Thank You

Nov. 5th, 2008 02:58 pm
I just wanted to thank my mother for voting in Florida. My home state came through, and she was a part of that.
I've been reading the post mortem on last night's debate on, and I noted a commentor named Eric who said this:

I don't get why McCain won 'points' or whatever by saying "I'm not George W Bush." Yes, that's great to know.
But guess what, McCain? There's a guy on the stage, who REALLY REALLY isn't George W Bush. And it ain't you.

It made me happy.
After last night's debate, it looks like Joe the Plumber is getting more scrutiny than he can handle.

Perhaps he shouldn't really be worried about tax increases at all.

ETA:  and, um...this
This comment by [ profile] shadowflyer says it better than I could have:

And you know what? If your taxable income is over $250,000 after all your business expenses? You ought to pull up your big boy pants, have a little pride and pay your fair share of taxes, so the next time you're driving on a nice smooth highway, or reading about the National Guard responding to a natural disaster, or watching the gorram Space Shuttle launch, you can sit up a little straighter and say "I bought that! I bought this nice shiny civilization and it's MINE!"

Call me a socialist.  I don't care.
I watched the CNN coverage of the debate last night.  They had a focus group giving their reactions both during and after the debate.

Soledad O’Brien asked the focus group, a group of self-identified undecided (but swayable) voters, which of them had made a decision after watching this debate.  Several hands were raised.  When she narrowed it down a bit, there was only one person who had decided to vote for McCain after hearing this debate.  She identified herself as a Republican.  Here is her answer:

Soledad:  What did you hear in this debate that makes you sway toward McCain now?
Focus Group Participant:  I think Sarah Palin was able to regain…ah…regain that, that she is a real person, and that she knows what she’s gonna be doing, and I think she’s able to restore the confidence in th… McCain’s choice as being her Vice President.

There you have it ladies and gentleman.
The "shoutout" to the third graders was an arrow through my IQ.

Sorry all, I'm dead now.
Stephen Johnson, the head of the EPA, is being asked to resign by several Democratic senators.

Johnson's sworn testimony is apparently contradicted by an EPA whistle-blower, who indicates that the decision to deny California's request to set up their own internal standards for greenhouse gas emissions was not a decision that was made solely by Johnson, but was swayed by the Bush administration.  Johnson went against a unanimous decision by his staff to grant this request, as well as his own original stand on the issue after receiving communication from the White House.  (FYI- seventeen other states were planning on adopting California's new standards once the EPA gave the go ahead)

Then he lied about it to Congress.

On Jan. 24, Johnson told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee under oath that he had made the decision on his own after determining there was no compelling evidence to justify California's plans. "The responsibility for making the decision for California rests with me and solely with me," Johnson said at the time. "I made the decision. It was my decision. It was the right decision."

Yesterday, however, former EPA deputy associate administrator Jason K. Burnett -- who resigned last month and has since divulged key details about how President Bush and his deputies have influenced the agency's decisions on climate policy -- testified before the committee that Johnson had concluded that California's request was legally justified -- until White House officials ordered him to reverse the decision.

Apparently, you can do pretty much anything you want in DC, but the minute you lie about it to Congress, you're in for a world of hurt.  Johnson deserves it for what he's continued to do to the EPA over the past three years. 

A few very talented people have been writing about this today, so I will hand you link salad.  However, I am fairly irritated that this story is not getting more play on the main news outlets.


Jun. 10th, 2008 10:29 am
Kucinich has moved to impeach Bush.  You'll notice I have to link to an Irish newspage as a reference.    Wait...what?


Article XXXII

Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change
Scientists have proposed a measure to protect the endangered North American right whale and, as expected, the administration is trying to shoot it down in favor of the shipping industry.

Because this animal is an endangered marine mammal, NMFS, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is charged with designing a recovery plan for them.

More than four years of NOAA research showed that speed kills whales. Above a speed of about 10 knots, a right whale's encounter with a large ship would likely be fatal.

Many in the shipping industry oppose the speed limit, saying it would be too costly. A federal study concluded that slowing the ships down near the whales will cost shipping companies about $112 million, or less than one percent of the $340 billion East Coast shipping industry income.

I love this next one:
The group even suggested that if large ships went faster through the whales' habitat, the chance of a collision would be lower.

"A quickly moving vessel will pass through the area quickly, and exposure will be small," the shipping council wrote in a document challenging the limits. "A slowly moving vessel will take longer to pass through the area, exposure will be greater, and the whale will have longer to surface or move in a way that increases jeopardy."

In response to the group's theory, NOAA's Lecky said: "Would you speed through a school zone?"

And here, we see the continued effect of this administration on the scientists who are trying to do the right thing.  We have seen this over and over when it comes to environmental issues.
Rep. Henry Waxman said the long, drawn-out process within OMB and Vice President Dick Cheney's office is demoralizing career government scientists.

"I think many of the scientists who work for the government are very frustrated, and scientists outside of government are astounded to see the scientific method so abused by this administration. There's been a politicization of science to either ignore the science, rewrite it, or to suppress it," said Waxman, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Waxman said the Bush administration thinks the "science shouldn't bind them. They're going to do what industry wants."

Got to go and wipe the blood leaking out of my eyeballs now.  Save the whales, dude.
EPA reverses decision on tailpipe emissions after communication with the White House.
Perhaps the strongest evidence came from EPA Associate Deputy Administrator Jason Burnett, a political appointee.
Deposed under oath, Burnett told committee staff that Johnson "was very interested in a full grant of the waiver" in August and September of 2007 and later thought a partial grant — allowing the waiver for two or three years — "was the best course of action."
Johnson's position changed after Johnson communicated with the White House, Burnett said.

EPA defends itself against accusations of constantly caving to White House pressure.
Johnson insisted that the level of protection was "essentially equivalent" — a position disputed by a number of scientists including the EPA science advisory board for ozone, as smog technically is called.
Dr. Rogene Henderson, chair of the EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, said she was perplexed by the White House position that Johnson eventually accepted. "Willful ignorance triumphed over sound science," she told the committee as she sat near Johnson at the witness table.

Out Out OUT!!!

"Jews continue to be accused of blood libel, dual loyalty, and undue influence on government policy and the media, and the symbols and images associated with age-old forms of anti-Semitism endure."

New forms of anti-Semitism are reflected in rhetoric that compares Israel to the Nazis and attributes "Israel's perceived faults to its Jewish character."

Y'know, this really getting old.  I promise that I have no undue influence over the government.  If I did this shit would not be happening!
The Environmental Protection Agency agreed to weaken an important part of its new smog requirements after being told at the last minute that President Bush preferred a less stringent approach, according to government documents.

The memos and documents indicate that EPA officials had wanted to make the public welfare standard more stringent than the health standard, although still not as protective as some scientists had recommended.

But the White House insisted on making both standards identical, according to the documents. When EPA officials balked, the issue went to Bush, who sided with his budget office.

The White House defended Bush's action.

"This is not a weakening of regs (regulations) or standards," White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said Friday. "But it was an effort to make the standards consistent. There's no question we have an interest in how federal regs impact communities."

"Never before has a president personally intervened at the 11th hour, exercising political power at the expense of the law and science, to force EPA to accept weaker air quality standards than the agency chief's expert scientific judgment had led him to adopt," said John Walke, clean air director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private advocacy group. "It is unprecedented and an unlawful act of political interference."

I've been whining about GWB's record on the environment since his 2002 State of the Union address in which he proposed the ironically named Clear Skies legislation which "reduced" pollution levels by allowing industry to police themselves, effectively destroying the Clean Air Act .  I have refused to watch any SotU speech since.

Let's just take a look at the environmental records for the top three potential presidents (from the League of Conservation Voters):

Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton
John McCain

Any questions?
Utah Senator, Buttars, has some racial issues.

From the article:

Sen. Chris Buttars was a no-show Tuesday for a meeting with leaders of the Salt Lake branch of the NAACP, saying the event had become a "cheap shot" after its organizers purportedly changed their minds about meeting with him in private and insisted the session be public.

Reading the rest of the article, I'm not surprised this man didn't want the meeting to be puclic.  He is afraid of the garbage that may fall from his lips.

Buttars - under siege for a week after saying of a bill he opposed, "This baby is black. . . . It's a dark, ugly thing" - said he wanted to meet with the NAACP board, but told them hours in advance that he wouldn't attend if the media were invited.

The organization also blasted Buttars for telling The Salt Lake Tribune on Monday that he has become a target of a "hate lynch mob" because of e-mails he has received condemning his remarks.
    "The man knows nothing about what a lynch mob is," said Edward Lewis Jr., the former regional president of the NAACP, holding an article about a lynching in 1925 in Price. "It's an insult for the man to say he's being lynched when we know what real lynchings are."
    Buttars was baffled by the reaction.  "Lynch mob is a Western term. You wouldn't find one person in 10,000 in Utah that thinks that's a racist term," Buttars said in a phone interview Tuesday evening. "That's not a racial term in my opinion. How do I know what words I'm supposed to use in front of those people?"

Yup.  Those people have some mighty unusual sensibilities, don't they?
Well, thank goodness the House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed Resolution 847.

Result: Passed, 372-9, with 10 voting Present and 40 not voting

Full Text )

I'm sure this will help to end the blatant discrimination against Christians in this country.

(Excuse me while I retch.)
(I apologize to all my Christian friends for my attitude at this moment.)
The Associated Press is claiming a Dem victory in Virginia, the last contested state. That would give the Dems a 51:49 majority in the Senate.

please please please
I am obsessing over the election results today (it's Wednesday morning for me). Every free minute I get I log on to CNN to see how it's going.

If you have some spare karma, send it to the USA!!

I've been keeping my eye on the CNN coverage of the Hussein verdict this evening. It looks like Saddam and two others have been found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. The judge looks pretty ticked off with Ramsey Clark, and has now thrown him out of the courtroom. I'm sure we'll hear more about that in the news later today. Even a guard who was seen smiling was asked to leave. This judge is not screwing around.

I wonder how this verdict and sentencing will affect the Iraqi people. It's not as if it was a surprise, but you never know how the public will react.
Since I'll be out of town for election day, I voted today.  It's amazing to me how many Republican judges are running unopposed in Houston.  :p 

(I voted at the Barbara Bush library in north Harris.  I thought it would be appropriate.)  :)
Keith Olbermann wrote a frighteningly accurate piece today about the signing of the Military Commissions Act.  Everyone should read this.  All of it.  I am so sad for my country.  My only hope is that this can be overturned by the next sane government that we elect.

"Sadly—of course—the distance of history will recognize that the threat this generation of Americans needed to take seriously was you."

Vote next month!

Mark Foley

Oct. 5th, 2006 10:47 am
For the past few days I have tried to write my thoughts on this situation and I end up erasing a diatribe.  This whole situation disgusts me.  so, I'll just point to a few folks who have been able to write coherently about it.

Brains and Eggs gives us a look at the floundering of the Republican Party regarding the scandal.

Pete shows us what Ben Stein has to say.

Talkleft gives an update here.

Blame it on alcohol.  blame it on being molested as a child.  Blame it on being gay.  (That's the one that really riles me.  Blame it on being gay??)  No, no, no.  Blame it on being a moral wasteland, sir.  You chaired the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children!!  You were tasked with stopping child predators!  What the ever loving fuck??!!

Sorry, I said I wouldn't go off like this.  I'll stop here and let you guys comment as you will.

I just have to add:
The fact that this is the story that will help the Dems oust a few more conservatives from Congress, and not the fact that Congress has given GW the power to decide which parts of the Geneva Convention he feels like following makes me sadder for this country than I have been in a long time.
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