Category Archives: George Bush

Bush Comments on Past Alcoholism…but Curious Behavior Still Surounds Him…

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President Bush offered rare public comments yesterday on his past problems with alcohol, President Bush said that he had never been a “knee-walking drunk,” but that “I doubt I’d be standing here if I hadn’t quit drinking whiskey, and beer, and wine and all that.”

Bush has previously said he often drank too much as a young man, and that he quit drinking in 1986 after overindulging on his 40th birthday.

There was also the cocaine rumor that was never verified…

Shortly before the 2000 presidential election, news surfacedhe was arrested in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol near his parents’ home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Bush went on the say, “Alcohol can compete with your affections. It sure did in my case – affections with your family, or affections for exercise.” 

“It was the competition that I decided just wasn’t worth it.”

He also maintained he has not had a drink of alcohol in 21 years since he quit, and said he’s a “better man for it.”

Although sometimes I do wonder about that last part. Let’s face it, there have been many occasions over the past few years where Bush has looked drunk, medicated, stoned, or all three!

Take last year’s G8 summit.

If you take Bush’s quotes and separate them from other world leaders, he sounds just like a whiskey drunk. 

“Gotta go home. Gotta do sumthin’ tonight. Get ona plane. Go home. It’s a long flight. How long is your flight? That’s a long flight. Your country is big. His country is big too.”

Huh?

I’ve heard this kind of language before…out of some mindless drunk who can’t shut up. Bush just kept running his mouth off, totally disconnected from the non-verbal clues of the people around him.

It was more of the same at the G8 press conference. Bush couldn’t stop talking about the pig roast. It didn’t matter what anyone asked him, he just kept saying whatever his soaked brain was looping on, in this case, the pig.

There was also a time he went to Canada and couldn’t get off the subject of the mouth one of the Canadian Prime Minister’s staff members! “You’ve got a purty mouth.” Not once but several times. “You’ve sure got a purty mouth.” And, “Your mouth is prettier than my Scott’s mouth.”

Who does this outside of dive bars? 

At meeting with leaders he routinely sits slouched back in his chair, like a guy at a barbecue on his second or third 6 pack, chomping on his food with his mouth open, and making minimal effort to keep up his end of the conversation.

Then there was the presidential debate with John Kerry. Remember that fiasco. The lectern was literally holding the guy up. 

Most world leaders seem to act very restrained and controlled around Bush, maintaining a public facade of geniality while holding back from actually being engaged with him. What seems to be courtesy from many diplomats may actually be them trying to get through the fog around Bush as they work to penetrate some kind of lucidness.

Bush’s social modus operandi with everyone, seems to be overuse of meaningless language, forced jocularity and fake intimacy to foster a relationship that does not exist.

Like a drunk, no one really wants to be around him.

No drinks in 21 years Mr. President? I wonder about that indeed.

Although, it would surely explain some of his policy decisions and verbal gaffs, now wouldn’t it?

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Ann Coulter Gets a Pass on Voter Registration Fraud in Florida…No Surprise There…

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We thought, here at ShadowDemocracy.org, that we would publish Ann Coulter’s long and infamous timeline of voter fraud crime, and how this two year trail of deceit has ultimately led to no conviction…only revealing more corruption at the highest levels. If you had any doubt that the political machine is at work in Florida, there won’t be after you read this…   

(Timeline) 

2/15/06: Ann Coulter Commits Vote Fraud Felony…
Signs another person’s address to voter registration form and votes in the wrong precinct…

2/20/06: Ann Coulter Denies Committing Voter Fraud…

3/30/06: Ann Coulter Given 30 Days to Explain Vote Fraud Felony Allegation…
Palm Beach, FL election supervisor May refer charges to state attorney…
UPDATED: Property records show an ‘Ann H. Coulter’ owning a $1.8 Million House on Seabreeze Ave. in Palm Beach, Fl.

4/11/06: Ann Coulter’s Felonious Florida Voter Registration Application
GOP pundit Ann Coulter latest in a growing list of Republicans accused of fraud…and she may be guilty…
State, and county records show inconsistencies on voter registration form…

6/2/06: Ann Coulter ‘Lawyers Up’ to Face Felony Voter Fraud Charges
A Palm Beach paper reports GOP extremist pundit retains ‘Bush’ law firm to fight voter fraud allegations…

6/9/06: New Attorney Seeks Special Treatment for Coulter…
Letter from Coulter’s lawyer asks that all mail be sent to him instead of address where Coulter admits not living despite previously stating the opposite was true…

11/1/06: Ann Coulter Refuses to Testify regarding Voter Fraud in Florida…Case to be Turned Over to Prosecutor…
Coulter, a well documented rightwing extremist and hate-monger, refused to cooperate with authorities…

1/11/07: Police Report Says Two Third Degree Felonies May Have Been Committed by Coulter…

Palm Beach election supervisor having trouble bringing charges…

5/11/07: FBI Agent Who Interceded in Ann Coulter Voter Fraud Case Alleged to be Her Former Boyfriend…
A Palm Beach Paper says FBI agent attempted to clear Coulter…Conservative Coulter critic Borchers says her ’98-’99 boyfriend has been ‘Her personal FBI resource for her own purposes’…

8/2/07: Palm Beach Post: Florida Election Commission Investigating Ann Coulter’s Florida Voter Fraud
After her FBI boyfriend got her off the hook, will Jeb Bush’s FEC appointees do it again?

12/7/07: Ann Coulter Cleared of Voter Fraud Despite Clear Demonstrable Evidence…

Two years after an initial ‘slam-dunk’ allegation of fraud, the Florida Election Commission rules that the two year statute of limitations on has run out…case closed. Check out more links here, here, here

So what is the lesson kids?

Another Republican felon gets a pass, this time in friendly country, otherwise known as the Sunshine state. It just goes to show that in modern American politics, you can get away with just about anything, as long as you know who d&*k to suck, on…and off the camera. The evidence was obvious, the charges legitimate, and the crime real, but the likes of Ann Coulter, in all of here hate mongering extremist glory, has sunk to an all time low when no one thought it was possible. Even conservative bloggers have thrown her overboard. 

What a disgrace.

Bush Approval Among Military Families Down 50% Since 2004

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Reprinted from RawStory.com 

Support for President Bush and his Iraq war policy is nearly as anemic among US military families as it is in the general population, according to a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll.

The survey finds that almost 60 percent of the military community — which was defined as active and former service personnel as well as their families — disapprove of the president’s handling of the war. The same percentage of the group disapprove of Bush’s overall performance as president. Meanwhile, only 37 percent of the family members approve of Bush. Among civilians polled, the war garnered support from 32 percent of respondents.

Families that include veterans of wars presided over by the president were found to be just as critical of the war in Iraq as other Americans, with a full 60 percent saying the war was not worth the cost.

“Patience with the war, which has now lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II, is wearing thin — particularly among families who have sent a service member to the conflict,” reports the Los Angeles Times‘ Faye Fiore. “One-quarter say American troops should stay ‘as long as it takes to win.’ Nearly seven in 10 favor a withdrawal within the coming year or ‘right away.'”

The new numbers stand in stark contrast to a poll of military families conducted by the University of Pennsylvania three years ago, in which twice as many individuals approved of the president’s performance.

The poll also finds more support for Democrats than Republicans when it comes to “treatment” of active-duty military personnel, indicating that a “plurality of military-family members, 39 percent, say they believe Democrats are likely to do a better job handling those issues, compared with 35 percent for Republicans,” according to Bloomberg news.

A military sociologist told the Los Angeles Times that flagging support for a president from servicemembers’ families in a time of war wasn’t typical. “You generally expect to see support for the president as commander in chief and for the war, but this is a different kind of war than those we’ve fought in the past, particularly for families,” he said.

One Army mother responding to the poll, whose son was wounded in Iraq, told the Times that she feared casualties in the conflict were for naught.

“I don’t see gains for the people of Iraq…and, oh, my God, so many wonderful young people, and these are the ones who felt they were really doing something, that’s why they signed up,” she said. “I pray to God that they did not die in vain, but I don’t think our president is even sensitive at all to what it’s like to have a child serving over there.”

Complete polling results are available here.

Quick! Who’s Position is This…Bush or Giuliani???

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Okay, time for a little fun. Can you guess who said the following regarding various issues??? 

U.S. Policy toward Africa

He said the United States should focus its policy toward Africa on increases in trade. “U.S. government aid is important, but aid not linked to reform perpetuates bad policies and poverty.”

In May 2007, he was informed that he held between $500,000 and $1 million in investments in companies that work in Sudan.

U.S. Policy toward India

He views India’s rapidly growing economy as a potentially lucrative market, saying the United States should “take advantage” (CNBC) of the “large number of consumers that are emerging in India.” In particular, he said, the U.S. stands to “make a lot of money in India” in new energy technology.

Military Tribunals and Guantanamo Bay

He said he supports the detention camp at Guantanamo. He said in a June 2007 interview with the Wall Street Journal that he believes the allegations of prisoner mistreatment at Guantanamo have “been grossly exaggerated, and many of the reports that I see are that it’s not terribly different from any other prisons.”

Domestic Intelligence

He defended the domestic spying initiatives, saying “he did it to protect our national security and to try to find out information about people that might attack us and might be preparing an attack on us, in order to secure us, in order to protect us.” He said in September 2007 that electronic surveillance should not be “unrealistically” limited.

War on Terror

He responded to John Edwards’ criticism of the war on terror, saying in June 2007, “This is not a bumper sticker; this war is a real war.” He generally refers to “the terrorist war against us,” lately, rather than the “war on terror,” he told TIME.

Democracy Promotion in the Arab World

He believes in a larger goal of a democratic (AFP) Iraq and Middle East. But, he says, stability takes precedence over democracy. “Democracy can’t flourish unless people are safe. You can’t have democracy when people are being killed,” he said in January 2007.

Energy Policy

He has ties to various energy companies, many of which are fossil fuel-oriented including Duke Energy Corp., the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, Valero Energy Corp, and FPL Energy. He has supported increased use of nuclear power.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

He has held up Israel as “the only outpost of freedom and democracy in the Middle East and the only absolutely reliable friend of the United States.” (Haaretz) In a 2002 speech, he stressed that Jerusalem must “remain the undivided capital” of Israel. He also said at that time that the Palestinian Authority is not a “moral equivalent” to the Israeli government, because “there is a difference between a nation based on law and democracy and one that harbors terrorism.” He called on the Palestinian Authority to create “institutions of political and economic freedom and religious toleration.” More recently, he said that in his view it “makes no difference” whether the Palestinian Authority is run by Hamas or Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas. At a March 2007 fundraiser, he also said that the United States should “not push any peace process” until the Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel’s right to exist and condemns terrorism.

North Korea Policy

He supports the policy of China placing pressure on Pyongyang. “I think the strategy has produced enough results so far that you have to stick with it,” he said. He indicated it remains unclear whether Iran or North Korea is further along in developing a nuclear weapons program.

Cuba Policy

He is critical of Castro, which he made clear recently in a speech over whether or not to return Cuban child Elian Gonzales to Cuba in 2000 (He was an outspoken voice for keeping the boy in the United States).

He also attacked Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for following Castro’s “model.” (AP) Speaking to a group in Florida, he said the United States must build an alliance with Mexico and Colombia to counteract the shift to the left of Latin American governments.

U.S. Policy toward China

He has not made many public statements on his views of China. However, he said in an CNBC interview that limiting China ’s ownership of U.S. debt is “generally a bad idea and generally self-defeating.” He said that the U.S. should build industries that we can sell” in China.

Defense Policy

He has called for an “offense-as-a-defense” (Journal-Register)strategy towards al-Qaeda, backing the U.S. troop surge and continued presence in Iraq.

He fully advocates the addition of thirty-five thousand troops to the army’s current level of 512,000 (AP).

In September 2007, he said the United States should pursue a nuclear missile defense system, as “America can no longer rely on Cold War doctrines such as ‘mutual assured destruction’ in the face of threats from hostile, unstable regimes.”

Iraq

He says we need a plan by which to measure progress but that does not include troop withdrawals. “You need statistics,” (FOX) he said in January 2007. “You need to be able to determine whether or not you’ve brought the violence down. If it doesn’t work, then you got to put more people in.”

He opposes any “artificial timeline” for troop withdrawal from Iraq, which he says would be tantamount to giving America’s enemies “a printed-out list of how it’s going to retreat (ChiTrib) to its enemy.” He is steadfast in his support for the war, which he considers part of the larger global war on terror.

Trade

In October 2007 he spoke in support of the pending Free Trade Agreements with Peru, Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, saying they “would be good deals for the United States.”

Homeland Security

In a September 2006 he stressed the need for a nuclear material detection system in the United States.

Iran

He has the United States should proceed diplomatically with Iran, but that “we will use a military option if we have to.” He said a military strike would be “very dangerous”but nuclear arms in the control of “an irrational person” like President Ahmadinejad was more dangerous.

His supporters are vocal advocates for bombing Iran preemptively in order to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons. 

Climate Change

He said he believes climate change exists (SFChron) and that something must be done to reduce pollution. However, he has not said outright that he believes climate change is caused by human activity. His statements with regard to policy on the issue have been rather vague.

Immigration

He supports some type of path (NYT) to citizenship for illegal immigrants. “If you have twelve million people, to thirteen to fourteen to fifteen million that are here illegally, it is much easier for terrorists and drug dealers to hide,” he said recently. He also said that he is in favor of a border fence and a database with which to keep track of all immigrants. 

As mayor of New York City, Giuliani opposed a law (NYT) that would have prevented illegal immigrants from receiving Social Security, food stamps and health care benefits.

United Nations

He has been extremely critical of the United Nations, which, he said, “proved irrelevant to the resolution of almost every major dispute of the last 50 years.” He says the institution’s primary capabilities are in humanitarian and peacekeeping missions, but “we should not expect much more of it.”

Specifically, he said the United Nations must hold accountable states that support or condone terrorism. “Otherwise, you will fail in your primary mission as peacekeeper,” he said. “It must ostracize any nation that supports terrorism. It must isolate any nation that remains neutral in the fight against terrorism.”

U.S. Policy toward Russia

He advocates commercial engagement with Russia, but has also expressed support for the planned missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. In October 2007 he called for an increase in military spending to “send a heck of a signal” to Russia.

Recently he traveled to Moscow to promote U.S.-Russian business relations.

And the answer is [dramatic pause…]

Rudi Giuliani

So if you vote for him, you clearly vote for more of the same neo-con nonsense. 

Petraeus Says Things are Getting Better in Iraq, but are They?

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David Petraeus, Bush’s top American general in Iraq, has expressed his satisfaction on the progress made in Iraq, but said the military was still far from any victory.

“Nobody in uniform is doing victory dances in the end zone,” Petraeus told reporters. Gates said on Wednesday that the violence in Iraq had dropped to levels not seen since the bombing of a Shiite shrine in the central town of Samarra that unleashed brutal Shiite and Sunni conflict nearly two years ago. He said the reduction in violence meant the “goal of a secure, stable and democratic Iraq is within reach”.

But is it?

Petraeus, who in September announced to Congress the first possible elements of an American troop drawdown in Iraq, was more cautious on Thursday when he said, “We work hard to build up on the progress made” but “we have to be careful not to feel too successful.” He went on to add, “Certain days we certainly feel very good but there are still attacks. We have seen continued improvements,” he said, adding that there was “much hard work still to be done and issues to be addressed”.

iCausualities.org, a website dedicated to tracking Iraq casualties, puts the death toll of American troops for November 2007 at 37, down one from 38 in October. However there have been months with lower death totals. January of 2003, August of 2003, September of 2003, February of 2004, March of 2005, and March of 2006, all saw lower troop casualties. Furthermore, the data clearly shows consistent peaks and valleys in troop casualties and violence throughout the last four years. Furthermore, there has been no period of more than six months that shows a consistent downward trend, before violence increased again. As of now, we appear to be in one of the ‘valleys.’ This is to say, the data supports no conclusions regarding violence trends. Maybe this is why Petraeus isn’t counting his chickens just yet.

Just yesterday, there were a series of bombings that rocked several major cities.

Iraqi civilian deaths are pegged at 800,00 to 1,200,000 depending on what source you reference.

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The chart above displays civilian casualty numbers from this year.Although casualties from shootings and bombings is down in the ‘Green Zone’, they appear to be flat or trending up outside of Bagdad. What conclusions can we draw?

Here is some ICCC data…

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No one can say if al Qaeda has been quashed. For all we know, there may be another surtge in violence around the corner or worse. What we can conclude from the data I believe is that petraeus is painting a rosie picture for the American people and the administration. The troop surge has resulted in a reduction in casualties overall in Iraq, but this reduction is far from the knockout blow Bush is looking for. I do think that all Americans sincerely hope that the declining casualty trends continue, as I do, but I would not jump to any conclusions right now. Al Qaeda, as demonstrated in Afghanistan, is alive and well. In that country, violence and casualties are on the rise, poppy production is at an all time high, and the civilian landscape is in chaos.

Could it be that Al Qaeda has shifted fronts and is helping the Taliban, knowing we can’t effectively fight this “war  on terror” on both fronts?

It makes for interesting conversation.

Democrats Ready to Fold Once Again on War Funding…

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A quick spine check of the Democratic Party has revealed Jell-O once again…

Reprinted fron the Washington Post

By Jonathan Weisman

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 5, 2007; Page A03  

Facing increasing evidence of military progress in Iraq, some Democratic congressional leaders are eyeing a shift in legislative strategy that would abandon a link between $50 billion in additional war funding sought by President Bush to a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops. Instead, they would tie the measure to political advances by the Iraqi government.

For nearly a year, Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to use war funds to push timelines for troop withdrawals, troop-training requirements, and prescribed periods of rest for weary soldiers and Marines.

Now, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) is examining a new approach, releasing war funds in small increments, with further installments tied to specific performance measures for Iraq’s politicians. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) also is searching for a new approach and has been briefed on the idea of more explicitly tying funds to political progress.

The new thrust has divided Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, some of whom say they will never approve additional funding for the Iraq war without troop-withdrawal timelines. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) remains skeptical, House Democratic leadership sources said, and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has vacillated between seeking compromise with Republicans and holding firmly to troop-withdrawal language.

“We’ve been through all that,” Reid said yesterday of the new approach, suggesting the war-funding issue will wait until January. “I just think we need to figure out some way to fund a government and move on to next year.”

The new approach contains considerable political risks for Democrats. If they choose to adopt realistic measurements of political progress, they would be signaling a willingness to leave U.S. combat troops in Iraq far longer than Democratic voters want, said Michael O’Hanlon, a Democratic defense analyst at the Brookings Institution.

None of the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination is likely to embrace that, said O’Hanlon, who suspended his ties to the campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) after he wrote that Bush’s troop buildup was yielding positive results.

On the other hand, the year-long struggle to mandate troop withdrawals shows no sign of progress. War funding will begin running dry by mid-February, leaving Democrats with the choice of withholding money for the war, providing the money without strings attached, or finding a new approach that can win bipartisan support.

The House approved a $50 billion war spending bill last month that would have tied additional funding to a goal of removing all combat troops from Iraq by December 2008, but it fell to a Republican filibuster in the Senate. Bush had promised to veto it anyway.

A separate war funding bill approved in the spring laid out political benchmarks for the Iraqis and demanded that the Bush administration return to Congress in September with an update on progress toward them. It showed that the Iraqi government was woefully short of meeting those goals.

The new approach will get an airing today when USA Todaypublishes an opinion piece by O’Hanlon. He argues that Democrats should receive more credit for the positive changes in Iraq and lays out a fresh set of benchmarks linked to the provision of funds.

O’Hanlon shook up the Iraq debate earlier this year when he co-wrote an opinion piece hailing the progress that has resulted from Bush’s troop buildup. It also suggested that Gen. David H. Petraeus‘s counterinsurgency strategy could stabilize Iraq.

He suggests, for instance, that Congress should judge political progress by how much money the central government in Baghdadis sharing with Iraq’s provinces, and should recognize the ongoing de facto amnesty that Iraq’s government is offering political opponents with the hiring of former insurgents as police officers and soldiers.

Emanuel suggested yesterday that the Bush administration’s diplomatic outreach to Syria, its engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the new intelligence estimate on Iran‘s nuclear capabilities stem in part from the changing political climate brought on by the Democratic Congress.

“Our troops at every step of the way have done an incredible job,” he told reporters. “And at every step of the way, the people that are responsible for a political strategy for Iraq have failed to deliver one. And our views on the funding is that what we need and what we’ve asked for from Day One is a set of benchmarks the Iraqis have to meet for Iraq.”

Business as usual huh? The Democrat’s position and strategy on the war in Iraq has been a disgrace. I am finished with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  

Texas Science Director Fired for Mentioning Evolution…

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A Texas science education official was forced to resign in October for doing her job. 

The Austin-American Statesman has reported that. Chris Corner, science curriculum director, was fired following an email she circulated announcing an upcoming speech by Barbara Forrest, co-author of Creationism’s  Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design and an expert witness in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the lawsuit brought in 2005 by Dover, Pennsylvania parents upset with a school board’s decision to teach intelligent design. A federal judge sided with the parents and legally established intelligent design as religion, not science.

However in Texas, we know things run a bit differently.

Hours after Corner used her work email account to forward the announcement to friends, Texas Education Agency adviser Lizzette Reynolds emailed Corner’s bosses and called for her dismissal. A former legislative adviser to President Bush during his Texas governorship and later a Department of Education appointee, Reynolds wrote, “This is highly inappropriate. I believe this is an offense that calls for termination or, at the very least, reassignment of responsibilities.

Inappropriate?

Farting in church is inappropriate. Making ‘death jokes’ during a funeral is inappropriate. Hitting on your best friend’s girl is inappropriate. Teaching and promoting ‘science’, and that is exactly what evolution is…’science’, when one is a science teacher, is completely appropriate.

Lizzette Reynolds, and the rest of the legion of Bush loyalist idiots, cannot comprehend or moreover accept the fact that the idea of “Intelligent Design” (I can’t dignify referring to it as a theory), is nothing more than fundamentalist Christian blather, with the goal of squeezing rational scientific thought out of public classrooms, with the end goal of imposing God on those who dare question his existence. Reynolds should be fired, not Corner. Corner was simply performing her duties as a science teacher. Reynolds is trying to peddle a Christian agenda on the back of Corner’s livelihood.   

Education Agency officials mentioned Reynolds’ e-mail in their decision to fire Corner. Informing people about Forrest’s lecture, they said, “directly conflicts with her responsibilities as the Director of Science … [And] implies endorsement of the speaker and implies that TEA endorses the speaker’s position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral.”

Neutral? I bet if her email said “We must protest this speaker because God is the almighty creator and his will be done at our hand…”, she would have been promoted. That’s how education works down South…especially in Texas. The problem here is that a science official, supporting evolution isn’t political; it’s scientific! But even if that were not the case, Corner’s views weren’t clear from her email, to which she’d simply added an “FYI” above the lecture’s announcement. Isn’t that “neutral” enough? 

As the Austin-American Statesman editorialized this weekend,

The education agency, of course, portrays the problem as one of insubordination and misconduct. But from all appearances, Comer was pushed out because the agency is enforcing a political doctrine of strict conservatism that allows no criticism of creationism.

This state has struggled for years with the ideological bent of the state school board, but lawmakers took away most of its power to infect education some years ago. Politicizing the Texas Education Agency, which oversees the education of children in public schools, would be a monumental mistake.

This isn’t the space to explore the debate over creationism, intelligent design and evolution. Each approach should be fair game for critical analysis, so terminating someone for just mentioning a critic of intelligent design smacks of the dogma and purges in the Soviet era.

As usual, “neutrality” is now used as the hammer to beat evolutionists over the head. I suppose it is okay to replace intelligent discourse with hearsay, fire anyone who disagrees, then label the hearsay as informed debate. 

All of the radical Christian educational agendas in all states is unsupported by verifiable fact. Government must step in and stop this lunacy or we risk returning to the days of Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, where teachers will be tried in court for teaching the truth. With any luck, the Texas Board of Education will be painted as the fools that they are next year when the state reviews the Texas Board of Education’s science curriculum. 

I Know Bush is at War with the English Language but…

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I stumbled on some more recent gems…enjoy

“There are some similarities, of course (between Iraq and Vietnam). Death is terrible.” –George W. Bush, Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007

“I’ve been in politics long enough to know that polls just go poof at times.” –George W. Bush, Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007

“Suiciders are willing to kill innocent life in order to send the projection that this is an impossible mission.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2007

“And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I’m sorry it’s the case, and I’ll work hard to try to elevate it.” –George W. Bush, interview on National Public Radio, Jan. 29, 2007

“The best way to defeat the totalitarian of hate is with an ideology of hope — an ideology of hate — excuse me –with an ideology of hope.” –George W. Bush, Fort Benning, Ga., Jan. 11, 2007

“Either we’ll succeed, or we won’t succeed. And the definition of success as I described is sectarian violence down. Success is not no violence.” –George W. Bush, on Iraq, Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007

“Information is moving — you know, nightly news is one way, of course, but it’s also moving through the blogosphere and through the Internets.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007

“I’m going to try to see if I can remember as much to make it sound like I’m smart on the subject.” –George W. Bush, answering a question about a possible flu pandemic, Cleveland, July 10, 2007

“You know, I guess I’m like any other political figure: Everybody wants to be loved.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., July 12, 2007

“More than two decades later, it is hard to imagine the Revolutionary War coming out any other way.” –George W. Bush, Martinsburg, W. Va., July 4, 2007

“I heard somebody say, ‘Where’s (Nelson) Mandela?’ Well, Mandela’s dead. Because Saddam killed all the Mandelas.” –George W. Bush, on the former South African president, who is still very much alive, Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2007

“Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your introduction. Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit.” –George W. Bush, addressing Australian Prime Minister John Howard at the APEC Summit, Sept. 7, 207

“As John Howard accurately noted when he went to thank the Austrian troops there last year…” –George W. Bush, referring to Australian troops as “Austrian troops,” APEC Business Summit, Sept. 7, 2007

Thank you Mr. President.

U.S. School Children Losing More Ground to Other Nations…

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U.S. fourth-graders have lost ground in reading ability compared with kids around the world, according to results of a global reading test.

Test results released on Wednesday showed U.S. students scored about the same as they did in 2001, the last time the test was given. During the interim, there has been an increased emphasis on reading under Bush’s No Child Left Behind act.

The U.S. average score on the Progress in International Reading Literacy test remained above the international average. However, ten countries including Hong Kong and three Canadian provinces, were ahead of the United States this time. In 2001, only three countries were ahead of the United States.

The loss of academic ground is

The 2002 No Child Left Behind law requires schools to test students annually in reading and math, and imposes sanctions on schools that miss testing goals.

The U.S. performance metrics on an international test of 45 nations differed from results of a U.S. national reading test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the nation’s report card. Fourth-grade reading scores rose modestly on the most recent version of that test, taken earlier this year and measuring growth since 2005. During the previous two-year period, scores were flat.

On the latest international exam, U.S. students posted a lower average score than students in Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Luxembourg, Hungary, Italy and Sweden, along with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

Interesting how the U.S. metrics showed progress while other countries’ metrics seem to indicate we are getting dumber. 

Hong Kong and Singapore have taken steps such as increasing teacher preparation, providing more tutoring and raising public awareness about the importance of reading, said Ina Mullis, co-director of the International Study Center at Boston College, which conducts the international reading literacy study.

The results:

Countries that improved since 2001 included Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Singapore, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.

Countries that declined included England, Lithuania, Morocco, the Netherlands, Romania and Sweden. Sweden still outperformed the United States this time around, but average scores in England and the Netherlands were not measurably different from the U.S. average.

Overall, girls scored higher than boys in the United States and all other countries except for Luxembourg and Spain, where the boy-girl scores were the same.

The average U.S. score was above the average score in 22 countries or jurisdictions and about the same as the score in 12 others. The U.S. average fell toward the high end of a level called “intermediate.” At that level, a student can identify central events, plot sequences and relevant story details in texts. The student also can make straightforward inferences from what is read and begin to make connections across parts of the text.

Background questionnaires administered to students, teachers and school administrators showed that the average years of experience for fourth-grade teachers in the United States decreased from 15 years to 12 years between 2001 and 2006. The international average was 17 years.

U.S. kids seem to get more reading instruction than others. U.S. teachers were more likely to report teaching reading for more than six hours per week than those elsewhere.

In my opinion the public education has devolved from the classical approach of character plus basics (reading, writing, arithmetic, respect, and responsibility), to skills, to psychological-social engineering. Today, education “experts” celebrate their doctrines of multiculturalism and values clarification, but sadly, the experts have been too preoccupied with experimental education, diversity training, evolution-instruction, to wake up and realize that 68 percent of students are unprepared for college. 

The long and short of it is…what they are doing…isn’t working.

Check the Nation’s Report Card here

Another Reason Not to Trust China…

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Family members were left stunned in Hong Kong on Thursday (November 22) after a Chinese decision denying the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier entry into Hong Kong. 

The decision was later reversed by Beijing.

Hundreds of families poured into Hong Kong to greet servicemen from the aircraft carrier and fleet, which holds 8,000 of United States’ servicemen, airman and sailors, only to find out Thursday morning that the carrier would not come port-side.

The Kitty Hawk is not expected to make it back to Hong Kong by the end of the Thanksgiving day in Asia, according to the
U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is home to thousands of U.S. expatriates, with many gathering at midday for special Thanksgiving day service at the city’s oldest church, St. John’s Cathedral. Hong Kong is also a favoured stopping point for U.S. warships in the Pacific region. 

There are several issues which may have prompted Beijing’s action, including U.S. plans to sell Taiwan a $490 million U.S. dollar upgrade to its missile system and last month’s meeting between George Bush and the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist leader whom Beijing considers a traitor.

The State Department and Defense Department said it remained unclear why the aircraft carrier strike group had been denied access at the last moment just as the crew of some 8,000 sailors and airmen were to celebrate the annual US holiday on Thursday.

“At present, it appears the USS Kitty Hawk strike group will not be making a port call in Hong Kong as previously planned as a result of a last minute denial by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson.

“The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not give an explanation for its denial. The United States is pressing the Chinese Foreign Ministry for an explanation and for a reconsideration,” she stated. 

A spokesman for the Pentagon, Lieutenant Commander John Daniels, said, “We don’t know the reason the Chinese have done this.”

It is no secret that China has an array of industrial spies roaming the planet. It freely pirates US technology with no regard for intellectual rights, and has used that technology to cyber attack countries like Germany, blast a satellite out of orbit and demonstrate that it can cripple US defenses if need be. 

It was only a few years ago that China could barely make a stable rocket launch. Now the Chinese turned that program around with purchased and stolen American technology.

So why did China bar the Kitty Hawk? 

They barred it because they are an aspiring global super power, and they want everyone to know that they could – a demonstration of diplomatic bullying. 

China is a quasi capitalist/communist super state that is rapidly expanding with a carefully controlled, state run ideology. The curious thing is, unlike the old Soviet Union, it is working. They believe in what they are doing, because their approach is producing tremendous wealth which conveniently for the Chinese, is driving the world’s fastest growing economy at the expense of U.S. workers. There is no period in history where so much wealth and economic power has been created in such a short period of time. In turn, from that wealth and industrial power, the Chinese are building military might. They are rapidly militarizing, and in a few short years, will be able to control events in Asia, without any interference from the U.S. 

Taiwan will become whatever China wants it to be, the U.S. economy will continue to suffer, and the United States will simply have to accept that, because we continue to cow-tow to a country that is run by Communist thugs and continues to ignore international law.

To neutralize, or at the very least, attempt to check this coming military might that China will undoubtedly exploit to its full advantage, the U.S. must begin to respond in kind to such diplomatic slaps in the face. Our current policy of bending but not breaking, in the name of an apparantly failed mutually beneficial economic relationship with the Chinese, must be halted immediately. That is to say, scrap globalism…it isn’t working as intended.

We must begin to rebuild from within, and that includes rigorous education reforms that focus on science and technology including medicine, a wholesale change in our international economic policy with regards to China, and a renewed push in the area of space exploration, as well as advanced defense technologies. 

Shoring up what little manufacturing we have left here might not be a bad idea either.

Anything short of this is suicide, and it can be done in as little as twenty years.

More to come on this. 

Group Says Wearing Their ‘Peace Shirts’ on Campus Verbally Attacked by Pro-War Advocates…

 swa.jpgStudents at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High are waging a war on peace by verbally attacking a group of ‘peace’ advocates.

Sophomore Skylar Stains decided to have ‘Peace Shirt Thursdays’ for her and her friend, Lauren Lorraine. They started wearing peace shirts and recruited other friends to wear them. Now, the “Peace Shirt Coalition” as they call themselves, has close to 30 students from all grades.

“We’ve worn handmade peace shirts every Thursday since the first week of school, without fail,” says Skylar Stains.

However, what started out as a light-hearted gesture soon started to be taken out of context. Students started approaching the group members and yelling obscene things at them. 

The heckling began early in the school year, according to group members. They say they were putting small posters promoting peace on friends’ lockers with their permission. They thought it was OK, because the cheerleaders and football players had signs on theirs. Eventually, though, group members say they were told by the school’s administration they could no longer hang up the posters.

“People just turned on us like that,” she said. “At least 10 boys stood up and yelled things at me at once, and we couldn’t even walk through the halls without a harsh comment being made.”

“People tore them down and drew swastikas and ‘white power’ stuff on them,” Lauren said, referring to the posters.

Skylar had similar things written on her posters.

“Someone taped an ‘I Love Bush’ sign over my ‘Wage Peace’ sign,” she said. “So I tore it down, threw it away, and the whole commons starting booing.

Someone also hung a sign that said, “I Love America, Because America Loves War.”

Lori Masterson, assistant principal at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High, said all students have the opportunity to form clubs and organizations on campus, but those wishing to do so must identify a sponsor and bring their written proposal to the principal outlining what the proposed group’s purpose and goals are.

“As of this writing, to my knowledge, no one has submitted a written proposal with an identified sponsor for a peace club,” Masterson said in an e-mailed statement.

But peace group members say they have submitted a written proposal and had a written sponsor.

As you might have expected, they were turned down.

Skylar and Lauren said that despite the backlash, the T-shirts and posters originally had nothing to do with politics, but the outburst from opposing groups have turned it into a political issue.

“People just kept putting words into our mouths, like we said this or that about current politics,” Lauren said. “But we didn’t say anything.”

Soon, a second group started to wear Confederate flag shirts to oppose the peace group, Skylar said. She saw shirts with sayings such as “This is America, get used to it,” and “If peace is the answer; it must be a stupid question.”

“Now there are even ‘support our troops’ kids who don’t like us because I guess they think you can’t say peace and support the troops at the same time,” Lauren said.

Skylar later passed out yellow ribbons for her group to wear to show they support the troops as well as peace.

However, Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High sophomores Lydia Pace and Joseph Marianetti say the Confederate shirts they wear express support for the troops in Iraq, and nothing more. Joseph said the shirts have nothing to do with racism.

For the troops in Iraq? What?

“Someone took something that stood for peace and twisted it” in regards to the swastikas (drawn by a third group) and the Confederate flag, he said.

On John Lennon’s birthday, the group held an honorary Peace Shirt day and was confronted even more than usual, eventually causing some group members, including Cheyenne, to break down in tears.

The peace group members say their shirts continue to draw negative comments from some students, but point out that other school groups don’t receive similar treatment.

“Since peace is causing other problems, the peace kids are being punished,” Skylar said.

Do you think there’s a bunch of fat, white, old time, stuff shirt, war-hawk, racist, conservatives in Cocoa Beach, teaching their kids to be hate mongers?

I believe so.

Look at the demographics and draw your own conclusion…

The People and Families of Cocoa Beach

In Cocoa Beach, about 54% of adults are married. Lots of people in Cocoa Beach live independently, in one-person housing.

Among adults, males are better represented than women in the city. People 65 and older make up an important part of the community in Cocoa Beach.

Wealth and Education

In 2000, Cocoa Beach had a median family income of $51,795. Cocoa Beach isn’t a place with a large population of people in poverty. The city, compared to most cities like it, can boast of a large population of high-income unmarried people.

Political Inclinations

In the 2004 Presidential fund-raising sweepstakes, George W. Bush came out ahead among Cocoa Beach residents, with $8,770. Residents gave more to the Republican party than any of the others.

Cocoa Beach Housing

In Cocoa Beach, 71% of the houses and apartments are occupied by the owners, not rented out. The city sports a large amount of seasonal housing, typically for vacation or part-time use.

Commuting

In Cocoa Beach, 91% of commuters drive to work.

Stand tall against the rednecks Skylar. If you need any help on the blogs, we’re here for you. Anyone who wears a Swastika or a Confederate Flag shirt is a pinhead who endorses violence and racial hatred. They are as ignorant and foolish as our current president, who I believe also endorses these very things. 

Don’t be naive Skylar. What you are doing is political, just be sure to defend your position. The legion of ‘The Stupid’ that is the Republican party and its sorted conservative knuckleheads will not give up easily because most of these people are patently stubborn and intellectually rigid by default.

Good luck.  

Wounded Warriors Still Can’t Get Help from VA…

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Ty Ziegel once was a bright eyed young man with his whole life in front of him. His once boyish face is now burned beyond recognition by a suicide bomber’s attack in Iraq around Christmas 2004.

He lost part of his skull in the blast and part of his brain was damaged. Half of his left arm was amputated and some of the fingers were blown off his right hand.

Sounds like a no-brainer for VA benefits right?

Wrong. 

His next battle would be with the VA when he returned home as a wounded warrior. 

In an inteview with CNN he said, “Sometimes, you get lost in the system.”

“I feel like a Social Security number. I don’t feel like Tyler Ziegel.”

His story is in many that exemplifies how the VA is simply ignoring wounded vets from Iraq. Many wounded veterans return home feeling that the VA has abandoned them. 

“The VA system is not ready, and they simply don’t have time to catch up,” said Tammy Duckworth, a wounded veteran who heads up the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs. 

VA Acting Secretary Gordon Mansfield said cases like Ziegel’s are rare. The majority of veterans are moving through the process and “being taken care of.” 

But are they?

More than 28,500 troops have been wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom, including about 8,500 that have needed air transport, according to the U.S. military. A recent Harvard study found that the cost of caring for those wounded over the course of their lifetime could ultimately cost more than $660 billion.

In Ziegel’s case, he spent nearly two years recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas. Once he got out of the hospital, he was unable to hold a job. He anticipated receiving a monthly VA disability check sufficient to cover his small-town lifestyle in Washington, Illinois, but the check was much less than expected.

After many inquiries, Ziegel finally received a letter from the VA that rated his injuries: 80 percent for facial disfigurement, 60 percent for left arm amputation, a mere 10 percent for head trauma and nothing for his left lobe brain injury, right eye blindness and jaw fracture.

“I’m not expecting to live in the lap of luxury,” he added. “But I am asking them to make it comfortable to raise a family and not have to struggle.”

Miraculously, within 48 hours of telling his story to CNN this summer, the Office of then-VA Secretary Jim Nicholson acted on Ziegel’s case. The VA changed his head trauma injury, once rated at 10 percent, to traumatic brain injury rated at 100 percent, substantially increasing his monthly disability check.

My question is, why does it take bad publicity on CNN for our government to take proper care of our war veterans?

You have to wonder about the fact that maybe this country won’t remember in five years that there are war wounded that need to be helped, and that their president and the VA don’t seem to be advocates for substantial change in the benefit system for vets.

Garrett Anderson with the Illinois National Guard, for example, has been fighting the VA since October 15, 2005. Shrapnel tore through his head and body after a roadside bomb blew up the truck he was driving. He lost his right arm.

The VA initially rejected his claim, saying his severe shrapnel wounds were “not service connected.”

“Who would want to tell an Iraqi or Afghanistan soldier who was blown up by an IED that his wounds were not caused by his service over there?” said Anderson’s wife, Sam.

After pressure from Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the VA acted on Anderson’s case. He has since been awarded compensation for a traumatic brain injury.

It is an outrage that that the VA system operates in a way that it takes people of power to get proper care to vets. 

In July, President Bush and a commission appointed to review the care of veterans returning from war announced the need for a complete overhaul of the disability ratings system, which dates back to World War II. The VA is now considering action on the commission’s recommendations.

However, no real change is happening.

We feed the war machine at the drop of a hat, but we never consider that the war machine comes home and that it also needs feeding there. 

I guess Americans just continue to pursue the path of least resistance…it’s easier to destroy than it is to repair, and when the destruction is in Iraq and the things that need repair aren’t in your living room, we can conveniently ignore them.

Iran and the coming of World War III… Huh?

fareed-thumb7.jpg Reprinted from Newsweek Written by Fareed Zakaria

At a meeting with reporters last week, President Bush said that “if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing [Iran] from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” These were not the barbs of some neoconservative crank or sidelined politician looking for publicity. This was the president of the United States, invoking the specter of World War III if Iran gained even the knowledge needed to make a nuclear weapon.

The American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality. Norman Podhoretz, the neoconservative ideologist whom Bush has consulted on this topic, has written that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is “like Hitler … a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it in the fullness of time with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism.” For this staggering proposition Podhoretz provides not a scintilla of evidence.

Here is the reality. Iran has an economy the size of Finland’s and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on?

When the relatively moderate Mohammed Khatami was elected president in Iran, American conservatives pointed out that he was just a figurehead. Real power, they said (correctly), especially control of the military and police, was wielded by the unelected “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Now that Ahmadinejad is president, they claim his finger is on the button. (Oh wait, Iran doesn’t have a nuclear button yet and won’t for at least three to eight years, according to the CIA, by which point Ahmadinejad may not be president anymore. But these are just facts.)

In a speech last week, Rudy Giuliani said that while the Soviet Union and China could be deterred during the cold war, Iran can’t be. The Soviet and Chinese regimes had a “residual rationality,” he explained. Hmm. Stalin and Mao—who casually ordered the deaths of millions of their own people, fomented insurgencies and revolutions, and starved whole regions that opposed them—were rational folk. But not Ahmadinejad, who has done what that compares? One of the bizarre twists of the current Iran hysteria is that conservatives have become surprisingly charitable about two of history’s greatest mass murderers.

If I had to choose whom to describe as a madman, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il or Ahmadinejad, I do not think there is really any contest. A decade ago Kim Jong Il allowed a famine to kill 2 million of his own people, forcing the others to survive by eating grass, while he imported gallons of expensive French wine. He has sold nuclear technology to other rogue states and threatened his neighbors with test-firings of rockets and missiles. Yet the United States will be participating in international relief efforts to Pyongyang worth billions of dollar.

We’re on a path to irreversible confrontation with a country we know almost nothing about. The United States government has had no diplomats in Iran for almost 30 years. American officials have barely met with any senior Iranian politicians or officials. We have no contact with the country’s vibrant civil society. Iran is a black hole to us—just as Iraq had become in 2003.

The one time we seriously negotiated with Tehran was in the closing days of the war in Afghanistan, in order to create a new political order in the country. Bush’s representative to the Bonn conference, James Dobbins, says that “the Iranians were very professional, straightforward, reliable and helpful. They were also critical to our success. They persuaded the Northern Alliance to make the final concessions that we asked for.” Dobbins says the Iranians made overtures to have better relations with the United States through him and others in 2001 and later, but got no reply. Even after the Axis of Evil speech, he recalls, they offered to cooperate in Afghanistan. Dobbins took the proposal to a principals meeting in Washington only to have it met with dead silence. The then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, he says, “looked down and rustled his papers.” No reply was ever sent back to the Iranians. Why bother? They’re mad.

Last year, the Princeton scholar, Bernard Lewis, a close adviser to Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal predicting that on Aug. 22, 2006, President Ahmadinejad was going to end the world. The date, he explained, “is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the Prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to ‘the farthest mosque,’ usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back. This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world” (my emphasis). This would all be funny if it weren’t so dangerous.

© Newsweek, Inc.

 

Commentary from MJ “revoltingpawn”…

I had to post this article since felt there has been a lack of common sense and reporting of facts from the media in regards to Iran. Fareed Zakaria you are breath of fresh air on the Iranian situation and I am hoping more people will read this article. My questions are… Are the American people gullible enough to believe another set of lies from the Bush administration as we beat the war drum once again? Will the mainstream media again be a willing accomplice for another possible Bush manufactured war? Let’s hope we have different outcome with Iran then what happened in Iraq.

King George Denied at Last!

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Chalk one up for the good guys. 

Last week, in his ongoing effort to quash any meaningful piece of legislation that the Democrats try to pass, George W. Bush’s veto of a popular water projects bill was overridden by the U.S. House of Representatives today. The veto will enact legislation that would authorize $23 billion for nearly 900 projects across the United States, including flood control, transportation upgrades and construction of new water control infrastructure.

The House voted 361-54 to override the president’s veto. The Senate is expected to take up the water bill as early as Wednesday.

Bush cited too much “pork-barrel” spending in the bill.

This coming from the president who is the unprecedented heavy-weight champion of the world of peacetime pork…

If a similar swell of support occurs in the Senate, it would mark the first time Congress has mustered enough votes to override King George. 

Bush has vetoed five bills during his time in office…four against Democrats of course.

The President chose to stand in the way of this bipartisan legislation, this overwhelming bipartisan legislation, in an attempt to claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer from Maryland. “This is the wrong bill to have done so.” 

“No one is surprised that this veto is over-ridden,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. “We understand that members of Congress are going to support the projects in their districts. Budgeting is about making choices and defining priorities – it doesn’t mean you can have everything,” he said. “This bill doesn’t make the difficult choices; it says we can fund every idea out there.”

Yeah, $10 million for flood control in Mississippi and Louisiana is clearly unreasonable.

The bill would provide funding to do coastal restoration in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and improve the Florida Everglades. It also would include new locks to speed up freight traffic on the Mississippi River. Farm and business groups have campaigned for years to expand navigational capacity on the upper Mississippi, where many of the locks and dams date from the Depression era, in order to remain competitive in the global agriculture trade market.

Again, unreasonable in the eyes of the Bush administration.

Bush and Democrats are at a seemingly unresolvable impass over the Iraq war, and have been playing political volleyball with SCHIP. This override, if for no other reason, has breathed some life back into our system of checks and balances but moreover, has demonstrated to King George that we are not heading down the slippery slope of dictatorial control yet…not yet.

Please get off your ass and vote tomorrow!

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Tomorrow is election day and while maybe it is an off year in the political cycle, we still can’t afford to be indifferent in these troubling times. If you look at our byline on our blog title it reads… “Who really controls your government?” Matthew and I have argued on our radio show in the past on what that means. Matthew seems to think special interests and corporations have so much power now that our vote counts for little. I agree that the voice of the people has been weaken over the years but its the same special interests and corporations who would like you to think your vote does not matter!

I think a good chunk of the people who do not vote are not simply apathetic to politics. Many of the people who write political blogs and comment on other like blogs do not vote! I believe George Bush was elected twice because to many free thinkers and independent voters have dropped out of the election process. Democracy does not happen during an online flame war, but in the voting booth.

It’s not to late to get up on the issues and candidates whether for the local school board or the higher offices. The online site of most mainstream newspapers or better yet your local alternative newspaper will have a listing of what races are being held, what the issues are and who they are endorsing. The League of Women Voters is another great resource for help on election day.

This vote is just a warm up for the 2008 Presidential Election. During the coming year Shadow Democracy will be posting information on voter registration drives, election reform ideas, and of course continuing our rants of unique political opinion along the way.

It’s the people who control our government and lets not forget by voting tomorrow!

If Giuliani’s Opinion About Cheney is an Indicator of His Judgement, then we Better Send Him Back to New York…

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Here is what Republican front-runner Rudi Giuliani had to say about the qualifications and character of current Vice President Dick Cheney.

I would want a vice president who was a partner. Someone who was in on everything that was going on, so that that person could take over if, God forbid, something happened. You know, I was working for President Reagan, in fact I had breakfast with him, with a lot of other people, the day he was shot. So, I have been very, very close to a possible presidential assassination and seen how that all worked out that day…

So, immediately it makes you realize that (the) choice of vice president is a choice that you have to do in the best interest of the country-and you owe that to your fellow citizens. In good conscience you have to pick someone that you believe can handle the job as well as you can.

How do you pick a vice president? … I think Vice President Cheney and President Bush’s pick of Vice President Cheney is a good example of picking someone who is qualified to be president of the United States. That is number one — it’s paramount.

Am I missing something? Does Giuliani want Cheney as V.P. again, or does he just want to have gay sex with him?

A presidential administration is made up of many people, all of whom must be accounted for as mandated by law for oversight and budgetary purposes. Cheney has refused for six years to say how many collaborators he employs. In fact, he is on the record on saying that he considers himself to be above the law! If that’s not arrogance and a complete disregard for the law, I’m not sure what is. 

Cheney is an ideal partner for George W. Bush. Both men are liars, both endorse controversial practices like torture of prisoners, pre-emptive war, war profiteering, privatization of the military, etc. Cheney was the Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War, and is also an entrenched Washington insider. Cheney’s record as V.P is morally questionable and illegal at worst. 

Cheney is frequently designated as ‘the worst vice-president in the history’ of the United States.In a recent column, Sally Quinn, wife of Ben Bradlee who was the Washington Post’s editor during the Watergate era, stated, “The big question today among Republicans is how to get rid of Dick Cheney. He is perceived as toxic.”

In May, Dennis Kucinich, filed a resolution to open an impeachment procedure against the vice-president in the House of Representatives. In three articles, he accuses Cheney of having “manipulated intelligence to invent the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction,” with having “misled citizens about an unproven relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda” and with “openly threatening Iran with aggression without any real threat to the United States.” 

In June, the Washington Post published a long series exposing the vice-president and the role he plays in the ‘shadows.’ Allegations include he has worked to authorize wiretapping of citizens since September 11th, torture at Guantanamo, how he succeeded in intervening in the choice of Supreme Court judges, etc. There are also wide spread allegations that he manipulated CIA intelligence prior to the Iraq War, and some say he pressured spies to provide information that could be used to sell the war. 

No official or agent has yet denounced him, no proof has been provided to damn him, and he’s never been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. 

Then there’s the Scooter Libby thing. His tactics here are consistent with everything else he has done. Cheney’s Chief-of-Staff found himself convicted of false testimony and obstruction of justice and sentenced to thirty months in prison. Of course we know he was later pardoned by George W. Bush. “In the eyes of outside observers,” notes the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, “Cheney is the political equivalent of a black hole, which exerts a powerful but invisible force and emits neither light nor heat that could explain the decision process.” “He is the enemy within,” deems Newsweek. “He has privatized the function of the vice-president,” deplores the New York Times. “The irony,” emphasizes former Reagan Administration official Bruce Fein, “is that the president finds himself with less power than he would have had, had he and Cheney not had such extravagant and monarchical pretensions.” 

This is who Giuliani wants as a back-up, or perhaps someone like him?

I have posted previously on this blog and commented that Giuliani is of the same dangerous and nisguided ideology that plagues George Bush and Dick Cheney. His prior comments and rhetoric clearly illustrate that he supports the war in Iraq and is quoted by many sources to that effect here, here. He also supports many of this administrations other initiatives. 

That’s bad enough. However his endorsement of a criminal like Cheney is foolish and shortsighted. In only seven short years, mainly as a result of Bush and Cheney’s poison policies, the U.S. is weaker and has lost the respect of many nations around the world. Our civil rights are on the back burner, the constitution is lining the cat box and the middle class is suffering.

If Rudi thinks that’s competent leadership, then I hope he winds up on a fishing trawler to a remote area of Alaska before the 2008 election.

Bush Comparing Iraq to Nazi Germany?

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President Bush compared Congress’ Democratic leaders to people who ignored the rise of Hitler early in the last century. He’s quoted as saying, “the world paid a terrible price.” He also pointed out that the risks similar consequences for inaction today. Bush accused Congress of stalling important pieces of the fight to prevent new terrorist attacks by stalling on the confirmation of Michael Mukasey as attorney general, failing to act on a bill governing eavesdropping on terrorist suspects; and moving too slowly to approve spending measures for the Iraq war. 

“Unfortunately, on too many issues, some in Congress are behaving as if America is not at war,” Bush said during a speech at the Heritage Foundation, “This is no time for Congress to weaken the Department of Justice by denying it a strong and effective leader. 

If I am not mistaken, this is the same president who has left numerous positions open in the Department of Justice and threatened not to fill them at all unless his nominee is confirmed, while creating his own delays via incompetent nominations to office (i.e Alberto Gonzales, Harriet Miers, etc.)

The only thing we need to worry about in my opinion, is Bush’s similarities to Hitler and the potential consequences of his hubris. 

As the the destruction of the Reich-stag did for Hitler, the destruction of the Twin Towers gave George Bush the chance of a lifetime. Coming off of the narrowest electoral victory in US presidential elections since 1876, Bush turned this disaster into the best historical opportunity for a liar, with the goal of imposing a U.S. order on the world. Hitler had similar ideas.

As in Hitler’s case, the first thing Bush did was to surround himself with a clique of common minded ideologues. Hitler’s entourage as is the case with Bush’s cronies, was made up of men obsessed with the intimidating power of force and violence. Like Goering, Goebbels, Himmler, Mengele, and Eichmann, Bush has searched for a buffer of people who are war-like as himself – all sharing a common goal…war profit from oil. In Hitler’s case, the goal was the extermination of the Jewish race coupled with world domination.

Fiddle – e – Dee.

Dick Cheney, came from Halliburton Oil, the chief of the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, from Occidental, another oil company, the National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice, was on Chevron’s board of directors and has oil tankers named after her. Then there’s the Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton, who is also linked to the oil industry, as is Bush Sr. with the Carlyle oil group, and the current president, Bush Jr. with Harkins Oil.

Bush, like Hitler, has sought to intimidate the populous, spy on his enemies internally, do away with civil rights and restrict domestic freedoms. Both made a habit of misinformation and lying to their respective citizens, both used pre-emptive strikes to invade countries that engaged in no aggressive actions against their countries, both monopolized the media (or at least tried to), both ignored the rule of law, both tortured, and both believed that their mission was thrust upon them by God himself.

Even the language Bush uses, as was the case with Hitler, is authoritarian and intimidating in tone and constantly used to pervert the end to justify the means. The core purpose of Bush’s Republican talking points, much like Hitler’s Nazi rhetoric, is simplification, reduction and intimidation with the goal of controlling the American people. They both purposefully loaded their speeches with prejudices that inflame people’s latent beliefs, while serving to coax the maximum ugliness from the population, causing more chaos and fear – thus the cycle is perpetuated and power is held. 

The only tangible difference between the two is that Hitler could actually speak his native tongue and be understood…Bush struggles with that whole grammar thing.

Americans do not need to fear Democrats who are ignoring alleged dangers surrounding us, they need to fear the dangers, in the form of national leaders with dictatorial ambitions, who are right here among us.

Bush’s comments, as usual, are foolish nonsense. He is the only danger to the security of this nation…no one else.

  

Did Bush Offer to Bomb the Kurds to Ease Oil Prices???

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In another example of George Bush’s complete disregard for human life in the name of oil profit, he has announced to Turkish President Abdullah Gul via phone, his willingness to bomb the Kurds in Northern Iraq. The move would be an attempt to stave off an impending Turkish invasion of that country to fight the rebels.

The logic for yet another disastrous decision by an insane was put forth by Prime Minister John Howard, who said the tensions on the Turkey-Iraq border will not help the west’s battle for democracy in Iraq and cited evidence that the US was making headway in their battle against al-Qaeda in Iraq following the US troop surge. 

In response Iraq said it would shut down Kurdish operations based on its soil. “The PKK is a terrorist organisation and we have taken a decision to shut down their offices and not allow them to operate on Iraqi soil,” Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said. “We will also work on limiting their terrorist activities which are threatening Iraq and Turkey,” Maliki said after crisis talks in Baghdad with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan.

Yesterday, the U.S. also warned Turkey not to attack Northern Iraq.

On the surface, all of this might seem like an attempt by Bush and others to stabilize Northern Iraq for political and military reasons. But…could it just be about oil prices?

The price of oil per barrel has spiked recently and peaked at record high levels. The easing in invasion rhetoric by Turkey has helped bring global oil prices down from those record highs. 

The Kurds have their own plans in the Iraq oil debate as outlined by Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed over the weekend.

This August, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq passed an oil and gas law to regulate the oil sector in our region. So far, we have signed eight production-sharing contracts with international oil and gas companies. We expect to sign another two in the near future. …
We hope our friends and supporters in the U.S. will understand that this is not an attempt to usurp the nation’s oil resources, but rather our best effort to move the process forward, leading by example to make these valuable resources work for the people of Iraq.

What does the referendum say?

It decides who controls the oil-rich region of Kirkuk. Companies like Shell, BP, and Exxon mobil will export a combined 5 million barrels from Kirkuk as reported by Reuters.

Once again, Bush is using the U.S. military to police corrupt inside oil deals as he plays chess with people’s lives. His complete disregard for human rights is criminal. Again I ask…when are people in this country going to stand up and hold these war profiteers accountable?

Democrats Must Stand Up to Bush on New War Funding Request for Many Reasons…

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The White House sent Congress a $189.3 billion request for funding for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader war on terrorism in 2008. The request adds $42.3 billion to the administration’s original request of $141.7 billion to cover 2008 war costs. It also includes 5.3 billion dollars that had been previously approved for mine-resistant armored vehicles known as MRAPS.US defense secretary, Robert Gates, outlined the rational for the additional war funding in congressional testimony on September 26. Monday’s action by the White House marks the formal request with all of the documentation to justify it the numbers. Gates said the request would include $6 billion to maintain US “surge” forces in Iraq through July.Gates and the Bush administration may have justified the increase in funding regarding the necessary costs of a war of their making, but they have not justified the human cost. After the veto of the SCHIP legislation last week the Democrats, as I have mentioned in prior posts, need to press this president on his priorities. The Democrats, in good conscious, cannot approve additional war funding until Bush concedes on SCHIP. The health and well-beings of children in this country is at least as important as the lives of the troops. Moreover, if the Democrats approve this request, they will have ultimately proved once and for all that they are more concerned with politics than principle. Bush already has the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent people on his hands and has shown a blatant disregard for human life. Do the Democrats want to be his willing accomplices?It is time to take a stand. Bushes approval rating is down to 25% and continues to plummet. Congresses approval rating stands at 27%. Most Americans want war funding cut specifically. What are Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of these Democrats afraid of? Practically speaking, they have absolutely nothing to lose. They have talked the talk but nothing more. There is no way this country punishes the Democrats next Fall for pulling the war funding. The only thing they really need to be concerned about is how the right-wing spin machine will try to demonize them for the move. If they prepare for that predictable eventuality (which has already started really if you’re paying attention), then they should be able to do the right thing by the American people and still retain their political capital.

The Democrats were elected on a wave of anti-war sentiment. It is time to cash in the chips and deliver on what was promised…an end to this senseless war. But more importantly, Bush and the Republicans must understand that their arrogance and hubris can be restricted – if only to breath some life back into our system of checks-and-balances.     

Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats Fail Once Again…This Time on SCHIP…

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US congressional Democrats today have failed us again. Another piece of key legislation went up in smoke as the House failed in their attempt to override President George W. Bush’s veto in response to their bid to expand a health care program aimed at millions of poor children.

The House of Representatives backed the override vote by Democratic leaders by 273 votes to 156, but fell 13 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to check Bush. Bush vetoed the bill on October 3, arguing it was a step towards “socialized medicine,” complaining it would be too expensive and would tempt some families now using private insurers to switch to government-funded coverage.

A CNN poll found this week that 61 percent of Americans though Congress should override the veto.

Democrats immediately ripped into Bush after the vote. Maybe they should have ripped into themselves.

Nancy Pelosi may go down in my mind as the worst Speaker of the House in history. If you need someone to engage in wonkish debate that results in nothing – she’s your gal! However, if you need someone to crack some political skulls and get a policy that 72% of the American people wanted to begin with (SCHIP) and 61% now want passed via override, then she’s not your horse. You’re probably saying…but Matt, the Democrats are doing everything they can! There’s not enough votes! Bush is heartless and a moron to boot! Blah. Blah. Blah. I say, how about a quick look back to the President’s ‘Medicare Perscription’ bill.

In 2003, Bush famously signed into law the most expensive health bill in our nation’s history. The Democrats wilted. That bill had a price tag of $400 billion over 10 years compared to SCHIP which would cost half that over the same amount of time. It almost didn’t pass as you might recall. Tom DeLay had to strong arm one fiscal conservative with a political threat against his son to get the necessary vote! The press learned later that the administration already knew that the price tag was being understated by over $100 billion, but the actuary with that information was being muzzled by his boss, so Congress might pass it anyway! Here’s the real kick in the head, the money spent on Bush’s ‘Pill Plan’ would line the pockets of pharmaceutical companies and HMOs, and in the end, some seniors saw an out of pocket cost increase! Some projections have a ten year cost on Bush’s Medicaid fiasco as high as $1 trillion! 

I WANT MY DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS TO FIGHT LIKE REPUBLICANS DO…DIRTY!!!!

Enough of this political small talk. Enough Bush bashing. Nothing is going to change this knucklehead’s position on anything that the Democrats propose to help the middle class. I personally prefer RESULTS and so do the American people (take a look at Congresses approval rating). Instead what we got is another dropped ball. The Democrats do not twist arms like Republicans or they simply will not. The results have been monumentally disappointing.

Here is how they should respond.

The President’s beloved ‘No Child Left Behind’ bill is up for re-authorization shortly. The Democrats should make no mistake here. Stick it right up Bush’s ass. He needs Democratic votes to get it re-authorized. In no way should the Democrats cave on this. They are bashing Bush as heartless toward the needs of children and he will inevitably bash back, saying Democrats have abandoned the educational needs of our children.

So be it.

If this ass of a President wants to play obstruction pinball, then let’s play. At least we can claim stalemate. If the Democrats do cave in, that will be the last straw for me. I will personally begin an online campaign for the removal of Nancy Pelosi as speaker and I will also punish my party by crossing over for the first time in 2008. I am also prepared to support Cindy Sheehan’s Congressional election efforts.

There, I said it.

Some states have already run out of funds, and in instances children may be literally dying because their parents can’t afford the procedures they require. Get these people on the ball Nancy and let’s start doing the shit work we need to do, in order to get a win on something…anything…please! Dig for dirt, rat out Republicans if you have to. Play Tom Delay style ball. If the Republicans are willing to go over the hill with Bush then make them pay – all of them. No more ‘No Child Left Behind’, no more war funding, no more anything. It stops now.

So far, the Democrats as a whole have accomplished nothing. Personally, I’m tired of nothing.