Saturday, June 24, 2006

War Tax

Here's an idea for you. How about a war tax. We are spending 2 billion a week in Iraq. This is borrowed money. Largely from the Chinese. Do we want to give all our money to the Chinese? Do we want to leave a debt to our children. That's not very adult behavior is it?
The right always crows about being fiscally responsible. Let's see how responsible they want to be for this war. Whatever percentage of the national budget the war effort and homeland security takes we tax by the same amount every person and corporation. If it is one or two percent it is an additional one to two percent tax on everyone and every corporation. Keep this money separate to pay for the occupation, the war on terror and homeland security. Let's make sure everyone is aware of the costs of the plan, whatever it may be.
Let's also roll back the tax cuts that were in effect or extended when we entered a debt situation. Once we are out of debt we should reconsider the cuts. Cuts for all who work everyday and not just the few.
The righties will whine "but that will hurt our economy'! Is sending our money to China for debt and most of our consumer products good for our economy? Is sending our gas money to Saudi Arabia, arguablely the center of wahabiism, good for our economy or the war on terror? Where is the plan to pay for all this? You know and I know that it is the right and the rich that supposedly "support our troops" that would whine the longest and loudest. Why wouldn't they make the sacrifice for our country and our troops? If we did this I am willing to bet there would be much more willingness to address the truth of our situation and how the money gets spent.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Dark Side

Lonna emailed this to me:

A friend called me to say she had seen this program on how Cheney had seized power --- bunch of cia people interviewed. it was called "the dark side" and it was on "frontline" on pbs. it really upset her -- made her angry and she wondered why we did not know it.

well, you can watch it on your computer today. transcripts will be out in 10 days or so.
I guess it can be watched at 5, but that is usually eastern time, so it is probably 3 our time.

do a search for your pbs channel.

I saw this program as it initially aired. A very good program. For those of you that have been following this administration there is really nothing new though. The most striking part, as noted above, is how Cheney is the President. Not a suprise but layed out very clearly.

Because They Are So Desperate To Look Smart

They look stupider than ever! Read this. It pretty much makes the point. Here are some of the comments that point out the whole purpose in ballyhooing degraded weapons of mass destruction. Nothing like we were told. If this was a signifigant find why would the administration have "hidden" the proof? It is truly non-sensical.

Santorum and Fox and the righty bloggers don’t have to believe any of this nonsense — they just have to send a story out that will, when it’s retold at the backyard barbecue over the 4th, be rendered as follows: “See, that’s where you’re wrong, my liberal friend. The WMDs were found. They were there. You think they weren’t found because the liberal media and the America-hating Democrats in Congress told you they weren’t. They’re the real liars. Thank God for the GOP.”

This is not stupidity, this is intentional reconstruction of the narrative, and it takes great effort. Stupidity, by comparison, is very easy. These people choose to rewrite history in their own minds. They choose to see these obsolete, junked chemical detrius as proof that Bush Was Right, America Was Honest, America Acted in Self-Defense, and so on. The Narrative Was Right.
This sort of thing lends a lot of credence to the
quote from unidentified sources about how the Bush Administration {sic} believes it can rewrite reality…
The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors… and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
…and, if you don’t like the way you actually performed when confronted with history — hey, create your own reality ! You’ve got a second chance ! In your own minds, anyway. Note the use of the word “We”, implying that others in the White House believe that (a) America is an Empire, and (b) The White House can modify reality in any way it wishes.

History is written by the victors. They intend to be those victors. If they crush us, as they fully intend to, all this will be the truth, as far as anyone will be able to determine.

The DOD (!) debunked Santorum’s little story yesterday. Loudly and clearly.
And the righties are still doing a jig? Those rubes will believe anything that is handed them. Worse, they’ll choose to believe anything that may appear to support their demented and delusional view of the world.
What a bunch of freaks!

We are dealing with people with no standards of truth or the American way!

By the way, I just saw where they raised the enlistment age to 42 so if you are thinking it's a valid effort and you want to help your opportunity to do that just increased. I am sure they would love to have you.

More here

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Bulls**t Detector

If this is the best the country can do for a "truth detector" we are in biggggg trouble.

Heres more.

Minimum Wage

Another silly debate about the minimum wage and the "I got mine" crowd wins again...barely.
Lots of "hurts the economy" talk. I have lived through a number of minimum wage increases. When I was a teenager I believe it was 1.60 an hour or something like that. All the same arguments are being made again. I never observed any of them to be true. This is just from my own eyes, own observances over the years. None of it happened. That is why I can't buy it. All that scary bad stuff ever happened in my lifetime. David Sirota, a fine populist says:

"In a comprehensive 2004 study, the nonpartisan Fiscal Policy Institute reported that since 1997, states that had boosted their minimum wage above the federal minimum actually created jobs faster than those that did not. In higher minimum wage states, employment grew by 50 percent more than it did in states still at the pathetic federal level. Even in tough economic times, the minimum wage doesn't hurt jobs: Princeton University economist David Card found that even the minimum wage increases during the 1990-91 recession 'were not associated with any measurable employment losses.' As Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) once noted, "history clearly demonstrates that raising the minimum wage has no adverse impact on jobs."...In Oregon, for instance, the state raised its minimum wage in 1998, and the average earnings of newly-employed welfare recipients climbed by 9 percent, while the percentage of welfare recipients who found a job actually rose."

If giving people raises is hard on the economy then maybe Congress should repeal that pay raise they just gave themselves about a week ago. After all the balance sheet that they get paid from is looking mighty sickly right now. Guess it's not THAT big of a problem.

Which Pair Of Glasses?

For a little perspective here is something for you to think about. From AFP News:

BAGHDAD (AFP) - More than 100 employees of Iraq's ministry of industry were kidnapped by gunmen north of Baghdad as they left work in a brazen reminder of the country's dire security situation.....
The mass-abduction came on the same day that the executed body of one of deposed leader Saddam Hussein's lawyers was found in the capital. No further details were immediately available on the spectacular kidnapping which resembled similar incidents in the past in which ordinary civilians as well as Iraqi army and police members have been snatched en masse.....On June 5, 50 people working for long distance bus travel companies in central Baghdad were kidnapped by gunmen dressed in ministry of interior uniforms in broad daylight. Only 17 out of the group have been released since.

At this writing this story has been hard to find in the so called liberal media. Now, my question. If this stuff was happening AFTER our pullout do you have any doubt that the wingnuts would be blasting this information from sea to shining sea? Why is it not worth mentioning while we are there but a big deal if we are not? The answer? Politics drives these people, not reality.

A way out? Might be one here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fresh Coffee

"If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking." Lyndon B. Johnson


It's starting to look like it's the Right that hates our troops-or at least their families:

American Prospect:
WINGNUT JOHN HINDERAKER SMEARS DEAD SOLDIER'S UNCLE. A couple of minutes ago I came across this Associated Press story saying that the uncle of Kristian Menchaca -- one of the U.S. soldiers who was missing and is now said to be dead -- criticized the United States for Menchaca's disappearance and death. My first thought was to do a post asking how long it would take before the wingnuts started smearing the grief-stricken uncle.
Alas, I'm too late. Over at Powerline Blog, John Hinderaker has already cranked up the slime machine and
let fly:
In a sick coda, Menchaca's uncle, Ken MacKenzie, appeared on the Today show and recited weirdly inapplicable Democratic Party talking points in relation to his own nephew's death...No shame.

I've asked this before, but what is it about the relatives of people killed by terrorists that these wingnuts hate so much? Recall that Ann Coulter smeared the widows of 9/11 victims and that many righty bloggers smeared the father of Nick Berg, who was beheaded in Iraq. Their sin, of course, was that they criticized America and George Bush.
Let me put this as clearly as I can: To the likes of Hinderaker, the pain of those who lost loved ones to this war only matters to the extent that the bereaved allow their grief to be used to prop up the war effort and Bush himself. If the bereaved relatives don't allow their grief to be used in this fashion, their sacrifice and loss no longer matter a whit -- they're not to be pitied or empathized with, but scorned and humiliated as brutally as possible. Despicable.

Don't let any thing stand in the way of war and death. The right would rather take up for the families of brain dead women(Terri Schiavo). Gotta smear somebody though. Like her husband.
For the first time I can remember I could not watch the news channels tonight. Me! A news junkie! The media is starting to resemble the rotting corpse my beloved country is becoming. My extremely brief attempt at Fox News ended less than a minute in tonight. As soon as the smarmy Sean Hannity stated that John Murtha had been despicable lately. ????
What the hell is he talking about!! This man is trying to stand up for the troops and their families. He makes regular visits to the military hospitals. He talks frequently, because of his position in congress, to military commanders. Could it be that he is saying what no one else is able to or brave enough to say?? Sean, you are the despicable one for even saying such a thing about a man standing up for our troops and offering a less costly(men and materials) plan. I was honestly sickened by Hannitys' statement. More than usual. It turned my stomach. I am wondering, as in favor of diversity as I am, if I can live in the same country with these barbarians. Theocratic, warmongering, Constitution twisting media dominating bunch of crooks and liars. With their sheeple marching in lockstep behind. It appears to me that being "right" is more important to them than any reality based thought. They have no plan! They accuse the Democrats of having no plan. The reality is Democrats have several plans. The fact that everybody doesn't line up like robots behind one idea doesn't mean there is no plan. That is how narrow the right thought process is. Wouldn't some open debate among the leaders and American people of a number of plans be better than insisting there is only "one way"? No debate is allowed though because republicans run Washington and they dominate the media. There is no statesmanship, just smears and slogans. Cut and run, hate America, losers, blah, blah, blah. When are we going to get adults, statesmen again? Enough with the schoolyard taunts. GROW UP ALREADY!

Misplaced Priorities

From the wingnuts

MOVE OVER, RECKLESS CONSUMERS. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has outdone your irresponsible spending by racking up a debit card bill so outrageous it could have been created using Mad Libs. Sex-change operations, vacations to the Dominican Republic and wild nights at strip clubs were all bought on the government's dime by both con artists and legitimate victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Emergency aid was used to pay for
-- football tickets-- the bill at a Hooters in San Antonio-- a $200 bottle of Dom Perignon-- "Girls Gone Wild" videos-- an all-inclusive weeklong Caribbean vacation. ....
More than $5 million went to people who had provided cemeteries or post office boxes as the addresses of their damaged property. .....Another person collected 26 payments using 13 different Social Security numbers a total of $139,000 even though public records show the individual did not live at any of the addresses reported as damaged."

OK. Is this a bad thing or not a big deal? Well certainly it's a big deal. It falls under waste, fraud and abuse! Let's seeeeee.....who's in charge of all this?
And the wingnut response?

...although FEMA's oversight was lacking, wasted money is an inevitable byproduct of providing rapid emergency assistance.

Rapid?????? I guess if we would have just let some more people die we wouldn't have had all these problems.

These people should be found and prosecuted......Oh wait, they are.

Forty-nine people have been indicted in a scam to pocket Red Cross hurricane relief funds and more indictments are expected, according to Justice Department officials.
Feburary up to 150 and the beat goes on. Credit where credit is due. Nail the bastards.

Now when you are done with the bottle of Dom and Girls Gone Wild videos can we get to these guys:

Well, there is a lot of money to follow in the current scandal that can be best described as the Bush/Cheney administration, and so far, nobody's doing it.
My bet for the place that needs the most following is the more than $9 billion that has gone missing without a trace in Iraq--as well as $12 billion in cash that the Pentagon flew into Iraq straight from Federal Reserve vaults via military transports, and for which there has been little or no accounting. ........

When the Boston Globe, this past April, broke the story that President Bush has been quietly setting aside over 750 acts passed by Congress, claiming he has the authority as "unitary executive" and as commander in chief to ignore such laws, it turned out that one of the laws the president chose to ignore was the one establishing the inspector general post for Iraq. What the president did was write a so-called signing statement on the side (unpublicized of course--though it was quietly posted on the White House website), saying that the new inspector general would have no authority to investigate any contracts or corruption issues involving the Pentagon. .......
If this seems far-fetched to anyone, remember that this administration has included a number of people who were linked to the Reagan-era Iran-Contra scandal, when the creative--and criminal--idea was conceived of secretly selling Pentagon stocks of shoulder-fired Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, and using the proceeds to secretly fund the U.S.-trained and organized Contra fighters who were fighting to topple the Sandinista government in Nicaragua (Congress had inconveniently banned any U.S. aid to the Contras).

Oh, while we are at it how about this:

A new report claims that a "shadow government" of federal contractors has exploded in size over the last five years.
document, compiled at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and distributed to RAW STORY, indicates that procurement spending increased by over $175 billion between 2000 and 2005, making federal contracts the fastest growing component of federal discretionary spending. ......Waxman claims that overcharging -- by mistake or outright fraud -- has been a frequent occurrence. In all, the report identifies 118 federal contracts worth $745.5 billion that have been found by government officials to include significant waste, fraud, abuse or mismanagement. .....Spending is categorized in the report as highly concentrated on a few large contractors, with the five largest contractors receiving over 20 percent of contract dollars awarded in 2005. Last year, the largest federal contractor, Lockheed Martin, received contracts worth more than the total combined budgets of the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior, the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Congress.
But the fastest growing contractor under the Bush Administration has been Halliburton. Federal spending on Halliburton contracts shot up an astonishing 600% between 2000 and 2005.

Wasn't this the stuff the Republicans were suppose to be so good at taking care of. Fiscal conservatives my tailpipe! More like robber barons. This is the primary reason we are at war in Iraq. I guarantee it. The rich get richer by taking your money.
We properly find and prosecute citizens that stole 1.4 million but the 10s or possibly 100s of billions stole by the fat cats is ignored.
Let's see now, why is it that so many people hate this administration? Oh ya, they're a bunch of CROOKS and they are robbing you and me and our children.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Deadeye Cheney

From Crooks & Liars:

Meet the Press: 03/16/03

Russert: If your analysis is not correct, and we’re not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

Cheney: Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators.
I’ve talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House. The president and I have met with them, various groups and individuals, people who have devoted their lives from the outside to trying to change things inside Iraq. And like Kanan Makiya who’s a professor at Brandeis, but an Iraqi, he’s written great books about the subject, knows the country intimately, and is a part of the democratic opposition and resistance. The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that."

Yep, let's trust these guys. No question, great plan. They know what they're doing! NOT!

Update: Insurgencey STILL in last throes!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Real American

I would love to meet this man personally and thank him for standing up for MY values. He speaks for me and I will follow him to the last mile if he decides to run for President. A better patriot in Washington is not to be found. Video here.

Examining Wingnut Claims

I remember debating this war with the wingnuts at the beginning. One of the claims was that Zarqawi was Al Queda and friends with Saddam. How did they know? Cuz he had an artificial leg put on in Baghdad. Remember that?

Free Republic

From Iran Zarqawi traveled to Iraq in May 2002, where his wounded leg was amputated and the limb fitted with a prosthetic device. He spent two months recovering in Baghdad, at which time "nearly two dozen extremists converged on Baghdad and established a base of operations there.

I have been wondering this since his death. Surely they would have mentioned that phony leg even if just for identification purposes? Not a word. It was all another lie and fake to make you think there was a connection between 9/11 and Iraq. Yet with this and mountains of other evidence that the administration juiced the case for a preemptive war the sheeple hang on to a fantasy. The presnit is pertectin us!
I am glad that Zarqawi is dead. He was an evil killer and had no cause except his own glory, fame and ego. They used the proper method to get him too. Investigation, find him, BOOM.
Regardless, our leaders lied us into a preemptive war that didn't preempt anything. It set us back on the hunt for the 9/11 killers. And my friends on the right wonder why I don't believe a word these guys say.