Thursday, March 06, 2008

FREEDOM FROM FEAR

As the Native Americans reminded us: "No tree is so foolish as to have branches that fight among themselves."

There is nothing to fear so stop worrying. The water supply is fine. It can't be full of anti-anxiety medication or I wouldn't be such a nervous wreck. Besides, things are looking up. Obama won Wyoming! Below read several breaking news stories including the one about McCain's strange lobbyist who denies he's a lobbyist. Also, we want to publicly thank Drew Barrymore for her generosity in donating one million dollars to the UN Anti-hunger fund. And please read Larry Johnson's article on homelessness in America below.


ANOTHER SEX SCANDAL
Why are the 'holier than thou' corruption experts always the ones caught with their pants down? Let’s see — on the Republican side we have Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Bill O’Reilly,Ted Haggart, David Vitter, Matt Sanchez and several others — including the head of Young Republicans — all caught in gay/straight/pedophile scandals. Then on the Democratic side we have Elliot Spitzer, Marion Barry and Bill Clinton... but who's counting?

And for the record, the Rebublican party’s irresponsible Ann Coulter and Ken Starr-led witch-hunt/persecution/media blitz to expose the affair of Clinton and Lewinsky, two consenting adults, was in itself immoral and damaging to kids. In painstaking detail they paraded these blow-by-blow horrors for the press, not caring what effect it had on childhood innocence. And yes, we were all rightly appalled by the president’s behavior. But where was the right-wing morality brigade in keeping this porn out of the mainstream news for our children's sake? They never see how the media salivated and profited at the sex appeal of it all. And guess who owns the media? Guess who owns Faux News, Wall Street Journal? Rupert Murdoch. Guess who owns NBC? GE, the largest weapons manufacturer in the U.St. Guess who puts on all these trash shows like TMZ? There is no liberal media, contrary to the propaganda.

SINISTER McCAIN DEVELOPMENTS.
Lots of campaign news this week and some strange developments with McCain's chief campaign strategist Charley Black, who lied straight to the camera when he said McCain is not connected to lobbyists. The media never asks the right question. Charley Black is a lobbyist for United Technologies, a large Republican donor and defense contractor, which is making a hostile bid for Diebold — the maker of those hackable electronic voting machines! So McCain's close friend and chief campaign strategist wants to control the very machines we vote on... with NO PAPER TRAIL! Isn't this 'conflict of interest'? I am trying not to wear a tin-foil hat here...

RUSH LIMBAUGH IS UN-AMERICAN
And this scandal has legs: it turns out Rush Limpbotomy was urging Republicans in Texas and Ohio to turn out and vote for Hillary in order to "bloody Obama up a bit." Lots of lemmings obeyed instructions (as good authoritarian followers do) and switched parties temporarily just to vote for Hillary in order to screw with the outcome of the Democratic primaries. This is such a dishonest, manipulation of the system. Turns out, this is illegal — not to mention unethical and immoral.

They do NOT want to run against a movement like Obama.

But Obama wins Wyoming!

PRAISE FOR DREW BARRYMORE
Finally celebrities are using their clout in the right way. I am a great admirer of both Drew Barrymore and Angelina Jolie for their humanitarian work. Instead of selling wrinkle cream and lip gloss these amazing women deserve our gratitude for donating money, time and for shining a light on monumental crises such as world hunger and the genocide in Darfur.

Drew Barrymore personally donated 1 million dollars to the UN Anti-hunger fund. She has been named Ambassador Against Hunger for WFP, it was announced on Wednesday. "I can’t think of any issue that is more important than working to see that no schoolchild in this world goes hungry."


And Angelina Jolie is Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a UN agency that currently assists 20 million refugees in approximately 120 countries.

Mariane Pearl, the widow of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, said: "I think the Wall Street Journal has one person covering Africa." If celebrities like Angelina Jolie, who wrote the forward to Pearl's book, are drawing attention to issues it's because, as she put it: "Celebrities are doing the work that journalists are not. We can't afford to be cynical about that.'"

That's because too many journalists are busy covering celebrities!

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FREEDOM FROM FEAR
There's a saying: If you're in the jungle and a jaguar is chasing you, get out of his way because he's going to eat you. It's nothing personal; it's just the nature of the beast. So go back to your house and stay out of his way. We've been over this before (check out the archives) but it's worth repeating: insurgents and Muslim extremists would not be killing us if we would get our footprints off their oil, mind our own business, and go back home. They do not seem to know the God of love, but since love is all there is, evil has no real power, no matter how much you physicalize it by focusing on it. In other words, what you focus on grows. Or as Shakespeare said, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Our thoughts create our reality.

I have been experiencing moments of pure joy lately. It all started when I consciously decided to shift my thought to seeing the beautiful in life. Believe me it hasn't been easy, in light of the fact that I live with a primitive man — a recovering Republican who thinks all Democrats are vegetarians. (Add two preteen boys, two dogs, goldfish and a bearded dragon to the mix and you have a lot of chaos in our house.)

My ideal day: going on a road trip with the kids in the back of the minivan. We went to Tahoe over the holidays, and I can't tell you how majestic the snow-covered treetops are as you drive up to Lake Tahoe. It looks like heaven. In fact the town we went to is called "Heavenly." I get a calm peaceful feeling whenever I see a picture of Tahoe or Sedona, so I keep a postcard of Heavenly, right by my computer.

For the past few years I have not behaved in a very admirable way toward my husband. But I began to look at him differently. Everytime he annoyed me I would smile and pretend it was "cute." I became sweeter and more loving — and now I actually think I'm falling in love with him again.

Despite the horror stories in the news, I truly believe that if we keep our eyes on the beautiful, the good, the true and we will bring these into our life.

I love what Einstein said, that "no problem can be solved on the same level it was created on." In other words, you must go higher — to a spiritual solution. In the case of war, you cannot fight fire with fire; you must go to a diplomatic solution.
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STRANGE ELECTION DEVELOPMENTS... ARE WE BETTER OFF?



NOTES FROM THE TEXAS CAUCUS by Blogger Mike:

"MAYHEM. I just got back from the caucus.... but yes Obama can still win more delegates even if he loses the popular vote.

It looks like the Repugs handed Clinton the popular vote in Texas, I'm very interested in hearing the percentage of Repugs that voted for Clinton because the democratic to Repug turnout was like 30 to 1. There were 300 people in line waiting to vote when someone asked who was voting in the repug primary and ONLY 10 people came forward... that clearly tells me there were LOTS of repugs voting for Clinton to cause mischief in our primary. In most other state primaries the Dem to Repug turnout has been like 2 to 1. I dont know what is was for all of Texas but it was 30 to 1 at my precinct and that is crazy!

I thought for sure a brawl was going to break out as some of the Clinton supporters got out of hand and were yelling and screaming and pushing people and grabbing the signup ballots, things got really heated when some big fat guy that was like 60 pushed the Obama Campaign Chair and then bumped me with his chest like he was a tough guy and said to get away from the table and sit down that he was taking charge, i shoved him and told the old man to sit down and then a bunch of big Repugs in the Clinton camp that looked pretty tough came up along with a big Hispanic man ...........and some big African Americans and military guys got up from the Obama bench and I'm pretty sure there would have been a fight if the Election chairman didnt jump up on a table and start yelling "We are all Americans and we are all citizens of the United States and we need to get along and not fight each other. He then said elections are a privilege and people who don't live in Democracies would love to be able to spend hours waiting to vote to elect their leaders. At this point everyone applauded him and sat down.

Bottom line although it was chaotic and there was enough drama to make a movie out of this night, it was an interesting experience... plus I got to be a Delegate for Obama.

Blogger Enigma from Watergate Summer says:
Homeless numbers are up across the Country, Working poor, and even families and VETS and VET families...and it is getting worse by the month, due to the Foreclosure Mess as well...I think I see it more because I live with it everyday...But I am always grateful when someone spotlights it, but also explains WHAT led to it...and the Governent does have to involved- it is their policies that contributed to the situation.....

THE DAWN OF HOPE (Commentary by Lydia Cornell)
Although I don't like labels, 'Progressive' is good description of my political and social leanings. Going forward, making progress, advancing new ideas, bringing people together in the spirit of love, making friends out of enemies, having compassion for the downtrodden and even for prisoners (because we know what it's like to make a mistake or have a bad day.) Progressive means enlightened, spiritual, diplomatic solutions... getting along with our enemies, finding common ground, realizing that by joining forces and engaging in community we become stronger and better human beings.

Regressive is the opposite of progressive. In my view, regressive thought encompasses the belief that fighting one's enemies is the way to peace! Never have I heard a more ridiculous statement, but it seems to be the philosophy of the regressive movement. Religious fundamentalism is dangerous in any culture. Being focused on materialism, and on judging others completely negates the love required in order to live in a society. Fundamentalism is the primitive, archaic, eye-for-an-eye mentality -- the way of people who are too afraid of losing what they have and too protective of their own possessions. People who are afraid.

Strong people do not need to fight -- or hide behind guns. Truly brave and courageous men do not breed enemies. They are clever enough to outwit and outsmart their enemies by keeping them close. What sane person on earth, if he's not in law enforcement, needs a semi-automatic weapon?

The Constitution of the United States of America mentions "military defense" only once. But it mentions the importance of sharing, helping each other, helping the states, and building community -- several times, repeatedly. We must replace the idea of "rugged individualism" with "helping others within your community" because no one ever really made it on his own without a helping hand.

I really feel as if the tide is turning and we are all going to be okay. We will avert nuclear war with Iran, despite the Bush-McCain war lust, and we will create a safer, cleaner better world. As Progressives, we all have intentions toward life and peace.


ARE WE BETTER OFF? by Larry Johnson

As Americans choose a newly elected government this fall and the choices for President have narrowed, one key concept emerges from the past that should help decide the future.

During the 1980 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan deflated Jimmy Carter’s reelection bid with a simple question, asking the American people, “are you better off today than four years ago?”

Take a look at your own situation and take a look at the world around you. America is worse off than 8 years ago. We have the worst deficit in American history. We are experiencing growing inflation and massive stagnation. Prices are going through the roof. Oil is at an all time high. Hate crimes are up. Incomes are down. Job growth has been flat. Bankruptcies and foreclosures have become overwhelming and our infrastructure is failing.

Oil companies are raking in record profits, while the poor and elderly Americans freeze during winter because they can't afford heat. CEO's are making record salaries, even as middle class Americans are laid off, seeing decreasing wages and facing foreclosure on their mortgages.

It was recently reported that there are some 850,000 people that are homeless in the United States today. Even worse, over 40% of the homeless are made up of families, and more Americans went hungry and without a home last year than ever before.

40% of homeless adult males served honorably in the US military. The average age of the homeless adult male is 38; the average age of the homeless adult female is 32, and 90% of homeless have successful work histories.

What have the Republicans, led by a Republican President done for America these nearly eight years? They started a war in Iraq based on lies, and they have blundered that war miserably. They have failed to stop AL-Qaeda. They ignored warnings of bridge collapses and levees breaking, and our infrastructure is falling apart.

They cut veterans benefits and health care for our soldiers even as they sent more and more Americans into the Iraq war. Osama bin Laden is still free. They have had a seven year period of scandal and corruption, they spied on innocent Americans, they caused the largest amount of foreclosures in history.

They have tortured, they have abused, they have lied and innocent Americans and Iraqi's have died and they go unfettered. They have sent millions of American jobs overseas, while allowing China to finance our debt.

John McCain has told us he will continue the Bush policies. He will continue the deficit, the failed economy, the failed Iraq war. He has openly said there will be more wars, lots of wars.. Is this what you want?

Many are divided over choosing Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. With Hillary the hopes are a return to the booming Clinton economy of the 90's, while Obama brings a movement of frustrated people that would bring sweeping changes to the status quo in our government.

Either Hillary or Obama would be a remarkable betterment to the maize of distress that has filtered our world today. Both would create millions of good paying jobs, help the homeless, and we could see peace instead of the plight of war.

The question of today is very simple as it the answer. Wouldn't we be better off with the Democrats controlling both houses of Congress, and either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as our President?

In a different type of election you can vote for your favorite Female Blogger such as Lydia by going to Female Blogger Contest

To win any battle you cannot do so by might as your opponent might be wielding a bigger or more dangerous weapon. The only way you can win is by Love and then you realize that there was never an enemy in the first place nor is there ever a battle to be fought.


The Tree of Life' illustration, 2007 Tim Parish

191 comments:

  1. My primary is upcoming but I have voted for Lydia as Favorite Female Blogger!

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  2. Mar 4, 2008 0:40 | Updated Mar 4, 2008 15:35
    Vanity Fair: Bush approved plot to oust Hamas
    By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

    US President George W. Bush is said to have approved a covert initiative to overthrow the Hamas government shortly after Hamas won the January 2006 parliamentary election, according to confidential documents obtained by Vanity Fair magazine.


    Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
    Photo: AP [file]
    The documents, which have been corroborated by sources at the US State Department and Palestinian officials, reveal that the plan was supposed to be implemented by the State Department.

    The report confirms allegations by Hamas and other Palestinians that the US has been supplying Fatah with weapons and money so that its forces could bring down the Hamas government. Some senior Fatah officials have also accused the US of "meddling" in Palestinian affairs by encouraging Fatah to work toward toppling the Hamas government.

    The magazine said that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams were entrusted with provoking a Palestinian civil war, in which forces led by Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan - fortified with new weapons supplied at America's behest - would remove the democratically elected, Hamas-led government.

    The State Department, according to Vanity Fair, declined to comment.

    The magazine quoted a former US intelligence official with experience in covert plans that said the plan was "close to the margins" with regards to its legality. But, he added, "it probably wasn't illegal."

    The report said that instead of driving its enemies out of power, the US-backed Fatah fighters inadvertently provoked Hamas to seize total control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

    David Wurmser, who resigned as Vice President Dick Cheney's chief Middle East adviser a month after the Hamas takeover, said he believed that Hamas had no intention of taking over the Gaza Strip until Fatah forced its hand.

    "It looks to me that what happened wasn't so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was preempted before it could happen," he was quoted as saying. Wurmser said that the Bush administration engaged in a "dirty war in an effort to provide a corrupt dictatorship [led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] with victory."

    Wurmser said he was especially galled by the Bush administration's hypocrisy. "There is a stunning disconnect between the president's call for Middle East democracy and this policy," he said. "It directly contradicts it."

    Neocon critics of the administration told the magazine that the old State Department vice of rushing to anoint a strongman rather than solving problems directly had led to the terrible missteps in the Gaza Strip.

    To rely on proxies such as Dahlan, former UN ambassador John Bolton said, was "an institutional failure, a failure of strategy." Bolton blamed Rice, saying Rice, "like others in the dying days of this administration, is looking for a legacy. Having failed to heed the warning not to hold the elections, they tried to avoid the result through Dayton." Lieutenant General Keith Dayton was the US security coordinator for the Palestinians, who reached a secret agreement with Dahlan to strengthen Fatah's forces.

    According to three US officials, Bush referred to Dahlan as "our guy," a sentiment that was shared by Rice and Assistant Secretary David Welch, the man in charge of Middle East policy at the State Department.

    The report uncovers three different confidential memos that describe the covert plan: One, prepared by US Consul-General in Jerusalem Jake Walles, states how the Bush Administration intended for him to tell Abbas in Ramallah in 2006 to dissolve the Hamas government if it would not recognize Israel, promising the US would back him if he did.

    "We believe that the time has come for you to move quickly and decisively," the text reads. "If Hamas does not agree within the prescribed time, you should make clear your intention to declare a state of emergency and form an emergency government explicitly committed to that platform. If you act along these lines we will support you both materially and politically... We will be there to support you."

    The second memo, drawn up by the State Department, asserts that means had to be found to produce an "endgame" by the end of 2007 for Abbas to remove Hamas from power by collapsing the government, and that he must be given the means to strengthen his forces.

    According to the Vanity Fair report, the third memo, described as a US "action plan" for the PA president, set out a plan by which Abbas would fire his own Fatah-Hamas "unity" government and rely on a security deal between Dahlan and Dayton to strengthen Fatah's forces.

    Meanwhile, the magazine said, US officials led by Rice had spent several months begging Arab governments for money in order to supply Fatah's forces with new weapons from Egypt under a previously undisclosed covert US program - a scheme described by some sources as "Iran-Contra 2."

    Dahlan goes on the record about these events for the first time, saying that despite pleas from Fatah that they were unprepared for elections, Bush pushed ahead. "Everyone was against the elections," Dahlan is quoted as saying. "Everyone except Bush. Bush decided, "I need an election. I want elections in the Palestinian Authority."

    Following Hamas's victory, "everyone blamed everyone else," the report quotes an official with the Department of Defense as saying. "We sat there in the Pentagon and said, "Who the f*** recommended this?"

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  3. This just shows what a lying hippocrite the Monkey in chief really is when he says he values democracy and elections and that is what we are fighting for...........he only likes democracy and elections if the cronnies and stooges he wants win..........otherwise not so much.

    It is amazing how short a memory the American people have for the lies and ever changing stories and reasons for justifying this treasonous war..........first it was WMD........then it became to liberate and install democracy now its to fight Al Qaeda who wasnt even there till the Idiot in chief deceided to invade Iraq cause they have lotsa oil.

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  4. The war criminal in chief over the last 7 years has clearly shown if he doesnt like he results of an election he is not above doing whatever it takes to change those results.

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  5. Lydia, you're so right, and I'm glad you included prisoners. I'm on the board of a small non-profit that helps prisoners change and transition and do volunteer work with prisoners both inside the prison and after their release. Most of them are no different from everyone else, although I have found convicted criminals to be considerably less heinous than elected criminals.

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  6. Larry, I'm certainly worse off than I was 8 years ago, and I agree about Lydia, the loveliest blogger online. :-)

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  7. Great minds, Mike. I put a piece of that Vanity fair article up at PP this morning. While Hamas was offering an olive branch, Bush and the GOP intervened to perpetuate the conflict.

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  8. TomCat - THANK YOU for your kind words and FOR VOTING!

    Larry - thank you so much for voting and for the excellent article.

    I put some thoughts down ahead of the article to give people a sense of what "Progressive" means.

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  9. I reflected on another era in the country's history awhile back-an era that is usually belittled for the "stagflation" and alleged "weakness" we were supposedly suffering through.

    Give me that era any day of the week. Even the TV programs were better.

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  10. Mike and TomCat -- this Vanity Fair article is amazing.

    By the way Mike, after Hillary's ridiculous statements yesterday about John McCain having more experience than Obama,
    I WAS TOTALLY TURNED OFF!!

    How could she put McCain above Obama? This is reprehensible, and unacceptable.

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  11. Lydia
    That is a good description. To me being a progressive is merely adapting to the times, putting others first and doing the right thing. To me it is just a part of being alive not of being Religious. It is innate in some of us.
    Larry
    Except for Bush's millionaires most are worse off in most respects and it will get much worse. I am sick of sounding doom and gloom but it is just undeniable fact. It will get much worse once Bush is hopefully out of the picture, can no longer keep up the facade, and the truth of his nightmare comes out!

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  12. LydiaCornell said...
    Mike and TomCat -- this Vanity Fair article is amazing.

    By the way Mike, after Hillary's ridiculous statements yesterday about John McCain having more experience than Obama,
    I WAS TOTALLY TURNED OFF!!

    How could she put McCain above Obama? This is reprehensible, and unacceptable."

    Like i've been saying for a while now, Hillary will say and do ANYTHING to get elected.....she doesnt have a sincere genuine bone in her entire body..........just like Dick Cheney, she doesnt give a rats ass about whats best for the country or her party all she cares about is whats best for her and what she wants...............while she would certainly be BETTER than Bush (thats not saying much) phony democrats like her, Penn, Pelosi, Reed, Loserman are a cancer that will only metasitize in the party if people support them.........I see little diffrence between Karl Rove and Mark Penn.

    I'm going to caucus for Obama, be back later!

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  13. Patriot,

    Notice how McCain never mentions the economy, he wants to talk war.

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  14. In the following interview, Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz talks about how the economy has replaced Iraq as the central issue in the presidential campaign, but how the two are closely related.

    Buzz up!on Yahoo!Stiglitz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001. He is the author, with Linda Bilmes, of The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of The Iraq Conflict, just published in the U.S. Stiglitz spoke with me for my Global Viewpoint on Monday.

    Nathan Gardels: The American economy, teetering toward recession or worse, has replaced the war in Iraq as the key issue in the presidential campaign. What is the link between U.S. economic woes and the war in Iraq?

    Joseph Stiglitz: The war has led directly to the U.S. economic slowdown. First, before the U.S. went to war with Iraq, the price of oil was $25 a barrel. It's now $100 a barrel.
    While there are other factors involved in this price rise, the Iraq war is clearly a major factor. Already factoring in growing demand for energy from India and China, the futures markets projected before the war that oil would remain around $23 a barrel for at least a decade. It is the war and volatility it has caused, along with the falling dollar due to low interest rates and the huge trade deficit, that accounts for much of the difference.

    That higher price means that the billions that would have been in the pockets of Americans to spend at home have been flowing out to Saudi Arabia and other oil exporters.

    Second, money spent on Iraq doesn't stimulate the economy at home. If you hire a Filipino contractor to work in Iraq, you don't get the multiplier effect of someone building a road or a bridge in Missouri.

    Third, this war, unlike any other war in American history, has been entirely financed by deficits. Deficits are a worry because, in the end, they crowd out investment and pile up debt that has to be paid in the future. That hurts productivity because little is left over either for public-sector investment in research, education and infrastructure or private-sector investment in machines and factories.

    Until very recently, we haven't sharply felt these three factors depressing the economy because the Federal Reserve Bank responded with the attitude that they must keep the economy going no matter how much President Bush spends on the Iraq war. Seeing a weak economy, they kept interest rates low, flooded the economy with liquidity and looked the other way when bad home-lending practices were shoveling money out the door. Regulation was lax. The spigot was wide open. More than $1.5 trillion was taken out of houses in mortgage equity withdrawals alone over the past five years! That is a huge amount of money to be spent.

    At the same time, the U.S. savings rates plummeted to zero. So everything that was being spent, from rebuilding Iraq to redecorating the home, was on borrowed money. All the problems were papered over by borrowing. The bubble ultimately burst when the ratio of housing prices to income -- that is, what people whose incomes are falling could afford -- was no longer sustainable.

    Now that we can see beyond the bubble, the economic weakness caused by the Iraq war will be fully exposed. And we'll pay for it in spades -- you might say, with interest.

    Gardels: One of the bizarre occurrences of globalization is that the Chinese, who opposed the Iraq war at the U.N., have ended up as a major financier of that war by purchasing U.S. Treasury bonds with the huge dollar reserves they've earned from their trade surplus with the U.S. So, a consumer democracy with no savings borrows from a market-Leninist state to combat terrorism and hold free elections in the first Shiite government in an Arab state in 800 years!
    How will we sort it all out?

    Stiglitz: And the American people haven't a clue about what they are supporting, which undermines democracy at home as well.

    The ironies don't stop there. This is the first American war since the Revolutionary War that has been financed from abroad. At the beginning of every other war, there was real public discourse about which costs should be put on future generations and which should be paid today -- in taxes. This is the first war where we have (BEGIN ITALICS) lowered taxes (END ITALICS) as we went to war.

    The Iraq war has not only been financed by foreigners, but it is also the most privatized war in American history. And the results are egregious. For example, a security contractor -- I'm not talking about sophisticated engineers here -- makes well over $1,000 a day, often more than $400,000 a year. A person in the U.S. Army gets paid a fraction of that amount -- about $40,000 annually -- for performing the same tasks. Everybody knows any workplace where one person makes 10 times what the other one does for doing the same job is a recipe for discontent. So, in order to attract soldiers, the U.S. Army has increased sign-up bonuses. We're competing with ourselves! And that raises costs all around.

    But that is not the end of the absurdity. On top of that, the U.S. taxpayer is paying disability and death insurance for the contractor, but then the insurance policies exempt paying in the circumstances of "hostilities." Who are we buying insurance for? The taxpayer, then, is essentially paying the insurance companies for nothing. Talk about a sweet deal!

    Gardels: What is the big picture in terms of America's economic reckoning with the Iraq war?

    Stiglitz: The big picture is that, by our most conservative estimates, this war has cost an almost unimaginable $3 trillion. A more realistic estimate, however, is closer to $5 trillion once you include all the downstream "off budget costs" of long-term veteran benefits and treatment, the costs of restoring the now depleted military to its pre-war strength, the considerable costs of actually withdrawing from Iraq and repositioning forces elsewhere in the region.

    Then there are the micro costs. For example, if a solider gets killed, his family gets a $500,000 lifetime payment. That is not included in the public budget when the costs of the war are considered.

    These costs are real and are not going away. You can't continue to sweep them under the rug. Like your credit card bill, the costs only grow greater if you ignore them.

    Finally, anybody who says we ought to stay in Iraq for even another four years, no less the next 100 years, as John McCain has suggested, has to honestly tell the American people how they are going to pay the $12 billion-a-month bill. Where are we going to come up with another $1.2 trillion? And is that going to make America more secure?

    Let's get out sooner rather than later. Above all, let's stop fantasizing. It's those fantasies that got us in trouble.

    Gardels: In your view, is this economic mess a result of the neo-con fantasy or a conscious cover-up by the Bush administration to hide the costs from the American public?
    Stiglitz: Both. It was a neo-con fantasy that we'd be greeted with garlands. We'd only be responsible for cleaning up the rose petals. Iraqi oil would pay for everything else.

    It was also a deliberate attempt to hide the costs from the American people. How else could you justify not providing the American troops with the equipment they need? How else could you justify not giving the Veterans (Benefits) Administration what they need to treat the disabilities of our heroic soldiers who have been both physically and psychologically maimed by this war? That can only be interpreted as a deliberate attempt to hide the real costs of war -- at the expense of weakening our armed forces, which have been debilitated. The Bush administration has put short-run political advantage ahead of the security of the country.

    Gardels: The economic costs have now come back to undermine the whole post-9/11 security effort. When John McCain says he's not interested in and doesn't understand the economic aspect of things, and only knows about how to keep America safe, what does that say about his leadership capability?

    Stiglitz: If he doesn't understand the economy, he doesn't understand security. If we had infinite resources, we might be able to have perfect security. But America, like every other country, has resource constraints. That means you need to be smart -- that is, economic -- about the money we spend. If you weaken the American economy, you won't be able to find the resources you need for security. The two cannot be separated.

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  15. Despite rhetoric about tackling corruption in Washington, John McCain does not appear too eager to look into the current administration. When asked today about supporting independent investigations into the Bush administration, McCain replied:

    "I do not agree with your sentiment that there has been widespread corruption. I just don't accept that.

    Another Republican phony who claims purity while enabling evil.

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  16. In a dramatic about-face, Ask.com is abandoning its effort to outshine Internet search leader Google Inc. and will instead focus on a narrower market consisting of married women looking for help managing their lives.

    As part of the new direction outlined Tuesday, Ask will lay off about 40 employees, or 8 percent of its work force.

    With the shift, the Oakland-based company will return to its roots by concentrating on finding answers to basic questions about recipes, hobbies and children's homework.

    The decision to cater to married women primarily living in the southern and midwestern United States comes after Ask spent years trying to build a better all-purpose search engine than Google.

    The quest intensified after Internet conglomerate InterActiveCorp bought Ask and its affiliated Web sites for $2.3 billion in 2005. But Ask.com remained an also-ran, despite spending tens of millions of dollars on an advertising blitz about dozens of new products that impressed many industry analysts.

    Through January, Ask ran the Internet's fifth largest search engine in the United States with a 4.5 percent market share, according to comScore Media Metrix. Google dominates the industry with a 58.5 percent share.

    "No matter what (Ask) did, it just wasn't enough to get people to leave Google," said Chris Winfield, who runs a search engine consulting firm, 10e20. "This looks they are raising the white flag."

    Jim Safka, who became Ask's chief executive two months ago, predicted the retooling will breathe new life into the search engine.

    "Everyone at Ask is excited about our clear focus and the trajectory-changing results it will deliver," he said in a statement.

    With Ask scaling back, the online search market could winnow to two dominant players, Google and Microsoft Corp. Now third in the market, Microsoft is trying to buy Yahoo Inc., which runs the second largest search engine, for about $40 billion.

    (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

    Ask's inability to increase its market share had spurred widespread speculation that Barry Diller, InterActiveCorp's chief executive, might hire Google to run the search engine's results to save money. Google already posts text-based ads on Ask and InterActiveCorp's other Web sites in a five-year deal that Diller expects to generate about $3.5 billion.

    New York-based InterActiveCorp plans to break itself into five separate companies later this year. Ask will remain under Diller's control at InterActiveCorp.

    When it first started out in 1996, Ask positioned itself as a search engine that could spit out answers to requests that were posed as natural-language questions instead of being entered as a string of loosely related words.

    But the search engine, then known as AskJeeves, frequently misinterpreted requests and produced nonsensical answers that triggered widespread ridicule.

    After investing in more sophisticated technology, Ask tried to reposition itself as a cutting-edge alternative to Google and even dropped its cartoonish mascot — a genteel butler named Jeeves — in an effort to be taken more seriously.

    Even after adding more bells and whistles, Ask still attracted a large audience of women who used the search engine primarily to get simple answers. Women are also a familiar demographic for Safka, who was chief executive of InterActiveCorp's online dating site, Match.com, before taking the reins at Ask.

    ReplyDelete
  17. John McCain enjoys a fawning press and a maverick reputation. He likes to describe himself as a conservative populist. Straight talk is his boast. But when it comes to the economy, he's peddling the same poisonous brew that is sapping this country's strength. That is why even though John McCain is a a decent man, the campaign this fall will be ugly and mean. McCain couldn't survive a straight up policy debate. A good example is the Wall Street Journal's recent analysis of McCain plans on taxes and spending.

    Bush racked up over $3 trillion in debt over the past seven years. He largely squandered the money on the war in Iraq and tax cuts for the wealthy, while starving vital investments here at home in everything from levees to modern schools.

    McCain promises even more of the same. The senator now says he's not only for making the Bush tax cuts permanent -- at the cost of $3 trillion over the next decade -- he wants additional corporate and top end tax cuts -- slashing corporate taxes, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax. Relying on campaign figures, the Wall Street Journal estimates McCain's new promises on tax cuts total about $400 billion a year (This doesn't count McCain's musing about tax reform, looking to make the tax code "fairer and flatter," which can only mean lowering taxes on the top and raising them on middle income workers.)

    McCain isn't talking about a short term stimulus to get the economy going. He's talking about permanent change. And the tax cuts the senator is pushing -- focused on corporations and the more affluent -- are the least efficient ways to give the economy a boost.

    How will he pay for this? McCain loudly censors Bush and Republicans for spending like drunken sailors. But McCain is less forthcoming about what he would cut. He'd keep pumping the $10 billion a month into the war in Iraq, and spend more expanding and rebuilding the military. He won't get it out of entitlements. He says he's still committed to privatizing Social Security along the Bush model, which would have added a staggering $17.5 trillion in debt by 2050 (essentially increasing US total debt by 50%).

    What would he cut? McCain vows to veto every congressional earmark that comes his way. What a relief. But earmarks only totaled about $18 billion last year. McCain also points to a list of programs -- largely for the vulnerable -- that Bush thinks should be eliminated. Those too total about $18 billion a year. With Bush's annual budget deficit at $400 billion and rising, and McCain vowing to add another $400 billion in new tax cuts a year, this is a dodge, not an answer. On taxes and spending, as on trade and regulation and war, he is offering only Bush redux.

    That's why the coming election campaign will be down and dirty. Forget about Obama's new spirit. Republicans have no choice but to demonize their opponents. McCain can't afford to have a straight policy debate. With Americans suffering recession, costly occupation abroad, stagnant wages, pervasive corporate corruption, homes plummeting in value, more of the same isn't exactly a winning formula.

    Doesn't sound like an Independent thinker after all does he!

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  18. The Lies of War

    by Thomas Moore

    Nearly 4,000 American soldiers have died since the start of the Iraq War. As we read particulars about the lives of Americans who have died or been maimed in Iraq, the bleak comparison between a life lived fully and a life cut short, lost to a cause that was misrepresented and illegal from the outset, can only overwhelm us. This is especially poignant for Mainers since, as the Bangor Daily News pointed out in a recent article, Maine’s recruitment rate for the Iraq War ranks third in the nation.

    One of the best World War I war poets, Wilfred Owen, spoke out during a similar debacle in his poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est.” In the poem, Owen recounts the horror of a soldier’s death by mustard gas, describing the “white eyes writhing in his face” and the blood “gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs.” War is senseless and barbaric, Owen argues in the poem, and the romantic idea of dying gloriously for one’s country is founded on empty rhetoric. The poem concludes: “My friend, you would not tell with such high zest/To children ardent for some desperate glory,/The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est/Pro Patria Mori.” “The old Lie” is a line from an ode by Horace, the Roman poet: “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.” Owen himself was killed in battle on Nov. 4, 1918, one week before the armistice.

    Reread Owen’s poem. It should speak profoundly to American readers as we approach two appalling milestones: 4,000 Americans dead, five years of war. Granted, there are many among us who would willingly fight in a war that threatened our freedom and our way of life, but we are not in such a war. We were never threatened by Iraq, and Iraq had no part in the Sept. 11 attacks. The reasons for going to war were misrepresented and groundless. They were lies.

    The deceptions and failures of the Bush-Cheney administration have placed young Americans in a war where lives are cut short and bodies maimed by IEDs, snipers and the myriad other dangers in a war zone. Our continued presence in Iraq perpetuates this havoc. The planning for the invasion was grossly inadequate in part because the administration showed disdain for the history of the Middle East. This, combined with revelations such as the Abu Ghraib humiliations and tortures, and more recently the cowboy tactics of the Blackwater mercenaries who are apparently subject to no rules at all, indicate a broad disregard for human life and human dignity. Those who have been humiliated seek revenge. They join terrorist groups.

    The Islamic Middle East was my home for seven years. I taught Turks, Iranians, Kurds, Armenians, Baha’is, Jews and Azerbaijanis. I traveled through Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. I know these peoples a bit. They are like us. They want warm houses, good schools, jobs, hospitals - you can complete the list because it is your list as well - and they want peace.

    They hate the condescension and arrogance of the Bush-Cheney administration’s foreign policy - the invasion, the bombings, the torturing, the surge, the mercenaries - but most do not hate Americans. They discern the difference between political arrogance and the wishes and needs of average citizens. All of us - Iraqis, Turks, Iranians and Americans - want to be able to live out our lives, to make our marks. Of course we “support our troops” as the ubiquitous ribbon counsels, but that does not mean we must support a broken government and the lies, old or new, that place our soldiers in harm’s way.

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  19. Mike did you caucus in Texas? What is going on there?

    Can Obama still win the delegates?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great post, Larry. The problem as I see it, is if Obama doesn't get the nomination we're screwed for at least 4 more years. Clinton is Neocon to the core. She is driven only by her lust for power.

    ReplyDelete
  21. BTW-- did you and Lydia get my e-mail?

    ReplyDelete
  22. LydiaCornell said...
    Mike did you caucus in Texas? What is going on there?

    Can Obama still win the delegates?"

    MAYHEM.............I just got back from the caucus.... but yes Obama can still win more delegates even if he loses the popular vote.

    It looks like the repugs handed Clinton the popular vote in Texas, i;m very interested in hearing the percentage of repugs that voted for Clinton because the democratic to repug turnout was like 30 to 1............there were 300 people in line waiting to vote when someone asked who was voting in the repug primary and ONLY 10 people came forward..........that clearly tells me there were LOTS of repugs voting for Clinton to cause mischief in our primary...........in most other state primaries the dem to repug turnout has been like 2 to 1.........i dont know what is was for all of Texas but it was 30 to 1 at my precinct and that is crazy it stinks and doesnt smell right at all.

    During the caucus Clinton supporters outnumbered Obama supporters 3 to 1...........whats amazing is i could actually tell if people were repugs or Clinton supporters just by looking at them............Clinton's supporters were all old and/or uneducated, while Obama's supporters were mostly young college kids, African Americans or educated caucasions.

    I thought for sure a brawl was going to break out as some of the Clinton supporters got out of hand and were yelling and screaming and pushing people and grabbing the signup ballots, things got really heated when some big fat guy that was like 60 pushed the Obama campaign chair and then bumped me with his chest like he was a tough guy and said to get away from the table and sit down that he was taking charge, i shoved him and told the old man to sit down and then a bunch of big repugs in the Clinton camp that looked pretty tough came up along with a big hispanic man ...........and some big African Americans and military guys got up from the Obama bench and i'm pretty sure there would have been a fight if the Election chairman didnt jump up on a table and start yelling "We are all Americans and we are all citizens of the United States and we need to get along and not fight each other,,,,,,,,,he then said elections are a privlige and people who dont live in democracies would love to be able to have to spend hours waiting to vote to elect their leaders........at this point everyone applauded him and sat down.

    Bottom line although it was chaotic and there was enough drama to make a movie out of this night, it was an interesting experience..........plus i got to be a delegate for Obama.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Mike: thanks for voting and caucusing....under such conditions.

    Lydia: thanks for a great post ( actually You and Larry both wrote wonderful pieces, I am always grateful when people write about Homelessness....) thank you for visiting on election night, and being supportive as we all were worried.....I am concerned about Ohio...something is up /wrong....

    ( and yes I am a pale redhead.....yup.....)

    I am crashing...none of the numbers make sense, there are certain patterns that Don't look right., and don't add up, ie I can not find ANY of the Early Voting or Absentee Numbers.....and I am done trying for the night....

    I need to be honest...I don'[t trust Hill and after all thqt has gone on I don't think I can vote for her....and the piece of the speech you saw - about McCain, that is how it has been here for weeks....similiar to her Rhode Island Speech...she mocked Supporters and Obama....and she COMPLETELY ignored MANY here- esp in big cities- ie Cleveland- and Dayton ( yes, the Urban Poor and Black and working poor)....It has been awful to watch....and listen too...She should not be doing that....and the McCain thing....that was unforgiveable...and yes, the Muslim issue was very real here.....and yes, it probally did scare some voters....Rovian Tactics used on One of Our Own party....that is not okay.....that would be like having more bush...

    Thanks again.....

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  24. Mike - I am going to post your comment about the "almost brawl" on the top of thread. This is disturbing and bizarre.

    Enigma -- it turns out Rush Limpbotomy was the one uring Republicans to turn out and vote for Hillary in order to "bloody Obama up a bit."

    They do NOT want to run against a movement like Obama.

    This will become a scandal: the media is getting wind of it -- the fact that Republicans voted for Clinton in such a dishonest, manipulation of the system.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Brother Tim, CONGRATULATIONS and I THANK YOU so much! I tried to leave a comment for you yesterday at your blog of Revelation (the best!!)... but my server was slow and we had to go to the mayor's office for an honorary unveling of middle-school art projects, and my son's art was on display at City Hall!

    I'll come over to your blog now.
    xoxo
    Thanks Brother Tim!

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  26. There is some sinister news on the McCain front -- and MSM never asks the right question.

    Charlie Black, a frontman for McCain, was on the air claiming McCain is not in any lobbyist's pocket -- yet Charlie Black himself is a lobbyist for United Technologies - WHICH IS TRYING TO BUY DIEBOLD -- the electronic voting machine company that has our election in its hands.

    They are offering 66 times more money than it's worth.

    I am trying not to wear a tin-foil hat here...

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  27. Brother Tim,

    I never received your email but maybe its in the air somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for the words Enigma, the homeless are overlooked by most, and especially by the government.

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  29. Thanks Lydia,
    I really have no idea what happened here..and yes, Rush listeners are here...so anything is possible..I think that the Obama people will have to investigate the numbers here...I might also contact the Brad Blog..

    I don't think you are wearing a TinFoil hat..I think you are looking at the Bigger Picture...Tactics of Deceit need to be foiled...and looked at..no matter how Rovian they are....

    Larry:
    Homeless numbers are up across the Country, Working poor, and even families and VETS and VET families...and it is getting worse by the month, due to the Foreclosure Mess as well...I think I see it more because I live with it everyday...But I am always grateful when someone spotlights it, but also explains WHAT led to it...and the Governent does have to involved- it is their policies that contributed to the situation.....

    Okay....very grumpy enigma is going to take off for a coupla days to adjust the attitude....I need to find my hopemongering storage container...

    ReplyDelete
  30. LydiaCornell said...
    There is some sinister news on the McCain front -- and MSM never asks the right question.

    Charlie Black, a frontman for McCain, was on the air claiming McCain is not in any lobbyist's pocket -- yet Charlie Black himself is a lobbyist for United Technologies - WHICH IS TRYING TO BUY DIEBOLD -- the electronic voting machine company that has our election in its hands.

    They are offering 66 times more money than it's worth.

    I am trying not to wear a tin-foil hat here..."


    What you said is just insane...........its insanity that we would allow blatant conflicts of interest and/or one party to corrupt the integrity of the process.

    ReplyDelete
  31. enigma4ever said...
    Mike: thanks for voting and caucusing....under such conditions.

    I need to be honest...I don'[t trust Hill and after all thqt has gone on I don't think I can vote for her....and the piece of the speech you saw - about McCain, that is how it has been here for weeks....similiar to her Rhode Island Speech...she mocked Supporters and Obama....and she COMPLETELY ignored MANY here- esp in big cities- ie Cleveland- and Dayton ( yes, the Urban Poor and Black and working poor)....It has been awful to watch....and listen too...She should not be doing that....and the McCain thing....that was unforgiveable...and yes, the Muslim issue was very real here.....and yes, it probally did scare some voters....Rovian Tactics used on One of Our Own party....that is not okay.....that would be like having more bush...

    Thanks again....."


    I couldnt agree more I cant support the Rovian tactics, the smears, lies and fear mongering...........if Hillary wins the Nom I will not be voting..........I've been opposed to and have railed on Rove and his minions slimy deceitful tactics for 6 years now, there is no way i can support someone using the SAME REPUGnant tactics on another democrat with out being a hippocrite and no better than those have opposed.......MANY people at the caucus feel the same.............Hillary cares ONLY about her self and whats best for her, like Dick Cheney she doesnt give a rats ass whaqts best for the country or the Democratic Party......I just hope the Superdelegates dont let Hillary's megalomaniacal greed for power destroy the Democratic Party and torpedo their excellent chances in the election........Hillary is a pathetic and divisive figure while Obama is a Uniter and a genuine, sincere and enlightened free thinker.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Lydia, Larry, and Mike,
    I am still trying to dissect last night .....and absorb it, I am glad that you all also are trying to figure it out..and are willing to discuss....I realize because I live Urban and with working poor, and in many ways I am working poor...and also that as a Nurse I am a Service Worker.....my perspective is perhaps very different...and even my desire to have a Clean Honest Election Process with out Rancor and Division....or Rovian Tactics.....But what I am slowly absorbing much against my will.....IF we want Obama, a Man of Intergrity to win, then we need to take a real long look at the Playing Field....ALL of it - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

    Obama really is up against Dynasties here....two of them...who both are willing to USE any and all tactics to get the Whitehouse.....and It is Going to Be Ugly from Here Out....

    I would love to know what I will do in November, but I don't know..right now I am a bit disillusioned and disheartened...BUT this I do know I need to thing harder...blog harder...give more...I can not give up on What and WHO I believe in....But I also need to look at the Bigger Picture, the Reality....

    I am grateful that this blog and others are Focusing on the Issues , like Homelessness, VETS, and even the Broken Part of US....if we don't look at What is Broken, and then it will never be repaired.....And Maybe last night was just a Bump In the Road.....the Road to a Better Reality

    ReplyDelete
  33. I think this year isn't going to be like 2004, no matter what Diebold does.

    In Ohio, Governor Strickland and Secretary of State Brunner are intensely focused on getting it right. In California, the Secretary of State has decertified voting machines that cannot be proven to be secure.

    This year, there are more dem Governors than there were in 2004. It's a different landscape, although we can expect the usual dishonest Gopper chicanery to take place.

    On a brighter note, it looks like the moronic monkey is getting everything ready for his upcoming extended vacation in Paraguay. I do hope he takes his entire scumbag family with him, up to about fifth cousins.

    ReplyDelete
  34. This blog's entire reason for being is to bring light and hope -- and I can't stand by and pretend I don't know the truth: that our consciousness creates our reality.

    Everyone has got to stop being so depressed and negative.

    You have to know that all power lies within. Please have more faith. I mean the kind of faith that works miracles. I have had financial, physical and healing miracles -- but they only occur when my thoughts are centered on LOVE. I am absolutely sure that this negative attitude is extreme, self-destructive and wrong.

    This is a "thought universe."

    Nothing is worse than a McCain victory; but you are saying you are not going to vote at all!!! That attitude guarantees a McCain victory.

    Have you even listened to Hillary? Set aside your prejudice for a moment and be very still. Stop the noise in your head. Hillary is resilient, loving and incredibly liberal. Where on earth do you keep getting this idea that she is Rovian and evil? All politicians make mistakes and have bad judgement at times, but stop attributing such bad motives to her. She has fought back against the right wing media machine and been annihilated and I guarantee that she is not the bad guy. McCain and Bush are.

    I would prefer Obama, and I believe he will be the nominee -- but we all have to stop being brainwashed by our own extreme feelings.

    If she is the nominee you have to see the good in her. She has many great plans. Her health plan is AMAZING. Please stop this spiraling down into defeat and fear.

    You guys have to transform your negativity into hope.

    Nothing in the material world can get the best of you if you keep your thoughts on love, light and joy. Your thoughts create your reality - and our joint reality.

    Stop hating, being angry and start blessing everyone you come into contact with - especially our enemies (which are often our own fear-based thoughts.)

    Believe me, I've had tragedies you won't believe and overcome them all with changing my thinking.

    Or in the words of Stuart Smalley: "It's easier to wear slippers than to carpet the whole world."

    Love, radiating love toward your enemies, toward your fellow man, absolutely transforms lives.

    If you don't get the nominee you want, and you sit out the vote - this is like handing it to the Repugs.

    Please rethink this divisiveness. And let's pray Hillary does too. Let's get united.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Lydia:
    I apologize, I am not trying to be negative,I am trying think through what happened here in Ohio, Mike quoted me off my blog- I am just being honest- I don't know if I can vote for her- but that is today...right now...we don;t know what is going to happen....I am still reeling from watching alot of negative campaigning here...So I am sorry he quoted me....

    About Ohio, Jolly Roger said that Brunner is trying to get it right, and I know she is, I also know I live in Cuyahoga County- Our Election Board the WHOLE Board she fired due to questionable ethics and tampering issues, and transparency issues, and two officials went to jail last year for tampering....So sadly my county has problems...2000 and 2004, there were HUGE problems here, it was not all just the Machines....People were involved and Brunner is still cleaning house. So that is just reality. I am hoping and praying that it gets worked out by November....

    I only want Unity within the Dem Party.....not infighting...and certainly not division...never. When we have so many lives hanging in the balance from Iraqis and Iraqi Vets to homeless to 47 Million uninsured...and 27 Million living below the poverty line.....too too many...

    So I hear you...and I apologize....

    ReplyDelete
  36. Enigma - I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to everyone. We are all prone to wallowing in fear and we just have to stop and take our power back.

    Actually the comment that upset me was when Mike said he would sit out the election rather than vote for Hillary.

    I think that is going to get us in trouble.

    But I still think Obama will be the nominee because he is a movement -- and McCain can't beat that.

    After 13 years in a 12-step program where I learned that you cannot control anything but your own attitude and the minute you "let go and let God" or surrender the tight grip on trying to control the universe, the universe always rights itself. There really is a law of harmony and order and love. Einstein said that "no problem can be solved at the same level it was created on."

    That means that when you let go of worry and fear, and unburden yourself of trying to control outcomes -- and TRUST the Divine power that created the universe (Love) everything works out. Believe me, it does.

    And each of us, each child in fact - has their own relationship with a higher power. I still cry for the homeless and do all I can, but still we only have control over the love we give out. If we are yelling or fighting or angry -- no matter who we direct our energy toward -- if it's negative, we are only harming ourselves.

    Love is the soothing balm that rights all wrongs and heals everything.

    ReplyDelete
  37. And you know I love you Mike.

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  38. Mike and Enigma - I put your caucus and voting experiences on the front page of Blog.

    And I really feel for the pain you're in about last night -- all I'm saying is, there is another angle on every picture. There is good brewing. And also, Obama's staff predicted this exact result in Ohio and Texas. They have also predicted his future wins in Mississippi, etc.

    He still has more delegates. Things always work out best when we relax. (I know because I almost broke a blood vessel being angry at Bush the past 2 years!)

    ReplyDelete
  39. You're right Enigma -- you are in the center of the most important state and you can really help the voting process in Ohio. You are a beacon of light and can make a huge difference if you volunteer or run for office or help Brunner shine a light on the VOTING MACHINE problems and election fraud.

    We cannot afford to lose this election in November to any corrupt voting shenanigans.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Lydia said: "And each of us, each child in fact - has their own relationship with a higher power."

    John Wesley called this Prevenient Grace and it's in everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  41. We have the power to insist that Barack and Hill start emphasizing why they are a thousand times better than the embalmed zombie. EITHER of them. My respect for the one of them that would make that kind of a statement about the other would shoot through the roof.

    Chimpy is going to Paraguay. It is going to happen, and it may be the end of the Bushes as a political force in America. If that isn't good news, what could possibly be? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thanks Lydia...
    For your insights , your passion, your strength, and your wisdom...it is one of the reasons I come here ...because of your empathy and soulful reasoning anchors this blog....and the people......

    And then there are the people that come here, Mike, and Larry, and Cliff, and Tomcat and Christopher...the knights of the round table....strong...wise...and all of us are looking for our inner strength ....

    The fact that we all care deeply and try to think it through together.....that is the beauty of it...the Unity....that we are still trying to figure this out together...

    Now....about doing something...I am trying...and right now I have an application into a Homeless Clinic ....not as a nurse...but to run the clinic....I do very much want to make a Difference here...it is funny ...I do not KNOW this State well enough...BUT I care deeply...especially about Cleveland...I do love this adopted city...I am attached to these people in a way I can not explain....the first summer here I used to do Pet Therapy with Homeless Vets Downtown...and I knew that summer I was staying here...that I needed to do Something here...but thank you for your thoughts on it...

    Now the other thing is I think Mike and I both thought we KNEW our States and our People- to a certain degree....but this election is bringing all kinds of People out....and things sometimes are less than clear...and the Process gets muddled...and
    even messed with...and I think both of us to a degree are dealing with that... but thank you understanding....you are wise...

    thank you again....namaste...
    many hugs...

    ReplyDelete
  43. enigma,

    As a former resident of Lorain, I can tell you that the very best and the very worst about Ohio are in Cleveland. I worked in many of its worst neighborhoods, and often ate lunch sitting on the dock in front of the William G. Mather. I shuddered at the hopelessness of a lot of the city, but I also loved it. I understand how you feel; there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss Cleveland.

    ReplyDelete
  44. TWO SINISTER DEVELOPMENTS

    1. DISHONEST REPUBLICAN SCANDAL: it turns out Rush Limpbotomy was urging Republicans in Texas and Ohio to turn out and vote for Hillary in order to "bloody Obama up a bit."

    They do NOT want to run against a movement like Obama.

    This will become a scandal: the fact that Republicans voted for Hillary Clinton in such a dishonest, manipulation of the system."

    -Lydia


    Gee, at least CLIF thought it was funny when your side did it...

    From the January 22 thread:

    clif said...

    NRO's Jim Geraghty posts what are supposed to be the first exit polls out of Michigan. Romney 35%, McCain 29%, Huck 15%, Paul 10%, Giuliani 4%.

    Looks like the KOS just might have gotten his wish;

    Let's have some fun in Michigan

    And we want Romney in, because the more Republican candidates we have fighting it out, trashing each other with negative ads and spending tons of money, the better it is for us. We want Mitt to stay in the race, and to do that, we need him to win in Michigan.

    (snip)

    If we can help push Mitt over the line, not only do we help keep their field fragmented, but we also pollute Romney's victory. How "legitimate" will the Mittster's victory look if liberals provide the margin of victory? Think of the hilarity that will ensue. We'll simply be adding fuel to their civil war, never a bad thing from our vantage point.

    (snip)

    Michigan is Romney’s last stand. He has pulled all advertising from other states for a last-ditch effort there. It’s sink or swim time for Romney, and we’re going to throw him a lifesaver.

    So why are we doing this? Because we can. Because it'll be fun. And because we've suffered Republican meddling, stealing, and disenfranchisement in our elections for far too long.

    "I don't know if enough KOS kids have held their noses and voted for the flip flopper of the reichwing, but it looks like Kos call didn't hurt."

    "KUDOS to them."


    4:08 PM


    AND:

    clif said...

    "Mike it is funny the 9-11 candidate is sinking lower and lower and the three that win are gonna split the vote and hopefully field a totally uncontrollable convention, where they fight like delusional rabid reichwingers at each other until the reichwingers heads implode from the lack of order and control.

    It could be the dark sides version of Chicago 1968.

    here's hoping."

    8:01 PM

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  45. And the dumbest of the Klanservative Klowns comes to us to fling more of his smelly nonsense.

    A day without our Klanservative Klown is a treasure to be savored. But on the flip side, his appearance from time to time reminds us all of why his kind must be driven from Washington like the cockroaches they are.

    ReplyDelete
  46. So....

    I guess like everything else it's perfectly OK for you guys to do it, but a SCANDAL if we do...

    ReplyDelete
  47. I don't give a damn, myself. I understand the conservotards that just went out and did what their dope-addict pedophile Lord told them to do are now all whiny and bitchy because they didn't realize that by voting for Hill, they lost a chance to cast a vote for their own conservotard faves.

    That, on its face, says everything that needs to be said about Oxy-Heads.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Oh and as someone who listens to Rush, It wasn't "to bloody up Obama", it was to cause chaos in your party and at your convention.

    (You know, like clif thought would be just great at ours? - dark side of 1968 anyone?)

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  49. "...they lost a chance to cast a vote for their own conservotard faves..."

    which "conservotard"???
    McCain? - bwahhaahahahahahahah!!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Voltron said...
    So....

    I guess like everything else it's perfectly OK for you guys to do it, but a SCANDAL if we do..."

    No its not.......i realize this may make me unpopular on some liberal blogs but i cant support hillary for doing the same thing i railed on the repugs for.......i dont support a partly blindly and unconditionally regardless of their behavior.

    ReplyDelete
  51. "And the dumbest of the Klanservative Klowns comes to us to fling more of his smelly nonsense..."

    And Jr?, what I'm flinging is you guys hypocrisy, I'd think you'd be used to the smell by now.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I hope you guys like to appear to be talking to yourselves.

    Larry should be along shortly to begin deleting my comments...LOL

    ReplyDelete
  53. dolty prattled,

    which "conservotard"???
    McCain? - bwahhaahahahahahahah!!!


    No, dolty. *sigh*

    Crybaby Cons Disenfrnchised Doing Duty for Dopehead

    Still, an interesting report from a reader in Dallas:

    On the local conservative radio stations, many Republicans are calling and complaining about feeling “disenfranchised”.

    Apparently, they didn’t realize that by implementing Rush Limbaugh’s strategy of voting for Hillary in the Primaries to prolong the Democrats fist-fight, they would not be allowed to vote for any of the Republicans on the rest of the ballot.

    ReplyDelete
  54. dolty babbled,

    And Jr?, what I'm flinging is you guys hypocrisy, I'd think you'd be used to the smell by now.


    First, you made the classic Chimpleton error of lumping all unlike you into one basket. You had to ignore my response to do it, but that's OK.

    Secondly, nothing stinks like monkey poo. That's why about 4 in 5 of us walk around holding our noses all the time these days.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I understand Mike.

    But it's about Rush asking republicans to back Hillary in Texas is a SCANDAL.

    KOS urging readers to back Romney in Michigan is just funny, and KUDOS to them.

    ReplyDelete
  56. LydiaCornell said...
    Enigma - I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to everyone. We are all prone to wallowing in fear and we just have to stop and take our power back.

    Actually the comment that upset me was when Mike said he would sit out the election rather than vote for Hillary.

    I think that is going to get us in trouble.

    But I still think Obama will be the nominee because he is a movement -- and McCain can't beat that.

    After 13 years in a 12-step program where I learned that you cannot control anything but your own attitude and the minute you "let go and let God" or surrender the tight grip on trying to control the universe, the universe always rights itself. There really is a law of harmony and order and love. Einstein said that "no problem can be solved at the same level it was created on." "


    Lydia, think abouth this one, we both value integrity and loyalty.........Hillary is the one sliming Obama and playing the same fear mongering card that Rove and Bush played i'm angry and upset THAT she is smearing another democrat and playing the fear card for votes i'm not the one sowing seeds of discord thats Hillary.


    That said people like YOU in blue states and the battleground states are the ones who NEED to come out to keep McCrazy from winning not me........Texas is one of the redest of red states, it hasnt gone to the democrats since 1976 when Jimmy Carter won it............so i have the luxury of standing up for and not compromising my principles since Texas will amost for sure go to the repugs and if it doesnt it will likely be a landslide victory for the democrats and my vote would not have mattered anyway.

    I hope you dont hate me here, i agree with you and most of the others on almost everything but i just cant support Hillary..........now if i lived somewhere else i just might have to drink a 12 pack swallow my pride and compromise my principles, for the greater good or the ememy of my enemy thing.........but the way it stands now i dont so the elections in gods hands not mine if Hillary wins.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Voltron said...
    I understand Mike.

    But it's about Rush asking republicans to back Hillary in Texas is a SCANDAL.

    KOS urging readers to back Romney in Michigan is just funny, and KUDOS to them."

    I have to side with you on this, wrong is wrong no matter which party does it.......I think i also have to side with you on the way the primaries are carried vout and that Hillary is slime.

    ReplyDelete
  58. We need to let the will of the people pick our nominees. and its criminal to let the other party or party elites or rigged voting machines corrupt the process.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Lydia, i'm sorry if i'm ruining your night not saying what you want to hear but just like i loathed those tactics when they were used on you by Coulter......i also loath them when they are used on Obama by a fellow democrat..........you remind me of my grandmother the way you talk :D

    And i always felt bad when i couldnt give in to her persusaion either and say what she wanted to hear.

    ReplyDelete
  60. And I'll side with you on that one.

    (although I would add your side wasn't very quick in seeing the Clinton corruption when it was focused on Republicans....)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Ratf***ing has never been proven to have altered an election. What is DOES do is make the people who engage in it feel self-important. I wasn't kidding when I said I don't give a damn about them.

    What I do give a damn about is the stupidity of Barack and Hill tearing each other down, when what they need to do is point out why McCavein has to be checked. This is not the time to play the game the Der Rovesmarschall way.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Jolly Roger said...
    Ratf***ing has never been proven to have altered an election. What is DOES do is make the people who engage in it feel self-important. I wasn't kidding when I said I don't give a damn about them.

    What I do give a damn about is the stupidity of Barack and Hill tearing each other down, when what they need to do is point out why McCavein has to be checked. This is not the time to play the game the Der Rovesmarschall way."

    Agreed JR.......i feel the same way.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Jolly Roger said...
    Ratf***ing has never been proven to have altered an election. What is DOES do is make the people who engage in it feel self-important. I wasn't kidding when I said I don't give a damn about them.

    What I do give a damn about is the stupidity of Barack and Hill tearing each other down, when what they need to do is point out why McCavein has to be checked. This is not the time to play the game the Der Rovesmarschall way."

    Agreed JR.......i feel the same way.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Oddly enough, I agree as well...LOL

    ReplyDelete
  65. Voltron said...
    And I'll side with you on that one.

    (although I would add your side wasn't very quick in seeing the Clinton corruption when it was focused on Republicans....)"

    I conceded to you a while back that i might have blindly defended the Clintons to an extent because i liked them.........that said Clinton was a decent president and much but i'm sure not all was the repug slime machine trying to take him down.

    You were clearly right though that the Clintons are not above playing dirty and i'm sure where there is smoke there is fire......still what the Clintons did pales to the corruption and treasonous crimes of the Bush Administration thugs........they clearly have a slimy side though.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Geez, there is hope for the Republic...

    ReplyDelete
  67. btw, that was humor NOT sarcasm...LOL

    ReplyDelete
  68. On a different topic, i've heard rumors that Hillary is saying she would consider picking Obama as her VP..........this tells me the party is aware of the damage being done to it by Clinton and wants to try to unite the party and wrap things up quick so they can focus their resources on McCrazy.

    do you guys think there is any chance Obama would ever accept that........clearly there are backroom deals being made and the DNC is applying some pressure on the candidates.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Volt, do you think McCrazy can beat Hillary?

    ReplyDelete
  70. At this point though I just wish there was a "none of the above" box on the ballot.

    (one that would actually make a difference)

    ReplyDelete
  71. "Volt, do you think McCrazy can beat Hillary?"

    God I hope not...

    ReplyDelete
  72. Voltron said...
    At this point though I just wish there was a "none of the above" box on the ballot.

    (one that would actually make a difference)"

    If it comes down to Hillary vs McCrazy then i agree!

    ReplyDelete
  73. You know whats ironically funny, i honestly believe you feel the SAME way about McCrazy that I do about Hillary!

    ReplyDelete
  74. The way I see it right now is this;

    McCain: LIBERAL
    Egotistical, Self serving.
    Stabs his own party in the back repeatedly. Republicans may be pressured to back him.

    Hillary: LIBERAL
    Egotistical, Self serving.
    Will back her party.
    Can be successfully opposed by Republicans in congress.

    Obama: LIBERAL
    Cult of Personality.
    Charismatic, Persuasive.
    DANGEROUS to the Republic!

    ReplyDelete
  75. The best solution for the Republic would be to have Branches actually willing to take their Constitutional responsibilities seriously, instead of letting things go by for whatever political advantage they can get out of it by whining about it later.

    "Stepnfetchit" Reid and "Nanny" Pelosi do not deserve to have ANY jobs, let alone the ones they have. I doubt the most hardened 'con despises those two spineless bootlicking scum as much as I do.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Jolly Roger said...
    The best solution for the Republic would be to have Branches actually willing to take their Constitutional responsibilities seriously, instead of letting things go by for whatever political advantage they can get out of it by whining about it later.

    "Stepnfetchit" Reid and "Nanny" Pelosi do not deserve to have ANY jobs, let alone the ones they have. I doubt the most hardened 'con despises those two spineless bootlicking scum as much as I do."


    Agreed AGAIN.............Clinton, Penn, Reed, Lieberman, and Pelosi are whats wrong with the democratic party

    ReplyDelete
  77. Actually Jr. I agree with that as well.

    I also wish that in order to be elected it was required to have at least a rudimentary understanding of the Constitution.

    Your last statement, while it may be true, I'm sure we hate them for entirely different reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Whats your take on what Lydia posted about the McCrazy lobbyist trying to buy Diebold for 66 times what its worth.........that sounds like a HUGE story that the MSM is trying to bury rather that focus on like they SHOULD!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Sounds like a conflict of interests if he's working FOR McCain.

    ReplyDelete
  80. To be sure, sir, I despise Boehner and McConnell every bit as much, for basically the SAME reasons ;)

    ReplyDelete
  81. On that note, you guys will have to continue without me.
    I have a long day tomorrow.

    Goodnight.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Mike, I admire you for sticking with your principles. And I'm glad you live in Texas where you don't have to make that choice.

    Let's keep this story alive about Charlie Black and McCookoo and Diebold.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Jolly Roger said...
    To be sure, sir, I despise Boehner and McConnell every bit as much, for basically the SAME reasons ;)"

    Damn your REALLY on tonight JR..........i despise those two clowns as well.......what a pathetic bunch them and Pelosi and Reed make.

    ReplyDelete
  84. JR, what do you think about that Diebold story?

    ReplyDelete
  85. Enigma - you are an angel.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Mike, I admire you for sticking with your principles. And I'm glad you live in Texas where you don't have to make that choice.

    Let's keep this story alive about Charlie Black and McCreepy and Diebold.

    ReplyDelete
  87. THIS STORY HAS LEGS!!!!

    Got this from Mike Huckabee's blog:

    DEAR MRS. HUCKABEE:
    TONIGHT I BELIEVE WE MAY HAVE HAD OUR MIRACLE: I SPOTTED THIS BLOG (below) and then called
    I SPOKE WITH JUDGE DEBORAH MULHOLAND(a ranger that gave you 20 pages of her book when she met you ) FROM OHIO TONIGHT AND SHE RESEARCHED IT FURTHER :SHE AND I NOTIFIED THE PRESS.
    THIS IS BIG!
    LOVE TO MR. HUCKABEE, FROM HIS SYBIL LUDINGTON'S.
    I AM CLAIMING HIS VICTORY IN THE NAMES OF JESUS AND MARY.
    PEACE BE WITH YOU,
    BONNIE BUCKLAW ORTIZ
    THE MIRACLE:
    MC CAIN'S SENIOR CAMPAIGN ADVISOR JUST BOUGHT THE DIEBOLD VOTING MACHINES.
    ####################################
    Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 21:10:22 -0800 (PST)
    From: "Deborah Mulholand" dmulholand@yahoo.com

    Subject: HUGE LOBBYIST CONFLICT OF INTEREST MAY RIG THE ELECTION

    Yesterday a Ranger Blogger posted the following:

    I just got wind that United Technologies Corporation (UTC) bought Diebold in a hostile takeover. Diebold manufactures voting machines. Charley Black is a lobbyist for UTC. He is Senator McCain's campaign manager. Is this a conflict of interest?????

    ReplyDelete
  88. How could it NOT Be a conflict of interest thats kinda like the brother of one of the candidates setting up roadblocks to disenfranchise minority democrats then handing the election to his brother..........we CANT use Diebold voting machines its crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  89. From Huckabee's blog:

    "So I researched and googled and found the following and it appears that this story may have legs. It sounds like the McCain Campaign may be trying to rig voting machines the same way they tried to rig “Winner Take All Delegates”:

    Democrats File Complaint Against McCain
    FEC asked to investigate GOP hopefuls decision on public financing
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23339720/

    Diebold Receives a Takeover Offer
    United Technologies Corp made public on Sunday an unsolicited $3 billion bid for Diebold, one of the largest makers of automated teller machines and voting machines.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/business/03deal.html?ref=us

    CHARLIE BLACK IS A SENIOR CAMPAIGN ADVISOR FOR JOHN MCCAIN’S CAMPAIGN!

    ReplyDelete
  90. Mike, it's interesting to read how angry and panicked Huckabee supporters are. There is a chilling post about how strange it was that one west coast state called it for McCain prematurely before millions of votes had been counted.

    Even Huckabee supporters are highly suspicious of the "machine" that is rigging the entire election process -- but they don't realize that McCain was hand-picked by the military industrial complex (the same entity that couldn't stand any peacemaker in power from JFK to RFK to MLK)

    You see, this whole democratic campaign process may just be a ruse. McCain may have been chosen to prolong our dependence on war. The war machine runs our country.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Another Huckabee supporter writes:

    "Today, I received an email from the desk of Senator John McCain asking for our support and contribution. It left me numb.
    Now Senator McCain has found time to tell us his needs.
    WHERE was he when we asked him for a simple public forum - a debate to know more about what concerns us. He was silent and ignored our request.
    WHERE was he and the GOP powers in Washington state when the counting was stop before all votes were counted?
    WHERE was he when the Louisiana delegates were behind close doors - WITH DELEGATES TO MAKE DEALS? - when Mike was ahead in popular votes?
    STRANGE
    STRANGE
    STRANGE
    Strange, how Senator McCain finds us important when it is his needs.
    Strange, how the powers that be from CPAC TO CSPAN TO GOP leaders TO MEDIA turn a deaf ear when we implored.
    Strange how the tides have turned and now we are being courted.
    Strange how we are only valued for our contributions and not our voice.
    Strange how little they think of us as a means to justify their ends.
    If they can be deaf and dumb to our voices when we needed them to hear us how can they expect anything less from us? After all we are only giving back what they wanted us to expect from them - SILENCE!

    ReplyDelete
  92. LydiaCornell said...
    Mike, it's interesting to read how angry and panicked Huckabee supporters are. There is a chilling post about how strange it was that one west coast state called it for McCain prematurely before millions of votes had been counted.

    Even Huckabee supporters are highly suspicious of the "machine" that is rigging the entire election process -- but they don't realize that McCain was hand-picked by the military industrial complex (the same entity that couldn't stand any peacemaker in power from JFK to RFK to MLK)

    You see, this whole democratic campaign process may just be a ruse. McCain may have been chosen to prolong our dependence on war. The war machine runs our country."

    I think theres more truth to what you just said than MANY people ralize Bush has slipped several times when criticized about the war and said that war is GOOD for the economy............we dont make much anymore except bullets and boms so when the repugs are talking manufacturing and exports THATS what they are referring to...........i posted an aricle a while back that said like 20 years ago over 80%-85% of our exports were weapons and that has probably gotten much closer to 90% today.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I'm starting to think that the corporate powers that be have just hedged their bets and that Clinton and McCreepy are both corporate shills to represent the corporate elite while appearing to be moderates.......kinda like they have a two headed coin , where its heads the corporate elite win and tails the American people lose.......i just dont like how this is shaking out it doesnt smell right.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Any guesses who the potential VP's would be for the candidates.........For McCreepy i'm thinking Crist from Florida, for Hillary i'm thinking maybe Obama, and for Obama i;m thinking that female governor from Arizona, or Jim Webb or possibly a general or even Edwards?

    ReplyDelete
  95. Yeah, Obama needs someone like Jim Webb or someone strong on defense.

    An Obama-Hil;ary ticket could not be beat!

    Wishful thinking

    ReplyDelete
  96. Obama-Edwards would be good too.

    ReplyDelete
  97. The Diebold story would concern me more if the majority of States had Gopper governors as they did in 2004. As of now, it looks like most Governors are on the lookout for chicanery.

    As far as Huck... like him or hate him, he was the only voice within the Gopper apparatus that gave a damn about the little guy. And this is precisely why they wanted him gone. The smart move for either dem candidate would be to try on a little Huck populism and reach out to his supporters.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Senator John McCain is still defending his acceptance of an endorsement from megachurch pastor John Hagee -- who has called the Catholic Church "the Great Whore," and accused it of inspiring Adolf Hitler to initiate the Holocaust.

    But the presumptive Republican nominee's continued intransigence is revealing a new design flaw in the Straight Talk Express. Even as McCain refuses to distance himself from Hagee's anti-Catholic comments, it turns out that during the contentious 2000 GOP primary he had himself denounced then-Governor George W. Bush for cozying up to Catholic-bashers.

    It was widely reported during the run-up to the 2000 contest in Michigan that the McCain campaign delivered a "Catholic Voter Alert" in the form of robo-calls to Catholic voters. Why? Because Bush refused to denounce the anti-Catholic views of Bob Jones University after receiving its tacit endorsement. In the alert, McCain criticized the Governor and lauded his own outspoken criticism of anti-Catholic bigotry. Here's the text of the McCain campaign's phone message:

    "This is a Catholic Voter Alert. Governor George Bush has campaigned against Senator John McCain by seeking the support of Southern fundamentalists who have expressed anti-Catholic views. Several weeks ago, Governor Bush spoke at Bob Jones University in South Carolina. Bob Jones has made strong anti-Catholic statements, including calling the Pope the anti-Christ, the Catholic Church a satanic cult! John McCain, a pro-life senator, has strongly criticized this anti-Catholic bigotry, while Governor Bush has stayed silent while seeking the support of Bob Jones University. Because of this, one Catholic pro-life Congressman has switched his support from Bush to McCain, and many Michigan Catholics support John McCain for president."
    My, how the tables have turned. Back in 2000, straight talking John McCain earned headlines by calling the religious right "agents of intolerance." But now he's "honored" to receive the endorsement of culture warriors like Pastor Hagee.

    On Thursday, a coalition of several Catholic organizations, including Catholics United, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, will issue a statement calling on all candidates to reject Hagee's intolerant views.

    How soon the Republican moralist bigot forgets.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Check out Jolly Roger's post about what the Repugs are planning for Hillary and Obama.

    Reconstitution

    ReplyDelete
  100. Yeah. Barack has to defend himself against a Farrankhan endorsement he never even wanted, but McCavein is allowed to accept a Klanservative endorsement without a whisper from our "unbiased" media.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Ok, here are my thoughts about a potential Hillary nomination:

    It's better than nothing.

    I dont like the tactics that she's used against Obama any more than the rest of you. However, at the very least if she were to win the election, she would have to keep up apperances of following the Democratic platform in order to get anything done. It's pretty evident that the Democrats are going to keep the House and probably expand their lead in the Senate and to have any sort of chance at all, Hillary would have to try to keep them happy.

    She wouldn't be as good as Obama, but would be a far sight better than McCain. After all, nobody ever accused Bill of being the most moral person out there, but at least the country wasn't on life support while he was in office.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Jolly Roger is right. Obama is attacked because of an endorsement he didn't want, and McCain is given a free pass for an endorsement from a war-mongering parasite that he sought out.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Did you guys see the News that Tomcat posted that there is a rumor that Admiral Fallon could be fired............This is DEEPLY disturbing stuff because Admiral Fallon was one of the main people tying the Neo Cons hands and preventing them from attacking Iran.

    The fact that this happened NOW tells me the NEO CoNs COULD be using the election cycle to camaflage the fact that they are planning to attack Iran and use the economic chaos to declare martial law and cancel the elections.

    ReplyDelete
  104. This is DEEPLY disturbing Tomcat..............This article along with the Diebold article Lydia posted are REALLT disturbing stuff.

    I kinda thought the Neo Con loons had probably given up on their obsession with attacking Iran and declaring martial law.........this tells me otherwise.

    Admiral Fallen was I thought holding off and tying the hands of the treasonous Neo Con crazies.........the fact that they waited to oust him till the election cycle to provide camaflage tells me this is more than personal retribution they likely have an agenda they want to implement......if it were me and i wanted to utilize an attack on Iran as the catalyst to cancel elections and declare martial law....I would wait till right about now to oust the opposition Generals and Admirals so the election cycle can camaflage this and steal the thunder then spend the next several months putting blindly loyal stooges and cronnies in place and developing war plans so the attack can happen in July or August.......then the economic disaster as a result of $200 oil and $8-$15 dollar gasoline could be the grounds for declaring martial law and cancelling the elections in the fall.........the democrats are making a big mistake by underestimating these crazzies and to keep caving in and conceding power to them.

    ReplyDelete
  105. mike
    Have no fear. If it looks like they can not steal this election for McCain to keep this mis-agenda going Bush will attack Iran before his time is up so he can head his Forever Wars or as a last resort Declare Martial Law and cancel the election!

    ReplyDelete
  106. Wow Mike, is that story about you on the cover? Thats amazing.

    I don't know if it would make a movie or not but it sure could be an episode in a mini series. Thats pretty wild. Freaking republicans.

    Poor losers. Just listen to Voltron.

    "wahhh wahhh wahhh ... John McCains a Liberal now cause I don't like him.... wahhh wahh wahhh"

    lol

    ReplyDelete
  107. Ok. Heres my next incorrect prediction.

    I think Bush is waiting till right about a month or so before the elections, then he's going to attack Iran.

    Then they'll use the "who do you want at a time of war" ploy, to try and get people to vote for McCain.

    :|

    Hope I'm wrong again.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Bartlebee
    you are not wrong. That is a given! I believe you have been following the election inequities in Texas and Ohio. They are major and we have heard nothing from the complicit MSM.
    The awesome powers Bush has amassed will not and can not be allowed in Dems hands. If there is a danger that McCain will not get in to follow Bush's agenda he will either attack Iran or someone else first or as a last resort Declare martial Law and cancel the election so he can stay at the helm of his forever war!

    ReplyDelete
  109. Actually I have not been able to bring myself to follow the elections. I get my news from the daily show these days and thats it.

    :|

    I'm in denial.

    ReplyDelete
  110. I'm pretty sure he's not going to try the martial law thing. Even the republicans in Washington have had enough bush for a while.

    Of course they want to swap it for some dick.

    ReplyDelete
  111. And I can barely bring myself to watch the daily show.

    I turn it off more than I leave it on.

    ReplyDelete
  112. BARTLEBEE said...
    Wow Mike, is that story about you on the cover? Thats amazing.

    I don't know if it would make a movie or not but it sure could be an episode in a mini series. Thats pretty wild. Freaking republicans.

    Poor losers. Just listen to Voltron.

    "wahhh wahhh wahhh ... John McCains a Liberal now cause I don't like him.... wahhh wahh wahhh"

    lol"


    Yep, Bart, its about me......it was chaos there, and it was a disapointing night but at least i got to be a delegate for Obama.

    ReplyDelete
  113. BARTLEBEE said...
    I'm pretty sure he's not going to try the martial law thing. Even the republicans in Washington have had enough bush for a while.

    Of course they want to swap it for some dick."

    well i've thought that they probably wouldnt pull the martial law thing either for the last 6 months i also thought the push to attack Iran was over as well.............but one of the triggers i have been watching which could take me back to my original position of last spring that martial law and attacking Iran was Admiral Fallon being fired right about now that election season is in full swing and dominating the news so they can plan the attack and martial law for the summer and early fall............i'm not saying its iminent i'm just saying one of the triggers that would cause me to start worrying that it was a possibility again has happened exactly when i figure it would need to happen.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Ok. Heres my next incorrect prediction.

    I think Bush is waiting till right about a month or so before the elections, then he's going to attack Iran.

    Then they'll use the "who do you want at a time of war" ploy, to try and get people to vote for McCain.

    :|

    Hope I'm wrong again.


    If you're right, the Government will have collapsed and general chaos will exist by the time election day rolls around. There won't be any elections because the reason for them will have disappeared.

    ReplyDelete
  115. JR, what do you make about the push to get rid of Admiral Fallon?

    ReplyDelete
  116. Mike they should call you the "Super Delegate".

    ReplyDelete
  117. Obama has this thing won.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Its safe to say this and I think we'll hear this spoken many times over the coming months, that the whole world, wants Obama to win.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Excluding Voltron of course.

    ReplyDelete
  120. I am now convinced that Obama MUST WIN to restore true democracy.

    ReplyDelete
  121. It is sort of weird that McCain is right in line with ALL of Bush's policies (except torture.)

    On the illegal immigrant issue too, I think. But that is one of only 2 issues makes him seem sorta humane

    ReplyDelete
  122. I am now convinced that Obama MUST WIN to restore true democracy.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Obamas will win.

    Sour grapes neocons like Voltron will try to paint grandiose labels on him to try to make him appear ridiculous, and to try and deflate his momentum, but it won't work.

    Americas ready for a change. Whether he'll be a good president or not remains to be seen, but be president he will be.

    ReplyDelete
  124. The whole country's excited about him. I live in Redneckville, just a few miles south of Inbreedia, and there are Obama yard signs everywhere. I haven't seen ONE McCain sign, a few Ron Pauls, and lots of Obama.

    When redneck families are posting Obama signs in their yards, the games pretty much over.

    ReplyDelete
  125. LydiaCornell said...
    It is sort of weird that McCain is right in line with ALL of Bush's policies (except torture.)

    On the illegal immigrant issue too, I think. But that is one of only 2 issues makes him seem sorta humane


    Lydia. John McCain is insane.

    :|

    In fact, make that your new bumper sticker.

    Your mama likes Obama because McCain's insane"

    ReplyDelete
  126. Remember his Bus?

    The "straight-talk express"? lol

    They should have renamed it to the "straight-jacket express".

    ReplyDelete
  127. John McCain is NOT against Bush's policy on Torture.

    He is FOR it.

    He just got through voting AGAINST the Ban on Torture Bill that Bush threatened to veto.

    He SAYS he's against torture. But he VOTES for it.

    ReplyDelete
  128. BARTLEBEE said...
    The whole country's excited about him. I live in Redneckville, just a few miles south of Inbreedia, and there are Obama yard signs everywhere. I haven't seen ONE McCain sign, a few Ron Pauls, and lots of Obama.

    When redneck families are posting Obama signs in their yards, the games pretty much over."

    I sure hope so.........we need a change from the corpotatized establishment candidates.

    ReplyDelete
  129. BARTLEBEE said...
    John McCain is NOT against Bush's policy on Torture.

    He is FOR it.

    He just got through voting AGAINST the Ban on Torture Bill that Bush threatened to veto.

    He SAYS he's against torture. But he VOTES for it."


    I agree McCrazy is TRYING to still "APPEAR" as a Maverick or moderate when that couldnt be further from the truth he is a corporatized establishment candidate PPRETENDING to be a moderate just like Bush pretended to be a "compasionate conservative" and a moderate..........he embraces essentially all of Bush's idiotic fasicist policies as well as the disasterous conservative policies that have been nothing but a disasterous failure............McCrazy is for endless war, welfare for billionaires/no billionaire left behind, endless spying and a police state, etc........


    He PRETENDS to be a moderate and fiscally conservative but no moderate or person who is fiscally conservative could justify or support the war........i'll tell you what lets put the costs for the war into the budget and stop dishonestly hiding the trillions this war is costing the American tax payer as an off budget item then we'll see which party is fiscally conservative and which squanders trillions.

    ReplyDelete
  130. You don't put the keys to the nukes in the hands of a guy who publiclly laughs and sings about bombing other countries.

    He's got bats in his belfry.

    ReplyDelete
  131. WooHoo! Jason Bourne is gonna be in town the last week of April and first week of may...

    They're filming an exciting, fast paced action movie about white collar price fixing at ADM called "The Informant".

    Bet that'll be a box office yawner.

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  132. We'll alert the media.

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  133. I'm not sure, but they may already know. After all, I read it somewhere.

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  134. Wonders never cease.

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  135. McCrazy'sa senile idiot........he looks like a a big stiff weirdo everttime i see him..........course he has still retained the classic repug pompous snotty arrogance and snideness......while pretending to be a sweet reasonable stand up guy.

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  136. Well he is a stand up guy Mike. We can't take that away from him. He did some heroic things as a young man. But honestly, I think he's unstable. He's swaying to pressure all around him and forgetting his own humanity. He's voting against measures against torture while saying he's for torture.

    Jon Stewart says he likes John McCain, but I think he also admits he's nuts. McCain would by my last choice for someone to put in charge of nuclear weapons.

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  137. I agree that McCrazy is unstable, and while it is certainly commendable that he served in the military unlike most repugs that doesnt give him any kind of a free pass..........when I look at McCain AND Hillary. what i see are two dishonest corporate shills that will say and do ANYTHING to become president because they are megalomaniacs who crave the power............i'm hoping we get rid of the pompous megalo maniacs that infest the White House not trade one for a kinder gentler one or a less partisan one.

    I think the corporate elite have hedged their bets and would be happy with Clinton or McCreepy!

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  138. Watch Bill Moyers Journal on John McCain tonight. Chiling, scary.

    There is a reason to fear John McCain.

    He has only one mission: an imperial U.S. extending it's military might ...

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  139. No Mike, I wasn't talking about serving in the Military I was talking about him staying behind another year at the Hanoi Hilton because he let his men take his turn. That was an amazing thing to do.

    Too bad he's bonkers.

    Wow Lydia, I didn't see that. Bill Moyers is saying that? Wow. Good thing McCain doesn't have a peanuts prayer in hell of winning.

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  140. Bill Moyers - nice to have him back on PRS isn;t it.....
    McCain is scary....also go over to my blog..and on the blogroll- there is a blog called "Ramblings" she has a great post up on him too....thanks...

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  141. Military officials worried about McCain’s ‘knee-jerk response factor’


    Last night, Bob Dole told Larry King that he recognizes John McCain’s temperament problem, but he “always sort of rationalized that because the poor guy had been locked up” as a prisoner of war during Vietnam. McCain’s temper, Dole said, is “not a problem anymore.” It didn’t sound like a ringing endorsement.

    There have been questions about McCain’s temperament percolating just below the surface for a while now, thanks in large part to aggressive, almost violent, confrontations McCain has had with his Senate colleagues in recent years. (“The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine,” Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., said about McCain. “He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”)

    But the question is now taking on a slightly different salience, in light of Hillary Clinton’s recent “3 a.m.” ad. What happens if a President McCain and his dubious temperament is confronted with a crisis? Salon’s Mark Benjamin found that some senior military officials aren’t entirely comfortable with what McCain would do with that middle-of-the-night call.

    In interviews with Salon this week, several experienced military officers said McCain draws mixed reviews among military leaders, and they expressed serious doubts about whether McCain has the right temperament to be the next president and commander in chief. Some expressed more confidence in Obama, citing his temperament as an asset.

    It is not difficult in Washington to find high-level military officials who have had close encounters with John McCain’s temper, and who find it worrisome. Politicians sometimes scream for effect, but the concern is that McCain has, at times, come across as out of control. It is difficult to find current or former officers willing to describe those encounters in detail on the record. That’s because, by and large, those officers admire McCain. But that doesn’t mean they want his finger on the proverbial button, and they are supporting Clinton or Obama instead.

    “I like McCain. I respect McCain. But I am a little worried by his knee-jerk response factor,” said retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who was in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004 and is now campaigning for Clinton. “I think it is a little scary. I think this guy’s first reactions are not necessarily the best reactions. I believe that he acts on impulse.”

    Eaton is hardly alone on this.


    “I studied leadership for a long time during 32 years in the military,” said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott Gration, a one-time Republican who is supporting Obama. “It is all about character. Who can motivate willing followers? Who has the vision? Who can inspire people?” Gration asked. “I have tremendous respect for John McCain, but I would not follow him.”

    “One of the things the senior military would like to see when they go visit the president is a kind of consistency, a kind of reliability,” explained retired Gen. Merrill McPeak, a former Republican, former chief of staff of the Air Force and former fighter pilot who flew 285 combat missions. McPeak said his perception is that Obama is “not that up when he is up and not that down when he is down. He is kind of a steady Eddie. This is a very important feature,” McPeak said. On the other hand, he said, “McCain has got a reputation for being a little volatile.” […]

    Retired Rear Adm. John Hutson, who has been a Republican his entire adult life, but who now supports Obama, put it this way about facing a national security crisis: “When everybody else goes nuts, the president of the United States needs to get cooler and cooler.”

    It’s hard to know exactly how widespread these concerns really are. Last week, the far-right Washington Times had a report indicating that “members of Washington’s military and defense establishment are expressing trepidation about Sen. Barack Obama,” but ended up quoting just one person — retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney — who is an unhinged conservative activist with a record of wacky political opinions. For the Salon piece, Benjamin seemed to do a lot more legwork, which makes his piece seem far more credible.

    Regardless, I continue to think McCain’s “temperament questions” is one of those side issues that could become a relevant factor in the campaign. Indeed, campaigns sometimes take on little buzzwords — “character” in 1992, “authenticity” in 2000 — and I’ll be curious to see if “temperament” takes on that kind of significance this year.

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  142. McCain secretly invited the press to his gorgeous ranch in Sedona. They were his invited guests.

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  143. Hey Lydia;
    AND he also won the Delegate Count and Caucus part of Texas.....on to Mississippi on Tuesday ;-)
    His camp had a rough week.....but hopefully the momentum will swing back now...

    ( We are having a Blizzard...we have had over 24 inches of snow- off and on cable and Internet Problems...so I am only on the blogs off and on...)

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  144. By Chris Kelly

    Jimmy Breslin says there are only two headlines that sell newspapers: WAR and BIG GUY DIES. (Here at Huffington, the two headlines are OBAMA and SOMEONE'S NOT PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION TO OBAMA.) In cable news, the only stories anyone cares about involve missing white women, the blonder the better.

    Buzz up!on Yahoo!Elizabeth Smart and Chandra Levy, Laci Peterson and JonBenet Ramsey, Madeline McCann and Jessica Lynch, the Runaway Bride and the remains of Anna Nicole Smith. Those stories were made for cable. Sure, it's fun to watch a casino implode, the first hundred times, but it doesn't have the same urgent familiarity; the same prurient arc of tension and relief, like a cross between a nipple slip and a mining disaster. There's something about missing white women that just works for 24-hour news. Like shipwrecks in Shakespeare, or the way you can't write a truly awful folk song without mentioning smoking.

    Is it news that we need? Of course not. I'm sure Natalee Holloway was a perfectly nice person, but unless there are particles of her in my drinking water, I don't need to know she's still gone.

    As unsettling as the stories are, we can take a kind of comfort in the soothing inexorability of the coverage. The message is that the medium cares. If a woman goes missing -- and she's not black or poor -- CNN, Fox and MSNBC will cover it.

    So what happened to the missing blonde woman in John McCain's lobbying scandal?

    It's been twelve days.

    Where on Earth is Vicki Iseman?

    We've heard from John McCain:

    "I'm very disappointed in the New York Times..."
    And from Cindy McCain:

    "I'm very, very disappointed in The New York Times..."
    But what about Vicki Iseman? Isn't she disappointed?

    Not even in Thomas Friedman?

    Until we hear her speak, or hear she's been identified from dental records, how can we ever have closure?

    It's not just that she's vanished, although that should be enough, considering her hair color. And it's not just that she's been tied to a U.S. senator with a very real chance of achieving America's highest office and then dying in it. It's that there are still only three pictures of her on Google.

    She's been a lobbyist for eighteen years, but she's only been photographed three times. And one of those times was with President Bush. Unless she folds up neatly and fits inside Jack Abramoff's hat, it doesn't make sense.

    Where's Vicki Iseman and where's the cable news coverage of her disappearance?

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  145. You're welcome, Lydia, and thanks, Lydia, Mike and E4e. Every day brings news more disturbing than before. I did not know that the offer for Diebold was for 60 times its value. The intent here, in that light, could not be more clear.

    Randal at L'ennui mélodieux documented that thousands of Repuglicans crossed over in Ohio as well.

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  146. lydia
    I must admit i'm pretty proud of Barrymore and Jolie. Brad and all the rest that get involved too.
    mike
    I wonder if those numbers are going to come out. It could have been repugs that put Hillary over but I just can't see anyone listening to Limburger. I thought the spanish liked Obama but they are enmasse pro Hillary and I heard many of them will never vote for a Black. Prejudice isn't just white!
    Larry the country is finally finding out just how bad off they are and how bad Bush screwed things up but as you know here and around the world his mess is just beginning to bear its ugly fruit and it will dwarf anything the world has ever seen. Sorry about the reality check!

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  147. TomCat: HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?

    Yesterday, the New York Times reported another take-over attempt of Diebold by defense contractor conglomerate United Technologies Corp. (UTC). The initial $3 billion hostile bid to buy Diebold at $40/share is "a 66 percent premium over Diebold’s Friday closing price of $24.12," according to the Times' report.

    Further, according to Wikipedia, UTC, like the company it hopes to take over, is a major sponsor of the Republican party. "During the 2004 election cycle, UTC was the sixth largest defense industry donor to political campaigns," says Wikipedia, "contributing a total of $789,561. 64% of UTC's 2004 contributions went to Republicans."

    As of 2pm ET today, Diebold's share price has soared some 60% to more than $38/share.

    As The BRAD BLOG has covered in detail over the years, Diebold, the 150-year old company and second largest American manufacturer of faulty, hackable, error-prone voting systems, faces myriad financial and legal problems.

    It is currently under investigation by the SEC, under investigation by the DoJ, is facing a Securities Fraud Class Action suit, was recently forced to restate earnings to admit that it had overstated its election business in 2007 by some 300% in the wake of report after report showing its voting systems to be failures, leading a number of states to decertify many of their voting machines. Last month the firm announced planned layoffs of 5% of its workforce, some 800 employees, as its share price continued to dive. As well, the company may be facing still more fraud suits and liabilities in the future in the wake of problems and failures with its voting machines found with alarming consistency in state after state.

    The UTC offer seems like a difficult one for Diebold's board to justify turning down, at least to shareholders who have lost so much of their investment value in the company over the past six months, even though it has alarmed Election Integrity advocates, who are troubled to see yet another defense contractor encroach on the business of America's public electoral system...

    According to Wikipedia, UTC, which would effectively take control over 30% to 40% of the nation's privatized public voting systems, received more than $5 billion dollars in military contracts in 2005 alone. Diebold is also a major defense contractor.

    Over the weekend, UTC went public with its offer, which has both Wall Street and Election Integrity advocates abuzz.

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  148. At least that makes it a little more clear.

    There's a big difference between "66 percent" and "66 TIMES"...

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  149. I think the number you're looking for needs another 6 on it.

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  150. an average patriot said...
    lydia
    I must admit i'm pretty proud of Barrymore and Jolie


    I've always felt something for Jolie myself.

    :|

    although I wouldn't say its pride exactly...

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  151. :\

    an almost "canine" feeling if you will...

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  152. By Alec Baldwin

    Raise your hands if you remember the Keating Five scandal of the late 1980's.

    Buzz up!on Yahoo!Charles Keating ran the Lincoln Savings and Loan. The Reagan administration, those God-fearing, brush-clearing, "Morning-in-America" humanists, wanted less regulation of "thrift" banks so that they could invest in riskier real estate deals. The results of those unregulated banking practices were disastrous. The eventual taxpayer bailout, during GHW Bush's term, was upwards of $3 billion (in late 80's dollars.)

    Keating said that the Feds at the Home Loan Bank Board were out to get him for political reasons. He had spent $300,000 on political influence with four Democratic Senators and one Republican, John McCain. The New York Times recently ran a story on McCain wherein he is depicted as being deeply ashamed of the accusations that surrounded his relationship with Keating. Perhaps, some of McCain's eventual foray into campaign finance reform, along with Russ Feingold, were the result of the Keating scandal.

    The question for two candidates running for President is, "What have you learned?"

    From McCain, I would like proof that he has not drank the Bush Kool-Aid. That's the concoction that, once consumed, compels government leaders to go to any lengths to loosen regulations on financial institutions and then back up the potential calamity with a government bailout. This drug is powerful. In laboratory tests, one dose has also actually caused the subject to start a war with a country using false evidence. (Additionally, after all reports indicate that the war is unsuccessful per its intended goal, the subject has stated that he would remain in the war zone for "a hundred years." )

    I would love to hear a reporter ask McCain what he learned from Keating Five. And what he thinks is the lesson from the current sub-prime and credit collapses that are causing havoc in markets around the globe and pushing the dollar to dangerous lows nearly everywhere. Does America need more integrity and regulation, or would John McBush go for a bailout that we would all pay for?

    I would also like to hear Hillary Clinton apologize for her vote on Iraq. I was sad to read Joseph Wilson, who I admire, shilling for Mrs. Clinton on this site. That line that her vote was one of political expediency can only hold water if the Senator from New York can now revise that decision and say the one thing she owes her constituents, who, I assume, are Democrats.

    Hilary Clinton would make a good President. Even in spite of her Iraq vote. But she must look into the camera and say, "I am sorry. My vote was a mistake. And if I had it to do over again, I would have voted against the war."

    Mrs. Clinton has been quoted as saying, "If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to chose from."

    Precisely.

    I want Mrs. Clinton to apologize. Until she does, I encourage Democrats to focus their attention, and their money, on illuminating what is good about Barack Obama.

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  153. Cheney to Visit Mideast, Promote Peace
    By BEN FELLER,

    AP
    Posted: 2008-03-10 20:25:45
    Filed Under: Nation News
    WASHINGTON (March 10) - President Bush, dispatching Vice President Dick Cheney to the Middle East, said the goal is to get Israelis and Palestinians to hold firm to the promises they've made toward peace.

    Bush said Monday in the Oval Office that Cheney would "reassure people that the United States is committed to a vision of peace in the Middle East."

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  154. Isnt that a hoot..........the Idiot or is it Torturer in Chief sends the biggest war mongerer and threat to world peace in the last 60 plus years to promote peace thats kinda like sending a strrung out drug addict to promote not taking drugs..........or like sending a prostitute to promote abstinince!

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  155. I have to say Eliot Spitzer truly shocks me..............he seemed like such a coruption fighter that i think he had a seriois chance to be head of DOJ, SEC or possibly even a VP or Presidential candidate in 2012 0r 2016...........he destroyed a promising political career and any legacy he MIGHT jhave had as a crusader for justice and protector of the little guy.

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  156. an average patriot said...
    lydia
    I must admit i'm pretty proud of Barrymore and Jolie. Brad and all the rest that get involved too.
    mike
    I wonder if those numbers are going to come out. It could have been repugs that put Hillary over but I just can't see anyone listening to Limburger. I thought the spanish liked Obama but they are enmasse pro Hillary and I heard many of them will never vote for a Black. Prejudice isn't just white!
    Larry the country is finally finding out just how bad off they are and how bad Bush screwed things up but as you know here and around the world his mess is just beginning to bear its ugly fruit and it will dwarf anything the world has ever seen. Sorry about the reality check!"


    Patriot I find it "curious" but not very surprising that those numbers havent come out...........I know what i saw, and I have no doubt that it was the repugs and NOT undecided voters or fear mongering ads that helped Hillary win Texas although i'm sure the fear mongering does influence the same weak minded fools that were conned into supporting the Neo Cons and their war like trained parrots......its sad that the repugs and Hillary Clinton's base are the uneducated, ignorant and uninformed..........but there is CLEARLY a reason that people that KNOW BETTER dont support the repugs or Clinton.

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  157. Gas Prices Near Records, Following Oil
    By JOHN WILEN,

    AP
    Posted: 2008-03-10 15:52:06
    NEW YORK (AP) - Gasoline prices were poised Monday to set a new record at the pump, having surged to within half a cent of their record high of $3.227 a gallon. Oil prices, meanwhile, surged above $108 to a new inflation-adjusted record and their fifth new high in the last six sessions on an upbeat report on wholesale inventories.

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  158. Oil was around $10, 2 years before GWB came to power........now 10 years later oil is 11 times higher at $108 we cant afford to elect another repug just think oil could be almost $1200 a barrel if we have another 10 years like we had under Bush and Cheney and their corporate cronnies.

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  159. want a perfect symbol of Progressive vs Repug values..........Jimmy Carter put solar pannels on the White House and one of the first things Reagan did was rip them off...............its a real Oxymoron that Conservatives are so against conservation.

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  160. BTW, isnt Lanny Davis an obnoxious punk........i cant stand that snotty little bitch..........he reminds me of a snotty little repug just like McCreepy, Penn, Hillary and all the other phonies that infect and corupt the Democratic party,

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  161. Mike said: "Isn't that a hoot..........the Idiot or is it Torturer in Chief sends the biggest war mongerer and threat to world peace in the last 60 plus years to promote peace thats kinda like sending a strrung out drug addict to promote not taking drugs..........or like sending a prostitute to promote abstinince!"

    This and all your posts are spot-on hilarious!

    So true.

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  162. This just about settles the lies of Bush and Cheney doesn't it?

    From Juan Coles blog;

    An exhaustive Pentagon study of 600,000 captured Iraqi documents shows conclusively that Saddam Hussein's government had no operational link to al-Qaeda. A secular Arab nationalist, Saddam mistrusted the fundamentalists of al-Qaeda and bluntly rejected an overture from Bin Laden in 1995.

    NONE, NADA, they LIED about it and knew it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now who will tell the US troops who marched into Iraq in 2003 with pictures of the World Trade Towers pinned to their backpacks? Ooops, guys, sorry. You were had by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

    How do we get 3983 US soldiers sacrificed for Bush and Cheney's lies back?

    What do they tell the children of these people, "We needed your parents lives for our lies and greed"?

    What do they say to the 40,229 people wounded in this illegal war?

    Sorry about your arms legs and sight, but war is tough ya know, (especially if your are dumb enough to believe the lying reichwingers).

    Not to mention the upwards of 250,000 troops who will have to suffer for the rest of their lives with the horrible images they bring back, which will haunt them and result in PTSD.


    Of course this leaves out the 1,000,000 + Iraqi people murdered by Bush and Cheney for their lies, and the 4,000,000+ of the Iraqi people who have lost their homes and lives for the lies of the neo-cons.

    What do the reichwinbgers say to the innocent victims of the illegal occupation, and the war crimes committed in places like abu Graib?

    What do they say to the murdered of Hamdania?

    What do they tell the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis swept up and illegally imprisoned in their own country for OPPOSING this illegal war?

    What do they say to the ones they tortured for "intell" to continue Bush and Cheney's war crimes longer?

    I just wanna know when the F**K the war crimes trials will start?

    An illegal war of aggression based on LIES is a war crime;

    The Nuremberg Trials already established that, so there can be NO argument there.

    The only question is when do Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolofwitz, Feith, Cambone, Rice, Wurmser, Hadley, Powell, Perle, Libby, ET Al sit in the docket for their crimes against humanity?

    When do they PAY for their crimes?

    (Which are much worse then boning a prostitute.)

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  163. This is a must read;

    Guest Editorial: Polk:
    The Iraq War and the Presidential Election


    by William R. Polk

    With all eyes fixed on the forthcoming election, we must consider the issues that will face whomever becomes our next president for these are issues that we – and perhaps even our grandchildren will have to cope. The urgent issue before our country in this time of great danger is the health of our society and the well-being of our country.

    Foremost is the impact of the war in Iraq on our society, our constitutional system and our economy. Like many of you in the room, I have helped to see America through some dangerous times. For me, the searing experience was serving on the crisis management committee of the Cuban Missile Crisis . Then the deputy head of the National Security Council, the Assistant Secretary of Defense of International Security Affairs and I oversaw events during that perilous week. The scars are still with me. But one positive thing I learned then is that the most dangerous thing is to close one’s eyes to reality, to see only what one wants to see. Only in absolutely honesty and clarity is there hope. So please forgive me for laying out here today the cold hard facts with which we must live -- or die.

    * * *

    So, I want to talk with you today about three things;

    First, what is our struggle in Iraq costing us;

    Second, the nature of terrorism, guerrilla warfare and insurgency ; and

    Third, what should we do now.

    Here, I propose to skip over how we got into Iraq, the legal and constitutional issues posed by our policy. Not that these are unimportant, but they are relatively often discussed so I would rather focus on what is less known.At the end, if you will bear with me, I will project ahead on the implications of the thrust of current policy. I begin with the cost of our policy in Iraq:

    * * *

    As you will know from the press, the US has suffered nearly 4,000 casualties — as of last week, to be exact, 3,958 in addition to another 482 in Afghanistan.Our wounded cannot be so precisely counted as they fall into various categories. One hears or reads the figure 30,000 -- that was the figure given by Senator Obama last night, but he was wrong about it. It is only a small fraction of the total.

    One of the most striking wounds is a direct result of the nature of guerrilla warfare — concussions. Concussions were not even noted until after 2003. Now it is believed that about 1 in 10 US soldiers and Marines — that is roughly 50,000 men and women — has been affected.Treating these wounded is a long-time task. Most will never fully recover. Meanwhile, they will be unable to function normally. So side effects will ripple through their communities —loss of jobs, inability to function as parents, divorces, anger, despair. And the cost of treatment will range from $600,000 to $5 million dollars a person.

    The loss of limbs should be easier to count, but the figures are in dispute. A minimum is about 8,000. Most of these people will recover, but many of them will spend their lives in wheel chairs.

    As far as I have been able to find, no statistics have been broken out for those paralyzed.

    But 1 in 4 of the soldiers and Marines ñ the US Surgeon General put the figure at 1 in 3 — that is between 125 and nearly 200 thousand ñ has an illness we did not even know existed until 1980. It is PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.

    And the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 1 in 3 of the men and women who served in Iraq — perhaps 200 thousand needs mental health treatment. Some of these need help because they are either suicidal or could endanger others.

    The most complicated and frightening “wound,”however, is result of the use of depleted uranium bombs and artillery shells. We used them because uranium is a very heavy metal and is better at penetrating armor. In itself, depleted uranium is not much more dangerous than steel. But upon impact, a shell generates intense heat which causes the depleted uranium to mutate into an aerosol of uranium oxide, U3 08. As Dr. Hans Noll American Cancer Society Professor of Biology has written to me, “It settles as a fine dust, which enters the body in a variety of ways. Uranium oxide is an extremely potent neurotoxin with a high affinity for DNA. This DNA fragmentation results in genetic defects like cancer and malformation in developing fetuses. Inhaled as dust, uranium oxide accumulates in the lungs, liver and kidneys and affects the nervous system.” It is inevitable that we face thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of cases of cancer as a result of the use of this weapon. As General Brent Scowcroft laconically put it, “Depleted uranium is more of a problem than we thought when it was developed.” It certainly is.

    These "wounds" add up to very large numbers. We should not be surprised since 169 thousand of the 580,400 men and women who fought in the first Gulf War are on permanent medical disability at a cost of $2 billion a year. For this, the second Gulf War, the estimated medical costs equal the combat costs or roughly half a trillion dollars.

    * * *

    Leaving aside the armed forces, what is the war’s effect on America?

    Consider first the standing of America in the world. This is much more important for our safety than all the weaponry and soldiers we can muster. And no one denies that the reservoir of good will that that great Republican candidate for the presidency, Wendell Wilkie, found so gratifying at the end of the Second World War is now a reservoir well drained. Everywhere you look, there is growing distrust and increasing anger at America. The most recent polls show an alarming decline even since last year and even in our closest ally, England. There our standing is down from 75 percent to just over 50 percent. In Germany it is down from 60 percent to 30 percent. And outside of Europe the numbers are unprecedented. Our NATO ally Turkey everyone thought to be rock solid.

    As an aside when I was in government we asked the Turks to commit forces to NATO and they turned over their whole army. When we set up our supersecret spy bases ó the National Security Agency (NSA) and CIA bases for monitoring Soviet missile activity and flying the U=2, the Turks allowed us to put over 21 thousand officials in Turkey and never even asked to have a look inside the bases, so complete was their trust. Now only 9 percent of Turks favor America.

    In Egypt and Jordan, the heavily touted props of our Middle Eastern policy, only about 1 in each 5 favors us. Polls indicate that nearly 8 in 10 Muslims worldwide believe our intent is to destroy their religion, that President Bush’s famous use of the word “crusade” to describe our policy was not just a slip of the tongue, and that the issue for them is defense of their whole way of life. Of course in Iraq itself, the feeling about America is sharper. All public opinion polls and all observations by our officials indicate that the one issue on which Iraqis of every sect, opinion and economic strata agree is that they want us out.

    Why is this? First, of course is a truism that we all share: no people wants to be ruled by foreigners. Often we don’t even want them in our country. But from the American revolution onward, people all over the world have struggled to get foreigners to leave them alone. The Iraqis are not different from Americans on this matter.

    But there are more pointed reasons. I won’t trouble you with all the details, but will say merely that we have destroyed the social fabric of Iraq. That sense of coherence is the most important attribute of any society. It dwarfs in importance physical things. Without it no society can exist. Consider your own city: it is possible for a small police force to keep order here because your neighbors accept the general order. Were this not the case, order could not be maintained by a whole army. That is the situation in Iraq. 160 thousand heavily armed soldiers plus what remains of the Iraqi army and police and about 20,000 mercenary security people cannot prevent mayhem because the social fabric has been shredded.

    Other things matter — hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, many more have been wounded and still more have lost their homes and livelihoods. Practically speaking, there are very few Iraqis who have not lost a parent, a child, a spouse, a cousin or a neighbor. All observers agree that the Iraqis blame America for these things.

    Not only in Iraq, but all over the world, the issue of torture runs like a dark stain on our reputation and has diminished America’s ability to speak with moral authority when we most need that authority to cope with a very dangerous world.

    These new feelings — which did not exist when I lived in Iraq – have made possible schools of terrorism. Despite what we were told, there was no terrorism directed against America from Iraq before our invasion. Now it is a daily, almost hourly event. Even our heavily guarded Green Zone is more a target than a fortress. And despite all the talk about counterinsurgency, American troops have largely disengaged and pulled back into more or less safe havens. True, we have imprisoned about 20,000 Iraqis, and killed at least that many insurgents but new recruits join daily. By military means – even the much hyped new program of General David Petraeus – there is no end in sight. So the Pentagon is planning for an almost unending war.

    Even if this dismal projection is wrong, it is striking that the current American policy’s most significant long-term effect on Iraq is precisely the opposite of what President Bush presumably wanted to occur: it put into power a government that is closely associated with the very country President Bush has targeted as part of the “Axis of Evil,” Iran.

    This disheartening drift of affairs may, and most sober observers believe it almost certainly will, impact upon us by attacks on Americans and American facilities all over the world and eventually in America itself.

    But one area where the impact is already evident is in energy: Oil has been much in the headlines for months. Access to it on acceptable terms has always been one of the three or four critical requirements of a successful American foreign policy – I know because years ago in the Kennedy administration I wrote the basic US policy paper on the Middle East.

    How much does oil cost? If you are a broker, you can answer immediately, somewhere around $100 dollars a barrel. That should be alarming since it has risen from about $27 since the Iraq war began. And it is generally accepted that each $5 rise per barrel reduces our national income by about $17 billion a year. That is a total of roughly 200 billion dollars.

    But, that is not a complete figure. Actually, factored into the price of oil are at least two other major costs: the first is what we have to do to create the environment in which we get access (often by bribing governments or nations) and the second is how we protect that access by stationing military forces in the neighborhood. Estimates vary of course but everyone who has looked into this matter agrees, I think, that they cannot be less than 100 billion dollars a year and is probably many times that amount. So the "national" cost of oil is probably already something like $150 or even $200 a barrel.

    * * *

    These economic figures amount to political poison so politicians do their best to disguise them.No one likes the idea of paying more taxes so the best way to ease the pain and disguise the costs is to borrow money. To shield the public, we have been borrowing at a staggering rate. Our national debt has grown about 70% during the last six years.

    Domestic borrowing is one thing, but our government has borrowed vast amounts from foreign countries. As of November 2007, the Legislative Reference section of the Library of Congress reported that in government-to-government loans (that is US Treasury obligations), we have borrowed $2.7 trillion dollars since the war began in 2003 and private sector loans as of 2006 amounted to $5.8 trillion dollars. China alone owns over $1 trillion dollars in US government obligations. That is, China has lent us about 60% as much as its yearly income and the equivalent of nearly 10% of ours.

    The yearly interest cost on our debt is about $300 billion.

    We are currently borrowing at the rate of at least -- more recent total figures are not available -- $343 million dollars a day.

    You probably heard that Alan Greenspan told The Wall Street Journal: “The Republican Party, which ruled the House, the Senate and the Presidency, I no longer recognize.”So, we are doing exactly what George Washington warned us in his Farewell Address not to do – we are as he said, “ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burdens we ought ourselves to bear.”The administration is projecting a $410 billion budget deficit this year. That perhaps is the most solid figure we have.

    * * *

    Other figures are elusive. It is virtually impossible to track down the exact numbers since there is a great deal of slight-of-hand in statistics on the monetary cost of the war in Iraq. It is impossible to track down exact numbers. The Bush administration claimed we made a small profit on the 1991 Gulf War. That is simply not true. It actually cost $80 billion in 2002 dollars. And to convince us that we could handle the costs of the 2nd Gulf war, the war we are in now, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told us it would be less than $50 billion. Paul Wolfowitz even said it would cost us nothing because Iraqis would pay for it themselves.So far the Iraq war and Afghanistan have cost us – just counting the Congressionally approved expenditures -- $535 billion plus a supplemental outlay of $300 billion, inching up at $380,000 a minute – that is growing 20% a year -- toward $1 trillion. During the time I have been speaking to you, we have spent $14 million.And these figures are not complete; the Library of Congress Congressional Reference Section has complained that it has been unable to get complete figures from the Department of Defense. For example, the cost of the equipment used in Iraq is not included in the figure I just gave you for the cost of the war. Much of the cost is hidden in the Department of Defense budget.Then there is the “opportunity cost.” That is what we could have done had we not been fighting the war in Iraq. Opportunity cost estimates run to between $2 and $6 trillion that is up to $20,000 for every man, woman and child in America.

    * * *

    One consequence of these gigantic figures is the fall of the dollar.The dollar has fallen roughly 45% against the Euro. Three years ago, 80 cents bought a Euro. Today a Euro costs one dollar and forty seven cents. I speak with particular pain about this since I am spending much of my time now in Europe. What has happened is that business people and bankers in Europe have closely analyzed our economy and have lost much of their confidence in the “almighty dollar.”The numbers are so huge that one seeks concrete examples of what we are talking about: just the Congressionally allocated figure of $500 or so billion of direct costs of the war in Iraq would pay to build 4,000 new, well-equipped high schools or fund Medicare for a year or eliminate starvation all over the world.

    * * *

    Costs beyond the economy are particularly disturbing and are likely to last far longer.Polarization of our society is more striking than at any time since the Vietam war. These are alarming reports of neighbors, even family members who have stopped speaking over this issue and we are resurrecting the violent and vile language of the 1950s: just when we need for our own safety to think most clearly it is the hardest.

    On a personal note: I have recently been asked by both Democratic and Republic members of Congress to help prepare legislation aimed at getting us out of Iraq safely, quickly and at minimum cost. So I have spent a good deal of time with our representatives. The first thing one hears from them is their fear of being thought “not to support our troops.” That has become a sort of mantra. It partly explains, I think, why the Congress is not playing the role in foreign affairs it is Constitutionally obligated to play. With few exceptions in either party, Congressmen do not even ask questions of key witnesses. For example, no one questioned General Petraeus on his counterinsurgency strategy for Iraq. It appears that they don’t want to hear the answers, only to be reassured that, hopefully, those in charge know them. This explains why no one asked Petraeus serious questions – such as where his strategy has ever worked or whether it is really new. The importance of this failure was long ago identified for us by that great Conservative, Edmund Burke, when he commented on the British inability to think clearly about the American Revolution. “No passion,” he said, “so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”

    A different kind of polarization of our society is shown in what we have had to do – since we are unwilling to conscript soldiers – to fill up our army: a high percentage of our soldiers come from the poorest, least educated part of our society. Only 71% have graduated from high school...that is down over 30%.One in 8 must get a waiver to join the army, over 1 in 10 has a criminal record and some 28,000 have been sent home for misconduct. As a senior army recruiter put it last year, “We’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to get people to join.” In fact, not only are we taking people whom normally we would reject, but we are paying out bounties to get even them to join. The bounties amount to about a billion dollars a year.

    And, at the same time, we are losing the “best and the brightest” of our officers: I am told that over half the graduates of West Point now quit the army. And this is true not only of the armed forces. The decline of morale in the civilian side of the government, particularly in the State Department and the Intelligence Agencies is both striking and disturbing. The critically important work of the National Intelligence Council has been disrupted and seasoned officers are resigning in alarming numbers.

    * * *

    If we are willing, as we have proven to be, to devote vast resources and blood to the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, we should make the effort to understand the nature and sequences of insurgency. I don’t think we have done a good job of this and in part for this reason much of what we have done, regardless of the legality or morality of our actions, is merely ineffective or to use that Washington word, “counterproductive.”

    In my time in government, I was deeply disturbed by our actions and our lack of appreciation of the nature of the war in Vietnam. I had previously had an opportunity to observe, sometimes more closely than prudent, the wars in Palestine and Greece. Then shortly after I joined the Policy Planning Council I was appointed head of the government task force on Algeria and later had a close look at the war in Yemen. Comparing them to Vietnam, I began a quest that would lead me to study a dozen other wars and write the book before you,
    Violent Politics: Terrorism, Guerrilla Warfare and Insurgency from the American Revolution to Iraq. From these experiences and studies I have concluded that most are about shaking off foreign rule. Some, such as the Naxalite insurgency in India, are more about social unrest, or, as in Gaza today about a combination of anti-foreign feeling and fury at economic deprivation, but I will put them aside for the moment to concentrate on the more “normal” or at least common insurgencies.

    They are motivated by the desire to get the foreigners So how do insurgents go about it? Almost all have miniscule origins. Half a dozen up to about 3 or four dozen insurgents – or as the French call them, militants -- is the norm. So, being unable to field significant forces and usually having only light arms, they have to begin with terrorism. Their first aim is establish a basis to speak for the general public – that is, to acquire political legitimacy. Often, indeed usually, this is done by picking a target that the general public believes to be illegal, morally wrong, corrupt and oppressive.

    By attacking these targets, they accomplish several objectives – first they demonstrate their own courage and do what many others would like to do but did not dare; second, they prove that action can be taken and that those who take it can survive; and third they acquire the tools to continue their struggle. So the insurgents attack the “oppressors,” the police, the landlords, the foreigners, with the ostensible but also real aim of acquiring arms. For them, the police and army are the hardware stores. This was certainly the case in Vietnam where the South Viet Nam army was the source of most of the arms for the Viet Minh. Then as a few arms are acquired, the original little little band grows bolder. As it does, it attracts followers so that soon it becomes several hundred. These groups often scatter to make themselves less vulnerable.

    Some insurgencies never get beyond this stage. The IRA is an example. But, if they are lucky and smart, the begin to acquire safe havens to which they can retreat to rest, train and recruit. . Then, as their numbers and effectiveness grow, they begin to try to destroy the existing government. In Vietnam for example, the Viet Minh murdered the police, tax collectors and government-appointed village officials. The IRA tried to destroy Mrs. Thatcher’s whole cabinet. Often their most dreaded enemies are fellow citizens who cooperate with the government or the foreigners. We see that in Iraq today and it was evident in Yugoslavia where Tito fought Mikhailovic and the EAM/ELAS fought Napoleon Zervas. Next, successful insurgents begin to replace the old government so they themselves start to collect taxes, open schools, run clinics and manufacture or repair arms. Tito even ran a postal service on his own railroad. Tito manufactured cigarettes and even rifles – each stamped with the logo of his movement. And, Tito, the EAM/ELAS and the Viet Minh set up mini-governments in all the villages they could reach.

    Finally, as they arm, train and grow in numbers they move from hit and run raids to formal confrontation. This is a very dangerous transition and often it is tried too early, as General Giap did against the French. But even if battles are lost, if the insurgents have done the other things right, they can regroup and rebuild, as the Viet Minh did and as Tito did.

    But fighting is not the core of the struggle: it is to wear down the morale of the opponent, to make his task too expensive or too ugly to be sustained. This was the aim of the Battle of Algiers. The FLN lost the battle but won the war. When I laid out this scheme years ago to the “best and the brightest” of our soldiers, sailors and airmen at the National War College, it was fashionable to ascribe numbers to these various efforts. I guessed that about 80% of the insurgents’ task to establish political legitimacy, maybe 15% to wrecking and replacing administration and only 5% -- the short end of the lever – was force. So most insurgencies are lost almost before the dominant power becomes engaged. I told my audience in 1962 that we had already lost the war in Viet Nam.
    Coincidently, one can say that we lost the war in Iraq just about the time when President Bush announced it a “Mission Accomplished.”

    * * *

    Let me interject here just a few words here about Afghanistan and Somalia: In my book Violent Politics I describe what the Afghans did to the British and the Russians. They inflicted the greatest single defeat the British suffered in the 19th century and the worst the Russians suffered in the 20th. We are not faring much better. As I mentioned, while we have not suffered as many casualties as in Iraq in “Operation Enduring Freedom” which we launched in October 2001, our actions further united the Taliban and al-Qaida. Now the Taliban is on the rise again and al-Qaida was never stopped. We are losing our allies (Germany and Canada and, according to today’s press, also the Dutch) and endangering what remains of NATO.

    What we have left is not much: the government of President Hamid Karzai is weak and has tried to survive by bringing the drug lords into government – it is they, not Karzai who rule outside of downtown Kabul. In 2007, they produced some 8,200 tons of opium or over 90% of the world’s heroin. It is hard to find much solace there.If possible,

    Somalia is a worse mess. If you remember the movie, Black Hawk Down, the really bad guys were the warlords. The Somalis agreed. So when we got out, they threw out the warlords. The only replacements they could find were the religious leaders. The Muslim Fundamentalist are not our favorite people, but they were the only force that could stop the warlords’ extortion, rape and murder, and the Somalis supported them. Now we have encourage and paid the Ethiopians to invade Somalia and drive them out. We also committed our special forces and our Navy in this attack. It worked – temporarily and at the cost of great human suffering – and has made the Somalis hate us. Worse, it has brought no political solution that anyone thinks can last. The war has not been won, merely worsened.

    * * *

    So what can we do? Consider carefully our position in Iraq. President Bush has said we must “stay the course.” But also remember that we did that in Vietnam for nearly 16 years. Even after the Tet Offensive had shown that we were deluding ourselves with the hope of “victory,” and at least some of us realized that we could not “win,” we stayed and suffered an additional 21,000 casualties.Is there a lesson in this? General David Petraeus tells us there is. He says that what we have been doing in Iraq did not work, but that he has a new formula -- Counter Insurgency -- that will work. I agree with him that there is a lesson to be learned, but unfortunately it is not the one he identifies.

    Why is this? It is simply that the “new” formula he prescribes is the same old one we tried in Vietnam and the same old one the Russians tried in Afghanistan. Listen to the editors of the Pentagon Papers. They had access to everything we learned about the war in Vietnam so their account is the most complete ever compiled on an insurgency. They commented (and I quote) our “program there was, in short, an attempt to translate the newly articulated theory [that was 40 years ago] of counterinsurgency into operational reality. The objective was political though the means to its realization were a mixture of military, social, psychological, economic and political measures. The long history of these efforts was marked by consistency in results as well as in techniques: all failed miserably.”

    General Petraeus admits (and again I quote) that “Political power is the central issue in insurgencies and counterinsurgencies; each side aims to get the people to accept its governance or authority as legitimate.”

    Can we do that? No, we cannot. In our age of politically conscious people, natives refused to be ruled by foreigners. That is why in our Revolution we threw out the British. The Iraqis today are following the trail we blazed. Napoleon bitterly remembered that his efforts at counterinsurgency cost him his army – Spain was a worse defeat for him, as he remembered in exile, that Russia. De Gaulle almost lost France because of the counterinsurgency of his army and the Secret Army Organization. Greece’s counterinsurgency gave rise to the bitter dictatorship of the Colonels. And so on.

    * * *

    So, should we just as President Bush says, “cut and run.” No, as he would describe such a policy, it would not be either to our interests nor to those of the Iraqis.I have laid out in the book that Senator George McGovern and I wrote,
    Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now, a detailed, carefully costed out and phased program that Senator McGovern and I believe will work. Whatever faults the plan may have, it would start a process that leads out of Iraq with the least possible damage to us and to the Iraqis. I won’t go into it here as it is long, but I urge you to reach the plan in the book.

    Here I will just mention two features: first, it provides for a replacement for our troops by a “multinational stability force” that the Iraqis could and would accept and, second, if the plan is followed it would save the lives of perhaps a thousand Americans, about $350 billion in direct costs and perhaps $1 trillion in indirect costs. More important, perhaps, it would staunch the hemorrhaging of good will for America throughout the world and, even more important to us, it would reduce the danger of terrorist attacks on us here at home.

    * * *

    Will we do it? That really depends on you and me. We cannot expect that the Congress will act unless we push them nor will this or any future president take any risks. Governments as most of us who have served know is like a freight train: it is very hard to start, but even harder to stop. We have already allocated money, devoted troops and committed resources to build the “infrastructure” of counterinsurgency. For the last seven years, the public has been told that the war is just, will be successful and is necessary. The terrible costs, which I have laid out to you are mostly obscured and made inaccessible to the public. Time after time, some “new” strategy is trotted out, as General Petraeus recently did and as General Westmoreland did long ago on Vietnam, so decision is put off. To see their futility requires understanding and to act on that understanding requires courage. So, sadly, I have concluded that only after we lose a lot more soldiers and much more money is anyone apt to act.

    Indeed, at the present time we are really moving in the opposite direction. We have developed a momentum that has nearly carried us into a new “Iraq” War – this time in Iran – and we have offered to begin operations in Pakistan. Both of which could literally dwarf the Iraq war. We were saved from a new catastrophe in Iran when, in November 2007, the 14 US intelligence agencies produced a National Intelligence Estimate that showed that Iran was not trying to build a nuclear bomb. President Bush allegedly knew the report’s conclusion from last summer when it was finished, but he kept on charging Iran with building a bomb – and so preparing the way for a war -- right up to the time the report was published. We very nearly invaded Iran. On Pakistan, as you know, General Musharraf was pressed to accept an American force to fight on the Northwest frontier. He turned us down. But we are still pressuring him to let us commit this folly. These are not random events. Nor are they just shooting from the hip. There is a strategy behind them.

    * * *

    The strategy behind these operations is what the Neoconservative advisers to President Bush have called “the Long War.” A leading member of the Neoconservatives, James Woolsey, a former director of the CIA, said he hopes it will not last more than 40 years. The cost of such a generational conflict has been estimated at more than $17 trillion dollars.

    More important, in the long period of stress, the American way of life would be severely challenged, perhaps irreparably damaged. The real cost could be the destruction of the world in which we live and the replacement of our civic, cultural and material “good life” by something like nightmare George Orwell predicted in his novel 1984.

    At minimum it would greatly increase the risk to us of terrorism.

    But we should be aware that what Woosley and others have discussed is not just rhetoric or speculation – it is given substance by operational plans, dedicated military personnel, operating from 737 – I repeat seven hundred and thirty seven -- existing bases worldwide, with already constructed and positioned weapons, and sustained by an already allocated budget.

    In the spring of 2006, before he left office, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld approved three plans to fight the “long war” beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. Among other actions that have now been implemented, the Special Operations Command – now made up of 53,000 men and working with an already allocated budget of $8 billion for fiscal year 2007 – has dispatched Special “Ops” forces to at least 20 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. These teams are loose cannons, not under the control of regular American embassies and allowed to engage in covert warfare not only against groups regarded as terrorists but even against states. Although they could involve us in war with any number of countries, they are treated as though not subject to Congressional oversight or decision.They are, as I said, loose cannons.

    But they are not working on their own. Their use has been justified by the March 2005 “National Defense Strategy of the United States of America” which calls for the US (and I quote) “to operate in and from the global commons-space, international waters and airspace, and cyberspace...to surge forces rapidly from strategic distances [to where adversaries may seek to deny us access and] to deny adversaries sanctuary...[These campaigns]may entail lengthy periods of both major combat and stability operations [or] require regime change...”

    Not surprisingly, the conservative journal, The Economist, editorialized, “the Neoconservatives are not conservatives. They are radicals. Their agenda adds up to a world-wide crusade. With all its historic, anti-Muslim connotations, it is precisely the word most calculated to perpetuate movement down the path desired by the Neoconservatives, permanent, unending war.

    Is permanent war – one Iraq after another – to be our future?

    That really depends on how much you and I care. If we don’t care enough to force our representatives to care, no one else will. As President Truman put it, in another context, “the buck stops here.”

    Thank you.

    William R. Polk
    March 1, 2008


    That about sums up what this election is really about;

    Do we want a permanent war and lose 17 trillion more dollars which we will have to mortgage this countries future to borrow, .... or do we want a different path into the future?

    Obviously the republicans want to waste the 17 trillion and our children's future on a failed and flawed strategy which will end up with the US broke and bankrupt.

    Do we want that or something different?

    That is the choice we face.

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  164. OBAMA WINS MISSISSIPPI!!

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  165. Its pathetic that Clinton and her Rovian campaign hide behind double standards and hippocrissy and resort to pathetic divisive repug tactics to polarize the Demacratic party and divide it among racial and gender lines.............they have used fear mongering, lies and quasi rascism from day one thats the ONLY thing Clinton has done besides exhibit poor judgement from day one.

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  166. What i'm wondering is if Eliot Spitzer resigining will affect the Super Delegates........i'm pretty sure he supported Clinton, with him gone did Obama gain a Super Delegate............none of the news shows have talked about this aspect of the scandal.

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  167. Mike
    I would assume Spitzer did support Hillary and that is the case. I'm sure she had Ferraro's too but I hope she also lost hers and any of the SD sympathizer's that saw the wrongs!

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  168. I have to wait until May 6 to participate in the NC primary! But if Hillary stays in, I'm going to go there and try to send her out!

    Obama all the way for me =)

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  169. Olbermann Slams Clinton in Special Comment: "You Are Campaigning As If Barack Obama Were The Democrat And You Were The Republican"
    Huffington Post | Rachel Sklar | March 12, 2008 09:11 PM

    Tonight, as promised, Keith Olbermann attacked Senator Hillary Clinton in a ten-minute "Special Comment," saying that he was not endorsing Barack Obama but that "events insist" that he speak and stand against her "tepid response" to the controversial remarks of Geraldine Ferraro wherein she said that Obama wouldn't have been as successful if he were not black. Last night Olbermann decried the statements as "clearly racist"; tonight, he followed up with a doozy in which he accused her of "campaigning as if Barack Obama were the Democrat and you were the Republican." In so doing, said Olbermann — in letting the opportunity to forcefully oppose Ferraro's comments pass her by — Olbermann said that Clinton had "missed a critical opportunity to do what was right."

    Geraldine Ferraro has stood by her comments and denied that they were racist, saying on "NBC Nightly News" tonight that they were response to a specific question about why this election was special, and saying that it was the Obama campaign that was playing "this type of a race card." (See related video here.)
    Olbermann chose to frame his comment in terms of bad choices on the part of Senator Clinton, stopping short of calling her inherently racist, instead casting the matter in terms of her receiving bad advice from the "tone deaf" and "arrogant" members of her campaign ("they are killing your chances of becoming president...[and] slowly killing the chances for any democrat to become president"). He characterized Ferraro's remarks as "a blind accusation of sexism and dismissing Senator Obama's campaign as some equal opportunity stunt," and decried her comments both in this instance and historically, pointing to the "cheap, ignorant vile racism that underlines them."

    Olbermann specifically fingered (but did not name) Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams, saying that instead of repudiating Ferraro's words — "words that should make any Democrat retch" — she was instead "letting her campaign manager bend them beyond all recognition into Sentaor Obama's fault...thus giving Ferraro nearly a week to [send the dialogue] back into the vocabulary of David Duke."

    "Do you not see, Senator?" Olbermann asked. "Senator Clinton, this is not a campaign strategy. This is a suicide pact."

    Olbermann took the opportunity to mention a number of other matters (or, in recent campaign parlance, to 'throw the kitchen sink' at Clinton), criticizing her also for the "shell-game about choosing Obama as Vice-President," as well as her husband Bill Clinton's comments about Jesse Jackson after the South Carolina primary, the "racial undertone of the 3 a.m. ad" and the "moment's hesitation" in her much-parsed answer on 60 minutes and said that after all the accrued episodes in which race had been implicated, people now "see a pattern" of racially-tinged remarks and associations with Clinton — though he carefully stopped short of definitively asserting its existence: "False or true, they see it," said Olbermann.

    He was far more definitive about Ferraro, and that's where the comment returned in its final few minutes as Olbermann implored Clinton not to allow herself "to be perceived as standing next to — and standing by — racial divisiveness," and once again brought it back to her campaign members and what they had wrought. "Grab the reins back from whoever has led you to this precipice before it is too late," said Olbermann. "Voluntarily or inadvertently, you are still awash in this filth....your only reaction has been to disagree and call it "regrettable." Unless senator you say something definitive, the former congresswoman is speaking with your approval."

    Said Olbermann, in a callback to Clinton's own stand taken at the last Democratic debate: "You must reject and denounce Geraldine Ferraro."

    He finished with "Good night and good luck." OUCH.

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  170. As udual Olberman and I seem to agree............I've been saying since "DAY ONE" that Hillary acts like a slimy repug and is running a Rovian smear and fear campaign based on lies, unsubstantiated smears, and little substance or integrity.

    I've spent the last 6 years opposed to the Rove and Bush deceitful, fear mongering, war mongering rascist spin machine and i'm certainly not going to support that same cancer from taking root and metastisizing in the Democratic party.

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  171. Octavian, in your opinion, who do you think stands a better chance in North Carolina?

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  172. Lydia, the GOP will stop at nothing to retain power. Buying Diebold at multiple times it's value would be a small price to pay considering the vast sums that they have snatched from the old, the sick and the poor. Today the top 1% have more combined wealth than the bottom 90%.

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  173. Great to hear from you Octavian, TomCat and Average Patriot...

    And of course Mike, Larry, Clif and Enigma.

    I miss Christopher

    Hey - Big Oil is doing some sneaky things in Ecuador....

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  174. Thanks Lydia. Here's some good news for a change. FISA passed the House without telecom immunity.

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  175. The moronic monkey has definitely exploded that myth about private enterprise always being cheaper and more efficient than Government, hasn't he?

    Just ask any veteran who stayed in one of Halliburton's Roach Motels. They'll tell you all about it.

    Chimpy's privatization is just another way to loot the Treasury. He's got to make sure that his cronies won't forget to thank him after he slinks off to Paraguay, so he's stealing furiously right now.

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  176. Hey folks, check this out. Especially you Clif.

    During a videoconference with U.S. military and civilian personnel yesterday, President Bush praised the troops fighting in Afghanistan, claiming he was “a little envious” of their “romantic” fight:

    “I must say, I’m a little envious,” Bush said. “If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.”

    “It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks,” Bush said.

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  177. Despicable Bart.........I hope i NEVER have to see or hear from that loser and his treasonous cronnies again unless they are standing trial in the Hague for war crimes against Humanity...........i've lost hope that they will ever be held accountable and tried for treason here.

    It makes me sick that a total loser like that could have been reelected.

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  178. What to know how truly pathetic the MSM is..........Admiral Fallon one of the main checks and opponents to the war mongering fools infecting the WH attacking Iran was just forced to resign and where is the MSM to cover this extremely important story that myself and MANY others would actually like to hear more about and deserves wider coverage.................oh yeah they are obsessed with covering a prostitute in NY ad nauseum all week and engrossed in the crucial task of determining how good her myspace song is!

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  179. Ckeck out this very disturbing post from Tomcat's blog.

    Bush/GOP Gut Intelligence Oversight Board
    Almost 32 years to the day after President Ford created an independent Intelligence Oversight Board made up of private citizens with top-level clearances to ferret out illegal spying activities, President Bush issued an executive order that stripped the board of much of its authority.

    The White House did not say why it was necessary to change the rules governing the board when it issued Bush's order late last month. But critics say Bush's order is consistent with a pattern of steps by the administration that have systematically scaled back Watergate-era intelligence reforms.

    "It's quite clear that the Bush administration officials who were around in the 1970s are settling old scores now," said Tim Sparapani, senior legislative counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union. "Here they are even preventing oversight within the executive branch. They have closed the books on the post-Watergate era."

    Ford created the board following a 1975-76 investigation by Congress into domestic spying, assassination operations, and other abuses by intelligence agencies. The probe prompted fierce battles between Congress and the Ford administration, whose top officials included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the current president's father, George H. W. Bush.

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  180. apparently the Orwellian fascists are trying to cover theitr tracks and remove even MORE oversite and ckecks and balances so they can have unfettered unchecked power.

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  181. Tomcat - that's sick that Bush stripped the board of power.

    And the moronic monkey thinks "being at the front lines" in a war is romantic!

    Why, I keep asking, why is he roaming free?

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  182. Bush had his chance for the "romantic front line duty".

    He instead got his dad to get him a cushy state side assignment.

    And he even didn't show up for that one!

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  183. McCreepy is a totally senile MORON!!!!!!

    He just said "he hopes the $600 stimulus helps the economy..........he then went on to say consumers need to spend THEIR money for a strong economy, the reason its good is because its THEIR OWN money........he then said government spending money is bad because they are essentially spending the peoples money.

    It looks like the "straight Talk Express is babbling incoherently and contradicting himself.......i'm sure people like Voltron will spend the entire day defendingh him and attempting to clarify what he "REALLY" meant while "CLAIMING" to not be be defending him or to even like or support him.

    I'm just wondering WHY McCrazy gets a free pass while the MSM throws the kitchen sink at Obama and nitpicks everything he says and does regardless of wether the charges or comparisons being made are accurate or not/.

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  184. lets analyze what McCrazy is saying people going out and blowing a paltry $600 on some Walmart products manufactured in China is going to help OUR economy exactly HOW, I wasnt aware we could spend our way to prosperity.....Silly me I thought you had to work hard and save, I'll go out and max out all my credit cards, default on my mortgage and file Bankruptcy so i can be successful like all the repugs say everyone is.........WE DONT make anything here anymore, i read an article recently that say almost 90% of our manufacturing exports are for war and miliitary use.

    Think about that one for a minute almost 90% of what we make in this country is bullets, and bombs etc... to kill people.........

    Our economy is a hollow shell with very few good paying middle class jobs if we WANT a strong economy we NEED to create good paying jobs that benefit society as a whole we need to develop Green Industries and foster energy independence, we need to maintain, rebuild and improve infrastructure like roads, bridges power grids etc...and we need to encourage corporations to do these things by ONLY giving tax breaks to companies that promote renewable clean energy that helps reduce our dependence on oil from countries who hate us and dont have our best interests at heart.........we need to reward companies who keep or add good paying manufacturing and technology jobs here rather than loot companies by moving good paying jobs overseas while taking huge bonus and tax breaks.

    We also NEED National Health Insurance to be competitive with other countries..........look at the auto companies for example moving all the good paying jobs to Mexico and Canada because they dont have to pay health insurance and wages are cheaper.

    Either way giving people a $600 rebate or giving Haliburton and Blackwater Billion dollar no bid contracts andsquandering 3 TRILLION on a war based on lies are NOT the way to prosperity..........creating good paying jobs, better living conditions and fair tax policies for the working class are as is reducing our destructive dependence on imported oil from countries who hate us and dont have our best interests in mind.........THESE are National Security issues not the fear mongering, war mongering Orwellian police state crap the Reich Wing parrots in their dishonest rhetoric and slimy phony talking points, which do nothing to actually keep uis safe or protect our true interests.

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  185. On March 15, 1965, addressing a joint session of Congress, President Johnson called for new legislation to guarantee every American's right to vote.

    Too bad over 40 years later the repugnant party and their minions are still trying to prevent this from happening ..............

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  186. Need a laugh? Check out the new blog.

    Please post comments on new thread.

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  187. So after months of smearing and lying about Sen. Obama Larry Johnson has something remotely good to say about him?

    Oops, just checked his blog(kinda like visiting Redstate), Nope he's still repeating the lies of Hillary and smearing Sen. Obama.

    Peace.

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