Making Conservatives Cringe Since 1977

I'm not Liberal, I'm paying attention.

30 November 2005


Stand Up!

A member of Congress once stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and forcefully explained his reasons for a vote against an ongoing war that was, he declared, "unnecessarily and unconstitutionally commenced by the President." The war in question was the Mexican War, and the Congressmember was Abraham Lincoln.
Pelosi calls for withdrawal from Iraq LIZ SIDOTI Associated Press WASHINGTON - Reversing course, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday endorsed a call by a prominent member of her rank-and-file to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. "We should follow the lead of Congressman John Murtha, who has put forth a plan to make American safer, to make our military stronger and to make Iraq more stable," Pelosi said. "That is what the American people and our troops deserve." Pelosi, D-Calif., said she wouldn't be calling for a party caucus position on the plan by the Pennsylvania Democrat because "a vote on the war is an individual vote." Nevertheless, she said: "I believe that a majority of our caucus clearly supports Mr. Murtha."

I think Nancy must have read the same story I did this morning @ Alternet:

Why the Murtha Gambit Will Backfire

By,J. Douglas Allen-Taylor

The Murtha gambit sets a dangerous precedent for what kind of person can take the lead in criticizing the nation on matters of war and security. It concedes that the only moral voice who can oppose a war is someone who supported and/or participated in a past war. The flaw in the argument is that the Bush Administration and much of the national Republican leadership couldn't care less about distinguished past service; their strategy is to kneecap the opposition, using whatever methods, fair or foul, that come to mind.

Pelosi's saying what needs to be said, which extends the streak to an impressive month long drive towards relavence by the Democrats. Allen-Taylor notes conservatives continue to make the arguement that, "one who opposes a war while that war is in progress cannot, by definition, be a patriot," which I feel is disgusting enough without Democrats fouling the air by second guessing themselves, yet Pelosi has stepped forward to offer a genuine moral voice. I commend her.


MILITARY SERVICE RECORDS DEMOCRATS: Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71. David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72. Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72. Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade. Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g . Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam. Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-47; Medal of Honor, WWII. John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Hearts. Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea. Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam. Paraplegic from war injuries. Served in Congress. Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-53. Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74. Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91. Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII; Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons. Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars,and Soldier's Medal. Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit. Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart. Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V. Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star. Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57 Chuck Robb: Vietnam Howell Heflin: Silver Star George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII. Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received #311. Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy. Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953 John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and AirMedal with 18 Clusters. Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg. REPUBLICANS: Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage. Dennis Hastert: did not serve. Tom Delay: did not serve. Roy Blunt: did not serve. Bill Frist: did not serve. Mitch McConnell: did not serve. Rick Santorum: did not serve. Trent Lott: did not serve. John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business. Jeb Bush: did not serve. Karl Rove: did not serve. Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism. Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve. Vin Weber: did not serve. Richard Perle: did not serve. Douglas Feith: did not serve. Eliot Abrams: did not serve. Richard Shelby: did not serve. Jon! Kyl: did not serve. Tim Hutchison: did not serve. Christopher Cox: did not serve. Newt Gingrich: did not serve. Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as flight instructor. George W. Bush: failed to complete his six-year National Guard; got assigned to Alabama so he could campaign for family friend running for U.S. Senate.. Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non- combat role making movies. B-1 Bob Dornan: Consciously enlisted after fighting was over in Korea. Phil Gramm: did not serve. John McCain: Vietnam POW, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross. Dana Rohrabacher: did not serve. John M. McHugh: did not serve. JC Watts: did not serve. Jack Kemp: did not serve. "Knee problem, " although continued in NFL for 8 years as quarterback. Dan Quayle: Journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard. Rudy Giuliani: did not serve. George Pataki: did not serve. Spencer Abraham: did not serve. John Engler: did not serve. Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer. Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base. PUNDITS and PREACHERS: Sean Hannity: did not serve. Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.') Bill O'Reilly: did not serve. Michael Savage: did not serve. George Will: did not serve. Chris Matthews: did not serve. Paul Gigot: did not serve. Bill Bennett: did not serve. Pat Buchanan: did not serve. John Wayne: did not serve. Bill Kristol: did not serve. Kenneth Starr: did not serve. Antonin Scalia: did not serve. Clarence Thomas: did not serve. Ralph Reed: did not serve. Michael Medved: did not serve. Charlie Daniels: did not serve. Ted Nugent: did not serve. Hat tip to Blondsense for the list.


More New York business . . .

I recently posted a quick blurb about Brain Goodell at The Syracuse Progressive. 2006 is the year to take back our Government. The netroots must mobilize to support local races for Congress and any other seats that are open, district by district. Thank to Lizzy @ Nightbirds Fountain for bringing attention to another great pick for 2006!
A year after tangling with the Bush campaign over the use of a pop tune he penned in the 1970's, Democrat John Hall now wants to take on Rep. Sue Kelly.Hall, a former county legislator who lives in Dover Plains, announced today he is running for Congress in the 19th Congressional District in New York. [WaPo]Hall co-wrote ``Still the One,'' and ``Dance With Me,'' which were hits in the mid-1970s for the rock band Orleans, of which Hall is a founding member. Hall summarized his campaign platform as redefining national security. That includes not only strong and well-equipped armed forces, but also things like affordable and accessible health care, a world-class education for all children and the development of more alternative energy sources.Hall also feels that there is considerable evidence that voting fraud occurred in the last two presidential elections. It is not surprising, considering the hardball tactics used for many years in certain cities around the country, but the advent of electonic voting makes it much more worrisome. more
John Hall is THE ONE that our District needs!


Hey, New Yorkers!

Women’s Day and Mattel Are wishing you and your Military family a very special Happy Holiday THEY ARE HELPING SANTA BY GIVING Military BOYS AND GIRLS A GIFT Please be mindful the guidance given for this distribution is based on family need. Please sign up with the following information: Family Name: ____________________________________ E-mail/phone:____________________________________ Number of Boys and ages:____________________________ ______________________________________________ Number of Girls and ages:____________________________ ______________________________________________ The project Leader is: Scout Michael Tanski (Who is heading this project as a volunteer to earn his Eagle Scout award) Dee Putnam will be assisting him with family contacts. PLEASE CONTACT DEE PUTNAM 786-4656 with the above information by December 5th The distribution will be held on: SATURDAY DECEMBER 10th from TBA to TBA Location: West Albany Fire House #2 Banquet Room 36 Osborne Road Albany, NY 12205

29 November 2005


Capitol Punishment for Elected Officials Only

999th execution since 1977 -I hope no one commutes your sentance Gov. Taft.

28 November 2005


Another Fake War

Seasons Greetings,
Come on people. Really? Doesn't this get a little tired after awhile? Christmas isn't going anywhere. It's not under attack, at least not by anything more dangerous than the forces of commercialization/capitalism (which has been ramping up its attack for over 100 years). I'm not religious. I celebrate Christmas. Why? What better message do little children need to hear than, "it is better to give than to receive." Christmas is about giving. So this year, Mr. O'Reilly, and Mr. Hannity; could you give us something? How about a break from this worn out rhetoric.

Anything instead of this wannabe activist crap;

We continue our reporting on which American stores are using "Christmas" in advertising this Christmas season and which are not. So far, here's the list. Again, our litmus test is which operations are using the greeting "Merry Christmas" in their advertising and which are not. OK, using -- you can see JCPenney's, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Dillard's. Not using, there they are. Now, Kohl's, still giving us a hard time, but their advertising has been all "Happy Holidays" so I don't know what they want. The company says the clerks are free to say "Merry Christmas." Yeah, OK, that's nice. Again, this investigation is designed to spotlight retailers who have knocked the word "Christmas" out of the Christmas season. We're not too interested with the word "merry." Don't really care about "merry." On the toy store front, here's what we found out. Toys "R" Us simply is not going to answer our questions, so we assume that means they're not using "Merry Christmas." Not using for sure, KB Toys and FAO Schwarz. But FAO Schwarz says that their people in the store can shout "Merry Christmas" as loud as they want.

Ya, wonder why they wouldn’t want to pause on Black Friday to talk to a bunch of asshats?

Since we are on the topic of religion, let me mention that after taking a quick glance around the internets I’m getting the feeling that I’d chose wisely when my wife and decided which movie we’d take turns watching with our eldest daughter( there’s no taking an 18 month old into the theater). Melessa took her to see the new Harry Potter flick, and I get to take her to see The Chronicles of Narnia.

I received the series, the whole seven book set, from my Aunt Marcia for Christmas. I realize there are religious undertones to the story. I understood the symbolism even as I devoured the pages back in fourth grade. The Stone Table, The Cross, not to big of a leap, even for a ten year old. I loved the books. There is nothing wrong with spirituality, for the most part there is nothing wrong with Christianity either. After you scrape the Robertsons’ and Dobsons’ off. I wish both sides, because there are transgressors on both, would read the following

Freedom From Religion vs. Freedom of Religion

" Forcing people to accept some particular idea or adhere to behavioral standards from someone else’s religion means that their religious freedom is being infringed upon." "Freedom from religion does not mean, as some mistakenly seem to claim, being free from seeing religion in society. No one has the right not to see churches, religious expression, and other examples of religious belief in our nation — and those who advocate freedom of religion do not claim otherwise." "What freedom from religion does mean, however, is the freedom from the rules and dogmas of other people’s religious beliefs so that we can be free to follow the demands of our own conscience, whether they take a religious form or not. Thus, we have both freedom of religion and freedom from religion because they are two sides of the same coin."
Happy Holidays, and have a Merry Christmas!


Senator McCain, skip exiting through the Kitchen.

Stephen Skowronek, "orthodox innovator," Google it. Or click here. Or . . . Professor: Bush Is an 'Orthodox Innovator' Morning Edition, November 28, 2005 · Host Renee Montagne talks with Yale professor of political science Stephen Skowronek about President Bush's tendency to take his orthodoxy from predecessor Ronald Reagan. - The post-mortem of a Lame Duck. Boo...Bobby Kennedy,Bwahahahha.

27 November 2005


Stop the ACLU?

"This is but one example of the important work Our Leader's night-clad sturmtruppen conduct everyday. Should you have the opportunity to meet them, please don't forget to thank them as you present your papers. They'll appreciate it."
Update- I just had to link to this great post on the subject: Papers, please! Show me your papers!
I knew this was coming when the Supreme Court ruled on it a little while back. Like a scene out of a Cold War or WWII movie, the officials searching the train for the _____ (fill in the blank; behind the lines soldier, jew, secret agent, partisan, resistence fighter).
Click on title to read more.

26 November 2005


Free Time

Wow. Three days off in a row. I'm going nuts re-tooling my blog. I've stripped it down to the bare bones, added a third colume, I'm redoing the links. Got the Excel sort'n and sworl'n. If you notice that I no longer link to you, don't worry, it's only momentary. If I didn't link to you before, and you'd like me to add you, leave all the details in a comment.


Ghost of Thanksgivings Past, or; you got sing real loud if you want to end a War

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on - two years ago on Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the restaurant

24 November 2005


From the Christian Science Monitor:

Marines' Thanksgiving wish: 'Hot chow'
In remote western Iraq, marines say anything but an MRE.

By Jill Carroll | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

KARABILAH, IRAQ - There's a rumor circulating among the marines of the 2/6 that "hot chow" is coming.

The fervor with which marines here talk of the possibility of a hot meal - roasted turkey, steaming stuffing, and tart cranberry sauce - being delivered to their sandy, remote outpost in Iraq's Anbar Province from the nearest base for Thanksgiving is understandable, especially when you taste what they've been eating.

There are stacks of Meals Ready-to-Eat (MREs) around but most marines can't bear to even look at them. They've already spent months eating Country Captain Chicken and Vegetable Manicotti from hermetically sealed brown plastic bags. Inside: "wheat snack bread," "jalapeño cheese spread," or "pumpkin pound cake."

But few of the marines here of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment were even aware that Thanksgiving was approaching until asked by this reporter.

Capt. Brendan Heatherman had just finished a long morning of raids, jumping rock walls, and racing through houses looking for insurgents. "It's in two days? Man, snuck up on me," he said, incredulous.

Standing next to him in a dim room constructed of rocks and cement, Capt. Conlon Carabine of East Hampton, N.Y., was equally confused. "When is Thanksgiving? Two days?"

It's easy to lose track of time here.

They fought their way west to east through three towns along the Euphrates River near the Syrian border early this month. Now, the marines are responsible for security detail in the towns, some of which haven't had a military presence in a year.

They run patrols on foot and sit in humvees 24 hours a day and race out on raids, following tips on insurgent movement.

Back at base, they have no running water or electricity. They live in giant metal containers and sleep on wooden bunks they built themselves.

Captain Carabine is considered fortunate because his camp already had one half-built rock and a cement structure when his group arrived. Now it serves as the headquarters.

If the turkey and stuffing doesn't arrive, Captain Heatherman's company has already a contingency plan - a local turkey farmer. "The Iraqi [soldiers] say they'll [cook] it, and we've got some guys from down south who know how to clean it and have already volunteered their services," says 1st Sgt. William Thurber of Manchester, N.H.

He pauses. "I didn't realize it was in two days," he muses.

-I'm thankful to be home with my family, and for the "hot chow."

22 November 2005


The sun was eclipsed by the moon.


Don't hold your breath...

November 8, 2005 The Honorable George W. Bush The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The indictment of I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, marks the first time in 131 years that a senior White House official has been charged with a crime while still serving in the White House. The charges, while not yet proven, are extraordinarily serious and deeply disturbing.

Although it is too early to judge Mr. Libby guilty or innocent of these particular charges, it is not too early for you to reassure the American people that you understand the enormous gravity of the allegations. To this end, we urge you to pledge that if Mr. Libby or anyone else is found guilty of a crime in connection with Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation, you will not exercise your authority to issue a Presidential pardon.

It is crucial that you make clear in advance that, if convicted, Mr. Libby will not be able to rely on his close relationship with you or Vice President Cheney to obtain the kind of extraordinarily special treatment unavailable to ordinary Americans. In addition you should do nothing to undermine Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation or diminish accountability in your White House. A pardon in these circumstances would signal that this White House considers itself above the law.

We also urge you to state publicly whether anyone in the White House including White House counsel Harriet Miers or Vice President Cheney has already discussed the possibility of a pardon with Mr. Libby. Particularly given that the American people are still in the dark about what precisely transpired in the White House with respect to the CIA leak, it would be highly inappropriate if there were such discussions going on behind the scenes.

Swift public action on your part will make clear that you take seriously perjury and obstruction of justice at the highest levels of our government and that you meant what you said about bringing honor and dignity to the White House. We eagerly await your response and hope that you will announce your intentions promptly.


Sen. Harry Reid, Democratic Leader Sen. Dick Durbin, Assistant Democratic Leader Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Democratic Conference Secretary Sen. Chuck Schumer, Chairman of Campaign Committee

-Click here to sign the petition

21 November 2005


Thanksgiving with the Murtha's

So I'm headed east on the thruway, taking in the beauty of New York at about 95 MPH. At times lots of different things are running through my head. Other times, nothing. For the most part my mind meanders like the storied canal beside me. One of the things running through my head is a recent exchange over at my new addition to "the darkside," discriminations. In response to my chiding a particular person who'd made a typical anti-military remark:

That's nothing like Ol Cut and Run's proposal. Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan

One "Les Nessman" responded:

"Wow. The Chickenhawk ad hominem comes out. How original. Very persuasive, Fred. Very mature."

"It's actually a good sign to have it used against you; it means the other side has given up intelligent argument and conceded defeat."

I was also think about a statement I'd seen on another right-wing blog, something to the effect that Liberals would define Lincoln as a chickenhawk. I always find it funny that the "Father of the Republican Party" was also the person respocible for many of the things that modern Republicans despise about government. A strong centralized Federal Government that trumps states rights, Income tax, proto-affirmative action.

. . . Anyways:

An ad hominem argument is a logical fallacy that involves replying to an argument or assertion by addressing the person presenting the argument or assertion rather than the argument itself or an argument pointing out an inconsistency between a view expressed by an individual and the remainder of his or her beliefs.

To use a Rovian expression, isn't someone who uses an "argumentum ad hominem," IE smearing an honored veteran like Rep. Murtha--instead of addressing the issue of formulating an exit strategy for Iraq--presenting themselves as "fair game?"

Git up there mule, here comes a lock, We'll make Rome about 6 o'clock One more trip and back we'll go, right back home to Buffalo.


Captions away!

Well, I'm off to State Headquarters. Have fun with this in my absense, and remember,
Agitprop Predicts

20 November 2005


Baby blogging on a Sunday Afternoon

"Daddy, this place is a me clean up!"

19 November 2005


The Swift Boating begins...

GOP calls for ethics investigation into Iraq war critic

11/18/2005 @ 9:07 pm

Filed by RAW STORY

Republican lawmakers say that ties between Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and his brother’s lobbying firm, KSA Consulting, may warrant investigation by the House ethics committee, ROLL CALL reports Friday. Excerpts.

The calls come as Murtha, a former Marine and pro-military Democrat, has made headlines this week by coming out in support of a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

According to a June 13 article in The Los Angeles Times, the fiscal 2005 defense appropriations bill included more than $20 million in funding for at least 10 companies for whom KSA lobbied. Carmen Scialabba, a longtime Murtha aide, works at KSA as well.

KSA directly lobbied Murtha’s office on behalf of seven companies, and a Murtha aide told a defense contractor that it should retain KSA to represent it, according to the LA Times.

- Move over Kerry and Cleland


...and for your amusement on this anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg Trials:

So you want details about who lied?

"Iraq On The Record: The Bush Administration's Public Statements On Iraq," [PDF] prepared by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform -- Minority Staff Special Investigations Division, March 16, 2004.

This 36-page report goes into great detail about outright false and deceptive public statements by Bush (55 misleading statements), Vice President Dick Cheney (51), former Secretary of State Colin Powell (50), former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (29) and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (52) on the subject. These 237 misleading statements were made in a variety of forums (53 interviews, 40 speeches, 26 news conferences and briefings, four written statements and articles and two appearances before Congress) beginning at least a year before the war began, and their frequency peaked at key decision-making points.

Agi T. Prop says it's all deferred success.

What a differance a year makes.

"One of my strongest allies in Congress when I was Secretary of Defense was Jack Murtha, a Democrat who was Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee." - Dick Cheney


Click on picture to add your piece
-A wink and a nod to NavySwan and DavidUSA

Bucket of Water please...

" . . . cowards cut and run, Marines never do."
Let me say to the people of Ohio, who chose Jean Schmidt over veteran Paul Hacket,
Shame. Shame. Shame.

18 November 2005


Can you separate the Warrior from the War? Can you?

RED FRIDAYS ----- Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority". We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that. Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red. By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly mo re than the media lets on. The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is...We need your support and your prayers. Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear some thing red every Friday. IF YOU AGREE -- THEN SEND THIS ON -- IF YOU COULD CARE LESS -- THEN HIT THE DELETE BUTTON --- IT IS YOUR CHOICE. WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE, ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE. THEIR BLOOD RUNS RED---- SO WEAR RED! --- MAY GOD HELP AMERICA TO BECOME ONE NATION, UNDER GOD.
Blue Monday- Those who came before me Lived through their vocations From the past until completion They'll turn away no more And I still find it so hard To say what I need to say But I'm quite sure that you'll tell me Just how I should feel today
Click here for video
-Hat tip to NavySwan for the video. Lyrics from New Order and links curtesy of yours truely, Man I can't believe some of the chainmail I see. Update:Others see red too Blondesense Simply Left Behind

Swift Boat this.

"It disgusts me that a bunch of guys who have never put on the uniform of their country venomously turn their guns on a Marine who came home from Vietnam with a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts . . . "

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer speeks with Sen. John Kerry:

BLITZER: ... The theme that's coming from the [Bush administration]: ... Your criticism is, A, undermining the troops ... , and, B, emboldening and encouraging the insurgency.

KERRY: That is exactly the kind of disgraceful fear tactic, scare tactic, exploitation that this administration continually delved into in pursuit of this war. They did it all through the election last year. They tried to scare America and did, in many cases. And they're still doing it.

And I'm not going to listen to this vice president of the United States tell me that, when they send troops without armor, when they send troops in inadequate numbers, when they send troops without the support structure that they need to be able to conduct a mission, ... when they make the misjudgment that those troops are going to be welcomed as liberators with flowers strewn at their feet in parade, when they make the misjudgment not even to block and secure ammo dumps -- the ammo which is now being used against our troops -- when they make the misjudgment about disbanding the military and the civilian structure of Iraq.

And they turn around and say to us -- who all the time were saying, "Don't do those things" -- that we're somehow putting the troops in jeopardy, I'm going to stand up and fight.

Those troops deserve leadership that's equal to their sacrifice, and I think this administration has lost lives of good troops at greater risk than they needed to be because they didn't do the things necessary to support the troops. I'm fighting for the troops. I'm fighting for the people that are on those front lines.

17 November 2005


Stand up guy.

Hawkish Democrat Calls for Iraq Pullout

By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer

One of Congress' most hawkish Democrats called Thursday for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, sparking bitter and personal salvos from both sides in a growing Capitol Hill uproar over President Bush's war policies.

"It's time to bring them home," said Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), a decorated Korean War and Vietnam combat veteran, choking back tears during remarks to reporters. "Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty."

The comments by the Pennsylvania lawmaker, who has spent three decades in the House, hold particular weight because he is close to many military commanders and has enormous credibility with his colleagues on defense issues. He voted for the war in 2002, and remains the top Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

"Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence," he said.

In a biting response, Republicans criticized Murtha's position as one of abandonment and surrender and accused Democrats of playing politics with the war and recklessly pushing a "cut and run" strategy.

"They want us to retreat. They want us to wave the white flag of surrender to the terrorists of the world," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.

"It would be an absolute mistake and a real insult to the lives that have been lost," said Rep. David Dreier (news, bio, voting record), R-Calif.

Just two days earlier, the GOP-controlled Senate defeated a Democratic push to force Bush to lay out a timetable for withdrawal. Spotlighting mushrooming questions from both parties about the war, though, the chamber approved a statement that 2006 should be a significant year in which conditions are created for the phased withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Murtha estimated that all U.S. troops could be pulled out within six months. He introduced a resolution Thursday that would force the president to call back the military, but it was unclear when, or if, either GOP-run chamber of Congress would vote on it.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stopped short of endorsing Murtha's position, even though he's one of her close advisers. Her counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record) of Nevada, said, "I favor what the Senate did," referring to the statement the Senate adopted.

Thursday's rhetorical dueling came in a week that had already seen Bush and other top administration officials lash out at war critics, who they say advocate a strategy that will only embolden the insurgency.

Some Senate Democrats have already laid out plans for bringing home U.S. troops. Other House Democrats have called for the military to pull out, but none has Murtha's clout on military issues.

Seldom overtly political, Murtha uncharacteristically responded to Vice President Dick Cheney's comments this week that Democrats were spouting "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges" about the Bush administration's use of intelligence before the war.

"I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done," Murtha said.
--- ...and now a timely word from The Rude Pundit
Fun With Context: Where Did the President Get Those Democratic Quotes?
Let's be a little bit wonky today: Yesterday, in another one of his pathetic little whines about critics of the Iraq war, George Bush, making a not-unlike-Nixon trip to Asia, stopped in Alaska to say: "Let me give you some quotes from three senior Democrat leaders: First, and I quote, 'There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons.' Another senior Democrat leader said, 'The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as Saddam Hussein is in power.' Here's another quote from a senior Democrat leader: 'Saddam Hussein, in effect, has thumbed his nose at the world community. And I think the President is approaching this in the right fashion.' They spoke the truth then, and they're speaking politics now." Since Bush dared not speak the names of the Democrats in question or offer any context for their quotes, hey, why not do some good bloggy work here? The first quote is from Senator Jay Rockefeller, which is the closest to a money quote in the whole thing. Rockefeller said this in the mini-debate over the Iraq War Resolution on October 10, 2002, which Rockefeller voted to approve. Also in the speech is Rockefeller's belief that war with Iraq would lead to greater terrorist threats against the U.S. And he was played for a sucker by the administration when he said, "Preventing a war with Saddam Hussein -- whether now or later -- must be our top priority, and I believe this resolution will strengthen the president’s hand to resolve this crisis peacefully. By my vote, I say to the United Nations and our allies that America is united in our resolve to deal with Saddam Hussein, and that the U.N. must act to eliminate his weapons of mass destruction. By my vote, I say to Saddam Hussein, 'Disarm, or the United States will be forced to act.'" But that wish for the U.N. to stay involved and for the administration to try for peace doesn't stop the Rockefeller line from showing up on every nutzoid right wing blog and website claiming that Democrats wanted 'em some warrin', too. But Rockefeller has now unequivocally said that he was wrong back then, that he wouldn't have voted for the war if he had seen all the intelligence (and let's be clear here: saying that the Congress saw "the same" intelligence the President saw is not the same as saying the Congress saw all the intelligence the President had access to. It's like seeing your best friend's wife in a thong and your best friend insists that you've seen his wife naked. No, you may have seen her ass, but there's so, so much more that's been hidden. You've both seen the same ass, not the same body). The second quote is from Senator Carl Levin, who was not really beatin' the Iraq war drums when he said, on CNN's Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer on December 16, 2001, in answer to Blitzer's question about whether or not Saddam Hussein was a terrorist: "I agree, but exactly the way Senator Kyl put it. The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as he is in power. But that does not mean he is the next target. And the commitment to do that, it seems to me, could be disruptive of our alliance that still has work to do in Afghanistan. And a lot will depend on what the facts are in various places as to what terrorist groups are doing, and as to whether or not we have facts as to whether or not the Iraqis have been involved in the terrorist attack of September 11, or whether or not Saddam is getting a weapon of mass destruction and is close to it. So facts will determine what our next targets are." The third quote is from Senator Harry Reid who was being interviewed by Judy Woodruff on CNN's Inside Politics on September 18, 2002. Reid was asked about Democrats and their approach to the upcoming "quick vote" on a resolution to give the President authority to go to war. Woodruff wondered,"Are Democrats apparently all just jumping on this bandwagon? Or there is going to be a real debate, the kind that the American people deserve on this" Reid responded, "As you know when his father went into Iraq, we had a very good debate. Some said one of the best debates in the last 40 years in Congress. We're going to have a debate. But I think we have to acknowledge what's gone on in Iraq. Saddam Hussein, in effect, has thumbed his nose at the world community. And I think that the president's approaching this in the right fashion. He's now trying to get the international community to join. Secretary Powell is basically living in New York, working with international community. And we have made progress...Right now, we're kind of speaking in a vacuum. The Democratic leadership and the Republican leadership, House, and Senate met with the president today. They talked in some generalities, but even today, I don't think the administration knows what they want to do. To get to -- to be very direct and specific, if we wanted to invade Iraq, it's going to take months to get that ready, not days, or weeks. So this isn't anything that's going to happen tomorrow. I think we should get this resolution out of the way. Maybe it would help the administration focus on the domestic policy if we did that." Then, Reid added, cutely, now, in retrospect, "Oh, I don't think you're going to see blank check. And I don't think the president will ask for a blank check." So there it is: one quote from a Senator who now says he's wrong, one from a Senator who said war in Iraq would disrupt the effort in Afghanistan, and one from a Senator who believed that the administration had no plan and was going to take it's time and that there would be a great and mighty debate. Now, tell us again, oh, shiny and wonderful Bush administration, how were you not manipulating these people?
-who's trying to rewrite history? -who is undermining America?

Been there...

Unemployment Rate Skyrockets Agence France-Presse | November 14, 2005 WASHINGTON - The return to civilian life for U.S. Soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan is full of pitfalls, with an unemployment rate three times the national average. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that for the first three quarters of 2005, nearly 15 percent of veterans aged 20-24 are jobless -- three times the national average. According to the website VeteransToday, published by veterans for veterans, the high unemployment rate is "partly because most service members seriously injured in Iraq and Afghanistan are in the early stages of their military careers and possess limited transferable job skills or very little civilian work experience". The government is also worried about the number of veterans without a permanent address. "The tragedy of homelessness among veterans persists, even when the economy is robust and unemployment is low," the California Department of Veterans Affairs said. "Homeless veterans require remedial education, job-search and counseling assistance, medical services and transitional housing in order to re-enter the labor market," the agency said in a statement.

16 November 2005


Hastening my eventual return to blogging...

Senate Overwhelmingly Backs Resolution to Ease Out of Iraq By Maura Reynolds and Mark Mazzetti, Times Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — In its first direct challenge to President Bush on the war in Iraq, the Senate on Tuesday called on the administration to turn over to Iraqis more control of their country to hasten the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops. The resolution passed with broad bipartisan support, 79 to 19. Its approval comes as concern over the war's course is rising even among Republican lawmakers, and as President Bush's approval ratings have sunk to the lowest of his presidency.
- Is this a victory? Better than nothin' I guess... ...And in the, "They grow up so fast," and the "Where did you learn to do that Son?/I learned it from you dad, from you!!!," categories: 173 prisoners found beaten and starved in Iraq government bunker · PM's deputy leads inquiry into torture allegations · Reports of corpses among malnourished inmates Jamie Wilson in Washington Wednesday November 16, 2005 The Guardian The Iraqi government has begun an investigation into the alleged abuse of more than 170 prisoners who were found locked in an interior ministry bunker in Baghdad, many of them beaten and malnourished and some apparently brutally tortured.
16 Nov 2005 10:17:04 GMT
Source: Reuters By Michael Georgy BAGHDAD, Nov 16 (Reuters) - An Iraqi guard who took part in detaining some of the 173 prisoners found locked in an Interior Ministry bunker showed no remorse on Wednesday over reports they were abused, saying they were suspected "terrorists".

11 November 2005



The obituary reads, “James Holden, 78, of Skaneateles Falls, died Tuesday, Nov.1, 2005.” The story behind those words, as with every obituary, contains far more than any newspaper could tell. I feel, even as I write this, as if I am someone peering into one of many windows in a grand old house. Each window to a different room, each room with a door to a past I wasn’t a part of.

This past summer was hot, Hot, and Grandpa Holden’s pool was the spot. After several years abroad, Melessa and I, along with Alyssa and little Ella, took the opportunity to visit. Jim would come out on the deck and there would be his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, on any given sunny afternoon splashing and frolicking in the water. I had the opportunity to be reacquainted with my wife’s side of the family, Daniel, Jared and Jessica, and Jessica’s daughter Alexi. Melessa’s sister Sara and Chris were there. Melessa’s Grandpa and I traded war stories. Alyssa chased the stray kitties that Jim fed every day.

I hope someday that I will be as lucky as he was, with family all around.

The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it. -John Ruskin

10 November 2005


I think I'll read a book.

I've been busy, really busy, for the last couple of weeks. I love blogging and the whole community of people I've met since I started back in June. I can really sympathize with Matt from the Tattered Coat when he stated recently, “daily blogging is incompatible with several aspects of my life.” The time has come for a shift in focus in my life and I’ll be putting blogging to the side for awhile.

This doesn’t mean I won’t be stopping in at all the familiar places—probably will even more so. I think I’ve accomplished a bit of what I want to do with this blog, but I’d like to focus more on the interchange of ideas. I will be at your site. I will challenge you in ways in which you might not expect from what I’ve displayed up until now.

I have one more planned post after this one. It’s kind of personal, but, well…so be it.

One last poke, couldn't help myself...

09 November 2005


Inspiration from NavySwan and Julian

Take the Test!
As seen @ On the Rocks With a Twist



You know what happens right before a tsunami? The ocean tide rolls back for miles along the shore line, the farther back it pulls into the ocean, the bigger the wave that is coming. As we now see in Virginia, even the red state's are pulling back in horror at the mockery todays GOP has made of our country on every level, local, state, and soon, the Nation.
California voters reject Schwarzenegger measures in key referendum
11.09.2005, 05:49 AM LOS ANGELES (AFX) - California's movie star Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger suffered the biggest flop of his political career when voters rejected a slate of referendum measures on which he had staked his reputation.
Democrats Win in Virginia, New Jersey, Buoying Party's Hopes
Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Democrats won governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey, buoying the party's hopes for next year's congressional elections and bolstering the presidential aspirations of Virginia Governor Mark Warner.
Driscoll wins second term
Wednesday, November 09, 2005 By John Mariani and Frederic Pierce Staff writers Mayor Matt Driscoll won a second term Tuesday night in a close race against Joanie Mahoney. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Driscoll had 15,766 votes, or 49.4 percent, to 14,608 for Mahoney, or 45.8 percent.
Third party candidate Howie Hawkins picked up 4.6 percent with 1,476 votes.


Insurance Companies That Don't Insure...

This particular post is about HealthNet, a California HMO that is refusing to cover treatment for a small boy with a rare bone disorder. But, as we all know, this could be any HMO anywhere in America. In this case, the only specialist with the experience to handle the disorder works at a children's hospital in Deleware, and obviously it's outside of HealthNet's network. The family knows there son will die without treatment. HealthNet knows it because their own specialist at the University of California of San Francisco concurs and has told the HMO as much. So what happens? Many months, 4 appeals of HealthNet's decision, threats of a lawsuit, and an expose in the San Francisco Chronicle finally get HealthNet to change their position. here's the thing. There's an argument to be made that HealthNet can limit the type of care that they provide and where they provide it. There's an argument to be made that when the standard of care isn't adequate and the situation grave, the health care provider should come through. But I'm interested in something else. Consider how much time/money was wasted by HealthNet in trying to get the family to give up. "Oh sure," you say, "...treatments like this are expensive and that's what's driving up health care costs." But maybe, just maybe, what's driving health care costs is the horrendous waste: Time and effort wasted by HMO administrators in denying the family's request; Time wasted by the UCSF specialist who saw the boy more than once and reached the same conclusion each time; Time wasted by the family and stopgap treatments that were wasted when HealthNet eventually relented. When an insurer (or an health care provider) spends more time figuring out how to not care for you than they do actually caring for you, should we as a society draw the line and say, "Enough! Provide the care, or find another business to be in"? Want to know why the health care system in this country doesn't work? Look no further than the waste. Guest post by, Kvatch, of Blognonymous

08 November 2005


The New American Century

We are now entering what some uber-conservatives, including Wolfowitz, Cheney, and others, call the New American Century. Many aspects of this plan are detailed at New American You can go there yourselves and read some of the articles that introduce the term. This is the question that needs to be asked: “Is this what the American people want?” I am sure that the answer is “No.” The reason I can say this is because the majority of American people have never heard of this organization, and therefore cannot support something that is not widely known.

From what I understand, the New American Century involves “destabilizing” the Middle East and ushering in a “new world order.” The problem is the only way to achieve this new world order is by military preeminence and multilateral wars. I am sure that I am not the only one who realizes that military force is not the best way to usher in peace. I believe it is obvious by the utter failure of the mission in Iraq. But, to think that peace is the only motivation for the aggressive agenda that is being promoted by White House officials is naïve.

As a nation, we have been without a constant overshadowing, all encompassing enemy since the communists of the Cold War era. What the top officials really see is an opportunity to capitalize on our new found global enemy. The benefits of the Cold War have been long gone. There is no question that the Cold War benefited many businesses especially those that dealt with weapons technology and manufacturing. There are many people who believe that a new Cold War type environment would help stimulate the economy like it has so many times in the past. Obviously, this has not been the case in the new “Global War on Terrorism.”

So what other reason would our leaders have to instigate such a global war? I think we have to return to the subject of the New American Century and the New World Order. What do these terms mean? I can honestly say that I do not know. Many people have speculated on this subject, but the meaning of these terms remains unclear. What we do know is that the existence of these terms and their use is not a secret. The PNAC website is not some conspiracy theory organization. Here is a list of signatories from the website, Project for the New American Century:

Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C. Ikle, Donald Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld, Vin Weber, George Weigel, Paul Wolfowitz

This list can be found here along with a statement of principles:

*note that this was written in 1997

Another question we have to ask ourselves is why this has never made the attention of the main stream media. The PNAC organization reads like a playbook for the majority of the foreign policies the Bush Administration has implemented. The majority of the articles predate the election of GW. There are even articles making the case of the need to invade Iraq to protect American interests in the region. This is well before 9/11 and the known threat from global terrorists. Why hasn’t this been brought to the public attention? It seems that the media is complicit in the current agenda. Of course, if you take a look at the list of names, you will see why. You can also go here to read about the project directors and project staff:

Project Directors

William Kristol, Chairman, editor of The Weekly Standard, as well as chairman and co-founder of the Project for the New American Century.

Robert Kagan, co-founder with William Kristol of the Project for the New American Century. He is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard, a columnist for the Washington Post, and the author of the best-selling book Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order.

Bruce P. Jackson, the founder and President of the Project on Transitional Democracies. The Project is a multi-year endeavor aimed at accelerating the pace of reform in post-1989 democracies and advancing the date for the integration of these democracies into the institutions of the Euro-Atlantic.

Mark Gerson, the CEO of Gerson Lehrman Group. A graduate of Williams College and Yale Law School, Mr. Gerson is the author of books published by the Free Press, Addison Wesley and Madison Books. His numerous articles and essays have been published in newspapers and magazines including the New Republic, Reader's Digest, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Gerson has also served as the editor-in-chief of three basketball magazines. He has discussed his books and articles on CBS, CSPAN, Newsweek and many other media outlets.

Randy Scheunemann, In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Project for New American Century, Mr. Scheunemann serves on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Committee on NATO, the Project on Transitional Democracies, and the International Republican Institute.

Project Staff

Ellen Bork, Executive Director at the Project for the New American Century, a foreign policy organization based in Washington, D.C., Ms. Bork's articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Asian Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Humanitarian Affairs Review, and the Forward. She writes a column for the New York Sun. Also, the daughter of conservative icon and former Supreme Court justice nominee Robert Bork.

Gary Schmitt, Senior Fellow, Dr. Schmitt has written articles in a number of areas, including the American founding, the U.S. presidency, the American political system, intelligence and national security affairs.

Thomas Donnelly, Senior Fellow, The co-author of two books. Operation Just Cause: The Storming of Panama has been recognized as the most complete work on the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, praised by one reviewer as "the definitive study of modern campaign planning…destined to be studied at war colleges for years to come." Clash of Chariots: A History of Armored Warfare, was published by Berkeley Books in 1996. His articles include pieces in the Weekly Standard, the Washington Post, the National Interest, Jane's Defence Week, and numerous other publications

Reuel Marc Gerecht, Senior Fellow, Director of the Middle East Initiative, A former Middle Eastern specialist in the CIA, Mr. Gerecht writes frequently on the Middle East, Central Asia, terrorism, and intelligence, in such publications as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Middle East Quarterly, Playboy, and Talk.

And if this is not enough proof of the media’s complicity, here is a list of articles from the “liberal media”,

I am not sure why I am writing this except maybe I don’t like to know things and not tell other people. I do not like to sit on information that I believe could be useful to other people’s further understanding of the current situation. I first came upon PNAC over a year ago. This will probably be at least the third time I have written about it, but it always seems to be the least read or commented on subject. I guess I feel like I have to keep trying, because maybe if someone, if just one person, finds it useful and enlightening it will be worth it. "No water so still as the dead fountains of Versailles," smooth sailing NavySwan
see also: The (Schlieffen) Plan for the New American Century


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