Democrats & Liberals Archives

August 2005 Archives

August 31, 2005

Iraq is Like Vietnam, Not Japan

President Bush made a speech in which he compared our efforts in Iraq to what America did in Japan. He said that Japan was made a democracy and so will Iraq. As someone who was in Japan for 4 years immediately after the end of World War II, I can say with confidence that post-war Japan was NOTHING like post-war (if I may use the term) Iraq. The quagmire in Iraq we face now is more like the mess we endured in Vietnam. The first chance we get, let's declare victory and go home.

» Continue reading "Iraq is Like Vietnam, Not Japan"

Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was possibly the biggest natural disaster in our history. Hundreds dead. Thousands in need of emergency rescue. Millions homeless. I don't want to create a partisan argument here, but this event is too important to be ignored just because political credit or blame cannot be easily assigned.

» Continue reading "Katrina"

Posted by LawnBoy at 1:49 PM

The Foundations of a Nation At Risk

This is not the time for half-measures.

You know the places, you know the situation. Major U.S. Cities are flooded, in ruins, and that is no exaggeration. These are the kinds of disasters that make history, and not always in stories that yield happy endings.

Let me make one thing clear- This situation could not be graver, nor the need for leadership greater.

» Continue reading "The Foundations of a Nation At Risk"

A legacy to hang your 10 gallon hat on: the New Class Divide.

According to the latest US census bureau report , poverty rose again in 2004. If anyone's counting; poverty has increased consecutively for the past 4 years; which means during the entire tenure of George W. Bush's Presidency, poverty increased.

» Continue reading "A legacy to hang your 10 gallon hat on: the New Class Divide."

Posted by john trevisani at 10:41 AM

August 30, 2005

The Iraqi Constitution

President Bush gushed with excitement over the new Iraqi constitution, hailing it as an "inspiration to all those who share the universal values of freedom, democracy and the rule of the law." But even a casual perusal of the document reveals it's nothing of the sort. Rather than a free-market liberal democracy, the Iraqi constitution lays the foundation for a petrostate dominated by Islamic clerics.

» Continue reading "The Iraqi Constitution"

Downing Street Memo II: Time to change the spotlight’s bulb.

Ever wonder what happens to stories when the media shifts its spotlight?

Not to say the Downing Street memo had a media spotlight, but with the devastating reports of hurricane Katrina currently filling our airwaves, follow-up stories about an upcoming vote on the House Investigation of the Downing Street Memo seems all but dead.

» Continue reading "Downing Street Memo II: Time to change the spotlight’s bulb."

August 29, 2005

Bush vs. Truth and Reality

Why is it that when factual information about our government and our nation is made available to the American people, it is either covered up or the people making it available are immediately punished by the Bush administration for releasing it?

» Continue reading "Bush vs. Truth and Reality"

A New Approach to Foreign Policy

The Republican foreign policy is in a mess. Iraq looks more and more like Vietnam. Globalization is in crisis. Our European allies don't undersand us. Our reputation has sunk all over the world. Although I am not a foreign policy expert, I want to present what I think should be the principles to guide a future foreign policy - perhaps to be adopted by the Democratic Party.

» Continue reading "A New Approach to Foreign Policy"

Democrats Securing the Borders

Democratic governors on the Mexican border declared a state of emergency to stem the tide of illegal immigration, while Republicans dither and waffle, struggling to come up with a solution that pleases both their anti-immigrant constituents and their big business campaign funders who want the cheap labor. "They're trying to split the baby," says Senator John McCain, "and I don't think they can do that."

» Continue reading "Democrats Securing the Borders"

Bush's Swing Voters, Swing Away.

A new poll (WSJ ) proves that George Bush has lost every swing voter that he swung his direction in the 2004 election.
With 40% having a favorable opinion of Bush's job performance and 58% having a negative opinion; George Bush has retained only one thing since his election: the die-hard Republicans he couldn't lose if he shaved his head and joined a cult.

» Continue reading "Bush's Swing Voters, Swing Away."

August 28, 2005

How to BS

While life under the Bush administration has been no picnic, the Bushies have given us all some good lessons in the art of the BS. Let's review some of the tactics we have learned.

» Continue reading "How to BS"

August 27, 2005

Stop Planning, Start Looking, Start Thinking

The situation in Iraq is deteriorating, and everybody knows it. Some want us to stay the course, cry out for another chance for it to work. Some want us to leave, want us to cut our losses, partition the country and leave the Iraqis to their own devices. Unfortunately, the Iraqis are not prepared, and we cannot afford this outcome.

We all have solutions in mind. Chances are, though, all of them are wrong.

» Continue reading "Stop Planning, Start Looking, Start Thinking"

August 26, 2005

Interpreting, Legislating & Politicizing

"Conservative judges interpret the constitution; liberal judge legislate from the bench." How many times have we heard this or a variation of this mantra? This is why, Bush says, he prefers Scalia, an originalist. This is the reason he says he picked John Roberts for the U.S. Supreme Court. The truth is that all justices interpret the constitution - how can it be otherwise? But conservative judges interpret it restrictively and liberal judges interpret it expansively. "Conservatives interpret, liberals legislate" is purely a political slogan of Republicans.

» Continue reading "Interpreting, Legislating & Politicizing"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 3:36 PM

August 25, 2005

Secure Iraq. Seriously.

As Iraq exploded into violence yesterday, President Bush vowed, "So long as I am president we will stay, we will fight and we will win the war on terrorism." Yet our Commander in Chief is unwilling to make the sustained military and political commitment necessary to just secure Iraq, much less "win the war on terrorism."

» Continue reading "Secure Iraq. Seriously."

August 24, 2005

Robertson and Moral Values

Pat Robertson, the famous televangelist, recently said that Hugo Chavez, the head of Venezuela, should be killed. This is the same religious extremist that claims he and his followers helped elect George W. Bush president by stressing "moral values." Evidently, one of the "moral values" he believes in is killing. Many religious leaders have condemned Robertson's statement. Officials in the administration, however, have been beating around the Bush about this. "Moral values," indeed.

» Continue reading "Robertson and Moral Values"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 7:57 PM

August 23, 2005

Of, By, For the People

Abraham Lincoln told us that we have a "government of the people, by the people, for the people." How do the people express themselves? By speaking, writing and voting. Yet there are prominent evangelicals who today tell us that the word of God is more important than the word of a citizen. These people are running seminars in the nation's capital, which as the L.A. Times puts it, "seek to mold a new generation of leaders who will answer not to voters, but to God." Is this the new Republican democracy?

» Continue reading "Of, By, For the People"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:32 PM

What The Hell Happened?

As the Bush administration scrambles to lower expectations for their dysfunctional little war-child, Iraqi leaders continue to bicker over their new constitution in a manner reminiscent of that scene in "Lawrence of Arabia". How did glorious visions of a pro-US, free-market, model liberal democracy in Iraq devolve into acceptance of a balkanized, Islamic fundamentalist regime and terrorist training ground, with strong ties to Iran?

» Continue reading "What The Hell Happened?"

August 22, 2005

The Noble Goal is Theocracy

Cindy Sheehan asks what is the "noble goal" her son died for. President Bush gives his usual non-answers. Chuck Hagel, an honest Republican, who is repelled and upset by the administration's dangerous incompetence, favors getting out. Senator Russ Feingold, who was against the Iraq war from the beginning, says we must work on an exit strategy. Now we hear that the Shiites and the Kurds have proposed a constitution based on Islamic law. The noble goal appears to be an Iraqi theocracy. Let's get outa there!

» Continue reading "The Noble Goal is Theocracy"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:05 PM

Support (Then eventually forget) Our Troops

While the war in Iraq, which is looking more and more, like the mess the State Department warned this administration it would be,rages on. At a time when more and more people are questioning the rationale for war. During a month that has seen dozens of our soldiers dying. As a grieving mother waits by the gate. The President is riding his bike(With super-cool Lance Armstrong), clearing brush and relaxing at his Texas ranch.
Is it me, or is that a frightening and surreal picture of the leader of The United States of America?

» Continue reading "Support (Then eventually forget) Our Troops"

Crossing the Border Into The Real War

When I heard Bush and others worry about the appearance of being an occupying army in Iraq, it occurred to me that our chance for avoiding that perception ended at the crossing of the Kuwaiti Border. Once we violated Iraq's sovereignty, and moved to break our enemy, we were assured of being seen as foreign invaders, assured of being seen by Iraqis as occupiers.

We've got over a hundred thousand soldiers in there, camped out in bases throughout Mesopotamia, and they're worried about the perception of us as occupiers.

» Continue reading "Crossing the Border Into The Real War"

August 20, 2005

Cook Sees Trouble for GOP

Anyone who reads The Cook Political Report regularly knows that Charlie Cook is no GOP-basher or Democratic cheerleader. He regularly slams the Dems for not articulating a program (i.e., simply opposing one of the worst presidents in modern history). In his latest editorial, however, he sees the potential for big trouble for Bush and the GOP in 2006.

Posted by Woody Mena at 7:42 AM

August 19, 2005

War or Peace

Cindy Sheehan has made all of us start to think about the best way to fight terrorism. She has galvanized the anti-war people into protest against the Iraq war and the hawks have responded. Cindy makes me think about the 2 broad ways to fight terrorism: warlike and peaceful. Bush's "war on terror" is killing terrorists and manufacturing more terrorists than are being killed. The peaceful way is based on executing initiatives calculated to discourage people from becoming terrorists in the first place. I think the latter approach is better. I am not so much anti-war as I am FOR PEACE.

» Continue reading "War or Peace"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:08 PM

Fair AND Biased Coverage Sought

I want bias in news coverage. That doesn't mean I want partisan spin filtered through some orthodoxy. But fairness is possible without cowering from any bias. Avoiding all bias fails to inform us.

News agencies' proclivity to avoid bias is particularly annoying when covering stories which have not been in the headlines, until some recent event brings them to our attention.

» Continue reading "Fair AND Biased Coverage Sought"

Insularity and Authority

I think Republicans care about the truth. I also think their culture compromises that natural ethical and practical drive. Too much goes from the top down in Republican circles.

I can understand somewhat the pickle they were once in- the legislature in the hands of the other party, and quite a few times the presidency, too. It took party discipline to reverse the political order that once existed. That and a number of Democrat officials who cooperated by abusing their "permanent" majority. The price of that discipline, though, has been insularity.

» Continue reading "Insularity and Authority"

August 18, 2005

Sheehan: Latest Target of Republican Noise Machine

Cindy Sheehan, grieving the loss of her son in Iraq, sets out on an anti-war crusade by camping out near President Bush's ranch until she's able to talk to Bush. I said before that I think Bush should listen to her. But regardless of how you feel about her having an audience with the president, she does not deserve the slimey calumny that the Republican noise machine is heaping on her. This is the same hateful, libelous and disgusting way Bush Republicans always handle those who disagree with them. Don't discuss the issue. Attack, smear and destroy.

» Continue reading "Sheehan: Latest Target of Republican Noise Machine"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 7:10 PM

"Axis of Evil" 3 Bush 0

After the saber-rattling rhetoric of his first term, Bush team are now "remerkably restrained" on North Korea and Iran.

» Continue reading ""Axis of Evil" 3 Bush 0"

August 17, 2005

Bringing Iran Around

We in the West believe that Iran is building a nuclear bomb capability and this is bad. So France, Germany and Britain have been negotiating with Iran to prevent this. After some coaxing, U.S. has joined the Europeans, offering sticks to complement their carrots. It's not working, I think, because Iran wants a few carrots from the U.S. Why not offer Iran carrots? Carrots, more than sticks, will bring Iran around.

» Continue reading "Bringing Iran Around"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:52 PM

Delegated Authority

People don't want government making choices for them, right?

No, not for the most part. We let the government make a great number of choices for us through out the day. Why? Because we've got our own jobs to do. We don't have time to do many of the things we want this government to do, however much we need them done.

The debate is not between government and non-government. The question is who governs what: public or private interests.

» Continue reading "Delegated Authority"

August 16, 2005

HR25 Will Destroy the Middle Class

HR25, the bill that will present us with a new federal sales tax system to replace our current income tax system, is not "fair" in any sense of the word. It's overall purpose is to advance capital growth. This would be a boon to capital and a disaster for labor. So, to improve the tax system that was made a monstrosity by loopholes favoring Big Business, it is proposed that we substitute a tax system that is even more favorable to Big Business. Although the bill takes care of the poor (somewhat), it shifts the major tax burden to the Middle Class. HR25 will eventually destroy the Middle Class.

» Continue reading "HR25 Will Destroy the Middle Class"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 7:06 PM

Iraq Post-Mortem

Iraqis will soon vote on a constitution that enshrines medieval Islamic Shariah law as the source (or perhaps, merely the main source) of Iraqi law, and denies women basic human rights (except where they don't conflict with medieval Islamic Shariah law), and US influence over the Iraqi government has dwindled to impotent diplomatic protests. After more than two years of occupation which has left Iraqis free of Saddam - but arguably worse off than they were before the war - I think it's safe to say: We lost Iraq.

» Continue reading "Iraq Post-Mortem"

August 15, 2005

Iran: Like Iraq, only with weapons inspectors!

Based on the ever-so-trustworthy intelligence gathering capabilities of the Project For The New American Century braintrust, the Bush Administration has been ramping up their sabers against Iran.

» Continue reading "Iran: Like Iraq, only with weapons inspectors!"

Posted by Carla Ryan at 7:33 PM

Blood and Oil

In his book, Blood and oil, Michael T. Klare tells us that toward the end of World War II, FDR made a deal with Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia would keep oil flowing to the States and America would militarily protect Saudi Arabia - our blood for their oil. This pact has since been sustained by all American presidents, Democrats and Republicans alike. Klare says that this unfortunate obssession with oil has been substantially responsible for many of our wars - including the Iraq morass. Now that oil supplies are shrinking while oil demand is zooming we must develop a strategy for living in a post-petroleum world. The first step is to break the pact of blood for oil.

» Continue reading "Blood and Oil"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 7:03 PM

August 14, 2005

Image Vs. Reality

The question, ultimately is not who's correct about this war, but what's correct, and who's correct about that.

Let me explain: Taken abstractly, one could take any position on the war, and not be constrained. You can talk your way into believing what you want about the war, including about winning.

What happens, though, when we introduce the real world into the mix? Then judging who's got the right idea becomes a different thing altogether.

» Continue reading "Image Vs. Reality"

August 12, 2005

HR25 Eradicates Social Security

Bush's number one priority for his second term is to "save" Social Security through private investment accounts. Although he has criss-crossed the country diligently advocating private accounts, the more he spoke about them the less popular they became. But Bush has continued and I have been wondering why. The answer comes in the form of HR25, supposedly a sales tax bill to replace most other federal taxes and simplify and make fairer our tax system. HR25 "saves" Social Security in the way Bush intended - it totally eradicates Social Security.

» Continue reading "HR25 Eradicates Social Security"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:17 PM

Show Of Force

The Russians and Chinese are holding their first ever joint military exercise to "strengthen the capability of the two armed forces in jointly striking international terrorism, extremism and separatism." Sounds good, but if you look behind the curtain, there's a lot more going on here.

» Continue reading "Show Of Force"

August 11, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Has a Claim

Cindy Sheehan lost her son to the Iraq war and she grieves for him. She is camped on the road leading to Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, waiting to hear from the president why her son died. Bush, who makes many speeches to friendly audiences, does not have the decency - or is it nerve - to talk to Sheehan. Instead, the Republican noise machine is attacking Sheehan in vile ways. Because Sheehan has lost a son in a war declared by George W. Bush, she has a claim on his attention. If there is any humanity in him at all, Bush must talk to Cindy Sheehan.

» Continue reading "Cindy Sheehan Has a Claim"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:40 PM

Probe This!

Congress probes everything else; why not the rationale for the war in Iraq?
Republican Pat Roberts who chairs the Senate Intelligence committee says he plans to explore the treatment of undercover CIA agents "You can not be in the business of outing somebody, "Roberts said last month, referring to risks that could arise from exposing agents as well as their associates and informants.

» Continue reading "Probe This!"

August 10, 2005

Iran Puzzle: Negotiate or Fight

Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb - which everyone agrees is bad. What should America do? Should it return to its previous belligerence? Or should it work together with the Europeans, who are trying to negotiate with the Iranians? Many lost hope for negotiations when Iran refused the latest European offer. Prematurely. The Russians jumped in at the last minute and told the Iranians to think it over. There is no reason for America to be so tough. It's better to negotiate than to fight.

» Continue reading "Iran Puzzle: Negotiate or Fight"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:37 PM

2 Questions for Rummy

As our Secretary of Defense prepares to make his way to Crawford to dodge Cindy Sheehan and glad hand the Pioneer/Ranger set, some new information has come to light:

Fox:

WASHINGTON - Some weapons entering Iraq are coming from Iran, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld (search) said Tuesday, though he indicated it was unclear whether they were coming from elements of the Iranian government or from other parties.
Were I in the Pentagon Press Corp..I'd have two questions for Rummy:

» Continue reading "2 Questions for Rummy"

Posted by Carla Ryan at 11:55 AM

August 9, 2005

Words Without Deeds Betray

Some of the mistakes of Vietnam ended with that war, but there are some errors that never go out of style, and among those are the errors that a people end up committing. It may be heresy to some, but there is a way that the American people can let down their soldiers, even while they honestly support the president, support the war, support the troops.

The worst thing about it is that it's a betrayal folks don't even realize they've perpetrated, and don't want to believe they've committed if told of it.

» Continue reading "Words Without Deeds Betray"

A Sales Tax is a Horrible Deal

The August 15 issue of The New Republic has an article that I never expected to see in a magazine that claims to speak for liberals. The article by Niall Ferguson and Laurence J. Kotlikoff is called "The New New Deal" and it favors a huge sales tax to replace the personal income, business income, and FICA taxes. For this whopping sales tax they offer us a new universal healthcare and social security system. There are some good ideas here. But to pay for everything by means of a huge sales tax is obscene. It transfers the tax burden from the rich to the poor. A sales tax is a horrible deal.

» Continue reading "A Sales Tax is a Horrible Deal"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:26 PM

Courage in the form of Cindy Sheehan

I belong to an email political debate group. I've been a part of this group off and on for years. It consists mostly of conservatives, the vast majority of which are Bush supporters. Actually they're more than just supporters. They're complete apologists for Bush's many failed policies.

» Continue reading "Courage in the form of Cindy Sheehan"

Posted by Carla Ryan at 1:06 PM

Career Killer

Well, this is no surprise,

A Marine regiment that took heavy casualties last week in western Iraq - including 19 killed from a Reserve unit headquartered in Ohio - had repeatedly asked for about 1,000 more troops. Those requests were not granted.
» Continue reading "Career Killer"

August 8, 2005

Mad, Sad Muslims

There was an interesting op-ed in the Washington Post by a Muslim American, "Being Muslim in a Mad, Sad World". The gist is, she's totally against terrorism, but understands what drives Muslims to it. She brings up the usual motivators: US support for Israel, Iraqi civilian deaths, Gitmo, etc. Then she makes an off-hand remark that immediately crystallized my thought on this subject.

» Continue reading "Mad, Sad Muslims"

Spend Spend Spend

We are being crushed under the fiscal irresponsibilty of our government.
The war in Iraq is costing Billions per day. Why is it that our government adds so much unneccessary pork to every bill?

» Continue reading "Spend Spend Spend"

August 6, 2005

My Evo Fu Is Greater Than Yours.

Intelligent Design is like an amateur in a martial arts class who slept in the corner half the time, but still expects to earn a black belt when he's done because he's heard some other newbie did the same.

ID cannot compete on it's own. Given time, a good theory could make its way to the textbooks and the classrooms based on its strength and general acceptance in the scientific community. But ID not only wants in now, it wants to determine the criteria for it's own acceptance.

» Continue reading "My Evo Fu Is Greater Than Yours."

August 5, 2005

Where's Osama bin Laden?

In about a month from now the Bush administration will memorialize the fourth anniversary of the catastrophe of 9/11. Will Bush talk about his achievements in the "war on terror," how he is winning over the insurgents in Iraq, how he is making the world a better place by spreading democracy, or how we Americans should feel safer because he does not "ask permission" from any country to fight for our defense? I, for one, would like Bush to answer one question: Where's Osama bin Laden?

» Continue reading "Where's Osama bin Laden?"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:51 PM

Conflicts of Interests

Conflicts. This is about what this is about. Not Good Vs. Evil, things in our interest vs. those not, or any simple opposition of right vs. wrong, but the much more complex conflicts of real life.

As a storyteller, I've been taught that genuine conflicts aren't between a postive and a negative, typically, but between two negatives or two positives.

» Continue reading "Conflicts of Interests"

August 4, 2005

Roberts: A Scalia or a Souter?

Now we learn that Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts did pro bono work for gay rights activists to help win an important 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court victory for the gay rights movement. Wow! We learned this from papers released to date by the government. I don't think social conservatives are happy with this. Perhaps conservatives will join liberals in demanding that the government release all documents relevant to Roberts' legal work. When we see the documents, we will know if Roberts is a super-conservative like Scalia or a moderate like Souter.

» Continue reading "Roberts: A Scalia or a Souter?"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:00 PM

Thanks for the Empathy, We Want Leadership.

While empathizing with millions of Americans who support embryonic stem-cell research in the hope of finding cures for various diseases. President Bush continued to threaten to veto increased funding for stem-cell research.
Once again demonstrating his dismissal of the wishes of the American people.

» Continue reading "Thanks for the Empathy, We Want Leadership."

August 3, 2005

OH-2: The stench of Republican sweat fills the air

Ohio's special election forced the Republican Party to dump cash and resources into a seat that should have been completely safe for them.

» Continue reading "OH-2: The stench of Republican sweat fills the air"

Posted by Carla Ryan at 5:15 PM

August 2, 2005

Love, Not Intelligent Design

The day after I enter a post saying that Frist's switch to the support of stem cell research indicates that rationality is beginning to take over, Bush announces that he is in favor of teaching Intelligent Design in schools. I'm sure he says this in order to keep his religious "base." Personally, I don't see why devout Christians are so intent on changing science. Why not modify something more substantial in modern life - like business? Why not modify it with a little LOVE?

» Continue reading "Love, Not Intelligent Design"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:43 PM

SAVE Us

I blogged about the Bush administration finally adopting the Democrat's approach to dismantling terrorist networks and support systems. Well, I just saw in my morning paper that they're finally working with France, Britain, and other European countries to implement it,

» Continue reading "SAVE Us"

August 1, 2005

Frist Shifting Away from Extremism

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the same guy who offered a long-distance diagnosis to Terri Schiavo, has now stated that he favors "modifying" Bush's stem cell policy and he supports expanding the federal stem cell research program. Evidently, Frist has decided his future as a presidential candidate would be better served by this switch. Though the move is not that significant for stem cell research, it does show that support for religious extremism is cracking. And that makes me happy.

» Continue reading "Frist Shifting Away from Extremism"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:43 PM

Nothing Gets In The Way Of A Bad Idea

Why am I not surprised? Bolton gets recess-appointed.

Bush gets what Bush wants, and that's the whole problem. Even with serious reservations coming from his own party, and serious questions about whether the Bush administration has been honest about this man's role in the whole WMD affair, or his testimony about the Plame case, this is what Bush does.

» Continue reading "Nothing Gets In The Way Of A Bad Idea"

Black Gold and The White House

The President's comprehensive Energy Plan in a nutshell:

Do very little to fix the problems that loom over this nation due to our dependency on oil.
Add to the wealth and power the oil companies already have in the United States.

» Continue reading "Black Gold and The White House"