Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Don't Cry for Canada

By way of thenation.com

Don't Cry for Canada: "After the 2004 presidential election in the United States, a lot of liberal Americans looked longingly to the north. Canada, the theory went, was a social democracy with a sane foreign policy and humane values that offered a genuine alternative to the right-wing hegemony that the U.S. was about to experience.

But, this week, U.S. television networks and newspapers declared: 'Canadians Tilts Right' and 'Conservatives Capture Canada.'

As shorthand for the election results that saw Canada's Conservative party outpoll the governing Liberal Party for the first time since Ronald Reagan served in the White House, those headlines may be useful.

But the claim that Canada has lurched far to the right is anything but accurate."

Read more....

Teach Your Children Well

Love those "family values" and "kingdom values."

We Didn't See This One Coming

Quote from Condoleezza Rice:

Monday, January 30, 2006

The St. Louis Arch Affects the Weather

By way of linkfilter.net:

You may have heard of lake effect snow. You also might have heard of El Niño, a weather phenomena that affects weather around the globe; but have you ever heard of the arch effect? Probably not. The arch effect is one of the strangest occurances in weather. The arch effect is also manmade, and it is very real. Read more here...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Supermarket Sweeps

What's with people pulling their shopping carts in the supermarket, instead of pushing them? And they do this while they have a family conference or coffee klatch in the middle of the cereal aisle, blocking everyone from getting around. Do they think by standing in front of the cart, pulling it, they have better control of it? Or do they think that it gives them the right of way over others? Maybe they think that there's some kind of law of physics involved which makes the cart move faster when pulling rather than pushing. It could be nothing more than somebody observing somone else pull and the herd mentality went into effect. I notice young people and middle aged people doing more cart pulling, as opposed to kids and old people. When did this start?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

CBC News: Harper treated in Ottawa hospital

Let's see...he goes to the hospital, gets treated in about an hour and then complains about the system.

Prime minister-designate Stephen Harper, who has a history of asthma, sought treatment for a chest cold at the Ottawa Hospital on Thursday night.

The politician spent about an hour at the hospital and was given a prescription for antibiotics before returning home to Stornoway for the night. Asked whether he had been 'whisked' to the front of the line to get medical attention because of his political position, he replied: "I got whisked as much as you can get whisked in our health-care system."

He should have the privilege of going to a hospital in the U.S., where he'll wait for a number of hours, and then get handed an invoice for about $1,500. (US)

If I Had My Life To Live Over - by Erma Bombeck

If you think things are a little too hecktic in your life, here's a reality check from Erma Bombeck

(Written after she found out she was dying from cancer.)

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television-and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love yous.". More "I'm sorry's" ..But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

Stop sweating the small stuff. Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what.

Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who Do love us. Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with.

And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually.

Life is too short to let it pass you by.

We only have one shot at this and then it's gone.

I hope you all have a blessed day.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Foodstuffs of Epic Proportions

Tofu and veggie burgers? Forget it. So what if your cholesterol level is 350 and you can't pass by any of the sample tables at Costco? An entire Sumo wrestling team probably couldn't finish off one of these meals, but that doesn't stop people from trying. Some of these restaurants offer promotional items, like the steak restaurant in Amarillo, Texas, where if you can eat a steak the size of a side of beef in about a half an hour, you get the meal free. I wonder if they'll also pay for the angioplasty? Try one of these meals and you'll need your own Zipcode.
See more here

Thousands apply for jobs at new Wal-Mart

By way of Linkfilter.net and The Chicago Sun Times
Thousands apply for jobs at new Wal-Mart

Eighteen months after the Chicago City Council torpedoed a South Side Wal-Mart, 24,500 Chicagoans applied for 325 jobs at a Wal-Mart opening Friday in south suburban Evergreen Park, one block outside the city limits.

The new Wal-Mart at 2500 W. 95th is one block west of Western Avenue, the city boundary.

Of 25,000 job applicants, all but 500 listed Chicago addresses, said John Bisio, regional manager of public affairs for Wal-Mart.
"In our typical hiring process, you're pretty successful if you have 3,000 applicants," he said. "They were really crowing about 11,000 in Oakland, Calif., last year. So to get 25,000-plus applications and counting, I think is astonishing."

Assistant manager Rachael Fierro, who was still interviewing prospects Wednesday, said "we saw a little bit of everything -- people who hadn't worked for a long time, people who saw an opportunity to do something with themselves. That's the information I got from applicants."

The 141,000-square-foot store has 36 departments, a "tire and lube express," vision center, Subway restaurant, pharmacy, garden center and drugstore. It will sell some groceries but no fresh produce or meats and no liquor. It is expected to generate $1 million in sales and property tax in the first year -- a windfall in a village that collects about $3 million a year in sales taxes, said Evergreen Park Mayor James J. Sexton. Evergreen Plaza, with 100 stores, generates about $2 million.

Anticipating the usual protests over wages, benefits and anti-union practices, the Evergreen Park store was union-built. A protest over minority set-asides was defused in one day. Wal-Mart also came bearing gifts -- Tuesday night, the corporation donated $35,000 to the village library, local hospital, churches and other village institutions, Sexton said.

'We can't beat them'

The Chicago alderman who tried to bring a Wal-Mart to the Chatham neighborhood was left gnashing his teeth.

"I always tell people I'm not for Wal-Mart, but I am for that project coming into the city and to my ward. We can't beat them," said Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. (21st). "The same things they talk about Wal-Mart doing to Small Town U.S.A when they build on the outskirts of town is the same thing they have done to the City of Chicago without fanfare. Nobody distinguishes that if I cross Western Avenue at 95th Street, I am no longer in Chicago. For all practical purposes, Wal-Mart is in the city of Chicago without us receiving any benefit. You're going to see the parking lot filled with cars with Chicago city stickers."

Eighteen months ago, Brookins negotiated with Wal-Mart for a store at 83rd and Stewart, former site of the Ryerson steel plant. His plan fell apart when other South Side aldermen failed to support his request for a zoning change. The week before, aldermen gave the go-ahead for a Wal-Mart in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side. The vote came after a contentious 2-1/2-hour debate.

Brookins said he planned to visit the new Wal-Mart himself this weekend "to see for myself" if the parking lot is filled with cars registered to Chicago residents.

The Beverly neighborhood, long a hotbed for disputes over cul-de-sacs and one-way streets, now faces the prospect of increased traffic from Wal-Mart shoppers.

No road improvements

"Because of the single-family character of our community, we want to avoid cut-through traffic, whether it's our own residents or people coming from trains or highways," said Ald. Virginia A. Rugai (19th), whose ward borders Evergreen Park. "It is our No. 1 quality-of-life issue, traffic. I don't think anyone can predict what traffic will be like. We're not going to know until the opening."

There have been no road improvements in anticipation of increased traffic on that stretch of 95th Street, which will have Wal-Mart directly across from Evergreen Plaza.

"We will monitor the situation and see if additional lanes or turning lanes are appropriate," Sexton said.

Rugai said a few small hardware stores expressed concern about competition from Wal-Mart, but other businesses in the area anticipate a bump from new customers driving to and from Wal-Mart, especially along 95th Street, which has gone upscale in recent years with a Borders bookstore and a Chipotle Grill. A complex planned for the southeast corner of 95th Street and Western Avenue includes Potbelly, Starbucks, Jamba Juice and a FedEx/Kinko's store.

"I think most development projects [in Beverly] are not going to include goods or services that you're going to find at Wal-Mart," Rugai said.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Kerry will try Alito filibuster

The White House keeps emphasizing Judge Alito's experience and judicial integrity. But nobody is questioning his experience or his capability to weave his way through complex laws. What is disturbing appears to be his deference to presidential authority and his willingness to overturn personal freedoms. During his Senate hearing, an issue was made of his being a member of a club at Princeton that excluded women and minorities. But I don't think that this was the pressing matter. What was disturbing to me is that Alito felt it was necessare to include this membership on his application for a job in the Reagan administration. Good luck to Senator Kerry for standing up for what he believes. Let's hope he gets some support.
CNN.com - Kerry will try Alito filibuster - Jan 26, 2006: "Democrats have been mostly united in opposition to Alito. The panel's eight Democrats opposed him, saying he would be too deferential to presidential authority and would restrict abortion rights."

Congress catching on to the value of blogs

Garland Area Democratic Club: Congress catching on to the value of blogs

Smears, Lies and Videotape: A Leak Scandal Documentary

By way of Think Progress

The story of the CIA leak scandal is far from over. But so much has already happened, sometimes it’s easy to miss the big picture. The folks at Think Progress have put together a video tjat uses footage pulled directly from the White House, recent TV news clips and other archival video to explain exactly what happened and why it’s important. Most of the story is told by administration officials themselves.
Check it out here.
(QuickTime Streaming Video)

Driving Affordable Health Care Over A Cliff

Senator Daschle posts this item on the ThinkProgress Blog about the health care crisis and the Democrats' plan to fix the problem.
Think Progress » Driving Affordable Health Care Over A Cliff

An excerpt from the post:

The problem is not a lack of ideas. It is a lack of leadership. The only answer that the President has to this crisis is so-called consumer-driven health care. This means shifting costs to people through high deductibles, and shifting risk and responsibility to patients.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Silly Things Said by Republicans

By way of David Corn

Stupid things said by GOP politicians in recent days.

1. Last Thursday, after the latest Osama bin Laden tape surfaced, White House spinner Scott McClellan said:

As I indicated, clearly, the al Qaeda leaders and the terrorists are on the run. They're under a lot of pressure. We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business. The terrorists started this war, and the President made it clear that we will end it at a time and place of our choosing.

Excuse me, but if Bush could put al Qaeda "out of business" at a "time and place" of his "choosing," then why has he not done so already? It seems El Presidente is not as omnipotent as McClellan suggested. Does McClellan think about the true meaning of the words he utters? That's a rhetorical question.

2. A few days earlier, House GOPers held a press conference to release their so-called lobbying reform proposals. Representative David Dreier, the always-smiling, smooth-as-silk chairman of the House rules committee, stood by House Speaker Denny Hastert for the event. When it was his turn to speak, he said:

The Republican Party has been and continues to be the party of reform. Reform is a continuing process which is going on....We have continued down the road toward major reform for a long period of time. And I see this as a wonderful new opportunity for us....Yesterday we marked the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. I thought about one of his letters from a Birmingham jail, in which he wrote that, "We should always be careful about the tranquilizing drug of gradualism." And that's why I believe we're in a position today where we have an opportunity to be bold and strong, and that's' why this is a terrific opportunity for us.

Yes, the party of Jack Abramoff has been on the road to reform for a long time. That's why its number-two leader had to resign his leadership position, why one of its committee chairman had to give up his committee chairmanship, why one of its members resigned after pleading guilty to bribery charges, and why federal prosecutors are investigating other lawmakers and staffers in its ranks. And I am sure that if MLK Jr. were alive today, he would say that what Congress needs to do most to become an effective champion of the people's interests is to cut back gifts that lawmakers can take from lobbyists from $50 in value to $20 in value (or whatever the numbers are), ban privately funded travel for House members (but not when they are flying on campaign business), prohibit former House members who become lobbyists from using the House gym (that will teach them!), and make ex-lawmakers wait two years (instead of one) before they can sell out and become lobbyists for special interests. (You think they'll work for low-income legal clinics during that extra year?)

Dreier had chutzpah to compare these piddling reforms he was offering with King's call for systemic change. Too bad dead people can't sue for rhetorical misappropriation. None of the lobbying reforms proposed by the Repubs--or the Dems, who offered a package of measures that went a bit further--address the heart of the matter: campaign money. Big deal if a lobbyist can no longer treat a legislator to lunch; he or she still can raise $100,000 for the campaign of that politician. So lawmakers will still have plenty of reason to be rather responsive to the needs and desires of lobbyists. I've heard more than once--and recently, too--of lobbyists who have met lawmakers to discuss an issue and literally within minutes the legislator has asked how much money the lobbyist can raise for the lawmaker. Banning ex-members-turned-lobbyists from the House gym won't alter that fundamental dynamic. Dreier's comparison of the House reform package to anything related to Martin Luther King Jr. was nutty and--to be self-righteous about it--obscene.
JACKGATE: THE PHOTOS. Time magazine is reporting:

TIME has seen five photographs of Abramoff and the President that suggest a level of contact between them that Bush's aides have downplayed. While TIME's source refused to provide the pictures for publication, they are likely to see the light of day eventually because celebrity tabloids are on the prowl for them. And that has been a fear of the Bush team's for the past several months: that a picture of the President with the admitted felon could become the iconic image of direct presidential involvement in a burgeoning corruption scandal like the shots of President Bill Clinton at White House coffees for campaign contributors in the mid-1990s.

Time says the person who showed its reporter(s) the photos would not permit the magazine to publish them. But it sounds as if that source was trying to sell them for a pretty penny. (My advice to the source: just ask how much Abramoff would charge his clients.) How long do you think it will be before the source of the photo finds a buyer?

Reid Fires Back at Bush: The president has been giving us doublespeak for years!

Garland Area Democratic Club: Reid Fires Back at Bush: The president has been giving us doublespeak for years!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Canada Elects Bush Lite

Election 2006: "Canadians have awarded Tory Leader Stephen Harper with a minority government, putting an end to more than 12 years of Liberal rule. more..."

Six years ago they said that Bush wouldn't do anything dramatic, other than maybe push for some public school incentives. Now from a surplus into a massive deficit, 2,200 young Americans dead, regime change, domesic spying, no weapons of mass destruction and religious fanatics, here we are. A word to Canada: hang on to your wallets, troops, and be careful what you search for on Google.

Why Hillary Won't Save Us
By Molly Ivins

For the longest time, I've wondered how this band of fear mongers could gain power. And to the extent where even teachers in Texas vote for Republicans. They use fear, and fear sells. Anybody who is "agin'" the Republicans, is not a true American, is unpatriotic and, worse, is helping the evildoers. John Kerry did run a good campaign, but if these people could smear a veteran who put his life on the line, as well as smear all recipients of the Purple Heart, while painting themselves as "supporting the troops", well then, they have run a better, if not dirtier campaign. But Molly Ivins has hit the nail on the head. Forget Texas, Utah, Wyoming and Montana. The majority of the people in this country are tired of the lies, deficits and regime change, while the perpetrator of 911 continues to add to the Time-Life library of tapes

This Molly Ivins column comes by way of Alternet

I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone. This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

The recent death of Gene McCarthy reminded me of a lesson I spent a long, long time unlearning, so now I have to relearn it. It's about political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for leadership. There are times when regular politics will not do, and this is one of those times. There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief.

If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure junior senator from Minnesota with the guts to do it. In 1968, Gene McCarthy was the little boy who said out loud, "Look, the emperor isn't wearing any clothes." Bobby Kennedy -- rough, tough Bobby Kennedy -- didn't do it. Just this quiet man trained by Benedictines, who liked to quote poetry.

What kind of courage does it take, for mercy's sake? The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it. The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes. The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do "whatever it takes" to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools. Who are you afraid of?

I listen to people like Rahm Emanuel superciliously explaining elementary politics to us clueless naifs outside the Beltway ("First, you have to win elections"). Can't you even read the damn polls?

Here's a prize example by someone named Barry Casselman, who writes, "There is an invisible civil war in the Democratic Party, and it is between those who are attempting to satisfy the defeatist and pacifist left base of the party and those who are attempting to prepare the party for successful elections in 2006 and 2008."

This supposedly pits Howard Dean, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, emboldened by "a string of bad news from the Middle East into calling for premature retreat from Iraq," versus those pragmatic folk like Steny Hoyer, Rahm Emmanuel, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman.

Oh come on, people -- get a grip on the concept of leadership. Look at this war -- from the lies that led us into it to the lies they continue to dump on us daily.

You sit there in Washington so frightened of the big, bad Republican machine that you have no idea what people are thinking. I'm telling you right now, Tom DeLay is going to lose in his district. If Democrats in Washington haven't got enough sense to own the issue of political reform, I give up on them entirely.

Do it all, go long, go for public campaign financing for Congress. I'm serious as a stroke about this -- that is the only reform that will work, and you know it, as well as everyone else who's ever studied this. Do all the goo-goo stuff everybody has made fun of all these years: Embrace redistricting reform, electoral reform, House rules changes, the whole package. Put up, or shut up. Own this issue, or let Jack Abramoff politics continue to run your town.

Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them. I've said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The minute someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means.

That, or you could just piss on them elegantly, as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines). Or point out the latest in the endless "string of bad news." Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.

Molly Ivins writes about politics, Texas and other bizarre happenings.
© 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.

The President Said Congress Told Him to Spy on Americans

CNN.com - White House steps up defense of domestic eavesdropping - Jan 23, 2006: "If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?'"

Critics have questioned that legal rationale, pointing to a law passed by Congress in the 1970s requiring executive branch agencies to get approval for domestic surveillance requests from a special court, whose proceedings are secret to protect national security.

They point out the administration could accomplish the same goals legally by taking requests for warrants before the court under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- and doing so as long as 72 hours after the wiretaps were begun in cases where time is of the essence.

President Bush could have gone to the FISA court to get surveillance warrants, even after the fact, yet he didn't. Why isn't this question being asked?

And how is going after our Google records protecting us from the evildoers?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Dan Report: Conservative Candidate's Extremist Letter to the Editor Discovered

A Conservative candidate in the upcoming Canadian election wrote a letter to the editor in 2003 claiming same sex marriage would wipe out an entire society in just one generation. Harold Albrect, Pastor of Pathway Community Church in Kitchener, Ontario says that only gawd has the authority to redefine marriage. I wonder how Mr. Albrecht feels now that same sex marriage has been made legal in Canada? I also wonder of Harold Albrecht, the candidate, is still the pastor of a church? I was always fascinated by how ministers and priests ran as politicians and often won in Canada. At least they're honest and don't pretent to try to separate their religion from their politics.

GOP Spinner Compares Osama Bin Laden to Michael Moore
Sen. Kerry Responds

For years, right wing extremist Conservative talk shows have spread lies, innuendo and distortions about Liberals. It's common to hear them call anybody who questions the Bush administration's policies unpatriotic traitors. This relentless smear campaign, whether it's for ratings, money or attention must not continue to go unchallenged. Now, it seems, people are holding "commentators" responsible for their slander and libel. Even Senator John Kerry has stepped in to defend Michael Moore from an unwarranted attack from Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

On Hardball, Friday January 20, Chris Matthews compared Michael Moore to Osama Bin Laden while discussing the newly released tape with Joe Biden.

Matthews: I mean he sounds like an over the top Michael Moore here, if not a Michael Moore. You think that sells...

Peter Daou writes: "Bin Laden sounds like Rush Limbaugh" -- "Bin Laden sounds like Bill O'Reilly"-- "Bin Laden sounds like Mel Gibson" -- "Bin Laden sounds like Bruce Willis" -- "Bin Laden sounds like Michelle Malkin"... Imagine the outrage on the right if a major media figure spat out those words....read on

John Kerry responds (by way of Daily Kos)

Real Hardball

Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 03:52:31 PM PDT

There's something that doesn't sit right with me when, on the day Osama Bin Laden resurfaced in a disturbing audio tape, cable television ends up in a game of name calling as a war protester is compared to Osama Bin Laden.

That's reason to be outraged - but even more outrageous is the fact that in a flurry of sound bites what was lost was a real discussion of the fact that more than four years after the devastating attacks of 9/11, more than four years after George Bush boasted we wanted Osama "dead or alive," more than a year after Osama Bin Laden showed his hateful face in yet another video, this barbarian is still very much alive and boasting of additional attacks against the United States.

Here's what I'd like to see debated on Hardball.

President Bush's mouthpiece Scott McClellan can claim this administration puts terrorists out of business, but yesterday's tape reminds us that instead of being out of business, Osama is still out there.

If this administration had followed through on the opportunity to capture Osama Bin Laden at Tora Bora in 2001, the world would be a better place with Osama Bin Laden brought to justice -- and we wouldn't be having this discussion today.

And here's what the media should insist we discuss.

President Bush and his defenders continue to claim that Osama Bin Laden didn't escape at Tora Bora. But Gary Bernstein's book Jawbreaker documents what I said early in 2002 and during my debates with George Bush: that because Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon didn't use American troops to do the job and instead outsourced the job of killing the world's #1 terrorist to Afghan warlords, this cold blooded killer got away.

So what's the truth? There's a question that the full force of cable television should demand be answered. Press accounts over the last month have raised new concerns about the reliance on Afghan forces at Tora Bora in 2001. One account cited a Department of Defense document said to summarize the case against a suspected al Qaeda militant. The militant was believed to have helped Osama bin Laden escape from Tora Bora. More recently, August Hanning, the head of German intelligence, has said bin Laden bribed Afghan forces at Tora Bora to make his escape.

The evidence keeps mounting:



Among the people who say Osama Bin Laden escaped at Tora Bora:

Gary Schroen, former senior CIA agent, Author of First In: How seven CIA officers opened the war on terrorism in Afghanistan


Gary Berntsen, former CIA operative in Afghanistan, requested additional U.S. troops for the assault on Tora Bora, author of Jawbreaker.


Peter Bergen, terrorism analyst and author of The Osama bin Laden I Know


U.S. DOD, in a legal brief summarizing evidence against a suspect in U.S. custody at GTMO


Still - the Administration toes their party line. In 2004 they even dispatched their surrogate General Tommy Franks to dismiss all those who say otherwise.

Isn't it time we had the truth? Yes or no, did Osama Bin Laden escape from Tora Bora in 2001?

Here's a subject suited for true hard ball, on Hardball: four years of failure - enough is enough - why hasn't Osama Bin Laden been captured or killed, and how will he be destroyed before he next appears on tape to spread his disgusting message?

That discussion -- rather than criticizing American citizens who exercise their right to free speech and express dissenting opinions - is the discussion that America needs. That would be the kind of debate on Hardball to which we should all tune in.

John Kerry

P.S. I want you all to know that I’m reading your many comments. My wife Teresa reads blogs passionately, and I follow blogs too, and I’m glad I can be a part of this – and frankly I’m not worried about taking some slings and arrows along the way. I’ve faced worse! So keep the comments coming -- good, bad, hopefully not indifferent.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Swift Boat style-attacking Republican Party

I just received this email from John Kerry's office. It does a good job of dealing with the Republican talking points that Democrats have nothing to offer except criticism of Republicans. And by the way, John Kerry's voluntary combat duty was systematically diminished by the well-financed "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" in a highly successful effort to insulate a president who avoided having to go to war. The same attempt is being made against Rep. John Murtha, but I believe at this point people are wise to the tactic. The fact is that it smears all veterans and it's being employed by a group of politicians who use "support our troops" as nothing more than a slogan.

I've been hearing a lot of talk about what we're up against in the critical 2006 elections as we take on the corrupt, power-abusing, Swift Boat style-attacking Republican Party.

But, truth is, they need to worry about what they're up against.

Just look at what we've done in the last twelve months. Time and again, we've demonstrated that we have the power and political will to fight for the things we value most and for the candidates who embody those values.

This past November, our 3 million citizen volunteers helped spearhead Get Out The Vote efforts in critical Democratic victories across the nation ... And since the end of 2004, together we gave $4.5 million to Democratic candidates, committees, state parties, and progressive causes.

We mobilized to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the Bush-Cheney drill-at-any-cost onslaught... And we garnered endorsements from over 700,000 citizens, from every state in the nation, for our Kids First Act to provide health care for the 11 million uninsured children.

Our national lawyers' network helped ensure that the voting problems of 2000 and 2004 were not repeated in 2005, and it is poised to do it again in 2006.

You also helped me travel around the country to rally citizens, engage grassroots volunteers, and help raise funds on behalf of Democrats.

In Pennsylvania, we've helped Bob Casey wage a strong Senate campaign that has incumbent Rick Santorum on his heels. Long a poster boy for mindless support of Bush policies and the right-wing agenda, Santorum is now scrambling to convince Pennsylvania voters otherwise.

In Washington state, we've stood by Senator Maria Cantwell. She joined me in leading the fight to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - and now powerful oil company special interests are coming after her with everything they've got.

In Florida, we're helping Senator Bill Nelson, who is running for re-election against Katherine Harris. As you know, Harris made a name for herself by playing a leading role in the 2000 Florida voting fiasco, and we will not allow her to parlay her partisanship into a seat in the Senate.

And that's just a small sampling of the dozens of candidates who have come to count on us to be there for them. Together in 2006, we're going to do even more to help pull through to victory Democrats running at the local, state, and federal levels.

We'll defeat candidates who refuse to challenge the Bush/Cheney administration's illegal, warrantless spying ... We'll replace Republicans who have refused to lift a finger to end the Bush administration's mind-numbing incompetence... We'll end the careers of Republican politicians who have cozied up to unethical lobbyists and sold out the American people.

And, we'll be there, each and every day, to make sure no Democrat stands alone in the face of the Republicans' desperate, underhanded election tactics and facts-be-damned campaign ads.

Thanks for all you've done to help Democratic candidates set the stage for victory. And stay tuned for the next steps in our work together.


John Kerry

They Have No Shame

I never heard of Janet Parshall until the other night when I was walking by a TV at work and saw her on Larry King Live on CNN. During a discussion about the buzz surrounding "Brokeback Mountain", Parshall referred to the adoption of children by same-sex couples as "state-sanctioned child abuse" and implied that the "lifestyle" of Matthew Shepard, a gay man, was partly to blame for his 1998 murder. If you're not familiar with the Matthew Shepard story, you can read about it here. At first she tried to justify her comments by claiming that that what happened to him was "wrong, wrong and wrong." I think it was really Conservatively compassionate of her to say that a brutal murder was wrong. But then she went on to say that maybe Matthew was responsible for causing his own death because he was in the wrong place:
"But, in reality, I understand that Matthew was somewhat of a person who hung around some of the gay bars and was coming on to some people. So, was he looking for trouble in all the wrong places?"
I suppose that's like blaming the Jews for the Holocaust. You know, maybe if those uppity Jews weren't so successful with their doctors, lawyers and businesses, they would have been better Germans and Hitler would have left them alone. Yes, that foolish Matthew Sheppard. How dare he frequent a bar and be conned by a couple of lying murderers?

I suppose that Parshall would use the typical dodge that "we hate the sin and not the sinner." But if that's the case, you can go on CNN and claim to speak for gawd and jay-sus and spread your fairy tales about "fake families" and "homo-sex-shoo-al-itay", but don't blame a victim for his own murder by homophobic alchoholics.

The Janet Parshall Show is syndicated by the Salem Radio Network, a company that provides mostly Conservative radio talk shows. (Hey, we don't have enough of those, do we?) They claim to be a Christian operation, but they'll run anything they think will make a buck.

I can tell you that it would be useless for you to write or email Parshall, the Salem Radio Network, or XM Radio, which also carries her show. As a matter of fact, they would be glad to get the attention. Their belief is any publicity is better than no publicity at all. The most effective strategy is to contact her advertisers and politely claim that you'll refuse to buy any product that's associated with this type of hate speech. This works with any type of program that you might find offensive. Don't contact the network, station, program or carrier. Just write down the names of the sponsors and contact them. The advertisers do care about negative publicity and they don't want their products associated with it. You also might think that it would take hundreds or thousands of complaints for an advertiser to pull their dollars from a show, but that's not the case. As few as 50 complaints might get an advertiser thinking, because they know that for every complaint they do receive, there may be hundreds who won't be motivated to complain, they'll just stop buying the product.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Picture Worthy of a Filibuster

By way of afterdowningstreet.org

After former Vice President Al Gore's speech calling for a special counsel to review the administration's secret wiretapping of Americans and legal U.S. residents, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales went on the talk show circuit to justify the wiretapping program. Basically his defense was a right wing favorite: Clinton did it too. Which, by the way, is not the case.

Here is the response from Al Gore.

Statement by Former Vice President Al Gore

Created 2006/01/17 - 20:57

Contact: Trevor Fitzgibbon, 212-584-5000 x210; Jessica Smith, 202-822-5200 x249

The Administration's response to my speech illustrates perfectly the need for a special counsel to review the legality of the NSA wiretapping program. The Attorney General is making a political defense of the President without even addressing the substantive legal questions that have so troubled millions of Americans in both political parties.

There are two problems with the Attorney General's effort to focus attention on the past instead of the present Administration's behavior. First, as others have thoroughly documented, his charges are factually wrong. Both before and after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was amended in 1995, the Clinton/Gore Administration complied fully and completely with the terms of the law.

Second, the Attorney General's attempt to cite a previous administration's activity as precedent for theirs - even though factually wrong - ironically demonstrates another reason why we must be so vigilant about their brazen disregard for the law. If unchecked, their behavior would serve as a precedent to encourage future presidents to claim these same powers, which many legal experts in both parties believe are clearly illegal.

The issue, simply put, is that for more than four years, the executive branch has been wiretapping many thousands of American citizens without warrants in direct contradiction of American law. It is clearly wrong and disrespectful to the American people to allow a close political associate of the president to be in charge of reviewing serious charges against him.

The country needs a full and independent investigation into the facts and legality of the present Administration's program.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government

Former Vice President Al Gore has called on Congress and the public to resist "an excessive power grab" by the Bush administration. The event was bipartisan, with Gore being introducted by former Georgia Republican Congressman Bob Barr, one of the House managers during President Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999. From the speech:

Gore said the wiretaps -- combined with Bush's assertion of the power to hold American citizens indefinitely as "enemy combatants," the authorization of harsh treatment of prisoners and his use of signing statements to declare how he will interpret laws passed by Congress -- have "brought our republic to the brink of a dangerous breach in the fabric of the Constitution."

"The disrespect embodied in these apparent mass violations of the law is part of a larger pattern of seeming indifference to the Constitution that is deeply troubling to millions of Americans in both political parties," he said.

Gore said the dangers of unchecked executive power can be seen in the war in Iraq, which the administration warned was necessary because Iraq was concealing chemical and biological weapons and trying to produce nuclear arms. No such weapons were found after the March 2003 invasion.

He quoted "1984" author George Orwell, who wrote that people are capable of believing things that aren't true until "a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield."

Full text of the speech from Huffingtonpost.com

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Thunderbird 1.5 Released -- Reclaim your inbox

If you're not familiar with Thunderbird, it's a full featured free e-mail program from Mozilla. It's a great alternative to Outlook Express and it's easy to use. Thunderbird will also prevent e-mail attachments from automatically opening or displaying in your message panel. You can also filter out attachments before they're downloaded, so you never have to get forwarded Powerpoint attachments and your co-worker's baby photo album attachments unless you want to. Your Outlook Express address book and e-mail setting are all easily imported into Thunderbird. This is the latest release (1.5) and it has lots of features like junk mail filtering, advanced security and automatic updates. One of the new features is antiphishing protection.
Thunderbird protects you from increasingly common email scams—also known as “phishing”—which try to fool you into handing over your passwords and other personal information. Thunderbird will tell you when it thinks a message might be a scam. I've been using Thunderbird for well over a year and it has served me well. You can download a free copy from

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Rep. John Murtha: Questions About My Record

Another swift boat attack, typical of the Republicans. When they can't deal with the facts, they crank up the smear machine. I think they may have overplayed their hand on this one since Congressman Murtha's medals have nothing to do with the failure of the Bush policy in Iraq.

More from the Huffington Post

Also, and not surprising, there are reports that the Bush administration has launched a secret smear campaign against Congressman Murtha:

The Huffington Post has learned the Bush administration recently asked high ranking military leaders to denounce Congressman John Murtha. Congressman Murtha has called for the Bush Administration to withdraw US troops from Iraq.

The Bush Administration first attacked Rep. Murtha for his Iraq views by associating him with the filmmaker Michael Moore and Representative Jean Schmidt likened him to a coward on the floor of the House of Representatives. When those tactics backfired, Dick Cheney called Murtha "A good man, a marine, a patriot and he's taking a clear stand in an entirely legitimate discussion."
Though the White House has backed off publicly, administration officials have nevertheless recently made calls to military leaders to condemn the congressman. So far they have refused.

Rep. Murtha spent 37 years in the Marine Corps earning a Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and a Navy Distinguished Service Medal. His service has earned him the respect of the military, and made him a trusted adviser to both Republican and Democratic presidents and leaders of the armed forces.


Friday, January 13, 2006

mozdev.org - reminderfox

ReminderFox is a Firefox extension that displays and manages lists of date-based reminders and ToDo's. A very handy and useful Firefox extension.

Read more at reminderfox.mozdev.org/

The Big "I"

Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman makes the case for
The Impeachment of George W. Bush: "As Justice Sandra Day O'Connor recently wrote, 'A state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens.'"

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Max World: Finds From the Archives

People are considering whether it's worth their effort and expense to install satellite radio. But there was a time when fun and entertaining radio was available for the cost of listening to a few commercials. "And...It's Mild." The people who were part of this kind of radio did things in real time, not that it's necessarily an advantage, but it does have a spontaneity and continuity that's missing today. See this item: Max World: Finds From the Archives.

In the overall picture, radio has less importance in people's lives than in the past. With mp3 devices playing thousands of songs on demand, news on demand, podcasting, instant information on the internet, traditional radio and satellite radio are going to have to find a way to distinguish themselves in order to catch the consumer's attention. Sirius may have the right idea by having one compelling reason, Howard Stern, to attract customers. The rest of the channels could then be considered a bonus. XM is too much like regular radio, with fewer commercials. Their attempt at being different from regular radio is insignificant, although it may be enough for listeners hungering for even the slightest difference from what's on the commercial radio bands today. The back door delivery of satellite radio in cars may be a way to gain subscribers ("It's rolled into the monthly payment), but I know people who have the Onstar™™ receiver on the roof of their cars, but they don't subscribe to the service. It's not the latte factor (for the cost of a latte a day you can have Onstar™™ or satellite radio) it's just that the perceived value is not there. For others, it is.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Create an e-annoyance, go to jail

People have to choose between their medication, paying their electric bills and buying food, and Congress passes this rediculous law:

Create an e-annoyance, go to jail | Perspectives | CNET News.com: "It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess.

"The use of the word 'annoy' is particularly problematic," says Marv Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "What's annoying to one person may not be annoying to someone else."

Buried deep in the new law is Sec. 113, an innocuously titled bit called "Preventing Cyberstalking." It rewrites existing telephone harassment law to prohibit anyone from using the Internet "without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy."
Just when you think things can't get any crazier than they are.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Nursing student's dog sickened by toxic pet food

CNN.com - Nursing student's dog sickened by toxic pet food - Jan 9, 2006: "When her own daughter died last year, Stewart said Cocoa helped her through her grief. 'It was like she understood,' Stewart said. 'She was my best friend.'"

I think it's great that this young nursing student would go to this length to care for her sick dog. How many people would go without sleep to do this?

"I haven't had any time to do anything but take care of her," said Stewart, a 19-year-old nursing student at the University of South Carolina.

"She's the No. 1 priority ... I get maybe four hours of sleep before she wakes me up."

Some people just consider their dogs cheap security systems and others will treat them like friends or members of the family. Unfortunately, I happen to believe that some people, would have a dog with this condition euthanized, even if they could afford the treatment, since it takes a great deal of care and unless the pet is considered a member of the family, rather than a life form that barks and makes noises to scare off burglars, then some people would just make the dog expendable. It's great that people like Shanika Stewart are around and even better that they've decided go unto nursing.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ministers Say They Blessed Seats Ahead of Alito Hearing

http://theillustrateddailyscribble.com©Charles Fincher

From the Wall Street Journal via the Huffington Post:

WSJ.com - Ministers Say They Blessed Seats Ahead of Alito Hearing:

WASHINGTON -- Insisting that God 'certainly needs to be involved' in the Supreme Court confirmation process, three Christian ministers today blessed the doors of the hearing room where Senate Judiciary Committee members will begin considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito on Monday.

I supposed if we lived in a true theocracy, it would make sense to annoint the doors of the senate hearing room where the Judge Alito confirmation process will take place. In a true theocracy, we could have the head minister or chief preacher annoint the doors and the seats of the senators. Are we going to see the senators slide off their seats during the hearings? Did they use holy oil or did they have to use the oil from the "freedom fries" in the House cafeteria?

Capitol Hill police said they weren't aware that the three had entered the hearing room earlier, but added that hearing rooms typically aren't locked because 'they're not of interest to anyone.' Lt. Dominick Costa said the Judiciary Committee room will be swept for bombs and perhaps for electronic bugging equipment before the hearing begins.

Your Homeland Security tax dollars at work.

Being Held Accountable

Democrats.org has a post called "Gov Dean: President Bush Needs to Come Clean" that's worth checking out...
Released moments ago: Because President Bush has yet to return the more than $100,000 in money Jack Abramoff personally raised for him, and given reports of his extensive dealings with senior White House officials, the Administration has a responsibility to disclose their contacts and detail their relationship with this admitted felon....

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Ahh, the memories:

Abramoff Fundraises For Bush

Jack Abramoff Was A Bush/Cheney '04 Pioneer; Boasted How Easy It Was To Be A Pioneer. Abramoff raised over $100,000 for the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign, and was designated a 'Pioneer' for his fundraising efforts. A 2003 article profiled Abramoff's work: ''Everyone in town is trying to be a Pioneer or Ranger,' said Jack Abramoff, a top Republican lobbyist here, using the campaign's terms for the most elite levels of money collectors. 'But the only way to do it is to have contacts outside of D.C., which fortunately I do. So far I've raised about $120,000, and I haven't even really started making calls.' [International Herald Tribune, 7/22/03]

Always a Phone Call Away

Abramoff was A Republican insider and who had strong pull with the Bush White House. Abramoff's lobbying partner boasted that he is a phone call away from the President. 'Jack has a relationship with the President,' Abramoff's former spokesman and fellow lobbyist Michael Scanlon once said. 'He doesn't have a bat phone or anything, but if he wanted an appointment, he would have one.' [New Times Broward-Palm Beach, 2/22/01; Washington Post, 11/29/05]

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Cell Phones in Public

What's the story with people walking around with these wireless cell phone headphones? Are their lives that busy that they have to have these devices connected to their heads all the time? The first time I saw one, it looked like a giant wart on somebody's head. And if you don't notice the device, it looks like the person is standing there talking to themselves. When I was a kid and you saw somebody carrying on a conversation with themselves in public, you crossed the street or walked into a different subway car. Is it too difficult for them to actually pick up a cell phone and talk into it? I've noticed that there's no shortage of people who don't mind talking on a cell phone in public. You could be at a restaurant or in the supermarket and there's somebody who'll be carrying on a loud conversation on their cell phone.
"Ceil...how's your son the doctor? Is he married yet? Tell him I have a pain in my side. Should I take Ibuprofin or Tylenol? Did you see the special on Kaiser rolls at Publix? Yeah, I got three for a dollar but they tasted like sawdust."
It could be that the wireless headphones are just a status symbol. There may be a market for fake wireless headphones that don't do anything but sit in somebody's ear. Or maybe one of the cell phone companies can come up with a new marketing special. For anybody who signs a 10 year contract, (notice that they never use the terms "contract" or "commitment", it's always an agreement) they can offer a special brain implant that will permanently place a cell phone microphone and receiver in the customer's brain. That way we really wouldn't have a way to tell the difference between crazy people and the ones with plastic growths on their heads.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Warrantless and unwarranted

Benjamin Franklin once commented,
"Those who give up liberty for the sake of security deserve neither liberty nor security."

President Bush has used the threat of terrorism as an all purpose excuse to consolidate power in the Executive Branch. It's really disturbing the number of people I've encountered who feel that it's okay for the president to spy on Americans if it "keeps them safe." Unfortunately, this attitude is a concession to the terrorists themselves who want us to live in a country where people can be thrown in jail without due process; where people can be taken to foreign countries and turned over to their questioners, without having any Constitutional protections. If this is the kind of country the terrorists want us to live in, is this the kind of country we want?

“Bush has repeatedly used the threat of terrorism as an excuse to abridge and ignore civil liberties that Americans have taken for granted. The U.S. system of checks and balances, which in this case requires a special court order to protect Americans from illegal government spying — even during a war on terrorism — has no relevance in the Bush White House.

“Of course, the president has made repeated assurances that Americans’ civil liberties are being protected and that restrictions have been placed on the telephone spying. But these ring hollow coming from an administration that has ignored or stretched the truth whenever it suits its purposes. If you want to spy on Americans without a court order, you ought to at least have a solid base of trust.

“Bush declared the disclosure of the spying program by The New York Times to be ‘a shameful act’ and said that even discussing it ‘is helping the enemy.’

“This is shameful jingoism and has no place in a serious discussion of the proper balance between civil liberties and national security.”
Editorial, “Warrantless and unwarranted,”
Middletown, N.Y., Times Herald-Record,
Dec. 20, 2005"

Even Republicans Must Think He's a Putz

President Bush's "Brownie" quote wins award: "The ill-timed praise of a now disgraced agency head became a national punch line for countless jokes and pointed comments about the administration's handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and added to the president's reputation for verbal gaffes and clumsy turns of phrase."

Paul JJ Payack, president of Global Language Monitor, a nonprofit group that monitors language use, says Bush's statement in support of the then-director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency may be remembered for years to come.

Although the president did not originate any new words this year, he had several notable statements, Payack said, citing the following:

-- "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda," Bush said in explaining his communications strategy last May.

-- "I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?" Bush asked in a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a U.N. Security Council meeting in September.

-- "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table," Bush said in Brussels last February.

-- "In terms of timetables, as quickly as possible - whatever that means," the president said of his timeframe for passing Social Security legislation in March.

-- "Those who enter the country illegally violate the law," Bush said in describing illegal immigrants in Tucson, Arizona, last month.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

"Contract With America" Null and Void

Lobbyist and friend to Tom DeLay and other top Republicans, Jack Abramoff, has peaded guility to three felonies and will now cooperate in an investigation into illegally lining the pockets and campaigns of the people who were elected to serve us in Washington. The Republicans rode into Washington in 1994 on their big white horses promising to restore ethics and trust in the government. Since this tactic was so successful, they used the same promise when they ran in the Presidential election of 2000. I don't know about you, but between the outing of a CIA agent to smear her and her family because her husband had accurate news about WMDs that they didn't want to hear; the trampling of civil liberties in return for "keeping us safe", secret torture prisons overseas, as well as spying on Americans and legal residents at home, I wonder where the ethics went? I'm sure there'll be some Democratic politicans caught in the lobbyist mess in order to make it appear non-partisan, but this is a Republican scandal through and through.

Portable OpenOffice 2.0.1 Released

John Haller has put together a suite of applications that run off of your portable device. What is a portable app? A portable app is a computer program that you can carry around with you on a portable device and use on any Windows computer. When your USB thumbdrive, portable hard drive, iPod or other portable device is plugged in, you have access to your software and personal data just as you would on your own PC. And when you unplug, none of your personal data is left behind.

Portable OpenOffice 2.0.1 Released: " Portable OpenOffice.org is the popular OpenOffice.org office suite -- including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, drawing package and database -- packaged as a portable app, so you can take your documents along with everything you need to work with them with you. New in this version:

  • OpenOffice.org updated to 2.0.1

  • Full support for Windows 2000

  • Portable settings under Windows 98/Me

  • Mini-Launchers for the individual apps (Writer, Calc, etc)

Get it from the Portable OpenOffice.org homepage at PortableApps.com.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Can You Hear Me Now?

CBC News: Old cellphones feed the hungry, says charity: "Dave Robinson, Mountain Equipment Co-op's co-ordinator for social and environmental responsibility, says collection boxes at MEC stores receive about 50 used cellphones each week. It's estimated Canadians upgrade their cellphones every 18 months. To date, the program has rung up $300,000 in meals for people in need."

A Specifically Christian Party

The Christian Heritage Party of Canada doesn't hide their agenda.

Christian Heritage Party of Canada, Homepage: "The CHP is Canada's only pro-Life, pro-family federal political party, and the only federal party that endorses the principles of the Preamble to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the Canadian Constitution:
'Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law...'"

Their objectives and goals sound similar to the GOP in the U.S., but the Christian Heritage Party is very clear about it's goal of having Civil government under the authority of God. (I wonder who would decide whether the goverment is contravening God?) I believe many Republicans privately, would like to see the same outcome in the U.S., but they wouldn't admit it publicly.

The election in Canada is on January 23rd. It'll be interesting to see how parties like the Christian Heritage Party, The Green Party and even The Marijuana Party do.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Parallels Between 2006 and 1974

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: "'74 was the Watergate election, a mid-term which brought in a big crop of reformist Democrats, more than a few of whom are still around thirty years later. In retrospect, the '74 midterm looks quite different than it must have at the time. It recemented the Democratic hold on Congress that would endure for two more decades. And it anticipated Democrat Jimmy Carter's win two years later."

Survey Tracks 2005's Most Annoying Phrases

I wonder why the Republicans didn't demand an up or down vote on Harriet Meiers?
Survey Tracks 2005's Most Annoying Phrases: "Lake Superior State University on Saturday released its 2006 'List of Words and Phrases Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness.' But please, don't call it 'breaking news.'"

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Support ban on handguns, Toronto mayor urges

CBC News: Support ban on handguns, Toronto mayor urges
There's been a recent rash of handgun and gang related murders in Toronto, prompting the mayor to speak out on gun control.
A strong supporter of Paul Martin's proposed virtual ban on handguns, Miller said he believes Jack Layton's NDP platform does include gun-control measures, but Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's does not.
I find it interesting that candidates supporting a ban on handguns in Canada, actually get support for their views. A similar view for an American politician would almost guarantee defeat. I remember the scene where John Kerry was shown with shotguns carrying a bagged bird, as if to tell the gun owners that "he was one of them." It didn't work. As the gun lobby is fond of saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." However, a gun is specifically made to kill or injure.