Democrats & Liberals Archives

April 2006 Archives

April 30, 2006

Tales From the Borderland, Part Four

Padzhir
Agent Leonard was contemplating career suicide by going on this journey. He would be passed up for promotions, handed the assignments nobody wanted, perhaps even fired or forced to resign for his troubles some years later. The old grey men back at headquarters had decided that they weren't going to cooperate with the Huntsmen Order, that if they wanted in, they would do things the FBI's way. Would they buy the excuse? Maybe. One thing was clear, though. If he came back from all this with Zarrach still in action, no excuse would be enough.

» Continue reading "Tales From the Borderland, Part Four"

April 28, 2006

The GOP and Exxon Mobil

I read in the Washington Times that while congressional Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate promised to roll back billions of dollars in tax breaks for major oil companies, the House changed their minds on Thursday.
House Republicans refused to go along with a proposal that called on House members to accept a Senate-passed repeal of $5 billion worth of oil industry tax breaks.
A resolution urging House negotiators to accept the Senate tax proposals failed 232-190, with only two Republicans voting for it.

» Continue reading "The GOP and Exxon Mobil"

It is Time to Develop Peacful Nuclear Energy

Many people - liberal environmentalists, Democrats and Republicans are afraid of nuclear power but it is time to get over it. There have been many good reasons to be afraid of it in the past - Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, nuclear waste, nuclear proliferation, nuclear terrorism, plus a boat load of unreasonable fears...

» Continue reading "It is Time to Develop Peacful Nuclear Energy"

How YOU Can Reduce Gas Prices

All this bitching, screaming, yelling and whining about gas prices makes me think of a child that has been playing with ever-more expensive toys and suddenly mom and pop don't buy expensive toys anymore and the child cries mournfully: "I want my toys!" Toys, SUVs, what's the difference? Regardless of whether you are a conservative or a liberal, stop complaining about how much it costs to fill the tank of a gas-guzzling SUV. YOU can reduce gas prices by getting rid of your SUV. As a conservative, you will be exercising self-reliance; as a liberal, you will contribute to the common good.

» Continue reading "How YOU Can Reduce Gas Prices"

April 27, 2006

Hysterical Republican Energetics

Gasoline has shot up to over $3 a gallon, and this worries Republicans. In pursuit of their agenda of kowtowing to the rich corporate patrons who put them in power, Republicans paid no heed to any of the factors that may influence the price of gasoline. Nor did they try to encourage the development of more sustainable and more environmentally friendly forms of enegy. Now that they fear the public may throw them out of office in November, they are turning hysterical.

» Continue reading "Hysterical Republican Energetics"

As Much As This Hurts...

I'm one of those people who is faced day in and day out with the unfair level of gas prices. That said, I do not want the provision here for a 100 dollar rebate to go through. The private company should be the one to give out this rebate, if anybody.

» Continue reading "As Much As This Hurts..."

April 26, 2006

Republican Economics

We hear a lot of high-blown rhetoric from Republicans about free enterprise and free markets and free trade. But if you really want to find out what current Republicans stand for, look at economic results. They show that nothing is free except perhaps for the richest among us. The difference in results between members of the middle class and the very rich shows exactly where Republicans stand economically.

» Continue reading "Republican Economics"

April 25, 2006

Protecting Our Investments

I can't help but shake my head at all those people who talk about abandoning the stupid people who live in disaster prone areas to their own devices. I guess this is, in some fashion, a way to rationalize the failure of disaster preparedness we saw last summer. Truth is, it's rather ironic to hear this sort of thing from the GOP, since they are supposed to be the party that honors the individual risk-taker.

» Continue reading "Protecting Our Investments"

Net Neutrality for a Flourishing Internet

Yesterday I wrote about the COPE bill in the House that will blast net neutrality, or the idea that communication carriers should be absolutely neutral - have nothing to say - about content on the Internet. Without net neutrality, telecoms will have tremendous power to block activities of individuals, corporations and organizations. Because the possible consequences of the COPE bill are so dire, I want to offer a few examples of what may happen.

» Continue reading "Net Neutrality for a Flourishing Internet"

Help Wanted

Do you have the ability to lie? Can you look a reporter, Congress, a constituant or members of the United Nations Security Council in the eye and manipulate facts, twist the truth or outright lie?
Then you too can keep your job or get one in the Bush administration.

» Continue reading "Help Wanted"

April 24, 2006

Election Year Republican Hatred

Here we go again. The Republicans and Religious Conservatives are hoping to cash in on people's hatred and fear again this year. The closer we get to the election the more they show their true colors as hatemongers and bigots.

» Continue reading "Election Year Republican Hatred"

Strangulating the Internet

The Internet is probably the greatest invention of the 20th century. Nevertheless, Rep. Joe Barton, Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, together with other representatives, is sponsoring the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006 (COPE), which would transfer control of the Internet to the major telecoms - ATT, Sprint, Verizon and Bellsouth. The result of this legislation may very well be the strangulation of the Internet as we know it.

» Continue reading "Strangulating the Internet"

April 23, 2006

Journalists and Generals

Journalists and other commentators are sometimes dismissively referred to as "armchair generals". It would be more accurate to refer to generals as "armchair journalists". According to Reporters Without Borders, 61 journalists have been killed in the Iraq War. No coalition generals have suffered the same fate. (Donald Rumsfeld, needless to say, is not in much danger either.) That is by itself a good thing, of course, but it should make us question our easy assumptions about who is in the thick of the action and who is sitting on the sidelines.

April 21, 2006

More Republican/Democratic Contrasts

Some say there is not much difference between Republicans and Democrats. In my previous post I demonstrated a big difference: Republicans are for self-interest while Democrats are for the common-interest. Yesterday's news favored me with 2 incidents that further distinguish Republicans from Democrats.

» Continue reading "More Republican/Democratic Contrasts"

Tales From The Borderlands, Part Three

The Lobanhaki's Profile, conclusion
Agent Dominic Leonard contacted the mysterious John Taylor under the pretense of detaining him for questioning about his brother, a major player in the recent disaster. An ambitious superior wanted in on the case, and managed to get in just long enough to ask some pointed questions of the Huntsmen Order captain. His interrogation has been brought to sudden end, with the arrival of two of John's friends.

Now they must face their most difficult challenge yet- how to proceed without running afoul of those who still are trying to salvage the dying status quo...

» Continue reading "Tales From The Borderlands, Part Three"

April 20, 2006

Democrats Fight for the Common-Interest

The American Prospect magazine states that the big overriding issue that represents what Democrats stand for and what they should fight for is the common-interest. Yes, indeed, the common-interest represents the Democratic Party just as neatly as self-interest represents the Republican Party.

» Continue reading "Democrats Fight for the Common-Interest"

George W. Bush vs "Slick Willie"

Here's an interesting snippet of news that's sure to annoy your Republican friends. In a poll taken last falll, respondents were asked to compare the trustworthiness of Bush and Clinton. Of these, 15% said it was a tie, 36% trusted Bush more, and 48% trusted Bush less. To reiterate: a plurality of people trust Bush less than Clinton.

» Continue reading "George W. Bush vs "Slick Willie""

More resignations should follow

Card left and McClellen is leaving. So what! Rove is still in place handling what he needs to fix, the political landscape of the Republican Party. Although he doesn't have direct influence on policy anymore, he will affect policy; let's be frank. He should be out and shouldn't have access to any sensitive information.

» Continue reading "More resignations should follow"

April 19, 2006

Bridging the Democratic Party Divide

There is a divide in the Democratic Party between the old guard, or as some call it the establishment, and the new blood that is represented by Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Noam Scheiber takes the point of view of the establishment in his article in The New Republic of April 24 titled "Scream II: Howard Dean's Messiah Complex." He feels the future Democratic nominee will not be elected because Dean will be in the way.

» Continue reading "Bridging the Democratic Party Divide"

One Step Forward, Many More To Go

Grist recently interviewed Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott about the company's relatively shocking move to join leading energy executives in their call for mandatory caps on greenhouse-gas emissions. I'm an outspoken critic of Sprawl-Mart but tried to be as unbiased as possible when reading this piece. Lee Scott seems to have his head screwed on properly, to some degree, when it comes acknowledging this company's ability to impact the global environment. Granted these are only words, but Scott's intentions seem good, if not for just Wal-Mart but the environment too.

» Continue reading "One Step Forward, Many More To Go"

April 18, 2006

Fool Me Once

President George Bush once attempted to say "Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me." Lies and fabrications greased public support of a preemptive invasion of Iraq. Now, the rhetoric on Iran sounds hauntingly familiar.

» Continue reading "Fool Me Once"

Conservative Compassion

In his first presidential campaign, George W. Bush ran as a compassionate conservative. He pointed out over and over that though he was a conservative he was compassionate toward the little guy. To show he was a compassionate guy, he pushed hard to get Congress to enact the Medicare drug bill. Congress did. And now we see the results. Many seniors buy insurance policies and then find out they could get their drugs cheaper without the insurance!

» Continue reading "Conservative Compassion"

Between Decision and Realization

Bush has decided what's best for the country. My sense is that Bush once again asserts authority where he cannot appeal to more basic principles. It's more or less a presidential way of saying "because I said so", and its frustrating. I know we're being told that this is a new war and we don't understand how to fight the war on terror, but the fact is, the new war is behaving an awful lot like Bush's detractors stated it would, and the results in the field seem to indicate that Bush and Rumsfeld's understanding of how to fight the war on terrorism is lacking.

» Continue reading "Between Decision and Realization"

'Culture Of Corruption' Claims More Republicans

Not surprisingly, the Republican manufactured, Fox News disseminated spin following the abrupt departure of the liability that still is Tom DeLay concluded that effectively there also went the Democrat's best Mid Term election talking point. Putting aside the likely outcome of DeLay's prominent image featured in DNC TV spots, the Right's inference that the 'Culture of Corruption' eruptions had abated is wishful thinking, willful denial or all of the above.

» Continue reading "'Culture Of Corruption' Claims More Republicans"

April 17, 2006

Republican Elitism

Every day, Republicans lace into Democrats as elitist. I think they do that because these super-rich, super-religious and super-anti-intellectual people are so smug in their self-righteousness - so elitist - that they believe everyone else suffers from the same hubris as they do. Democrats are not concerned with any elite group. They believe that all citizens should be treated the same. With Republicans, however, elitism is at its core.

» Continue reading "Republican Elitism"

Tales from The Borderlands, Part Two

The Lobanhaki's Profile- continued
A long buried secret society of magic-users has emerged after a shocking turn of events that left a major American city in ruins, and revealed the existence of thousands of mystical portals. America has a new frontier, a new set of borders, but the people who know it best are the magic-users themselves, and no-one quite knows what to make of them...

» Continue reading "Tales from The Borderlands, Part Two"

April 16, 2006

Tales from the Borderlands, Part One

The Lobanhaki's Profile
Some among you will remember a fictional experiment I did a little while ago, one that took a sci-fi invasion of a planet and posed the real world question of what supporting our troops really means. This time, perhaps we can talk about homeland security from a different direction. The borders here aren't between nations alone, though...

» Continue reading "Tales from the Borderlands, Part One"

April 15, 2006

It Is Time to "Duck and Cover"

Especially if you are hunting with Dick Cheney... This born wrong the first time, inbred, evangelical fundamentalist extremist, Armageddon loving, President is bringing back the horror of nuclear Armageddon.

» Continue reading "It Is Time to "Duck and Cover""

April 14, 2006

Atmospheric Venting

Murray Waas is reporting that Vice President Cheney authorized the leaking of portions of the classified report concerning Wilson's Niger trip as part of the campaign to discredit the former ambassador. While neither Wilson nor his wife are mentioned in the document in question, it does raise some significant questions about the Bush administrations attitude towards national security, and our state secrets.

» Continue reading "Atmospheric Venting"

Lying Comes Naturally to Republicans

Whenever Republican politicians find themselves in trouble, their automatic knee-jerk reaction is to blame Democrats. If there is nothing to blame Democrats for, they merely make something up - they lie. This is exactly what the Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman, following the lead of his boss George W. Bush, has done and is doing. He is placing the blame of the mean and punitive House immigration bill on the Democrats, when he knows that it is an outrageous lie.

» Continue reading "Lying Comes Naturally to Republicans"

April 13, 2006

Sic Wal Mart onto Financial Industry

I hate Wal Mart. In order to achieve its everyday low prices it offers its employees miserably low wages and almost insignificant benefits, forces its employees to sing songs about Wal Mart greatness, violently keeps its store free of unions, hounds its suppliers to keep producing ever cheaper products and depends more and more on foreign suppliers, especially in China. While Wal Mart does its damage by reducing prices, the financial industry does its damage by increasing prices: fees, interest, etc. Maybe allowing Wal Mart to compete with the financial industry is a good thing.

» Continue reading "Sic Wal Mart onto Financial Industry"

April 12, 2006

16 Days to Armageddon

The drumbeat has started. Iran is an evil empire. Iran is the greatest threat to the U.S. since ... well, since Iraq was. Iran will bury America under a mushroom cloud - the same type of cloud Iraq used. Let's not wait. There is no time. Don't believe weapon inspectors who say it will take between 5 and 10 years. It may take as little as 16 days! To avoid Armageddon, we must stop Iran now with nuclear block busters!

» Continue reading "16 Days to Armageddon"

Swimming Against the Current II: The Electorate

Both parties have a problem: They think they know what they're doing. They've gotten away with years of bad behavior because people didn't know, or didn't care, and the decisions of their leaders rarely directly affected them. The leaders had their fun, and for years it seemed like it would never end. Then they found out the nasty truth: their decisions really did matter.

» Continue reading "Swimming Against the Current II: The Electorate"

April 11, 2006

Republicans Gut States Rights

When Democrats were in power, Republicans hollered "states rights" every time Democrats tried to help the poor and downtrodden. Now that Republicans are in power, they are trampling "states rights" in order to help their friends in the business community. Business before pleasure... or... "states rights." Republicans have approved in committee a health bill that emasculates state health laws by overriding them with a weak federal health law. Republicans are gutting a strong pillar of conservatism: States rights.

» Continue reading "Republicans Gut States Rights"

It's Not Our Fault!

I've noticed a lot of retired generals speaking out against Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and the direction this country is going. There's Gen. Wes Clark, of course, but then there's Gen. Schwarzkopf, Gen. Zinni, Gen. Eaton, and now Gen. Newbold. These guys all want Rumsfeld's head on a platter, and Gen. Newbold wants active-duty military personnel to speak up rather than take the blame for the civilian administration's failure in Iraq like the they did in Vietnam.

» Continue reading "It's Not Our Fault!"

April 10, 2006

Freedom of Hate

Visualize this scenario. An American Muslim named Osama takes a gun and shoots his neighbor. Osama is arrested and brought to trial, where he pleads "innocent" since he was only exercising his freedom of religion. According to Osama, his neighbor was an unbeliever, and the holy Koran says (according to him) that an infidel must be killed.

» Continue reading "Freedom of Hate"

Republicans Kill Immigration Reform

Senate Republicans voted against their own immigration reform bill and killed any chance of action against illegal immigration until later in the year. The vote went along party lines, with Democrats voting in favor of immigration reform and Republicans voting against it. This isn't really a surprise for two reasons: Republican leaders didn't want to pass the bill (even though they could have) with more Democratic votes than Republican votes, and the Republican Party no longer knows where they stand on the issue anyhow.

» Continue reading "Republicans Kill Immigration Reform"

A War of Information

The Bush Administration knows that knowledge is power. Unfortunately, it fails to realize that the healthiest place for most of this knowledge, is in the hands of the American people. When it keeps crucial facts to itself, it both sets itself and its supporters up for a fall. It also increases opposition to itself, and amplifies the justified anxieties about the reach of its power.

» Continue reading "A War of Information"

The Democrats Do Not Have a Unified Plan for Iraq

Republicans create an impossible mess with no good answers and then want to criticise the Dems for not having a unified answer. How exactly are we supposed to have a unified answer for a problem that has no good answers? We don't know what to do. Well, we have a plan - I guess, but it is not really a plan, plan. See: Democratic Plan.

» Continue reading "The Democrats Do Not Have a Unified Plan for Iraq"

April 9, 2006

Why Bring Out The Iran Plan Now?

Seymour Hersh has a new article on the the plans to attack Iran. While I am not surprised by what Hersh reveals (and others echo - Wa. Post, Independent, Al Jazeera, AFP) in his article, the timing is more than interesting.

» Continue reading "Why Bring Out The Iran Plan Now?"

Why a Leak?

"There was nothing illegal or even particularly unusual" about Bush's authorization of leaked information, we hear today from the WP. And there's an obvious reason for releasing information that way - but not a very creditable one. A leak's not a press conference - there is no back-and-forth, no followup questions. Just as a story can be distorted by extracting bits and pieces out of context, so an intelligence report can be distorted by leaking conclusions without qualifications, analysis without dissent. A leak need not be " the whole truth".

» Continue reading "Why a Leak?"

April 8, 2006

Trust Me

In testimony before Congress on Thursday, Attorney General Gonzales implicitly acknowledged the existence of a program to monitor phone calls between American citizens exclusively within the United States. I'm all for tracking terrorists, but there's a reason it's illegal for the President to secretly spy on American citizens without a warrant: It's far too easy and tempting to abuse such a program for political gain. President Bush says, "Trust me, I'm only spying on terrorists," but after the revelation that he leaked top secret national security documents merely to discredit a critic of his policies, all trust is gone.

» Continue reading "Trust Me"

April 7, 2006

In The Public Interest

Yesterday Scooter Libby claimed that part of the leakage for which he is currently under indictment was authorized by W himself. Today the White House more or less acknowledged the truth of that - but claimed that the "disclosures" were "in the public interest". I don't know about the rest of the public but I for one am interested...for starters, I'm interested in why Bush decided to tell Cheney to tell Libby to tell Miller instead of just declassifying the darn NIE and holding a press conference.

» Continue reading "In The Public Interest"

Human Rights Leadership?

Bully Bush bullied Bully Bolton into the UN. Bully Bolton bullied and bullied and bullied until he destroyed the name of the U.S. as a world beacon of freedom and human rights. After shooting his mouth off telling UN ambassadors how to form a new UN Human Rights Council, the UN adopted a different approach. Now that Bully Bolton did not get his way, he did what all bullies do. He told the UN he will take his marbles and go home: U.S. would not run for a seat on the Human Rights Council. This is called human rights leadership?

» Continue reading "Human Rights Leadership?"

Bush Is The Leaker

Sweet Jesus Christ! President Bush authorized the leak of top secret CIA documents, as well as the identity of a CIA operative, to the media -- solely as a ruthless act of revenge against a man who did nothing but tell the truth. Then, when the CIA called for an investigation, President Bush lied about having anything to do with it, and left "Scooter" Libby to take the fall. What an asshole.

» Continue reading "Bush Is The Leaker"

Dear Mr. President: Please resign

The time has come sir; you must resign. From your early days as President, we knew who you were. We complained that you stole your presidency or you lacked the majority of the votes, at least. We knew that you were petty, secretive and vindictive. How else can you explain having the Vice President hold secret energy hearings with industry executives to help structure an energy bill? Or how your Republican staffers broke into Democratic computers to steal files and then used those files as ammunition against them? We knew who you were.

» Continue reading "Dear Mr. President: Please resign"

April 6, 2006

How to Vote

Vote for the candidate. Vote for your party. Vote against incumbents. What should you do when you enter the voting booth in November? Actually, the question should be, What should you do before you enter the voting booth? There is no simple rule to follow. You should evaluate and compare competing candidates according to criteria you determine.

» Continue reading "How to Vote"

Warnings about Warmings

Today's Washington Post says that federally-employed scientists are complaining that the Bush administration has made it "hard for them to speak forthrightly to the public" about a scientificially uncontroversial but politically sensitive issue: global warming. These scientists say that since 2004, "there has been a change in how we're expected to interact with the press" - leading, for instance, to removing terms like 'global warming,' 'warming climate' and 'climate change' from news releases and conference papers. Of course, I've never been a fan of this administration: but if you ask me, then if this is true, it's a clearcut case of government waste.

» Continue reading "Warnings about Warmings"

Get Porked

We are pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into Iraq. We need billions of dollars to rebuild the Gulf Coast region. Our Healthcare and Education systems are tragically underfunded. The United States government has created a staggering debt of approximately $8,386,953,491,456.09.
What do our elected officials do to combat these pressing issues?
They "PORK" us.

» Continue reading "Get Porked"

April 5, 2006

A Clear Exit Strategy

Republicans have for a long time been taunting Democrats to present their strategy for getting out of Iraq. When the Democratic Senators presented their approach in their recent REAL SECURITY agenda, Republicans complained that it was too vague. Well, Senator John Kerry has followed up by presenting a clear and simple exit strategy. I hope President Bush accepts and implements Kerry's approach so that our troops can come home.

» Continue reading "A Clear Exit Strategy"

Bush Not Serious

Senator Obama just gave an amazing speech calling our attention to the fact that President Bush's "addicted to oil" rhetoric in the State of the Union speech was just that and nothing more.

» Continue reading "Bush Not Serious"

April 4, 2006

The Culture of Corruption Remains

The Republican Party is steeped in the culture of corruption, as I have repeatedly stated (here, here, here and here). I have also stated that Tom DeLay was the ringmaster who made corruption thrive. The only thing that will change, now that DeLay has resigned, is that there will be a new ringmaster to the same Republican rings of corruption: Rep. John Boehner. The culture of corruption will remain.

» Continue reading "The Culture of Corruption Remains"

DeLay's First Smart Move In Quite a While

I guess you all have heard about this by now. Tom DeLay is finally resigning. If you want to read a strong emphasis on the word finally, I guess you wouldn't be far off. I don't write to gloat. Far from it. If Tom DeLay had been a better leader, I might have found this a sad day, regardless of the party affiliation. And no, I'm not lying. I appreciate leaders who know how to put the good of the country above and beyond the good of the party.

» Continue reading "DeLay's First Smart Move In Quite a While"

Hammer Goes Down

Whenever a Republican gets in trouble, conservative posters on this site cry "Liberal witch hunt!" and predict that the whole fuss will come to nothing. So far, the witch hunt has been bad for the witches. Scooter Libby and Tom Delay were indicted. Now Delay has announced that he will step down. Not that he is guilty or anything. To quote The Hammer, "I refuse to allow liberal Democrats an opportunity to steal this seat with a negative personal campaign." Don't you hate when that happens?

April 3, 2006

Tolerance; A Controversial Issue

The United Church of Christ has produced three wonderful commercials with a message of inclusion and tolerance.

All three have been rejected by the major broadcast networks; ABC, CBC, NBC, Fox, and the WB.

» Continue reading "Tolerance; A Controversial Issue"

Secular Government, Religious Harmony

Religious fundamentalists keep telling us that this is a Christian nation. Of course it is, since a big majority of this nation's citizens are Christians. But this does not mean that the government should be religious. Our founding fathers got the BIG IDEA that if there was, as Thomas Jefferson put it, a "wall of separation between church and state," it would allow religion to flourish in America. And they were right. We now have a secular government and are one of the most religious nations on earth.

» Continue reading "Secular Government, Religious Harmony"

Partisan Politics and Party Lines

If we vote along "Party Lines", are we not just as sheep-like as the Republicans?
If we vote for Democrats who have demonstrated nothing but their desire to get reelected are we just as bad as the people who voted for and continue to support Bush?
Absolutely!

» Continue reading "Partisan Politics and Party Lines"

April 2, 2006

Illegal Wiretapping is Illegal

We must fight to force Bush II to accept the rule of law...to accept that he must not spy on Americans without Constitutionally mandated oversight from the Congress and the Judiciary. Republican Senator Arlen Spector seems to be the only Senator with real power fighting for American civil liberties. The Democrats can do virtually nothing because they do not control congress.

» Continue reading "Illegal Wiretapping is Illegal"

Tough AND Smart

I'm reading through the Democrat's security agenda, and I like what I see. It's obvious that the Republican's tough-talk defense policy isn't enough. In fact, it's responsible for the deterioration of our military and its meltdown within months if current troop levels are maintained in Iraq. On the home front, the administration's poor response to Hurricane Katrina and our porous borders make it obvious that GOP-style "tough" homeland defense is no more effective now than it was on 9/11. America needs to be tough AND smart about the challenges we face this century, and that's what Democrats offer.

» Continue reading "Tough AND Smart"