Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Monday, June 9, 2008

Taking it to the Cheney/Bush regime

Well, Senator Clinton has now thrown her support behind Senator Barack Obama, and now all Democrats can focus on targeting McSame. The campaign promises to be intense, and the big-money interests will be shoveling money to the Republicans. Still, I feel confident Barack Obama has a very good shot at winning the election. We need to be vigilant to ensure the elections are honest and fair in every state so that the winner truly wins. While the campaign is all about hoping for a better future, I do hope the Cheney/Bush regime is held accountable for their past crimes. Their lying us into a disastrous war is an established fact-- we need to keep the heat on the legislative branch to bring these crooks to justice!

Friday, May 30, 2008

At the time of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation, I pointed out how much more needed to be learned about the politicization of the Justice Department, and its consequences, during his tenure.

Now David Iglesias, an U.S. Attorney who was fired for political reasons, has come out with a book that is sure to give us more insight into the corrupt culture of the Cheney/Bush administration. More particularly, how it meddled in the affairs of the Judicial Branch. The book's title is Injustice, read it if you're looking to be informed and outraged.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scott McClellan's new memoir is coming out-- here's a reaction from the Washington Post:

Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan writes in a new memoir that the Iraq war was sold to the American people with a sophisticated "political propaganda campaign" led by President Bush and aimed at "manipulating sources of public opinion" and "downplaying the major reason for going to war."
McClellan includes the charges in a 341-page book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," that delivers a harsh look at the White House and the man he served for close to a decade. He describes Bush as demonstrating a "lack of inquisitiveness," says the White House operated in "permanent campaign" mode, and admits to having been deceived by some in the president's inner circle about the leak of a CIA operative's name.
The book, coming from a man who was a tight-lipped defender of administration aides and policy, is certain to give fuel to critics of the administration, and McClellan has harsh words for many of his past colleagues. He accuses former White House adviser Karl Rove of misleading him about his role in the CIA case. He describes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as being deft at deflecting blame, and he calls Vice President Cheney "the magic man" who steered policy behind the scenes while leaving no fingerprints.

Now one of the point men in the propaganda machine has admitted that the administration he worked for was misleading the public. The public opinion of Bush can't get much worse, yet this memoir may help give other Republicans the nerve to speak up and denounce the Cheney/Bush regime. Let's hope that maybe some more people are prompted to look at McSame's role in cheerleading for this war pushed on us by liars and cheats!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Warm best wishes for Senator Ted Kennedy

It was good to see Ted Kennedy leaving the Hospital under his own steam this morning. We can only hope and pray that he and his doctors find a way to beat this malignant brain tumor, whether through surgery or other treatment options. Ted Kennedy is an inspirational and courageous figure in the United States Senate. Kennedy's son Patrick, who represents my congressional district in Rhode Island, has gotten off to a fine start in his own career of public service with guidance from his father. We need more people like Ted Kennedy in politics. Maybe this year we'll elect a new President more in tune with Ted Kennedy's way of thinking!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Karl Rove

Karl Rove still acts as if he is above the law. His recent refusal to testify before Congress is just the latest example of an administration violating our Constitution-- by not allowing any meaningful oversight of their activities. Rove offered only to appear before the Judiciary Committee if he wasn't under oath and if there was no transcript. Judiciary Committe Chair John Conyers is now left with no choice but to put Rove in contempt of Congress. The arrogance of Bush and his cronies is remarkable. Holding them to account is very difficult, yet we must applaud people like John Conyers who make the effort. Again, WHY NOT IMPEACH??

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Edwards' Endorsement

So John Edwards has followed the lead of so many who voted for him in the early primaries. He has thrown his support behind Barack Obama. This is of course welcome news for the Obama campaign. Yet Senator Clinton is not yet done, and she has every right to keep fighting for the nomination. We'll be waiting until at least the end of the primaries before we see her concede. I think Edwards was sincere in praising her tenacity. His endorsement is one of many factors that make Obama's nomination very likely, yet it is still not certain. Let the games continue!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Something New in the Mix

So here's something interesting: former Republican Congressman Bob Barr will enter the Presidential contest as a Libertarian. Although it is unlikely he will have much more of an impact than Ron Paul, he is sure to give some disaffected conservatives an outlet for their frustration with the status quo. In particular, Bob Barr will speak to those conservatives who have been shocked at the dismantling of civil liberties under the Cheney/Bush regime. He will also appeal directly to "fiscal conservatives" alarmed at the huge expense of the Iraq war. Progressives will not be too happy with many of Barr's ideas. Nonetheless, it is healthy for the political debate to see the mainstream Republican party come under attack from the left and the right.

Many of us remember Bob Barr's eagerness to impeach Clinton. Dennis Kucinich is equally adamant about impeaching Bush, yet Kucinich doesn't now enjoy the partisan support that Barr did in the 1990's. Our constitutional Republic survived Clinton's impeachment. Can our Republic survive the failure to impeach Cheney/Bush?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Can Congress grow a spine?

We're at a decisive moment in our nation's history. Can our Democratic leaders in Congress step up to the plate and begin to cut back substantially the huge amounts of money they're being asked to pour down the drain in Iraq? I understand Bush and his allies can exert enormous pressure, yet polls show the majority of Americans want these cuts. We'll be watching closely to see who tries to honor the wishes of those who voted them into office! I for one will be very disappointed if Representatives succumb to the temptation to tread water until the fall elections. A real fight over war-funding would only help their chances of winning re-election.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Five Years of War in Iraq

A few months ago I noticed someone wearing a T-shirt with this emblazoned on the front: "My Country invaded Iraq and all I got was this lousy $3/gal. gas." The price needs to be updated, but the general sentiment is still valid. The war in Iraq has taken a horrific toll in Iraqi and American lives, with no appreciable benefit to the Iraqi or the American people. We desperately need to change course in Iraq, yet we're still stuck deep in the quagmire. This is the foremost reason McSame must not win the next election-- his solution is to keep doing the same thing, while hoping for a better result. He should instead listen to the growing chorus of retired military leaders, like General Batiste, who are fed up with our current Iraq policy.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mission Accomplices

So-- we've passed the fifth anniversary of President Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" photo-op. What better way for our nation to celebrate than to launch a mission to root out Bush/Cheney accomplices who have so far escaped justice for their crimes. From those who allowed torture, to those who violated our constitution, there are many folks who should be exposed and punished. This country deserves a chance to see that happen, painful as it may be to watch.
Sadly, it looks as if both houses of Congress lack the will to overcome the obstructionist tactics of the Bush/Cheney regime and its Republican allies. I still think it's worthwhile to call for impeachment hearings, even if impeachment seems unlikely to happen.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Over at My Three Cents, Clammyc has begun to refer to McCain as "McSame", and has this to say about the Senator from Arizona:

He is just the latest cog in the republican party corporate money war upward distribution of wealth machine and he must be stopped. He must continuously be exposed for the sham that he is. He must be exposed for the neoconservatives and lobbyists he surrounds himself with and the religious extremists who he panders to. His comments about not knowing much about the economy, about staying in Iraq for 100 years, for “bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran”.

It is indeed important that we stop "McSame." The best way to do that is relentlessly point out how he would bring more of the same horrific nonsense we've endured for over seven years. The corporate media won't do this for us-- it has to be a grassroots effort. I'm glad to see how many bloggers are beginning to put "McSame" under the microscope. In particular, his statements on Iraq are truly scary. Our country needs, and deserves, a leader who is not wedded to the same special interests and failed policies that define the Cheney/Bush regime.

So. gentle readers, fret not over the tussle between Senators Clinton and Obama-- the constructive thing to do now is expose the many flaws of Senator "McSame." Here's a case where doing the right thing is fun and easy!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Clinton stays alive in Pennsylvania

While I'd agree, with many other progressive bloggers, that it would be nice if Barack Obama had the nomination neatly sewn up, such is not the case. Yet I am not inclined to worry a lot about the continued slugfest between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. This country is so fed up with Republicans it's not even funny. We should be confident that minor bumps and bruises on the Democratic side won't hurt us in the long run. Indeed, the nomination could be decided in a poker game at the convention and I'd still like our chances.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Developments at Fraudex

There's been some action in Indiana. The Judge presiding over the multi-district class-action litigation against FraudEx Ground, and Home Delivery, recently issued a ruling in South Bend Indiana. He certified the class action status for many of the states, such as Rhode Island and Florida. In a few states, such as Massachusetts, Judge Miller held that the relevant state law required that drivers' claims be heard on an individual basis. The wheels of justice move slowly, but from the drivers' point of view those wheels are moving in the right direction. You can examine the 160+ page ruling at FedexWatch.com.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

McCain silliness

John McCain's proposal for a summer "holiday" from federal gasoline taxes is an example of Washington politics at its worst. Aside from enlarging the federal budget deficit, such a move would have little impact on the national economy. While purporting to help average consumers, this "holiday" would simply take big oil companies off the hook for their obscene profits.

This proposal shouldn't obscure the fact that McCain continues to push for throwing billions down the drain in Iraq. These billions will continue to be spent until Congress grows a spine and turns off the money spigot. We can dream, can't we!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Easter Egg Roll

This was too funny to resist!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mark Penn, Sen. Hillary Clinton's chief strategist and longtime confidant stepped down from the presidential campaign late Sunday night.
His resignation came after a politically embarrassing week during which it was reported that he met with Colombia's Ambassador to the U.S. to discuss passage of a bilateral free-trade agreement -- a pact Clinton opposes.
Howard Wolfson, a spokesman for the campaign who will now coordinate Clinton's "strategic message" told the Huffington Post that Penn offered up his resignation to the Senator on Sunday and that she accepted. Penn's firm, however, will continue to be involved in the campaign's polling. [Read the whole story here in the Huffington Post]

The fact that Mark Penn is stepping down from a leadership position in Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign is a good thing. Yet it doesn't lessen my disappointment that Senator Clinton gave so much power to a big-bucks, anti-union lobbyist in the first place! We'll see if this move actually sways anyone on the fence to support Senator Clinton. I suspect most people, who were unhappy with Mark Penn, will still continue to support Senator Obama. Some people already behind Senator Clinton may be glad of the change, if only because it ends a messy distraction.

Speaking of messy this final phase of the primaries is painful to watch. While I'd be happy to see Senator Clinton simply surrender and get behind Senator Obama, she probably won't. She has every right to keep fighting but I wish she'd jump on the Barack bandwagon... sigh...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Demystifying McCain

Mark Green has this to say about John McCain:

Now that John McCain last week elaborated his economic and foreign policy views in major addresses, the weakness of his candidacy is clear: it's not that he'll be 72 if inaugurated but has a 72 year-old agenda. If you like gunboat diplomacy and pre-Depression laissez-faire economics, McCain is your bridge to the 19th Century.

You can read the rest of this excellent post here. We need to start focussing on the disastrous policy implications of a McCain presidency. The mainstream media prefers to stoke the fires of Obama/Clinton clashes, yet it is still possible to get out the message that McCain would be bad news for this country.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

McCain's liability

Senator John McCain has a number of political liabilities as the presumptive Republican nominee. Yet my advice to the Democrats would be to focus sharply on one issue in particular. Sen. McCain has been a tireless and enthusiastic cheerleader for the war in Iraq. He is so far out of touch with American public opinion on this issue it is downright breathtaking. This unpopular war can of course be linked to other issues. The tremendously wasteful spending in Iraq is unquestionably a drain on our domestic economy. This spending also diverts money from homeland security. "Do you like pouring billions down the drain? If you do, thank John McCain!"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Grim milestone

BAGHDAD (AFP) - The US military death toll in Iraq hit 4,000 after the slaying of four soldiers in a Baghdad bomb attack which the White House said on Monday had left President George W. Bush grieving.
The four troops died when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb while on patrol in south Baghdad late on Sunday, a US military statement said, adding that another soldier was wounded in the attack....

Vice President Dick Cheney said every casualty was a "loss" to be regretted.
"It may have a psychological effect on the public but it's a tragedy that we live in a kind of world where that happens," Cheney said in Jerusalem, his latest stop on a nine-day regional tour.

Dick Cheney is right to speak in terms of tragedy. The truth is we live in a kind of world where he, and his warmongering cronies, pushed us into an irresponsible military adventure without any proper planning for the aftermath of regime change in Iraq. It's a tragedy that Cheney/Bush look as if they'll run out the clock without answering for their crimes in impeachment hearings. The American people deserve better. We deserve to live in a kind of world in which our leaders honestly and steadfastly do the people's business, and preserve the Constitution.
All of this "grieving", and "regretting losses," would be a lot easier to take if Cheney/Bush weren't so clearly the authors of this very tragedy! I know that about 70% of the American public feel the same way, disgusted with all of this hypocrisy. November can't come soon enough!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Congress and Retroactive Immunity

Today I feel compelled to point out that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can't be judged solely on her mistaken decision to "take impeachment of the table." On ABC news she told George Stephanopoulos:

"The bill that we had put forth really was based on what we call the McConnell principles, the principles that the director of national intelligence said were essential to keeping America safe. The president has a different view," Pelosi said. "The president knows that he has all the authority he needs to collect from the underlying FISA bill and the orders that are still in place.""Is he lying to the country?" Stephanopoulos asked."The president knows that he has all the authority he needs -- the underlying FISA bill and the orders he already has in place with the Protect America Act that passed earlier," Pelosi responded. "Certainly there needed to be modernizations to the original FISA bill to reflect the changes in technology, and the president knows that Democrats support the collection against these terrorists, wherever the point of collection is, if they fit the bill of who should be collected upon."Pelosi continued, "The president maintains that he has inherent authority to spy on anyone, and our bill is consistent with the law that says that FISA is the authority under which collections may take place. This was recognized in 1978, when President Carter signed a bill, written by Congress, placing the courts in charge of how intelligence is collected in the United States. The president rejects that and says, 'I can do whatever I want.'"

Pelosi and other House leaders deserve our thanks for standing firm on this issue. Now if only they could do the same on winding down the war in Iraq!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House Judiciary Committee on Monday filed a lawsuit against White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers aimed at forcing them to provide information about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

The White House promptly labeled the suit "partisan theater."
The suit follows Attorney General Michael Mukasey's announcement last month that the Justice Department would not pursue criminal contempt charges against Miers and Bolten over their refusal to testify or provide documents to the House Judiciary Committee.

In a 36-page filing, attorneys for the House asked the U.S. District Court in Washington to compel Miers "forthwith to appear and testify before the committee" and to "enjoin Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten forthwith to produce to the committee ... all responsive documents."
The filing said the documents demanded are "critical to the investigation" of White House political involvement in the firings.

The democrats involved in this are to be commended for their courage. Trying to restore the rule of law is far more than just "partisan theater." Indeed the patience shown, over many months, before taking this extraordinary step has been remarkable. I'm not optimistic this new action will bring the desired results, but it's certainly worth a shot.

It's too bad that more democrats aren't willing to entertain the possibility of impeachment proceedings against this unlawful regime in the White House. Now that's some partisan theater I'd be happy to watch!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Time to stand up!

Faust, over at the Daily Kos, has a good question for us:

Bush and Cheney want retroactive immunity for every crime they've committed, before they leave office. They will do whatever it takes to ensure their ass is covered and to keep precedent for future generations of maniac Conservatives. Is this Democratic Congress going to fiddle as the United States of America burns? Are we going to let it?

Many Congressional Democrats have expressed outrage over Bush's veto of a measure that would ban waterboarding. Yet they have to do more. Congress shouldn't just act as if this sort of disgraceful behavior is business as usual. Sadly, I don't see enough will to fight the good fight in Washington. That's why out here in the grassroots we need to hoot and holler all we can!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Rhode Island Primary

The primary schedule was set up so that by the time those of us in lil' Rhody had our say everything would be settled and turnout would be light. Well turnout has been heavy... we'll have to see if Obama prevails over the establishment choice of Senator Clinton. Both campaigns ran impressive phone and even door-to-door canvassing operations. Neither candidate has the same appeal to me as John Edwards. That being said, I voted for Obama today because he seems the more progressive of the two left in the race.
I know I can't be the only one who wishes the general election would come tomorrow. It's sickening to see the Cheney/Bush regime run out the clock and escape accountability for their crimes. Whoever is our next President, he or she will have an awful mess to clean up!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John Edwards

While many of us are disappointed to see Edwards leave the race, we can all be proud of the positive, progressive tone of his campaign. He really did push all the candidates to consider carefully many progressive issues, and pushed the debate forward to the point where the Democrats are listening to important concerns beyond the big-money interests. Thank you John!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Saber Rattling

Well we can all be thankful for small miracles! Bush clearly hoped on his trip to the Middle East to find some Arab leaders willing to rattle their sabers with him against Iran. Fortunately no one has so far been willing to play that game. The Cheney/Bush regime seems intent on warmongering the world into disaster, but the rest of the world doesn't want to jump like lemmings off that cliff. Meanwhile, back in the States, many of us still don't understand why these criminals haven't yet been impeached.... we need to keep pushing Congress to grow a spine.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Senator Kerry

I'm not quite sure what to make of Senator John Kerry's endorsement of Barack Obama. Will it have an impact on the actual primaries? It's still too early to tell. What is obvious is that right now there is no democratic party establishment consensus for Hillary Clinton. Kerry's fondness for Obama has been evident ever since he chose him to speak at the 2004 convention. His endorsement now shouldn't be seen as a slap at Edwards, since the two of them were never that close. What Edwards needs more than any endorsements is to keep on winning delegates, and to bring home a first place finish in at least one primary. Again, the most heartening development in this young primary season is the large democratic turnouts so far. The country has had its fill of Republicans!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Edwards will still compete

I was very heartened by the upbeat tone of recent communications from the Edwards campaign. What he is saying is that he will still keep fighting, and this is all to the good. No matter what the future holds, we have a good strong field of democratic candidates, and the very high democratic turnouts in Iowa and New Hampshire is welcome news for our whole country. Already Edwards has done good things for his party by forcing all Democrats in the race to present sound, well-thought-out progressive agendas for our nation. I do hope Edwards can win some of the next few contests and continue to push home his populist, progressive message!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Big day in Iowa

When the DesMoines Register endorsed Hillary Clinton a while back they expressed fear that Edwards' "harsh anti-corporate rhetoric would make it difficult to work with the business community to forge change." On the contrary, it is only because John Edwards is willing to stand up to big money interests that he may be able to forge change.

Workers with unions behind them gain better treatment than workers who take whatever the boss feels like giving. That's because the unions force companies to negotiate. Well-meaning folks have been asking the big-money interests to voluntarily do the right thing for many decades. Occasionally, some of them surprise us, and listen to the voices of outrage enough to be moved to real change. More often, it takes a lot of struggle to get big-money interests to budge even an inch in the right direction. Companies like FraudEx and WalMart deserve to hear more than harsh rhetoric-- they deserve to be held to account for their crimes. John Edwards stared down corporate malefactors as a trial attorney, and that is a good thing. His adversarial response, to the most greedy and abusive excesses of corporate bullies, is both more reasonable and more conducive to pushing real change than a naive belief in the good will of the "business community." John Edwards in 2008!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

John Edwards rallies supporters in Mason City.

John Edwards fires up the faithful out in Iowa. From what I've seen in New Hampshire, Edwards has motivated a huge base of very dedicated volunteers!