Sunday, January 30, 2005

I have a reason to go on.

I have decided that there is a reason to keep fighting. Actually there is always a reason to keep fighting, but after last November, I felt badly discouraged. I'm not very good at fighting endlessly losing battles. But I have found one that is winnable. The defeat of PA GOP Senator Rick Santorum. There is no reason on earth that Pennsylvania, a blue state with a Democratic Governor that voted for Kerry should be represented by that slime. Who's with me?

Frank Rich must read column: False "Flagwaving" Friends

Amazing column by Frank Rich this morning. Please go read it now. The main point:
This time, paradoxically enough, it is often those who claim to love the troops the most - and who have the political power to help alleviate their sacrifice - who turn out to be the troops' false friends.
This column is right on the money. Rich exposed the hypocrisy of the Inaugural festivities honoring the troops; reviews a new movie aboutt the war, "Gunner Palace"; and concludes by stating, patriotism as it's been redefined for this war, loving the troops means never having to say you're sorry - or even having to say the word Iraq in an Inaugural address.
Go read it now.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Insurgents hit inside "Green Zone"

How long before they admit we've lost?
Two Americans Dead in U.S. Embassy Bombing
Suicide Bomber Also Kills Eight in a Kurdish Town

Associated Press Writer
Saturday, January 29, 2005; 2:33 PM

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Insurgents hit the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad with a rocket, killing two Americans, set off explosions that killed eight Iraqis and a U.S. soldier and blasted polling places across the country Saturday as Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's government urged Iraqis to overcome their fear of violence and vote in landmark elections.

The strike in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone was a dramatic sign of guerrillas' ability to hit at the heart of power in Iraq even as the U.S. and Iraqi militaries took some of their strictest security measures ever for the election, imposing a strict lockdown in the capital and large parts of the country. read th rest

No on Alberto Gonzales

Grassroots Mom is joining the rest of blogshere in urging a "NO" on Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General.
The Daily Kos statement opposing Gonzales because it says it all.
No on Gonzales
by Armando
Tue Jan 25th, 2005 at 15:43:07 EST

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions. In this case, we, the undersigned bloggers, have decided to speak as one and collectively author a document of opposition. We oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to the position of Attorney General of the United States, and we urge every United States Senator to vote against him.

As the prime legal architect for the policy of torture adopted by the Bush Administration, Gonzales's advice led directly to the abandonment of longstanding federal laws, the Geneva Conventions, and the United States Constitution itself. Our country, in following Gonzales's legal opinions, has forsaken its commitment to human rights and the rule of law and shamed itself before the world with our conduct at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. The United States, a nation founded on respect for law and human rights, should not have as its Attorney General the architect of the law's undoing.

In January 2002, Gonzales advised the President that the United States Constitution does not apply to his actions as Commander in Chief, and thus the President could declare the Geneva Conventions inoperative. Gonzales's endorsement of the August 2002 Bybee/Yoo Memorandum approved a definition of torture so vague and evasive as to declare it nonexistent. Most shockingly, he has embraced the unacceptable view that the President has the power to ignore the Constitution, laws duly enacted by Congress and International treaties duly ratified by the United States. He has called the Geneva Conventions "quaint."

Legal opinions at the highest level have grave consequences. What were the consequences of Gonzales's actions? The policies for which Gonzales provided a cover of legality - views which he expressly reasserted in his Senate confirmation hearings - inexorably led to abuses that have undermined military discipline and the moral authority our nation once carried. His actions led directly to documented violations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and widespread abusive conduct in locales around the world.

Michael Posner of Human Rights First observed: "After the horrific images from Abu Ghraib became public last year, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld insisted that the world should 'judge us by our actions [and] watch how a democracy deals with the wrongdoing and with scandal and the pain of acknowledging and correcting our own mistakes.'" We agree. It is because of this that we believe the only proper course of action is for the Senate to reject Alberto Gonzales's nomination for Attorney General. As Posner notes, "[t]he world is indeed watching." Will the Senate condone torture? Will the Senate condone the rejection of the rule of law?

With this nomination, we have arrived at a crossroads as a nation. Now is the time for all citizens of conscience to stand up and take responsibility for what the world saw, and, truly, much that we have not seen, at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. We oppose the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States, and we urge the Senate to reject him.

Signed, Daily Kos Management (past and present):

Add my name to the list.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Sanity, At Last

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States should start to withdraw militarily and politically from Iraq and aim to pull out all troops as early as possible next year, Sen. Edward Kennedy said on Thursday.

After Sunday's Iraqi elections, Kennedy said President Bush should state he intends to negotiate a timetable with the new Iraqi government to draw down U.S. forces.

At least 12,000 U.S. troops should leave at once, Kennedy said, "to send a stronger signal about our intentions to ease the pervasive sense of occupation."

The Massachusetts Democrat, who opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq, became the first senator to lay out a plan for Bush to start withdrawing troops a day after the Pentagon warned lawmakers that strikes by insurgents may increase after Sunday's elections.

No way is Bush going to do as Sen. Kennedy suggests. That would be giving into to the "liberals." But now that Ted Kennedy is on record as calling for a withdrawal because of our massive failure in Iraq, Bush can't pull out after the elections and claim victory. But he probably will anyway. Unless he keeps troops there to protect the oil companies.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Journalists on Bush's Payroll

Love For Sale
Great Maureen Dowd column this morning. The whole thing is great, so just go read it.

$80 Billion More for Bush's Folly

From Newsday
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Can't count on president: Bush's equation for cutting the deficit amounts to nothing more than hype
There's a dreamy, delusional quality to George W. Bush's continued insistence that he will cut the federal budget deficit in half in four years.

The president said that again yesterday,shortly after requesting another $80 billion for the war in Iraq and projecting a record-setting deficit this year that will top last year's record-setting deficit.

Bush promised to lay out how he'll get from here to therenext week, when he presents his 2006 budget to Congress. Beware fuzzy math. It will take an amazing sleight of hand to make the numbers appear to add up.
Read the rest. What can I say? We can't afford this war, Mr. Bush. There was no threat. There is now, but only because our military is in target range. Stop spending my kids' future.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Deadilest Day So Far

AP reports
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A Marine transport helicopter crashed during sandstorms in Iraq's western desert Wednesday, killing 31 troops, while insurgents killed five other American military personnel in the deadliest day for U.S. forces since the Iraq war began.
Why are we still there? When is enough? How many more young kids will lose a mom or dad? How many more moms and dads will lose a son or daughter? Haven't Halliburton, Bechtel, and the rest of Bush's war-profiteering campaign donors stolen enough? Why are we there?

This blood is no longer just on George Bush's hands. Now this blood is on the hands of every American who voted for him, on every American who failed to vote against him, on every American who has not yet publically denounced this insanity, on every so-called Christian who preaches about the "culture of life" while supporting to this adminstration of Death.

Fundamentalists in Charge

How can the the leaders of the Christian Right call themselves Christians?
From Firedoglake
A coalition of Christian leaders, including Jerry Falwell and James Dobson, have sent a private letter to Karl Rove threatening to pull their support from Social Security Piratization if the Administration doesn't make good on their promise for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Read the rest. Looks like these guys assume they're running the show now.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Where Have I Been?

I've been hiding out at my other blog. How much worse everything has become. If the aftermath of the 2000 election was a nightmare, 2004 was just too horrible to endure. Then the Tsunami. And the final insult today — most expensive inauguration ever. Why?

At least when I go somewhere, I still see Kerry bumper-stickers and always try to park next to a car sporting one, a useless gesture of solidarity.

This weekend I am going away for a little decadent R & R, okay, some exceedingly decadent R & R. Then I'm going to figure out where to go from here, in every sense.

They've Gone Too Far. SpongeBob?

My boys love SpongeBob SquarePants. Saturday mornings I stagger downstairs in search of coffee to find my dear husband curled up on the couch with his two boys all watching SpongeBob. I like SpongeBob. SpongeBob is hilarious. He is also — at least most of the time — polite, honest, hardworking, loyal, respectful, helpful, clean, optimistic and friendly, all things I want my kids to be. Also there are occasionally references to marine life that are actually factual. Ever see the way scallops are portrayed in SpongeBob? Well we saw some at an aquarium in Maine, and that is exactly the way they move.

But the wacko right has decided that SpongeBob is promoting bad values because he holds hands with Patrick. Mother to Dobson — children hold hands with each other. It is what we teach them to do. But of course, Dr. James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, advoates child abuse.

The Perfect Cure for the Black Thursday Blues

Had my first workout with Julio, my very own personal trainer. Nothing like working out with a personal trainer to feel good, even if you are lying on ice afterward. To think that just 3 months ago I couldn't get out of bed. Life is good.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Goodbye and Good Riddance

The last days of 2003 were so full of hope. But 2004 began badly and ended worse. Last January, I hurt my back so badly that I am still in almost constant pain. Howard Dean's campaign of grassroots, reform and plain talk failed in Iowa where the party insiders picked John Kerry, the most cautious insider of all. Why, oh why, do we let a bunch of party hacks in Iowa pick our presidential candidates?

The war in Iraq is so awful I can't even think about it.

Then Bush sold the election in Ohio and Florida and no one seems to care.

Finally is the Tsunami.

I feel no hope for this new year.