than the brutal assaults on people and the First Amendment, are why America is devolving into a bad replay of Nazi Germany. The lack of national outrage, to the point we do something about it; and the support of it by mindless groupthinkers in society who are so stupid they think it's a good thing that we're being subjected to tyranny.
God help us all.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The given excuses for failing to end the war, and hold the shrub and his gargoyle accountable for their crimes, are as twisted and dishonest as anything spewed out by the Terrible Duo themselves. There isn't a big enough majority to end the war, the biggest excuse goes. Democrats are afraid of leaving troops stranded in Iraq with no funding or equipment, following threats by the Bush-Cheney regime to do just that if blank checks are not written ad infinitum. Impeachment would divide the nation, House speaker Nancy Pelosi claims. Impeachment would distract the Democratic majority from doing the people's business. There isn't a big enough majority to impeach. The list of excuses goes on.
The tragedy of it all is that the public is too smart to buy into any of these lame explanations. We know Democrats hold only a slim majority, especially in the U.S. Senate. So we are fully aware that Democrats cannot pass their legislation. We get that. Which is why we also get that, since there is no legislative agenda to distract from, impeachment really is the only thing Congress can pursue. Everything else they could do is dead in the Senate, or from conservative Democrats joining with Republicans to kill vital legislation and pass atrocious, Constitution-gutting bills.
The public also understands that Congress hasn't enough votes to end the Iraq war. But we understand, too, that having control of the Committees and the chamber leadership means that Democrats have the ability to control which bills get brought up for debate, and which get left to gather dust. Democrats can end the war by simple refusal to let any blank checks for it out of Committee, and tell the shrub that the money already given is all he's going to have from now on -- so he'd better start using it to bring the troops home; no one seriously believes Democrats would be blamed outside the corporate media if the shrub were to strand our soldiers in Iraq after funding runs out. Similarly, Democrats were in a position to hold up the Fourth Amendment-trashing FISA revision, which allows warrantless wiretaps.
We the People know all this. What's so frustrating, so infuriating, is that most Congressional Democrats can't -- or won't -- realize this. No, they'd rather have members of the public arrested, including a pentecostal minister, when they dare try to talk to their own representatives about doing their jobs.
This is why Congress' approval rating is even lower than the shrub's, and why Democrats are sure to lose across the board in next year's elections. Why should the public turn out and vote more spineless or complicit Democrats into elected office, when we see that nothing will change for the better and in fact will only change for the worse? The Republican Party thrives on low voter turnout, because that means it has a better chance of succeeding in rigging elections in its favor.
Meanwhile, America has gone to hell in a hand basket and the Bush-Cheney regime is bent on dragging Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran down with it. Constitutional freedoms are stripped from us daily; people are beaten and arrested for exercising their First Amendment rights (you can read about the latest examples here, here and here), with such incidents increasing in number on a daily basis to one degree or another.
My friends, we are existing under the yoke of what is rapidly becoming a fascist dictatorship -- with Congress complicit in completing its construction. You might think me extreme, perhaps nuts, for stating that. But the facts can lead to only this one, inescapable conclusion. This is why the Democratic Congress' poll numbers are lower than the shrub's, and why the party will lose next year. Even when handed power, the party refuses to act in the public's favor and instead chooses to enable and empower a fascist regime right here in our very own country.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Michael Mukasey and Giuliani go back a long time, when Rudy was a U.S. attorney with a penchant for prosecuting defense lawyers who dared take the cases of people he was prosecuting. According to the Washington Post, "Mukasey's public defense of Giuliani was but one example of the strong and lasting bond between [Bush's] nominee for attorney general and the man leading in the GOP polls to replace him."
As the Post goes on to report, "In 1994, Giuliani selected Mukasey, then a federal judge, to preside over his inauguration as mayor. The ties only strengthened after Giuliani left City Hall. Mukasey's son, Marc, a former assistant U.S. attorney himself, works as a partner at Giuliani's consulting firm, and Giuliani named Mukasey and his son to one of his presidential campaign advisory committees."
So what we have here are two boys who have a friendship not unlike that between Bush and Gonzales. And we all know how that affected Gonzo's performance as the nation's top gestapo goon. The shrub appears to be sucking up to Giuliani, figuring he'll seize the Republican nomination and go on to cheat his way into the Oval Office (with some quiet help from Karl Rove, I presume) next November.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Bush wants to keep a permanent military presence in Iraq, and he will do anything in order to hand his mess off to whoever succeeds him in the White House -- forcing him, or her, to accept the imperial blunder that is the Iraq war as America's permanent foreign policy. But even with a still-compliant Congress writing him blank checks to keep his war going, the shrub still sought to solidify support within the legislature in order to keep enough Republicans from actually jumping ship and joining Democrats in efforts to end it. To that end, he enlisted one of his ass-kissers at the Pentagon -- General David Petraeus -- to lie for him earlier this week in order to paint a rosy view of how things are going in Iraq.
But things are not going well at all, and two of the seven soldiers who wrote an op-ed to the New York Times debunking the spinning of the surge's effectiveness have been killed, The Nation reports. What's more, neither the American public, the American editorials or the Iraqi public have bought the deceptions Bush and his latest lapdog trotted out this week. I don't know which of the multitude of lies he told is the worst, but for the shrub to suggest that he will bring troops home -- an action he had already planned to take for the reasons given above -- as though this is some miraculous concession he's decided to make, is for me the topper. Truly, the shrub thinks We the People are so utterly stupid that we'll believe him.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Do you really think for a moment that any improvement in Iraq would be acknowledged by the far left, which believes the war on terror is largely America's fault? Those people will declare defeat no matter what happens. Moveon and the others are actually hoping for defeat.Uh-huh. Right. Got some proof to back this up, liar-boy? No? Why am I not surprised? Oh, but wait, there's more! (Isn't there always?) Billy-boy then goes on to explain to us imbeciles what would happen if we leave Iraq:
Cutting and running will lead to another terrorist sanctuary dominated by the most dangerous country in the entire world -- Iran. The far left doesn't even think Iran's dangerous. And some on the right are in denial as well. I believe my interview with Congressman Ron Paul on Monday demonstrated that. And we have a link to the interview on billoreilly.com if you want to see it.Ah, yes, let's beat the drums of war against Iran again -- in spite of the CIA's own draft report from last November (brushed off by a naturally incredulous White House that sought to promote the same lies it told about Iraq's nonexistent nukes, but now using them against Iran) saying that there is no conclusive evidence of a nuclear weapons program. Never mind places like Darfur, where real estimates of the death toll are reported at 400,000; Iraq, where the invasion and occupation has cost the lives of more thane 655,000, with the death toll rising daily; or the Congo, where the death toll is closing in on four million -- literally the worst slaughter since the Holocaust during WWII. But hey, let it never be said that Bill O'Lielly forms his opinions based on "stupid things" like facts. The Fox Noise Channel's top liar closes his bile-filled rant with the following:
Iraq is the most important issue in America today by far. And you deserve the truth about it, not dishonesty to further political agendas.Yet Bill O'Lielly continues to lie to Americans to further his political agenda. The hypcrisy's amazing, isn't it ladies and gentlemen?
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
1.) With all the headlines blathering about "remembering" 9/11, it is important to point out that some of us never forgot. And, surprise! we're not the ones who so condescendingly remind people of that day as if our opposition to the Iraq war somehow blunted our memory. Which brings me to...
2.) Where the fuck is Osama bin Laden, and why is he still making videos with which to taunt us six years later?
Monday, September 10, 2007
Here's the scoop: MoveOn.org put out a newspaper ad critical of general David Petraus. So the Republican noise machine kicked into high gear, demanding that Democrats condemn it. And condemn it they did; even John Kerry, who more than anyone else might have had a legitimate reason to criticize the ad in question, distanced himself from it. What was this ad, you ask? This one.
Now, if it had been me in a leadership position right before a critical debate on whether to hand the shrub yet another blank check for his war, I'd have been a hell of a lot more confrontational. I'd have said something like, "since when do I or anyone else in this Congress have any say in what MoveOn.org puts in the newspaper?" And "I'll tell you what, I'll condemn the MoveOn.org ad when you in the GOP condemn the swift boat liars' attacks on Senator Kerry."
But that's just me. Because I have, you know, a spine.
Friday, September 07, 2007
When push came to shove, Democrats caved in and gave the shrub a blank check to continue his war. Worse, they legalized an illegal and unconstitutional domestic spying program. And now with a whitewashed report that won't even have been written by the generals overseeing Iraq due next week, the GAO reporting that the surge hasn't done shit except to continue things as is, and the ongoing revelation that he's just playing games with the lives of our troops so he can manipulate the presidential candidates into accepting and continuing his war long after he has finally left office (a revelation that confirms something previously reported), the shrub is going to demand even more money for it on top of the roughly $150-200 billion blank check he's already been handed.
With all this, how quickly do you think the cowardly, weak-willed Democrats who have spent the better part of a year letting America down will cave in and give it to him?
Thursday, September 06, 2007
I was surprised to watch Keith Olbermann lose his temper to the point of actually shouting. Clearly he is outraged, which is understandable. Indeed, the number and and unmitigated gall of Bush's multitude of outrages tends to provoke a great deal of shouting. But I think the question that really ought to be asked is, at what point will Congress wake up and realize that it is now nothing more than just another plaything for the shrub, and decide that enough is enough? Or will it wake up?
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Do us a favor Ms. Pollitt, and stop being such a whiny little hypocrite. You underestimated the level of anger and frustration so many Americans feel toward Pelosi, House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers, and other Democratic leaders who have consistently failed or refused to end the Iraq war and hold George W. Bush and Dick Cheney accountable for their crimes. Just as bad, you've failed to understand that Sheehan is right: too many Congressional Democrats have chosen to be complicit in the Bush regime's crimes. This is no more evident than in the failure to end the war by cutting off funding, permanently removing impeachment as an option for handling Bush & Co., and now the legalization of an illegal and unconstitutional wiretap program. Sheehan is doing the right thing, and all you can do is beg her not to run on the most ridiculous of grounds (you don't think she can win).
Sheehan's point in running against Pelosi isn't to win a seat in Congress, it's about sending a message to those who have abused their power along with the trust of the majority of Americans who want the Iraq war over and Bush and Cheney impeached. The same majority, I must add, that voted Democrats into power for the first time in twelve years last November. Pelosi never really wanted the speakership of the House of Representatives, except as her way of cementing her name in history as the first woman to hold the position. But gutless Nancy didn't want any of the responsibility that comes with being Speaker. Someone had to step up to the plate and announce a primary candidacy, and no one else of note having the courage to do it Sheehan decided she had to do something. At least Cindy Sheehan is doing something, which is far more than may be said of Nancy Pelosi.
To Katha Pollit, I say this: grow up. If you can't take a little criticism, don't dish it out in the first place. Or at least have the decency to direct the political voice the Nation gives you at those who are truly worthy of scorn, and leave people of courage and integrity like Cindy Sheehan alone.
Yours truly now has his own page at DailyKos, and I will post Truth Zone entries there in addition to here.
I've got to hand it to the Rude Pundit: he sure knows how to propose a rock-solid idea. If only the Democratic National Committee weren't so laden with DLCers, and had more Kucinich types, the national agendas of ending the Iraq war and impeaching Bush and Cheney might stand a snowball's chance in hell.
The idea is simple: jump on David Vitter, the disgraceful senator from Louisiana who got busted for having solicited favors from prostitutes in the D.C. Madame scandal, and get him to resign before the upcoming gubernatorial election in the state that foisted Britney Spears upon an unwilling world.
See, if the GOP manages to win Louisiana's gubernatorial throne they can dump Vitter and replace him with another Republican. And should that happen, Joe LIEberman will continue to block any attempt to end the war in Iraq by threatening to caucus with the GOP. But, if Louisiana keeps its governorship Democratic, and if the DNC can actually launch an effective PR campaign against Vitter for his hypocrisy (he was a staunch antagonist of then-president Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal) and force him into early retirement, chances are good his replacement will be a Democrat. And that means no more having to suck up to Joe LIEberman.
The problem, however, is twofold: there isn't much time left between now and Louisiana's gubernatorial election, and Democrats haven't the media savvy to control the dialog. Sure, Larry Craig resigned in disgrace after getting busted soliciting an undercover police officer for gay sex in a public restroom. But he is from the politically safe GOP stronghold of Idaho, and his replacement will be a Republican who can better avoid the unpleasant stigma of running with a scandal over his head.
That's why David Vitter was neither abandoned by his political party, or forced to resign; his seat would have been ripe for a Democrat, and that would have lost the GOP its LIEberman card. As long as Republican Joe has the ability to prevent an end to the Iraq war, and end investigations by the Senate into the numerous scandals plaguing the White House, count on Harry Reid to continue to surrender on every single meaningful piece of legislation.
So the time is now. Contact the DNC and get someone, anyone, in a position to influence the direction of the Sunday talk show discussions to turn the tables for once on the right-wing media. Make the discussion about David Vitter, why he is still in office in spite of also having been caught in a sex scandal, and why he must resign immediately for the good of Louisiana and the country.