Friday, September 30, 2005

Bill Bennett Refuses to Apologize


GOI: As many of you know, Bill Bennett had this to say the other day on his radio show:

Bill Bennett: "I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down."

Via Media Matters.

GOI: This obvious racist is not only refusing to apologize for his disgusting comments but he has now said that HE is the one who deserves an apology!!!

This is the same guy who wrote, "The Book of Virtues" and then admitted that he had a serious gambling problem. This is the problem with a lot of Republicans. They write books like these in which they claim the "moral high ground" and then when they inevitabley fall (as we all do since we are ALL imperfect) they look like the biggest hypocrites.

Seems to me like his book should now be changed to, "The Book of Virtues of the Ku Klux Klan." I'll be willing to forgive his comments when he apologizes to all black people in this country.

---End of Transmission---

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Miller Agrees to Testify in CIA Leak Probe


WASHINGTON - After nearly three months behind bars, New York Times reporter Judith Miller was released from a federal prison Thursday after agreeing to testify in the investigation into the disclosure of the identity of a covert CIA officer, two people familiar with the case said.

Miller left the federal detention center in Alexandria, Va., after reaching an agreement with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. Legal sources said she would appear before a grand jury investigating the case Friday morning. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of the grand jury proceedings.

The sources said Miller agreed to testify after securing an unconditional release from Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, to testify about any discussions they had involving CIA officer Valerie Plame.

Miller has been held at the federal detention facility since July 6. A federal judge ordered her jailed when she refused to testify before the grand jury investigating the alleged leak of CIA officer Plame's name by White House officials.

The disclosure of Plame's identity by syndicated columnist Robert Novak in July 2003 triggered an inquiry that has caused political damage to the Bush White House and could still result in criminal charges against government officials.


GOI: (shakes head) The problems for the Republicans just keep piling up day after day. They are just not having a very good run of things lately.

What's that they say about karma?...Oh yeah, it's a BITCH!!

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Evolution v. Creationism


O.k., I was watching MSNBC this afternoon and they were talking about the push to include creationism in science classes.

So, I figured it was about time that I weigh in on this issue.

I do not think that creationism should be taught in science class, however, I do believe that it should be taught in a comparative religion class.

I think that would be a fair compromise, don't you?

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Heartless People



Some people are so cruel and heartless. The follow comments are summeries of things I've heard people I know say recently on rebuilding in the Katrina disaster:

...I know that they have a lot of culture down there but they still shouldn't rebuild....

....If they are going to live down there then they are just basically asking for it...

...All of our money is going down there, I'll move down there if it means I get free money....

...I'm tired of hearing about it all, it's been a month let's just "move on..."

...Let's rebuild the French Quarter and the downtown business district but limit the rebuilding in the outlying areas (GOI: Which of course are the predominately poor areas)...

...I don't think we should be sending all of that money down there because there is too much risk of fraud...

GOI: Nice, huh? These comments are all coming from so called "Christians."

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John Roberts Sworn in as Chief Justice


While I know that I am going to disagree with some of his decisions being a historian I couldn't help but feel chills and a sense of history watching Roberts being sworn in today as Chief Justice.

I will say that Roberts has set the bar very high for the next justice and I expect the next nomination hearings to be the "brass knuckle" brawl.

America has some rough spots to be ironed out but it is pretty damn cool overall.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Roy Blunt Has Own Ethical Problems

Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington have put together a report of who they call the "Dirty Baker's Dozen."

The group is leveling charges against Rep. Roy Blunt amongst others. Blunt was just named as one of several Republican Congress Representatives to share the responsibilities of the House Majority Leader, now indicted Rep. Tom Delay (R) of Texas.

CREW reports that Rep. Blunt is one of Delay's "right-hand" supporters.

Rep. Blunt was handpicked by then-Whip DeLay to serve as Chief Deputy Whip, and Rep. Blunt assumed the role of Whip in 2003, when DeLay became the Majority Leader.

GOI: In my opinion it appears then that Blunt will still carry on Delay's "heavy-handed" tactics in the House.

However, Blunt is surrounded in his own questionable cloud of ethics.

This from Raw Story refering to the CREW report:

Rep. Roy Blunt: The report criticizes him for trying to insert provisions into bills that would have benefited, in one case, a client of his lobbyist son and in another case, the employer of his lobbyist girlfriend, now his wife.

This from the CREW report:

In 2003, Rep. Blunt divorced his wife of 31 years to marry Philip Morris (now Altria) lobbyist Abigail Perlman. Before it was known publicly that Rep. Blunt and Ms. Perlman were dating – and only hours after Rep. Blunt assumed the role of Majority Whip – he tried to secretly insert a provision into Homeland Security legislation that would have benefitted Philip Morris, at the expense of competitors.

In addition, Rep. Blunt’s son Andrew lobbies on behalf of Philip Morris, a major client he picked up only four years out of law school. Notably, Altria is Rep. Blunt’s largest campaign contributor, having donated more than $270,000 to political committees tied to him.

In 2003, Rep. Blunt also helped his lobbyist son Andrew by inserting a provision into the $79 billion emergency appropriation for the war in Iraq to benefit U.S. shippers like United Parcel Service, Inc. and FedEx Corp. The provision required that military cargo be carried only by companies with no more than 25% foreign ownership. UPS and FedEx were seeking to block the expansion of a foreign-owned rival’s U.S. operations. Andrew Blunt lobbies on behalf of UPS in Missouri, and UPS and FedEx have contributed at least $58,000 to Rep. Blunt since 2001.

Members of the House are prohibited from "taking any official actions for the prospect of personal gain for themselves or anyone else." 5 CFR §2635.702(a). By pushing for legislation that would benefit Philip Morris and UPS, and, as a consequence, his then-girlfriend and his son, Rep. Blunt may have violated this provision.

Federal law also prohibits public officials from directly or indirectly demanding, seeking, receiving, accepting or agreeing to receive or accept anything of value in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act. If Rep. Blunt accepted campaign contributions from Philip Morris, FedEx or UPS in exchange for legislative assistance, he may have violated the bribery statute.

Rep. Blunt and his staff have close connections to uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is the subject of criminal and congressional probes. In June 2003, Mr. Abramoff persuaded Majority Leader Tom DeLay to organize a letter, co-signed by Speaker Hastert, Whip Roy Blunt, and Deputy Whip Eric Cantor, that endorsed a view of gambling law benefitting Mr. Abramoff’s client, the Louisiana Coushatta, by blocking gambling competition by another tribe. Mr. Abramoff has donated $8,500 to Rep. Blunt’s leadership PAC, Rely on Your Beliefs.

If, as it appears, Rep. Blunt was accepting campaign contributions from Mr. Abramoff in exchange for using his official position so support a view of gambling law that would benefit Mr. Abramoff’s client, he would be in violation of the law.

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Ronnie Earle D.A. in Delay Case Not Partisan

Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay and his allies are now trying to say that the district of attorney of Austin (Ronnie Earle) is indicting Delay because of partisian politics. The fact of the matter is though that Earle has been balanced in going after republicans AND democrats proving that he does not let politics get in the way of justice.

Earle on CBS, "60 Minutes:" "There have been somewhere around 15 cases involving elected officials, that my office has prosecuted," says Earle. "Of the 15, 12 were Democrats; three were Republican."

This from Texas for Public Justice:

During his long tenure, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle has prosecuted many more Democratic officials than Republicans. The record does not support allegations that Earle is prone to partisan witch hunts.

Additional evidence from The Houston Chronicle:

Rather than express concern or outrage over DeLay's and Craddick's roles (legal or otherwise) in auctioning off government, many Republicans instead accuse Earle, a Democrat, of trying to influence the upcoming elections with a partisan investigation.

They like to cite Earle's long-ago, unsuccessful ethics prosecution of U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison as proof that the district attorney preys on Republicans.

They conveniently forget, however, that Earle's most successful, high-profile prosecution was that of Democratic Speaker Gib Lewis, whom he drove out of office a dozen years ago on a far less serious breach than is being alleged now.

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Tom DeLay Indicted


Tom DeLay has just been indicted on a criminal conspiracy charge by a Texas grand jury that is punishable up to 2 years in prison. This does not have anything to do with his ethics violations charges although this TRMPAC case indictment will surely raise new concerns over those allegations.

It does, however, have to do with his connection with a Texas PAC organization that had to do with questionable redistricting practices that he alledgedly engaged in. It is illegal in Texas to use corporate money to influence elections.

It appears that Congressman DeLay will also have to step-down as House Majority Leader.

GOI: The law has caught up with him and it is very reassuring that the Bush Department of Justice has finally decided to clamp down on this very corrupt man. I will say though that we still have to wait for a trial but to use a cliche, "Where there is smoke, there is fire."

This indictment makes a lot of sense after reading the well-researched book, "The Hammer: God, Money, and the Rise of the Republican Congress" by Lou Debose & Jan Reid.

I can't say that I'm shocked but I am pleased that the wheels of justice have caught up with, "The Hammer."

Let's not forget that many Republicans have thrown their support behind Tom DeLay during this investigation, including President Bush which does not look good for the entire GOP.

It appears that these corruption charges are just the tip of the iceberg with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist now facing his own corruption charges as well as the Valerie Plame case with criminal implications for Karl Rove.

I think that this is going to be rather damaging for the Republican Party for the 2006 elections.

---End of Transmission---

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Do As I Say and Not As I Do


WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush is asking the country to drive less and save gas in the wake of two hurricanes that hurt Gulf coast production.

Speaking in Washington on the eve of a visit to Texas and Louisiana Tuesday, Bush also said he had issued a directive for all federal agencies to cut their own energy use and to encourage employees to use public transportation, The New York Times reported.

GOI: I guess that doesn't apply to Bush though. I agree to conserving gas (my wife and I sold our second car) but what Bush is asking for and doing are highly conflicting. Bush was originally criticized for not reacting fast enough or visiting the area enough. Now, he is over compensating and spending TOO much time down there. This is his second trip to the Rita hit aread. Especially since He is asking the country to drive less and save gas!!

Today's flight down to Louisiana was (I believe) his 7th visit to the region and I think that is a bit excessive right now. Especially when he puts out the statement to save gas!! He is not the acting FEMA director (although maybe he thinks he is since he isn't doing that great of a job at being President. Maybe he figured he'd give FEMA director a try. He probably thinks that being President means you get to be any head of a federal agency at will. A job that allows you to try on "all the hats" so to speak).

I just heard on CNN's "The Situation Room" that the mayor of Nederland, Texas isn't getting the help from FEMA that he needs and he says it's the same for many other towns in that county. You'd think that FEMA would have their do-do together by now but they do not. Texas is blaming FEMA and FEMA is blaming TEXAS.

O.k., now this is the SECOND time that FEMA has been slow. Do I side with the states Louisiana and now Texas when FEMA is still pointing fingers at them?? Of course they share some blame but you bet I do. Mikey Brown keeps wanting to blame Louisiana but is he now prepared to blame a second state, Texas?? I can maybe believe that one state, Louisiana screwed up the Katrina preparation (but I don't), however, now I am supposed to believe that in the wake of Katrina that the next door neighbor to Louisiana; Texas is to blame too?? That they didn't learn the lessons of Katrina? I'll tell you who didn't learn the lessons of Katrina and that's FEMA, the Department of Homeland Insecurity and the rest of the federal government run by Mr. George W. "Hey, Mom. Look no hands" Bush.

Also, CNN's "Situation Room" their financial guy crunched some numbers on Air Force One fuel consumption. He figured that the Presidential plane's fuel rate was around $6,029 an HOUR!! Therefore, (he figured out) the gas to fuel all of the President's visits since 9/24/05 came to a whopping $47,398.30!!! And that doesn't include the price tag to fuel and run all those big SUV's in his motorcade!!

Wow.

Our yearly household income isn't even near that much!!

(PHOTO CREDIT: Susan Walsh - AP)

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Brownie is Doing "a Heck of a Job" Dodging Any Blame


GOI: I am watching the "Katrina hearings" this morning and the grilling of Michael Brown.

This guy has as brass set.

He's sitting there basically denying everything and yelling at these Senators.

What a jackass.

This guy has the nuts to sit there and blame everyone else without really taking any responsibility himself at all.

"My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional," two days before the storm hit, Brown told a special congressional panel set up by House Republican leaders to investigate the catastrophe.

The storm slammed into the Gulf Coast on Monday, Aug. 29.

GOI: This is like an abusive husband blaming their battered wife for being the victim!!

(R) Congressman Christopher Shayes was grilling him and Brownie basically accused Shayes of expecting him to be a "Super Hero."

To that I say, "Well, you are the head of the most important emergency response agency in America. You are supposed to "kind of be a Super Hero." This is why not just anyone (although you appear to be "just anyone") can or should be given this job!

He's like a snotty, little kid who beats up another kid in front of a huge crowd and then denies everything.

Why should I be surprised though? This is the history of people in the Bush administration. The buck only stops with them when it's a dollar "buck." Sure the local and state officials are to blame as well but the ultimate blame rests with FEMA and DHS. Although, at least Bush (however, some what torturedly and conditional) accepted some of the blame for the disaster after the disaster. That's more then can be said forBrownie.

DHS created JUST FOR THIS TYPE OF EVENT!!! Chertoff should not escape blame here either.

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Frist "Tries" to Defend Questionable Stock Actions


GOI: His basic defense is for all of us to just take his word on this one.

"I had no information about HCA or its performance that was not publicly available when I directed the trustees to sell the stock."

GOI: Well, then. I guess there are no further questions. He went on further to say the following:

He noted that for years he repeatedly had said his ownership of HCA stock posed no conflict of interest for his Senate duties. Those statements frequently angered some consumer and victims' rights groups because of the large amount of health care legislation before the Senate, including the Medicare prescription drug plan.

"The complaints and questions have persisted," Frist said yesterday. "Because of these continuing questions, and looking ahead at my final years in the Senate and what might come next, I have for some time wanted to eliminate even the possibility of an appearance of a conflict by totally divesting of any HCA stock in my family's trust."

GOI: Well, Mr. Frist. I still find it interesting that your "altruism" happens to coincide with the stock dropping like a rock right after you sold.

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Documents: Frist Knew Contents of "Blind Trust."


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Blind trusts are designed to keep an arm's-length distance between federal officials and their investments, to avoid conflicts of interest. But documents show that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist knew quite a bit about his accounts from nearly two dozen letters from the trust administrators.

Frist, R-Tennessee, received regular updates of transfers of assets to his blind trusts and sales of assets. He also was able to initiate a stock sale of a hospital chain founded by his family with perfect timing. Shortly after the sale this summer, the stock price dived.
The stock was in HCA Inc., a chain of hospitals founded in the late 1960s by Frist's father and brother. At the time of the sale, insiders also were selling. Shortly after that sale, the stock price dipped because of a warning that earnings would not meet Wall Street expectations.

"If, in fact, Frist was actively involved in this decision, he certainly has to supply an explanation of how that's consistent with a blind trust," said Bob Bauer, a Washington attorney who has set up blind trusts for Democratic members of Congress.
GOI: Yep, Fristy has a lot of explaining to do.
OTHER GOP CORRUPTION: "THE DIRTY BAKER'S DOZEN"
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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Whistleblowers Describe Routine, Severe Abuse


GOI: I've copied and pasted the most important parts of this article but it's still long but I know you'll want to read the whole thing. Just a warning though: You'll be pissed as hell at the end.

WASHINGTON - As a military jury in Texas considers the fate of Lynndie England, the low-ranking reservist pictured in the notorious photos of the abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in late 2003, two sergeants and a captain in one of the U.S. Army's most decorated combat units have come forward with accounts of routine, systematic and often severe beatings committed against detainees at a base near Fallujah from 2003 through 2004.

According to their testimony, featured in a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), beatings and other forms of torture were often either ordered or approved by superior officers and took place on virtually a daily basis. The soldiers, all of whom had also been deployed to Afghanistan before coming to Iraq, testified that the same techniques were used in both countries.

The beatings were so severe that they resulted in broken bones "every other week" at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Mercury, where detainees would ordinarily be held for three or four days before being transferred to Abu Ghraib. In one case, an Army cook broke the leg of a detainee with a metal baseball bat, according to one of the sergeants quoted in the report, entitled "Leadership Failure".

The three -- all active-duty members of the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the Army 82nd Airborne Division -- said that they had repeatedly sought guidance up the chain of command on the applicability of the Geneva Conventions or other rules to regarding the appropriate treatment of detainees in Iraq, but to no avail.

The captain, referred to as "Officer C" in the report, said he had made persistent efforts over 17 months to raise concerns about the abuses and obtain clearer rules about the treatment of detainees but was consistently told by higher-ups to ignore abuses and to "consider your career".

Their effort has so far been frustrated by opposition from the George W. Bush administration, notably Vice President Dick Cheney, who has personally lobbied against the provision, and the Republican leadership in Congress.

Suspected insurgents, according to the testimonies, were called PUCs, for "Persons Under Control," to distinguish them from prisoners of war, or POWs, a practice that first began in Afghanistan after the Pentagon announced that it did not consider detainees captured there subject to the protections afforded by the Geneva Conventions for POWs.

PUCs were held in tents at FOB Mercury that were surrounded by concertina wire and were routinely subjected to abusive techniques that included "smoking", which was normally ordered by Military Intelligence before interrogations and involved 12 to 24 hours of stress positions, sleep or liquid deprivation, and physical exercises sometimes to the point of unconsciousness, and "f**king", which referred to beating or torturing detainees severely.


Front-line and other soldiers were invited to take part in both practices, according to the report, while, if the detainees were injured as a result of the abuse, a physicians' assistant would administer an analgesic and sign off on a report stating that the injury took place during capture.

The beatings and other abuses served mainly to relieve stress, according to the three soldiers. "On their day off people would show up all the time," said one sergeant. "Everyone in camp knew if you wanted to work out your frustration you show up at the PUC tent. In a way it was sport."

"Leadership failed to provide clear guidance so we just developed it," said one of the sergeants. "They wanted intel (intelligence). As long as no PUCs came up dead it happened. We heard rumours of PUCs dying so we were careful. We kept it to broken arms and legs and shit (like that)."

The administration has strongly resisted calls by HRW and other rights groups, as well as Democrats and some Republicans, for the appointment of independent bipartisan commission to carry out a comprehensive investigation of detainee abuses, including the responsibility, if any, of senior military officers and government officials.

Civilians believed to have been Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers had their own interrogation facilities at the base and at another known as FOB Tiger close to the Syrian border. They sometimes removed prisoners -- and all their records -- from the bases, apparently to eliminate evidence of their having been held there.

GOI: Makes you sick, huh?

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This President Can't Win


GOI: Bush lands in Austin, Texas after hurricane Rita hits the Texas Gulf Coast.

Don't you think it looks bad that he is all over coming back to his homestate right after the storm hits but it took him days before he visited New Orleans?

Now, he probably would have visited immediately to a storm ravaged area where ever it hit but it just looks B A D!!

Once again, this President is a day late and a dollar short.

News on V.P. Cheney: Apparently Dick Cheney is getting surgery on his knees. Man, this guy is like Mr. Burns from "The Simpsons." He has health problems after health problems but he just keeps ticking.

I am reminded of an episode of, "The Simpsons" where Mr. Burns goes in for a physical and it showed he had every disease known to the doctor and even some he'd never heard of before.

And that the only reason that he was still alive was because all the diseases cancelled each other out so he just kept on tickin'!!

Funny stuff.

Seriously though, even though I do not like Mr. Cheney one bit I do not wish him death.

I do wish, however, that he go to jail for war crimes but not death.

Hah!

---End of Transmission---

Friday, September 23, 2005

Shia Power Struggle


This from VOA News:

U.S. military commanders in Iraq say they believe the surge of violence this week in the southern, mostly-Shi'ite city of Basra is related to the growing hostility between two Shi'ite entities, whose militias are fighting for dominance in parts of Iraq. Military officials fear the emerging intra-Shi'ite power struggle is posing as big a threat to Iraq's security as the country's Sunni-led insurgency.

For months, U.S. military officials have been keeping track of a growing number of clashes between rival Shi'ite militia groups, one opposed to Iranian influence in Iraq, and one with open ties to Iran.

After months of low-level skirmishes, the Mahdi Army and the Badr Organization openly clashed last month in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf. Six people were killed and dozens wounded. The incident sparked a second day of violent clashes across the Shi'ite heartland of central and southern Iraq.

Moqtada al-Sadr, whose power base is in Baghdad, not the south, has sided with Sunni Arabs in denouncing federalism, and has hinted that he might support a Sunni-led effort to defeat the constitution at the polls.

U.S. Army Colonel Joe DiSalvo, the commander of the Second Brigade, Third Infantry Division, which oversees Sadr City, says it is difficult to know how many hardcore fighters are in Mr. Sadr's Mahdi Army. Estimates range from two to several thousand. The Badr Organization is believed to number about 20,000.

There have been numerous complaints from both Sunni Arabs and Shi'ites about what critics say is the Badr Organization's increasing influence throughout the Ministry of Interior, which controls Iraq's police force.

GOI: Great, now we have the Shi'a fighting amongst themselves??? This country is popping like a pinata!!! The police force was first infiltrated by the Sunni fighters and now other sections are being infiltrated by Shia Badr fighters.

The existence of militias with conflicting loyalties is complicating Iraq's efforts to establish an all-inclusive, functioning central government.

The two main Kurdish parties have the strongest militia, with more than 100,000 fighters, and argue they are needed to protect Kurdish interests.

GOI: Iraq is cracking up into factions faster then asphalt roads during a massive earthquake!!

And now Bush's bestest buddies, the Saudi's are saying that Iraq is hurtling toward disintigration.

Who says there isn't already a complicated, multi-faceted civil war now in Iraq???

(PHOTO: al-Mahdi army).

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Bush: Crisis Management is Boring

Check out these pictures on Rising Hegemon's blog:

PICTURES

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My New Apparel


Low Election Turnout in Afghanistan



GOI: In the wake (forgive the pun) of hurricane katrina and with the coverage of hurricane Rita there was little to no news of the Afghani election.

The turnout for the election was extremely low.

This from The Guardian:

Turnout was just 36% in the capital and around 53% across the country, the chief electoral officer, Peter Erben, said - a sharp dip on the 70% seen in last year's presidential poll.

Officials are pedalling hard to find comforting explanations. Mr Erben (Peter Erban: chief electoral officer) said the drop was normal in comparison with other post-conflict countries - even though, days earlier, he had handed me a factsheet predicting a sharp rise in turnout.

GOI: This is not good news for a democracy that is barely a year old and seeing a resurgance in war lords and the Taliban:

In a country awash with weapons, corrupted by drug money and threatened by a resurgent Taliban, this is a dangerous development.

The inclusion of dozens of warlords and militia commanders on the ticket disgusted voters who thought Mr Karzai and his US allies had come to usher the gunmen out of the door, not hand them the keys to the house.

The crawling pace of reconstruction is also brewing trouble. After making a string of heroic promises in late 2001, the west is letting Afghanistan down. Only around $10bn (£5.5bn) has so far been spent on reconstruction, according to most estimates.

And while some projects have succeeded - well-oiled elections, some fast roads and the training of a new national army - others have been an abject failure.

For instance, this year's drive to reduce opium production - Afghanistan is the source of 90% of the world's heroin - cost much but resulted in little. Official corruption is soaring - something Mr Karzai admitted during his press conference.

...as one observer remarked, Afghanistan is one bullet away from chaos.

GOI: So don't believe George W. Bush when he says that "democracy is on the march" in Afghanistan. It's more of one step forward and two steps back.

Plus, Pulling large amounts of American troops out of the country to invade another country didn't help the situation.

The last thing that we need right now is a "failed state" in Afghanistan. Iraq is already in chaos and Pakistan is itself "one bullet away from chaos."

---End of Transmission---

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Colorado Elitism

My wife works at a financial institution that shall remain vague and unnamed for obvious reasons.

One of the clients of this institution is a member of one of Colorado's most wealthy and influential families.

It just so happens that this individual owns a big business that could negitively affect individual consumer's lives.

Not surprisingly this individual is a hard-core Conservative elitist who constantly bitches about having to pay ANY taxes and government in general.

Well, the other day this person was asked if they were going to donate to help the victims of hurricane Katrina.

The response (roughly quoted) "As far as I understand it, I already have."

When asked for clarification this person roughly said, "The federal government is already sending billions of dollars to New Orleans and the rest of the affected areas." Since this individual says they pays taxes, this tax money is already apart of the billions being sent to the victims.

Can I say cheap-skate????

This person sickens me with their elitism and utter disregard for people in plight. They are a big player in the Colorado Republican party and I am sure they have no problem pouring tons of their money into that machine. When it comes to the hurricane victims they would rather cut programs that already help the poor then pony up with any of their goddamn money!

There is a lot of this elitism in Colorado where people make high salaries and the Republican party has reigned supreme for generations. Thankfully, I grew up in a rare period of two democratic governors (a period still bemouned about by Republicans) and the democrats are slowly gaining strength.

Democrats took over both the state House and Senate last November. One of the few bright spots for Dem's in the '04 election.

The sad thing about this person is that they calls themselves, "Chistian" but they certainly missed the parts in Sunday School when they talk about Jesus helping the poor.

Said to person in question: Yeah, you remember Jesus. He's your Savior who gave us/you such great hits as,"I did not come to be served, but to serve,"

If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.-Matthew 19:21

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.-Matthew 19:23

And again (GOI: Which I interpret as meaning he really wants to make this clear) I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.-Matthew 19:24

And who could forget the other Biblical classics as:

"Who so mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker-Proverbs 17:5

But hey, like you said. You already pay taxes so I'm sure that will be enough.

Asshole.

---End of Transmission---

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Political Music

CALM LIKE A BOMB
Feel the funk blast
Feel the funk blast
Feel the funk blast
Feel the funk blast
Feel the funk blast
Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, check it out, yo, yo, yo
I be walkin' god like a dog
My narrative fearless
My word war returns to burn
Like Baldwin home from Paris
Like Steel from a furnace
I was born landless
This is tha native son
Born of Zapata's guns
Stroll through tha shanties
And tha cities remains
Same bodies buried hungry
But with different last names
These vultures rob everything
Leave nothing but chains
Pick a point on tha globe
Yes tha pictures tha same
There's a bank There's a church a myth and a hearse
A mall and a loan a child dead at birth
There's a widow pig parrotA rebel to tame
A whitehooded judge
A syringe and a vein
And tha riot be tha rhyme of tha unheard
what ya say, what ya say, what ya say, what?
What ya say, what ya say, what ya say, what?
What ya say, what ya say, what ya say, what?
What ya say, what ya say, what ya say, what?
Calm like a bomb
Ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite
Calm like a bomb
Ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite
This ain't subliminal
Feel tha critical mass approach horizon
Tha pulse of tha condemned
Sound off America's demise
Tha anti-myth rhythm rock shocker
Yes I spit fire
Hope lies in tha smoldering rubble of empires
Yes back through tha shanties and tha cities remains
Tha same bodies buried hungry
But with different last names
These vultures rob everyone
Leave nothing but chains
Pick a point here at home
Yes tha picture's tha same
There's a field full of slaves
Some corn and some debt
There's a ditch full of bodies
Tha check for tha rent
There's a tap, tha phone, tha silence of stone
Tha numb black screen
That be feelin' like home
And tha riot be tha rhyme of tha unheard
What ya say, what ya say, what ya say, what?
What ya say, what ya say, what ya say, what?
What ya say, what ya say, what ya say, what?
What ya say, what ya say, what ya say, what?
Calm like a bomb
Ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite
Calm like a bomb
Ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite
Calm like a bomb
Ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite
Calm like a bomb
Ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite
Calm like a bomb
Ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite
Calm like a bomb
Ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite
Calm like a bomb
Ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite
Calm like a bomb
Ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite, ignite
Calm Like a bomb
There's a mass without roofs
There's a prison to fill
There's a country's soul that reads post no bills
There's a strike and a line of cops outside of tha mill
There's a right to obey
And there's a right to kill
There's a mass without roofs
There's a prison to fill
There's a country's soul that reads post no bills
There's a strike and a line of cops outside of tha mill
There's a right to obeyAnd there's a right to kill
GOI: So what's your favorite political music/band?
---End of Transmission---

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

NASA Needs to Cool It's Jets


WASHINGTON, Sep 18 : With the shuttle fleet grounded and the International Space Station staffed by a skeleton crew, NASA is set to unveil plans tomorrow to take people and cargo to the moon.

Even before the official announcement, there is criticism from Capitol Hill over the reported 100 billion dollar cost of the lunar program, given US government commitments to the Iraq war and recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

''This plan is coming out at a time when the nation is facing significant budgetary challenges,'' Rep. Bart Gordon, a Tennessee Democrat on the House Science Committee, said in a statement.

GOI: We've already gone to the moon!!

We don't need to be spending $100 billion dollars to return to the moon and haul up some rich tourists and some junk!! Especially with a record deficit, billions already being spent on the Iraq war and now the heavy price tag of Katrina.

I'm all about NASA and it's programs but now is NOT the time to be spending all that money when it is sorely needed else where.

---End of Transmission

Monday, September 19, 2005

Hugo Chavez: Offering to Sell Cheap Oil to America's Poor



GOI: My favorite enemy of the Bush administration to give cheap oil to poor cities and schools in America starting with Chicago:

Worried about the skyrocketing cost of gasoline and heating oil this winter?

Well, Hugo Chavez, the firebrand president of oil-rich Venezuela, wants to help.

In an exclusive interview yesterday, the Venezuelan leader said his country will soon start to ship heating oil and diesel fuel at below market prices to poor communities and schools in the United States.

"We will begin with a pilot project in Chicago on Oct. 14, in a Mexican-American community,"said Chavez, who was in town for the United Nations sessions. "We will then expand the program to New York and Boston in November."

"If you want to eliminate poverty, you have to empower the poor, not treat them as beggars," Chavez said.

GOI: Chavez knows more about eliminating poverty then Bush knows about governing in general.

Echoing his favorite American writer, radical linguist Noam Chomsky, Chavez warned that "Americans must reorder their style of life" because "this planet cannot sustain" our "irrational" consumption, especially when it comes to oil.

But his novel oil-for-the-poor idea in this country is sure to make him an even bigger target of the Bush administration.

GOI: How does that saying go? The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

His plan is to set aside 10% of the 800,000 barrels of oil produced by the Citgo refineries and ship that oil directly to schools, religious organizations and nonprofits in poor communities for distribution.

The same approach, he said, has worked in the Caribbean, where Venezuela is already sharply subsidizing oil deliveries to more than a dozen nations.

Cutting oil prices must seem like the worst sort of radicalism to the Big Oil companies and their buddies at the Bush-Cheney White House.

But ordinary Americans fed up with price gouging by these energy companies could begin to look at Chavez in a different light if his oil-for-the-poor project works.

Still, Chavez, warns, we must all think about the future. Americans are 5% of the world's population, yet we consume 25% of the world's oil.

"These people were using up fuel," he said. "They were polluting the environment. This planet cannot sustain that mode of life."

That's the kind of message that can get a man killed these days - or at least labeled a dangerous madman by folks in the White House.

GOI: Chavez for President in 2008!!

The Real World in Iraq

GOI: This report comes to us from Juan Cole's blog and the blog, Rising Hegemon:

An observer in Iraq writes to me (Juan Cole):

"The situation has deteriorated in Baghdad dramatically today. Five neighborhoods (hay) in Baghdad are controlled by insurgents, and they are Amiraya, Ghazilya, Shurta, Yarmouk and Doura. It is very bad. My guys there report that cars have come into these neighborhoods and blocked off the streets. Masked gunmen with AKs and other weapons are roaming these areas, announcing that people should stay home. One of my drivers in Amiraya reports that his neighborhood is shut down totally, and even those who need food or provisions are warned not to go out.

The government will respond feebly. It will go into a contested neighborhood, and then just like Fallujah, Ramadi, Tel Afar, the insurgents will flee to take over another area on another day. Bit by bit they are taking over the main parts of Baghdad. The only place we are sure they cannot control is Sadr City, unless of course they want to take on Jaish Mahdy [Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army], and that would be bloody.

A few minutes ago Jaafari came on television to tell everyone in Baghdad to stay home. Can't wait for his next bold move.

There are flyers in public areas of Baghdad warning people not to gather in large numbers because they will thereby become targets. I am trying to get a copy of the flyer.

Notwithstanding Al-Hayat's claim that Zarqawi and the Sunni resistance are not together, my street listeners claim otherwise. My folks are convinced that the two groups, broadly defined, are together, "100 percent" is the claim of certainty. It is hard to get a handle on this because people in Baghdad tend to lump all resistance groups, except for Zarqawi, into one large category.

More and more of even the most patriotic intelligentsia are departing. The situation is dire, and those with escape valves are using them. [Some organizations are]sending more of [their] staff to Arbil and Sulamaniyah and out of Baghdad. Until about March this year, [some] thought that there was a chance of returning to Baghdad. It is remarkable how incapable this government is. Its only success is that it exists at all.

In the meantime, the embassy people act as if nothing in Baghdad is wrong (except that they cannot walk in the Green Zone without body armor and they have to take precautions against kidnapping). Recently, a group from State and the military parachuted in from Washington [with fatuous advice] . . . It is a fantasy world."

GOI: To echo a comment from one Bacciolo on Rising Hegemon, "I wonder how much more of this "success" that the Iraqi's can stand."

---End of Transmission---

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Venezuela Denies It's Soft on Drug Smuggling


By IAN JAMES

Associated Press Writer

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - A U.S. decision to brand Venezuela as a country failing to do enough against drug smuggling drew a sharp denial from the Venezuelan government Friday, aggravating tensions between Washington and one of its top oil suppliers.

President Bush criticized President Hugo Chavez's government Thursday, saying the South American nation had ``failed demonstrably'' to make a concerted effort to block shipments of illicit narcotics to the U.S. and Europe last year.

GOI: As if America is "winning the war on drugs."

Vice-President Jose Vicente Rangel said "the United States, as a leading consumer of illegal drugs, had no ``moral authority'' to pass judgment."

Rangel said the U.S. government congratulated Venezuelan authorities last year when they seized 43 tons of drugs, and so far this year seizures have netted 59 tons.

GOI: So, Venezuela increases the number of seizures and they STILL get criticized by Bush. Again Bush is making enemies and this time in our own hemisphere. No wonder Chavez is upset.

I'm just waiting for Bush to invoke the "Monroe Doctrine" to justify an invasion of Venezuela.

The U.S. is the top buyer of Venezuelan oil and you know "we" (Bush) would love to get even more of that oil.

---End of Transmission---

Poverty and Race in the Wake of Katrina


(CNN) -- White and black Americans view Hurricane Katrina's aftermath in starkly different ways, with more blacks viewing race as a factor in problems with the federal response, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.

The poll found that six in 10 blacks interviewed said the federal government was slow in rescuing those stranded in New Orleans after Katrina because many of the people in the Louisiana city were black. But only about one in eight white respondents shared that view.

The numbers were similar on whether the rescues were slower because the victims were poor, with 63 percent of blacks blaming poverty and 21 percent of whites doing so.

The poll, based on interviews with 848 whites and 262 blacks September 8-11, had a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points. (
Interactive)

GOI: Poverty and race seem to go hand in hand in most parts of the country coming down disporportionatly on the African-American front.

This from the U.S. Census report for 2003/2004:

In 2003, among people who reported a single race, the poverty rate for non-Hispanic whites was 8.2 percent, unchanged from 2002.

For blacks, neither the poverty rate nor the number in poverty changed between 2002 and 2003. People who reported black as their only race, for example, had a poverty rate of 24.4 percent in 2003.

GOI: It's obvious that there is still a HUGE racial disparity in America and that being poor and being black are almost always inseparable. White America likes to think that there is no longer a racial divide in this country when there clearly is one.

It is for this reason that I am now for affirmative action and a sensible reparations act for the black population in this country. I also think that it should have a time table to follow the roughly 400 years that blacks have been socially and economically unequal and oppressed by white America.

Reparations:

A basis for that freedom and security can be assured through group reparations in the form of monetary compensation, along with free provision of goods and services to Black communities across the nation. The guiding principle of reparations must be self-determination in every sphere of life in which Blacks are currently dependent.

To this end, a private trust should be established for the benefit of all Black Americans. The trust should be administered by trustees popularly elected by the intended beneficiaries of the trust. The trust should be financed by funds from the general revenue of the United States for a period not to exceed ten years. (GOI: I personally believe the period should be between 350-400 years). The trust funds should be expendable on any project or pursuit aimed at the educational and economic empowerment of the trust beneficiaries to be determined on the basis of need. Any trust beneficiary should have the right to submit proposals to the trustees for the expenditure of trust funds.

Dr. Browne pointed out thirty years ago, "[b]lacks in America have no bootstraps to pull ourselves up by."

Dr. Browne summarizes the objectives: first, to punish white Americans for their ancestors' brutal enslavement of African Americans; second, to compensate the African American community for the unpaid labor of their slave ancestors; third, to provide African Americans with their fair share of the national wealth and income that would have been theirs had they had the same opportunities and advantages that white Americans experienced over the last 375 years.

Reparations, then, become the answer to the problem of race and racism in America, and the question is how best to implement them. A failure to redress the injuries caused by slavery and its aftermath is, as Professor Matsuda says, "an injury often more serious than the acts themselves, because it signifies the political non-personhood of victims." Reparations declare to the victims of racism that they exist as persons and that they are entitled to compensation for real deprivations: "This nation and its laws acknowledge you."

GOI: The case for reparations does have precedence:

Reparations for slavery finally achieved credibility in 1988, when a bipartisan congress granted reparations to Japanese Americans interned by the government during World War II.

GOI: The Japanese interned during World War II received reparations and yet their period of oppression was nothing compared to the black population throughout the history of this country.

Personally I believe that reparations should include non-monetary compensation as well and acknowledgement of past wrongs with national memorials in Washington D.C. to both the victims of slavery and those victims of racial descrimination in the first half of the 20th century.

The same should apply for Native Americans and yet no monetary amount can account for all that the Native American and Black communities have lost but it is a huge step in the right direction. The time is now.

There are many who say that America can not afford it but we have certainly "afforded" money for the Iraq war and for every war since the beginning of our country. Many of those wars were fought (and won) with the invaluable help from the Native American and Black populations.

The money should be seen as an investment in our countries future as raising people up through investments in small businesses, attending colleges and building new homes in lower crime neighborhoods will only build a greater America and reinvestment in our economy.

Sincerely,

One ashamed white American.

---End of Transmission---

Saturday, September 17, 2005

For my Fellow Yanks


GOI: The U.S. Constitution turns 218 years old today on Constitution Day.

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., the Senate's unofficial constitutional scholar, wrote the new holiday into the spending bill for the Education Department last December. Byrd, who routinely carries a pocket-size copy of the Constitution, has said that most Americans spend more time watching "Desperate Housewives" than reading the document.

"It affects every day of our lives, every act we take," Byrd said recently. "People revere the Constitution, yet know so little about it -- and that goes for some of my fellow senators."

Some experts say the problem is worsening because history and civics are receiving less attention in public schools, the result of a nationwide focus on reading and math.

GOI: As a historian I understand both the importance of history and teaching it to all generations but especially our young children. Too many young people know nothing of our country's history.

I just ordered a pocket edition copy of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and if you would like to do the same go HERE.

So, Happy Constitution Day America!!!

---End of Transmission---

Friday, September 16, 2005

Lights On, Lights Off


I (Brian Williams) am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS (President of the United States) drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions.

GOI: This reminds me of something I witnessed in the corrupt politics of Cote D'Ivoire, West Africa where I lived for 2 years.

It was "election" time in the country and I was living in the "capital" of the country which had a few years earlier been moved from the port city, business capital of Abidjan to the "built-up over night" capital of Yamoussoukro in the center of the country.

Anyway, the current "President" Bedie was coming to visit and in advance the "police" went around and locked up all the homeless and swept up the streets (which never get done at other times) and otherwise made the place "presentable" for the "President."

Back to Bush:

Why did he even speak from the French Quarter knowing that they did not have power?

That just pisses people off even more to get their hopes up that power was on and then come to find out it was just for the "King."

It was a photo op designed to pump up his popularity in the wake of an embarrassing respone on his part.

He should have stayed at the WH, put on a suit and looked Presidential instead of looking like he was "on the campaign trail" running for office.

Lights on, lights off.

---End of Transmission---

My Head Hurts


Um, does anyone know what EXACTLY Bush said last night??

I agree that it was an eloquent speech but I have no idea what he really said.

I got that he is going to spend a lot of money without repealing the tax cuts so I guess i'm wondering where all of this money will come from.

Anyway, does anyone want to explain to me what he said last night and what is good and what is bad about it all??

Sorry, my head is spinning from all of the things he has said over the last few weeks. The numbers of the deficit and the cost of rebuilding NOLA has gotten out of the realm of my understanding of financial politics.

Is he FDR now or an wolf in FDR's clothing??

I guess I am very, very leary and quite worried that since the Bush administration can't get Iraq right, why would we have hope that they will get the Gulf Coast rebuilding right?

I don't know.

So have at it and help me make a least a little sense of it all.

---End of Transmission---

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Pledge


Here we go again.

I use to be fairly rabid about this issue but now I could really care less. I think that there are more important issues to be looked at then the phrase "under God."

That being said, I personally think that they should remove those two words and return back to the original pledge. Yes folks, the phrase "under God" only appeared in the mid 2oth century to attack the "Godless Communists."

I just wonder what the right-wingnut Christians would feel if it was "under Allah" instead of "God."

Hmmm.

---End of Transmission---

I Smell a White Wash


GOI: The Repubican dominated House and Senate have both rejected an independent commission to investigate the failures of the federal government in the wake of the Katrina disaster. The two bodies choosing rather to go with a commission amongst within the House Rules Committee.

Democrats are furious:

They note that the Katrina panel will have an 11-9 Republican majority, which will give only Republicans the power to subpoena.

GOI: All of this despite the President saying that he "accepts" some responsibility with a big "IF." Also despite stating several times that he wants to get to the bottom of what went wrong!

Obviously he did not push his allies in the House and Senate to push for a true, independent commission that actually would have a better chance of finding what went wrong more then a Republican, partisan commission. My hunch of course is because he knows that he screwed up in dealing with the aftermath.

Like I say in the title, I smell a white wash of the responsibility of the Republican led federal government in the wake of Katrina.

---End of Transmission---

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Superdome Revisted


Anderson Cooper was reporting on CNN tonight about horror stories from the Superdome.

He revisted the dome with a national guardsman and was told to wear a mask and not to stay long.

He reported of people doing drugs, raping, assualt and engaging in sex right on the open floor of the Superdome.

Imagine what those poor children had to go through and witness!

Here is my question: Should not the Mayor and other local officials done a better job planning a better evacuation for the poor of New Orleans?

Also: Should the Superdome be torn down.

My vote is YES!! For this reason:

The place has become a horror story and it's symbolism for people who survived their stay there will never be overcome as long as that monument to terror remains standing. Besides that the place is probably not structurally sound.

What is your opinion?

Oh yeah and one more thing: NBC Nightly News is showing how that New Orleans Levee Board spent tons of money on pork projects not related to public safety or the fixing of the levees.

Bastards.

So much blame to go around and so many people in govt positions who let the poor of New Orleans down.

---End of Transmission---

Dollars and Cents


Talk radio host Ed Schultz brought up an interesting point on his show this afternoon. He was wondering how the people who lost their homes in Katrina are going to make their mortgage payments.

He then brought up an idea that the govt should put in place a moritorium on mortgages for people who lost their homes in Katrina and that the govt should pay the interest.

I thought that was a great idea.

Plus, he was mentioning that many people have had to max out their credit cards to pay for basic needs. What do these people do now?? They don't have any jobs and thus no income and now the President and his cronies have made bankruptcy A LOT harder.

Critical questions.

UPDATE: Now we hear that Delta is going to file bankruptcy. Big business seems like it can file and get out of trouble but the average citizen will be penalized now.

One of the main reasons for filing was gas prices. Well, damn!! Can i file because the gas prices are breaking MY back too?? I doubt it.

Am I the only one who see's the huge 800 pound gorilla here?

---End of Transmission---

Priceless


GOI: Thanks to Jessica of Cellar Door for bringing this to my attention:

Thanks to onegoodmove for this!

Below are the transcripts.

"New rule: American must recall the president. That's what this country needs – a good old-fashioned, California-style recall election, complete with Gary Coleman, porno actresses, and action film stars. And just like Schwarzenegger's predecessor here in California, George Bush is now so unpopular, he must now defend his job against…Russell Crowe, because at this point I want a leader who will throw a phone at somebody. In fact, let's have only phone throwers. Naomi Campbell can be the vice president.

"Now I kid, but seriously, Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you anymore. There's no more money to spend; you used up all of that. You can't start another war because you also used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people. Yeah, listen to your mom, the cupboard's bare, the credit card's maxed out, and no one's speaking to you. Mission accomplished.

"Now it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service. And the oil company. And the baseball team. It's time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or spaceman? Now, I know what you're saying, you're saying that there are so many other things that you as president could involve yourself in. Please don't. I know, there a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela, and eliminating the sales tax of yachts, turning the space program over to the church and Social Security to Fannie Mae, giving embryos the vote.

"But sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poor, I'm surprised you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man. Herbert Hoover was a shitty president, but even he never conceded an entire metropolis to rising water and snakes. On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon, and the city of New Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this country, I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side. So yes, God does speak to you, and what he's saying is, 'Take a hint.'"

-Bill Maher, HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher," Sept. 9, 2005

GOI: O.k., before I get put through the wood chipper for posting this, just remember that this is meant to be FUNNY!! Relax and have a good laugh.

---End of Transmission---

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Robert's Nomination Hearings:


I've been watching the Robert's hearings off and on today and you know fellow lib's?? I think that this guy is going to sail though. I do disapprove of A LOT of his opinions but he seems a lot more moderate then some other nominees. Robert's did say that the Constitution does guarantee a right to privacy so hopefully that means he will not push to over turn Roe.

Besides, I honestly agree with the policy of not saying exactly what they believe on an issue so that it does not bias any future rulings. Justice Ginsberg took this road and was still confirmed and I feel that liberals/democrats should allow Roberts this leeway so that we do not look like hypocrites and a$$holes. Besides, at some point in the future we will have a nominee who we will not want to have express his/her personal opinions so as not to bias their rulings either.

Roberts seems like a smart guy who understands the basic rights of the Constitution and that a Supreme Court Justice should not let their personal, political beliefs bias their rulings.

We have to approve someone and as I've said before, I guess I'd rather have Robert's as the Chief Justice then a Janice Rogers Brown or Priscilla Owens.

And i'm out.

---End of Transmission---

THANK-GOD!!!


GOI: Bush finally accepts responsibility for the role of the federal government it it's failures to quickly and adequately respond.

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at a joint White House news conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

"And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong," said Bush.

GOI: Good GOD it's about time. Now if we can only get him to admit responsibility for misleading Americans into a war.

Thought I had last night while watching "Insannity and Colmes":

If Sean Hannity keeps squinting his eyes to appear smarter then he is then he is going to end up with one eye.

And i'm out.

EDIT: GOI: I think I was still asleep when I typed up this post this morning. Zen Unbound and Paolo have set me straight and you should read their comments because they raise critical points about this President. He needs to do more then just SAY that he is taking responsibility because his word isn't worth much of anything right now to be honest and frank. The key here (as ZU) pointed out is an INDEPENDENT COMMISSION otherwise (as Paolo points out) there will only continue to be empty words. The people of the Gulf Coast region deserve more then words.

---End of Transmission---

Monday, September 12, 2005

Rush Limbaugh is Totally Insane


Yeah, I know you already knew this but guess what he is saying now?

He is saying that the "left" is happy that the hurricane hit a poor, black city and that the "left" is "dancing on the graves of black people."

Now, we all know that his hearing was impaired from his drug abuse but I honestly think that his brain, lucidity and rationality was also degraded.

His just spits hate, lies and delusions. I do not know how anyone can listen to his vitriol without puking.

---End of Transmission---

Friday, September 09, 2005

I Agree With Rumsfeld!!!!


GOI: Mark it down on your calendars. I am in total agreement with something U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said today:

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Friday that local and state officials shouldn’t have to share in the blame for the poor response because they were in fact victims and not able to respond.

I hope that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Heh.

---End of Transmission---

It's a Start: Michael Brown Demoted but Not Fired From FEMA


Mike Brown being removed from his role as head of FEMA. Washington Post is now reporting on MSNBC (reporter spence Hsu) that 5 of 8 top FEMA officials have little to no experience with emergency management. Sounds like an issue of political back scratching.

(GOI: I think getting rid of Mike Brown is a good move to show some accountability by this administration. However, getting rid of Brown is just the tip of the iceberg when dealing with repairing this hole that has been exposed in our federal govt.

Michael Chertoff should be next up the chain of command to go.

FEMA has basically been immasculated since it was absorbed into the DHS (Dept. of Homeland Security) in 2003.

Also according to the Washington Post, FEMA finished last in a prepardness study of 28 federal agencies in 2003.

The Washington Post is also reporting that the Bechtel Group received a no-bid contract involving millions of dollars to help rebuild the Gulf Coast. Bechtel (along with Halliburton) is the same contract group that received a no-bid contract of millions of dollars to help rebuild Iraq.

GOI: Goddam it.

I knew Becthel was not far behind getting contracts to rebuild this area if Halliburton was already in the game as well.

---End of Transmission---

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Cheney Told to "Go Fuck Yourself" in Gulfport, MS


GOI: Dick "fuck off" Cheney was visiting the devastation in Gulfport, Mississippi when a bystander said this to him:

During a discussion on hurricane relief efforts, an off camera protester shouts, "Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney. Go fuck yourself."

Video HERE.

CNN's reporter asks Cheney, "Are you getting a lot of that Mr. Vice President?"

Cheney replies, "First time I've heard it., Must be a friend of John..., er, ah - never mind."

GOI: John who Dick?? John KERRY??? Well, I think that most Americans would much rather have John Kerry at this point then George W. Bush and John Edwards over YOU!!

Cheney laughs it off while Rome burns.

---End of Transmission---

Gov. Blanco of LA Did NOT act Late


The latest spin coming out of the White House is that the Gov. of Lousiana Kathleen Blanco acted too late in asking for federal aid. Infering therefore that she (Blanco) is at fault for the lack of response in the aftermath to hurricane katrina.

Here is a very, very detailed time-line to prove that the governor asked for federal help well before the hurricane even made landfall. TIMELINE.

I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend reading this timeline. It is well put together and very detailed and it proves that gov. blanco did everything that she could have done to prepare and deal with this hurricane. She called in the federal government ASAP because she knew that she was going to need more resources but the federal government failed her and the people of her state.


In other news, a subsidiary of Halliburton has been awarded a contract to rebuilt parts of the gulf coast:

A Halliburton Co. subsidiary that has come under fire for its reconstruction work in Iraq has begun tapping a $500 million Navy contract to do emergency repairs at Gulf Coast naval and Marine facilities that were battered by Hurricane Katrina.

GOI: I certainly do not have a problem with emergency repairs being done at Gulf Coast naval and Marine facilities. However, given Halliburton's dubious past could we not find someone else to do this???

Also heard on the Randi Rhodes show that the FEMA hotline will disconnect you because the lines are too busy. They won't even ask you to wait for the next available person they just disconnect you.

Nice.

---End of Transmission---

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Barbara Bush Speaks out from the Plantation


Grande mama Barbara Bush:

"Almost everyone I’ve talked to says we're going to move to Houston."

Then she added: "What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they (GOI: "They" Who are predominately black) all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality."

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."

GOI: Let them eat cake, eh Mrs. Bush?

---End of Transmission---

Bush to Investigate Himself


AP Associated Press
Updated: 12:17 p.m. ET Sept. 6, 2005

WASHINGTON - Beset with criticism over the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, President Bush said Tuesday he will oversee an investigation into what went wrong and why — in part to be sure that the country would withstand more storms or even a weapons of mass destruction attack.

GOI: Ummmm. Does this stink to anyone else as worse as the flood waters in New Orleans?? This is the definition of "putting the fox in charge of the hen house" or the suspect in a criminal case being his/her own judge. Bush rules with an iron fist, just look at this picture!! He learned from the 9/11 commission I guess because now he is just going to investigate himself. How convenient.

"What I intend to do is lead an investigation to find out what went right (GOI: Did ANYTHING go right??) and what went wrong," Bush said. "We still live in an unsettled world. We want to make sure we can respond properly if there is a WMD (weapons of mass destruction) attack or another major storm."

But Bush said now is not the time to point fingers and he did not respond to calls for a commission to investigate the response.

GOI: Of course he doesn't want fingers pointed because they are being squarely pointed at himself and his buddies at FEMA and DHS!!

"One of the things people want us to do here is play the blame game," he said. "We got to solve problems. There will be ample time to figure out what went right and what went wrong."

GOI: What I want to know is, "When IS the right time??" Thank everything that is holy that Congress is planning their own investigation. I have some doubts, however, that the Republican dominated body is going to do anything but white-wash the federal government's role and scape-goat the mayor of N.O.

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Bush Still Clueless


CNN is now reporting that the President just ordered (sunday night) the flag to fly at "half-staff" for the death of William Rehnquist. Oh yeah and it just so happens that they are now including the the victims of Katrina. How compassionate.

I was thinking about this several days ago when I was picking up a pizza at the local pizzaria. They have this huge American flag in the parking lot and I was surprised and disappointed that the federal government hadn't lowered the flag sooner. It took the death of one of the people he respects most to motivate him to also respect the dead in New Orleans with this very basic but respectful gesture from the government.

Daily Kos has a great post on this too.

Check it out.

P.S~Lt. General Russel Honore KICKS ASS. He is the man in charge of the military forces in New Orleans. Once the President and the Gov. of L.A. got their shit semi-together and got the military in action the troops have done a SPECTACULAR job. Especially the Coast Guard.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Shit Storm Follows the Weather Storm


Once again this administration is reflecting any blame and their responsibility in the aftermath of Katrina. Bush had this to say about the slow federal reaction:

"I am satisfied with the response," he said of the government's emergency operations. "I'm not satisfied with all the results."

GOI: Huh? What the F*ck does THAT mean???

The Right Wing apologists are spinning faster then the spin cycle on your washing machine:

Bush partisans went on the offensive. Grover Norquist, the conservative activist with close ties to Karl Rove, blamed the chaos on "looting in a Democratic city run by a Democratic mayor and a Democratic governor."

GOI: So, Democrats are looters by nature? Is that implication here?? The Democratic mayor decided to let anarchy reign I guess. Even though he was cut off from his police forces and stranded in a city hall which had basically turned into an island. Hmm, yeah that makes A LOT of sense.

Still, nobody accused Bush of an overly rapid response. It took two days for Bush to fly over the disaster zone in Air Force One, and four days for him to touch down.

GOI: No matter how you try to spin this mess it is still Bush's country and therefore Bush's baby. He seems to like to take credit when credit is do but point fingers whenever it is obvious that he and his administration have made mistakes.

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Here We Go Again


I shudder to think who Bush is going to nominate to take his place. I am sure that he will probably move Scalia over to the Chief Justice position which is bad enough but then he gets to add someone else to the court. Someone probably quite conservative since he has Robert's as the "sheep in wolf" clothing.

We shall see.

This will be interesting to watch.

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This Was Just a Matter of Time


The White House is trying to shift all the blame to the state and local officials.
I can't say as I am surprised. This administration has never taken responsibility for any of it's HUGE mistakes over the past four and a half years.

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Passin' the Buck
















Isn't it interesting how everyone in any government capacity is passing the buck on this disaster relief breakdown? I want to see a government that takes responsibility for it's actions for once.

The (D) mayor of N.O., (D) Senator and governor pass the blame onto the (R) President, the President passes it on to FEMA and the DHS who in turn pass in onto the press and the actual victims!!

The fact of the matter is they all share blame in this debacle.

I am tired of hearing that "no one could have for seen such a "perfect storm." This is the same bullsh*t we heard after 9/11 and it is a big fat greasy lie. Hell, even lowly me thought that terrorists could slam an air liner into the WTC or other skycrapers.

As for the Louisiana flooding? That has been predicted for YEARS by many professors within and without Louisiana and other hurricane experts across the country. So don't tell me that it was a huge "shock" to all levels of the government because it wasn't. My wife and I have family who live an hour away from N.O. and even THEY new that would be the case if N.O. got hit with a large hurricane.

I don't want to hear ANYmore excuses.

They all bungled this one royally and yes my Republican friends I put President Clinton in the blame game too.

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