Democrats & Liberals Archives

April 2007 Archives

April 30, 2007

Changing Course

Last November, Americans voted for a course change in Iraq. It's long been obvious that there aren't enough US troops in Iraq to clamp down on sectarian violence, as well as train Iraqi police and army units and secure Iraq's borders and hunt down foreign fighters and provide logistics and rebuild infrastructure and provide security for civilian reconstruction teams and Iraqi and US diplomats among other missions. Obviously, the Iraq plan needs revision.

» Continue reading "Changing Course"

Republican Priorities

Niall Ferguson writes in today's L.A. Times that while the economy at home "soars" Iraq "burns." He thinks this is "another sign that Americans don't want to face the reality that they are at war, and about to admit defeat." I read his article and arrive at a better understanding of Republican priorities.

» Continue reading "Republican Priorities"

Open Letter to Harry Reid

From one point of view, you folks in the Senate have been doing a smashing job. You managed to get an Iraq bill through that sent a message that this isn't an indefinite commitment. The Senate investigation of the prosecutor firings has shown how the "Mayberry Machiavellis" in the White House don't see any distinction between policy and politics. I've got to ask though: Could you pass some meaningful legislation while you are holding that gavel?

» Continue reading "Open Letter to Harry Reid"

April 29, 2007

Oversight

I came across an article from right before the 2006 elections entitled, "When Congress Checks Out." It's about the importance of Congressional oversight as part of the checks and balances our Founding Fathers believed were so important to the success of a democratic form of government -- and how the Republican Congress failed us.

» Continue reading "Oversight"

April 27, 2007

Democratic Debate #1

Well, that was fun. Who the heck is Mike Gravel? I was all prepared to make fun of Kucinich and we got Gravel for comedy relief instead. As for the serious contenders, I was impressed by Clinton, Obama and Biden, and not so impressed by anybody else -- but there's a long way to go until next February.

» Continue reading "Democratic Debate #1"

A metaphor for Iraq: Mississippi Mayor Melton

Jackson Mississippi's popular Mayor, Frank Melton was acquitted of using sledgehammers and sticks (link) to destroy a home that he suspected as a crack house. The funny thing was; Melton was wrong but destroyed the house anyway. Melton's crack house is George Bush's Iraq.

» Continue reading "A metaphor for Iraq: Mississippi Mayor Melton"

April 26, 2007

A Black Cloud Over Iraq

Bill Moyers presented "Buying the War" on PBS yesterday in which he scathingly criticized the media for going along with the Bush Administration's propaganda drums building hysteria for "regime change" in Iraq. The administration instilled fear in all of us by talking about how Saddam would cover us with a "mushroom cloud." So we delivered "shock and awe" and now Iraq is covered, not with a mushroom cloud but a very black cloud indeed.

» Continue reading "A Black Cloud Over Iraq"

Department of Obstruction of Justice

The Wall Street Journal reports the Justice Department stonewalled a federal investigation of Congressman Rick Renzi (R-Ariz) and then fired the prosecuting US attorney. This revelation comes on the heels of US Attorney Carol Lam's firing after she announced her intent to investigate Congressman Jerry Lewis (R-Calif).

» Continue reading "Department of Obstruction of Justice"

April 25, 2007

Giuliani: Bush's Disciple

I find it amazing that though President Bush is in the basement of public opninion because of his stubborn refusal to define an exit strategy in Iraq, Rudy Giuliani thinks he can win the presidency by following Bush's lead: Bashing Democrats as defeatists who are eager to surrender in Iraq. Evidently, he is unaware that American sentiment about Iraq has changed.

» Continue reading "Giuliani: Bush's Disciple"

Food Contamination - A Much Larger Set of Problems

Just as the Dubai Ports World fiasco (1, 2, 3) brought to public attention that the US has ceded control of our ports to international corporate control, the pet food contamination has brought to the fore problems with globalization, our food supply, and the ineffectiveness of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

» Continue reading "Food Contamination - A Much Larger Set of Problems"

April 24, 2007

Obama's World

Senator Barack Obama made a major speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The speech was great. It was so good that both liberal Ezra Klein and conservative Andrew Sullivan praised it - as did many others. This speech, more than anything else I am aware of about Obama, clearly define's Obama's view of the world.

» Continue reading "Obama's World"

April 23, 2007

Gonzales and Justice

We have all seen the "picture" of justice as a blind lady holding a balance scale in her hand. In addition to being blind, Alberto Gonzales showed by his testimony at the senate hearing that he is also deaf and dumb and has no idea what is going on around him. The way he kept saying "I don't recall" makes me think he is either a moron or a stooge following orders. In either case, he does not deserve to be head of the Justice Department.

» Continue reading "Gonzales and Justice"

Democrats Think; Republicans Feel.

Which is more memorable: "The doctor then sucks the baby's brains out"; or "The excess liquid from the hydrocephalic fetus is then drained"?

» Continue reading "Democrats Think; Republicans Feel."

April 20, 2007

Abortion is Still Legal

The ruling of the Supreme Court that the ban on "partial-birth abortions" is constitutional in no way changes the legality of abortions. The Court did not rule on the legality of abortion. The question before the Court was solely whether a specific medical procedure sometimes used in performng abortions is legal. The Court said it is not legal.

» Continue reading "Abortion is Still Legal"

Trying To Make Sense In Aftermath Of Sensless Virginia Tech Shootings

Like so many others, I've been deeply troubled by the violence at Virginia Tech this week. My knee-jerk is "too damn many guns." That is too easy; though, it has to be part of the story. We have a culture that tolerates and even celebrates violence every day. From religious speech to acts of war, from everyday entertainments to gun politics, if we want to change the way we live, we must begin to change the way we think.

» Continue reading "Trying To Make Sense In Aftermath Of Sensless Virginia Tech Shootings"

April 19, 2007

Wolfowitz: A Danger to Poor Countries

Paul Wolfowitz, who was appointed by President Bush to head the World Bank, should resign. Not because he gave a huge raise to his girlfriend (which was definitely unethical). Not because he was one of the architects of the Iraq War (which caused cataclysmic horrors). But because instead of being a friend to poor countries, he is a danger to them.

» Continue reading "Wolfowitz: A Danger to Poor Countries"

April 18, 2007

Robots in Politics

I have been told that I am a robot because I vote pretty consistently for Democratic candidates. Following the same line of reasoning, people who vote consistently for Republican candidates are robots too. If this is the case, what would you call people who pay no attention to the record of candidates but vote consistently against incumbents?

» Continue reading "Robots in Politics"

Why Do Women Even Think About Voting Republican?

Today the Supreme Court began the long, slow, and possibly irreversible process of turning America into the only westernized country in the world to prevent women from choosing whether to take their pregnancy to term or not.

» Continue reading "Why Do Women Even Think About Voting Republican?"

April 17, 2007

Gwen Ifill Takes a Stand

Gwen Ifill is a reporter on PBS's News Hour with Jim Lehrer. She also hosts Washington Week in Review. I have watched her unruffled presentations many times. But on last Sunday's Meet the Press, an angry Gwen Ifill ruffled the usually unruffled Tim Russert and David Brooks. And I was ready to stand up and cheer!

» Continue reading "Gwen Ifill Takes a Stand"

Clinton On Government Reform

Last Friday in New Hampshire, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton aired her ideas on government reform (video - full text). Now, Hillary's not the most dynamic speaker but her ideas are well thought out, smart and inspiring. Even if you're not a Hillary supporter, I hope it's clear that our country would benefit from addressing these ideals and ideas. Ask your candidate about them.

» Continue reading "Clinton On Government Reform"

April 16, 2007

Halting "Hell and High Water"

Burning fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas - produces carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming. Global warming melts glaciers and ice sheets. Melting ice raises sea levels. Rising sea levels brings "Hell and High Water." "Hell and High Water," according to author Joseph Romm, delivers enviromental pandemonium, which can be halted. We know how to do it. We must start now.

» Continue reading "Halting "Hell and High Water""

Another tragic school shooting

My university (Virginia Tech) has joined the all too long list of tragic school shootings. At least 31 people have been killed including the gunman in the worst school shooting in US history. I dropped my wife off at work an hour and a half after the first shooting in the building next to where the first shooting was.

» Continue reading "Another tragic school shooting"

April 15, 2007

What Happened To Imus

After all this time, Don Imus is done in by a scandal of less than a couple weeks. Out of a TV show, out of his Radio show, basically kaput. What happened here? He portrayed a number of innocent people in terms of the worst possible stereotype imaginable, when they represented the exact opposite reality. But it also says something that the axe only has fallen now, not previously.

» Continue reading "What Happened To Imus"

April 14, 2007

Gonzales preparing for the performance of his life

It's worse than sad that the AG needs to "practice" testifying before the main event at the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday. A certain amount of preparation before critical testimony might be expected but 2 weeks worth seems to be for something of a performance rather than an opportunity for clearing the air and truth telling.

» Continue reading "Gonzales preparing for the performance of his life"

China Interferes In Sudan

China is urging Sudan to accept UN peacekeepers. This is huge because it's the first time China has interefered with the internal workings of one of its trade partners.

» Continue reading "China Interferes In Sudan"

April 13, 2007

Voter-Fraud Fraud

The Bush Administration has been proclaiming that the country is awash with voter fraud. Of course, they blamed mainly Democrats for this. After all, Republicans have high morality and rigid values; they would never indulge in fraud of any kind. However, it turns out that all this Republican talk about voter fraud is itself a fraud.

» Continue reading "Voter-Fraud Fraud"

EPA Action: Tardy, not Premature

If the Bush administration were honest, they would have renamed the Environment Protection Agency as the Corporation Protection Agency. Last week the Supreme Court sided with Massachussetts and other states in declaring that the EPA may regulate greenhouse gases. Yesterday EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said the agency was looking at options, but it was premature to talk about it.

» Continue reading "EPA Action: Tardy, not Premature"

April 12, 2007

5 Million Emails in 18 Minutes

Remember the Nixon tape gap? A mere 18 minutes. It looks like the Bush White House has the Nixon White House beat. It has lost 5 million emails. Remarkably no one knew about this until the Senate Judiciary Committee asked for the information. A few Nixon associates went to jail. I wonder if anyone will go to jail for not saving Bush White House communications, which is a federal crime?

» Continue reading "5 Million Emails in 18 Minutes"

The 2008 Polls Don't Mean Jack

My name is Woody, and I am a pollaholic. I check the Polling Report site at least a few times a week, and I'm always eager to see what is happening in the 2008 presidential election. (In case you are wondering, the latest one shows Barack Obama beating all of the Republicans. He is still behind Clinton, though.)

» Continue reading "The 2008 Polls Don't Mean Jack"

April 11, 2007

All Hail The Liberal Media!

Buried deep in the bipartisan Iraq Study Group's report is a quite incredible assertion.

"U.S. military and intelligence officials have systematically underreported the violence in Iraq in order to suit the Bush Administration's goals."

» Continue reading "All Hail The Liberal Media!"

April 10, 2007

Straightforward Immigration Reform

Bush is pushing immigration reform. Last year Bush's position was close to that of the Democrats. This year Bush's position is closer to that of the Republicans: more punitive and less accommodating to the undocumented. The legislative proposals I have seen are much too complex. Reform should be straightforward, understandable to anyone.

» Continue reading "Straightforward Immigration Reform"

Baghdad Today

On the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Iraq demanding US forces leave immediately. When, oh when will Iraqis realize that these demonstrations threaten to undermine President Bush's political legacy?

» Continue reading "Baghdad Today"

April 9, 2007

Robertson and His Fifth-Column Theocrats

Who's the power behind the mess in the Justice Department? Gonzales? Sampson? Goodling? Rove? Yes, they all did their part. But the real power behind it all, the covert power trying to transform the U.S. Justice Department is Pat Robertson. Robertson seeks to make the Constitution subject to the laws of God - as Robertson interprets them. To this end Robertson has established a fifth column of theocrats throughout the U.S. government.

» Continue reading "Robertson and His Fifth-Column Theocrats"

Homeownership: now a liberal issue?

The Bush administration is a big fan of self-regulation. Oil companies? Let market forces dictate their profits! Utilities? Let market forces curb their pollution! Credit card predators? Let... well, you get the picture.

» Continue reading "Homeownership: now a liberal issue?"

April 8, 2007

Alright, I have heard enough.

It just makes me sick to think about the long term damage that this incompetent schmuck has done to this country. You know what schmuck I am talking about. When one uses the words; "long term damage to the country" and incompetent schmuck in the same sentence there could be only one - one - well one big dolt, surrounded by a host of little dolts...

» Continue reading "Alright, I have heard enough."

April 7, 2007

Give Me The Real Reason

History will likely see the failure of the War in Iraq in terms of an early failure to bring security to the newly conquered territory. From that comes all the other parts of the problems that made our efforts in vain. Yet even now, Republicans like John McCain are doing their best to browbeat us into continuing the war, and blame the majority of Americans and the people they've elected for their failures. But what do they really have to give us to hope for?

» Continue reading "Give Me The Real Reason"

The Privateers: Outsourcing U.S. Sovereignty

Jeremy Scahill exposes in his video "Blackwater: Shadow Army" for The Nation the alarming and little-known outsourcing of security and military operations supported by the Bush administration. In government rhetoric and that of the individual contractors, they are referred to as "private security." » Continue reading "The Privateers: Outsourcing U.S. Sovereignty"

Bring Me the Head of Alberto Gonzales!

Now that the inappropriately-named Monica Goodling has resigned [*], we need to refocus on the real target. And make no mistake, her resignation was not a victory, since it was undertaken to protect her ability to invoke the 5th Amendment, something never done by a standing Justice official in the history of the Republic.

» Continue reading "Bring Me the Head of Alberto Gonzales!"

April 6, 2007

Who's Afraid of a Pelosi Visit?

It's spring-break time and American legislators, both Republicans and Democrats, are traveling all over the world. Some go to Europe, some to Africa or Asia, and some - like John McCain - visit Iraq in the middle of a war. And a few - perish the thought - visit Syria. Which is OK, if you are a Republican, but is definitely not OK, according to the deafening Republican noise machine, if you are a Democrat. Especially not if your name happens to be Nancy Pelosi.

» Continue reading "Who's Afraid of a Pelosi Visit?"

Brits Confessed To Everything Just Like Khalid Sheik Mohamed

A sorry spectacle, those Brit hostages confessing to spying on Iran, then when released taking it back. AP is reporting today that isolation, pressure and sensory deprivation contributed to the confessions they made prior to their release [*]

» Continue reading "Brits Confessed To Everything Just Like Khalid Sheik Mohamed"

April 5, 2007

Multinational Corporations and Democracy

Here's a question for you to answer: Why do American corporations do more business with China than with India? India has almost the same population as China and is roughly at the same level of economic development. India has universities that graduate lots of technical-savvy and business-knowledgeable individuals. What does China have that India does not?

» Continue reading "Multinational Corporations and Democracy"

It's springtime; the monarchy must be in bloom

There's an old adage: when the cat is away; the mouse will play. Well, in the case of Congress, especially a Democratic-controlled Congress, when Congress goes on recess, the President becomes a dictator.

» Continue reading "It's springtime; the monarchy must be in bloom"

Deal With It

Despite objections by President Bush, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Republicans are going nuts, but Pelosi has no power to negotiate treaties or conduct foreign policy so I'm not sure what harm they think was done. The only thing Pelosi's visit did was make President Bush look silly for not talking to Assad himself.

» Continue reading "Deal With It"

April 4, 2007

President Bush: The New Environmentalist

"The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Monday that the EPA was required by law to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants," according to the L.A. Times. Bush said he took the ruling "seriously." Does this make him a newly born environmentalist?

» Continue reading "President Bush: The New Environmentalist"

The Democrat's Budget

Over the last couple weeks, Democrats unveiled their balanced budget proposal. The new budget has the same price tag as President Bush's proposed budget for the next five years, coming in at just under three trillion dollars, but there are some chasmic differences.

» Continue reading "The Democrat's Budget"

April 3, 2007

The Energy Electranet

One of Al Gore's recommendations to Congress in his recent speech there on Global Warming was to "Create an "ELECTRANET" -- a smart electricity grid that allows individuals and businesses to feed power back in at prevailing market rates."

» Continue reading "The Energy Electranet"

The GOP Confederacy

It's very evident that the Republican party has it's hand on the pulse of what minorities in the United States need to reach the "American dream." Homeownership, education, the power of the vote, insurance and financial stability. The problem is the reason they feel the pulse is because they're choking the life out of every one of those things and trying to prevent poor people of color from reaching those dreams.

» Continue reading "The GOP Confederacy"

Bush's War

Senator McCain was in Baghdad yesterday. After touring "a newly fortified Baghdad market," he "declared that the American public was not getting 'a full picture' of the progress unfolding in Iraq." Nearby, six US soldiers were killed by roadside bombs and snipers returned to the marketplace after McCain, his large security team and his attack helicopter escort retired to the Green Zone (where he is required to wear a flack jacket and helmet as per new US embassy orders).

» Continue reading "Bush's War"

April 2, 2007

Two Economies

President Bush makes speeches boasting about the excellent economy. He and other well-to-do Republicans cannot uderstand why Americans do not appreciate the big boom. Yes, there is a boom. People who have had plenty of money before are making lots more money now. Ordinary Americans are hurting financially.

» Continue reading "Two Economies"

April 1, 2007

Celluloid Scapegoats

Hollywood Liberals. It's one of the Right's favorite zingers, interchangeable with the phrase "the Hollywood Elite". For many Republicans it's just another group of people to get terminally angry about. For many Democrats its an almost guaranteed eye-roller. What it does speak to, for all of its real-world political worthlessness, is the way the Right builds up so much of its politics on fear.

» Continue reading "Celluloid Scapegoats"