Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Musings 115--Listen to the troops!

It is well known that you can fight a war forever if the troops have high morales and they think the cause is just. Well, the times are sure changing in Iraq.

According to the latest Zogby poll, 72% of all troops currently serving in Iraq think that the United States should pull out of Iraq within a year. (See Link) That means that as of February 28, 2007 all troops should be gone from Iraq. It is probably not going to happen, but it is the first indication that the troops on the ground have about had it with Bush jr.'s war.

The one fact that is amazing is that 90% of the troopers feel that the war is about Saddam's role in 9/11. We know that he did not have anything to do with the towers coming down, yet our troops believe that the war is pay back. Since the media has done quite a bit to show that Osama is the guy responsible, I wonder who is giving out false information to the troops? It is a troubling figure.

However, there is only so much pay back before it becomes a way of life. The troops have it right on that point. Listen to the troops, Mr. President...listen to the troops. It is their blood that is being spilt to continue this war.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Musings 114--Not yours...but..."my government"

In an interview today after a cabinet meeting Bush Jr. showed his true colors. He wanted to assure us that we did not have to worry about security. My goodness what a difference a year makes. You remember last year when he was campaigning and saying we should all be afraid--very afraid.

Well, today he wants us not to worry that a bunch of Arabs that are cozy with Bin Laden want to manage our largest ports. I wasn't afraid, but I sure am now.

However, the port thing is not what I want to write about today. Bush Jr. has taken over the government of the United States of America with a bloodless coup. He admitted it during this conversation with reporters. (See Link)

Here is his quote exactly as it appeared in an article by the Associated Press:

"The more people learn about the transaction that has been scrutinized and approved by my government," Bush said, "the more they'll be comforted that our ports will be secure."

Notice that he did not say "our government" or "your government." What he said was "my government." So does this mean that Bush Jr. is now the King. If it is his government, can he just wave his hand and disregard the laws of the land? Are we now in the second age of the "divine right of kings?"

You are over reacting, you say. Well, I hope I am, but I doubt it. There is a pattern developing here that is scary. Our democracy is teetering, and I don't know where it is going to fall.

Bush Jr. has become one scary dude.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Musings 113--Ports Ahoy!

So the Bushies want to turn over our major seaports to the United Arab Emeriates. I guess they forgot that some of the monies for 9-11 flowed through this government--not to mention that two of the hijackers were from that tiny country. What part of "a bad idea" don't they get?

Add in the fact that Bush Jr. didn't even know that the state department had brokered the deal to begin with. (See Link) And, when he does find out he jumps headlong into defending it. He even threatened a veto. Wow!

Bush Jr. also seems to think that everybody should be for such a deal because the CIA looked into it before it was approved. Now there is something to take stock in. The same guys who screwed up intelligence in Iraq before the war want you to believe that they got it right this time. Not hardly! (See Link)

I have not seen an issue that democrats and republicans have both felt so passionately about. It shows hope. I'd love to see congress override Bush jr. first veto. It only takes a two-thirds vote to do so.

Bush Jr. says that he doesn't want the good Arabs to think badly of us. Well, he keeps telling us we are in a war. If that is true; then, the only ones we can totally trust are ourselves. Folks just wouldn't feel safe with a government owned company running U.S. ports. There is just too much chance for error. It only takes one bad egg to smuggle those mystic WMD's. I mean, somebody must have them--besides us.

The argument that Bush Jr. makes that the British were running it before they sold out does not hold water due to the fact that it was a British company that was not owned by the Queen. The government of the UAE owns this business. Thus, you'd have a country controlling America's biggest ports. That in effect would be "Ports Ahoy!"

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Musings 112--"...willing to throw away our values."

At least it is good to see that not everyone has dropped over into the administration's "do anything to protect us" camp. I give you Alberto J. Mora, former general counsel of the United States Navy, a man of principles and dignity.

Mora took on the administration's torture tactics at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Three years ago Mora, in a 22-page memo, "tried to halt what he saw as a disastrous and unlawful policy of authorizing cruelty toward terror suspects," writes Jane Mayer in Feb. 27th edition of New Yorker magazine. (See Link)

It is a long article that makes one both sad and proud to be an American. Basiclly, the Bushies say to do anything it takes to get the bad guys. Mora, however, says that you endanger everything our democracy is about if you do so.

Here is the last part of the New Yorker article:

In Mora’s view, the Administration’s legal response to September 11th was flawed from the start, triggering a series of subsequent errors that were all but impossible to correct. “The determination that Geneva didn’t apply was a legal and policy mistake,” he told me. “But very few lawyers could argue to the contrary once the decision had been made.”

Mora went on, “It seemed odd to me that the actors weren’t more troubled by what they were doing.” Many Administration lawyers, he said, appeared to be unaware of history. “I wondered if they were even familiar with the Nuremberg trials—or with the laws of war, or with the Geneva conventions. They cut many of the experts on those areas out. The State Department wasn’t just on the back of the bus—it was left off the bus.” Mora understood that “people were afraid that more 9/11s would happen, so getting the information became the overriding objective. But there was a failure to look more broadly at the ramifications.

“These were enormously hardworking, patriotic individuals,” he said. “When you put together the pieces, it’s all so sad. To preserve flexibility, they were willing to throw away our values.”

And we all know that once something is thrown away, it is gone forever. At least Mora tried, but he was definitely in a minority.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Musings 111--Ohio Dems love defeat

Paul Hackett was the Marine Corps officer who ran a campaign against Jean Schmidt in the 2nd Congressional District of Ohio, a predominately republican stronghold, and nearly won. He was the future of the party. A vet that told it like it is. He was courted by the bigwigs to run against Sen. Mike DeWine for a coveted Ohio senate seat. Well, he's not running now. (See Link)

It seems that the democrats fell out of love for Hackett when Sharrod Brown--a well-known, seven-term, millioniare, political hack--decided that the wanted to run for DeWine's senate seat. The Browns have a bunch of money and a bunch of power in Ohio. The Brown name can get votes by just being on the ballot. Of course, that is what they said about the Taft name when Bob Taft ran for governor--and they were right. Taft won big both times, but has embarrassed the state for corruption. He was convicted of a crime and paid a fine. He is probably the worst governor Ohioians have had in recent years.

So the national party dems took a look around and put out the word for Hackett to step down. I short, they played politics against a guy that probably could have defeated DeWine in November. Now they will be stuck with Brown. Nice going guys. Toss a war hero to the wolves for the sake of politics as usual. I guess it just proves that there is no difference between republicans and democrats when you look down deep at their very souls.

If the democrats did what they are accused of doing in the story that I linked to above; then, I hope that they lose. At least with Mike DeWine you know what you have, and that is a guy with his nose tucked neatly up Bush jr's behind.

If the dems would have supported Hackett, they could have said that they were reformers. Brown is nothing more than and old style dem who will suck up to Harry Reid and the rest of the democratic leadership. It is enough to make you sick at your stomach.

God, but it is hard to change things in this republic!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Musings 110--Cheney story getting scarier.

I have been a hunter and shooter my entire life. Most of my hunting was done as a teen-ager and young adult with time off from college.

I used to run targets for my dad and uncle when they held shooting matches at Mercerville High School in Gallia County Ohio. It later became Hannan Trace Schools which later became South Gallia High School.

I bring this up because today the guy that VP Cheney shot has had a minor heart attack from the birdshot going to his heart. (See Link) Birdshot can kill you--it usually won't, but it can. Little bits of lead in your body can be a scary thing.

When I was in grade school and running targets for the shooting matches, I can't tell you how many times stray pieces of #8 shot bounced off of my coat. At least once, I remember getting a stinging ear when a stray piece of shot whacked me on the ear. It didn't break the skin, but it hurt pretty bad.

The targets were set out at 50 yards. I would post the targets and then run to the left about 25 yards--supposedly out of the range of spread of shot. Sometimes the shot didn't fly straight and I'd get a stinger. It did not happen too often, but it did happen. The ones that caught me were "weak Susan's" that were flung out of the pattern.

Birdshot is tiny. It is about the size of a pin head. That is why, if one breaks the skin, it can go through the bloodstream to the heart. When I heard yesterday that they were not taking those out of the shot lawyer, I knew there could be problems.

My uncle once had a bull that would not stay on his side of the fence. I ran him back on his side many times. When I turned my back, he'd jump the fence and eat in our hay field. I took my granddad's 12 gauge shotgun with #8 shot and shot him at about 60 yards. His tongue shot out and he bawled like he was...well, shot. He jumped back over the fence to his side and never bothered me again. Problem solved.

I wonder what problem Cheney just solved...or, maybe created?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Musings 109--Ducking around Dick

The first setting Vice President to shoot a man since Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel is now Dick Cheney. Now that is a fine piece of trivia to file away for future use.

It is good that the VP did not kill anyone. Hunting accidents happen--sometimes they are fatal, this one was not. However, it may prove fatal in another way. (See Link)

The White House did not release anything about the shooting until 18 hours--other sources say 24 hours--after the fact. In short, the woman who runs the ranch the hunt took place on was the one that called a reporter. Now that has to make you go, hmmmm.

I would say that it was probably being kicked around not to say a word about the shooting with the hopes that no one would find it out. The Bushies are good at hiding the truth, so this would have been easy for them to accomplish. Apparently, the President knew about the shooting hours before the press was told. I can almost see them sitting around the situation room figuring out how to spin this story. It was probably something like this:

K. Rove: Ah, sir. It seems that VP Cheney shot a guy.

Bush Jr: Sum son-bitch throw down on Dick, did they. He's from Wyoming you know?

K. Rove: No sir. He was hunting.

Bush Jr: Hunting Osama Bin Laden, no doubt. I'll bet he killed another one of those second in commands. There's hundreds of them.

K. Rove: Ah, no sir. It seems he shot a fellow accidentially while dove hunting.

Bush Jr: I doubt that...Dick, doesn't do anything accidentially. He is the most deliberate man I know. Next to me, of course.

K. Rove: Yes, sir. But it appears that one of his hunting fellows accidentially stuck his face in front of VP Cheney's shotgun. It was some lawyer that VP Cheney has hunted with before.

Bush Jr: Well, that's good. A lawyer. We're safe on that respect, we passed a law on frivolous law suits. Is he dead?

K. Rove: No, he is in stable condition. He is expected to live.

Bush Jr: He'll probably be glad we passed that prescription drug bill. He'll probably need some drugs. Don't you think?

K. Rove: Absolutely, sir.

Bush Jr: Maybe we should keep this quiet until we see what happens. Maybe the press won't find out about it. It might look bad on Dick's ability to make snap decisions. What do you think?

K. Rove: I think that we should not say anything for 18 to 24 hours and if the land owner doesn't call the newspapers; then, we are home free.

Bush Jr: Good thinking, Karl. We could treat it like WMD's. If we ignore it, it might go away.

K. Rove: Yes, sir. But there was not any WMD's to begin with. VP Cheney did shoot the guy.

Bush Jr: Yeah, well it's just to bad it wasn't Osama that Dick smoked. That would have been so awesome.

K. Rove: Yes, sir. It would have been.

Bush Jr: Damn straight!

I guess it is safe to say that if you are around VP Cheney, you have to be ready to duck. Isn't it amazing that people around him keep getting blasted. Just ask Scooter.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Musings 108--Mrs. King would have loved it.

The funeral of Coretta Scott King lasted several hours yesterday. It was a celebration of life and the end of an era for civil rights. (See Link)

Four U.S. presidents and other dignitaries gave their euglogies and speeches about Mrs. King. Former President Jimmy Carter got in a few barbs at Junior Bush about "wiretaps."

Mrs. King's husband, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, had his telephones wiretapped and was spied upon by the FBI of the 1960's. He was considered at a communist threat by our government. You see, anyone with a different view is always considered a bad guy. Things have not changed that much in America. The Bushies still feel that way.

Many of the commentators that were on cable last night said that it was inappropriate for the speakers to take their shots at Bush Jr. Well, I think that Mrs. King would have loved it. She would have thought it totally appropriate that former presidents and renowned speakers make their point to the current president. I mean they had him in a position that was outside of his normal lacey bubble. He had to listen, and you could tell that it made him uncomfortable.

I was particularly interested in Bush jr. wife, Laura. She looked like she swallowed a prune and was having trouble with the pits. Some say she is the most loved woman in America. Well, she is a bit too smug for me. I have not thought much of her since she gave the admonition during the last election campaign, "you don't mess with Texas." Well...yea we do. A lot.

Mrs. King was a woman who took her husband's legacy and ran with it. Martin got the holiday, but Mrs. King got the movement. The day after her husband was assassinated, Mrs. King took his place in a labor march for fairer wages. From that time on, she never stopped. (See Link)

I think Mrs. King would have loved holding Bush jr.'s heels to the fire at her funeral. Martin would have loved it too, because that is what he died for.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Musings 107--Hiding the aftermath...

There is much about the Bush Administration that makes many of us seethe in anger. It is the unseen, however, that may very well cost our nation dearly.

In publishing his budget, Bush jr. left out a crucial page showing the future impact of his programs. (See Link)

It seems the real sting of the permanent tax cuts to the rich don't pop up until 2011. Bush leaves office in 2008. Some poor smuck will have to answer for Bush jr's folly several years down the road. It just keeps getting better and better.

Here is a quote from the linked article:

"If Congress makes Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, most of the impact won't be felt until after 2011, long after the president has left office," the financial news service writes. "Some of the tax reductions are due to expire at the end of 2008 and the rest in 2010."

The loss of revenue between 2012 and 2016 is projected at $1.2 trillion.

Hey, it's only money! Little bits of green paper...ha!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Musings 106--The lost E-mails of the Bushies

It does not seem to be getting in play, but Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald mentioned in a letter to Scotter Libby's lawyers that they knew there were e-mails that were gone from the archives of both the president and vice-president. (See Link) You may remember that I. Lewis "Scotter" Libby, an ex advisor to VP Cheney, is charged with lying to prosecutors about where he got information on the outing of CIA Agent Valerie Plame

If you go to the above link and then click on letter, you find the letter to Libby's lawyers. If you go to the last page, you find this telling paragraph:

"We are aware of no evidence pertinent to the charges against defendant Libby which has been destroyed. In an abundance of caution, we advise you that we have learned that not all email of the Office of Vice President and the Executive Office of President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through the normal achieving process on the White House computer system."

Personally, I think that this sounds an awful lot like the gap in the Nixon tapes from bygone days.

The major media outlets have said very little about this. If e-mails were destroyed, then someone in the Bushie Administration is guilty of tapering with evidence. Of course, it could have been an accident--but not likely.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Musings 105.1--Murtha is right!

I usually don't do two blogs in one day, but this letter from John Murtha to Junior Bush is worth a look for those of you who care. (See Link)

I think his strategy is about as good as we can hope for. At least it is something different than Junior's "stay the course."

The number is 2,245 dead and climbing...more each day.

Musings 105--It's all good--except for Cindy!

So you may say that I kind of missed my predictions about Junior Bush calling on "god" or using "9-11" over and over again. Predictions suck anyway.

However, the message was clear: "All is well, and we are going to keep doing more of the same for the next three years." Oh, yeah!

What was most apparent to me, though, was the seemingly throw-away report of the arrest of Cindy Sheehan for wearing a T-shirt in the peanut gallery. Capitol police arrested her for "unlawful conduct." She made no resistance, was handcuffed and led away. The T-shirt said: "2,245...how many more?" (See Link)

I guess the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States does not exist in the Halls of Congress. In all fairness, Beverly Young, the wife of Representative Bill Young, R, FL,was also tossed out of the gallery by Capitol Cops for wearing a T-shirt that said: "We Support our Troops." (See Link)

I guess that it is not important that in 1971 a Supreme Court decision was rendered that said that it was free speech to wear at T-Shirt into a courthouse that said "Fuck the Draft." The court case was Cohen v. California. (See Link) I guess the new Supreme Court can overturn this decision as well as Roe v Wade.

Also, continuing on with this line of thought, are the new provisions in the Patriot Act that will allow demonstrators to be arrested and charged with a federal crime if they stray out of their designated areas at political rallies.

It just keeps getting better and better. Junior Bush and his minions have done away with more freedoms than Bin Laden could ever have hoped to have done.

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