Category Archives: Republican Party
Who is Grover Norquist? He is a GOP hack conservative anti-union lobbyist and President of the tax lobbying group, Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist, along with Bill Kristol, Ralph E. Reed, Jr., Clint Bolick and David McIntosh is one of the so-called “Gang of Five” identified in Nina Easton‘s 2000 book by that name, which gives a history of leaders of the modern conservative movement.
They are all anti-union at their core of mud.
Every dollar that is spent [by labor unions] on disclosure and reporting is a dollar that can’t be spent on other labor union activities.
Well, at least Grover was honest about his motivation for strangling labor unions, and a new in depth report from the Center For American Progress, shows that’s not the case with most of the partisan Republican hacks who have been directed by their corporate masters to drown unions in paperwork.
The CAP report details what all union officials already know. Over the past five or six years, the Bush Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards has systematically and dramatically increased the financial reporting burden faced by labor unions. Now, no real unionist is opposed to transparency and sensible reporting – but the reporting requirements imposed by the Bush administration have little to do with transparency, and everything to do with forcing unions to waste time and money jumping through hoops.
Here are some passages from the report:
Lax regulatory enforcement, however, has not been a government-wide policy. In at least one instance, rigorous and in fact pernicious regulatory enforcement was the course chosen by the Bush administration. That instance involved the regulatory authorities of the U.S. Department of Labor under the Landrum Griffin Act aimed at improving the governance of the nation’s organized labor organizations.
Rather than relax these regulatory responsibilities, the Bush administration shoveled significantly more federal tax dollars into the department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards so that key political operatives in OLMS could expand and exercise regulatory authority to:
-Impose costly and confusing new reporting requirements
-Attempt to increase the number of criminal prosecutions
-Disclose the results to the public in seriously misleading ways
-Mis-characterize the published data through a variety of false analyses
The underlying purpose, of course, is to undermine the reputation of the labor union movement through a classic political misinformation campaign-all under the supervision of a lifelong partisan political operative whose career has been dedicated to the destruction of his political opponents.
Make no mistake. Any conservative who says they are pro-union is lying to your face. I haven’t met a genuine conservative labor supporter yet. Unions and union bebefits eat at the almighty profit margin, and we all know Bush won’t have any of that. This report frames the perpetual greed and complete lack of respect that conservatives have for the American worker. They outsource our jobs, force wages downward, and bust unions all in the name of profit.
Just ask anyone who works at Wal-Mart.
The ideology and actions of the so-called “Gang of Five” is pathetic, short-sighted and patently anti-American. Little do they realize that the artificial pressure they endorse that is strangling unions will ultimately backfire as more and more American workers are realizing that they’re employers are not working in their best interest, only their own.
The cycle will come full circle…it is already beginning.
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.”
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?
There’s been much written about the scarcity of Nintendo’s Wii this holiday season, but last week Wal-Mart sold out of another popular toy: the Talking Jesus Messenger of Faith doll. The 12-inch doll is made by one2believe of Valencia, Calif., which also sells Nativity scenes and other Bible action figures such as Samson and Goliath Spirit Warriors.
Check out our last Jesus at Wal-Mart post here…
The toys were sold at about 600 Wal-Mart stores and online at Target.com.
Almost 20 percent of the Wal-Mart stores that sell Talking Jesus are in Texas, as you may have imagined.
Norma Venning was surprised to encounter Mary, Moses and Noah in the toy aisle of her local Wal-Mart on a recent morning, but there was no sign of Jesus – the son of God had already sold out.
“I didn’t even know it existed. I think it’s a wonderful idea,” the retired school worker said of Tales of Glory, a line of talking, Bible-based dolls on the shelf at the Wal-Mart off Battlefield Boulevard.
For the first time, the world’s largest retailer is stocking a full line of faith-based toys along with its usual cast – including a GI Joe Combat Squad action figure with a gun the size of his body, and a 3-foot remote-control concept car dubbed “Big Time Muscle.”
Wal-Mart is test-marketing the posable figures in 425 locations; two are in Chesapeake and one is in Virginia Beach.
Toys like the “Deluxe Aggression” and “Fury Unmatched” wrestling figures a couple aisles over are the kind that Jesus, with his pointable plastic index fingers, homespun tunic and velvet sandals, was put here to counter – or perhaps…maybe to save?
Jesus’ maker, David Socha (be careful you might offend some of the fundamentalist Christians with that kind of talk), said he created the biblical toys to give girls an alternative to dolls in G-strings and boys a source of amusement not modeled on “demons” and “spawns of Satan.”
Even though spawns of Satan are cool…besides, did these people forget that the bible is packed with violence?
Socha has an answer for that of course…
“The Bible’s full of violence, but I don’t think violence is glorified in the Bible,” said Socha, CEO of California-based one2believe. “When I was growing up, I was always GI Joe. I was never the bad guy. Now, I think some kids are playing the bad guy. We’re trying to bring wholesomeness back.”
Yeah, because Wal-Mart is all about charity and wholesomeness.
But the biblical figures aren’t just about redeeming the toy box: Sales of Christian products topped $4.5 billion last year.
Josh Livingston, a spokesman for one2believe, said his firm manufactured more than 100,000 figures, and expects the hottest sellers, Jesus and Mary, to be sold out before Christmas. The dolls also are available online at Target.com (but not in Target stores) and at one2believe.com.
The Wal-Marts stocking the dolls are mostly in the Midwest and South (go figure), including 20 stores in Virginia. Each store is near a large number of churches or has a history of strong sales of faith-based products. The retailer is not selling the toys online, said Jami Arms, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman.
At the Wal-Mart off Battlefield Boulevard, faith-oriented merchandise included a Bible-themed coloring book, a “Read and Learn Bible” for children and books by Christian authors including Rick Warren. DVDs of “Evan Almighty,” a Hollywood comedy about a modern-day Noah, also were for sale.
When Jesus is in stock, he sells for $14.97. “I am Jesus,” he says when you press a button on his back. “I am the son of God.” The talking dolls speak for nearly a minute, giving their biographies, then recite three Bible verses.
The biblical toys, which include smaller-scale nonposable figures depicting the Nativity scene, Noah’s Ark animals and a pious-looking Daniel with eyes cast toward heaven, pleased Janet Taylor, a retired nurse from Portsmouth.
“I have a new grandbaby that’s going to be born Oct. 31 and I would gladly buy this for him,” she said of the toy line.
Venning, the retired school worker, said Tales of Glory figures could supplement the Christian education children get in Sunday school or at home.
“It’s better than buying them superheroes. It’s an opportunity for a Christian parent and Christian grandparents to not buy something that transforms into an ugly creature.”
I suppose God appearing as ‘fire’ is okay though.
She pressed a button on Mary’s back to hear the virgin speak – “I am Mary. I am the mother of Jesus” – and compared Moses’ face to the popular standard.
“He almost looks like Charlton Heston.”
I’d ask if looking like Charlton Heston is a good thing?
So what happens to Talking Jesus when he gets home?
Knowing how quickly kids can tire of their toys, he could end up buried in a toy chest with Power Rangers, Batman and Ninja Turtles – and there’s something unsettling about that.
At least we won’t be seeing Talking Jesus on the clearance shelf with tacky leftover Bratz Dolls.
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…
2/15/06: Ann Coulter Commits Vote Fraud Felony…
Signs another person’s address to voter registration form and votes in the wrong precinct…
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…
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?
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.
In the course of just a few weeks, Mike Huckabee has capitalized on his Iowa surge and roared to the front of the Republican pack in South Carolina, largely on the strength of social conservatives frustrated with the current crop of candidates.
“We’ve been on the stove simmering for about 11 months,” Huckabee said at a rally in Greenville on Saturday. “Somehow in the last two weeks, the lid blew off and the pot started boiling.”
A month ago, Huckabee was fifth in South Carolina polls. Now, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll conducted in the state, Huckabee comes in at 20 percent, putting him in first place with a narrow lead over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who comes in at 17 percent.
They are followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 15 percent, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson at 14 percent and Arizona Sen. John McCain at 10 percent.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, himself a die-hard supporter of McCain, predicted the political wave last week, telling reporters in Washington, “what you see nationally with Huckabee is happening in South Carolina.”
Oran Smith of the conservative Palmetto Family Council said Huckabee’s momentum, media attention and strong debate performances may have given once-hesitant voters newfound confidence in Huckabee, who for months was considered a long-shot.
“So many now are focusing on people they think are more in line with their values, but can win. So you’ve got Romney and Thompson vying for that ‘conservative who can win’ label, and all of a sudden here comes Huckabee,” Smith said.
That enthusiasm was on display over the weekend in South Carolina, when supporters and media jammed into a Lizard’s Thicket restaurant on Saturday morning in Columbia to see the former governor of Arkansas.
The cluster of camera crews may have been in town to cover Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming rally for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, but Huckabee was happy to put on a show for them a day early.
Hoisting himself up on a step ladder above the noisy elbow-to-elbow crowd, he gave a rousing speech laced with his trademark wit and intriguing brand of Republican populism (“I’m a conservative, but I’m not mad at anybody,” he likes to say).
Huckabee implored the audience to vote in the primary on January 19.
“We need to be able to nail something down after coming out of Iowa and New Hampshire,” he said. “We want to put down some deep roots here.”
Huckabee will run his first television ad in South Carolina on Monday, a family-friendly 30-second spot called “A Better America.”
Rep. Bob Inglis, who represents the Greenville-Spartanburg area, jumped off the fence to endorse Huckabee last month. Inglis said his candidate “has the authenticity and transparency” to attract new voters.
“I see he and Obama as very similar in what they’re trying to do,” Inglis said, referring to the Illinois senator’s willingness to break with party orthodoxy on certain issues.
“I think that Huckabee has got to find a way say things that need to be said, that we’re not going to scare them into voting for us, we’re not going to demonize Democrats, we’re not going to hate immigrants,” Inglis said. “We’re going to be rooted in principle and focused on the future, and that’s what I think he’s found.”
As Huckabee begins to cut into his opponents’ support among evangelical Christians, who account for about half of GOP primary voters in South Carolina according to a recent AP poll, the arrows are beginning to come out.
The Romney and Thompson campaigns, both vying for support among social conservatives, have issued a salvo of press releases in recent weeks attacking Huckabee’s record on taxes and immigration.
On the Sunday morning after Thanksgiving, while Huckabee was giving a sermon at a Baptist church near Greenville on a Sunday morning, the Thompson camp blasted out three straight e-mail attacks on Huckabee in the course of about 20 minutes.
He has also faced some anonymous dirty tricks: On Sunday, mysterious fliers accusing Huckabee of “lying” about his role in the Wayne Dumond parole controversy were left on car windshields outside of his Greenville campaign stop.
The flier says it is sponsored by a group called “Lynchburg Christian Students for the Truth,” but a CNN investigation has been unable to confirm the existence of any group that goes by that name.
Huckabee also lacks the deep pockets of nearly all his GOP rivals, particularly Romney. His grassroots support in South Carolina, while loyal and enthusiastic, lacks the organization and funding of Romney’s ground game here.
However, with the holiday season in full swing, Huckabee could also be peaking at the right time.
“Christmas is coming up, there’s going to be some bowl games, and politics will be on the backburner except for in the mail,” said South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson. “As soon as Santa Claus comes down the chimney and leaves, here come the candidates.”
If Huckabee heads into late December unscathed, with the kind of support he has right now, he could become the man to beat come early January.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has vaulted over all major GOP challengers to take a commanding lead in the race to win the Iowa caucuses, while Barack Obama continues to edge ahead of Hillary Clinton among Democrats likely to participate. This is according to a new NEWSWEEK poll.
The most dramatic result to come from the telephone based interview based on 1,408 registered Iowa voters on Dec. 5 and 6, is Huckabee’s emergence from no-wheres-ville in the GOP race into the front runner’s spot in just two months. Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and now leads Romney by a two-to-one margin (told you the Mormon thing would kill him in the end), 39 percent to 17 percent, among likely GOP caucus-goers. In the last NEWSWEEK survey, conducted Sept. 26-27, Huckabee polled a only 6 percent to Romney’s 25 percent, which then led the field.
Huckabee has also opened up a wide margin over the next three leading candidates, who all show signs of fading like cheap paint in the Arizona sun. Rudy Giuliani, who dropped from 15 percent in the last survey to 9 percent in the current one; Fred Thompson, who fell from 16 percent to 10 percent; and John McCain, who slipped from 7 percent to 6 percent, are all looking up at Huckabee now.
The poll, which has an overall margin of error of 3 percent, also indicated that on the Republican as well as the Democratic side Iowa is increasingly becoming a two-person race. Among likely GOP caucus-goers, 57 percent name Huckabee as their first or second choice and 39 percent give Romney as their first or second choice. On this measure, Thompson is a distant third, with just 20 percent.
“You rarely see anything like Huckabee’s surge,” says Larry Hugick, who directed the polling for Princeton Survey Research Associates. Hugick added that the reason has as much to do with a leeriness of the other candidates among Republican voters as Huckabee’s folksy success on the stump. “He’s filling a vacuum,” Hugick said. “Nobody on the Republican side was getting strong support.”
Say what you will but Huckabee comes off genuine and articulate. I’ve blogged about this recently here…
Sure he might be construed as another Christian fundamentalist nut, but he’s a likeable Christian fundamentalist nut…and that may be enough in Iowa.
What people don’t seem to wrap their mind around is that America is thirsty for honesty from a President in any form, even if that President has some weird baggage. While evangelicals are carrying Huckabee in Iowa, it is the other 50% of plain old Republicans that are putting him over the top! Why? Because Romney looks too slick (and he’s a Mormon), Giuliani looks too much like Bush (wrong answer there), McCain is just plain crazy, and Thompson talks like he is just plain stupid.
The best analogy I can come up for Huckabee is that he’s Reagan, only holding a really big cross, like those guys who shout bible verses at you downtown on a Wednesday afternoon. Iowa voters appear to be willing to take the chance he won’t impale us on it.
Who would have thunk it?
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.
“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.
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…
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.
A quick spine check of the Democratic Party has revealed Jell-O once again…
Reprinted fron the Washington Post
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.
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.
This a follow-up to a recent post on illegal chemical testing on U.S. citizens…
Twelve states sued the Bush administration Wednesday to force greater disclosure of data on toxic chemicals that companies store, use and release into the environment.
The state officials oppose new federal Environmental Protection Agency rules that allow thousands of companies to limit the information they disclose to the public about toxic chemicals, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the lead attorney general in the lawsuit.
The change lets 100 polluters off the hook in New York alone, he said.
The EPA, however, said the change improves the Toxics Release Inventory law and eases requirements only on companies that can certify they have no releases of toxins to the environment.
The EPA this year rolled back a regulation on the law signed by President Reagan after the deadly Bhopal toxic chemical catastrophe in India in 1984, according to the states involved in the lawsuit. That law required companies to provide a long, detailed report whenever they store or emit 500 pounds of specific toxins.
The new rule adopted this year requires that long accounting only for companies storing or releasing 5,000 pounds of toxins or more. Companies storing or releasing 500 to 4,999 pounds of toxins would have to file an abbreviated form, said Katherine Kennedy, New York’s special deputy attorney general for environmental protection.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New York City seeks to invalidate the EPA’s revised regulations.
“The EPA’s new regulations rob New Yorkers — and people across the country — of their right to know about toxic dangers in their own backyards,” Cuomo said. “Along with 11 other states throughout the nation, we will restore the public’s right to information about chemical hazards, despite the Bush administration’s best attempts to hide it.”
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said the EPA’s action marginalizes a 20-year program that required companies to report the amount of lead, mercury and other toxins they released.
“Polluters can release 10 times more toxins like lead and mercury without telling anyone,” he said.
EPA spokeswoman Molly O’Neill had no comment on the suit. Companies that can show they release none of the toxins can avoid filing long and time-consuming reports, she said.
The change, O’Neill said, is “making a good program better.”
Not really Molly.
More than 300 companies in states like California and New jersey can conceal data under the new EPA rule, which is what the Bush administration wants. This rule change has no teeth at all. It is just another example of Republican ‘let-industry-police-itself’ policy not serving the public good.
To combat this nonsense, states have chosen to file law suits, which I’m sure the Republicans will blame on trial lawyers as well.
“We feel the only course of action was to file suit and remedy this in the courts,” said Cuomo spokesman Jeffrey Lerner.
Other states suing the EPA are Arizona, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
This is what you get when you pack the EPA with a bunch of convicted ex-industry polluters and old oil executive buddies.
No surprise to me.
A new Zogby Poll says Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton trails five top Republican presidential contenders in general election head-to-head match-ups. This, with the previously reported numbers on Obama, may be the electability issue coming home to roost for the Clinton campaign, as her national support from this past summer appears to have evaporated.
Clinton’s top Democratic rivals, in particular Barack Obama and John Edwards, both lead Republicans in hypothetical match-ups ahead of the Nov. 4, 2008, presidential election, according to the survey.
Clinton, a New York senator who has been at the top of the Democratic pack in national polls in the 2008 since June, however now, she trails Republican candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mike Huckabee by three to five percentage points in the direct matches.
Back in July, Clinton narrowly led McCain, and held a solid five-point lead over former New York Mayor Giuliani, a six-point lead over former Tennessee Sen. Thompson and a 10-point lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Romney.
Huckabee wasn’t even on the radar.
However, as she has wavered on immigration, the failed attempt to license illegal aliens in New York, and in nationally televised debates, her support has eroded…as it should.
America wants a truthful President and a person who leads from a pulpit of what is right, not what is right for the pollsters.
We’ve had eight years of dishonesty and back paddling. People are starving for integrity in the Oval Office. They want someone to bring our country back from the edge of the cliff that George Bush has led us to. America has raised the bar and apparently Hillary is having a tough time getting over it. These poll results come as other national polls show the race for the Democratic nomination tightening five weeks before the first contest in Iowa, which kicks off the state-by-state nomination battles in each party.
This is no way for the Clinton campaign to start on any level.
Many Democrats, including me on this blog and on my Internet radio show, have expressed concerns about the former first lady’s electability in a tight national race against Republicans. This survey slso showed Clinton not performing as well as Obama and Edwards among independents and younger voters – another ominous sign.
“The questions about her electability have always been there, but as we get close this suggests that is a problem,” Zogby said.
Obama, an Illinois senator, and Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, both hold narrow leads over the Republican contenders in the hypothetical 2008 match-ups.
“It all points to a very competitive general election at a time when many people think the Democrats are going to win the White House,” Zogby said.
The poll consisted of 9,355 people had a margin of error of plus or minus one percentage point. The interactive poll surveys individuals who have registered to take part in on-line polls.
Some have pointed out that the poll may be skewed, as Obama and Edwards supporters could be more active. However, several polls suggest the same trends and the data seems to be consistent.
I’ll say it again as I have been saying it for months…
Hillary Clinton is no lock for 2008 and in my opinion, she is not living up to her reputation as a tough campaigner. Her campaign is being run poorly and she almost sounds as though she believes the nomination is a coronation that has already been decided.
Not so Hillary…not so.
Democrats are looking for someone, anyone, with consistent positions on the issues and a solid platform that the Republicans cannot attack with a broadside shot and sink the whole ship! Hillary Clinton nor her campaign should be surprised at all that this is happening. People are beginning to pay attention as we get closer to Iowa and what they are discovering is that Hillary can’t make up her damn mind on just about anything.
I don’t know how much of a problem these numbers are this early, but if I was a betting man, I wouldn’t push all of my chips her way just yet.
Save the waffles for breakfast Hillary and choose your positions carefully, or Democratic caucus goers may choose them for you, in the form of Barack Obama.
A closer look inside the numbers reveals that Barack Obama is quite legitimate when put head to head versus any Republican candidate in a national election.
This must have the Clinton camp at least mildly concerned as her almost daily recurrences of foot-in-mouth syndrome, coupled with her enormous unpopularity among male voters, could spell disaster for her campaign as the race grinds forward into 2008.
Obama has the personality, charm, as most importantly…cash, to go the distance. But more important than all of that is the one crucial question. Can he beat the Republicans, no matter who they throw at him. As of now, the answer appears to be yes.
Here is some recent poll data:
|Head to Head 2007 Summary||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Head to Head 2007 Summary||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Head to Head 2007 Summary||Aug||Sep||Nov|
|Head to Head 2007 Summary||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
|Head to Head 2007 Summary||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov|
And what does Hillary have to say?
Hillary Rodham Clinton maintained Sunday that she’s the best candidate to win against Republicans, saying she has more experience battling the GOP than any other candidate in the Democratic field.
“I believe that I have a very good argument that I know more about beating Republicans than anybody else running. They’ve been after me for 15 years, and much to their dismay, I’m still standing,” she said in answer to a woman’s question about her electability. “I’m leading in all the polls, I’m beating them in state after state after state.”
“I think they have looked at the field and figured out who can best beat the Republicans,” Clinton said.
Barack Obama’s campaign weighed in, claiming he is the strongest candidate in the field.
“Throughout his career, Senator Obama has succeeded in bringing Democrats, Republicans and independents together to solve important problems like providing health care to families,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed Obama had 30 percent support among likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers and Clinton had 26 percent.
When asked about Obama’s lead in Iowa, Clinton, in typical Clinton style, completely reversed an earlier statement saying that she doesn’t pay much attention to polls, and acknowledged that it’s a competitive race.
“There have been a lot of polls, and frankly, I don’t pay much attention to any of them,” she said. Later, she acknowledged, “It is a much more competitive race (in Iowa) than it is in other parts of the country.”
When you’re looking in from the outside, it’s right there for anyone to see.
Obama may be a bit irregular and unpolished at times, but he is consistent. He’s candid, comes off as honest and tells you what is on his mind. (i.e. Yeah I inhaled, that was the point.)
If nothing else, Obama could move us over the hurdle of a White House that has been monopolized by recent Presidents who could lead but weren’t very good at controlling their collateral behavior, and others who simply couldn’t lead at all.
Ask five voters about Barack Obama, and you’re likely to get five different opinions: America’s not ready for a black president; America can’t afford not to have a black president; Barack Obama isn’t really black; Obama is fresh and honest, etc., etc. But no one can deny that he inspires comparisons, favorable or not, to John Kennedy, and has had significant primary fundraising success against the Hillary campaign finance machine. (When you have Oprah in your camp how can you lose?)
Obama is the only electable candidate running his campaign on universal health care, getting out of Iraq (the only electable candidate who didn’t want to get in), and as his bestselling book put it, embracing the “audacity of hope.”
I have commented on the Shadow Democracy Radio Show and this blog in the past, and I will maintain, that Barack Obama is for real and if Hillary Clinton sits on her national poll numbers, she may very well find herself in second place come next Spring.
Is Ron Paul the One?
Do patriotic White Americans finally have a candidate they can vote for without fear of being sold out again? The Bush family has proven itself the equivalent of political toxic waste. The Bush family supports Open Borders and sees nothing wrong with filling America up with Mexicans. Bush Junior’s occupation of Iraq has cost the Republicans control of Congress. Many Republicans would like to see a complete change of direction. Ron Paul has been consistently against the Iraq War and he also supports securing the Mexican border.
One right wing web site reports that Ron Paul went from relative obscurity to a double digit lead after the first Republican debate in an MSNBC online poll. Jim Capo reports “Now in 2007, Ron Paul comes along last week and gives by most accounts of honest grassroots Americans the best performance in the first televised debate between GOP presidential contenders. Exclusively broadcast by MSNBC, Ron Paul led MSNBC’s post election poll from start to finish with nearly a double digit margin over his nearest challenger Mitt Romney. An even more crushing defeat of the rest of the pack occurred in an ABC News poll which at first had been posted on-line with only nine names on it — Ron Paul’s being the one missing. Irate Paul supporters who complained in the poll’s comment section at first saw many of their posts ominously deleted — some no doubt for language, others for editorial discretion bordering on the c word (censorship). After someone posted in the comment’ thread the cell phone number of a Senior VP at ABC News, the Paul name was added to the poll.”Admittedly the first Republican debate had a small audience. Most people have gotten sick of the “lock step” Republican support for the Iraq War and didn’t watch the debate assuming the candidates would be all the same. Most Americans didn’t know Ron Paul wants us out of Iraq. Still, it’s extremely significant that Ron Paul could jump ahead of the entire field based on a single performance. It also proves that the two biggest issues in 2007 are immigration and getting out of Iraq. Ron Paul is on the right side of both of these issues while the other Republicans (except for Tancredo on immigration) are falling short. If anyone can gain a great deal of momentum through the debate process, it’s Ron Paul.
Just a few weeks ago it looked as though we were going to be stuck with a liberal Republican in the form of Rudi Giuliani or Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Romney is famous for changing positions on key issues like abortion while Giuliani is famous for changing wives. No true conservative Republican wants anything to do with these two east coast liberals.
Romney’s net worth is estimated at being in the hundreds of millions. No doubt he is part of the New England country club elite that includes the Bush family. Someone should carefully check his stand on gun control since these New England elite types tend to sell us out on that issue.
The 2007 election is especially important because Hillary Clinton or the stealth candidate Barack Obama could easily be running. The Republicans need a rock solid candidate who will get us out of the Iraq War and secure the Mexican border if they hope to win. Any “compromise candidate” who wants to continue the Iraq War indefinitely is NOT going to win the hearts of the American people.
There will be more debates ahead and if Ron Paul continues to win the hearts of ordinary conservatives, he will survive the early culling as Romney and Giuliani finally face a serious challenge. Americans want to see a populist candidate, who is right on the key issues, defeat a system-approved candidate like Romney who showed up with his giant bags of money or the ridiculously overrated Giuliani who was mayor of one of the most liberal cities in America.
By: Charles Coughlin
Looks like the Nazi’s have their guy huh?
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, is gathering strong support from Christian conservatives, and has surged past three of his better-known presidential rivals and is now challenging former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the lead in the Iowa Republican caucuses, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll.
Huckabee support is up 200% since late July, eclipsing former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain(Ariz.). Moreover, his support in Iowa appears stronger and more enthusiastic than that of his rivals.
The poll found that overall, 28 percent of likely GOP caucus-goers support Romney, while 24 percent support Huckabee. Thompson ran third in the poll at 15 percent, with Giuliani at about the same level, with 13 percent. McCain, whose Iowa campaign appeared to derail earlier this year over his stance on immigration, had 6 percent and was tied with Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.), who rose from 2 percent in July.
Huckabee’s gains were concentrated among the party’s conservative core, which translated into a 28-percentage-point bounce in support, mainly from Protestants, and a 19-point rise among conservatives. Huckabee also benefited from the decision of Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.) and others to quit the race. Brownback and Huckabee had been competing for many of the same religious and conservative voters. Moreover, Huckabee’s gain in this poll does not come at the expense of those still running, all of whom are faring about the same as they were in July.
But almost half of Huckabee’s supporters (48 percent) said they would definitely vote for him in January and only a quarter said there was a good chance that they would change their minds before the caucuses. In contrast, just 29 percent of Romney’s backers said they would definitely vote for him, while 42 percent said there was a good chance that they could vote for someone else.
The enthusiasm among Huckabee supporters is interesting, particularly in a year in which Republicans have been considerably dissatisfied with a field of mediocre candidates. Half of those who now back the former Arkansas governor said they are very enthusiastic about him, compared with 28 percent of Romney’s backers.
It is also primarily social issues that galvanize Huckabee’s backers.
More than four in 10 Huckabee voters call abortion or broader moral or values issues the race’s top one or two concerns. That is nearly double the number of Romney supporters to highlight these issues. Overall, three-quarters of likely GOP voters think that abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, and among the 24 percent who want the procedure to be unlawful in every instance, 36 percent support Huckabee and 22 percent Romney.
But, many issues drive likely GOP caucus-goers.
A quarter of those surveyed said immigration is their biggest or second-biggest concern when considering whom to back on Jan. 3. The same percentage, 24 percent, highlighted the war in Iraq, and nearly as many, 21 percent, singled out terrorism and national security.
Ten percent or more cited five other issues: the economy, health care, abortion, taxes, and morals and family values. Overall, eight issues ranked in the double digits, making the discussion in the Republican contest potentially more wide-ranging than that on the Democratic side. Among likely Democratic caucus-goers, only three issues reach 10 percent, and two — Iraq and health care — dominate voters’ concerns.
On immigration, Romney has an edge: 27 percent said the former Massachusetts governor is best on the issue, while Huckabee received 13 percent. No candidate is clearly preferred on the other top issue, Iraq, with Giuliani, McCain and Romney each considered the best by about two in 10. Giuliani doubles up the competition, however, on handling the terrorism fight.
Romney tops the field as the candidate most trusted to handle the economy and the federal budget deficit. He and Huckabee are preferred by about equal percentages on social issues, such as abortion and same-sex civil unions.
About six in 10 likely caucus-goers said they have been called by one of the campaigns. Twenty-nine percent have attended a campaign event, up six percentage points from July, but far less than the percentage of Democrats who have attended an event (52 percent). A third of GOP voters have visited one of the candidates’ Web sites and 29 percent have received e-mail. About one in five has spoken with or shaken hands with one or more of the GOP candidates. Fifteen percent have contributed money.
Romney has an advantage on the question of who has the “best experience to be president,” after a 10-point increase from July, when he was about even with Giuliani and McCain. Romney had held a marginally significant edge on “best understands problems of people like you,” but while he has stayed at 21 percent on this question, Huckabee has soared from 10 percent to 25 percent.
In July, Romney had the lead on “most honest and trustworthy” at 21 percent. He has risen to 25 percent, but Huckabee jumped from 10 percent to 26 percent.
On top of all this, there’s another intangible at work here I believe.
Huckabee seems really intelligent and genuine to me.
I had a chance to watch Huckabee during a recent television interview and I was quite impressed. His answers were well thought out and lucid, he conveyed his ideas and positions with honesty and candor, and he seemed prepared to lead. Unlike Romney, Giuliani, and the others, Huckabee was clear on his positions, never wavering, and never back pedaling.
Moreover, he wasn’t afraid to hide his Chritianity and clearly explained how he would not project his beliefs on others or use it as a political leveraging tool.
I like that.
If Republicans are smart, they’ll keep one eye on this guy. He has Romney’s charm, Giuliani’s grit, McCain’s humor, and Paul’s libertarian ideals, without out all the extra nuttiness and baggage. I will be interesting to see just how far he can go.
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.
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.
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.
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.
People seem to think Ron Paul has a Jewish problem…and maybe he does.
At an event on September 11, 2007 at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, Paul argued for withdrawing from the Middle East, telling his audience that “Israel is quite capable of taking care of itself” — though interestingly adding that US policy has “hurt Israel tremendously.” Paul also downplayed the threat Iran poses to Israel, saying that even if Iran does develop nuclear arms, that it would not be a serious danger to Israel.
His subtlety is what bothers me.
Given that Israel is armed as Paul suggests, really doesn’t seem to present a problem…or does it?
Paul’s position towards Israel is not innately anti-Jewish, nor is it necessarily outwardly anti-Israel. In fact, Paul’s position is not particularly uncommon, especially within conservative circles. Pat Buchanan led the charge in March of 2003, writing in The American Conservative that neoconservatives participating in and advising the Bush administration were steering the United States into wars that were not in America’s interests, but rather Israel’s.
Yet, much to his supporters’ dismay, Paul’s willingness to speak out against U.S. policy regarding Israel has effectively made him the sweetheart among those whom Presidential candidates would typically not desire support: white supremacists and anti-semites.
The Internet is filled with data that indicates Ron Paul has become the most popular candidate among right-wing extremists, including white separatists, neo-Nazis, and conspiracy theorists who believe that “the Zionists” were behind 9/11. Among these people are Frank Weltner, creator of the anti-semitic website JewWatch.com, who in a YouTube video, accuses the “Zionist-controlled media” of attacking Paul’s candidacy.
Of course, Congressman Paul cannot be held accountable for the views of his extremist supporters. Yet, he isn’t exactly doing anything to distance himself from them. For instance, when his extremist supporters began providing a substantial amount of campaign funds, his campaign has a habit of not returning the funds.
According to the Lone Star Times, White Nationalists like Don Black have become high profile donors to the Paul campaign. Black, the founder of Stormfront, and one of the most notorious neo-Nazis in America, has personally contributed $500 to Paul’s campaign.
To date, there is no conclusive evidence showing the Paul campaign has returned the money.
Paul’s campaign has no control over who sends them money. However, wouldn’t it make sense that if you do not wish to be identified with neo-Nazism, that you would send the money back?
Paul’s spokesman Jesse Benton told the Lone Star Times back in May:
At this time, I cannot say that we will be rejecting Mr. Black’s contribution, but I will bring the matter to the attention of our campaign director again, and expect some sort of decision to be made in coming days.
I believe any other candidate would unequivocally reject that money as soon as its donor’s identity was known. Why not return the money immediately?
On October 26, nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved posted an open letter on TownHall.com that read:
Dear Congressman Paul:
Your Presidential campaign has drawn the enthusiastic support of an imposing collection of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Holocaust Deniers, 9/11 “Truthers” and other paranoid and discredited conspiracists.
Do you welcome- or repudiate – the support of such factions?
More specifically, your columns have been featured for several years in the American Free Press-a publication of the nation’s leading Holocaust Denier and anti-Semitic agitator, Willis Carto. His book club even recommends works that glorify the Nazi SS, and glowingly describe the “comforts and amenities” provided for inmates of Auschwitz.
Have your columns appeared in the American Free Press with your knowledge and approval?
As a Presidential candidate, will you now disassociate yourself, clearly and publicly, from the poisonous propaganda promoted in such publications?
As a guest on my syndicated radio show, you answered my questions directly and fearlessly.
Will you now answer these pressing questions, and eliminate all associations between your campaign and some of the most loathsome fringe groups in American society?
Along with my listeners (and many of your own supporters), I eagerly await your response.
Respectfully, Michael Medved
Medved received no response to the letter from the Paul campaign.
There is even evidence that suggests Ron Paul is anti-semitic on Shadow Democracy’s comment threads. A person by the name of Eric Dondero, who identifies himself as a former Ron Paul staffer wrote:
Ron Paul, my former boss, is not an explicit Anti-Semite, but he is most certainly anti-Israel and one could make a strong case – outright anti-Jewish.
During my 6-year stint with him, I served as his only Jewish staffer. He regularly touted me as proof against allegations that he wasn’t an Anti-Semite, even one time ordering me to wear Jewish clothing and attend a press conference of his Democrat opponent who was exposing his links to Anti-Semitic groups. I felt used.
(For the record, Ron did not know I was Jewish until I had already been hired.)
Ron and I finally departed ways, partly because I was ashamed to work for such an explicitly anti-Israel advocate.
If you still doubt his anti-Jewish/anti-Israel views, ask yourself this question:
Why is it that when Ron Paul talks about the evils of taxpayer dollars going overseas for foreign aid, he only singles out Israel as a recipient? Why does he never mention the billions we send each year to Egypt for foreign aide? Turkey, the Palestinians, other Nations? Never a peep out of Paul about those dollars. It’s just always the “Jews.”
Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aide
US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
In fairness, the comments about Blacks being “fleet-footed” were written for Ron, though published under his name in his Ron Paul Newsletter, by his Top behind the scenes aide Lew Rockwell.
But the other comments about Israel being the most powerful lobby, were definitely Ron Paul’s words. In fact, I’ve heard him say similar comments on numerous occasions, some far more explicit, to private quasi-Anti-Semitic groups… the Jewish comments are very accurate.
Check out Eric Dondero’s website here: http://mainstreamlibertarian.com/_wsn/page5.html
So what are we left with? Is Ron Paul anti-Jew? The facts posted in the article seem to suggest that. How extreme are his views and can the nation take a chance on electing him to find out? His fundraising is on the up-swing and his poll numbers are climbing. Some polls have him as high as 16% in New Hampshire.
I contend that Ron Paul is merely being coy regarding his racism towards Jewish people and indeed, people of color. Couple this with his many other extremist views, as well as massive support among racists of various stripes, and you are left to ask yourself – is this a guy who we should be considering on any level for the Presidency?
Based on this information, I say absolutely not.