Friday, June 29, 2007

Band Aids can't fix a fracture

Rep. Steven Kagen declined his Congressional health coverage until everyone American has healthcare coverage.

SickoPledgeWeek being sponsored by MoveOn.Org. Take the Pledge to see the movie.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Thinking Blogger Award

This blog was passed the award for the Thinking Blogger by Jenny over at donkey od.

It is now my turn to nominate 5 others for the Thinking Blogger Award (see the rules here.) There are so many great blogs out there it's hard to pick just five but here are the blogs to which I pass the "Thinking Blogger Award" on to:

  1. Tom Watson
  2. A Poetic Justice
  3. Steve Audio
  4. This Blog will self destruct in 5 minutes
  5. Seeing the Forest
The Rules for passing the Award on:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Two Steps Backward

New Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso began his Senate career on Tuesday by voting to block two bills that Democrats are attempting to move through the Senate.

In his first vote, Barrasso sided with many of his fellow Republicans to block legislation that would make it easier to organize unions. He also voted to block a controversial immigration bill.

$2.00 Bet

Same old, same old. All talk and nothing will ever come of it.

Emanuel's office said his amendment would restrict money for the vice president's office but did not contain a specific monetary cut.

Anyone up for the bet?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Soundest Advice thus Far

Pachacutec gives it and he tells John Edwards to cut the bullshit.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Cheney announcement is a probe, part of a plan to bury their tracks.

Vice President Cheney claimed yesterday that his office is not part of the Bush administration and therefore doesn't have to send to the National Archives any documents that he has.

Aside from the laughable proposition that the Vice President is not part of the administration, this has a serious-- and a dark side.

Presidential administrations by law must keep documentation on file, both for the benefit of future administrations and for the review of historians.

These documents are kept in the National Archives and housed in Presidential Libraries.

Of course some are classified, and remain so until some time in the future when either a specific declassification date is passed or they are deemed as no longer required to be classified by the administration then in charge.

Even where documents may prove to be embarrassing or possibly the grounds for criminal liability, procedures have been devised that will still make them the basis for future historical knowlege. For example, Lyndon Johnson had a time capsule sealed which will be opened in 2039-- a date by which anyone who might have been associated with his crimes in Vietnam will almost certainly be long since gone from this world.

But what we've seen from the Bush administration is a whole new direction. First, were the lost emails. Thousands, maybe even millions of government emails, required by law to be stored (and recently requested by Congress as part of the investigation of the U.S. attorney firings) have been deleted.

I think the investigation probably has only uncovered earlier than the White House expected one of the pieces of one of the greatest coverups of our time, which we will see much more of in the near future, especially if it looks like a President who may not be interested in protecting Bush administration secrets wins the White House.

Another piece fell into place yesterday with Cheney's blatant claim. Believe me, it's not just that he wants to keep the attendees at his energy summit secret. It goes much deeper than that, especially with the role that the Vice President's office has played in developing the policies of this administration. If he can blanket claim the right to deny documents to the National Archives then he has sigificantly reduced the number of documents the administration will have to make public right there, and provided a 'safe' spot within the administration where they can send the most damning of documents and get them out of harm's way.

This administration is aware that the sand is starting to run out of the hourglass, and when it does they could be caught holding documentation on torture, secret surveillance of American citizens, kidnapping and 'black rendition,' detention of prisoners for secret trials, and other illegal operations. Like a drug dealer who has been tipped off that their house has been staked out and the police are on their way, they have a limited time to dispose of the sticky evidence and a lot of it to get rid of.

I fear that Cheney's announcement may be a probe, intended to see how far they can push the needle in terms of covering up what they have done. But expect over the next couple of years more and more stories like this as the Bush administration does everything they can to bury their skeletons (and may we hope that is only a figurative description.)

Labels: , , ,

Energy Bill

While there was progress: The Bill would raise the nation’s auto fuel mileage standards to 35 MPG by 2020 and 50% of autos should be able to run on gasoline alternatives by 2015.

But Big Oil still reigns. No shift of $30 billion to renewable energy sources.

Scarecrow has more.

Women and Hillary

Read it via The Nation:

Opting for Edwards or Obama--who are often perceived as more liberal--becomes an attractive proposition for feminists who believe "gender is not the only thing, not even the most important thing in feminism," as Center For New Words program director Jaclyn Friedman puts it. "Hillary's not my friend. She's not actually progressive. The fact that she's a woman is an unfortunate red herring." Feminist principles may be better served, she claims, by electing a truly liberal candidate who will move us further toward a more progressive and therefore more equitable future--an imperative that feels all the more urgent after eight years of Bush. "Things are so bad in this country, and the person we elect is going to be so important," she says. "The whole put-a-woman-in-the-White House seems too abstract and theoretical, a middle-class luxury."

Kid is Back

Take Back America was highly successful. Just take a look.

And in case you missed it - Digby was present. The Nation has the text.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pulte turns high pressure improvised water cannon on legally picketing workers

Hat tip to Tedski at Rum, Romanism and Rebellion.

Last April, the AFL-CIO announced their intention to organize thousands of construction workers in Arizona and Nevada who worked for Pulte Homes. As the union said according to an article at the time in the Las Vegas Review Journal, it called Pulte the "Wal-Mart of home developers." Pulte employs numerous subcontractors, but according to the union does not hold them to high standards of worker treatment.

On May 29, Pulte responded by announcing they were cutting 1,900 jobs nationwide, including a reduction of their Phoenix based workforce from three divisions to two. While it is true that the housing market has cooled and Pulte recently canceled plans to build a development in Benson, it is clear from this move that they consider their heavy use of subcontractors to be more important than even their own workforce. Of course, people in Anthem already know a little about how Pulte operates: According to an article in the Arizona Republic on May 28 (unfortunately online links via AZCentral are only good for seven days but the print edition is still available)

Del Webb, a Pulte Homes company, built the Anthem community in 1999. Residents said Del Webb didn't disclose that the cost of providing the community with water would come back to haunt them eight years later.

Oh, and one other thing-- most of the workforce is Hispanic, many from Mexico (I don't know what their legal immigration status is and that is irrelevant to the abuses you will see in a moment.)

Maybe you agree with the objectives of the union. Maybe you don't. But workers have a legal right to picket, which is exactly what right they were exercising outside a construction site in Florence, Arizona yesterday.

The workers who were in the picket line were fired from companies Pulte subcontracts with for speaking up about working conditions--specifically for being forced to work during their lunch breaks and for not being given enough water to hydrate during the day (note that the high temperature in Phoenix yesterday was 113 degrees).

Pulte executives responded, after threatening to have leaders of the picket line arrested (I guess they then figured out that the cops know what the law is and wouldn't arrest them for demonstrating legally), by the use of a water cannon-- actually an improvised one, setting the company spray truck to deliver high pressure water. Some of it was sprayed directly on protesters. Whether they would have done this at a crowd of predominantly anglo workers is not an unreasonable question to ask.

The AFL-CIO will show a videotape of the incident at a news conference tomorrow but it is already available on U-Tube linked here.

There is a reason why the police are reluctant to use water cannons as an example of 'non-lethal force.' It is because they can and have at times in the past caused serious injury, both if they happen to hit a vulnerable area of the body (like the eyes or the ears) and if they cause people to fall at an accelerated rate of speed.

This is only going to escalate tensions. But maybe that is what they want. Are the Pulte execs so stuck in the sixties (on the wrong side) that they will try tear gas next?

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fathers and Sons

While many people believe that Father's Day is a holiday invented by the fine folks at Hallmark, it's not so. The celebration of Dad's special day can most likely be credited to Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington State, who first suggested the idea of the holiday in 1909.

Mrs. Dodd's father, civil war veteran William Smart, was widowed when his wife died during childbirth with their sixth child. Despite the obvious hardships, Mr. Smart proceeded to raise the newborn along with his five other children, by himself.

It wasn't until Sonora Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. The original date chosen for the holiday was June 5, Mr. Smart's birthday, however the celebration was postponed until June 19, the third Sunday in June, because there was not enough time to prepare.

In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day, but it never became official until 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson signed the presidential proclamation that set aside the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day.

While many men are not fathers - they are sons. Today we honor fathers, but I also honor sons. They are the ones that the father leans on, for the son is the offspring of the father. And some of those sons go to war and some do not return.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Take Back America

Monday, June 18 - 20, 2007
Washinton Hilton Hotel
Washington, DC

Take Back America 2007 a progressive event starts Monday in DC. Present for this important event will be thousands of progressive activists, thinkers, bloggers, and leaders. They will convene in Washington, DC to begin transforming the historic victories of 2006 into concrete and lasting change for the common good.

Here is the agenda.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Campaign 08

A Must Read: Carol Shea-Porter defeated Republican incumbent Jeb Bradley in 2006 in New Hampshire. Now Bradley is echoing White house points and attacking Shea-Porter and expects to reverse New Hampshirites views in 2008 and regain his seat as a pro-war contender.

Bradley says Shea Porters views against the war are too hardline!

Hardline?? OY!!!

Wesley Clark Slams Lieberman

Gen. Wesley Clark has a post up on The Huffington Post in response to Lieberman’s calls for attacking Iran.

Gore/Clark in 08
Edwards/Clark in 08

The Dream lives on...

The Artful Dodger

Just when we thought that all those Albanians truly loved Bush, Crooks and Liars shows us how they actually stole his watch - right in front of the Secret Service.

According to the White House, Bush put the watch in his pocket and it was not stolen.

I will let you be the judge of that.

Monday, June 11, 2007

No Confidence Vote Fails

The no-confidence measure on Alberto Gonzales came up seven votes short of a procedural hurdle, passing 53-38. The vote was basically along part lines. Think Progress has more.

I will give you one guess who opposed to it.

Howie has the answer.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The New York Times writes:

Helped by the fight over immigration, Democratic presidential candidates are courting Hispanic voters like never before, prompted by a string of early primaries in states with sizable Hispanic voting blocs.

It has forced candidates to hire outreach consultants, to start Spanish-language Web sites and to campaign vigorously before Hispanic audiences.
About damn time! The Hispanic vote has never been all that important and that has been a big mistake.

Vamos a ver.

Simple insanity

“I think we have to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq,” Lieberman said.

And to think that Al Gore wanted Lieberman for VP? Joe figures that the way to stop Muslims from killing American soldiers is to send more American soldiers to invade and occupy more Muslim countries. I think it is official, we have a new definition for the insanity.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Kid Sally is wondering

about this guy called Charlie Brown.

Charlie will be running again for Congress in California - 4th CD.

Charlie is a social moderate.

Charlie is pro-choice, saying, "the government doesn’t get to make personal decisions for Americans, no matter how much they might like to do so.... I don’t have to approve. I don’t even have to understand. It’s not about me. It’s about individual liberties.

Brown is a retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel.

Charlie Brown is Democracy for America’s 2007 Grassroots All-Star.

Out Paced

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is out. So the plan is to replace him as the nation's top military officer rather than reappoint him and risk a Senate confirmation struggle focusing on the Iraq War.

So they boot the guy who is supposed to answer questions about the conduct of war, in favor of a guy who hasn't been involved in the mistakes. Makes perfect GOP sense.

Think Progress has a post on the replacement for Pace. Apparently Navy Adm. Michael Mullen said: This war is going to go on for a long time. It’s a generational war!

My children are doomed!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

RIP Steve

The News Blog:
It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog passed away early this morning. He was 41.

Thoughts and prayers for Steve's family and friends. He will be truly missed.

All rights reserved.
Disclaimer And Comment Policy