Democrats & Liberals Archives

November 2005 Archives

November 30, 2005

A Lesson in Democracy

President Bush told us that America fought the Iraqi war in order to establish a democracy in Iraq, complete with free enterprise, free media, free elections and free military. Actually, he did not mention "free military"; it's an extra. In order to help achieve these remarkable goals Americans in Iraq are running classes about democracy. Here is an example of one of the latest lessons, which happens to be about free media:

» Continue reading "A Lesson in Democracy"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:35 PM

The Swine Diaries II: The Propaganda Machine continues

In the face of dramatic criticism for administration policies, specifically the American - Iraq War of 2003, the attack dogs continue to mislead the public and malign its critics. The latest example was Donald Rumsfeld's remarks, on Tuesday, about "Quitting: No Exit Strategy for Iraq" (link).

» Continue reading "The Swine Diaries II: The Propaganda Machine continues"

Independent Pride vs. Reality

How many times have you heard someone say "I vote for the person not the party." Such folks are called proudly independent. How can you argue with that? Political reality argues otherwise in an age when majority parties set the agenda, chair all the committees, and wield substantial power. When one party has succumbed to corruption and controls all the branches of government, such independence becomes foolish.

» Continue reading "Independent Pride vs. Reality"

November 29, 2005

Border Politics

Distressed with the crises and scandals and corruption hitting his administration, President Bush decided to change the subject to the border between U.S. and Mexico. After two-and-a-half years of fighting the "war on terror" in Iraq, he has decided that the border here at home must be made more secure. To do this he is proposing 2 things: one measure to prevent aliens from entering the country, and another measure to encourage them to come here. Border politics, Republican style.

» Continue reading "Border Politics"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:19 PM

GOP For Sale/ Buy The Illusion

The party that has tied itself to God, The Church and Morality, takes another ethics hit today.
Maybe the GOP and it's supporters are more ethically challenged than they portray themselves.
Maybe their moral superiority is an illusion bought by those who support them and sold to get elected.

» Continue reading "GOP For Sale/ Buy The Illusion"

Bush Back-Flip Predicted

Fred Kaplan in Slate:

Brace yourself for a mind-bog of sheer cynicism. The discombobulation begins Wednesday, when President George W. Bush is expected to proclaim, in a major speech at the U.S. Naval Academy, that the Iraqi security forces -- which only a few months ago were said to have just one battalion capable of fighting on its own -- have suddenly made uncanny progress in combat readiness. Expect soon after (if not during the speech itself) the thing that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have, just this month, denounced as near-treason -- a timetable for withdrawal of American troops.
» Continue reading "Bush Back-Flip Predicted"

Posted by Woody Mena at 7:40 AM

November 28, 2005

Book Review: Myths of Free Trade

In The World is Flat, Friedman sings the glories of free trade. In this book by Representative Sherrod Brown, we get an alternate view of free trade, as serving the needs of business and very few of the needs of everbody else. Friedman raves about NAFTA; Brown abhors it. Friedman thinks our expanding business with China will being democracy there; Brown is pessimistic about this. This book is not as a good a read as Friedman's, but its thesis is closer to what I believe.

» Continue reading "Book Review: Myths of Free Trade"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 2:56 PM

The Creation of Intelligent Demise

Numerous studies show that the more educated an individual is the less likely he is to believe in a higher being. This makes sense to those of us who are atheists or wavering with agnostic indecision, and this makes sense to those of us who have been fortunate to have a decent education separate from or untainted by religion and its misrepresentations. We understand that as an individual learns more about her surroundings she becomes more comfortable with the fact that science - real science - provides the support needed to prove why certain things happen, have happened or will happen.

» Continue reading "The Creation of Intelligent Demise"

Posted by Vihar Sheth at 10:36 AM

November 25, 2005

The New War On Terrorism

We can read their mail (e-mail or otherwise), we can take their portrait from hundreds of miles up, but all that information can get a little abstract. Information, when not presented in context, has a way of leading in a thousand directions at once. That's probably how we missed al-Qaeda's play on 9/11. We had both too little information, and too much.

What if, though, we had recruited a source in al-Qaeda? That could have simplified things greatly. The fact of the matter is, even now, we suffer from a great deficit of human intelligence out there, and when it all comes down to it, we can't fight a real war on terror without it.

» Continue reading "The New War On Terrorism"

November 23, 2005

If you don't agree with the Iraq War, it's your fault we're losing

It used to be that I'd read things out of The Onion and believe them to be so outrageously absurd that they're clearly parody.

Then today I read this from the online periodical The American Thinker and am wondering if the masthead is supposed to be ironic:

» Continue reading "If you don't agree with the Iraq War, it's your fault we're losing"

Posted by Carla Ryan at 6:53 PM

Left, Right, and Center On America's Future In Iraq

I really respect Congressman Murtha. It took a lot of guts to force a serious national debate on the future of America in Iraq, and the guy is maintaining his principled stand in spite of dissent from Democrats and outright slander and name-calling by Republicans. I respect the man, and I respectfully disagree with him.

» Continue reading "Left, Right, and Center On America's Future In Iraq"

November 22, 2005

Guantanamo: I Laughed, Then Cried

I was reading the newspaper when I came across the headline, "Guantanamo Bay Prisoner Sues U.S. to Get a Bible." I laughed so hard while reading this article because it seemed so ridiculous that a prisoner would have to sue our government in order to be able to read the Bible. Our "moral values" government told the prisoner that the Bible might "incite" him. However, when I realized how insane our policies have become and that we are becoming the laughingstock of the world, it made me sick.

» Continue reading "Guantanamo: I Laughed, Then Cried"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:34 PM

Bush vs. The United States (Part 1)

George W. Bush is not the leader of the United States. He is our enemy. We should have wanted posters offering a reward for his capture. He has committed crimes against the United States environment. He has committed crimes against our military. He has committed crimes against the future of the United States and it's people.
Is it true that Bill Clinton brought a certain level of shame to the oval office? Yes.
Was he a perfect president? No. Reagan and Bush senior had flaws too.
The difference is that this is a corrupt government that lies and kills at will.

» Continue reading "Bush vs. The United States (Part 1)"

November 21, 2005

Just The Crazy Ravings of an Armchair General

In screenwriting, this is called the third act. The characters, all having learned their lessons (or not) apply their wisdom (or continued foolishness) to resolving things and wrapping up the big conflict. If they haven't gotten it, we call it a tragedy. If they have, it's a happy, or at least heroic ending.

How this story develops depends on how we work things out from this point. Let me give you a hint about what I'm calling for: It has something to do with the title and subject of my last entry.

» Continue reading "Just The Crazy Ravings of an Armchair General"

Locked Doors

In China, President Bush was unable to escape reporters asking embarrassing questions because the doors were locked. It's ironic because "locked doors" is a good way to describe the Bush Administration. Everything is done in secrecy. Everyone must follow the party line. Those who do not are savaged. However, I wonder if some of what Bush said in China with reference to Murtha implies an opening of Bush's "locked doors"?

» Continue reading "Locked Doors"

November 20, 2005

Democrats Overwhelmingly Reject Pullout

Last Friday, House Republicans pulled a total bullshit move to immediately withdraw US troops from Iraq. Democrats overwhelmingly defeated it, and rightly so. No one wants our troops to leave Iraq without a plan for defeating al Qaeda forces operating there. In fact, Democrats are still urging President Bush to change course -- to finally give our troops a definition of victory and the manpower to achieve it.

» Continue reading "Democrats Overwhelmingly Reject Pullout"

November 18, 2005

Murtha Breaks the Dam

After 9/11, President Bush built a dam behind which he esconced himself in the presidency. He built the dam with the bricks of militarism and patriotism and cemented it with fear. Protected by this seemingly impregnable dam, Bush attacked Iraq, and the Democratic officeholders went along. Though events in Iraq went from bad to terrible Democrats, except for a brave soul like Feingold, were afraid to say anything. Yesterday, the dam broke when Democratic Representative John Murtha, a decorated veteran of the wars in Korea and Vietnam, and up to now a strong hawk, called for immediate withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.

» Continue reading "Murtha Breaks the Dam"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:51 PM

The case against computer-based voting systems

Following the 2000 presidential election, the nation paused to reflect upon how poorly a modern-day election could go so wrong, so quickly. Instead of the nation focusing their efforts on the hard questions surrounding the all-important human angle, Americans focused on the technology associated with managing elections. That little deviation set us on a potentially devastating disaster for democracy.

» Continue reading "The case against computer-based voting systems"

November 17, 2005

The Party of the People

FDR made the Democratic Party the party of the people by serving the needs of the working person. The working person benefited greatly for a few decades. Then Big Business decided to put labor in its place. It built PACs, hired lobbyists and contributed primarily to the Republican Party. Abetted by the Republican Party, Big Business destroyed unions, made employment precarious, and is now slowly shedding medical and pension benefits. Because the Democratic Party lost its union money it too had to depend upon money from fatcats, which is the main reason it has been in disfavor. Until now. Today the party is returning to its FDR roots, becoming once again the party of the people.

» Continue reading "The Party of the People"

November 16, 2005

Get Them, Before They Get You

Fear, rather than altruism was our main motivation for invading Iraq. Though its subject was not legitimate, the impulse was all too valid, given our recent, terrible experiences. That in mind, I have often said that paranoia- which is fear unbound by reason - is a waste of good suspicion. The Bush Administration, so intent on dealing with missiles from rogue states, and going after Iraq, didn't really take the terrorist threat seriously until it hit far too close to home. We should not wait for events to disprove our most cherished preconceptons of the world.

» Continue reading "Get Them, Before They Get You"

You Trusted Me. That's Your Fault.

The Bush administration would like us to believe that because some Americans believed the intelligence they were given by his administration, the imminenet threat of Saddams WMD and nuclear capabilities, that they are equally at fault for the war in Iraq and should not question the use of intelligence by this administration to justify the war in Iraq.

» Continue reading "You Trusted Me. That's Your Fault."

November 15, 2005

Does Alito Believe in Democracy?

President Bush's new nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sam Alito, is definitely against abortion. Conservatives are quibbling that though Alito is personally against abortion he may not vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Who knows? Americans should be wary. An even greater cause for concern is that Alito has made statements which imply he is against a basic tenet of democracy: "one person, one vote." He must be carefully questioned and scrutinized about this.

» Continue reading "Does Alito Believe in Democracy?"

An Opportunity

After almost three years of flailing, the Bush administration finally has a military strategy for Iraq that will work -- only, they don't know it yet.

» Continue reading "An Opportunity"

November 14, 2005

Moderating Iran with China

Iran has recently become more belligerent than usual. The new head of state has told his countrymen that Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth; that Iran should develop nuclear power; that it does not need the West because it could trade with the East; and that U.S. is Satan. Shall we answer in kind, or shall we find another way to reply? I have a startling solution, that will not only moderate the actions of Iran, but also make the Middle East and the East more peaceful.

» Continue reading "Moderating Iran with China"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 3:51 PM

Bush Lied To Soldiers

Over the weekend, President Bush took a hard line against critics of the Iraq invasion, insisting they're rewriting history by pointing out that he misled America about Iraq. Unfortunately, President Bush's defense is just as misleading as his insistence that Iraq had WMD and al Qaeda connections.

» Continue reading "Bush Lied To Soldiers"

November 13, 2005

Correction and Orthodoxy

A Creationist blasts a town for not keeping a school board that voted in favor of intelligent design There's a quirk to such a criticism that one should really think about: Creationism as Robertson and many other would define it defines even intelligent design out of the picture. Why does he mourn the school board's rejection?

» Continue reading "Correction and Orthodoxy"

November 11, 2005

Don't Punish Success

"Don't punish success." I'm sure you have heard this Republican mantra often. And where do you find great success today? In oil companies. So how come Republicans punished the CEOs of major oil companies by dragging them to a Senate hearing and then telling them over and over that they were making too much profit? It's true that some Republicans had pity on these poor CEOs and tried to ease the punishment by talking about the hefty subsidies Congress gave these oil companies recently. It did not help.

» Continue reading "Don't Punish Success"

CLUEless: The Report That the Insurance Industry Doesn't Want You to Know About.

For those who don't know, the insurance industry use something referred in the industry as the CLUE report to judge whether or not you are insurable.

Much like the credit industry, where companies like TransUnion, Equifax and Experian own, manage and publish your credit report rating, the insurance industry uses the CLUE report in the same fashion. The only difference is CLUE is secret.

» Continue reading "CLUEless: The Report That the Insurance Industry Doesn't Want You to Know About."

Another Take on the Election

An editorial from yesterday's Wall Street Journal:

About the best thing Republicans can say after Tuesday's election debacle is that at least it happened in an off-off year. This was a Democratic rout any way you look at it, from the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey to the ballot initiatives in California.

Some interesting comments on how the cuture war issues played out in Virginia.

November 10, 2005

Well Oiled Machine

The Republican party does not hide the fact that their only true allegiance is to the oil industry, pharmaceutical companies and "The Far Right." They stick together to champion their causes. They are unified in their attack on the seperation of Church and State. They are unified in their struggle to increase the disparity between the haves and the have-nots.

Most importantly, they are unified in their struggle to save the poor and disenfranchised oil executives from the horrors of being just wealthy. The oil CEO's deserve better than being just wealthy, they need to be super-wealthy.

» Continue reading "Well Oiled Machine"

November 9, 2005

How to Make Government Ethical

Cynics may laugh. However, President Bush has decided to send White House employees to the classroom where they are learning about ethics. He thinks a class in ethics would change the leaking, lying and corruption pervading his administration. No way. There is only one way to teach ethics, and that is by example.

» Continue reading "How to Make Government Ethical"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:10 PM

Bring It On? Too Late

The time to prove himself right has long past. It wasn't after the invasion, it was at the invasion. The time to go on the campaign to establish the truth was before he went to war- in fact it should have started from the moment he entered the White House. It is four years too late to start now.

» Continue reading "Bring It On? Too Late"

Life in These Times (Attempted Humor*)

Despite "help" from his buddy George Bush, Republican Jerry Kilgore lost the Virginia gubernatorial election by a colossal** six percent margin. Word is Bush is standing on Pennsylvania Ave. this morning with a sign saying "I'LL ENDORSE FOR FOOD".

» Continue reading "Life in These Times (Attempted Humor*)"

November 8, 2005

Deficit Reduction, Republican Style

President Bush told Congress that it is spending too much money and it should cut the deficit. After Katrina, the Republican Congress finally agreed with the president and decided that it needed to cut spending to bring the budget closer to balance. So now the House is considering cutting programs affecting the poor - who else could Republicans pick on? What they are coming up with will have negligible effect on the deficit but will hurt the most vulnerable among us grievously. This is deficit reduction, Republican style.

» Continue reading "Deficit Reduction, Republican Style"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:58 PM

November 7, 2005

Bush's Free Trade

President Bush claims he is for free trade. He went to the Summit in Argentina to sell a free trade zone for all America from Canada to Argentina. He encountered hostility from Argentineans and skepticism from the leaders of the major Latin American countries. The Summit was a shambles. Why? Because these leaders do not trust Bush. They believe that the free trade he sells will bring lots of money to American multinationals and almost nothing to the poverty stricken farmers in their lands. Bush's free trade talk is merely propaganda.

» Continue reading "Bush's Free Trade"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:24 PM

November 4, 2005

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back (Do the Math)

This could be said to be an unofficial sequel to my last entry I guess we can file this under "what are they thinking?"

The link above is to an article that says not only will the Senate vote to carve a path of destruction through undeserving programs to save 35 billion, but they are about to follow that all up with a 70 billion dollar tax cut. Somebody has to explain to me how this qualifies as fiscal conservatism. Wait, no, they don't have to.

» Continue reading "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back (Do the Math)"

Mr. President: Fire the Architect

Mr. President: You are in trouble. You have lost your popularity and your credibility. Libby, the right-hand man of the vice president has been indicted. Karl Rove, your top advisor, is still under investigation in Plamegate. The credibility of the White House is in shreds. In order to restore some of the shine of the presidency, you must get rid of the one who has led you into this mess. You must fire the architect of the Potemkin presidency: Karl Rove.

» Continue reading "Mr. President: Fire the Architect"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:09 PM

Screw the Poor and the Environment

Once again the Republican party sends the clear message that unless you are wealthy, you're not that important to them.

The Senate approved sweeping deficit-reduction legislation last night that would save about $35 billion over the next five years by cutting federal spending on prescription drugs, agriculture supports and student loans, while clamping down on fraud in the Medicaid program.

» Continue reading "Screw the Poor and the Environment"

November 3, 2005

Stop Alito!

Democrats, you have a chance to do something to protect your country from the far-Right. You can sign the petition that is circulating. Here's what MoveOn says:

"The nomination of Samuel Alito poses a grave threat to the protections Americans count on, including basic workers' rights, women's rights, and civil rights. We call on the Senate to stand up for all of us and reject the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court of the United States."

Sign petition at MoveOn.Org

Posted by Paul Siegel at 3:48 PM

Intelligence? Wrong on Both Counts.

Is Bush out of his freaking mind?

I would think given all that has happened over the last year, and in the situation we are in, that Bush would have the common courtesy not to use another agency or advisory panel as a parking lot for donors. Could somebody tell me, though, why it had to be this one, in this day and age? Read the link. This stupidity speaks for itself.

November 2, 2005

Washington Post Reports Secret CIA Prisons

Yesterday a startling story came out to little fanfare, and it already seems to be slipping through the cracks*: the CIA has been holding terror suspects in secret prisons(registration required). See also today's story .

» Continue reading "Washington Post Reports Secret CIA Prisons"

Collapse of the Potemkin Presidency

Over the last 5 years, George W. Bush, with the aid of Karl Rove and other Republican friends, has erected a Potemkin presidency featuring leadership, integrity, unity, moral values and a humble foreign policy that hides gross ineptitude, lying and secrecy, polarization, a culture of corruption and an arrogant and belligerent foreign policy. The country was blinded by the Potemkin haze - until recently, when the public's eyes opened wide to see the true nature of this presidency. The Potemkin presidency has collapsed.

» Continue reading "Collapse of the Potemkin Presidency"

Incompetence Incorporated: The War on Terror

Omar al-Farouq escaped from his cell in Afghanistan.

If you're unfamiliar with Omar al-Farouq, you might recall the fervor surrounding his capture in 2002. When, in 2002, the Bush administration used his capture as evidence that the war on terror was working and using information from al-Farouq to issue a homeland security warning.(link). al-Farouq was one of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenants in Southeast Asia until Indonesian authorities captured him in 2002 and turned him over to the United States.

» Continue reading "Incompetence Incorporated: The War on Terror"

Posted by john trevisani at 12:07 PM

The Right to Rule Comes from the People

In Texas, considered one of the reddest of the Red States, the proportion of Republicans to Democrats is 60/40. Because of the redistricting, the number of Republicans in office is greater than that proportion. An official of the Federal Government imposed this on a state that had already had redistricting that favored Republicans. When Tom DeLay and other Republicans found out that the Republicans favored in this redistricting still re-elected Democrats, they wasted no time in destroying that bastion of moderation. They would either have the people choose to elect Republicans, or choose not to have representation.

» Continue reading "The Right to Rule Comes from the People"

November 1, 2005

Far-Right Justices are Most Activist

Conservatives have for many years been repeating over and over again that liberal justices are activists who tend to make law while conservative justices - like Thomas and Scalia - interpret the law. I have stated several times that I disagree with this, that it is pure Republican propaganda. Now I have come across a study by legal scholars that seems to indicate that the more conservative the justice the more likely he or she is to be an activist. Far-Right justices are the most activist.

» Continue reading "Far-Right Justices are Most Activist"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:58 PM