Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Iraqi Civil War has Broken Out

It is confirmed by the fact that Bushie denies that Iraq is falling into a civil war. He has been wrong on everything else. You have to accept that Bushie lives in Bizarro World so you have to take whatever he says and believe just the opposite - then he makes sense.

Bushie Ignored the Threat of Civil War

Now that the civil war is worsening in Iraq, maybe Bushie will realize that he is at fault for not heeding numerous warnings that it would happen. Probably not. Tomorrow I expect him to make a statement like, "Freedom is on the march and it is hard work. We have to stay the course and finish the job. We'll leave when the mission is accomplished so I won't cut and run. Remember 9/11, 9/11, 9/11 and Osama bin Laden and the the terrorists. We have to fight them there so we don't have to fight them here. Oh yeah, and we should sell the Ports to the United Arab Emirates."

Bushie Ties to the UAE

Bush loves the United Arab Emirates and reiterated his commitment to see them get control of port operations in 6 major American cities. The UAE - Ports deal is going to be reviewed again over the next 45 days but the more we learn the more it stinks of greed.

Check out the CNN report on the financial ties between UAE and Bushie.

The following is a good summary of just some of the reasons the deal is a bad security risk.

Americans can clearly see that Bushie chose moola over American security.

U.S. Troops in Iraq Want to Come Home

A new Zogby poll of U.S. troops in Iraq shows that 72 percent of troops want to end operations in Iraq and come home this year. I guess Bushie would call them wusses who want to "cut and run" because they do not want to stay "until the job is done" (whatever that means).

Sadly, almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11. So they are fighting a war they do not want to fight and they are misinformed about the reason they are there.

New Bushie Poll Numbers

As I predicted several days ago, Bushie's poll numbers have gone from bad to worse. His job approval rating is at an all time low of 34 percent in a new CBS poll.

The civil war in Iraq has claimed the lives of 1300 Iraqis over the last couple of days and Bushie's blind and dumb faith in the highly flawed ports deal which would turn over operational control to the United Arab Emirates is killing him.

On a positive note, the CBS poll shows that Americans are ready to move on from "Cheney shot a guy in the face-gate."

Day 1631!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Halliburton Robbing Taxpayers

Oh well, I guess war profiteering is now acceptable under the Bushies. Halliburton's disputed charges by government auditors are going to be paid. Corruption is par for the course and Americans just don't really care that their money is going to waste.

Coast Guard Concerns about UAE Ports Deal

Turns out the U.S. Coast Guard identified significant intel gaps about the UAE controlled company, DB Ports, that Bushie wants to turn over port operations to. There was no security review but Bushie is insistent that we have nothing to worry about. Right!

Redskins - Cap Problems Again

'Skins fans who will you lose this year? The team has some needs, most notably at wide receiver and offensive line, but it is $20 million over the cap. Actually, Peter King shows them $25 million over. So, it has to shed some salaries just to have money for the team's draft picks. It certainly does not look like Gibbs is going to be able to pull the trigger on a big name free agent. Maybe he and Brunell can pray.

Another Soccer Story

This is an unusual day - two soccer stories.

A Romanian team traded a player for 33 pounds of meat. The team that sent the meat got shafted when the player retired.

U.S. Secret Prisons

It appears that the U.S. is running a Gitmo-like prison in Afghanistan - except it has poorer conditions. We certainly have to have a place to put terror suspects, but it is hypocritical and morally reprehensible that we set up any detention procedure that takes suspects and holds them indefinitely without charge. These suspects are clearly subject to mental and physical abuse that is tantamount to torture. Then, most of the suspects are released without ever having a charge against them.

If the U.S. conducts such activities, then on what moral, legal, or rational ground can we expect other countries not to engage in the same with our prisoners of war? There is none. Just because the other side is barbaric does not mean that we should be - in fact, it is all the more reason to show how different we really are. By offering due process rights and humane treatment we can demonstrate our superiority.

You can read more government documents regarding torture policy and actual torture conducted by agents of the United States.

More Bi-Partisan Bushie Critics

The nation's governors - Republican and Democrat - are fighting the heavy handed federal demands that states pay for part of the monstrosity that is the Bushie Medicare prescription drug coverage.

They are also fighting Bushie on his failure to fully fund the National Guard in his new budget. He will send National Guardsmen off to Iraq but he doesn't want to pay for a strong Guard here at home.

Beckham IQ

Apparently the guy cannot do his 6 year old's homework. I love this quote by the soccer star:

"I think it was maths, actually. It's done totally differently to what I was teached when I was at school . . ."

Obviously "maths" wasn't the only thing he was "teached" poorly.

Day 1630!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Prescription Drug Coverage Failure

Chalk up another Bushie failure - the prescription drug coverage under Medicare. The unwieldy and overly confusing program waste billions of tax dollars and then requires states to pay. It is a pathetically inefficient unfunded federal mandate that will bankrupt states, which is why states are already suing to avoid paying into the system.

Day 1629!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

What a (Sick) Joke!

The Pentagon has downgraded the ONE Iraqi battalion that was battle-ready and supposedly capable of fighting independently of American troops. It now appears that Iraq does not have a single battalion ready. Someone explain to me how we are ever going to get out of Iraq if we have to wait for a functioning Iraqi military.

Shoot, we cannot even maintain relations with leaders within the country.

Whether one is for or against the Iraq war, we should all agree that Bushie has been utterly incompetent in his planning and execution of the war. Nearly 2300 Americans have lost their lives because of it. I certainly take no pleasure in our failure in Iraq because it affects every American. But it is time to realize the folly of the mission and the failure for what it is.

Interesting Street Names

Check out the top ten street names.

Day 1628!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Fed Study Shows Bushie Helps Only the Rich

A study by the Federal Reserve shows what we all know - Bushie's policies are only helping the rich. From 2001 to 2004, average family income fell 2.3 percent. In fact, only America's richest families - those in the top 25 percent of net worth - saw their incomes rise. For the remaining 75 percent of Americans it was frozen or declined.

Median income and net worth grew by less than 2 percent, but this was disproportionately concentrated among the top 10 percent. For lower income Americans too bad - you saw your incomes and net worth go down.

The charts and tables tell the story clearly - check out the full report.

New Poll Numbers on Bushie

On the issue of national security, a Rasmussen (right leaning) poll shows Bushie loses to congressional Democrats 41 to 43 percent. Port-gate is killing him.

Bushie has f**ked up everything he has touched and on the one issue he had solid support on - national security/war on terror - he f**ked himself with his ridiculous stand on the UAE deal.

Day 1627!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bushie Poll Numbers?

Any guesses? Given the unbridled bi-partisan anger about "Port-gate" and the recent "Cheney shot a guy in the face - gate," as well as the escalating civil war in Iraq, my guess is Bushie is looking at approval poll numbers in the coming two weeks that will be in the low 30s and maybe even in the 20s.

New Mission in Iraq . . .

to prevent an all out civil war. The first mission was to remove Saddam (did that) and WMDs (non-existent). Then, we were told we have to rebuild the country and create a democracy (never going to happen). Now, it will be to stop the Iraqis from murdering each other and creating a bloodbath across the country that may spill into other neighboring countries. Nice work Bushie!

"Support our Troops" is just a slogan and cliche, if you don't really understand what is going on. The fact is, Iraq is a colossal policy failure. It has been since the very beginning because there were fundamental failures to understand the country and its people, and there was non-existent planning for post-invasion/post-Saddam Iraq. Hell, even the trial of Saddam has turned into a major sham.

The Bushie/neocon failure in Iraq has helped inflame the Middle East and has limited our options with Iran. On top of that, bin Laden remains on the loose because there is so much focus on Iraq.

Oh yeah, another 7 American soldiers were killed by IEDs today.

Day 1626!

Dutch - Rambo Story of the Week

The screen is black as the intro credits roll. There is a flash and an attractive newscaster is reading from a teleprompter. She then pauses and turns to another camera and calls for the weather forecast from Rambo the weatherman. Enter hero number 1 – Rambo, John J. (Sly in khakis, tie, and blazer), AKA the Italian Stallion Weatherman. “Yo, da weda iz gonna be wet and rainy ova da next coupla dayz.” (The accent is vintage south-Philly Rocky style to take advantage of Sly’s considerable range and acting skills.) He continues to give his accu-weather forecast.

During the forecast, the camera shifts from in the studio to a small spacesaver TV hanging under a modest kitchen cabinet. Watching with great interest is hero number 2 – Dutch (Arnie). He is wearing an apron and appears to have a meatloaf ready to go in the oven in the 70s style kitchen. “Aieyyeee, the picnic will be ruined! Flip is goin’ to pay for ‘dis.” This is not said in a casual, joking manner. Dutch’s face is deadly serious and he is shaking with anger. He grabs the counter and rips two chunks out of the yellow laminate countertop with his bare hands. By his brilliant acting, the audience is fully convinced that Dutch means it.

Dutch tears off the apron, runs into a second room of the smallish home and dials a black rotary phone. “Yeah, Dillon it’s me, Dutch. I have an “errand” to run – would you cay (care) to accompany me?” As he is saying this, Dutch opens a dresser drawer and reveals an assortment of automatic weapons. He grips a semi-automatic pistol and points it at the dresser mirror admiring the way he looks. Over the line, we hear the voice of the incomparable Carl Weathers, “Sure, when?” Dillon’s grip on the phone tightens and his teeth clench as he says in a quiet but angry voice, “Now a$$hole!” There is a pause on the line and Dillon replies, “Now? It’s 11:15 pm. I am a little sleepy.” Dutch shakes his head but seems to calm down and casually replies, “OK, I have a meatloaf to eat. I’ll pick you up at 7:00 am.” In a chastising voice, Dillon says, “Meatloaf at this hour? Ho ho ho – verrrry nice.”

It’s morning and light rain is falling. Dutch is driving a Yellow Cab and pulls up to a monster mansion of a house. He honks the horn and Dillon comes running down a long driveway in bright red satin sweats with two stripes on the sides of the pants and down the sleeves. Dutch takes one look, rolls his eyes in disbelief, and puts his head down on the steering wheel. “What’s up man?” a beaming Dillon asks with the biggest Carl Weathers smile you can possibly imagine. “Look in da trunk.” Replies Dutch with his head still down as he pops the trunk. Dillon bounces to the back of the car and as he looks down into the trunk, his smile turns to a look of horror.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Iraq Civil War

It is escalating. The sooner Americans realize there is a civil war going on in Iraq, the better. Pro-American democracy is not happening despite what Bushie keeps saying. Wake up America.

UNBELIEVABLE!

Now Bushie is telling us that he did not even know about the UAE port takeover deal before it was approved. He didn't know and Rumsfeld says he did not know (see my last post). We are supposedly in a War on Terror and the president and the defense secretary did not know that six major ports of entry into the U.S. were going to be turned over to an Arab state?

NEWSFLASH: Bush has just nominated Marion Barry to be Drug Czar (kidding, but about as stupid as what Bushie is doing). Welcome to Bushie Bizarro World!

Confusion about UAE Ports Deal

The UAE purchase of American Ports is getting more contentious.

Bushie came out yesterday and said "First of all, this is a private transaction. But it -- according to law, the government is required to make sure this transaction does not, in any way, jeopardize the security of the country. And so people responsible in our government have reviewed this transaction."

The "people in our government" make up what is called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. - a panel of experts from throughout our government that are in the Executive Branch.

Homeland Security Chief Michael "don't remind me about Katrina" Chertoff was on the Sunday talk circuit this week and said, "We don’t take a risk. What we do is we require a very careful review—we have the FBI involved, we have the Department of Defense involved—of what the challenges are. We have, in fact, dealt with this port before because we deal with it overseas as part of our comprehensive global security network."

So, the Department of Defense is supposed to review such purchases and obviously U.S. ports of entry are a significant national security target. Makes sense that Rummy would look into this. But here is part of the transcript from Rummy's press conference yesterday:

Q: Mr. Secretary, I'd like to ask you about government -- the U.S. government's decision to have a company from the UAE run six U.S. seaports. Is that a decision that the Defense Department weighed in on? And what, if any, national security issues do you think that raises?

SEC. RUMSFELD: First, let me say I'm not expert on this subject, and it -- my understanding that I've been told secondhand by others is the following: that there's a process that exists in the government; that six departments and agencies are involved, and five or six offices in the Executive Office of the President and the White House are involved; and there's a time limit of something like 30 days during which this process is to be executed; that the process worked; it was chaired by the Department of Treasury -- the deputy, Bob Kimmitt, is -- was the chairman -- and they -- in the normal order of things, what they do, as I understand it, is they select a lead agency or department based on the substance of it -- and in this case, it was Homeland Security, obviously, because the Coast Guard has the responsibility for the security of ports -- and that the process went forward; and in the course of it, the Department of Homeland Security and the interagency process negotiated a letter with the company that had purchased, I believe, a British company, setting forth exactly how security would be handled. I've not seen it, so I can't describe it, but that's my understanding.

Basically the Secretary of Defense does not know anything about it even though he is supposed to. THAT IS PROPER VETTING? I guess it is in Bushie's Bizarro World.

Inflation Up - Interest Rates to Rise

The .7 percent rise in the CPI was higher than the expected .5 percent rise analysts were predicting. Basically this says that energy costs are rising faster than expected and as new Fed Chief Ben Bernake commented he will raise rates as long as inflation is a problem.

Here in Maryland, the price caps that have been in place on Baltimore Gas and Electric come off in July. There are already warnings that we should be prepared to pay 40-80 percent more for electricity. Great, I cannot wait!

Cavaliers!

Virginia shocked BC last night and put them in a position to get an at large bid if they can close strong. They have to win 2 of their last 3 (at Clemson and Carolina, and at home against Maryland), and probably at least one game in the ACC tournament. That would put their record at 17-12 and might be enough. I love March Madness, but especially when my team is in.

Bushie Must Be Drinking Again

There is rising bi-partisan opposition to Bushie's approval of the sale to Dubai Ports of the major shipping operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. The Republican governors of New York and Maryland are against the sale. The Republican Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the House Majority Leader are against it.

With all of the opposition and the foolish politics, and possibly horrible policy, of selling operations to the United Arab Emerates - a country with a checkered history of fighting terror - Bushie threatened to veto any legislation that holds up the deal. Congress has questions - too bad! Of course, if he does actually whip out his veto pen for the first time of his administration, Congress will slap him down with an override. Either he is drunk or an idiot - or both!

Day 1625!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rice's Hypocrisy

For years, Bushie and Condi have talked about having democracy in the Middle East. Now that Hamas won a democratic election, Bushie and Condi don't like it and want to discredit the duly elected Palestinian government. I don't get it, do they want democracy or not?

Killed because of . . . toilet paper

I guess the killer wanted to squeeze the Charmin.

Bushie Energy Show

Bushie showed up in Colorado and talked about the nation's energy crisis at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Lab. He talked a good game about how we were close to a major breakthrough and how research at the lab was so critical.

Funny thing was that two weeks ago 32 workers, including 8 researchers, were laid off at the very same lab because of Bushie budget cuts. Prior to Bushie's visit, the Energy Department sent $5 million to the lab to restore the jobs over the weekend so that Bushie wouldn't look like a hypocritical idiot. The $5 million restores the jobs but is far short of the $28 million budget shortfall the lab is facing this week. So we have employed workers on taxpayer money who do not have the resources they need to do their job. Bushie's idea of good government.

Bushie said it was all a mix-up that the funding was cut. Hilarious.

Why Don't You Like Us Iraq?

Boo Hoo. Iraq does not like being told what to do by the U.S. It is a joke that people still think Iraq is going to be a pro-American, western style democracy. Even after spending $400 billion American tax dollars they are more closely aligned with the ideology and objectives of Iran. Wake up Bushie lovers!

Day 1624!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Hannibal Jr.

I guess the guy was hungry and decided to bite off his girlfriend's nose. Just weird.

Ricky Fails Another Drug Test

Looks like Ricky Williams is going to have to sit out the 2006 season after another failed drug test. I don't know what he is on exactly, but my guess is he cannot stop smoking weed. If you are a free spirited guy and you want to smoke pot that's cool with me, but there are consequences and you cannot break the rules. The NFL has its policy and the guy apparently has a problem adhering to it.

Happy President's Day!

A day to celebrate the accomplishments of American leadership. Too bad we have Bushie right now. His great "accomplishments:"

1. Not capturing or killing bin Laden
2. Iraq - the gift that just keeps on giving
3. Katrina - horrible response and still little response months later
4. Iran - no real options because of our oil dependency and Iraq
5. A Medicare drug prescription plan that is super expensive and super confusing
6. A record accumulation of U.S. debt so that we are owned by foreigners
7. Record budget deficits (about $400 billion this year)
8. A record trade deficit ($725 billion)
9. A record number of uninsured Americans (1 in 6 Americans now have no health insurance)
10. Rising levels of poverty - record number of Americans are below the poverty line including many working poor.
11. Hamas is now in charge of Palestine (that's what democracy in the Middle East brings)

Viva la Bushie!

Day 1623!

Friday, February 17, 2006

China - Iran Oil Deal

Geo-political power is rapidly changing as a result of Bushie's misguided and largely incoherent global strategy. China and Iran are set to sign a $100 billion oil and natural gas deal which will greatly improve relations between the two countries and help control the cost of energy in China.

China is rapidly expanding its ability to dictate global issues. The huge trade deficit and selling of American debt to fund our unsustainable federal budget deficit puts us at even further risk. China holds about $300 billion of our national debt. They continue to buy up U.S. treasury notes to fund our excess spending. As I have said before we are borrowing from the Chinese so that we can buy their stuff.

As the dollar slides, Chinese companies will be in a greater position to purchase up American companies which will further diminish American power. Thank you Bushie for not only not addressing the problem, but making it significantly worse!

Day 1620!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bushie Request for More Money for Iraq

Today, Bushie asked Congress for $72.4 billion more for the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq is now costing $5.9 billion per month. Think about the lunacy. Iraq is costing American taxpayers:

$5.9 billion per month
$197 million per day
$8.2 million per hour
$137,000 per minute
$2300 per second

In the time it took you to read this post, we just spent $35,000 in Iraq. Priceless!

Cheney Shooting Photos!

See them here.

Iraqi Death Squad

Sectarian violence will not be helped by reports that there is a rogue band of Shiite security officers that are acting as their own death squad. Progress!

Day 1619!

Dutch/Rocky Story of the Week

Dutch’s eyes flutter and open slowly as they adjust to the light. As he wakes from his unconsciousness he realizes he is unfamiliar with his surroundings. “Where am I? How did I get here? Who am I?” he thinks (and we hear the classic Arnie accent talking on the screen in an echoing kind of voice to let us know he is thinking and not really talking). There is background noise, but he cannot yet place it because his mind is still in a half stupor and not yet ready to process information. The audience can see that he is in what looks to be a hospital room.

“Honey, are you OK?” says a gentle voice to his right. He turns and sees Rae Dawn Chong and Alyssa Milano smiling at his on the right side of his bed (family from Commando). But he does not know who they are and still has no idea where he is, or who he is.

Sensing the confusion on Dutch’s part, a doctor who we only see from the back quietly says, “Yo, don’t worry Mr. Dutch, you are going to be just fine.” (It is the voice of a South Philly boxer we all know and love.) All we see of this doctor is a flowing mane of brown hair. The camera switches to Dutch’s view point and it pans up the body of the doctor.

The doctor is writing something on his clipboard and as he finishes he looks up and stares straight into the eyes of Dutch. He pushes his thick black-framed geek-type glasses back up from the bridge of his nose. You guessed it – it is Sly. He gives a twisted Rocky smile and chuckles, “I’m Dr. Balboa and I have good news for you Mr. Dutch . . . YOU’RE PREGNANT!”

Rae and Alyssa gasp and Dutch yells out, “Aaaiiiiyyyhhh, but I am a man!” and he collapses back into the bed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Yet Another Scandal for Bushie

New York is suing the EPA (i.e., Bushie) for failing to provide documents about the levels of paint toxins that are allowed to be sent into the air. You would think Americans have a right to know but as is the case with much of the information in the Bush White House, this information is a closely held secret.

This comes on top of another class action lawsuit that is moving forward. Turns out the EPA lied about the air quality of lower Manhattan after 9/11. They said it was save when it was not - thus exposing hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to hazardous levels of airborne toxins.

Condi Gets a Public Spanking

It is clear that Bushie's Mid-East policy is a complete disaster. Hamas, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran - nothing is going right. It is good to see Congress (and even some Republicans) spanking Condi over the mess the administration has created. In her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee she requested $75 million to spur democracy in Iran - what a joke! Why not just take the tax dollars and flush them down a toilet - the effect will be the same.

The publication of new Abu Ghraib abuse photos also will not be any help. But that is what you get when you sanction torture at the highest levels of government.

Bernake says more interest rate hikes possible

New Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says the economy is growing and more rate hikes may be on the way. I agree, but would argue that the reason is that we have to finance the enormous budget deficit, trade deficit, and national debt created by Bushie. The savings rate of Americans went negative for the first time since the Depression. We have to fund a $400 billion budget deficit, $725 billion trade deficit, and $8.2 trillion national debt ($2.5 trillion of which Bushie put on). In order to continue to attract foreign investment the U.S. needs to offer a decent return, but givent the huge deficits and the sliding U.S. dollar without higher rates there is little reason to invest in U.S. treasury notes.

So in order for us to continue to borrow money from China in order to buy their stuff (which is essentially what we are doing), the government will have to provide an attractive rate of return which is diminishing because of the poor financial management.

Consider also this - if we have a $400 billion deficit this year when the economy is supposedly so good, what are we going to have when the economy slows down? $600 billion? $800 billion? $1 trillion? The crap is going to hit the fan sooner or later, but most Americans won't realize how bad Bushie's policies are. I am sure that is what he is hoping for.

Problem w/Democratic Party?

The Party is so disorganized that it cannot get out a clear message. Yesterday Iraq War vet Paul Hackett withdrew from the Ohio Senate race because Sen. Chuck Shumer and Party officials in Washington wanted to give the nod to Ohio Rep. Sherrod Brown. Now Brown has more money and is hugely popular in his district, but Hackett represented a fresh new face and a Washington outsider that could help energize the Party.

Hackett had lost 52%-48% in his Congressional race last year in a heavily Republican district. As the Iraq war continues to sour and Americans grow more disenchanted with Bushie's handling of the war Hackett would have been a solid candidate to face Republican incumbent Mike DeWine.

Howard Dean expressed his displeasure at the move. The fact that DNC Chair Dean (who is considered an outsider by the much of the Democratic establishment) and Shumer were so at odds points to a problem within the Party. I don't know all the ins and outs and whether Dean was in on the decision. I could see him trying to spin. Hackett was an unknown, who was having trouble raising money, and I have never actually heard the man talk, but he did have a compelling story. Still all politics are local and I don't know Ohio. We'll see what happens in the election.

Cheney Drank Beer Before Shooting?

Apparently, MSNBC had reported that beer was served at lunch before the shooting incident, but the reference to beer was pulled from the article. Was it White House control of media to minimize the damage?

Second Illegal Wiretapping Program?

When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee he responded with carefully worded answers. He often made sure to clarify that his answers only applied to the NSA wiretapping program that was being discussed during the hearing. The implication of his wording was that there may be other spying programs.

Now we learn that an NSA whistleblower came forward and testified before Congress of another more widespread illegal surveillance program that is being conducted by Bushie. One day soon Americans are going to tire of Bushie and his lies and illegal forays.

Cheney Shooting Thoughts

I keep waiting to hear some details about Cheney's accidental shooting of a friend this weekend (there is a timeline on the CNN link). But nothing really emerges. There are troubling things about the incident:

1. Why didn't Cheney call Bush immediately and let him know what had happened. He is the VP of the United States of America. It seems to me that he should have told Bushie.

1A. It is clear the White House was not clearly informed about the situation by Cheney and in fact, it appears that it took a call from Karl Rove to the hostess of the hunting party to get the details.

2. Why didn't he just get the information out immediately - he has a responsibility to the American people and it was supposedly an accident.

2A. Is it really appropriate for a shooting by the VP to be reported to local press by a private citizen (Ms. Armstrong) rather than by the VP and the White House press office?

3. Why didn't local authorities interview Cheney until 14 hours after the incident? Cheney made arrangements to meet with local authorities on Sunday morning. When local authorities arrived at the Armstrong Ranch on Saturday night they were turned away and told Cheney was scheduled to meet the following morning. I don't think private citizens would have gotten away with the B.S. It begs the question, how do we know he hadn't been inebriated or otherwise impaired when he shot Whittington? It also shows a VP that thinks he is above the law.

4. There seems to be an implication that Whittington did something wrong and he is responsible for getting shot. As far as I am concerned the shooter is responsible for making sure he/she is not going to shoot someone. Of course, not taking responsibility is life in the White House.

This story is going to continue until more details emerge. At least the press is doing its job. This is more newsworthy than whether Tom and Katie are breaking up or Brittany drove her car with her newborn in her lap.

Afghan Failure

We all know Bushie has not been able to catch bin Laden and has us bogged down in Iraq. But it is also becoming increasingly more clear that Afghanistan is failing. Bushie never finished the job which leaves a failed state which harbors bin Laden and other terrorists.

Day 1618!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More Bushie Waste

After getting a noticeably late start on helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Bushie compounded the problem by allowing excessive waste to occur. His solution was to throw money without controls at the problem and taxpayers got stiffed. What else is new?

Hey Punk, Don't Make Me Angry . . .

you wouldn't like me when I'm angry! Lou "The Hulk" Ferrigno is now a sherrif's deputy. I commend him and lament the fact that apparently one of the finest actors of our generation can no longer support himself by acting.

Bushie Illegal Wiretapping

The American Bar Association slammed Bushie on his illegal wiretapping. Over 500 members of the ABA expressed their concern about Bushie's illegal efforts and told him to stop doing it or get appropriate changes to the law to make it legal. I certainly wouldn't want 500 lawyers on my back.

Abramoff - Rove Link

There is more and more evidence that indicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff was closely linked to Bushie and the White House. The links between Karl Rove and Abramoff are starting to emerge.

Bushie Giveaway to Big Oil

So Bushie is going to allow Big Oil companies to drill on federal lands and extract oil without paying any royalties. They will be allowed to extract $65 billion in oil and the $7 billion in royalties will be waived. It is a giveaway that is not in the interests of the American people.

Day 1617!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Boring!

Greenspan may write his memoirs. Here is a summary of the book: I raised interest rates, then I lowered interest rates. Blah blah blah. I love the economy.

Seriously, he is certainly accomplished but do people really want to read about Greenspan? I don't know.

Lynn Swann for Governor

Swannie is running for Governor of Pennsylvania as a Republican against incubent Ed Rendell. He is running neck-and-neck at this point largely as a result of his great name recognition, but no one knows his positions yet. He had a chance to clarify some of his positions on This Week with Stephanopolous. I watched the interview on the Internet this morning - weak. He did not understand that if Roe v. Wade is overturned the decision would go to the states. He had no position on stem cells, he hemmed and hawed before announcing that he was against raising the state minimum wage from the current $5.15/hour. He already sounds like a politician and if he doesn't clarify his positions he is going to look very stupid. It is still early and it should be an interesting race.

Day 1616!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Abramoff Toilet

Three more Republican lawmakers have been implicated and may get flushed out.

More Bushie Lies

Yesterday Bushie made a speech in which he said he was able to stop a terrorist plot that would have had a hijacked airplane hit a target in LA. His quote was, "We now know that in October 2001, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad -- the mastermind of the September the 11th attacks -- had already set in motion a plan to have terrorist operatives hijack an airplane using shoe bombs to breach the cockpit door, and fly the plane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We believe the intended target was Library Tower in Los Angeles, California."

Now let's look at the nonsense he was spouting. First, he meant to say "Liberty Tower". Fine he just pulled a Bushism.

Second, why would the terrorists be planning to use shoe bombs? The requirement to have cockpit doors reinforced was not accomplished until April 2003. Look it up.

Third, if this was such a big plot, why was no one in L.A. notified of the threat? The Mayor of L.A. said the plot was new to him.

More lying to cover up incompetence.

Another Record for Bushie!

We set another record for the U.S. trade deficit - it got up to $726 billion!

Four years in a row! Great job Bushie!

Day 1613!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bushie loves Abramoff

Disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff disputes Bushie's claim that he does not know Jack. According to Abramoff, Bushie invited him to Crawford for a visit to the ranch. The President is incompetent and is a liar. If Abramoff did have close links, there is a distinct possibility that the President was involved in bribery.

Cheney Watch

Darth Cheney authorized the illegal release of classified material to reporters. The reason, because he wanted to defend the rationale for the unnecessary and ridiculous war in Iraq.

He jeopardized national security to defend bad decisionmaking. That is truly pathetic.

Specter Makes Sense

Let the FISA Court review the illegal spying program. Don't just leave it up to an unchecked President. Makes sense.

Beyond that, I do firmly believe the Congress should conduct a full investigation of the President's actions. If they find him in violation of the law then hold him responsible. We either live under the protections of the Rule of Law, or we don't.

Misadventures of Rambo and Dutch

The scenario this week is Rambo (played by Sly) and Dutch (Arnie) are neighbors in a small farming community in rural Virginia. They have both been relocated there as part of a covert military operation to hide the identities of super military agents. They have assimilated into the fabric of their quiet communities although many of the locals wonder about Arnie's accent.

Their individual farm homes are about a mile from each other and Rambo is awakened one morning by an explosion and a rising plume of smoke coming from Dutch's home. He races down to the basement and opens up a hidden locker which reveals his knife, bow, and exploding arrows. He quickly removes his shirt revealing an aging, weathered body of a 65 year old who was once on steroids. He ties a rag around his head in a tight knot to hold back his long hair and then jumps into his beat up Ford F150 to see what's what.

When he arrives at the home of his friend he sees it - a hulking Predator. More to come later in the day.

Revolt of Bushie Lawyers

Great Newsweek story about the internal revolt by Republican political appointees who were also Justice Department lawyers regarding the illegal wiretapping of Bushie. They waged an unsuccessful battle to put a stop to the illegal practices and in the end they were shuffled out of their posts. The idea that there were no lawyers in the administration who questioned the legality of Bushie's warrantless wiretapping is simply false.

Bushie is now having the NSA and the Attorney General brief the full Intelligence Committees of both Houses of Congress. No surpise, given the growing concern number of critics from both parties that believe the program is illegal.

Bushie vs. Brownie?

Ex-FEMA boss, "Heckuva Job" Brownie apparently is now willing to reveal all of his correspondence with Bushie. He is trying to get protection from the White House. Why? Does he have something to hide? We'll have to see.

Day 1612!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Republican questions illegal wiretapping

Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson who chairs the House committee that oversees the NSA said in an interview that she had "serious concerns" about the surveillance program. She is now calling for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration's domestic spying program.

The President is not above the law and Congress must assert its oversight responsibility. I have full confidence that they will do that because the issue is so important.

Day 1611!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Long, Long War

Rumsfeld went before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday and said, "It's going to take decades" for Iraq "to get the infrastructure back to where a modern country would have it."

The Bushies have done a great job and we can expect pro-U.S. democracy to emerge sometime around 2020. Until that time, let's stay the course because freedom is on the march! We will then leave when the job is done. Right!

It should be noted that Osama bin Laden's plan was to fight a war of attrition against U.S. until we are bankrupt. Bush has fallen right into bin Laden's hands with his decision-making and deficit spending.

Iraq War Veterans running for Congress . . .

. . . as Democrats! What? But, I thought Democrats are anti-American terrorist lovers who want to see Osama bin Laden take over the country. Rush told me that was true.

Of the 11 Iraq war vets who are running, 10 of them are running as Democrats. Once ignorant Republicans recognize that the Iraq war policy has been a mess and that all Americans are interested in national security (not just Bushie folks), then maybe we can make some progress and begin working together.

Couple of Thoughts on Iran

Clearly the U.S. and the world has a problem with Iran and the possibility of nuclear weapons. However, there is very little we can do about it. With oil prices at record highs, if we attack Iran or even threaten them they could cut the supply of oil to the world sending oil prices over $100/barrel. On top of that, our misguided efforts to follow the Bushie/neocon agenda and nation-build in Iraq totally ties our hands.

Let's say we don't care about paying $4-$5/gallon of gas at the pump, if we attack Iran, the Shia majority in Iraq (the ones we are not fighting in the insurgency) will likely rise up in defense of their Shia brothers and sisters in Iran. This will kill any chance for stability in Iraq and destabilize the Middle East even further.

To all the neocon Bushie lovers who like to talk tough about military strikes against Iran, think again. Bushie has made sure that there are no good solutions with his horrible Middle East policies.

Still More Iraqi Mess

It seems that government corruption in Iraq is fueling the insurgency. Of course they learned how to run the oil ministry and production operations from Halliburton - what do you expect?

Bushie Deficit Spending

The new $2.8 trillion White House budget was released yesterday. It literally slows spending and makes cuts to programs such as education, Medicare, Medicaid, Transportation, Agriculture, and Justice. At the same time it dramatically increases Defense spending (not including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) and pushes to make tax cuts for the wealthy permanent. You have Republicans and Democrats just shaking their heads in disbelief.

The tax cuts that went into effect this year help only the very rich. In a supplemental spending request, Bushie is asking for another $70 billion for Iraq this year and $50 billion for next year (although he has already indicated that $50 billion won't be enough for next year). At the same time his own Treasury Department says the tax cuts are going to cost billions. Bushie's priorities are all out of whack. There is no free lunch and the huge deficits and debt we are accumulating do matter. People will realize it sooner rather than later in my opinion.

Illegal Wiretapping Questions

This is from the transcript of yesterday's White House press briefing held by Press Secretary Scott McClellan. I find it quite humorous.

Q Does the President think he should obey the law? He put his hand on the Bible twice to uphold the Constitution. Wiretapping is not legal under the circumstances without a warrant.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I guess you didn't pay attention to the Attorney General's hearing earlier today, because he walked through very clearly the rationale behind this program. And, Helen, I think you have to ask are we a nation at war --

Q There is no rationale to disobey the law.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, he's not -- are we a nation at war?

Q That's not the question.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, that is the issue here.

Q No, the question is, the point is there are means for him to go to war, get a warrant to spy on people.

MR. McCLELLAN: Enemy surveillance is critical to waging and winning war. It's one of the traditional tools of war.

Q Nobody says he doesn't have running room to --

MR. McCLELLAN: And the Attorney General outlined very clearly today how previous administrations have used the same authority and cited the same --

Q That doesn't make it legal.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and cited the very same authority.

Q If they broke the law, that's too bad. You know what happened to Nixon when he broke the law.

MR. McCLELLAN: And we're going to continue doing everything we can within our power to protect the American people. This is a very different circumstance, and you know that.

Q No, I don't.

More on Bushie Illegal Spying

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Bushie Warrantless Spying program. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified and gave his reasons why he thought the program was necessary and legal. None of the Democrats bought what he was trying to sell, but more ominous for Bushie was the fact that 4 Republican members of the committee expressed serious doubts about the legality of the program - Senators DeWine, Brownback, Graham and Judiciary Chair Arlen Specter were all unconvinced.

It is clear to me, and apparently a majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that Bushie did not meet the requirements of the FISA statute. A number of senators - Republican and Democrat - did not understand why Bushie didn't just come to Congress to change the law rather than ignore the law. It does not bode well for Bushie that there 4 Republicans on the Committee that are skeptical, but the legality of the program will probably have to be determined by the Supreme Court.

Day 1610!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super? Bowl

The game was not super in any way, shape, or form. I thought the Seahawks would win, but like the Steelers more. However, I have to say I did not really care about the final outcome.

This game is not going to be remembered by most football fans. Lackluster performances by both teams, poor coaching, no real stars emerged, shoddy refs, and even relatively weak commercials.

It appeared that Seattle could move at will in the early going but they could not score and Pittsburgh made just a couple of plays and the game was over. I do believe that the Steelers deserved to win, but I cannot remember ever seeing so many one-sided, horrible calls in a major game. The most notable were:

1. The offensive pass interference call that took away the Seattle touchdown (they settled for field goal).
2. The phantom holding call that took away the pass to Stevens that would have put the Seahawks at the Pittsburgh 1 yard line with a chance to take the lead.
3. The 15 yard penalty on Hasselbeck for tackling low (said he "blocked" low).
4. The phantom call that took away the very good Warrick punt return.
5. Roethlisberger touchdown call (I am mixed on this one because you could say it was hard to see on the replay).

However, even with these calls I think the Seahawks time management was horrible at the end of each half. The Steelers coaching was average at best - they had a couple of nice trick plays but overall their defense was average and their offensive play calling was weak. Overall, just poor execution.

Well, there's always next year - go Bears.

Day 1609!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Bushie's Illegal Spying

Republican Senator Arlen Specter believes Bushie's spying was illegal. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel believes there are serious questions about the program and rejects the argument of broad executive power. You can add Republican Senators McCain and Graham to the list of skeptics of the program.

Congress relies on the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) for research, analysis, and information they need to make informed decisions. The CRS found that the President is in violation of the law. Just read the last paragraph of the linked report to get the main conclusion that the program is illegal.

Look, if the program is working and it does not infringe on the rights of Americans then change the law. But the evidence that has leaked out is not promising. It looks like thousands of Americans have been caught up in this eavesdropping program and the program has yielded no good information.

If the House of Representatives turns over to Democratic control, I would guess that Bushie would be impeached. There is a long way to go before the 2006 election so who knows? No matter what happens it seems clear that at some point the issues raised by Bushie's illegal spying will end up before the Supreme Court. Let's see what happens.

Enjoy the Super Bowl everyone.

Day 1608!

Friday, February 03, 2006

How will it end?

Bushie's new request for war funds will push the total costs to $440 billion. It is interesting to note that of the 10 Iraq war vets who are running for Congress all but one of them are Democrats. I guess that makes them un-American.

It is clear that Iraq is a mess and is not getting better. Republican talking points may say otherwise and always want to brand critics as terrorist-sympathizers who are un-American. I particularly like the one about how American soldiers are dying in Iraq so that I have the freedom to do and say what I want to say here in America. No, the reality is that we are there because Bushie made a colossal mistake. The Iraqis were not marching against us, they were not planning an attack, and Saddam did not have WMDs. Just to compound the mistake, Bushie and his neocon buddies have been wrong on just about everything. Their endless blunders and miscalculations are pathetic, and we can let history judge their actions.

The question now is how will it end? In my opinion we need to lay down a hard timetable - no more than 1 year, preferably 4-6 months - and tell the various factions they need to negotiate a truce and form a workable government. Insurgent groups need to be brought to the table and negotiated with - we will never kill them all because there are more created every day. As long as American soldiers are in the country they will be perceived as occupiers which will feed the insurgency. After we leave there is still a good chance of civil war - but it is happening now so let them resolve it on their own. Iraq can succeed, but not with Bushie involved. If Islamic countries or the UN want to get involved, that's great. They have to work amongst themselves to achieve a solution - Bushie has made sure of that with his errors.

Bushie Priorities

Bushie does all the funding for Iraq in supplemantal spending bills - it is not part of the normal budget process. My earlier post pointed out that he is requesting another $70 billion for this year. He requested a supplemental $18 billion for the Gulf Coast for rebuilding after Katrina. He pledged $85 billion when he spoke in New Orleans a few months ago. I have seen estimates in the hundreds of billions of dollars needed to rebuild.

Consider the budget requess and the use of American tax dollars. Are Bushie's priorities really what we want?

Day 1606!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Iraq - the gift that keeps on giving`

Bushie has requested another $70 billion for the war effort in Iraq for this year. We are spending about $8 billion per month. This comes out to about $185,000 per minute.

Five more American soldiers killed. Why?

Day 1605!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

He'll be baaaaack (probably not)

Arnie has nothing in the bank for his reelection campaign and is apparently having trouble raising money. He will be out as the Governator. He can always go back to the movies. I would pay to see an older, more mature Dutch (from Predator) who has assimilated into the fabric of America facing a back taxes problem and deciding to embark on a boxing career. He rises through the ranks quickly to emerge as an unlikely challenger to the even more highly unlikely reigning champion, Clubber Lang.

In a major plot twist, Clubber is now being trained by a more mature Rocky Balboa. While training for the big fight, Clubber is gunned down by Russian mobsters linked to Ivan Drago. Drago wants revenge for the nonsense that was Rocky IV. Rocky is heartbroken but decides that he must take on Dutch because the "show must go on."

Rocky kicks Dutch's ass, but only because Dutch is tired from taking out the Russian mobsters and Ivan Drago in a highly emotional slugfest to the death just two days before fighting Rocky. Why you asked? Who cares. Just imagine the action and the return of all of these great action heroes.

Super Bowl Musings

It is the week of the Super Bowl, but I don't really feel any hype building. Being that the game is in Detroit, I suspect that many people are not arriving early. If the game was in San Diego or Miami, or some other warm weather location there may be more. Also, the two teams (especially Seattle) are not major market, nationally followed powerhouses.

Anyway, I am still looking forward to the game, but I don't feel any real buildup. The BCS National Championship game between USC and Texas seemed like a much bigger deal.

Eternal War

Bushie's Man Rumsfeld is finally admitting that we will be in a "Long War." We might as well admit that as long as we call the War on Terror by that name, we will be at war forever.

After 9/11, Bushie should have just gone to war against the Taliban, brought them down and brought bin Laden and the top al Qaeda folks to justice. Then he could have declared a clear and decisive victory, saved thousands of American lives, saved hundreds of billions of dollars, and focused on American priorities. He would have sailed through as a hero.

Instead, he messed everything up pretty badly. He decided to go after Iraq, disregard energy and health care issues, and conduct secret spying operations on Americans (among other things).

State of the Union

Pretty average speech. No new initiatives that help the American people, same old tired buzzwords - health savings accounts, junk lawsuits, freedom on the march, stay on the offensive, 9/11, etc. Here is just one quote that is utterly ridiculous:

Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal -- we seek the end of tyranny in our world. Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism. In reality, the future security of America depends on it. On September the 11th, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country. Dictatorships shelter terrorists, and feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction. Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terror.

So the American taxpayers will be paying to bring down tyrannies around the world? Great let's go! Oh yeah, how much will that cost in both lives and money? I think Iraq and Afghanistan are still in play and their final outcomes are not close to known. The comment is ridiculous on its face. In addition, Hamas - a known terrorist organization - won in a landslide in their democratic election. How is that good for their neighbor Israel, and American interests? Elections in Iran, Egypt, Iraq all ended with greater power for radical Islamic parties. Not good. But don't worry, freedom is on the march!

Day 1604!