Democrats & Liberals Archives

June 2006 Archives

June 30, 2006

George Lost His Crown

For 5 years, George has used the calamity of 9/11 to crown himself king. By his decree, anyone he, and he alone, named as "enemy combatant," would be sent to the Guantanamo Dungeon never to be heard from again. All those challenging this decree were declared to be traitors. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, knocked the crown off of George's head.

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Bush Defeat In The Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 3 that the tribunals for Guantanamo detainees are illegal. However, if you read the court's decision, more than the Constitution was violated. The Court also stated that the "commissions" violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) - illegal under military tribunals; the Geneva Conventions; the Hague Conventions; and exceeds any intent of legislation of Congress. In other words they are illegal no matter how you look at them - criminally, militarily, internationally, or Constitutionally.

» Continue reading "Bush Defeat In The Supreme Court?"

Bush Redefines Victory In Iraq

A few days ago, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow really had to split hairs to find a difference between the administration's cut-and-run timetable and the Democrats' plan. While I always chuckle over Snow's stammering when he gets tripped up in the spin, one interesting thing was lost in the whole brewhaha: President Bush redefined victory in Iraq.

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June 29, 2006

A Great Day for American Ideals

What a great day! The U.S. Supreme Court knocked down President Bush's anti-American approach to civil liberties by ruling that special military courts for Guantanamo Bay prisoners are illegal. Law experts say that the ruling also makes torture illegal and undermines the government's case for warrantless wiretapping. The Supreme Court restored America back to its great ideals of civil liberties!

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June 28, 2006

Democratic Iraq Strategy

Now that the Republican administration has shown that it has no plan for extricating itself from the mess in Iraq, except to repeat "stay the course..... stay the course.... stay the course....," Democrats are advocating an exit strategy. According to the latest news, Iraqis seem to like the Democratic approach.

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Mexico's election deserves our attention

Mexicans this weekend face a difficult choice as they try to read the tea leaves as to what a radical change of course would really mean. Those who genuinely long for reforms aimed at supporting the aspirations of the poor and weakening the grip of the wealthy and powerful on the purse strings of the country must be tempted by the populist promises of López Obrador, candidate of the Party of Democratic Revolution.

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June 27, 2006

How Bush Fights the War on Terror

Recently senate Democrats coalesced around an Iraq strategy. The vast majority of them voted in favor of an exit strategy but without a specific end point. Republicans were alarmed that Democrats may beat them even on the security issue in the fall elections. So Bush decided to unleash his favorite weapon, the "war on terror," not against the Al Qaeda enemy, but against the "liberal media."

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Treasonous Accusations of Treason

Right-wing pundits are falling over themselves to denounce the New York times for treasonously revealing details of (yet another) legally dubious surveillance program. As it turns out, the NYT article was publicity more than it was news - the SWIFT program was was known to terrorism financing experts back in 2002, and detailed in publically available reports.

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Wasting Taxpayers dollars (101): This waste must end

When the Senate takes to the floor this week, a proposed amendment banning flag (link) burning, I hope that every member of Congress and the Senate, who pushed this piece of legislation through, deserves to spend time in jail.

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June 26, 2006

Blogging for Access

After Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, of DailyKOS, convened many bloggers to a YearlyKOS convention in Las Vegas, the establishment journalists, essayists, columnists, pundits and assorted media gurus, that is, those that get paid for bloviating, began their attack on bloggers. They were especially vehement in trashing Markos.

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June 25, 2006

The War on Memory

In the last weak we saw a resurgence in GOP spirits, at least briefly, as Rick Santorum and Pete Hoekstra announced the find of over 500 WMDs. This, they said, put paid to the Democratic Party accusations that we had invade Iraq in vain. I see it, I'm shocked. Did we really find them? Well, I know my Republicans, so I'm thinking there has to be a catch here. Why? Experience. As a veteran of the War on Memory, I can recall many occasions where shocking discoveries turned out to be hollow revelations.

» Continue reading "The War on Memory"

Wow, My Goodness

There's a peculiar argument that crops up in the Iraq debate every once in a while, and the press finally pilloried it.

» Continue reading "Wow, My Goodness"

June 24, 2006

Religious Free Speech

Bill Moyers, the intellectual giant of TV, began a PBS series of interviews with prominent writers on the subject of "Faith and Reason," the most explosive issue of our times. On Friday, I listened closely as he and Salman Rushdie discussed the issue. I learned a lot about what we call free speech - especially it's religious dimension.

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Bush/ Republican Iraq Plan Unveiled

Democrats in the Senate intercepted the Bush/ Republican plan for Iraq today. The Senate Democrats have posted the plan to their website. Following is an excerpt.

» Continue reading "Bush/ Republican Iraq Plan Unveiled"

June 23, 2006

Iraq Shenanigans

A few days ago the Republicans introduced a measure asking President Bush to cut and run from Iraq. It's the second time they've done that and I'm starting to wonder about their resolve.

» Continue reading "Iraq Shenanigans"

June 22, 2006

The Working Society

Republicans have given us the ownership society, a society of owners, by owners and for owners. Owners do very well, but unfortunately, most of the people are not owners. Maybe some have a little stock here and there, but not enough to be part of the ownership society. The vast majority of Americans are workers. So it makes me feel good when John Edwards announced that he would like to work for what he calls a "Working Society."

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June 21, 2006

Book Review: The Global Class War

"The Global Class War," by Jeff Faux, former president of the Economic Policy Institute, claims that the rich and elite - in all countries - are in a class war with the rest of us, everywhere. They use globalization as a tool to reduce wages around the world and to make themselves excessively rich. They disengage themselves from their governments to act independently as a meta-government - WTO - dictating terms of behavior to normal national governments. Amazingly, WTO can overturn democratically-arrived-at laws in the U.S.!

» Continue reading "Book Review: The Global Class War"

June 20, 2006

How to Win War on Terror

President Bush is determined to win in Iraq because he thinks Iraq is "the central front in the war on terror." He is deluded. First, Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. Second, this is not an ordinary war, the kind nations wage; so there is no front, central or otherwise. Third, Bush's attack brought some jihadis to Iraq; they need to be countered, but this does not make Iraq a front. We will not win the war on terror unless we forget about fronts and implement a broad range of strategies, some military and some not.

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FCC and Bush: Redefining Obscenity

Last week President Bush signed into law the Broadcast Decency Law (link) telling broadcasters to "take seriously their duty to keep the public airwaves free of obscene, profane and indecent material". I wondered to myself: what was Bush's definition of obscene, profane and indecent?

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"They The People" Cash = Representation

I have successfully found the Americans that are represented by our, oops, their government. Their voices have permeated the walls of the White House and Congress. They are the people, remember "We the people?"(The good old days) that have the ear of our government. I've been complaining that the government has ignored "the people." I know now the error of my ways. I have found those people who are a meaningful part of the Democratic process. I found "They the people."

» Continue reading ""They The People" Cash = Representation"

Raise the Minimum Wage

If there is any issue that Democrats ought to be able to unite behind without ambiguity, and know that they have a huge (83!) majority of Americans with them, it has to be insistence on an increase in the minimum wage.

» Continue reading "Raise the Minimum Wage"

June 19, 2006

Bigness is Badness

President Ronald Reagan started the destruction of our anti-trust system and the current Bush administration has almost completed it. Almost all mergers are approved. A company can get as big as it wants. Wal-Mart has succeeded in becoming the biggest corporation. Wal-Mart is so big and so powerful that it can and does easily stifle competition, not only among its competitors, but also among its suppliers. Left alone, Wal-Mart can destroy our free enterprise system.

» Continue reading "Bigness is Badness"

June 17, 2006

Is It Time for Election Reform?

Or should we allow the Republicans to continue to steal elections, and all elected officials; Democrat, Third Party, Independent, and Republican, to have to sell their souls in order to raise money?

» Continue reading "Is It Time for Election Reform?"

June 16, 2006

The Course to Disaster

"Stay the course," the president says over and over and over. What course? The course that has produced the horrible results we have now? The results that we will face after we plunge off the cliff? And what about all the deaths and miseries occurring daily in Iraq? The administration calls these things "numbers." The rest of us think they are tragedies. The longer we stay the more tragedies we"ll have - while Al Qaeda will grow stronger.

» Continue reading "The Course to Disaster"

The Price of Division

Looking back on the last five years, I have to say the think that makes me the saddest is just how divided we've become, and that people have seen fit to encourage this division. Now, I don't regret opposing Bush on his policies, because my intentions were always to reach out to others on the necessity to take a different look on the policies.

» Continue reading "The Price of Division"

June 15, 2006

Iraq: Republican Pawn in Political War

Republicans are pushing Iraq firmly into the news in order to demonstrate that Republicans are fighting terror while hapless and wimpy Democrats refuse to fight. After Zarquawi was killed and the new Iraqi government was established, Bush began the big push with a secret visit to Baghdad. And today, the House is debating - I use the term loosely - an "I support the war" resolution. Passage of the resolution will not affect the war in any way. The Iraq War is being used as a pawn not to fight insurgents or terrorists but to fight Democrats.

» Continue reading "Iraq: Republican Pawn in Political War"

June 14, 2006

Master Trasher Free to Trash Democrats

After many months of suspense, and after 5 appearances at the grand jury, master trasher Karl Rove was told that he would not be indicted in the Plame leak case. This has brought jubilation to Rove and to all Republicans worried about their re-election this fall. Now they can call on the master trasher to find novel, immoral and sleazy ways to trash Democratic candidates so Republicans may defeat their opponents once again.

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Republican Disregard for All Things American

With November quickly approaching the Republicans in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and Colorado are attempting to hijack and corrupt the voting process again. This is a much more sweeping and obvious attempt to shut out poor, minority, elderly and traditionally Democratic voters in the above mentioned swing states.

» Continue reading "Republican Disregard for All Things American"

The GOP and The Politics of Mourning

We have all heard from the Right column how people who lost their loved ones on 9/11 should shut up and stay out of politics. Apparently they have forgotten the widows, and other people who lost loved ones on 9/11, who spoke at the Republican National Convention: Deanna Burnett, whose husband was on Flight 93, Debra Burlingame, whose brother was on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, Tara Stackpole, wife of a fallen firefighter. Lisa Beamer was a featured guest.

» Continue reading "The GOP and The Politics of Mourning"

June 13, 2006

Republican Leaders Want Permanent Iraqi Bases

From the very beginning, the Bush Administration shrouded everything about the Iraq War in intense secrecy. Little by little, all the nasty secrets are coming out. After both the House and Senate approved amendments to their respective money bills that would not allow money for permanent bases in Iraq, Republican leaders stealthily removed these amendments in conference. From this example of Republican democracy at work, it is obvious that the Republican Party wants to indeed make this a "long war."

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June 12, 2006

A Convenient Truth

Yesterday, I went to the movies to see Al Gore's opus "An Inconvenient Truth." In the past I've visited movies on Sunday evenings because at such times there are very few attendees, even when the features are blockbusters. Imagine my surprise when I found the theatre packed. The movie was an eye-opener. In addition to the inconvenient truth that global warming is a huge crisis facing civilization, I also learned a couple of convenient truths that will enable us to solve the problem.

» Continue reading "A Convenient Truth"

It's Troublesome, I'm Afraid

Life is tough. People know this. It's not some big secret that things don't go as planned. It's not like we don't deal, day in and day out, with unpleasant, negative, and troublesome things. To hear our politicians tell it, though, their lives are perfect.

If only it wasn't for all those troublesome things that keep intruding.

» Continue reading "It's Troublesome, I'm Afraid"

Are We Scared Yet?

Stir fear, arouse bigotry then divide and conquer.
It's the folks like Karl Rove and Tom Delay who have created this hostile, victimizing and polarizing form of government to energize a certain close-minded and hate filled people to back a cause they really don't know or understand and to cater to those same people who in return will not hold those in office accountable for their morally bankrupt behavior.

» Continue reading "Are We Scared Yet?"

June 11, 2006

Lloyd's of London Recognizes Inconvenient Truth

The Guardian reports: "Lloyd's of London, the oldest insurance market in the world, yesterday urged its members to start taking global warming more seriously, by increasing prices to avoid being "swept away" in a sea of future financial claims. Premiums will have to rise and some risks might even be classed as uninsurable due to greenhouse gases and rising sea levels, warned Lloyd's in a report entitled Climate Change, Adapt or Bust."

June 9, 2006

Combating Terrorists, Unifying Americans

The Republicans talk a lot about combating terrorists, but they spend most of their time combating opponents of their ideas or actions. Similarly, Republicans tell beautiful tales about a united America, but act every day to divide us. Remember when Bush vowed to be a uniter? He is the biggest divider in our history. Instead of combating opponents, Democrats believe our real task is to combat terrorists. Instead of unifying the "base" and thereby polarizing the country, we should do our best to unify Americans.

» Continue reading "Combating Terrorists, Unifying Americans"

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - Dead?

I woke up about 2:30 last night and turned on the TV. What greets me but news that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Further, it was still the only topic at 5:30am, and was still going strong on this evening's cable channel. How amazing to hear that "two 500 pound bombs" killed al-Zarqawi and his "spiritual adviser"Sheikh Abd al-Rahman. One has to wonder at the news as al-Zarqawi has become virtually mythological. He was reportedly killed over two years ago in the Sulaimaniyah mountains (What Really Happened). He also had a prosthetic leg (you might think that - rather than fingerprints - would have narrowed the identification.

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1000+ dead later, and Justice is delivered to terrorist.

President Bush said:
"(US Military) delivered justice to the most wanted terrorist in Iraq." In reference to the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the ex-self-proclaimed leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.

» Continue reading "1000+ dead later, and Justice is delivered to terrorist."

June 8, 2006

Negotiating with Iran

Back in March of this year I posted an article, "A Grand Bargain with Iran," in which I said it was time to negotiate seriously with Iran, not only about their nuclear power program, but about the many items that divide Iran from U.S. Many thought I was a dreamer who has lost his ties to reality. So I was pleasantly surprised when I read yesterday in the latest issue of the American Prospect that Iran had suggested to the U.S. a grand bargain similar to the one I had written about way back in the spring of 2003!

» Continue reading "Negotiating with Iran"

Hoping it Makes the Difference.

I would like to join my fellow Watchbloggers in the celebration of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death, hoping the reports aren't premature. I sure hope he got right with the Lord before he went, and begged forgiveness of every victim. If not, he'll get what he deserves. I also hope that whatever role he was playing in this bloody war is bloody irreplaceable, and that this marks the beginning of the end here.

» Continue reading "Hoping it Makes the Difference."

June 7, 2006

Family Values and the Estate Tax

I bet you did not realize that there is a connection between the bill eliminating the estate tax - demagogues call it a death tax - and family values that Republicans favor? Yes, indeed. This bill will be considered this week after the other family-value bills: the Federal Marriage Amendment (which died in the Senate, but will be brought up again in the House next month) and the flag-burning bill. The 3 round out this family-values week in Congress.

» Continue reading "Family Values and the Estate Tax"

Dog Bites Man in California's 50th

The results are in from the special election in California's 50th congressional district: Brian Bilbray (R) won. Although it is not a surprise for a Republican to win in a solidly-Republican district, this will no doubt be interpreted as a sign that the GOP will keep control of House. There are many variables at play in this one, however, and the voters in 434 other districts still need to speak.

» Continue reading "Dog Bites Man in California's 50th"

I don't "get it." Is there something I am missing?

Why are so many Americans so upset with the idea of men playing house? i like the idea myself. The more men that wast themselves on other men, the more women there are for me. My beautiful wife is more women than I can handle anyhow, but I am a glutton, and my eyes are bigger than my belly, and my belly is bigger than... well you get the picture.

» Continue reading "I don't "get it." Is there something I am missing?"

June 6, 2006

Republican Noise Machine is Gearing Up

It's hard to choose because there have been so many terrible incidents, but probably the worst event in the Iraq War is the recent killing of civilians in Haditha by Marines. Regardless of how you feel about the Iraq War itself, the Haditha massacre is a tremendous blow to all Americans. Under such horrible circumstances, what do Republicans do? They activate their noise machine and place the blame for all their self-inflicted problems upon Democrats, liberals and the media.

» Continue reading "Republican Noise Machine is Gearing Up"

The Voltage of Dissent

Voltage is the difference in electric potential between two points, which develops for any number of reasons. The difference here feeds the dynamic flow of power, like from a generator to your home, a cloud to the ground, or from a doorknob to a hand about to grasp it. Given this is a political site, we should all be familiar with the way power flows, but often enough we visualizing as resting in one place or another. The thing about power is that it doesn't rest. It exists in a constant state of unrest, a fact that politicians can sometimes ignore to their peril.

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Is a Military Record an Asset?

Although it is more than two years away, spirited discussion has already begun on potential candidates for the 2008 presidential election. Primary candidates may tell their parties that their military record makes them more "electable". In fact, a look at modern presidential elections presents little evidence that this is true.

» Continue reading "Is a Military Record an Asset?"

Values Voters Come Home

Republicans like to claim that they are the party of the "values voter", but aren't we all "values voters"? Don't we all base our vote on those values we feel strongly about?

» Continue reading "Values Voters Come Home"

June 5, 2006

Bush: America Addicted to Sex

A short time ago President Bush told America that it was addicted to oil. Right on. Now that we have solved that problem, the president is spending this past weekend and today telling America that it is addicted to sex. Maybe you're having trouble deciphering what Bush is saying because he is exercising great subtlety, so I'll try to elucidate. You've heard of free enterprise, free markets and free trade. Well, this is a free translation of Bush:

» Continue reading "Bush: America Addicted to Sex"

Not Again. The Divider Part 2

What is it that Republican strategists see in the hearts and minds of the party faithful that lead them to believe that they can use "Gay Marriage" to fool Republican voters again?
They are once again dangling the small, shiney object that is "Gay Marriage" in hopes that it will distract and divide this nation.
What kind of leaders would place their agendas and need for absolute power over the solidarity of the American people?

» Continue reading "Not Again. The Divider Part 2"

On the Record & Documented

Conservative blowhard Bill O'Reilly is on the record trashing our World War II heroes. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann calls him out on it.
Countdown Transcript
Transcript of O'Reilly interview with Gen. Wesley Clark

June 2, 2006

Probable Cause in Haditha

To the right, folks on the left seem inhuman, from the way we're spoken of. Some people think we're actually gleeful about finding out about Haditha, ready to rake the soldiers over the fire for our twisted partisan goals. They think we want to lose this war, want to embolden the terrorists and the insurgents, want to give those folks a pass on their decapitations and IEDs and killings of soldiers. And then, they say we shouldn't judge these soldiers before they've had their day in court. Cute.

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Economics Should be Subset of Civics

As I have stated in my last post, economists believe that the holy grail of economics is efficiency. However, contrary to what economists usually state, economics is concerned only with the efficiency of money transactions. They even put $ signs on disease, life and other social problems. Everything comes down to the almighty dollar. Our number one concern should be with the wellbeing of each of our citizens. For want of a better term, I'm calling this civics. Economics would then be a subset of civics.

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It's Not The Economy, Stupid

According to a recent poll, hating Bush has gone mainstream. We all know by now that independents and Democrats overwhelmingly disapprove of the Bush administration's performance. We now that the main reason for the disapproval for most people is the expensive, ineffective, and (lately) deeply disturbing trajectory of the war in Iraq.

In the poll above, folks were also asked to vote for the best and worst president, among the 11 since WWII. So, how does Bush fare here?

» Continue reading "It's Not The Economy, Stupid"

June 1, 2006

Can the Bush Regime do anything right?

Yes they can. They are right about being right - right wing extremists that is.

» Continue reading "Can the Bush Regime do anything right?"

Does Being Competitive Increase Profit?

Pundits and economists proclaim daily that we must be more competitive. Competition will make us rich. Competition will make us strong. Competition will enable us to remain a super-power. Recently I read "The Undercover Economist," by Tim Harford that presents the same story. However, using his text, I come to the opposite conclusion: Business, especially Big Business, makes its profits by reducing competition.

» Continue reading "Does Being Competitive Increase Profit?"

President Bush to Announce Support for Second Class Citizen Status

On Monday, June 5th, President Bush will hold a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House. During the press conference, the President will reiterate his support for the discriminatory and immoral Federal Marriage Amendment.

» Continue reading "President Bush to Announce Support for Second Class Citizen Status"