...............thanks for the weapons. al Queda Commander, Iraq
We also found out why he got the Bronze Star- "We occasionally likened it to building the world's largest aircraft while in flight and while being shot at".[
The Washington Post stated in August 2007 that The Pentagon had lost track of approximately 30% of weapons supplied to the Iraqi security forces. The General Accounting Office said that the weapons distribution was haphazard, rushed, and did not follow established procedures-- particularly from 2004 to 2005 when security training was led by Petraeus. Petraeus later stated on Fox News Radio that the weapons did not have serial numbers for tracing and that the Iraqi forces did not have a procedure for doing so. He also said that he considered moving the weapons quickly more important than recordkeeping, remarking "We occasionally likened it to building the world's largest aircraft while in flight and while being shot at".
Petraeus is a Republican hack that somehow had other priorities in Grenada, Panama, Gulf War I, etc. Why does this matter and why am I going after him? During Operation Iraqi Enduring Freedom (OIEF), there have been issued 554 Bronze Stars with "V" devices, he has one of those and I say he hasn't earned it. There have been over 3400 men and women killed during IEF as well as over 14,000 serious combat wounded. Do the math. But before you do the math, if Petraeus is truly a hero as the "V" device indicates, wouldn't a PR starved administration want to brag about a three star general doing something more heroic than dying? I'll be honest with you, when the Regular Army gets wind of this, watch out. Petraeus's career is finished
Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's Colorado organization is planning anti-war rallies next Tuesday, Oct. 2 with events in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
The "Rallies to Turn the Page in Iraq" recognize a 2002 speech that Obama gave to warn that military action against Iraq could lead to "a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences."
Ten days later, on October 11, 2002, the US Senate voted to give the President authorization to go to war in Iraq.
No doubt, there will be more protests planned in Colorado to mark that 5th anniversary date.
Just so's you know, I was checking out General Petraeus, he has never been in combat, yet he has been awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" device. The "V" device can only be awarded for instances of courage under fire, otherwise it is awarded without the "V". He was however shot by his own man in a live fire exercise at Ft. Campbell and operated on by Dr. Bill Frist in Tennessee.
The relevance here is regarding "Stolen Valor" and character implications. Much ado was made regarding Kerry's decorations and I am not sure how the "Stolen Valor Act of 2005" applies to active duty. The most common decoration for valor in the Army is the Army commendation medal with "V" device, followed by the Bronze Star with "V". Common definitely inferring the enlisted grades, the Bronze W/V practically equaling the valor of officers with the Silver Star. It is not unusal for an executive officer to write up his CO. I admit a certain prejudice against general officers and have directly inquired of General Wesley Clark regarding his Silver Star. It was an embarassing moment for both of us.
Why is it important to expose Petraeus? He is a wannabee and he is willing to lie for ambitious reasons. He is indicative of the majority of the General Officers Corps, petty and self absorbed.
Fred D. Thompson was at a fundraiser in Franklin, Tenn. Mitt Romney was gathering checks in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Rudolph W. Giuliani was in California raking in some last-minute cash just north of Napa. John McCain spent the day in New York City, giving a speech and raising money.
Such were the scheduling conflicts that left the lecterns for the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination empty at what was billed as the first GOP debate tailored to the concerns of black voters, held last night at Morgan State University in Baltimore.
"I apologize for the candidates who aren't here. I think it's a disgrace that they aren't here," Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.), a presidential hopeful, told the audience. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry to you and I'm sorry to those who are watching that they are not here."
Asked before the debate whether he accepted his rivals' claims of scheduling conflicts, Brownback said, "If it was a high enough priority, it would get on the schedule."
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, another candidate who made the trip, called the situation "embarrassing" for his rivals...
Embarrassing, yes, but also telling in a way that's pretty hard to mistake. Either none of these GOP frontrunners' army of handlers told them this would be a PR disaster, or they really calculated that appearing at an minority issues-focused debate would be bad for their candidacy. Why do you suppose that would be?
While the Right Wing is trying to keep it under the radar, Dick Cheney is flying into Denver this afternoon for a private fundraiser with the oil and gas industry to advance their scorched-earth energy policies for Colorado.
Cheney's connections to the ruthless oil and gas companies are the driving force behind expanding drilling on irreplaceable landscapes like Colorado's Roan Plateau.
Drilling on the Roan would destroy a way of life on the Western Slope that has endured for generations.
Click on the link below to sign the petition supporting Congresswoman Diana DeGette's bill to protect the Roan and other undeveloped Colorado lands from big oil and gas.
Over 70% of Coloradoans believe that wilderness-quality lands should be preserved for recreation, tourism, and wildlife rather than sacrificed for oil and gas development. (Talmey-Drake Research & Strategy, Inc. Poll, 05/07)
Ranchers, hunters, fishermen, bikers and hikers depend on the Roan for their livelihood and recreation. It's time to stand up to big oil and gas and say no to drilling on the Roan. Protecting the Roan is more than preserving one undeveloped area in Colorado: it is supporting a way of life for hundreds of Western Colorado families.
Click the link below and sign our petition in support of protecting Colorado lands from reckless drilling.
I'd welcome anyone who is involed with or suffering from polycythemia, a blood illness, especially if contracted through toxic exposure. Environmentalists, family members, researchers and anyone who wants to share information can email me.
The 2008 Democratic race in Colorado Congressional District 4 (CD-4) has narrowed, and lost a great deal of its luster. Yesterday, Wednesday September 26, Angie Paccione dropped out of the primary race with Betsy Markey and Eric Eidsness. Her announcement is in the extended text.
Pathways to Leadership appears to have gained Angie's undivided attention. I can't fault her for her decision, because it looks like my dream job also. But, it is yet to be seen if either Betsy or Eric can rise to Angie's level of voter support and volunteer dedication and enthusiasm.
Vice President Cheney is coming to downtown Denver on Thursday at approximately 5:00 pm for a "quick hit fundraiser for the state Republican Party".
We are having an Impeachment and Stop The War Now Rally and You are invited to join in the fun.
Cheney will be coming to the offices of Benson Mineral Group at 1560-Broadway #1900 in downtown Denver, on East side of Broadway (this is the building the Denver Post used to be in, and is NE across from the new Post building).
Our goal is to have enough protesters to have our primary group at the intersection of 16th Ave Mall and Broadway(1), also a group at Colfax & Broadway(2), another at Colfax & Lincoln(3), another at Lincoln and 16th Ave(4), in that order, please. We'd like 3-4 people at the 2nd thru 4th locations and most others at the (1) location. Thanks. We expect Cheney to enter through the 16th Ave entrance, the steps on Lincoln or possibly in the RTD turnaround entrance. Stay away from him. We can make our point without getting close.
You can coordinate with me at 720-384-7084 (leave message if line tied up).
We should all meet sometime after 4:30 pm at Broadway & 16th Ave (East end of Mall) and then move wherever needed. I will be there at 4:15 with lots of signs. Just show up. It will be fun!!!!
SIGNS: Impeach and Anti-War, Anti-Bush/Cheney, etc are very welcome. We have signs for approximately 45-50 people or you may bring your own.
Please do not try to get too close to the building at 1560 Broadway, stay out of the building, try to stay on the sidewalk, next to the road, yield to all pedestrians, defer in a respectful way to all police and Secret Service, do what they tell you to do, but get their name and tell me what they tell you, please.
Smile and wave, it works. And yelling Honk to Impeach at cars with a window open helps too, do while cupping your ear as if waiting for the honk, and then raising your hand palm up (to get them to increase the volume) also helps. This is a HONK TO IMPEACH event.
Wear something Orange if you have it. Orange is the color selected by the major national activist groups as the Color of Resistance to the Administration, the Color to use to tie all our efforts together, the COLOR OF THE IMPEACHMENT MOVEMENT. We have lots of Orange Signs.
We may have some Orange Colorado Impeach Coalition T-Shits with us that you can put over what ever you are wearing ($20 donation appreciated goes to buying sign and banner materials for impeach events). We've held over 60 Impeach To Stop The War events since the first of the year.
Hope we see you there. It is for a good cause, you know, the Impeachment of Cheney by Rep. Kucinch (H res 333)
John H Kennedy Organizer Colorado Impeach Coalition http://ImpeachCO.com
a 1stProtestInTheStreet project.
PS: We need a couple of volunteers to take still photos and video and send it to me later for posting on our website. You can call me at 720-384-7084
PS(2): Thanks to Jason Rosenberg on PNA's Denver list for the heads up on this event.
AND PLEASE, Join Us on Wednesdays and Saturdays at oour other Rallies. We are getting a great response. The voters Want Impeachment, Lets help them get what they want.
Yesterday, we turned in over 6,000 signatures to the Longmont City Clerk. With this buffer, I'm hoping we'll meet the 4,021 valid signatures required to put the Union annexation back before Council, or to a public vote.
I'd like to extend my deep thanks and gratitude to everyone who followed this issue, and to everyone who helped us reach the 6,000 mark. We had over 100 petition circulators, which is incredible. The best thing is we did this all by pulling together as a community! We had no funding and we didn't pay anyone to circulate petitions. This was a real group effort to benefit our town. Thanks to all!
Free speech opponent Duncan Hunter, Republican from California, is threatening to cut off funding to Columbia University because they invited Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to come speak. I don't know his motives and won't speculate. I can only say it's fool hardy. These assaults on free speech are not healthy. I've heard all kinds of reasons why some find free speech as being dangerous. From we're aiding the terrorists or giving comfort to the enemy by speaking ill of the Iraq war or the President. I never understood that logic. It's never really been explained. They just kind of blurt it out like "bringing up torture only aids the enemy!" When it's painfully obvious that the torture itself does that. Or something like "criticizing the President in a time of war only helps the terrorists!" Huh? How so?
But I see the pattern with their profound inability to understand what the hell we're talking about. We say "we should support the troops by bringing them home" but they comprehend "we hate the troops, and America which we always blame first." We criticize one General and they figure we hate the entire military. So I'm not too surprised that some body with an (R) after his name has to exercise his free speech by trying to cut off funding to a prestigious University because he doesn't like the speech of somebody they invited to speak. This misses the value of honoring all free speech.
President of Columbia University Lee Bollinger introduced Ahmadinejad by taking him to task for everything from his denial of the Holocaust to Iran's involvement in Iraq killing US soldiers. In what other setting could this have occurred? And what American could resist having an opportunity to fully skewer Iran's current president? In closing Prof. Bollinger stated this to his school's guest,
"Let me close with this comment. Frankly, and in all candor, Mr. President, I doubt that you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions. But your avoiding them will in itself be meaningful to us. I do expect you to exhibit the fanatical mindset that characterizes so much of what you say and do. Fortunately, I am told by experts on your country, that this only further undermines your position in Iran with all the many good-hearted, intelligent citizens there. A year ago, I am reliably told, your preposterous and belligerent statements in this country (as in your meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations) so embarrassed sensible Iranian citizens that this led to your party's defeat in the December mayoral elections. May this do that and more. "
Cut funding? This guy should get a freakin' medal! He articulately and forcefully called the guy out on the spot. But the knee jerk reaction for Duncan Hunter is this was bad, they should be punished, they somehow aided him by giving him a platform to further make an a$$ of himself. Bill O'Reilly called it giving him "stature." Really? If Bollinger is correct, and I believe he is, that every time Ahmadinejad opens his mouth Iranians at home roll their eyes. So giving him a forum to further embarrass himself and his radical views should be commended. What a public service! And notice how rude the Professor is? Mmmmmmmm love that free speech! The nerve of him talking to his guest that way, and in this case the guest certainly deserved it. Read his introduction here.
This new surge to suppress free speech has to stop. Disagreeing is one thing but Duncan Hunter here wants to threaten a University by yanking federal funds. Senator John Cornyn (R) offered an amendment to the latest military spending bill that reads,
"To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces."
This is a direct response to the MoveOn.org ad. It means little technically as it is not a law, however the Senate as a body in a official capacity made a statement against free speech because they found it rude. That's not their job. They have much more important things to do.
"Free speech is intended to protect the controversial and even outrageous word; and not just comforting platitudes too mundane to need protection."
General Colin Powell
The letters F, U, C, and K. No one word can place the point on an exclamation like those four letters put together. Do they belong in civil conversation? Probably not.
But civility is dead.
Don't blame those "radical, loony liberal, baby killing, treasonous" groups like MoveOn.org. We've endured every name in the book while civilly explaining our views. We've been unfairly and inaccurately labeled for years by those less than civil pundits on the right. FoxNews has helped perpetuate this. Their hosts don't go a day without vilifying and demonizing those they disagree with.
If one needs to place blame on the lack of civility in political discourse the blame falls squarely on those who control the message. And yeah, it goes all the way up to Bush. The "uniter" has spent his entire presidency carefully placing a wedge between Americans. Careful to parse his words by claiming he isn't questioning the patriotism of political opponents just before he does just that. Over and over again.
Dick Cheney on the floor of the Senate told a Democratic Senator to "go F___ himself" years ago. He has made no secret his disdain for any dissent. Just like the right wing media hacks. Go to the bookstore and look through the political studies section at some of the titles written by these thugs. "Godless" "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder" "Useful Idiots" Read the sub titles to get an idea of just how much these people hate liberals and Democrats. Note to yourself how many books and how long ago they were printed and you will see a long and profitable genre of hate, misinformation and slanderous accusations from the right towards the left.
This is why I find it so amusing that the folks who have made a career out of being uncivil are suddenly offended when liberals or any other critics drop decorum and give it back. Enter the recent student editorial titled "Taser this….F___ Bush." The explicative spelled out in all its glory on the printed page to the ire of many prudish and hypocritical Americans.
Hypocritical because they have less outrage at the invectives spewed by their favorite radio show commentators and political pundits a daily basis. I could give you a dozen instances of what many consider to be hate speech that have occurred this year alone by these cretins. Isn't it the stereotype that Democrats and liberals never fight back? Probably because when they do, as MoveOn and this college news paper did, they are crucified and labeled as being rude.
So sorry if your offended. Not really. I could care less. My country is being hijacked and our civil liberties are being flushed down the toilet. Everything that made us a great nation is being dismantled ignored or re-written as something to be avoided. Civility can kiss my a$$. We can return to civil political discourse when the lunatics are no longer in charge of the asylum. In other words, F___ being polite to a bunch of self righteous hypocrites and ne'er do wells. And yes, especially F___ Bush. A traitor to the Constitution he swore to uphold. An administration that gives more rights to corporations than people. A war profiteering bunch who gleefully toss our tax dollars at their friends. A group that believes public relations is more important to FEMA than actually providing disaster relief. A lying group of lying liars. Excuse me if I seem rude but F___ them!
Free speech doesn't have to be civil, polite or courteous. A polite lie is still a lie. The truth is far more messy. When you witness the absurd, Miss Manners goes out the window. It's laughable to me that Republican Senators wish to censure an advocacy group for using a pun but are willing to stand aside and allow the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth smear and slander John Kerry's military service or allow triple amputee, Vietnam veteran Max Cleland be compared to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein because he opposed the "Patriot Act." Barbara Boxer from California offered a resolution to condemn all of this, including the MoveOn ad but the Republicans would have none of it. They only wish to censure liberals. They wish to censor speech they simply don't like.
So if the words from the left offend some, suck it up, too F___ing bad. More insults and more vulgar language is coming your way. We're only playing on the field and by the rules the Republican thugs and bullies have invented. Don't like it? F___ you. We're trying to save the country from radical conservative ideologues and unfortunately we have to use language they understand. F___ them, F___ Rush and the rest of the jackals and F___ civility if it means capitulating to the right wing talking heads.
Time to hit the phones again, gang. And hit them hard.
Hans Von Spakovsky — yes, the same one that Jane flagged back in 2005 – is up for a vote on Wednesday in the Senate Rules Committee for an appointment to the FEC (Federal Election Commission). Adam Lambert at ePluribusMedia has a three-part series on Mr. Von Spakovsky and why he is utterly wrong for America. And in this DKos diary, Adam covers a potential backroom deal with Reid and Schumer on allowing the Von Spakovsky nomination through…sense my disgust. Maha covers a McClatchey piece and some other background on Von Spakovsky’s minority voter suppression activities. BradBlog has even more on the voter suppression nastiness. ThinkProgress has a letter from six former DOJ employees imploring the Rules Committee to vote “NO” on this nomination, for all our sakes.
And Digby has a run-down on Spakovsky, the Rules committee, the politics in play…and the best headline of the bunch. And if that isn’t enough, Working Assets has even more on the odious Mr. Von Spakovsky.
Here’s the Rules Committee membership list, direct dial numbers, and some toll free ones as well:
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (202) 224-3841 Chairman
Robert Bennett (R-UT) (202) 224-5444 Ranking Member
Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) (202) 224-3954 Ted Stevens (R-AK) (202) 224-3004 Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) (202) 224-3934 Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (202) 224-2541 Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) (202) 224-2823 Thad Cochran (R-MS) (202) 224-5054 Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) (202) 224-6542 Trent Lott (R-MS) (202) 224-6253 Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) (202) 224-2152 Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) (202) 224-5922 E. Benjamin Nelson (D-NE) (202) 224-6551 C. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) (202) 224-3521 Harry Reid (D-NV) (202) 224-3542 Patty Murray (D-WA) (202) 224-2621 Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (202) 224-4944 Chuck Hagel (R-NE) (202) 224-4224 Mark L. Pryor (D-AR) (202) 224-2353
Toll-free numbers to the switchboard (via katymine):
You can see why I want you to hit the phones, can’t you? Please, for the love of all that is the rule of law and the Constitution, call these people today. I beg you. No, Hans Von Spakovsky. Just…NO.
PS — Per perris’ request, if everyone could please be sure to call Harry Reid’s office on this one, I’d appreciate it. Thanks! Posted in Oversight, Justice Department, Random Wingnuttery, Congress, GOP Ethics, Citizen action, legal
Is this delusional or what? Alan Greenspan should never have been at the controls of the FED for so long:
AMY GOODMAN: Well, they are talking about, in one day, for example, the East Rutherford operation center of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 100 Orchard Street in East Rutherford, a tractor-trailer truck pulling up, and though accustomed to receiving and shipping large quantities of cash, the vault had never before processed a single order of this magnitude: $2.4 billion in $100 bills. But ultimately, again, $9 billion of $12 billion gone missing in Iraq.
ALAN GREENSPAN: I am not familiar with any such evidence. And it was certainly not brought to my attention. I, frankly, find it very unlikely that those orders of magnitude were involved in any of the numbers that we were dealing with. You have to make certain that -- there’s been a lot of confusion about losses, and people have used the dinar, the basic currency unit of Iraq, and assumed they were American dollars. And, of course, that gives you a highly distorted view. There’s been, I’ve seen, several reports fairly recently in which that sort of mistake was being made. But what I can tell you is that no such numbers of any order of magnitude of the type you are discussing came to the attention of the Federal Reserve.
"But for every American who becomes more jingoistic and insular because they watched "The War," there will probably be five who are inspired by it to learn more about the world outside America. In any case, history isn't a zero-sum game. There is room both for a documentary that takes a global view of WWII and for Burns' approach."
You must remember thisKen Burns makes deeply emotional films that pluck America's chords of memory. In the case of World War II, this approach feels absolutely right.
By Gary Kamiya
Sep. 25, 2007 | Sixty-two years ago, the greatest conflict in the history of humanity came to an end. Fifty to 60 million people had died. Many millions more were wounded or had lost their homes. Nations were shattered. The most appalling genocide ever had taken place. And for the first time, nuclear weapons had been used, raising the specter of human extinction.
Every way of trying to tell a story this vast carries with it blind spots, reveals its own assumptions and biases. Ken Burns' "The War" is no exception. But this magnificent 15-hour series will stand as one of the most extraordinary accounts of war ever made. Panoramic in its sweep, unflinching in its openness to all the faces of war, crafted with rare intelligence and sensitivity, "The War" is an epic achievement.
Burns' subject has always been America. From "The Civil War" to "Baseball," from "Jazz" to "The West" (for which he was executive producer), to "Thomas Jefferson" to "Mark Twain," Burns has sought out subjects that are deep in the American grain, themes and people that illuminate our history, our ideals, our triumphs, our failures. He is obsessed with the things that hold America together, that define it, that are quintessentially ours.
The danger of being America's Storyteller is that you can end up producing Norman Rockwell history -- sweet and satisfying, but sentimental. "The War" is the latest in a long line of celebratory works about World War II and the American heroes who fought it, including Tom Brokaw's "The Greatest Generation" and Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan"and "Band of Brothers." Those are praiseworthy works, ones that don't minimize the hideousness of combat or the moral ambiguity of war. But Burns' goal was more ambitious: to tell the whole story, to write a warts-and-all history of World War II. Was he the right man for the job?
In her review of the series in the New York Times, Alessandra Stanley argues that he wasn't. She criticizes the documentary for approaching the war from an American perspective -- that is, for being a documentary made by Ken Burns. "Examining a global war from the perspective of only one belligerent is rarely a good idea," Stanley argues. Pointing out that America's self-centered ignorance helped lead us into the Iraq debacle, Stanley concludes that despite its virtues, "The War's" parochialism leaves it fundamentally flawed.
I watched the first installment of seven on Ken Burn's, "The War" Amazing and amazing reaction, even from the neocon-nut David Harsanyi complaining about FCC guidelines regarding censorship as it applies to the documentary. Here Quentin Aanenson is featured from Luvern, Mn, he made an excellent film, "Fighter Pilots Story" regarding the 366th Fighter Group, also my father's group. I was truly amazed at how General MacArthur was handled in the Burn's opener, apparently a typical general officer, pretty worthless without guidance and so out of touch with the rank and file that food, ammunition, clothes, water and other basic necessities rarely enter their thoughts. Even with 8 hours notice, MacArthur left the entire fleet of Army Air Corps planes on the ground, wing tip to wing tip and were easily destroyed. I highly recommend this film, based on the first installment, although the revisionists have already been heard sqwawking, if America is not painted as perfect, well never mind.
One final note, I was struck by the fear this present administration wants us to feel compared to the fear that was so vividly portrayed and spoken about last night. The mention that in a place as relatively small as Mobile, population 127,000 - people on the same block are losing military sons. A mother is asked to not mention the name of the battleship their son has perished on.
Does Hillary have a woman problem? Cast your vote in the Nation Poll.
"I love [Hillary Clinton] so completely that, honestly, she would have to burn down the White House before I would say anything bad about her!" exclaimed Nora Ephron in a 1993 Newsday interview. Three years later, she told the Wellesley class of 1996, "Understand: Every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you." Come late 2006, however, Ephron was the one on the attack as one of the self-described "Hillary resisters"--those who believe that "she will do anything to win, who believe she doesn't really take a position unless it's completely safe," as she wrote on her Huffington Post blog, "who believe she has taken the concept of triangulation and pushed it to a geometric level never achieved by anyone including her own husband, who can't stand her position on the war, who don't trust her as far as you can spit."
Obama is going to make it interesting and trust me, any of the Democrats, including Mike Gravel can beat any of the Republicans. To the rank and file, I say, choose wisely, or at least do better than Kerry and trust me again, Hillary is the only candidate on the Democratic side that is NOT a slam dunk. MC
September 23, 2007
Clinton Solidifies Edge as Rivals Take a Tougher Line
By ADAM NAGOURNEY and JEFF ZELENY
WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 -- Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has consolidated her early lead in the Democratic presidential contest, showing steady strength as the candidates head toward the first voting early next year.
She has been challenged for fund-raising supremacy and news media attention by Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. Former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina beat her to the punch in introducing big policy proposals. But nothing that her main rivals have done has so far has derailed Mrs. Clinton, leading them to begin rolling out aggressive new strategies aimed primarily at her, including courting black voters in South Carolina and stepping up attacks.
She has maintained solid leads in most national polls. And while polls in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire are of limited value in predicting the outcome, they too show her more than holding her own entering the period in which primary voters begin to make up their minds.
"I think they've run a great campaign," David Axelrod, Mr. Obama's senior adviser, said of Mrs. Clinton, of New York. "She's been a very disciplined candidate. They've been deft in trying to get ahead of this tidal wave of people out there who really want change. They are doing the best they can with it."
September 23, 2007
The Day Louis Armstrong Made Noise
By DAVID MARGOLICK
FIFTY years ago this week, all eyes were on Little Rock, Ark., where nine black students were trying, for the first time, to desegregate a major Southern high school. With fewer than 150 blacks, the town of Grand Forks, N.D., hardly figured to be a key front in that battle — until, that is, Larry Lubenow talked to Louis Armstrong. On the night of Sept. 17, 1957, two weeks after the Little Rock Nine were first barred from Central High School, the jazz trumpeter happened to be on tour with his All Stars band in Grand Forks. Larry Lubenow, meanwhile, was a 21-year-old journalism student and jazz fan at the University of North Dakota, moonlighting for $1.75 an hour at The Grand Forks Herald. Shortly before Mr. Armstrong’s concert, Mr. Lubenow’s editor sent him to the Dakota Hotel, where Mr. Armstrong was staying, to see if he could land an interview. Perhaps sensing trouble — Mr. Lubenow was, he now says, a “rabble-rouser and liberal” — his boss laid out the ground rules: “No politics,” he ordered. That hardly seemed necessary, for Mr. Armstrong rarely ventured into such things anyway. “I don’t get involved in politics,” he once said. “I just blow my horn.” But Mr. Lubenow was thinking about other things, race relations among them. The bell captain, with whom he was friendly, had told him that Mr. Armstrong was quietly making history in Grand Forks, as he had done innumerable times and ways before, by becoming the first black man ever to stay at what was then the best hotel in town. Mr. Lubenow knew, too, that Grand Forks had its own link to Little Rock: it was the hometown of Judge Ronald Davies, who’d just ordered that the desegregation plan in Little Rock proceed after Gov. Orval Faubus of Arkansas and a band of local segregationists tried to block it. As Mr. Armstrong prepared to play that night — oddly enough, at Grand Forks’s own Central High School — members of the Arkansas National Guard ringed the school in Little Rock, ordered to keep the black students out. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s meeting with Governor Faubus three days earlier in Newport, R.I., had ended inconclusively. Central High School was open, but the black children stayed home. Mr. Lubenow was first told he couldn’t talk to Mr. Armstrong until after the concert. That wouldn’t do. With the connivance of the bell captain, he snuck into Mr. Armstrong’s suite with a room service lobster dinner. And Mr. Armstrong, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, agreed to talk. Mr. Lubenow stuck initially to his editor’s script, asking Mr. Armstrong to name his favorite musician. (Bing Crosby, it turned out.) But soon he brought up Little Rock, and he could not believe what he heard. “It’s getting almost so bad a colored man hasn’t got any country,” a furious Mr. Armstrong told him. President Eisenhower, he charged, was “two faced,” and had “no guts.” For Governor Faubus, he used a double-barreled hyphenated expletive, utterly unfit for print. The two settled on something safer: “uneducated plow boy.” The euphemism, Mr. Lubenow says, was far more his than Mr. Armstrong’s.
"Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably to assemble, and petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Senator, you swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. Yet you voted along with the Republican party to censure anyone who verbally criticizes a member of the military or of the armed forces. This seems to be in conflict with the oath you took. This stunt of mock outrage brought on by the Republican minority in the Senate regarding an ad purchased by the group MoveOn.org that referred to General Patreaus as General Betray Us. This is a tame statement compared to the daily ranting on Fox News programs and right wing talk radio. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth said much worse and wholly inaccurate statements regarding Senator John Kerry's military service. Former Senator Max Cleleland endured a despicable campaign against him that compared him to Osama bin Laden. These transgressions and slanders are protected speech. Yet only now, when a statement is made by an advocacy group millions strong, that reflects the sentiments of millions more Americans has a group been censured by the Senate.
I am not familiar with another instance when the Senate made such a bold condemnation of political speech. Does the Constitution no longer matter? Was your oath just a stunt? You also voted for the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that denies habeas corpus rights to "Enemy Combatants." A designation that is decided almost solely by the President. You are aware, with your back ground in law, how vital habeas corpus is to our legal system. The Constitutional requirements to suspend habeas corpus, invasion or rebellion, have not been met. Yet you voted for its suspension. This goes beyond partisan views. Why are you contributing to the dismantling of Constitutionally protected rights, essential to our democracy? More importantly, why aren't you standing up to protect these rights? Don't you recognize how dangerous these un-Constitutional acts are to the future of our nation?
The preamble of the Constitution promises to keep these rights for our posterity. Is our most sacred founding document now as quaint as the Geneva Conventions, or the FISA courts? Does the rule of law only apply to some individuals and not others? If so, why? I'm a concerned citizen, a member of MoveOn.org. Will you be censuring Senator McCain's comments that we should leave America? And finally, when can I expect you to begin honoring your oath of office?
LESBIAN COUPLE RISKS ARREST TO SEEK MARRIAGE LICENSE IN DENVER
Local Faith Leader Supports Demand for Civil Marriage
Soulforce Media Advisory: September 21, 2007 For Immediate Release
Kate Burns & Sheila Schroeder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-806-8444 Christopher Hubble, Soulforce Colorado State Organizer, 303-241-3225, email@example.com
(Denver, CO) - In an effort to achieve basic fairness and marriage equality for all of Colorado's families, local nonviolent advocates will again seek to elevate this issue in the public mind. On Monday, September 24, married same-gender couple Kate Burns and Sheila Schroeder will enter the Denver Clerk and Recorder Office to request a marriage license. When denied, they will risk arrest by refusing to leave.
Who: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Families and their Allies, including Rev. Mike Morran of the First Unitarian Society, Denver.
What: Marriage Equality Direct Action: press conference, vigil, civil disobedience
When: Monday, September 24, 2007 3:30 p.m. MDT
[TRAINING IN NONVIOLENCE TO PREPARE FOR MONDAY'S ACTION IS SCHEDULED FROM 1:30-4:30 SUNDAY AFTERNOON (09/23) AT THE GLBT COMMUNITY CENTER OF COLORADO (1050 BROADWAY IN DENVER--JUST SOUTH OF 11TH AND BROADWAY ON THE EAST SIDE OF BROADWAY--LOOK FOR THE PURPLE AWNING)]
Where: Denver Clerk and Recorder Office, Wellington Webb Municipal Administration Building, 201 West Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80202, (Court-Colfax block on 15th Street)
SOULFORCE is a national civil rights and social justice organization. Our vision is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information, go to www.soulforce.org.
"All reforms owe their origin to the initiation of minorities in opposition to majorities... Those who believe that they are not bound to obey laws which are repugnant to their conscience have only the remedy of [nonviolence] open to them." M.K. Gandhi
This action seeks to dramatize that marriage laws which deny full equality to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are an example of religion-based oppression and undermine America's tradition of religious pluralism protected by the U.S. Constitution.
When asked about her decision to participate in this action, Sheila said, "In the four years since my partner and I had our commitment ceremony, we have experienced numerous acts of discrimination. We are denied the ability to file taxes together. We experienced panic when I had a potentially dangerous health crisis and we had no security that she could attend to me in the hospital. We have spent thousands of dollars in legal fees to combine our property and insure our rights as a couple--when heterosexual couples are granted all of this free without question. This discrimination is unconstitutional and unconscionable. It is my patriotic duty to stand against this discrimination. The world needs more love and more support for loving couples. My church supports this fundamental notion and now it's time my government does too."
Earlier this year, Soulforce launched FOCUS ON THE FACTS, an ongoing campaign of nonviolent direct action with the goal of ending religion-based oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Coloradans--staging several sit-ins at James Dobson's ministry headquarters in Colorado Springs since February. Most recently, on July 13th, Soulforce, Just Spirit, and the Pikes Peak Gay and Lesbian Pride Center organized a marriage equality direct action at the county clerk's office in Colorado Springs. For several years now, affirming marriage equality has been a distinct theme at PrideFest in the Springs. Several same-gender couples asked for marriage licenses and were denied according to state statute. Randomly formed opposite-gender couples then obtained licenses to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the law. And a couple that had been denied when attempting to obtain a license in a previous year as lesbian partners obtained a license this year because one of them has since transitioned to become male.
Speaking about the continuation of this campaign in Denver and her participation in the action on Sep 24, Kate Burns said, "As a life-long Unitarian Universalist, I seek to practice my religion by marrying my life partner in the church where I grew up. My religion does not condemn love simply because it happens between partners of the same gender. Legislation that prevents me from marrying my partner interferes with the free exercise of my faith tradition and imposes the viewpoint of one religious view--which opposes our union--on all citizens. My union with my partner, Sheila, is a life-long commitment founded on love and respect for each other, and for each other's families. I will not allow an unjust law tell me that we are not worthy of being married. Following the principles of nonviolent resistance, I will do whatever it takes to shed light on the immoral and discriminatory legislation that denies basic human rights to us as a couple, and to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people."
Kate's and Sheila's minister, Rev. Mike Morran of the First Unitarian Society of Denver will be present Monday to support Kate and Sheila in this profound act of civil resistance. Rev. Morran has a history of support of full equality for all of Colorado's families. A year ago to the day, he led a "Standing on the Side of Love" service on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol Building in support of the "principles of love, diversity, freedom and inclusion." Explaining his support for Kate and Sheila, Rev. Morran said, "There are so many levels where marriage equality simply makes good sense. From a religious point of view, the Gospels clearly hold up Love as the spiritual goal for people of faith. From a church point of view, marriage is a sacrament and the state should stay out of it. From a constitutional point of view, freedoms, like the freedom to marry, that apply to some citizens but not to others can only undermine the civil rights of all people, not just gays and lesbians. As a person of faith, as a pastor, and as a citizen, I am proud to stand on the side of love, to protect the right of churches to administer their own sacraments, and to uphold equal rights and responsibilities for all citizens." [A full text of the "Standing on the Side of Love" principles are included with this advisory.]
FIRST UNITARIAN SOCIETY OF DENVER seeks "to create a loving and welcoming spiritual family, embracing all who enter in search of solace, inspiration, knowledge, and growth… we bring our gifts to build a strong religious community… we venture into the wider world, working to build a just and nurturing society for all." The UUA's support of equal treatment for bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender persons is long-reaching and extensive. For more information, go to www.firstunitariandenver.org. UUA Interfaith Clergy Pledge for the Freedom to Marry.
SHEILA E. SCHROEDER is an ordinary American who recognizes that speaking about injustice is her patriotic duty. She is a partner, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, teacher, and a filmmaker. Just like her filmmaking mission where she tries to amplify the voices of those not often portrayed in the media, she is trying to use her own voice to draw attention to injustice she experiences. While she has come to activism later in life and participated in nonviolent actions in the past, this will be her first act of civil disobedience.
KATE BURNS was born in Denver, attended East High School and Colorado State University, and now works at the University of Denver. She has pride in her native state, and considers it her responsibility to keep working as a dedicated citizen to help Colorado progress to become a shining example of freedom and equality. She grew up in First Unitarian Church of Denver where her minister, Rev. Mike Morran, would gladly marry her to her partner of five years, Sheila Schroeder, if the state and nation of her birth would shed its institutional discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
REV. MIKE MORRAN is minister at First Unitarian Church in Denver, Colorado, an urban congregation of over 250 families. He is a member of Colorado Clergy for Equality in Marriage, Capitol Hill United Ministries, and the Family Matters Task Force of the Unitarian Universalist Association. He is a proud father of two children, whom he co-parents with his partner of 13 years.
First Unitarian Society of Denver believes that all human beings are created in love, worthy of dignity and respect to the fullest extent. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are an integral part of natural and divine creation. Therefore we stand on the side of Love.
We believe that a Family is best defined, not by gender, but by commitment and Love. Therefore we stand on the side of Love.
We believe that Creation is characterized by diversity, and that loving relationships take many forms. Reverence for diversity ensures the peaceful prosperity of the human race. Therefore, we stand on the side of Love.
We believe that responsible Freedom is the highest political achievement of our culture, the best environment for human beings to grow in, and the only environment in which both human and divine Love can flourish. Therefore, we stand on the side of Love.
We believe that a Freedom, including the freedom to marry the person of our choice, if it does not apply equally to all citizens, is not Freedom. Standing for the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people will help to preserve the civil rights of all human beings. Therefore, we stand on the side of Love.
>> April 28 - Roses and Reality - Chris Hubble and Leigh Lyon are arrested entering the campus of James Dobson's ministry headquarters to deliver A False Focus On My Family and the open video letter DVD "Dear Dr. Dobson".
The "Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness" aka Denver's Road Home seems to be right on track.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the plan's short term goal is to reduce chronic homelessness by 75 percent in 5 years. Since it started in 2005, there's been a 36 percent decrease in chronic homelessness.
I didn't think it was possible... but then I took a look at the details of the plan.... it's a good plan. Kudos to the developers. I especially like the mentorship portion in conjunction with speedy access to permanent housing.
In an interview featured September 19 on his Washingtonpost.com blog, "The Fix," Chris Cillizza highlighted Colorado Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer's assertion that, regarding fundraising, "I'm just a guy. I don't hang out with millionaires for a living." In fact, Federal Election Commission (FEC) data indicate that millionaire associates -- including Schaffer's employer, Aspect Energy chairman Alex Cranberg -- have contributed to his campaign. According to Cillizza's post, Schaffer also "rejected the perception -- fostered by Democrats -- that he is too conservative to win statewide" and quoted Schaffer's claim that he voted against his party "a lot" while serving in Congress from 1997 to 2003. However, according to The Washington Post's "The U.S. Congress Votes Database," Schaffer voted with the Republican Party more than 80 percent of the time during his three terms in Congress.
Ah, you know, none of it has to be true, of course. What would be the fun in that, and this Washington Post blogger doesn't seem to mind either way.
The Denver Post reported today that Gov. Ritter testified before Congress on the nation's need to follow the West's lead in establishing that a minimal percentage of energy (15%), come from renewable resources by 2020.
Ritter told the House Select Committee on Renewable Energy and Global Warming that "There is great frustration among governors that there is not a federal policy that supports what states are doing...A federal (standard) provides a more responsible energy future for our nation."
Ritter said a national standard would help the creation of regional grids to transport energy, as well as generate jobs in Colorado for researchers searching for ways to maximize solar, geothermal and other alternative sources of power.
The launch of Katie Couric a year ago as the anchor of the CBS Evening News was hailed by CBS as the biggest thing in news since, well, the invention of denture fixative commercials. It was also the biggest flop. The CBS Evening News Without Dan Rather or Bob Schieffer had its lowest ratings since Nielsen began tracking evening news shows in 1987. This turn of events stunned CBS executives--who had given her the famous "Kiss Me Kate" contract, which paid Couric $15 million a year--and the news consultants who thought she was the answer to CBS being mired in third place in the network news race for the past ten years. The news doctors who have been paid millions trying to fix the show for the past year have only made it worse. It didn't matter how many times the consultants got it wrong. Remember what they did to poor Dan Rather? Smile, don't smile. Wear a sweater, don't wear a sweater. Stand up to deliver the news, sit down. It is a law of the news consultancy/network relationship: If we are paying so much money, it must be right. Otherwise, why are we paying so much money?
While the report obviously had its intended effect by creating headlines such as "Risks of drilling at old nuke site minimal" -why am I still skeptical? Is it because the report is based on mathmatical models not ground tests? Or that the study came out a mere two weeks before gas companies push for expanded drilling into the test site area? Or is it that the tests were only for one compound "tritium". But you wouldn't know this uncertainty from reading the headlines in today's papers- those details don't come out until you're beneath the fold.
Since the Republicans largely boycotted a scheduled event at Morehouse College, there has been some discussion floating around about how the "Party of Lincoln" has "turned its back" on black voters. Schwarzenegger gave a speech to that effect to Republicans in California a week or so ago.
I am here to tell you - it ain't so. The Republicans have leaned heavily on blacks and other minorities because they have based their agenda on the votes of the white backlash ever since the days of the civil rights movement to create the party that they are today. It was the evil genius of George Wallace that took the southern racist reaction to civil rights campaigns and draped it in the white sheets of states' rights, "drown-it-in-the-bathtub" small government, anti-gun control, white evangelical christianism, using racism as the subtext. Wallace's approach was adopted by Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican convention. Black delegates were systematically harassed and expelled. Jackie Robinson, a lifelong Republican, said that at that convention, he could understand what it must have been like in Nazi Germany.
You can connect the underlying racist dots from there to Nixon's southern strategy in 1968, Reagan "democrats", the war on drugs (crack gets more punishment than coke), welfare reform ("welfare Cadillac"), and the Willie Horton ad, and the transformation of the word "liberal" into an epithet (Wallace did that.) With changes in generations and demographics, the approach is now being extended to cover the new "others of color" - (Arab) Muslims and (Latino) immigrants.
Republicans have put racists into high judicial position to reinforce these views, including Chief Justice Rehnquist, who was a Goldwater protégé and supporter of his 1964 campaign, and wrote numerous opinions arguing against racial justice, school integration, voting rights, and later worked for Attorney General John Mitchell of Watergate fame.
Chief Justice Roberts was Rehnquist's law clerk. While less overtly racist than his predecessor, Roberts has continued to interpret laws that buttress the white sheet that covers so many Republican policies, generally limiting the reach of Federal power, except when that reach undermines civil liberties that can protect the rights of individuals. It is easy to forget that before the Civil Rights Act and Voting Act, state law was flagrantly used to attack and suppress the civil rights movement. In today's environment, Martin Luther King would probably be in Guantanamo instead of Parchman, and the Constitutional rights that eventually led to Federal intervention to integrate the nation would have been waved aside under charges of terrorism and insurrection. Bull Connor and the southern sheriffs would have supported KKK policies even more freely in Selma, Birmingham, and Oxford, protected by a Supreme Court and Justice Department that defends state's rights against human rights.
So let's not pretend that the Republicans are the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt; those days have been gone since 1964. But they do embrace the objects of their enmity, because they need them to scare the white folks. Without black and brown folks, most of their agenda is empty.
The following article in today's Denver Post sums up the status of protecting one of Western Colorado's most threatened areas. Oil & Gas interests are pushing hard to open up the 50K + acres on the top of the Roan Plateau to drilling before the Bush administration is out of office next year. The likely time-line for this is that despite a 120 day reprieve and a recommendation to limit drilling on the plateau by Ritter, all signs point to the likelyhood that the Bush administration will ignore any recommendations. So it's up to our Congressional delegation to get legislation protecting the top of the plateau through Congress this fall. They're going to need are help. - you can check out the article below
Ritter seeks "balance" on Roan drilling Although the governor opposes more gas wells on the plateau, he said the state should focus on mitigating any impact.
By Jennifer Brown Denver Post Staff Writer Article Last Updated: 09/19/2007 12:36:00 AM MDT
The economic benefits of more gas drilling on the Roan Plateau aren't worth disturbing a "largely untouched" wilderness, Gov. Bill Ritter told a group of environmentalists Tuesday. But the governor made no promise that he could prevent the federal government's drilling plans and focused more on how to mitigate the environmental impact. "We are looking for the balance," Ritter told Colorado Conservation Voters, a political arm for environmental groups. "We are absolutely paying attention to impact." As he spoke, Colorado Department of Natural Resources director Harris Sherman was preparing for a trip to Rifle today to walk on the Roan Plateau, a 3,500-foot mesa that is a haven for hunters and anglers. "It's sort of a reconnaissance," said department spokeswoman Deb Frazier. The state is in the middle of a 120-day review of the Roan Plateau drilling plan, granted by the federal Bureau of Land Management at Ritter's request.
In December, the state is expected to tell the bureau why it opposes expanded drilling for natural gas on the Roan. But the governor's office acknowledged that the federal government doesn't have to listen, Ritter spokesman Evan Dreyer said. And the state's top environmentalists say they are relying on Colorado's congressional delegation to block expanded drilling. The U.S. House passed an energy bill with an amendment sponsored by Colorado Democratic Reps. Mark Udall and John Salazar that would bar drilling on top of the Roan. The House and Senate have to reconcile their versions of the bill. "At the end of the day, we have to count on our congressional delegation," said Elise Jones, executive director of the Colorado Environmental Coalition. Jones said she is frustrated with the "rush to lease" in western Colorado, particularly in one of the "last few special places." But those who support the Bureau of Land Management's plan say it's restrictive enough to protect the environment. The plan would limit drilling to 1 percent of the plateau's surface at a given time, argue Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, and Rep. Al White, R-Winter Park. They propose putting drilling revenue in a trust fund for colleges and universities. Meg Collins, president of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, said companies have the technology to safely explore the Roan.
"The industry believes it can explore and develop for energy resources in an environmentally sensitive and an environmentally responsible manner," she said. Ritter signed new laws this year designed to protect the environment and wildlife habitat from the drilling boom. The laws added more environmentalists to the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and directed the commission to include the Division of Wildlife in creating drilling practices. Ritter said he was concerned about mule deer and elk herds on the Roan Plateau but encouraged by an increase in directional drilling in Colorado, which allows companies to drill more wells from one pad. "We are going to be stubborn about measuring impact," he said.
Ann Richards was asked this question on June 3, 2004 at a Rutt Bridges fundraiser for Dave Thomas. Her answer, "You have to find the courage to talk to the people you don't know about things they don't want to hear."
My initial interpretation was that she was talking about all Democrats, but now I am more convinced that she was talking about Democratic leadership. Even though standing on a street corner and holding a sign takes more courage than most possess and is way more effective than most people realize, most candidates/office holders might only do so if surrounded by supporters while holding a sign with their name on it. This actually has little to do with where I am going with the courage thing, it is just to point out that sometimes raw courage is not enough. Great example of a Democrat with lots of courage would be Jimmy Carter. Jimmy had several huge handicaps, one is that he was a military trained nuclear engineer, another he was from the south and had an incurable south Georgia accent. Despite these handicaps and because of his trump card- he was one of the few Southern Baptists that ever held fast to the teachings of Jesus and was forever humbled by His example. People knew instinctively that he was a good and honest man and compared to Gerald Ford he looked like the rocket scientist that he truly was.
Private security companies expert Peter W. Singer said the case posed a dilemma. "Do we turn over American citizens to an Iraqi judicial system that is inept, corrupt and now politicized?" asked Singer, an analyst with the Brookings Institution. A failure to do so, he added, would undermine the legitimacy of a government the administration is working to shore up. From the story on the front page of the Denver Post: Iraqi regime ousts U.S. security firm
I sometimes drift into a false sense of security. Living in a relatively big city, I sometimes think it's possible that people of different races have similar experiences as they go about their daily business.
Then, every so often (read every other day), something happens to jerk me back to reality.
This year has been especially awesome in that regard.
Many people who are of voting age have only cell phones. Will political candidates get smart? Is Hilliary, Barack, Edwards to Ritter, Salazar, DeGette to Romanoff, Barnes-Gelt, or Ken Gordon and the Democratic campaign managers listening?
"A new study released this week found that young people are more likely to vote by 4.2 percentage points if they receive a text message reminding them to show up to the polls.
The survey found that most of the recipients, and especially Hispanics, found the message helpful — unlike their reaction e-mail. But here’s the result that could be the most compelling to the campaigns: Each additional vote generated by the text message cost an average $1.56.
Compare that to some phone calls, which, for the same level of effectiveness, cost about $20 a vote. Door-to-door canvassing, which can increase young voter turnout by 7-to-9 percent, comes in at around $30 a vote.
'Text messaging can be another tool in the toolbox,' said Sujatha Jahagirdar, the project director for Student Public Interest Research Group’s Young Voters Project, one of the groups involved in the study."
A Constitution to "Chain the Dogs of War" John Nichols-The Nation Two-hundred and twenty years ago this week, the patriots who had stuck through the long process of drafting a Constitution for the new United States finally approved the document. The primary purpose of their creation was, in the language of their time, to "chain the dogs of war." Continues:
The following report by The Wilderness Society appeared in today's Durango Hearald. The massive land giveaway by the Federal Government is full steam ahead before the Bush train runs out of gas next year.
West on track for 126,000 new wells
Mountain states' public lands focus of enviro group
September 18, 2007 By Joe Hanel | Herald Denver Bureau
Colorado's public lands can expect 22,000 new gas and oil wells in the next two decades, according to a report by The Wilderness Society. More than 126,000 new wells are expected on public lands in five Western states - Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah and Montana - according to the environmental group. The number does not include wells planned on private land. "This is a time to take a step back and consider what current levels of oil and gas drilling are doing to our public land and private land," said Nada Culver with The Wilderness Society. The group got its numbers from analyzing Resource Management Plans prepared by local offices of the Bureau of Land Management. No government office keeps track of the total number of wells planned for the Western United States, and that's a problem, Culver said. "They are not taking the combined impacts of this amount of drilling into account when deciding whether to approve more," Culver said.
The news that the Iraqi government has banned Blackwater USA, the notorious mercenary firm, from operating in the country reveals another of the great fictions promoted by the Bush crowd in the course of this catastrophic war. The notion that Iraq is a sovereign nation in control of its own destiny. The Bush Administration announced this myth several years ago after Iraqis adopted a Constitution and started electing a government. It was shrewd political propaganda--a reassuring sign of progress--but the claim was not true then or now. Major media and American political leaders, nevertheless, embraced the happy talk and pretended it was real. (The Nation's own Jeremy Scahill has done pathbreaking reporting on Blackwater: See Bush's Shadow Army and Mercenary Jackpot, among others. Scahill also testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense in May about the impact of private military contractors on the conduct of the war.) The banning of Blackwater makes it impossible to ignore the fact that Iraq is not in charge of Iraq. We are. Iraq's Interior Ministry announced that authorities have cancelled Blackwater's licence to operate in the country and intend to prosecute the company for a shooting that killed eight Iraqis. The New York Times account added this disclaimer in the second paragraph: "But under the rules that govern private security contractors here, the Iraqis do not have the legal authority to do so." Who says? The occupying Americans. The Coalition Provisional Authority issued a "law" when they supposedly handed over sovereignty to Iraq--Order No. 17--that gave Blackwater and other US contractors immunity from Iraqi law. How clever of the American pro-consul. The basic reality in wars of occupation--see the history of colonialism--is that a country can never regain true sovereignty so long as the occupying army remains on the scene, able to impose its will by force of arms. That of course is Iraq's situation, no matter what the White House says or Americans wish to believe. Iraq will not become a sovereign nation until the US troops depart. Maybe this why polls show 76 percent of Iraqis want the US out. The end game for colonialist regimes nearly always started with the imperial power allowing the people to "elect" their own government. But these were typically puppet governments, composed of carefully screened and supposedly safe political figures. More to the point, they remained under the control of the occupying army. People in the Middle East or Africa or Asia understand this distinction because liberation is still fresh in their national history. So now the US puppet government in Iraq is talking back to its mentor--claiming to have powers the US has not given it. The Americans may not tolerate such uppity behavior. Prosecute Americans for crimes against Iraqi citizens? How dare you. Blackwater could become an interesting problem for the American overseers to resolve. Maybe Washington will decide that Bagdad is not yet ready for sovereignty, after all.
Woah, this is interesting. Colorado Senator Ken Salazar -- who's taken a bunch of heat for backing toothless Iraq War measures -- is now flirting with the ultimate: Cutting off funding for the war. From the Denver Post:
Washington -- Congress should look at cutting off funding for the Iraq War if Senate efforts to change the role of U.S. troops in the battlefield fail, Sen. Ken Salazar said Monday.
Salazar, a Colorado Democrat, previously has not supported Congress using its ability to stop war payments in order to force President Bush to change direction..."If it could be done then I think we ought to take a look at it," Salazar said.
Greenspan Spills The Beans
Ray McGovern September 17, 2007
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington. A former CIA analyst, he is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. An earlier, shorter version of this article has appeared on Consortiumnews.com .
For those still wondering why President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney sent our young men and women into Iraq, the secret is now "largely" out. No, not from the lips of former Secretary of State Colin Powell. It appears we shall have to wait until the disgraced general/diplomat draws nearer to meeting his maker before he gets concerned over anything more than the "blot" that Iraq has put on his reputation. Rather, the uncommon candor comes from a highly respected Republican doyen, economist Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, whom the president has praised for his "wise policies and prudent judgment." Sadly for Bush and Cheney, Greenspan decided to put prudence aside in his new book, The Age of Turbulence, and answer the most neuralgiac issue of our times-why the United States invaded Iraq.
Could 2008 be the year that Democrats finally admit an old sweetheart is never coming back, and stop pandering to the white male voter?
By Thomas F. Schaller Sep. 17, 2007 | Those who have been closely following the politics of the Democratic primaries may have noticed that someone is missing -- and I'm not referring to Bob Shrum, the Rev. Al Sharpton or an as-yet-undiscovered "Gravel Girl." I'm talking about the white male voter, or at least a certain long-coveted variety thereof. He is variously known as "NASCAR dad" -- that shirt-sleeved, straight-talkin', these-colors-don't-run fella who votes his cultural values above all else -- or "Bubba," as Steve Jarding and Dave "Mudcat" Saunders affectionately call him in their book, "Foxes in the Henhouse." Start looking on milk cartons for Bubba because he has vanished, and not a moment too soon: The Democratic obsession with the down-home, blue-collar, white male voter, that heartbreaker who crossed the aisle to the Republicans many decades ago, may finally be coming to a merciful end. More here: Salon.Com
How do you spell out of control no bid security contractor: Blackwater
September 17, 2007 Blackwater License Being Pulled in Iraq By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 9:55 a.m. ET BAGHDAD (AP) -- The Iraqi government said Monday that it was revoking the license of an American security firm accused of involvement in the deaths of eight civilians in a firefight that followed a car bomb explosion near a State Department motorcade. The Interior Ministry said it would prosecute any foreign contractors found to have used excessive force in the Sunday shooting. It was latest accusation against the U.S.-contracted firms that operate with little or no supervision and are widely disliked by Iraqis who resent their speeding motorcades and forceful behavior.
Saw your column in the Post today, just wanted you to know that winning a war is so much more than defeating an army. One might look no further than the Little Bighorn and the humiliating defeat of Custer and the 7th Cavalry, problem is that your logic presumes Sitting Bull is the bad guy and the Sherman doctrine of war is applicable and morally defensible as long as "Americans" are the ones pulling the trigger. Custer didn't ride into the valley of the Little Bighorn to deliver salt, bacon, blankets and goodwill, neither for the same reason did the army of George Bush ride into the valley of the Euphrates. Yeah we broke it, but you know, if the Iraqis didn't have oceans of oil a few feet below the surface, it wouldn't take but a few minutes to realize that Iraqis are smart enough to fix whatever we broke. Now think of yourself as an American, unable to fix your roads, bridges, schools, health care systems, urban sprawl, immigration policies, foreign policy, your justice system, find Osama bin Laden, etc., etc.. Now imagine convincing the Iraqis that you are capable of fixing THEIR problems.
John, regarding the apologies thread, etc.. Just a short note to say no apologies necessary and certainly not by the Udall campaign or office staff.
However, some of your points were extremely valuable and spot on. The Udall staff and Mark himself never had control of the meeting and when they used up their plan B,C and D, their tactics to beat the clock were transparent and at best disingenuous. The main offenders were front and center with their little digital movie cameras and the guy making most of the fuss had a Ron Paul sticker on his car and nothing else. As for excusing rude and immature behavior or promoting that sort of behavior as effective civil disobedience/civil disorder for the sake of encouraging dialogue is about as ridiculous as was the answering of the most thoughtful and brief question of the night with, 'can we go to a private room, just you and me and let me answer you there.'
My main complaint with Mark Udall as well as DeGette are that they live in districts that would be safe for Bernie Sanders Socialists and their excuses for inaction, the lack of fiery rhetoric or effective pot and pan banging is that they don't have a majority or that in the interest of civility and bipartisinship they must always bend over and never ask for a reach around. There is civility and there is masochism, there is courage and there is unadulterated pure cowardice. Many adjectives are used to describe today's Democrats, the one most used seems to be spinelessness, it is the one adjective least used about Republicans. With all their many and greater faults, that they are not percieved as cowardly and indecisive they get a pass on all the others. The real sin of Democrats and especially of people elected in extremely liberal districts to exhibit anything less than Joan of Arc valor is to damn those of us who possess that courage to a lifetime of defending OUR values and their civility.
Despite of all wishes to the contrary, whatever good intentions that may remain, the incompetence and mismanagement, the lawless prosecution of the war, the torture and rendition, our cavalier disregard for civilian casualties, collateral damage and basic civilian infrastructure, the hiring of third world citizens to fill the ranks of the US Armed Forces. The tolerance of severe criminal behavior (to include murder and torture) by no bid contractors, all of these things and more, there is none that can compare with the betrayal of trust to the rest of the world by the American people in the name of defending a sitting president or seeking bipartisan solutions with the perpetrators of the crimes.
The 208 Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform is scheduled to make its final recommendations to the legislature by the end of January. The Lewin Group just completed its evaluation of four diverse proposals selected by the 208 Commission. Now the Commission is working on its own 5th Proposal.
There is one more opportunity for the public to weigh in on health care reform - see the schedule of October congressional district meetings below, and mark your calendars. Below the schedule are suggested topics the Commission is requesting comment on.
View a 1-page summary of the Lewin Group report of administrative savings with the Colorado Health Services Single Payer proposal; and a brief 1-page summary by the Lewin Group of its evaluation of 4 Colorado health care reform proposals. Only 1 of the 4 health care reform proposals evaluated by the Lewin Group was shown to insure everyone AND save money - the Colorado Health Services Single Payer Insurance.
5th Proposal -- The Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform is writing their own 5th Proposal, also to be evaluated by Lewin. They are considering a 2-track system of public-private insurance with an individual mandate to purchase private insurance and a tax penalty for failure to do so - similar to the Massachusetts model. (See below: Massachusetts Health Care - Universal in Name Only)
Unfortunately, without strictly regulating private insurances, the experience in Massachusetts with an Individual Mandate is that even the most "affordable" private insurance premium is unaffordable for many - $660/month per family and $330/month per individual. These "affordable" policies tend to be high-deductible, high-copay stripped-down policies that do not provide adequate health or financial protection. Massachusetts Health Care - Universal in Name Only.
It is important to let the 208 Commission and our legislators know that we want real systemic reform, not incremental reform that merely continues shifting costs without addressing a major cause of inflationary health costs - the high administrative costs of commercial insurers, who guarantee shareholder profits by insuring the healthy and excluding everyone else as a 'pre-existing condition.' Over 30% of our health care dollars go to wasteful administrative costs of private insurances - 20% administration, marketing and profit-taking, and another 12% administrative costs imposed by insurances on providers and hospitals. The CHS Single Payer Proposal calls for limiting overhead costs to 5%. Medicare has an overhead cost of 1.8%.
Public Hearings -- Mark Your Calendars! Below are some dates and locations of the public hearings to be held by the 208 Commission each congressional district in the state. Updated info at www.colorado.gov/208commission
Thursday, October 4 Boulder - TBD 5-8pm
Friday, October 5 Colo. Springs -TBD 5-8pm
Friday, October 5 Lamar - Lamar Community Building 5-8pm Saturday, October 6 Denver - Auraria Campus 2-5pm
Saturday, October 6 Parker - Parker Town Hall 9-12noon
Saturday, October 6 Pueblo - Pueblo Convention Center 9-12noon
Saturday, October 6 Canon City-Skyline School/Commons 5-8pm
Wednesday, October 10 Durango - Durango Rec Center 5-8pm Thursday, October 11 Greeley - UNC Lindau Auditorium 5-8pm
Thursday, October 11 Grand Junction - City Hall Auditorium 5-8pm Friday, October 12 Silverthorne -Library Blue River Room 5-8pm
Friday, October 12 Fort Collins - Lincoln Center Mini Theater 5-8pm Saturday, October 13 Craig - Craig Memorial Hosp. 1-4pm
Saturday, October 13 Brighton - Adams County Courthouse 1-4pm
Questions the general public is asked to address when testifying before the Commission: 1. What should the role of the following, if any, in providing or assuring access to health care? a. Individuals b. Employers c. Providers & ancillary services d. Government e. Insurers (Health Plans)
2. Please discuss anything that you think we should pay particular attention to in the five proposals or anything that you think is missing from the conversation that would make a difference to you as we move forward with recommendations for health care reform.
What will be done with the testimony heard? An oral summary of the testimony received will be presented to the full Commission when it meets on Oct. 18-19, 2007.Written testimony will be distributed to all Commissioners. Testimony from these meetings - along with that received at similar community hearings in March and May, and all testimony provided at Commission meetings - will be incorporated in the Commission's final report to the legislature.
Morris K. Udall had only been in Washington a few weeks when he wrote Speaker Sam Rayburn an earnestly presumptuous letter urging that Congress implement a mechanism to ensure a balanced budget each year, and that Rayburn appoint a special committee to review the seniority system. Rayburn, unsurprisingly, never replied.
From the first Mo was a vocal critic of the House seniority system, a process, he wrote, "that rewarded longevity, not merit." He was impatient with the "to get along, go along" mentality and the antiquated machinery of Congress, complaining "it's just as hard to repeal bad old laws as it is to pass good new ones." In 1969, with a scant seven and half years' experience, Mo unsuccessfully challenged Speaker John W. McCormack for the speakership (the first Congressman of the 20th century to challenge a sitting Speaker). It was a bold move that cost him, in the short run, political allies, but one of which colleague David Obey (D-WI) said later that it "gave heart to an entire generation" of younger congressmen and broke the back of the seniority system. A year later he ran for majority leader and lost again. In a self-mocking gesture, he turned his "MO" button upside down to read "OW."
Appropos my previous post, below are excerpts from a column in today's (Sept 14 New York Times) by Paul Kruger. Can you connect the dots to determine Bush's real "strategy"? I've included the entire text of the column in the "Extended Post".
Back in January, announcing his plan to send more troops to Iraq,
President Bush declared that "America will hold the Iraqi government
to the benchmarks it has announced."
Near the top of his list was the promise that "to give every Iraqi
citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation
to share oil revenues among all Iraqis."
Last month the provincial government in Kurdistan, defying the central
government, passed its own oil law; last week a Kurdish Web site
announced that the provincial government had signed a
production-sharing deal with the Hunt Oil Company of Dallas, and that
seems to have been the last straw.
Now here's the thing: Ray L. Hunt, the chief executive and president
of Hunt Oil, is a close political ally of Mr. Bush. More than that,
Mr. Hunt is a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory
Board, a key oversight body.
I've been involved lately in a debate about global warming that has forced me to think through the issue. I was taken aback by the views of an educated neighbor who denies that it is happening - I was as shocked as though I was hearing holocaust denial. He provided me some reading material, so I had to react. Here are my thoughts, and I would love to hear yours.
Most of these thoughts would have applied before I read the material, by the way. I'm not a climate scientist or even an earth scientist, so you can read my thoughts as coming from a reasonably informed layman, and certainly not a specialist.
• I totally agree that climate models are highly unreliable and primitive. I understand the GIGO principle, and I have a lot of faith in the ability of combinations of technical innovations and economic incentives to alter predicted outcomes, as evidenced all the way from Malthus to the Club of Rome.
• The evidence against climate change is equally weak however, and the advocates like Richard Lindzen (MIT) of that position strike me as more than somewhat panglossian. I see two general approaches from the denyers: One is to measure actual climate change, and finding no relationship or an inverse relationship based on a simple regression between average temperature and time, conclude that there is nothing to global warming. This "modeling" approach is even weaker than the climate models that are being criticized. I put them in the same category as arguments that there is no scientific proof that smoking is linked to cancer. The second approach is to conclude that since global average temperatures are within historical extremes, that any warming trend that may exist is normal and we should just get over it.
My big problem with all this is that I do not believe that diagnostics that simply rely on looking at average temperatures is revealing. The earth's climate is the result of highly complex interactions of multiple forces ranging from sunlight reflected from ice on the poles, to the actions of ocean currents, forest coverage, passing events like volcanic ash, and yes, human action including the atmospheric impacts of industrialization. The climate models have probably not captured the first order effects of all these factors, much less the second or third order ones. But I have studied system dynamics enough to understand that any dynamic inter-related system that is subject to hysteresis and variable time lags is vulnerable to wild gyrations when the system is disturbed, although those gyrations may come slowly and build from apparently small causes.
As an economist, I generally look for changes in systems at their margins, not at their average, just as a pool of water dries up from the surface and retreats from its banks, not from its depths. I also am a fan of catastrophe theory (see Rene Thom), which suggests that systems can exhibit smooth predictable change until a threshold is passed, and then exhibit a sudden and non-linear change of structure. I also am enough of a statistician to understand the difference between Type I and Type II errors and enough of an economist to attribute costs to each, especially when the costs of reversing an error are very high.
So put all that together, and I see evidence at the margins that something is happening to the climate - at the margins, some cities and coastlines are being drowned, storms of surprising strength seem to be showing an increase, ice is certainly melting at the poles and glaciers are shrinking, polar bears are drowning and weather patterns are appearing outside the norms. Add to that Chinese pollution, the loss of Amazon rain forests, and disturbances in the cycle of rainy and dry seasons in Africa, and the causes for concern start to rise.
Is all that evidence of global warming? Not conclusively, but then I start thinking about Type I and Type II error - if there is no global warming but we act to prevent it, there may be some detriment to economic growth, although I suspect that the net effect of that impact would actually be positive as carbon trading will probably create innovation, jobs and growth in response to the price incentives that are the justification for such trading systems. (And just because Enron wanted to make a business of emissions trading doesn't make it a bad thing. Their problems were not due to that. There is an active market in emissions trading in Los Angeles and also in the EU.) But if there is global warming and we do nothing, the result will be quite unpredictable, although those impacts will fall more on our children and grand children. I certainly do not want my descendants cursing their forebears for doing nothing when they still had the chance.
And to argue that global warming is unambiguously beneficial because it will increase farming yields strikes me as the worst sort of chicanery. To look at simple averages does not reveal the full potential for local dislocations that are impossible to model, but are likely to be very significant - storms, flooding, droughts, forest fires, desertification, population movements and associated wars for resources - these things have happened in the past, and they were often a result of local climate changes. It is the apparently anomalous local changes at the margin that eventually reveal themselves in changes of averages. It took decades for the computer revolution to start showing up in US productivity numbers. But that doesn't mean that the computer revolution wasn't happening.
.............. a Democrat that insists on no primary challenges. Arrogance is knowing the exact count of Green Party attendees at a Mark Udall Town Hall meeting. Arrogance is overconfidence in your candidate and feeling the need to answer questions for them. Arrogance is a Clinton Democrat defining themselves as the "real left". For fun and giggles, perhaps we could add to this list called ARROGANCE, if for no other reason than creating another circular firing squad.
There are some great and thoughtful posts on the Udall thread, but alas, it has been buried in obscurity under shall we say a need to move the spotlight. There is another Mark that is considering a run for the same seat, I really like his ability to get his thoughts on paper, he made an extremely thoughtful post towards the top, well worth a trip to the dungeon.
I respect the men and women of conviction that are part of PNA.In a few areas,you have changed my mind.The Iraq War is a quagmire.It is draining our national treasury.The Iraq War is dividing our nation and alienating our allies.
Is this part of al'qaeda's strategy? Divide and conquer and to sap the United States economic base? I remember that hours following the September 11 2001 attack.The world was united in a voice of anger and resolve to deal with terrorism.G W Bush held in his hands,the good will and unity to align a true coalition to counter terrorism.He had the opportunity to take his seat amongst the giants of history.He chose the path that angels fear to tread and rushed in the neocon reactionary route.
I did yoemans work to help progressives get elected last year and truly believed that the new Congress would find a way to end our involvement in the Iraqi War and restore sanity to Washington DC.
The Democrats have done all they could.The Republicans have blocked them at every turn.They can continue the focus on the war with various resolutions and debates.Now is where you and I come in.Its time for a national debate on the Iraq War in all 435 House Districts across the U S A.Dare the Republicans to stifle this debate.They can't. Bin Laden and his operatives will see America it her best.They will see the will of 54% of Americans articulate a strategy to exist Iraq.They will see the best of what you and I have to offer in terms of security and stablility of the Middle East.They will see the sentiment return hours after the 9/11 attack,where a world is united under the auspices of the United Nations to combat global terrorism.
Security of my neighborhood is of paramount concern.Our communities are better served if our military is here to protect us from harm.Our first responders can better serve us if funding is adequate to do the job.The future generation is better served if they are not saddled with a national deficit.
There's the ridiculous smear Republicans are trying (and failing) to plant on Bill Ritter over his efforts to include state employees in discussions over their jobs and futures, and then there's the facts:
Gov. Bill Ritter laid out his vision for a partnership with state workers Thursday, saying they deserve a voice at the table after years of neglect.
The governor, under attack by Republicans accusing him of conspiring with unions behind their backs, said he is searching for a "21st-century way" to engage state workers instead of the "archaic," duke-it-out method of collective bargaining.
"This is a new day," Ritter said in an interview. "This issue about employee partnerships has been and is a part of my vision for making government work better."
The governor said he wants to engage state snowplow drivers, road crews, public-college employees and others "in a discussion about how state government should work."
Republicans are hammering the governor for attempting to give state workers the power to collectively bargain for wages, but Ritter said traditional "collective bargaining" isn't in his plans.
An organized partnership with state employees, he said, would not focus solely on salary and benefit issues but allow workers a chance to give input on how to better run state agencies.
The righties will keep trying, of course. They're possessed with the notion that simply using the word "labor" with a scowl on their face will somehow freak out the voters. They throw up nonsensical charges like "look how much letting state workers have a voice cost other states!" conveniently forgetting that Colorado has this law known as TABOR that controls spending. Above all, they're trying to paint Ritter as some craven tool of the unions, when last year's legislative session proved nothing could be further from the truth. Ritter is working hard to elevate state employees, giving them a real stake in their futures and the operations of the government. And he's trying to do so in a way that shows labor to be a partner, not an adversary.
Republicans seem to fear above all that he just may succeed. Then what will they crow about? Getting a little thin on the demagoguery bench now that Ward Churchill's fired and Dave Schultheis is a discredited racist you don't dare put in front of a reporter, isn't it?
They'll keep trying, and our job is simple: stand with working people, and show these duplicitous anti-working family Republicans up to the hard light. Let people see them for who they are--opportunistic hacks, bereft of ideas of their own, ignorant of the challenges faced by working people, desperate for a headline-grabbing grandstand.
Republican lawmakers, facing tough reelection bids in the midst of an ongoing war, reacted with grave concern to the president's call for only modest troop reductions and no dramatic change of mission in Iraq. And the lawmakers' tone could prove critical when the Senate takes up defense policy legislation next week, a step that will revive the debate over whether and how the legislative branch should seek to change the course of the war.
"I just don't think that waiting another six months to reassess the situation is going to move us forward," Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who holds a key swing vote, said last night. "The whole premise of the surge, as the president advocated it in January, was to buy time for political reforms, and that didn't happen. To continue with the same strategy that failed to produce the results that the president and everyone hoped for just doesn't make sense."
Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), another Republican who has largely sided with the president even as he searches for alternative policies, voiced his own concerns. "It's a clear change in direction, with troops coming out rather than coming in," said Alexander, the co-sponsor of a leading bipartisan alternative plan centered around the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, headed by former secretary of state James A. Baker III, a Republican, and former Democratic congressman Lee H. Hamilton (Ind.). "He's on the right path, but he didn't go far enough along that path."
Some may not consider this a good sign--you might, for example, want all the Republicans to blindly follow the President over the cliff. If we can get past the partisan vitriol for a minute (however deserved), it should be an easy agreement: every Republican peeled from the President's unraveling base of support on the war is another step towards that elusive veto-proof majority to get something done.
And I, for one, would rather see incremental progress than continued stonewalling for the impossible. Even the most ardent war protesters should realize that Republicans peeled away from Bush are their victory, too. The unrelenting pressure from the antiwar movement helped snap them out of their Iraq-is-great fantasyland--though more credit is probably due to Republican ass-kickings at the polls in 2006. Whatever it takes.
Udall's Statement After President Bush Requests More Time In Iraq
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Mark Udall, D-Eldorado Springs, made the following statement after President Bush addressed the nation tonight concerning Iraq:
"The fundamental question we face as a nation is whether our military presence in Iraq is making us safer. I do not believe that the President can credibly argue that we are safer. Not while our Army is stretched and the cost of the war in lives and treasure continues to mount. Tonight, the President wrapped himself tightly around General Petraeus' recommendations before the House Armed Services Committee earlier this week. As the lone Colorado Member of the committee, I heard the General deliver three messages: We are making military progress, but it will take more time to meet necessary political objectives in Iraq; meanwhile, our strategy won't change - we'll continue focusing on a counterinsurgency mission; and in the course of the next year, we'll cut troops back to the levels they were at the beginning of this year.
"Despite the skill of General Patraeus and the bravery of our troops, I do not believe this represents strategic progress. While the General and our troops have done their best, the President has failed to match their bravery with a diplomatic or political strategy. Nor can I agree that leaving as many as 130,000 troops i n Iraq until the end of the Bush presidency is in our country's best interest, particularly when it means losing more American lives, maiming many thousands more brave soldiers, spending further billions of dollars, and diverting limited resources from a more effective war on terror.
"In January, when President Bush last spoke to the nation to promote a 'surge' in U.S. troops, he vowed that 'America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.' Yet just last week, the General Accounting Office concluded that the Iraqi government has largely failed to meet Congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress.
"The President has taken our country down a dark path that was tragically avoidable. His remarks tonight suggest he is still in denial about the need for a dramatic shift in strategy. I believe that we must shift strategy - not just tactics. And I continue to believe we need a bipartisan approach focused on a phased withdrawal of American forces, a responsible redeployment plan, and a 'diplomatic surge' that will help contain a wider regional war."
You remember when our vaunted "intelligence czar" told Congress how the new, don't-need-no-due-process warrantless wiretapping scheme hastily authorized by Congress last month had led to the capture of terrorists...about to do actual bad things...?
Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, on Wednesday recanted his claim that the new surveillance powers recently given to the government helped foil a terrorist plot in Germany.
"Information contributing to the recent arrests was not collected under authorities provided by the Protect America Act," Mr. McConnell said in a statement issued late in the day.
Mr. McConnell had told the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Monday that powers granted by the act, hastily approved by Congress in early August before a monthlong break, helped stop the planned attacks. The law, which amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, had been pushed strongly by Mr. McConnell and the White House.
"In fact, F.I.S.A., which you repeatedly claim is 'outdated,' was precisely the tool that helped disrupt this plot," [Rep. Silvestre] Reyes said. "The new law did not lead to the arrests of the three terrorist plotters, as you claimed."
Better luck next time, folks. Don't worry, they're bound to actually catch somebody with it someday, and if they catch real bad guys with it then the problem here really is the Constitution, isn't it?
Global warming is a problem that will hurt the health of our economy, our children, and our environment. As Coloradoans we’re fortunate to live in a state teeming with opportunity, abundant in natural, renewable resources, and rich in entrepreneurial spirit.
Addressing global warming will be a long-term undertaking but we can and we must begin action as soon as possible.
Set science-based targets to reduce global warming emissions: 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% reductions by 2050.
Increase our renewable energy standard, a standard we have already up’d once. In our effort to address global warming, we must capitalize on Colorado’s natural and renewable resources.
Ensure that no new coal-fired power plants are built.
Increase the energy efficiency of our homes, our buildings, and our businesses. The more efficient we are, the less energy we must produce from dirty sources.
Increase the efficiency and fuel economy of our cars and further the market penetration of hybrid vehicles. These are all steps that are feasible and will bring a whole host of benefits for our health our national security, our environment, and our economy.
Who is this guy? An interesting and hot discussion on the blogs at progressnowcolorado.org regarding Congressman Udalls senatorial campaign. A blogger at progressnowcolorado.org by the profile name of "Johne" apparently organized a bunch of Udall supporters to pack Udalls Town Hall Meeting Wednesday afternoon in response to a plea that went out from the leader of Boulders Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center for all anti-Iraq War activists to attend Rep. Udall's Town Hall Meeting and press their views on Udall.
"Johne" also later posted a reply ( Sep 13th 2007 at 7:20 am MDT) on a post by Michael Collins regarding Udall Udall has a big problem where he made his "get the fuck out of mine and Mark's way just because you don't agree with his strategy to end the war in Iraq" comment. Rep. Udall is a candidate to replace Allard as a Senator for the great State Of Colorado.
I think Rep. Udall should apologize to everyone for his supporters boorish behavior.
The conduct of establishment Colorado Democrats toward those of us who want the War to end now and Impeachment is getting worse by the day.
A prominent Republican lawmaker is crying foul over $66 million of tax savings homeowners would have seen if not for a law passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Bill Ritter this year.
Ritter signed into law Senate Bill 07-199, freezing property tax rates indefinitely at current rates.
The measure eliminates tax cuts that otherwise would have taken place under a 1994 school-finance law - an estimated $48 million for fiscal year 2007-2008.
"It's the fact that we had said - from day one - it's a bottomless pit and that it will be working families and seniors that will be paying it," said Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma on Wednesday...
But Rep. Jack Pommer, D-Boulder, who sponsored the House version of the school-finance bill, said Gardner doesn't understand how the law works.
"It's not a tax increase," he said. " . . . The money that comes from the school district never leaves the school district."
He said the money was not going to the state budget and that all the local school districts affected by the law had held a vote to exempt themselves from the TABOR limits to keep the property tax revenues.
Let's skip for a moment the fact that these Republicans are spreading total falsehoods about the property tax freeze and how it works. In a state scraping the bottom in terms of per-pupil funding as a share of our state's wealth, what do they propose to do to stabilize funding for public education? Look at their record, and it becomes clear they've already answered.
'More money doesn't mean better education (and thank God for Mississippi and Arkansas).'
'Charter and home schooling is cost effective, never mind the low achievement rate or kids who don't learn science because Mommy doesn't believe in it.'
'It's all paying Ward Churchill's legal bills anyway.'
'We're going to promise the moon to public education if they'll just let us drill the Roan Plateau! Never mind that our revenue projections are wildly inflated!'
See, it's all about priorities, and where Republicans get involved, one learns quickly that your kids...aren't a priority...
Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal has severed his ties with a new Golden-based energy advocacy group after a letter from the group endorsed an aggressive plan for oil and gas development.
The association, Americans for American Energy, said it supports several energy initiatives, including a controversial proposal to drill on western Colorado's scenic Roan Plateau.
But Freudenthal, a Democrat, said his initial support for the group was never intended as an endorsement of specific energy proposals in other states.
"In light of highly inappropriate assertions made by Americans for American Energy, I am withdrawing my support for the organization and ending any relationship between the state of Wyoming and AAE," Freudenthal said in a letter sent Wednesday to AAE founder Jim Sims.
An AAE official described the flare-up as a "misunderstanding" and said the group has apologized to the governor...
It's no "misunderstanding" that Governor Freudenthal won't put his name on a group that is trying to deprive local governments of their ability to protect and responsibly develop their natural resources. What he's doing is protecting his own interests as governor of an energy state, and respecting the authority of other governors (like our own) to do the same.
As for AAE? They're a front group for the energy companies, who don't care about anything but increasing production and understand that their ability to run roughshod over local government is tied to one political party in particular--and it isn't Freudenthal's Democrats. Let that inform your judgement when their attractive glossy brochure arrives in the mail next fall.
This article by Joshua Holland Alternet Sept 6 2007 suggests that "The majority party is preparing to roll over, again, on Iraq".
Is it worth hoping that the Congressional Democrats that we campaigned so hard for will rise to the occasion and finally bring the Iraq War to a speedy end by stopping the funding and bring accountability to the Bush Administration?
"Significant majorities of Democrats have voted to end the occupation (to one degree or another) on different occasions so far, and each time one or two dozen Bush Dog Democrats crossed the aisle to kill the efforts to get out of Dodge."
"Ultimately, while Congress is sidelining itself on the most important issue of our time, it will be the Iraqis -- Iraqis from across the country's political spectrum -- who will eventually force a U.S. withdrawal, either by negotiation or by violence, just as they kicked out the Brits before us and the Turkmen, Ottomans and Safavids before them. The tragedy is that a little bit of courage on the part of our own law-makers could go a long way towards making that inevitable withdrawal a lot less painful than it is likely to be."
Is it too much to ask that Congressional Democrats quit screwing around and end this war started on Presidential Lies NOW?
The lives of a couple of thousand US Soldiers depend on the Democratic Congress acting soon.
Went to the Townhall and I hate to say this but Mark Udall has a huge problem. One thing that keeps coming up from his apologists, "It's Mark or Schaffer, take it or leave it." Problem is the left wing of the Democratic Party finds Udall even more unattractive than Ken Salazar and worse than that and thanks very much to the Colorado Democratic Party king makers, there has been a huge reduction in "Yellow Dog Democrats" after they got burned so badly by Ken "Nighthorse Campbell without a pony tail" Salazar. Without the yellow dogs and the real Democrats, Udall can't win and I don't think the real Democrats will vote for Udall, I really don't, he stinks that bad and it will be impossible for them to put that much lipstick on one pig. Even worse, given the choice between Salazar, Udall and Schaffer, most would definitely pick Schaffer because he is so much smarter than both of them and a tad bit more entertaining. If I had pull with the Democrats, I'd tell them you had better pick a winner because party loyalty just ain't what it used to be and they are pretty fed up with stupid, mediocre, spineless and a frat boy sense of entitlement. As far as blackmailing the state regarding a senate majority, we will pick up seats in VA, NE and MN and electing Schaffer would be no less embarrassing than having Allard for the last 12 years. Oh and by the way for those that like to point out Udall's environmental prowess, how many wind turbines are in Boulder County? Most shocking of all tonight on a question about CAFE standards, Mark seemed fairly proud of some ridiculously low increase for automobiles by the year 2020 with absolutely no mention of SUV's or trucks. While touting these ridiculous figures, he made mention that using the military to secure the oil supply line to keep the cars running and killing the planet was acceptable behavior. Had I had a chance, my question to him would have been something like- wouldn't walking be preferable to killing Arab civilians, not you, I mean, but the little people.
Whether the President's strategy in Iraq is a failure is all a matter of perspective. From his point of view, it is accomplishing exactly what he intends-- an indefinite occupation of Iraq for the purposes of securing the country's oil and creating a permanent, strategic military presence in the Middle East, regardless of the cost in American and Iraqi lives.
From another perspective, which I share, the President's "strategy" is not just a failure, not just irresponsible, not just foolish, but is immoral and bordering on criminal.
The cynical machinations of the Democratic leadership have hardly been any better. They have no strategy either, except to avoid taking the responsibility that the voters gave them in the last election.
Is it going to take mass protest in the streets before our elected leaders get the point and end this war? Bush & Co. are betting that won't happen.
Can we really afford to wait until 2009 in hopes that a new administration will take a different course? Don't hold your breath!
Listen to Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich speak on all the issues on the Ed Schultz show on AM760 Radio today (Wed. Sept.12) from 1:00 pm to 4:00pm, then go to Rep. Udalls Town Hall Meeting in Thornton, CO 4:30:-5:30 pm. Thornton City Council Chambers, 9500 Civic Center Dr, Thornton
Kucinich won the ABC Poll after the second to last Democratic Debate and has been creeping upon the front runners ever since. It is an unprecedented three hours today when he becomes the first Presidential hopeful to accept the invitation of one of the nation's premiere radio broadcasters, Ed Schultz, for a no-holds-barred discussion of the issues in the 2008 campaign. Kucinich will be in Schultz's Fargo (North Dakota) studio beginning at noon (ET) to field questions from "America's #1 Progressive Talker" and from an audience that includes millions of listeners on local affiliates, including subscribers to Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio. The program is also streamed live over the Internet Live streaming
I have been in the front of the line to critcize Senator Salazar and the Democrats for their failures.
Let me be the first to congratulate them and Senator Salazar in particular for passing the Dorgan Amendment to the transportation funding bill. Following the lead in the House, the Senate overwhelmingly (veto and filibuster proof) voted to end the Bush administration's pilot program allowing Mexican trucking companys to take the jobs of workers in this country and further depress wages in the trucking industry. Senator Salazar voted for the amendment.
Predicably, the Bush administration immediately announced that the president would veto the entire transportation bill if it contained any provisions limiting the cross border trucking program.
Like everyone else, I'll never forget Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I was living in Brooklyn then, and breathed air polluted by the ash from incinerated flesh. But I'll also never forget Friday, September 14. That was the day my Brooklyn neighborhood held its candlelight vigil. Our bodies spanned Seventh Avenue from sidewalk to sidewalk, for over a dozen blocks. I'll never forget the next morning either, because that's what really made me cry. I nearly broke my neck, you see, from all the leftover candle wax coating the sidewalk. So many people feeling the same thing together: remember the solidarity?
Solidarity. That was America's, and the world's, immediate response to September 11. Christopher Hayes wrote a classic essay on this forgotten word last year. He quoted the dictionary definition: "The fact or quality, on the part of communities...of being perfectly united or at lone in some respects, esp. in the interests, sympathies, or aspirations."
The concept, wrote Hayes, "embodies a powerful moral aspiration to realize the fundamental fellowship of humankind." He quoted Rebecca Solnit on the "Uses of Disaster": "Again and again, we see a latent civil society—a community—arising from the ruins of some disaster and becoming the grounds for connection and joy."
The second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's destruction of New Orleans has come and gone. "Three Shell Monty" Bush did his politically obligated thirty second sound bite of "helping" New Orleans to become the "Pottersville" of the 21st Century.
We, as a nation, should be angry at the way New Orleans has still not been significantly restored so that the "wretched of the Earth" can return to their homes. The New Orleans poor and disenfranchised have been forgotten and in the neo-New Orleans will be just like Aspen- a resort town for the rich and the working poor will be shunted off to some slum that will be "out of sight" of the rich.
I believe that John Edwards is the only candidate who has his heart in rebuilding New Orleans for all it's people.
In October John Edwards campaign will select five people who enter a drawing to go with him to work on rebuilding New Orleans. (No contribution necessary to enter.)
Go to this Dailykos diarist, NCDem Amy, for the link to enter the drawing, which is about half way down the page.
"Today, we gather to be reassured that God hears the lamenting and bitter weeping of Mother America because so many of her children are no more. Let us now seek that assurance in prayer for the healing of our grief stricken hearts, for the souls and sacred memory of those who have been lost. Let us also pray for divine wisdom as our leaders consider the necessary actions for national security, wisdom of the grace of God that as we act, we not become the evil we deplore."
--Rev. Nathan Baxter, Dean of Washington National Cathedral, 9/14/2001
I guess you might say we are really, really, really bad at prayer, we certainly are the evil we deplore. More than likely Moveon.org can be blamed and we can all feel the better for it.
Why is this so? I believe that it has to do with two factors: a). The inside the beltway Democratic consultants and b). The echo chamber of mass media that amplifies conventional, "serious" thinkers like O'Hanlon, David Brookes, and Thomas Friedman with respect to the occupation in Iraq.
A few reports have come out by the media on what kinds of honest reactions that people have when Congressional representatives hold townhall meetings. Which is the direct opposite of what the "serious" Iraqi occupation cheerleaders are telling themselves and inside the DC beltway politicians.
Americans want out now. There is no abandonment by the American people but only by Mr. Bush who will not listen to reason or to the facts that the American military is being turned into a force that will not be able to defend America for any other threat.
Is this what the Congress wants? It is time for Congress to place our nation's safety above "getting elected next year" and ignore the puppets of the failed occupation.
With the presidential primary season kicking into high gear, both Democrats and Republicans are increasingly nervous about taking unpopular positions.
And what could be more unpopular than supporting NAFTA expansion deals that will offshore more good U.S. jobs, trash the environment, jack up medicine prices, threaten food safety and impoverish millions of small farmers in Latin America - driving new waves of desperate immigration?
But politicians in both parties also are eager to hoover up donations from multinational corporations and the other special interests who benefit at our expense from NAFTA style deals. So, the Senate Finance Committee has quietly decided to test the waters on NAFTA expansion by holding a hearing tomorrow to kick off the process towards passing the Peru NAFTA expansion - formally called the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
All four of the pending NAFTA expansions to Peru, Panama, Colombia and South Korea were sunk - thanks to your activism - until a backroom deal on May 10th by some Democratic trade leaders. The deal added improved labor standards to the Bush-negotiated NAFTA expansions. Yet, the deal did not remove any of the core NAFTA provisions that are the main cause of job loss and wage drops here, cause the displacement of small farmers in our trade partner countries, and empower foreign investors to attack our basic health and environmental laws in foreign tribunals.
Outrageously, in the midst of the imported food safety crisis, NAFTA-expansions like those to Peru and Panama will worsen imported food and product safety problems.
And, unbelievably, the U.S.-Peru FTA would lock in Social Security privatization in Peru, even as Democratic presidential candidates compete to see who can make stronger promises to protect against privatization here at home.
Not surprisingly, not a single union in the U.S. supports the deal or the resulting NAFTA expansions. Also opposing is Oxfam and an array of environmental, faith, consumer and family farm groups. And, the two major labor federations in Peru have just sent a letter to Democrats in the U.S. Congress, urging them to reject the agreement.
In their own letter to Congress (PDF), prominent U.S. Latino groups have called on Congress to stop Bush's NAFTA expansion - expressing concerns that the U.S.-Peru FTA will reduce rural incomes in Peru and increase the pressure on impoverished Peruvians to migrate - legally or illegally - to the United States.
The Summit Organizing Committee (SOC) will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, September 12, 2007. The meeting will be held at 5pm in the Gov't Publications Rm, Michener Library, on the UNC campus. All community activists, students, faculty, and staff interested in building the next Summit (April 3, 2008) are invited to attend, and join the SOC. The Annual Summit (this will be the 5th) is held the first Thursday of every April. The SOC also writes, researches, and issues the Annual Report Card on Social Justice and Diversity at UNC. Back issues available for sale at Africana Studies, UNC, Candelaria Hall, RM 140C.
---and a ton of salt.Did the police officer take a cue from Lon Chaney(oops-Dick Chaneys) rule book? Seems like nothing happens in Union City Georgia.The police officer that arrested a minimum wage McDonalds worker over-reacted.
First things first.I have no ambition to run for political office.I am a concerned Democrat.I am tired of our community in Southwest Denver being embrassed by the Republicans.Jeanne Faatz is the last hurrah of Republican elitism in Denver.Her votes reflect a lack of compassion for her constituency.Her votes are in line with out district business concerns.
Her record reflects a lack of compassion for the homeless.Her votes reflect her league with the bankers instead of families that have to deal with foreclosure.She is part of the last bastion of conservatism that hasn't changed for 50 years.Its time for her to resign or be recalled.
Asking me to play nice with Republicans is sort of like asking me to kiss a rattlesnake on the lips. Bipartisanship by Republican definition is allowing them a place at the poker table and giving them the chips to play.
Is There No Justice?
You can ride a man out of town on the rails for being a neat freak in an airport men's room, meanwhile you sit by and allow a person such as Doug Lamborn to defend the constitution, write the laws of the land and represent the "fine" citizens of Colorado Springs. God Bless America, Doug Lamborn is proof that representative democracy, if for no other reason than pure entertainment for the sane and intelligent, gives hope that one day even dogs, cats, monkeys and birds that can talk will someday have a vote
Biggest laugh line: "Mr. Bush cannot once again subcontract his responsibility. This is his war." (Want to bet?) They also bitch slap Petraeus for his complicity before the election in '04. They stop short of calling that a war crime, allow me to do that for them, besides, being a general IS a war crime, especially in the United States if you have kept your mouth shut for the last six years.NY TimesSeptember 9, 2007EditorialHiding Behind the General
The military commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, is to deliver a report to Congress on Monday that could be the most consequential testimony by a wartime commander in more than a generation. What the country desperately needs is an honest assessment of the war and a clear strategy for extricating American forces from the hopeless spiral of violence in Iraq.
One of the ways that gay and lesbian families continue to be discriminated against is health insurance. Many of the large insurers offer employees of large corporations the ability to insure their domestic partners, but small businesses have been unable to offer domestic partner coverage--until now.
Take a minute to write Anthem to thank them for taking an important step for equality. As every average American knows, health care is the single biggest pocketbook issue that we face. It's doubly hard for gay and lesbian people who face institutional discrimination in nearly every facet of life.
Anthem just made it a little easier. If you are a small business owner, call Anthem and get set up with them so that you can offer health insurance parity to all of your employees. If you are an employee at a small business, your boss now has no excuse not to offer health insurance parity to you and your coworkers.
Right after 9/11, one of my first thougths about GWB, he did a very "unmanly" thing, he ran like the sissy he is. Seems like he did what most (Not all) American men are good at, in the face of terror they leave the women behind. This is a good read. MC
Very good piece in the NY Times, here's a snip: "Sept. 11 cracked the plaster on that master narrative of American prowess because it so exactly duplicated the terms of the early Indian wars, right down to the fecklessness of our leaders and the failures of our military strategies. Like its early American antecedents, the 9/11 attack was a homeland incursion against civilian targets by non-European, non-Christian combatants who fought under the flag of no recognized nation. Like the “different type of war” heralded by President Bush, the 17th and 18th century “troubles” — as one Puritan chronicler of Metacom’s Rebellion called them, refusing to grant them “the name of a war” — seemed to have no battlefield conventions, no constraints and no end. Unfortunately, by replicating the Colonial war on terrorism, 9/11 invited us to re-enact the post-Colonial solution, to bury our awareness of our vulnerability under belligerent posturing and comforting fantasy."
"As a voter and a Democratic party member, who has been a delegate to county and state conventions, I firmly believe that it is in the best interest of the party that it's leaders adhere to the principals and ideals in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. As of now I have sorely tested to remain a Democratic party member because of the leadership failure by Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid on these vital constitutional issues.
Rather than cave in to these illegal actions by Mr. Bush by giving retroactive legal protection it by Congress. Is time for a full investigation into the extent and duration of criminal activity that Mr. Bush has instigated and condoned for the last six years.
Once the voters of America are aware of the extent to which Mr. Bush has spied on Americans for political purposes then he and his cohorts should face justice through our judicial system. Failure to do so will result in a diminished democracy for all. Not to mention a severe backlash against the Democratic party which was given a charge by the voters but so far has done very little on these substantive constitutional issues based upon the rule of law."
People are fed up with the Democrats for not showing the fortitude to stand up to a the Bush-thug.
We voted for the Democrats to stand up to the Bush-thug who spits on the Constitution and Bill of Rights in every word and action by this administration.
As MoveOn.org has sent out an inquiry to see if their members will support primary challenges to Bush Dog Democrats (Matt Stoller's term for Dems who support Bush and the occupation in Iraq) I signed up immediately.
There two ways to make the Democrats pay attention:
1). Withhold money to their campaigns and national organizations.
2). Field effective candidates with efficient political campaign organizations who support RFK's demand: "It is our responsibility to let these men live.... It is indecent if they die because of the empty vanity of their country. RFK, Vietnam War speech, Calif, 3-24-68"
WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 — An independent commission of military experts, created by Congress to assess Iraq’s military and police force, presented a finely nuanced report to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
But the report could not have been more straightforward for two presidential candidates who are members of the committee: Senator John McCain of Arizona, a Republican, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, a Democrat. The candidates, though, reached totally opposite conclusions about it, in line with their different positions on the war.
For Mr. McCain, the report provided powerful support for his long-held position that it would be a mistake for Congress to set a firm deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq. When retired Gen. James L. Jones of the Marines, who led the commission, told the committee, “I think deadlines can work against us and I think a deadline of this magnitude would be against our national interest,” Mr. McCain could not have been more satisfied. “I thank you,” he said.
Homelessness is caused by many unfortunate events in the lives of millions. I have been affected by the homeless situation and hope that this is a simple and effective way to help without costing anyone anything.
"Zogby Poll: 51% of Americans Want Congress to Probe Bush/Cheney Regarding 9/11 Attacks; Over 30% Seek Immediate Impeachment
67% also fault 9/11 Commission for not investigating anomalous collapse of World Trade Center 7
Kansas City, MO (Zogby International) September 6, 2007 - As America nears the sixth anniversary of the world-churning events of September 11, 2001, a new Zogby International poll finds a majority of Americans still await a Congressional investigation of President Bush' and Vice President Cheney's actions before, during and after the 9/11 attacks. Over 30% also believe Bush and/or Cheney should be immediately impeached by the House of Representatives.
The 911truth.org–sponsored poll also found that over two-thirds of Americans say the 9/11 Commission should have investigated the still unexplained collapse of the 47-story World Trade Center Building 7 at 5:20 p.m. on September 11, 2001."
On an almost a straight party-line vote, Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar's amendment to impose a yearlong ban on the Army spending any money to expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site was narrowly approved by the full Senate on Thursday morning on a 47-45 vote.
Both Kansas Republicans, Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback, crossed over to support Salazar, a Democrat, on his amendment to a $109 billion military construction appropriations bill. All the other Senate Democrats on hand Thursday morning backed Salazar as well.
The amendment mirrors one in the House version of the military construction bill, meaning it likely will remain in a final bill worked out by House and Senate negotiators. Salazar said he was confident the measure would survive the conference negotiations, which include both Democrats and Republicans from the House and Senate appropriations committees.
"I expect the legislation to move forward and become law," Salazar said following the morning vote...
On the other side, Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., said it was wrong to describe the dispute as a conflict between the Army and the ranch community. He repeated his claim that willing sellers had approached the Army offering property in the area - a claim that is denied by the coalition of ranchers fighting the expansion.
Time and again, the truth rings clear--they don't want to sell. This has been these families' livelihood for a century. The families say it over and over, and Democrats listen, even Marilyn Musgrave listens. Wayne Allard proves his valueless lame-duck loyalties (surprise, they ain't with the people of Colorado), and it's true Salazar reacted a little sluggishly out of his trademark abundance of caution--but in the end, Ken Salazar was instrumental in this critical victory. The people of southeast Colorado won't forget it.
The summits, each involving 40 of the country's best thinkers, developed additional ideas about how to advance energy policy, natural resource stewardship and sustainable community development, especially in light of global climate change.
The final summit will take place in October. Its mission is to produce a five-year action plan to revitalize the goal of sustainable development and to identify the nation's next steps. Your answers will be tabulated and used to guide the creation of the five-year action plan. Deadline to provide your feedback is Friday, September 7, 2007.
I would suggest sending this to anyone who thinks Rudy is competent. Many of you may know this stuff... but this video is short and would be great to send your friends and family who may not quite understand this...
After a few dispiriting votes from Colorado's junior Senator, today came some news that Ken Salazar has seen reason on the issue of expanding the Army's already-vast Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. In our boundless criticism of our erstwhile friends we are remiss when we don't praise them for doing something right--right?
Salazar, a Democrat, will offer an amendment identical to one that passed in the House earlier this year, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Fort Morgan and Salazar's brother, Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa.
The Musgrave-Salazar amendment bans the Army from using any of its funding for the expansion. That restricts the military from proceeding with an environmental-impact study.
Salazar said he decided to back the House amendment after reviewing the military's Base Realignment and Closure report on the move of 10,000 soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas to Fort Carson. That report said that Fort Carson "has sufficient capacity to support these units."
The Army wants to acquire 400,000 acres in southern Colorado to train growing troops from Fort Carson. The Army said it needs the land to accommodate a high-tech Army that has weapons that fly farther and faster than ever.
"What has changed between January 2005 and today, two years later," Salazar said. "What is it that now requires the Army to go from a position where they had sufficient training capacity to one where 400,000 additional acres are now needed?"
Good job. Shouldn't have been a tough issue from where I stand, but then again I don't get aggressively lobbied/briefed by the Pentagon. Your constituents thank you, Senator.
Now, let's get on with that bipartisan solution to Iraq you've been talking about, Senator, and throw in a consitutional fix to that horrible wiretapping bill you voted for, and a promise to never, ever recommend another Alberto Gonzales to your Senate colleagues. 2010 is still a long way away, and I respect all the more a man who can learn from a few mistakes.
See? That's called constructive engagement. Some of you should learn about it.
Being a volunteer is a great responsibility with personal rewards you can't count. Take time and give back to your community. There are so many groups that need help. Everyone has the capability to help out an organization even if it's only a one time opportunity or a continual committment. Get involved!
Hmmm... How come the progressnowcolorado.org site utilizes the exact technology, design, icons, systems, and has the same features as the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder site? Hey. I am a member of both, but I think there is plenty of reason to keep an advocacy group separate from a national political party.
Thanks for commiting to helping us gather signatures to repeal the LifeBridge Union annexation! We now have signing stations available. Please contact Joan Peck (720-352-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to select your signing station location, date, and time.
KING SOOPERS- Hover St. Wednesdays, Sept. 5, 12, 19 & 26th, 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm Saturday -Sept. 8 - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
KING SOOPERS - Main St. Mondays - Sept. 10, 17 & 24 - 3:00 to 7:00
FARMER'S MARKET - Fair Grounds Saturday - Sept. 8th - 7:30 am to 1:00 pm (staffed) Saturday - Sept. 15th & 22nd - 7:30 am to 1:00 pm
TASTE OF THERAPY WELLNESS FAIR - Isaac Walton Park Saturday - Sept. 8 -10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Please contact Joan or Jen if you have any questions. We can always use more volunteers, so please forward this to friends, family, and neighbors! Thanks again for giving a voice to Longmont residents!
I'm sending this out to our original 880 petition signers, plus additional Longmont residents:
On August 14th, the Longmont City Council dismissed the concerns of
Longmont residents and annexed 348 acres in Weld County for the
LifeBridge/4C development. Too many questions remain unanswered! How much of the development is tax-exempt? What are the plans to
alleviate traffic congestion on CO-119? Who pays for water? Will our
schools become more overcrowded? What will happen to your property
The citizens of Longmont have organized a referendum petition to
repeal the City Council's irresponsible action and get answers before
committing Longmont's taxpayers to a huge real estate development
***I use "Thousand Million" for the math impaired, which very much afflicts most "US Americans" in the USA, especially as demonstrated by Miss Teen South Carolina, no doubt a future Republican "Trophy Wife" We have been desentitized to the true value of a $ billion dollars, thanks to our bloated and incompetent military, the fattest hog at any trough in the known universe.
Pentagon can't even secure its own computers
(Not to mention the WTC and the Pentagon on 9/11)
Submitted by Rick Perlstein on September 4, 2007 - 12:24pm.
And these people think they can neutralize Iran?
The Chinese military hacked into a Pentagon computer network in June in the most successful cyber attack on the US defence department, say American officials.
The Pentagon acknowledged shutting down part of a computer system serving the office of Robert Gates, defence secretary, but declined to say who it believed was behind the attack.
Current and former officials have told the Financial Times an internal investigation has revealed that the incursion came from the People's Liberation Army.
Although there are Constitutional measures for impeachment and, upon conviction, removal of federal officials from office, such provisions require Congress to do its Constitutional duty. If Congress shirks due diligence when bribery, treason, and/or high crimes and misdemeanors are afoot, the People have little recourse. (In my mind the words of Rep. Conyers reverberate, about how he's sure that hearings of Bush and Cheney would reveal high crimes and misdemeanors -- but that there's not enough time or enough votes to proceed.)
The People could insist on an additional process of removal from office.
A historically proposed means of removing the President, Vice President, and other civil officials from office is the recall. Advocated by Populists and Progressives in the late 1800s and early 1900s, this
method was eventually rejected on the national level (although other proposed Populist and Progressive reforms, such as direct election of US Senators, fundamentally changed US politics). Yet the recall has been used successfully in states and municipalities. For a general discussion of recall by the National Conference of State Legislatures, please see the following link.
The federal recall push of yore has relevance today. If enough US citizens want to amend the US Constitution to include the right of recall of federal officials, they can urge their own state legislators to petition for a US Constitutional convention to propose such an amendment. This is a power granted to state legislatures by Article V of the US Constitution -- an alternative path to amending the Constitution. I've included the text of Article V and analysis thereof from the US Senate's website.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no
Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
Analysis from the Senate's website:
The Constitution may be amended in two ways. The standard device, used for all amendments so far, is for both houses of Congress to pass by two-thirds vote a proposal, which they send to the states for
ratification, either by state legislatures or by conventions within the states. An amendment is ratified when three-fourths of the states approve. The Constitution also authorizes a national convention,
when two-thirds of the states petition Congress for such a convention, to propose amendments, which would also have to be ratified by three-quarters of the states.
If you are in favor of amending the US Constitution to include the right of recall of federal officials, then urge your Colorado senator and representative to invoke the state legislature's power (given in the US Constitution's Article V) to petition the US Congress for a US Constitutional convention. We would need two-thirds of the state legislatures's participation, so spread the word to the People in other states.
Basra is a city located only 30 miles from the Iran/Iraq border. The population of 1.2 million people consists mostly of Shias. It's hard to know what percentage of the population the Shia make up because so many Sunni's have been killed or forced out of their homes. According to the Independent, Sunnis made up 40% of the population in 2003 but are now thought to only be 14% of the population.
Iran is primarily a Shiite nation and is known to have ever-growing influence over Basra. With Sunday's withdrawal of British troops from the city, that influence will most assuredly rise.
Clueless GOP Lapdop Jim Nicholson is currently telling members of Congress that the VA has "plenty of money," and doesn't need their help....just rubber-stamp the current budget request for the VA, and "we promise - everything will be fine."
While I'm amazed that Nicholson even knows which Senate committee reviews his agency's budget, somehow he thinks that the Magick Republican Fairy has fixed the huge backlog in claims and care for Vets, and that he managed to get his budget request right "this time."
This years budget for Veterans is pathetic...the house added $3.9 Billion to the Deserter President's budget to actually try and take care of vets, and what's the result? Deserter President says he'll veto the bill as "fiscally irresponsible."
The Dems need to grow some balls and DARE this f*cktard to veto a bill that gives more money to vets. The problem is that while Sen Allard is a clueless draft-dodger and will do whatever the GOP tells him, Sen Salazar seems to switch party affiliation based on the latest focus group. We need to lean on him to take care of vets, instead of just saying so.
Please head on over to salazar.senate.gov, and drop the good Republican Senator a line...
As his constituent I wrote to Representative Thomas Tancredo, who is currently running for US President, to voice my objections to the renewal and authorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act program, wherein international communications of US citizens can be monitored without warrant. Knowing that Rep. Tancredo supports all measures that bolster the War on Terrorism, I expected his response to reaffirm his commitment to renewal of said program. What I did not realize, however, is how far afield of the US Constitution that Tancredo has ranged in his thinking.
The following quote from his letter of response, dated August 28, 2007, provides a glimpse into his thought pattern -- and it is highly disturbing.
"More than a half-century ago at the outset of the Cold War, Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson famously wrote in a civil rights case dissent that, '. . . If [we] do not temper [our] doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, [we] will convert the Bill of Rights into a suicide pact,' and his observation rings as true today as it was when he first made it."
I didn't realize that there was such a shortage of clean toilet paper in Washington that our government officials have to use the Constitution to cleanse their bottoms. Statements like these indicate an ongoing defilement of our most sacred document that we need to counteract.
I ask you to join me in sending your objections to this and other Constitutional defilements. Please write your US Senators, your US Congressperson, and your US President on a sheet or two of clean toilet paper (upon which ballpoint pen writes well). Let them know that the US Constitution is not TP!
The Washington Post has an interesting article today that is worth a thorough read; maybe read it twice. This week's demise of Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), and the retirement of Senator Warner (R-Virginia) may have further weakened the national GOP and thus placed even more attention and pressure on the Colorado US Senate race between Mark Udall and (for now) backwards-Bobby Schaffer.
It makes good Sunday reading to see that GOP operatives are going annonymous/confidential in order to talk candidly about the 2008 Senate races. It's just too bad that we don't have a veto-proof and impeachment possible majority starting this week. - 1,585/486
To recap, these would be the headlines Gunny Bob would expect me to write were his rantings actually true. Following in Bill O'Reilly's footsteps Gunny attacked attendees of the YearlyKos Convention weeks ago here and here comparing us to Nazis, the KKK, and Muslim terrorists.
"Gunny" Bob Newman on his August 2 broadcast called the 2007 YearlyKos Convention a "convention of hatred and intolerance," adding, "If you want to see hate, urged violence, bigotry, racism, and intolerance in general, and anti-American speech, this is the event." Newman then called the convention, organized by the Daily Kos blog, "bigger than any KKK, Nazi, or Muslim terrorist gathering ... that has ever occurred"
Later in Gunny's August 6th show he claimed DailyKos founder Markos Moulistas "lamented" on the front page of his site about the hate speech there. It's actually quite easy check that. Here's everything Markos posted during that week and I found nothing of the sort. In case Gunny got a little confused, I also looked through the diaries of the other front pagers and found no mention.
That would be the headline 850KOA radio host "Gunny" Bob Newman would expect me to write were his rantings actually true. Following in Bill O'Reilly's footsteps (background here and here and here), Gunny attacked attendees of the YearlyKos Convention weeks ago here and here comparing us to Nazis, the KKK, and Muslim terrorists.
"Gunny" Bob Newman on his August 2 broadcast called the 2007 YearlyKos Convention a "convention of hatred and intolerance," adding, "If you want to see hate, urged violence, bigotry, racism, and intolerance in general, and anti-American speech, this is the event." Newman then called the convention, organized by the Daily Kos blog, "bigger than any KKK, Nazi, or Muslim terrorist gathering ... that has ever occurred"
He further said
If we ignore these growing, this growing radical segment of our society, they could and likely will become a force of hatred, intolerance, and bigotry that helps one of their supporters seize the White House in 2008. And may God have mercy upon us if that happens.
............made me morally superior to Senator Hillary Clinton and 299 million of her fellow citizens.
First of all, in defense of Hillary and most of all to support my assertion, let me say that Hillary was a Republican by birth and would as a rule never have been inclined to utter the words of fellow Vietnam veteran, Nurse Lt. Lynda Van Devanter Buckley, she described herself as an idealistic Catholic girl before she went over who thought, "If our boys were being blown apart, then somebody better be over there putting them back together again. I started to think that maybe that somebody should be me."
Second of all, being a Vietnam veteran doesn't necessarily qualify one as morally superior, Senator John McCain does not qualify, although his experience should have triggered the introspection required to attain the moral high ground as well as the curse of learning a higher truth that can not be found through jingoism and particularly not through traditional military nepotism. Chuck Hagel and his brother qualify and Chuck is a Republican. Indeed, the best military officers, at least in the Army, were of the working class, some even earning stripes before their commission's, hardly ever attaining rank above field grade, garnering resentment every step of the way from their lessers in the lucky sperm club. Jimmy Carter qualifies as morally superior, he didn't go to Vietnam, graduated from the Naval Academy as opposed to attending in the case of McCain.
Back to Hillary, the 99.9 percentile and the gist of the message. I stayed up to watch Senator Clinton on the David Letterman show the other night. Her best shot on the war AGAINST Iraq was 'Saddam was a bad man, he's gone and that's a good thing and we can all feel pure about saving Iraqis from such a "nasty, naughty, bad boy" That's kind of like saying the Vietnam war was about communism and saving the Vietnamese from the nasty, naughty bad boy Ho Chi Minh and NEVER mentioning French colonialism. In the case of Saddam, we armed him, helped him gas the Iranians to keep the Iranians from marching through Baghdad on their way to Israel. All this after we propped up another nasty, naughty, bad boy named the Shah of Iran who famously succeeded in making Islamic religious fundamentalism attractive to 99.9 percent of the Iranian people.
In conclusion, I don't want the next president to be from the 99.9 percentile of Americans, I want a Mike Gravel, Ron Paul, Obama kind of person that makes the 99.9 percentiles cringe. I want the 99.9 percentiles to know there are things we know that they can't know as well as the known knowns that we wish we didn't know. What we do know is a $400 haircut when we see one, Chris Dodd-$400 haircut. Delaware has two Senators just like WY, UT, ID and other lesser populated states. Only Delaware has a senator that reminds me of a jackass eating briars and lying through bad teeth, Mr. Knowitall himself, the alterboy who was never molested, the man stupid enough to love the Pope and brag about it, I ain't no bankruptcy lawyer, no how, not ever, give me one minute, I'll take ten, Jersey Joe Crossing the Delaware Biden. All kidding aside, is the well really this dry?
Aaron Houston, graduate of Lincoln H.S. and U.C.D. and who cut his teeth with Rollie Heath and Ramona Martinez, does us proud with his with for the Marijuana Policy Project. He more or less is the protagonist of the Showtime documentary "In Pot We Trust." Now I don't subscribe to the channel myself, but thank God for Germany's piracy laws...