Thursday, August 31, 2006

Laffey Leads Chafee in RI

A lot has been said about the defeat of Lieberman in CT by Ned Lamont and how this shows that the Democratic party has drifted to far to the left...

Well, I guess the GOP tent is not as large as they thought either. GOP primary contender, Steve Laffey, has taken a commanding lead over Senator Chafee (51%-34%) with likely GOP primary voters.

Surprisingly, this is even after the National Republican Committee has come out and run ads against Laffey.

At this point, the only saving grace for Chafee is that independents can vote in the GOP primary. This would give moderates the chance to beat back the far right wing factions that are supporting Laffey.

Laffey Takes Commanding Lead in Republican U. S. Senate Primary

Date Posted: August 31, 2006

U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee may lose his seat to challenger Steve Laffey, according to a new statewide Republican primary voter poll released today by the Bureau of Government Research and Services at Rhode Island College.

The survey was conducted August 28-30, 2006, at Rhode Island College by Victor L. Profughi, director of the Bureau of Government Research and Services. It is based on a statewide random sample of 363 likely Republican primary voters in Rhode Island. The sample was proportioned among the state’s geographic regions to reflect the likely voter contribution from each portion of the state. Overall, the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percentage points.

If the September 12 primary were held today, 51 percent say they will vote for Steve Laffey, 34 percent support Senator Chafee, and 15 percent are undecided. A BGRS survey of Republican voters conducted in June had Laffey at 39 percent and Chafee at 36 percent. Chafee’s base is virtually unchanged since the June survey, while the number of Laffey supporters has grown 12 percentage points.

In the current poll, Laffey buries Chafee among male voters by nearly a 2 to 1 margin, 58 percent to 32 percent, with only 9 percent undecided. This gap has widened from 10 percent in June to 26 percent today. Among women, Chafee’s support has remained stagnant, while Laffey’s has increased. In June, 37 percent favored Chafee, compared with the current 36 percent. Laffey’s support among women has gone up from 35 percent in June to 45 percent.

(Full Story)


Taxi Cab Terrorists

Yes, Democratic Senator Byrd (WV) is a former member of the KKK... At least he admits to it and condemns his history of being a racists.

On the other hand, Republicans Senator Conrad Burns (MT) seems to still revel in racism.

In the past, Burns has commented on how hard it is to live in Washington D.C. with all of those "niggers" around.

He called the man painting his house a "nice little Guatemalan man" and then questioned his legality in the country.

Along with his racism, he has proven himself to be a misogynist, telling professional women that they should be stay at home mothers instead of career women.

He berated a group of firefighters who had traveled 2000 miles to help out on a forest fire for doing a "piss-poor job."

Now, he is following the lead of George Allan's (VA) ridicule of all people darker tha he, and classifying all taxi drivers as terrorist. I am assuming that Burns is stereotyping taxi drivers as all Arabs. Either way, it is just further proof that in the GOP, if you are not Anglo-Saxon, you are just not a real American.

And it you are not a real American... Well than you must be a terrorist, too.

Sen. Burns: Terrorists drive taxis by day, kill at night
By MATT GOURAS, Associated Press Writer

BELGRADE, Mont. - Republican Sen. Conrad Burns whose recent comments have stirred controversy, says the United States is up against a faceless enemy of terrorists who "drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night."

During a fundraiser Wednesday with first lady Laura Bush, the three-term Montana senator talked about terrorism, tax cuts and the money he has brought to his state. Burns is one of the more vulnerable Senate incumbents, facing a tough challenge from Democrat Jon Tester.

He has drawn criticism in recent weeks for calling his house painter a "nice little Guatemalan man" during a June speech. Burns, whose re-election campaign is pressing for tighter immigration controls, also suggested that the man might be an illegal immigrant. The campaign later said the worker is legal.

Burns, 71, also had to apologize after confronting members of a firefighting team at the Billings airport and telling them they had done a "piss-poor job," according to a state report. In July, the Hotshot crew had traveled 2,000 miles from Staunton, Va., to help dig fire lines for about a week around a 143-square-mile wildfire east of Billings.

At the campaign event with Bush, Burns talked about the war on terrorism, saying a "faceless enemy" of terrorists "drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night."

(Full Story)

Bush Appointees Still Corrupt as Ever

Ken Tomlinson, the Bush appointee that formerly was the Chairman of the CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting) who was forced to resign from his position last year after it was determined that he was trying to tamper with PBS and NPR by intimidating reporters and producers, and trying to turn PBS and NPR into conservative propaganda outlets (Bush's PBS Pick Broke the Law), has continued to be a corrupt Bush political appointee.

Tomlinson, a close and personal friend of Karl Rove, remained on the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) as a Bush political appointee, even after it was determined that he was a hack and a liar.

Well, now a new investigation shows that he has been dishing out money to his friends, using the taxpayers money to support his horseracing business, as well as billing two separate government agencies for the same hours worked.

Tomlinson Cited For Abuses at Broadcast Board
By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 30, 2006; Page C01

A year-long State Department investigation has found that the chairman of the agency that oversees Voice of America and other government broadcasting operations improperly used his office, putting a friend on the payroll and running a "horse-racing operation" with government resources.

The report, released yesterday, marks the second time in less than a year that an internal investigation has found evidence of rules violations by Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

In November, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting inspector general found that Tomlinson had made improper hires, had tried to tamper with PBS's TV programming and appeared to show political favoritism in selecting CPB's president while he was chairman, Tomlinson resigned his CPB post that same month.

The new allegations against Tomlinson, 62, stem from his chairmanship of the BBG, which oversees the federal government's array of international broadcasting services, including VOA, Radio and TV Marti in Cuba and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Tomlinson defended his performance as BBG chairman, saying, "I believe it will become clear that this [inspector general] investigation was inspired by partisan divisions."

Although the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are unrelated entities, Tomlinson's alleged violations overlapped both federal agencies. He conducted CPB work and "personal matters" while working for the Broadcasting Board, and directed BBG employees to do the same, the State Department's investigation found. Investigators said he received compensation from both the BBG and CPB for the same days worked on 14 occasions, but did not specify an amount.

The investigation also found that Tomlinson -- a former Reader's Digest editor and longtime Republican ally of White House political adviser Karl Rove -- helped hire a friend as a BBG contractor without the knowledge of other board or staff members. The friend -- whose name was withheld from a public summary of the investigation but whom Tomlinson identified as retired VOA employee Les Daniels -- received nearly $245,000 for unspecified services over a two-year period. Tomlinson signed the invoices for these payments even though there was no documentation that the work had been completed, investigators said.

(Full Story)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006




In this corner - weighing in at 145lbs, but 235lbs once you deflate his head and let the hot air out - George "flowers for Algernon" Bush.

And in this corner - weighing in at a 147lbs, but a buck o' two once you get all the crap out - Mahmoud "I hear voices" Ahmadinejad.

This match up is for the undisputed cockiest, dim-wittedness, ate the lead paint chips as a kid, god loves me more than everyone else, nuttiest president in the world.


This could be a reality. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged Bush to a televised debate. This would be the greatest and saddest thing to ever be televised around the globe... but at the same time, we can use it to end poverty.

We sell this as pay per-view for $29.95 a pop. There are around 6 billion people in the world. I figure at least we would get 500 million to tune in. That is... um... carry the 6... well, a crap load of money.

It would be some weird cross between Jerry Springer, celebrity boxing, and any title match with Mike Tyson who is feeling a little peckish.

Just remember... we will sell you the entire seat - but you will only need the edgeeeee!!!

Ahmadinejad challenges Bush to TV debate
By Parisa Hafezi
Tuesday, August 29, 2006; 10:55 AM

TEHRAN (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday challenged President Bush to a televised debate and voiced defiance as a deadline neared for Iran to halt work the West fears is a step toward building nuclear bombs.

"Peaceful nuclear energy is the right of the Iranian nation. The Iranian nation has chosen that based upon international regulations, it wants to use it and no one can stop it," he told a news conference.

The White House said Ahmadinejad's call for a presidential debate on global concerns was a "diversion" from international concerns over Iran's nuclear program.

The U.N. Security Council has given Iran until Thursday to suspend uranium enrichment -- a process which can produce fuel for civilian reactors or explosive material for warheads -- and has threatened sanctions unless it does so.

"Talk of a debate is just a diversion from the legitimate concerns that the international community, not just the U.S., has about Iran's behavior -- from support for terrorism to pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in New Orleans.

(Full Story)

Monday, August 28, 2006

In God We... We Have No Choice

Katherine Harris is really grasping at the evangelical base in order to pull out some sort of victory in her electoral bid. Unfortunately, it is also proving how nutty she is.

She has claimed that separation of church and state is a "lie" and that God chooses our "rulers."

If this does not explain to you why political secularist, such as myself, are scared senseless by these right wing "Christi-fascists," nothing will. And this should show that any religion; Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc, that is taken to an extreme is a danger to democracy. There are no benign religions when an extremist is involved.

First off.... Rulers? Are you kidding me? We have rulers now and not elected representatives?

And if God chooses our rulers, doesn't that mean that all the evangelicals who believe this should just stay home on election day since the outcome it pre-ordained?

Harris clarifies comments on religion

MIAMI - U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris told a religious journal that separation of church and state is "a lie" and God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be "a nation of secular laws." The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.

Harris made the comments — which she clarified Saturday — in the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, which interviewed political candidates and asked them about religion and their positions on issues.

Separation of church and state is "a lie we have been told," Harris said in the interview, published Thursday, saying separating religion and politics is "wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris said.

(Full Story)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It Hurts... It Hurts So Much

I am in court today and don't have time to blog, but I just wanted to leave you with this...

Pregnant with a cigarette in her hand and she is worried about jackhammers?

The average person is an idiot...

Which means half the population is dumber than that.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

That Slow Sinking Sound

I had posted previously about the slow undoing of George Allen's presidential aspirations (Macaca Me Rosy, George Allen Steps in it, Webb Wins Va. Democratic Primary).

The Moderate Voice has a pretty nice little rundown about the blunder that is the Allen campaign.

Job Opening For A Blogger (See Senator George Allen)

Piss Off Bin Ladin... Become a Liberal

Conservatives always try to say that Islamic extremist love liberals...

What a load of crap.

Extremist hate liberals. They hate everything that liberals stand for.

Islamic extremist hate the fact that women can vote, drive and speak for themselves.

Islamic extremist hate secular governments that stay out of religion and allow each and every person to seek there spiritual connections in anyway they wish.

Islamic extremist hate that fact that we can publicly be atheists.

Islamic extremist hate the idea that all are considered equal under the law and that the government will protect the minorities from the whims of the majority.

Islamic extremists hate the idea that homosexuals can display their "affliction" in the open.

Islamic extremist hate the idea that the government is not allowed into our bedrooms and private lives.

Islamic extremist hate the fact that in the U.S. "alternative lifestyles" are the prerogative of the individual.

Islamic extremist hate what liberals stand for. So if you really want to give Bin Laden a big ol' F-YOU, drop you opposition to gay marriage. Encourage individualism in your children. Support the separation of church and state.

On the other hand, if you want to validate Bin Laden and his posse's positions, be a conservative.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Iran Rejects UN Security Council's Demands on Dropping Its Nuclear Program

I noted back in July at the beginning of the Hezbollah-Israel conflict that Iran would come out stronger in the end, and use the war as pretext to reject the UN demands that Iran freeze its nuclear program. (Middle East Play of the Year)

Well, Iran has rejected the freeze. The rationale is not yet official, so I cannot say whether or not the war in Lebanon is being used as any sort of justification, but we do know that Iran has been emboldened by Israel's failure to achieve the crippling of Hezbollah.

And, as usual, Bush has backed himself into a corner. Iran will not freeze its nuclear program until there are negotiations. Bush won't negotiate until Iran freezes its program. The longer that Iran can drag this out, the better position they will be in. If Bush negotiates now, Iran wins because they are see as negotiating from a winning position. If Bush refuses to negotiate, Iran wins because it is Bush who is delaying negotiations, not Iran, and Iran continues its program.

The constant problem with Bush's foreign policy is that while everyone else is playing a game of high stakes poker, Bush is playing the "wheel of fortune." In the end, we will always loose... At least with poker, you can bluff, bet, and play your cards with strategy. Every hand has the potential to be a winning hand...

Iran Reportedly Rejects Demands to Halt Nuclear Efforts
By Fred Barbash and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 22, 2006; 10:56 AM

Iran's semi-official news agency reported today that Tehran has "rejected suspension of its nuclear activities" as demanded by the United Nations Security Council but has proposed a "new formula for resolving the issue through talks."

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator delivered Tehran's response to the ambassadors of Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and Switzerland and was briefing them on the substance, reported Iran's Fars news agency.

Diplomats in Washington, Tehran and European capitals had said yesterday that the Iranian government is willing to enter negotiations and to consider a freeze of the program, but it will not accept a freeze as a precondition for the talks.

Earlier this month, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution giving Iran 30 days to stop the program or face the threat of sanctions. U.S. officials have said they would push for strong financial sanctions against the Tehran government if it does not cooperate and that they expect support from Europe.

The Iranian position is nearly identical to its initial reaction to the offer, which was presented in June and includes a package of U.S.-backed economic and political incentives. U.S., British and French diplomats concluded yesterday, after receiving word of Iran's intention, that the government simply bought time to advance its nuclear program, rather than scale it back as the U.N. resolution requires.

(Full Story)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Well, Macaca Me Rosy

I noted a long time ago that George Allen would dash his hopes of a presidential campaign when he had some real competition in this years senatorial campaign. He may well win the Senate race, but he loses the presidential nomination.

Allen is like Santorum - a lot of bluster, but nothing of real substance. he is a face with a smile, and little else. So, I knew that he would blow it somehow, and he did.

The story below gives the details of the foot-in-the-mouth event where he calls an American born ethnic Indian "Macaca" and says "Welcome to America."

This in itself is not a deal breaker for Allen's presidential aspirations, but it does significantly hinder his quest. There were already lingering questions about Allan's history of questionable racists leanings. Allen had done a lot to try to put that all behind him, but this pretty much shows his true colors. If and only if you are white are you an American. Allen pretty much drops all of minority support that was already waning. Now, I think chances of him getting his parties nomination are about the same, but the general election is going to be difficult.

'Macaca' Brouhaha: Fierce Guessing on What Allen Meant
By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 17, 2006; Page VA04

The headline on the Wonkette blog, which normally pays little attention to Virginia politics, said it all: "Breaking News: Hakuna macaca, Or, George Allen Puts Foot In Mouth And Sucks, Hard."

The reference was to the now-infamous comment in which the state's Republican junior senator called a volunteer of Indian descent for Democrat James Webb "macaca" and welcomed the Fairfax-born University of Virginia student "to America and the real world of Virginia."

(Full Story)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Judge Orders Bush to Stop Warrantless Wiretapping

I am quite busy today, and didn't think I would have a chance to blog, but this is quite an important development in Bush's "War on the Constitution."

I try to not be too sensationalistic with my words. I have never equated Bush to Hitler, etc. But I do believe that Bush's actions do constitute a war on the constitution. His incessant use of executive privilege to skirt the constitution is unprecedented for a president, and his "I am above the law" attitude should leave us all feeling uneasy.

Today, a federal judge in Michigan ordered a stop to the NSA program of warrantless wiretapping that scoffs at the legal ways for us to protect ourselves from those who wish to do us harm. The judge in the case dismisses all of the governments arguments as to why Bush may act outside the 4th amendment. (Read the decision here)

None of us want to say that the government cannot target those who are suspected terrorist, or offer direct aid to terrorism. But, as has been proven time and time again, the federal government cannot be trusted to protect our privacy without oversight and checks from the other branches of government.

In our form of government, there cannot be a search or seizure without probable cause in which to issue a warrant.

Conservatives who back the unconstitutional NSA program claim over and over again that the FISA court is overwhelmed and understaffed, and cannot move quickly enough to be able to track and trace the next terrorist plot. I concede that this may be true. But, if that is the case, you enlarge and fund the FISA court to a point where it can function up to par. You just don't say, "well it is broke, so we will forget it." You fix the court first so as to protect the very ideals that we claim to be fighting for. Otherwise, it's just big brother.

Judge nixes warrantless surveillance

Federal Judge Rules Wiretapping Surveillance Program Unconstitutional

Update: WaPo Story

Judge Rules Against Wiretaps

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

So, Iran is trying to be all controversial, kind of like performance artists in New York or any large city. They think it is somehow making a point to be offensive for the sake of being offensive... or for what they are calling freedom of speech.

Iran has decided to have a cartoon contest were contestants send in their best holocaust cartoons. They are claiming that they want to challenge the west's ideals on the holocaust and the amount of sanctity we place on the event.

Citizens in Iran should have every right to submit, and the newspapers should have every right to publish such cartoons. Freedom of speech compels this right, whether or not we agree with the moral obligation not to publish something.

Here is where Iran goes wrong and is setting themselves up to look like fools.

A) I will guarantee that no Jews will run out and burn down Iranian embassies around the world, regardless of how offensive the cartoons are. Muslims have already shown that they cannot be offended and peacefully disagree with the offenders. Muslims killed foreigners, and sacked embassies then a Dutch paper ran cartoons of Mohammad. There was no respect for freedom of speech.

B) Freedom of speech that Iran is triumphing as their motivation behind the cartoon contest is still a far cry from true freedom of speech. No news paper in Iran would be permitted to run a cartoon of Mohammad. No news paper would be permitted to run and anti-revolutionary guard cartoon.

Since the west will object peacefully and freedom of speech will continue to be curtailed in Iran, they only are being jerks for the sake of being jerks, and we all know it. While we may have the right to freedom of speech, we also have the obligation of respect. Iran is really doing neither.

Iran seeks to test taboos with Holocaust cartoons
By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN (Reuters) - At the exhibition entrance, a poster shows a helmet with the Star of David lying on top of others carrying a Nazi Swastika. Inside, the Statue of Liberty is pictured holding a Holocaust book while giving a Nazi salute.

Organizers say displaying more than 200 entries from Iran's International Holocaust Cartoons Contest aims to challenge Western taboos about discussing the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews died but which Iran's president called a "myth."

"This is a test of the boundaries of free speech espoused by Western countries," said Masoud Shojai-Tabatabai, head of the Cartoon House which helped organize the exhibition, as he stood next to the Statue of Liberty drawing.

Iran's best-selling newspaper Hamshahri in February launched a competition to find the best cartoon about the Holocaust in retaliation for the September publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish and other European newspapers.

(Full Story)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bush Pushes Forward with Privatizing the IRS

The Bush administration is pushing forward in its plan to privatize IRS debt collection even though... well... it is stupid.

Congressman Rothman (D-NJ) was able to attach an amendment to block Bush's plan to privatize the IRS, but it doesn't seem to phase the administration plan to implement the idea.

So, now we will have all of our personal information flowing back and forth between the government and the private debt collectors.

It may be a good thing... you know... because I have never heard of a private collector harassing people mercilessly. And I am sure that there would be no increased security risk in the increased flow of our financial data, including our social security numbers and bank account numbers, back and forth from the government to the private sector. Afterall, the government itself never loses any of our personal data...

Six years and I am still waiting for Bush to have one... just one good idea.

Rothman Amendment to Stop the Privatization of Tax Collection Passes

H/T Kos

Republicans Claim Credit For Something They Scoffed Before

I find it just a little bit ironic that the "police action" that broke the recent UK terror plot was the same type "police action" that Republicans scoffed at during the 2004 elections and made fun of Kerry for endorsing. Now Bush is rejoicing in it... And it wasn't even Americans who uncovered it.

Instead, in 2004, the Republicans decided the police actions were for the pansies and that we have to take the fight to them overseas. How silly they look now.

Unfortunately, for the neo-cons, it was exactly the type of war that Kerry wanted to wage that foiled this plot. Bush's "war on terror", AKA "War and Saddam 'cause he went after my Daddy," AKA "What the Fu** was he thinking" did nothing, would have done nothing, and never will do anything to protect us from these types of terrorists. Taking "the fight to them" has done nothing to lessen the threat of terrorism on our own soil, and has only diverted our resources from home.

In the mean time, Bush is trying to take back money that Congress earmarked for the DHS to use specifically to develop new technologies to detect explosive materials in air port security check points. Congress gave $6,000,000 for the development of new technologies and Bush is trying to now take it back.

Seriously, this guy is completely out of touch with reality. He is even claiming that Hezbollah was defeated by Israel in the month long war (Bush says Israel defeated Hezbollah, Hezbollah the Loser In Battle, Bush Says). I am all for Israel kicking the snot out of Hezbollah, but at best, this was a draw. In the long run, it looks like a minor defeat for the IDF. Is there anything that he thinks we are not winning? Perhaps the "war on homosexuals" since they didn't pass the marriage ban?

Update: This is a good article by George Will that pretty much explains my feelings on why Hezbollah was the winner here, not the IDF.

The Triumph of Unrealism

Friday, August 11, 2006

Environmental Reforms Coming One Way or Another

With the lack of leadership by the Republicans in Washington to do anything about global warming, the president vetoing federal funding on stem cell research, and Congress giving themselves a hefty raise while ignoring the working class Americans, state and local officials are taking it upon themselves to pass legislation of these issues.

Unfortunately, due to each state coming up with different rules and regulations for each issue, we end up with a hodge-podge of laws across the country that make it much more expensive for business to operate and for people to know what the hell is going on.

Even with the majority of Americans supporting national legislation on these issues, the GOP which controls all three branches of the government, can't seem to be able to pull themselves together long enough to do anything about it. There lack of foresight will only lead to hurting the economy and the people they are sworn to protect and serve. Instead, they are focusing their attention and the really insignificant stuff like flag burning and gay marriage.

Cities, States Aren't Waiting For U.S. Action on Climate
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 11, 2006; Page A01

With Washington lawmakers deadlocked on how best to curb global warming, state and local officials across the country are adopting ambitious policies and forming international alliances aimed at reducing greenhouse gases.

The initiatives, which include demands that utilities generate some of their energy using renewable sources and mandates for a reduction in emissions from motor vehicles, have emboldened clean-air advocates who hope they will form the basis for broader national action. But in the meantime, some businesses say the local and state actions are creating a patchwork of regulations that they must contend with.

This flurry of action is part of a growing movement among state and local leaders who have given up hope that Congress and the administration will tackle major issues, and are launching their own initiatives on immigration, stem cell research and energy policy. Last week alone, former president Bill Clinton launched an effort with 22 of the world's largest cities to cut their emissions, while California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and British Prime Minister Tony Blair said they will explore trading carbon dioxide pollution credits across the Atlantic.

Recently, 22 states and the District of Columbia have set standards demanding that utilities generate a specific amount of energy -- in some cases, as high as 33 percent -- from renewable sources by 2020. And 11 states have set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

(Full Story)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Darfur Still In Flames

While the world watches Iraq and Lebanon, and Americans fret of the potentials of Iran and North Korea, Darfur is still the world single largest killing feilds currently.

U.N.: Darfur is becoming 'catastrophic'
By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Aug 10, 9:12 AM ET

GENEVA - The United Nations' top humanitarian official warned Thursday that the situation in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region was becoming dramatically more dangerous, as rapes and attacks by militias and rebel factions continue despite a 3-month-old peace deal.

The U.N. said a day earlier that the May 5 peace deal, signed between Sudan's government and Darfur's main rebel group, was "doomed to failure" unless the government provided more support.

"It's going from real bad to catastrophic in Darfur," Jan Egeland told reporters at the U.N.'s European headquarters in Geneva.

Fighting has actually increased since the peace deal, "and it has been particularly terrible among (rebel) factions fighting each other," Egeland said. "That's led to tens of thousands of people being displaced, and sexual abuse and many other types of violations."

More than 200,000 have been killed in the region since 2003, when ethnic African tribes revolted against the Arab-led Khartoum government.

(Full Story)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lieberman Goes Down

Unfortunately for the Democratic party, the Democrats in Connecticut decided not to renominate Joe for the Senate. This is very disheartening to me. He was a great leader in the party, and while no one ever agrees with any politician all of the time, I agreed with him most of the time. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out if Lieberman runs as an independent. I think he has a substantial chance of winning over both the Republican and Democrat. If the Republican ends up winning, the Dems have just blown a big hole in both their feet.

Lieberman Defeated in Democratic Primary

Lamont Relied On Net Roots -- And Grass Roots

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Connecticut at the Forefront

Well, I am back from an absolutely unforgetable vacation in the Granite State. Coming home, I had to pass through my old stomping grounds in Connecticut. All of the signs for the polling places are up. I think this primary is one of the biggest elections to hit the state in who knows how long.

I kind of wish that I could still vote in CT. I would be voting for Lieberman without question. He does not agree with me on all of my issues, but he has been a long time leader and supporter of the middle of the Democratic party, and has done a tremendous job serving the people of CT. If he is able to pull this one out, he will, without doubt, have to modify his support for the war in Iraq. While it is imperative for a leader to "lead," it is also imperative in a democracy for a leader to also "follow" the people who elected him. There is a fine line between being a leader who is receptive to the will of the people, and a panderer. I believe if Lieberman is re-elected, he will be the former and not the latter.

Lieberman's Primary Challenge a Referendum on Voter War Anger

Lieberman's Troubles Go Beyond War

Lamont's Lead Slips On Eve of Primary

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tax Evasion for a Tax Break

It is nice to know that Congress is looking into curbing billions of dollars of tax evasion by the richest Americans... just to give it back to them in an estate tax break linked to raising the minimum wage.

Really, what is the use...

Tax Shelters Saved Billionaires a Bundle
By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 1, 2006; Page A04

A Senate committee today plans to criticize multimillion-dollar tax-avoidance schemes used by four prominent individuals, to highlight what it concludes is a more than $40 billion-a-year drain on federal coffers by offshore tax scams.

The panel is scheduled to release a 370-page report, which it provided to The Washington Post, that details how these wealthy, politically connected people ducked hundreds of millions of dollars in tax payments by using secretive corporations and trusts on the Isle of Man. The billionaires who took advantage of this tax haven included Robert Wood Johnson IV, owner of the New York Jets football team; Sam Wyly and Charles J. Wyly Jr., longtime Republican donors and backers of President Bush; and Haim Saban, a Democratic Party fundraiser who made his first fortune promoting Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

(Full Story)

Battle Over Darwin Hits the Ballot Box Again

The recent decision of the Kansas State Board of Education to teach creationism along side science may have political ramifications in November.

Several moderate Republicans and Democrats are running against the conservative evangelicals who decided to re-write the science curriculum so as to add creationism. As we saw with Dover, Pa., where the conservative school board members who changed the curriculum there and were all tossed out of office, the majority of Americans can separate faith from science.

There is nothing wrong with believing in creationism. It is a personal choice. But when it comes to science class, it just does not fit.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming election.

Evolution’s Backers in Kansas Start Counterattack

Election Could Flip Kan. Evolution Stance