Friday, June 30, 2006

George Allen Steps In It

Republican Senator from Virginia, potential 2008 presidential candidate, and darling of rightist across the country got a healthy dose of whoop-ass from his Democratic challenger, James Webb, yesterday.

Citing Webb's opposition to a flag burning amendment, Allen attacked Webb's position on the issue.

"[Webb] continues to demonstrate he is totally beholden to the liberal Washington senators who dragged him across the line in the Democratic primary."

Webb, a Viet Nam Vet, and the Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration was not about to let Allen take pop shots without firing back. Webb's press release addressed Allen's assertions that Webb was not patriotic.

"George Felix Allen Jr. and his bush-league lap dog, Dick Wadhams, have not earned the right to challenge Jim Webb's position on free speech and flag burning..."

"People who live in glass dude ranches should not question the patriotism of real soldiers who fought and bled for this country on a real battlefield."

This was in reference to the fact that Allen spent his summers working on a dude ranch in Nevada during Viet Nam while Webb was overseas fighting it.

"While Jim Webb and others of George Felix Allen Jr.'s generation were fighting for our freedoms and for our symbols of freedom in Vietnam, George Felix Allen Jr. was playing cowboy at a dude ranch in Nevada."

Allen is apparently late in figuring out that attacking the patriotism of someone who sent most of their life in uniform is probably not going to work in this case. While it was effective in attacking Kerry and Cleland, Webb is not going to roll over like other Democrats. This puts Allen at a stark disadvantage since now he will be forced to talk about real issues and not just try to swift boat his way to victory.

I don't know Webb's exact position on flag burning, but I am sure it is similar to mine. I will defend the right for an American to burn the flag, but they had better than hell make sure I wasn't around when they tried to do it.

Virginia's U.S. Senate campaign flashes over flag-burning amendment

Early maneuvers

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Gitmo Goes Down In Flames

The Supreme Court handed Bush a stinging defeat today in his assertion that he has the authority to hold detainees indefinitely and that he has the authority to try them in military court.

In a 5-3 decisions (5-3 because Chief Justice Roberts recused himself), the court found that Bush had no authority to carry out his plan under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, domestic law, and the Geneva Convention.

While I agree with the court that authority for the presidents plan is lacking, my bigger issue is with the lack of trials themselves. Whether it be in military court or in a civilian court, the detainees deserve a day in court. If they are guilty, then try them and convict them. If they are innocent, then try them and acquit them. Holding "enemies of the state" indefinitely without trial is the job of North Korea and China, not a democracy.

Bush is claiming that he will look into going to Congress to seek legislative approval for military tribunals. My guess is that he will ignore the Supreme Court all together since he has already ignored any laws that is not of his liking.

Supreme Court Rejects Guantanamo War Crimes Trials

Bush vows to pursue detainee war trials


A Governing Philosophy Rebuffed

High Court Rejects Detainee Tribunals

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Supreme Court Upholds DeLay's Redistricting

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision today that affirmed Tom DeLay's mid consensus redistricting plan.

Normally, districts are only re-drawn every 10 years after the national census points out population shifts. DeLay engineered a plan that re-drew the lines only 2 years after the last census.

The court affirmed the plan today, claiming that state legislatures can re-draw district lines whenever they want to.

Now, both Republican and Democratic strategists are licking their chops because this opens the flood gates to a whole new world of political gerrymandering of congressional districts. Currently, it is almost impossible to unseat an incumbent congressman. Now, it will get even worse. Whichever party is in power of a particular state will have the ability to even further entrench themselves in power.

Republican or Democrat, we all come out losers on this one.

Court Nixes Part of Texas Political Map

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bush Slams Money Monitoring Disclosure

I am sorry, but I am not buying the Bush attack on the New York Times for running a story on the monitoring of international money transfers through a clearing house in Belgium (Surveillance Disclosure Denounced). I especially love the fact that he keeps claiming that he informed congress. He just leaves out the part that he informed congress only after he was told by the NYT that they had the drop on him.

First, you don't get to run covert jails, illegal wire taps, phone call databases, warrantless searches, and other "secret" operations in violation of the constitution, federal statute, and international law, and expect people to just roll over. More things have been classified under this administration than any other administration in our nations history. Since this is a government of the people and for the people, the more you hide things, the more people are going to want to know what the hell is going on. Bush threw the trust of his office out the window a long time ago. Will this make us less safe? Possibly. But, when you run the most secretive administration ever, it is the natural inclination of a democracy to shine a light on the governments doings. The more you sneak around to plan your wife's surprise party, the more she is going to think that you are cheating on her.

Second, you don't get to bitch about people not following the rules if you don't follow the rules yourself. Bush has snubbed his nose at numerous constitutional provisions and federal statutes. From FISA, to all of his presidential signing declarations saying that he will interpret or ignore laws to his own liking, Bush has disregarded the U.S. framework of laws (Bush ignores laws he inks, vexing Congress)(Bush's Challenges of Laws He Signed Is Criticized). If he can't follow the rules, the message to the rest of us is not to follow the rules either. Our democracy was not intended to be an aristocratic "do as I say and not as I do," regime. The laws are applicable to all.

Third, You don't get to "leak" information for political gain and then get to bitch about "leaked" information that goes against you. Pick one or the other.

Fourth, is letting terrorist know that we are monitoring them so bad? Making them transport cash on pack mules rather than international wire transfers in not necessarily a bad thing. Like any monitoring system, there is bond to be money making it through the system that we are not catching. Just like it only take a terrorist being right once in order to cause mass damage to us. It only takes us missing one transaction that can fund the next 9/11. Knowing that they will not being able to transfer money through conventional means greatly disrupts their planning operations. Knowing that they cannot use phones to contact each other greatly diminishes their ability to communicate and coordinate. Sometimes the fear that they are being monitored is a greater tool than actually monitoring them. This holds the potential to stop those terrorist that were below the radar from doing what we would have never known they were doing. Would you rather have your kids "think" that you are always watching what they are doing, or sneak around and spy on them until you actually catch them in the act of something. I think most parents will go for the deterrent effect.

If it were not for the fact that the Bush administration is so secretive, I could almost see this as a great Rovian scheme. The top al-Qaeda members knew a long time before the NSA program was ever publicized that we were monitoring their calls. General Hayden himself had even admitted to this. This knowledge even helped some of the top terrorist leaders escape Afghanistan during our invasion and hunt for them in Tora-Bora. They sent their cell phones one way while they went another. I am sure that the top terrorist knew about the money transfers also. Additionally, the amount of traffic that we have to monitor is still a phenomenal amount and all the information, by sheer volume, is difficult to manage.

So, if you wanted to deter the smaller time actors from taking part in money movement, you publicize the fact that you are monitoring them. Couple this with it coming out in "leaks" in witch you get to blame liberals and make them look soft on terrorism and you get a great conspiracy.

I doubt this theory has any merit to it, but in 10 years I found out there was truth to it, I would not be surprised.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Silly Democrats - Timetables are for Losers

Ok... Setting a "timetable" for U.S. troop withdrawal as proposed by Democrats this last week is bad.

But, apparently, setting a "timeline" for withdrawal of U.S. troops as proposed by General Casey is good... especially if it comes in September, right before mid-term elections.

See, it is all in the words:

Timetable = bad

Timeline = good

If we withdrawal troops using a timetable, it means cut and run. If we remove troops using a timeline, it means progress and victory.

I am all for staying in Iraq until we have accomplished what we need to accomplish. But this double speak from Republicans is moronic.

Democrats Cite Report On Troop Cuts in Iraq
By Michael Abramowitz and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, June 26, 2006; Page A01

Senate Democrats reacted angrily yesterday to a report that the U.S. commander in Iraq had privately presented a plan for significant troop reductions in the same week they came under attack by Republicans for trying to set a timetable for withdrawal.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said that the plan attributed to Gen. George W. Casey resembles the thinking of many Democrats who voted for a nonbinding resolution to begin a troop drawdown in December. That resolution was defeated Thursday on a largely party-line vote in the Senate.

"That means the only people who have fought us and fought us against the timetable, the only ones still saying there shouldn't be a timetable really are the Republicans in the United States Senate and in the Congress," Boxer said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Now it turns out we're in sync with General Casey."

Sen. Carl M. Levin (Mich.), one of the two sponsors of the nonbinding resolution, which offered no pace or completion date for a withdrawal, said the report is another sign of what he termed one of the "worst-kept secrets in town" -- that the administration intends to pull out troops before the midterm elections in November.

"It shouldn't be a political decision, but it is going to be with this administration," Levin said on "Fox News Sunday." "It's as clear as your face, which is mighty clear, that before this election, this November, there's going to be troop reductions in Iraq, and the president will then claim some kind of progress or victory."

At issue was a report yesterday in the New York Times that Casey presented a private briefing at the Pentagon last week in which he projected that the number of U.S. combat brigades -- each with about 3,500 troops -- would decrease from 14 to five or six by the end of 2007. About 127,000 U.S. troops are now in Iraq, including many support troops beyond the combat brigades.

(Full Story)

Friday, June 23, 2006

An Important Message From the Prez

Stay tuned for an important message from the President of the United States:

"Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. It has recently come to the publics attention that we are tapping the phone calls that go from the United States out side the country without a warrant as required by the constitution and statute.

In the fight against terrorism... and gay marriage... it is important to do such monitoring. But the scope of the program is extremely limited. It only applies to anyone who places a call to a know or suspected terrorist, or any phone calls that are placed to a country that has a vowel in its name.

I promise, that is the extent of our invasion into your privacy... I swear.

Well, except maybe we are also collecting the data on every phone call placed inside the United States without a warrant, also. But rest assured, the scope of this program is also extremely limited. Only people who use the phone are subject to this program. I promise you that people who do not make any phone calls will never have their personal calling history loaded into the worlds largest database ever created.

But, I promise that the illegal tapping and data mining programs are the only, and I mean only programs that we are utilizing that invades the privacy of the American people.

And... we have been gathering all of your library records also. But this one, I am pretty sure, is actually legal under the US PATRIOT Act. We have rounded up hundreds of suspected terrorist who have checked out book titles such as the popular children's book "Mohammad goes to Mujahideen camp" and for the mommies "From Baklava to Bombs: The Complete Middle East Cook Book." By the way, just incase you have never checked out "my Pet Goat," I highly recommend it. The story was so well written and the illustrations were so great that I was stunned. I was was so stunned, I could even regain my senses for 7 plus minutes. But, I digress...

Um... ok, illegal phone tapping, data mining, library records, and we have been looking at your bank records too, but hey, as long as we are collecting phone calls, data mining, library records, credit card statements, and medical reports, might as well get the bank statements, too.

Oops... y'all didn't know about the credit card statements and medical reports, did ya?

Heh, heh... Well, I am sure you would have found that out soon enough anyway. After all, my administration does leak like those cheap disposable diapers that we have been placing listening devices in.

But, that is it. The phone taps, phone records, medical statements, bank records, library records, and credit card statements are it. In no other way are we invading your privacy.

Well, there is an FBI agent sleeping with your spouse, but that really doesn't have anything to do with the war on terror. We just didn't have any money left in the budget for raises due to all the earmarks my Republican compadres have been adding into the budget, so we threw that in as a fringe benefit to the agents.

Thank you for your time and may God bless this great, non-gay country of ours.

Good night."

Bank Data Is Sifted by U.S. in Secret to Block Terror

Bank Records Secretly Tapped

U.S. gets access to worldwide banking data

Treasury Department Defends Record Tapping

Too Bad for Bush

Those burdensome rules and regulations that do things like... you know... let us breath, are not the cause behind soaring gas prices.

Bush ordered the EPA to do a study to determine whether regulations that require gasoline blends of petroleum and ethanol were having a major impact on gas prices.

The determination by the EPA?


But, I am sure that Bush will find some other way to sell our health out to the oil industry.

EPA: Special fuels not to blame for costs
By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jun 22, 4:38 PM ET

WASHINGTON - "Boutique" gasoline blends to help states meet clean air rules are not a factor in higher prices as President Bush has suggested, says a draft of a study ordered by the

Although often cited as a reason for volatile gasoline prices, so-called "boutique fuels" have not caused unusual distribution problems or contributed to price increases, the report concludes.

The review was conducted by a task force headed by the Environmental Protection Agency and involving representatives from the 50 states as well as the Energy and Agriculture departments.

Facing growing public outrage over soaring gasoline prices, Bush ordered the study on April 25 in a speech in which he attributed high gas prices in part to the growth of special fuels.

"We ... need to confront the larger problem of too many localized fuel blends, which are called boutique fuels," the president told a renewable fuels conference, adding that this has produced "an uncoordinated, overly complex set of fuel rules" that "tends to cause the price to go up."

But the task force found otherwise, according to its report to be released possibly as early as Friday.

According to a late draft, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, the task force concludes that suggestions of a connection between boutique fuels and supply or price concerns cannot be supported.

The review "did not reveal any studies or empirical data confirming that boutique fuels presently contribute to higher fuel prices or present unusual distribution problems," said the draft report.

(Full Story)

Rick Santorum Proves He is an Idiot Once Again

I guess there is a reason that Rick Santorum's democratic rival in the 2006 election is currently leading Santorum by 18% even though Santorum is the third ranking Republican in the Senate.

While talking about WMDs in Iraq, Santorum claims "We now have found stockpiles."

He is referring to 500 munitions shells that contained traces of sarin and mustard gas.

Of course, these "stockpiles" of that Santorum is claiming as vindication of the war in Iraq, are described by David Kay, the former person in charge of the search for WMDs as being less dangerous "than most things that Americans have under their kitchen sink at this point." Weapons experts are in complete agreement that these stockpiles are so old and so degraded that they were unusable.

That is because they were built in the 1980's during the Iran-Iraq war. They posed no treat to us now or in the future.

Perhaps Santorum sees himself so far behind in the polls that he is that desperate. Perhaps he really is as nutty as I suspected him to be. Either way, his statement is a gross misrepresentation of the truth. I am sure that the good people of Pennsylvania will have the sense to oust this idiot in the next election.

New intel report reignites Iraq arms fight
By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jun 23, 3:33 AM ET

WASHINGTON - Hundreds of chemical weapons found in Iraq were produced before the 1991 Gulf War and probably are so old they couldn't be used as designed, intelligence officials said Thursday.

Two lawmakers — Sen. Rick Santorum (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa., and House Intelligence Chairman Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich. — on Wednesday circulated a one-page summary of a military intelligence report that says coalition forces have recovered about 500 munitions with mustard or sarin agents, and more could be discovered around Iraq. "We now have found stockpiles," Santorum asserted.

But intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the subject's sensitive nature, said the weapons were produced before the 1991 Gulf War and there is no evidence to date of chemical munitions manufactured since then. They said an assessment of the weapons concluded they are so degraded that they couldn't now be used as designed.

They probably would have been intended for chemical attacks during the Iran-Iraq War, said David Kay, who headed the U.S. weapons-hunting team in Iraq from 2003 until early 2004.

He said experts on Iraq's chemical weapons are in "almost 100 percent agreement" that sarin nerve agent produced from the 1980s would no longer be dangerous.

"It is less toxic than most things that Americans have under their kitchen sink at this point," Kay said.

(Full Story)

Update: Democrats Criticize Claim on Iraqi Arms

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Debunking Republican Minimum Wage Bunk

I saw a comment over at the Gun Toting Liberal's blog about a post regarding that Congress has increased their pay by $31,000 in the past 9 years, but has done nothing to increase the minimum wage in the same amount of time.

Raising minimum wage has almost always been connected to cost of living hikes.
Raising the minimum wage is good for a minute, then the cost of groceries goes up and boom, everything is back where it started, in the crapper. Good initiative,bad judgement. [sic]

It might seem that this would be common sense. Increase the rate of pay and inflation spikes. But it is untrue.

First of all, it needs to be pointed out that a person working for minimum wage is 27% under the poverty level in the united states and has, due to inflation, become worse and worse each and every year. Think about that. You could work 40 hours a week, 52 a year, and earn only $10,712 for the year. In the 1960's and '70's minimum wage kept a family of three out of poverty and off the public dole.

Now, lets look at historical trends after minimum wage increases. Does inflation really go up?

The answer is no.

In 1996, the year before the last time that the minimum wage was increased, inflation was at 2.93%. In 1997, the year the wage increased, inflation was 2.34%. In 1998, it was 1.55%. In 1999, it was 2.19%

The minimum wage was increased in 1990-91 also. Inflation went from 5.39% and decreased every year over the next 4 years to be at 2.61% in 1994.

The minimum wage was also increased in 1974 and inflation again went down every single year for the next 4 years.

In 1963 when the minimum wage was increased, inflation held steady for the next 3 years. And the same thing in 1961.

The only time that inflation increased after a minimum wage increase was in 1968 and that was only by a little more than 1% over 3 years, and that was during the height of deficit spending on the Viet Nam war.

The other argument is that an increase in the minimum wage kills jobs. In 1996, Republican Representative Jim Saxton led a battle to stop Clinton's initiative to increase the minimum wage. He claimed that a hike in the minimum wage would lose 600,000 jobs in the united states. In actuality, the ranks of the employed continued to grow over the next 2 years (including adjustments for population growth).

In fact, the last 5 years have had the least job growth since 1964, down 1.6% from the years right after our last minimum wage increase.

So, all the GOP talking points about inflation and unemployment are just a bunch of myths cooked up to save their hides from the fact that they are not doing what they should be doing - raising the minimum wage to a respectable level.



Economic Policy Institute

Fiscal Policy Institute

US Department of Labor statistics

Job Watch

Bigotry Continues with the GOP

Today, the GOP canceled a vote on renewing the 1965 Voting Rights Act due to a rebellion of Republican House members. One of the major reasons for their rebellion is the requirement that ballots are to be printed in Spanish or other languages where there are sufficient numbers of people who need the ballots to be printed in another language in order to understand what and who they are voting for. Their revolt against a law that requires equal opportunity for all to vote is spurred on by their revulsion to immigrants.

I am all for teaching everyone in this country English. It is the unifying language of this country. It is very difficult to succeed in this country and achieve the American dream if you do not speak English.


To disenfranchise any vote of any single citizen of this country because of language is immoral and un-American. There is no provision in the constitution that requires that you can read English to vote... In fact, you don't even need to be able to read to vote. It is not a requirement in this country to learn English.

The only constitutional requirement in this country to be able to vote is to be a citizen of the united states.

And guess what - all Puerto Ricans are full citizens of this country. They have ever right and privilege as everyone else who was born on the main land. If they move to Topeka, they have the right to vote in the local elections. If they move to Atlanta, they have the right to vote in the local elections.

Since it is not required for all of our citizens to learn English, it is a clear violation of the constitution and the democratic principals to discriminate against them because they do not speak English.

But of course, I have met very few on the right who considers any naturalized immigrants or Puerto Rican to really be Americans anyway. Of course, they didn't think blacks were even people for 400 years either.

This rebellion by Republicans is bigoted and wrong. From the landless, to ex-slaves, to women, the movement in this country has always been to ensure full opportunity to take part in the democratic process, regardless of your background. Now the Republicans want to take us backwards.

GOP Rebellion Stops Voting Rights Act
By Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 22, 2006; Page A07

House leaders abruptly canceled a vote to renew the 1965 Voting Rights Act yesterday after rank-and-file Republicans revolted over provisions that require bilingual ballots in many places and continued federal oversight of voting practices in Southern states.

The intensity of the complaints, raised in a closed meeting of GOP lawmakers, surprised Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and his lieutenants, who thought the path was clear to renew the act's key provisions for 25 years. The act is widely considered a civil rights landmark that helped thousands of African Americans gain access to the ballot box. Its renewal seemed assured when House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders embraced it in a May 2 kickoff on the Capitol steps.

(Full Story)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

GOP Kills Minimum Wage Increase

Republicans in the Senate defeated a bill today that would have increased the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour by January 1, 2009. This would have been the first increase in the minimum wage in a decade. Currently, inflation adjusted, minimum wage is the lowest it has been since WWII.

Since the last time that minimum wage has been increased, the congress has increased their own pay by more than $31,000. That is almost 3 times the amount that someone working minimum wage takes home in a year (assuming a 40 hour work week and no vacation or sick time taken during the year).

This is absolutely sickening. After all, the guy who is serving me fries with my burger hasn't voted to tripled the national debt in those ten years.

A person making minimum wage makes $10,712 a year. This puts them under the poverty line and makes them a ward of the state for financial assistance. Mega companies like Wal-mart shift the burden from the consumers to the tax payers in order to support the lower end of the economic spectrum. How can a person have dignity in their work when they can't even be paid enough for their services to hit the poverty line.

Those of you how say, "well, Economics 101 tells you that if you get rid of the minimum wage, wages will increase... blah, blah, blah." Anyone who says this obviously never took Economics 201, 301, or any other economics other than Economics 101. If they did, they would know that statement is full of crap. It only works in text book perfect settings. Of course, Marxism works in text book perfect settings too, but we know that it doesn't work in real life.

It is time that congress gets off its fat bloated pompous ass and raise the minimum wage. Otherwise, people are just working... not working for a living.

Senate defeats Democrats' minimum wage increase

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

North Korea Set To Test Missle

Things are not getting any better with our relations with North Korea. North Korea is a rogue state, without question. But 6 years of grid lock show that Bush foreign policy towards North Korea has been a failure as well. Shortly after Bush took office, he decided to take a hard line with NK, and relations have deteriorated ever since. Bush's one-size-fits-all foreign policy has done nothing to heel the progression of our two most dangerous adversaries, North Korea and Iran.

Sometimes, confrontation is a self fulfilling prophesy. It does not take a genius to figure out why these two countries are moving the path that they are.

N. Korea Warned On Testing Missile

A North Korea Missile Test: Background and Fast Facts

Friday, June 16, 2006

Speaker of the House Makes a Mint

Dennis Hastert is another Republican who may have some questions to answer about shady land deals. It was recently discovered that Hastert turned a tidy little profit from a land sale he made after appropriating money to build a highway close to his investment properties. Four years ago, he started purchasing land through a anonymous land trust, and then resold the property three months after the bill to appropriate money for the new highway was signed. Hastert will pocket $3 million in the deal. Ironically, the Land trust was titled "Little Rock Trust."

Records reveal Hastert's hand in land deal
By Mike Dorning and Andrew Zajac
Washington Bureau
Published June 15, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert and two partners turned a profit of more than $3 million on property they accumulated and sold in just over three years near the route of a proposed controversial freeway on the western fringe of suburban Chicago, according to land records and financial disclosure reports released Wednesday.

Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean rejected the notion that the land, located 5 1/2 miles from the proposed Prairie Parkway route, rose in value because of the highway project. The speaker long has been an aggressive proponent of the highway and helped secure more than $200 million in federal funding through an earmark in federal transportation legislation.

The property near Plano, Ill., was sold three months after the transportation bill was signed into law. It was purchased by a real estate developer who is planning to build more than 1,500 homes on the land.

(Full Story)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bush Creates a New Natural National Monument

Bush is using the 1906 National Antiquities Act in order to create a massive marine sanctuary in Hawaii. (Bush Plans Vast Protected Sea Area in Hawaii )

I wonder if Republicans will attack this as vehemently as they attacked Clinton when he used the 1906 Notional Antiquities Act, or, as usual, show their hypocrisy by not offending their King-in-chief.

I applaud Bush for doing this. I don't know his motivation behind the move to create the sanctuary, and I really don't care all that much. If it were not for the Antiquities Act, we would not have Yellow Stone or Yosemite or many of the other parks and national natural monuments that we visit today. The Antiquities Act, along with several other similar acts have saved millions of square acres of some of this countries most precious natural treasures. Without them, we would have condos overlooking the Grand Canyon tight now.

I am just waiting to see if the Republicans read Bush the riot act as they did to Clinton when he used the Act to protect a bug chunk of the Grand Canyon from development along with 5 other national treasures.

But for people like R.J. Smith ot the Competitive Enterprise Institue (CEI seems to also hate clear air and advocate more pollution because pollution is the "foundation of life"), find it more important for someone to make a buck than to have something that every American can enjoy.

"I think this is a blatant attempt by President Clinton to use the Antiquities Act for political purposes to essentially shut out the democratic process," says R.J. Smith, senior environmental scholar with the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington.


When the proposals were announced by Babbitt in December, Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, said Clinton had no right to make such a move "unilaterally."

Arizona officials have urged Clinton to include state residents in any such decision, while Republican lawmakers say Clinton is using his executive privilege to bypass the Republican-led Congress.

McCain, Arizona Gov. Jane Dee Hull and other Arizona lawmakers rebuked Clinton in a joint letter for creating the two national monuments in their state.

Clinton declares new national monuments

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Webb Wins Va. Democratic Primary

It looks like it may be an interesting Senate election in Virginia this year. George Allan, who has presidential aspirations, may be getting a bigger run for his money in the 2006 mid-terms than he was planning on.

James Webb, a fairly conservative Democrat received the nod in the Democratic primaries yesterday. Webb, a decorated Viet Nam war vet and 2nd amendment supporter will probably draw away some of the moderate Republicans, as well as lock up most of the moderate Democratic vote. The far left liberals might not like his style, but it the base can mobilize, it may just be a close one. Webb is one of the many former Republicans who have left the party since they no longer feel welcome in the increasingly religious right GOP.

Allen has recently come under criticism for his admiration of the confederate flag and allegations of racial graffiti back in his high school days will have a hard time with the moderate vote. I believe it was as late at '92 that Allen had displayed the confederate flag in a campaign photo. Allen, who has always run fairly far right will now have to move even farther right in his re-election bid.

Chuck Schumer of New York has already endorsed Webb, which has got him some grief from the far left in the party. But, Webb probably does have the best shot at derailing Allen's Senate campaign. And depending on how this election is run, may derail his presidential aspirations, even if Allen is able to win re-election.

I give the odds to Allen at this point, but if he starts swift boating Webb, I think that it will play poorly on a national level since Webb does not have the same history as Kerry, and Allen has no service record of his own. The Va. Democratic party also has a long way to go in solidifying its party behind Webb.

Webb Will Try To Turn Past GOP Loyalty Into Advantage

Webb Wins Democratic Nomination In Virginia

Red Rover, Red Rover... Make the EPA Roll Over

Well, Rove has been given a pass on the Valerie Plame investigation (Karl Rove Won't Be Charged in CIA Leak Case). I trust that Fitzy made the decision on the merits of the case and not on political reasons. I was doubtful that Rove would be indicted from the beginning. Although, I still do believe that he did act un-ethically in the entire situation, and the fact remains that Bush covered up his involvement from the beginning.

Rove is back in full force and will undoubtedly be behind one of the most partisan mid term elections in our nations history. He was in NH yesterday giving a speech to party loyalist (In Manchester, Rove mum on phone-jamming scandal)(Rove's Speech to N.H. Republicans Keeps to Partisan Line).

And, he is still in the oval office, screwing up domestic policy giving political payoffs to the oil industry(EPA Rule Loosened After Oil Chief's Letter to Rove). For get the billions in tax breaks and the record profits, the White House's "no oil exec left behind" program is still in full swing. What is a little childhood leukemia after all. Isn't a $400 million retirement package more important.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Back From Vacation

1) What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

2) Hats off to the people who finally killed Zarqawi. And to both Republicans and Democrats, a plague on anyone who uses this for partisan politics. It was a victory for the troops. Plain and simple.

3) To DeLay - don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out (DeLay Pulls No Punches In Final Speech to House)

4) Ann Coulter, not surprisingly, is still a c*nt (Coulter calls 9/11 widows "witches"). But I am sure all the wingnuts still thinks she is funny and cute.

5)If it were anyone other than Cheney, they would be held on obstruction (Republican senator blasts Cheney over NSA oversight)

Friday, June 02, 2006

On Vacation

Will be back mid next week

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Department of Homeland What?

The Department of Homeland Security - and I have no idea how they can call themselves that - slashed the grants to New York and Washington D.C. to secure ourselves from future terrorist attack.

One of the reasons New York's budget was slashed?

Because apparently, DHS doesn't consider New York to have any landmarks or monuments.

No Landmarks or monuments in New York?!?!?

Umm... Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, etc, etc, etc.

Seriously, if they can't find a landmark in New York, how the hell can we expect them to find their own ass with both hands.

How about this - I will send you a free map of all the landmarks in New York. They are printed right on the freakin subway maps.

Anti-Terror Funding Cut In D.C. and New York

Electoral College Proposal

This is an interesting proposal that has been coming up in several states regarding the electoral college. It has been proposed in the past, but has never gained much traction. Each state would award its electoral votes to the overall popular vote winner instead of each states individual winner. It has both its benefits and it draw backs. It would make a candidate run a 50 state campaign instead of only really hitting the swing states. But, it would also give large urban populations more pull than rural areas. Either way, the current electoral college is not what the founding fathers envisioned anyway, so taking a look at how to correct the problem is not a bad idea, even if many of the ideas may not pan out in the end.

Bill to Bolster Election Clout Gains
By Nancy Vogel, Times Staff Writer
May 31, 2006

SACRAMENTO — Seeking to force presidential candidates to pay attention to California's 15.5 million voters, state lawmakers on Tuesday jumped aboard a new effort that would award electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide.

As it is now, California grants its Electoral College votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote in the state. Practically speaking, that means Democrat-dominated California spends the fall presidential campaign on the sidelines as candidates focus on the states — mostly in the upper Midwest — that are truly up for grabs.

Under a bill passed by the Assembly, California would join an interstate compact in which states would agree to cast their electoral votes not for the winner in their jurisdictions but for the winner nationwide. Proponents say that would force candidates to broaden their reach to major population centers such as California.

The bill is part of a 3-month-old movement driven by a Bay Area lawyer and a Stanford computer science professor. The same 888-word bill is pending in four other states and is expected to be introduced in every state by January, its sponsors say. The legislation would not take effect until enough states passed such laws to make up a majority of the Electoral College votes — a minimum of 13 states, depending on population.

"This is a bill that would allow California to be able to play a role in presidential elections," said Barry Fadem, the Lafayette, Calif., lawyer spearheading the drive. Now, because the state is largely ignored, he said, "A vote in California is not equal to a vote in Ohio, and everyone would concede that."

The bill — AB 2948 by Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Anaheim) — cleared the Assembly 49 to 31 with a single Republican vote from Assemblyman Rick Keene (R-Chico). To become law, it must be passed by the Senate and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican.

Fadem said he was surprised by the partisan divide in the Assembly vote. In the New York Legislature, Republicans introduced the bill, he said, and they support it in Illinois, Missouri and Colorado.

But Republican Assembly members warned that the bill would empower big cities — whose residents tend to vote for Democrats — at the expense of small states.

"Small states suffer here," said Assemblyman Michael Villines (R-Clovis). "Yes, California is a big state. But I don't want a candidate to go to 10, 12 big urban centers, win a majority and walk away with the presidency."

"This would simply say if you're in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Boston … you can elect the president," Villines said.

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) argued that the Electoral College was created by the drafters of the U.S. Constitution after great debate and thought, and he said it should not be altered lightly.

(Full Story)