Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another Signing Statement

Bush has done it again, subverted the rule of law and thus, not upholding the Constitution. Everytime he signs a bill into law, and adds that little "signing statement" that has become de rigueur with him he abuses his position and the law.
His latest signing statement was Monday 1/28 when he signed the National Defense Authorization Bill. The bill had a clause in it Section 1222 which stated that no permanent military base would be built in Iraq. This received little to no media press because it was upstaged by that evening's performance of the State of the Union address where he assured the American public that our troops would be coming home. Yet another lie to add to the 935 lies that got us into the mess that is Iraq.

Regarding the 935 Lies:

Regarding Saddam Hussein and WMD, etc.:

Text of the SOTU:

Signing Statement:

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Monday, January 28, 2008


The Sec. of the Interior is the one sitting out, to insure continuity....

Think Progress has released the copy of the embargo'd address a little was posted at 8:33, to be delivered at 9.
I have been skimming the copy:
". . .our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty.America has added jobs for a record 52 straight months, but jobs are now growing at a slower pace. Wages are up, but so are prices for food and gas. Exports are rising, but the housing market has declined. And at kitchen tables across our country, there is concern about our economic future. " Understatement leading to his call for tax relief and business investment bill...
"I will send you a budget that terminates or substantially reduces 151 wasteful or bloated programs totaling more than $18 billion. And this budget will keep America on track for a surplus in 2012. American families have to balance their budgets, and so should their Government." too bad he squandered the surplus he was left...and even by his optomistic accounting it will take 4 more years to balance the budget...
He goes on to talk about taxes, foreclosures, leave no child behind, faithbased schools...
and then he has the audacity to say: "On matters of justice, we must trust in the wisdom of our Founders and empower judges who understand that the Constitution means what it says"
too bad he has subverted the document!
He goes on to talk about social security, medicare and medicaid spending...
and securing our borders by raiding businesses and homes, detaining and deporting.... oh and Gulf Coast Hurricane relief??!!!
"We are engaged in the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century. The terrorists oppose every principle of humanity and decency that we hold dear. " [and so has he: wars of agression, lies, deception, ignoring pesky documents like the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions]
"The Iraqi people quickly realized that something dramatic had happened. . .They saw our forces moving into neighborhoods, . . coming in to ensure that improved security was followed by improvements in daily life. Our military and civilians in Iraq are performing with courage and distinction, and they have the gratitude of our whole Nation." too bad our troops had no armament, are an occuppying force, are not paid well,, and if they are injured--the VA is NOT there...
And then Bush goes on to talk about Al Qaeda in Iraq...there because of us!!!

Watch out Iranians..."
"America is opposing genocide in Sudan and supporting freedom in countries from Cuba and Zimbabwe to Belarus and Burma.
America is leading the fight against global poverty, with strong education initiatives and humanitarian assistance" If ONLY
'America is leading the fight against global hunger. Today, more than half the world’s food aid comes from the United States. " Though here in America food stamps only gives $1/meal
'America is leading the fight against disease." And then he talks about AIDS, yet his administration refuses to give out condoms...

The number of Americans living in poverty have increased...

For more analysis go to :

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Its the economy, Stupid!

Everyone who has been feeding a family, heating a home, gassing up the car on a fixed income--and that means most wage earners*, plus those retired and living on social security, the very poor and disabled who live on welfare--knows that the economy is a mess. Too many people are living on credit--from their homes, from credit cards.
W's proposed one time tax rebate will go to only those making over $40,000 per year, and personally the $400 per person, $800 for a family is only a drop in the bucket. Will it stimulate more spending? Barely. Oh, some may replace their refrigerators or buy some clothes; many will feed that money to their bills.
Want to really stimulate the economy and increase spending? Give families working wages, so that they have something left over to actually spend! Increase minimum wage. Increase welfare and social security payments. Increase food stamp allotments--$1 per meal is not sufficient, nor does it fuel a healthy person.
Want to increase savings? Stop taxing the interest earned.
Common sense. But that's not something you'd find in this administration as they have so demonstrated.

*not counting 5% unemployed--which will soon expand by the 41,000 that Citibank will be laying off. Unemployment checks for most are 1/3rd of what they had made, for a whopping 26 weeks, not realistic for most to even make ends meet, especially since many Americans do not even have savings to lean on anymore.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Notes from Last Night's Dem Debate

My quick debate notes--the immediate audience was definately in Obama's camp--though Edwards and Clinton were playing to the greater American public:

Edwards came out looking good in the debate last night--he has stayed on point: ending poverty.

Obama needs to move beyond rhetoric and answer questions. Stay on the "running against 2 Clintons" line and you are showing your naivete: former presidents do stump for candidates, so do spouses...

Beware of Hillary Clinton's evil eye, she's armed with facts. She is cool, confident and experienced.

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Roe V Wade 35 and counting

Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe v Wade, and the right to choose is still on the line.
Last week a Right to Life group sent out 44,000 pieces of mail which along with their pro-life argument and fundraising appeal included little plastic fetuses. WHAT a WASTE of Resources & MONEY, not to say a lack of taste.
What are you supposed to do with these plastic fetuses?
If only they had included condoms...

If you want to stop abortions, giving people access to effective birth control works better.
Oh, silly me, logic in the face of faith.

Pro-life people IF they really cared about the unborn fetuses would also care about the fetus when it was born and work for adequate health care, childcare, education and a living wage for all. IMHO.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

MLK,Jr. Day

While LK & I were road tripping to family this holiday we listened to Parting the Waters: American in the King Years, 1954-63 and Pillar of Fire : America in the King Years 1963-65 (America in the King Years) by Taylor Branch. These books give great context for the political and the social changes that MLK,Jr helped usher in.
Branch claimed that King was influenced by Reinhold Niebuhr the Protestant Theologian best known for his relating his faith to the reality of politics, and for his work on just war theory, as much as he was influenced by Gandhi.
One wonders what MLK,Jr. would think of the role of religion and politics today.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Which is worse?

The campaign pundon'ts are having at it (sort of): Which is worse: Racism or Sexism? And, since most of these pundon'ts are male, they have arrived at the answer: racism.
Their logic is that some of those who are raced are male, none of those who are male are affected by misogyny, I mean sexism.
In my humble opinion--both racism and sexism are untenable.

The pundon'ts need to pay attention though--51% of the population are female, and thus, the majority. This majority is getting pretty fed up with politics and business as usual misogyny.

As Bob Herbert pointed out in his column today "Politics and Misogyny" NYT 1/15/08" &hp&oref=slogin
misogyny is all around us--from pornography to violence against women to how women are treated and how women are protrayed in the media. It is "normal" to treat women as sexual objects, to belittle women, to treat women as unequals, to blame women and denigrate them if they are sexual, smart, professional, nice, good, competent, experienced (you get the picture). We see this in this campaign with the over scrutinization of Hillary's every move while giving all the male candidates passes--for instance, did Edwards not vote for the war?

Herbert said "If we’ve opened the door to the issue of sexism in the presidential campaign, then let’s have at it. It’s a big and important issue that deserves much more than lip service. "

I say, naming the problem is the first step to change, keep pointing out the sexism (and the racism) so that it misogyny is no longer acceptable. I am mad as hell, and am not going to take anymore!

How about you? And, this includes men, too--you have mothers, friends who are female, some have wives and daughters.

Call people on their sexism and racism.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

We've only just begun....

What Iowa (and even New Hampshire) means in the long run in my humble opinion with my poli sci hat on : not much. It is only the first volley, though it does knock out some candidates who really are not in it for the long run. It will enable those in the front positions to fund raise. But history has shown us that the candidates need to keep on running....And, from now on we will see the jockeying for position between the top candidates for both the major parties.

Is Huckabee anything more than a likable rube from Hope? Don't just listen to him trade one liners with the likes of Jay Leno, or guitar licks with some band...we do not need a president who we want to hang out with, we want a president who can lead. Listen to what he stands for:
anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, more judicial appointments modeled on Scalia. He wants to eliminate income tax, but impose a sales tax---a factor probably in winning over some libertarian votes--this plan will end up hurting those with limited incomes a lot more...sales tax does not discriminate by your income, similar to Europe's VAT (Value Added Tax). He is NOT a change from one in office now.

Can Romney regain his stature as a fixer--or is he a Ralph Lauren model Mormon?

Will McCain resurface?

Will Obama have more than the audacity of hope? He needs to come out with workable programs for his policy proposals (his health care proposal needs a lot of tweaking!) He also needs to be able to work with Congress, if he gets elected, so he should learn the ropes there!

Can Edwards hold his own in New Hampshire or ride on someone else's coat tails?

Will Clinton stop triangulating? Will she use Bill's "Its the economy, stupid" and relate her proposals to the average American who is struggling today?

As I said, "we've only just begun..."

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Its a Horse Race, sort of

Caucus * Day in Iowa...all the presidential hopefuls are hoping their message will sell them.
The media is doing their part by only focusing on the top few hopefuls. In the paper where I am, they published a chart (from the Associated Press) of the candidates' positions, except it was not all the candidates who are running...the chart winnowed out those candidates who someone thought did not have a chance--Biden, Dodd, Kucinich on the Democrats' side and Paul, Hunter and Keyes on the Republicans' side. The media makes the race into a horse race between the top runners in the two major parties. What of third party candidates????
But anyone who has watched an actual horse race knows that horses in the lead can lose to horses who are bringing up the rear, but have a burst of speed well into the race when the others are starting to flag...
And, if one remembers another campaign, the media can disqualify a top runner because of their supposed "scream" which others might have just called exuberance...

For info on how caucuses work see

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