Saturday, March 31, 2007

Another Purely Partisan Attack from Bush

Think Progress has uncover a new episode of gross hypocrisy emanating from the Bush Administration.
Exclusive: Republican Delegation Currently Visiting Syria, Spared From White House Attacks
You've really got to wonder why Bush wouldn't want Nancy Pelosi to go to Syria, but he doesn't care that Republicans are already there.

Iraq War: Blogging 'progress'


Every so often, it becomes clear just how little credit a country's government gives its population.

And then there's President Bush's Wednesday speech to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. El Presidente broached the subject of the war in Iraq, and how things are going quite well there, really. Straight from the transcript: "I want to share with you how two Iraqi bloggers -- they have bloggers in Baghdad, just like we've got here -- (laughter) -- 'Displaced families are returning home, marketplaces are seeing more activity ... We hope the governments of Baghdad and America do not lose their resolve.' " ...

... And -- even better yet! -- The New York Times reported Thursday that the two unnamed bloggers Bush quoted are brothers -- both dentists -- who met with the president in the Oval Office on Dec. 9, 2004. They do know that people can look things up on this crazy new thing called the Internet, right?

But Bush doesn't seem to have gotten the memo (from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad) before he gave his beefed up version of how "things are going quite well" in Iraq.
From Juan Cole:
The US embassy in Baghdad circulated a memo to all Americans working for the US government in the Green Zone. It ordered them to wear protective gear whenever they were outside in the Green Zone, including just moving from one building to another. Guerrillas have managed to lob a number of rockets into the area in recent days, and killed one US GI on Tuesday.

The Green Zone is therefore actually the Red Zone. I.e., it is no longer an area of good security contrasting to what is around it. Senator McCain was more wrong than can easily be imagined. Not only can American officials not just stroll through Baghdad districts unarmed and unprotected by armor, but they can't even move that way from one building to the next inside the Green Zone!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Bill Richardson on the Iraq Occupation

DFA has asked all of the presidential candidates where they stand on Iraq. Bill Richardson replied without equivocating or triangulating. I'm fairly impressed with his straight forward answer.

Last month, DFA members called upon the 2008 presidential candidates to take a stand on Iraq. Here is Governor Bill Richardson's response:

"I don't support leaving a residual force in Iraq. We should get out lock, stock, and barrel." - Governor Bill Richardson

If you like Bill Richardson's response, let him know at

Thursday, March 29, 2007

More Republican Culture of Corruption

The Myth Of Voter Fraud

By Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt
Thursday, March 29, 2007; Page A19

As Congress probes the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, attention is centering on who knew what, and when. It's just as important to focus on "why," such as the reason given for the firing of at least one of the U.S. attorneys, John McKay of Washington state: failure to prosecute the phantom of individual voter fraud.

Allegations of voter fraud -- someone sneaking into the polls to cast an illicit vote -- have been pushed in recent years by partisans seeking to justify proof-of-citizenship and other restrictive ID requirements as a condition of voting. Scare stories abound on the Internet and on editorial pages, and they quickly become accepted wisdom.

But the notion of widespread voter fraud, as these prosecutors found out, is itself a fraud. Firing a prosecutor for failing to find wide voter fraud is like firing a park ranger for failing to find Sasquatch. Where fraud exists, of course, it should be prosecuted and punished. ...

... Or consider Washington state, where McKay closely watched the photo-finish gubernatorial election of 2004. A challenge to ostensibly noncitizen voters was lodged in April 2005 on the questionable basis of "foreign-sounding names." After an election there last year in which more than 2 million votes were cast, following much controversy, only one ballot ended up under suspicion for double-voting. That makes sense. A person casting two votes risks jail time and a fine for minimal gain. Proven voter fraud, statistically, happens about as often as death by lightning strike. ... (full article)

Bush's long history of tilting Justice
The administration began skewing federal law enforcement before the current U.S. attorney scandal, says a former Department of Justice lawyer.
By Joseph D. Rich, JOSEPH D. RICH was chief of the voting section in the Justice Department's civil right division from 1999 to 2005. He now works for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
March 29, 2007

THE SCANDAL unfolding around the firing of eight U.S. attorneys compels the conclusion that the Bush administration has rewarded loyalty over all else. A destructive pattern of partisan political actions at the Justice Department started long before this incident, however, as those of us who worked in its civil rights division can attest.

I spent more than 35 years in the department enforcing federal civil rights laws — particularly voting rights. Before leaving in 2005, I worked for attorneys general with dramatically different political philosophies — from John Mitchell to Ed Meese to Janet Reno. Regardless of the administration, the political appointees had respect for the experience and judgment of longtime civil servants.

Under the Bush administration, however, all that changed. Over the last six years, this Justice Department has ignored the advice of its staff and skewed aspects of law enforcement in ways that clearly were intended to influence the outcome of elections.

It has notably shirked its legal responsibility to protect voting rights. From 2001 to 2006, no voting discrimination cases were brought on behalf of African American or Native American voters. U.S. attorneys were told instead to give priority to voter fraud cases, which, when coupled with the strong support for voter ID laws, indicated an intent to depress voter turnout in minority and poor communities. ...(full article)
Even the dimmest of ditto-heads must be starting to wonder if they've had the wool pulled over their eyes. Don't you suppose they must be feeling just a bit foolish for having spent so much time ranting about imaginary voter fraud.

Even when Washington States Republican politicians and their right-wing talk-radio buddies are caught red handed lying to their supporters, all they have to do is blame it on the mythological Liberal Media and their supporters are right back on board. But - Wouldn't it be interesting if we could listen in on those Republican politicians and their 'Talker' pals yukking it up over how gullible their loyal supporters are.

Senator Murray fights for Vets

Patty Murray, No Newcomer to Advocating for Veterans

By Lois Romano
Thursday, March 29, 2007; A17

Long before the uproar over the long-term medical care of troops returning home from Iraq made it fashionable to advocate for veterans rights, Sen. Patty Murray was on the front lines.

The Washington Democrat's father, a disabled World War II veteran, used a wheelchair most of his life. At 19, she volunteered in a veterans psychiatric ward during the Vietnam War. But nothing, Murray said, compares to what she is seeing now.

"It's just amazing to me that we are now in the fifth year of this war and this administration is still not ready for the large number of soldiers coming home -- to help them navigate the system and give them medical attention they need," she said in an interview in the Capitol. ...(full article)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007

A New Rachel Maddow Podthing

Ok., so Rachel Maddow is my favorite talk radio host and I'm hooked on her new YouTube commentaries.
Here's her latest where she talks about JOHN BOLTON! and asks the question; "why does anybody ask him anything?"

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Iraq War Fourth Anniversary Vigil

In front of the Federal Building in Bellingham, WA.
Reading the names of WA servicepersons who have died in Iraq

Friday, March 23, 2007

Iraq - Adult Supervision Required

Just in case anyone is still unclear why it's necessary for the Congress to begin "micro-managing" the war in Iraq.
GAO Faults U.S. Military Over Munitions in Iraq
Report Says Insurgents Took Unsecured Explosives

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 23, 2007; Page A07

The U.S. military's faulty war plans and insufficient troops in Iraq left thousands and possibly millions of tons of conventional munitions unsecured or in the hands of insurgent groups after the 2003 invasion -- allowing widespread looting of weapons and explosives used to make roadside bombs that cause the bulk of U.S. casualties, according to a government report released yesterday. ...

... The GAO report pointed to several critical assumptions underlying U.S. military war plans in 2003 that proved invalid -- including expectations that Iraqi resistance was unlikely and that the Iraqi army would capitulate and continue to provide security.

As a result, widespread looting of munitions took place, including at the majority of Iraqi Republican Guard garrisons as well as 401 other sites, according to the GAO. ... (full article)

Although the GAO ever so politely calls it "the U.S. Military's faulty war plan", in reality it was and is the Bush Administrations war plan. The plans and advice of Military Officers have been over-ruled by Bush Administration civilians from the start. Lack of attention and shortage of personnel are the fault of Republican hacks appointed to positions of responsibility in the Pentagon and ultimately to George Bush and his advisers.

Not only is the Bush administration responsible for handing explosives to the insurgents in Iraq, they are also responsible for slowly grinding down the Army and Marine Corps:
Military not ready for other wars
Troops in US lack resources, government says

By Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post | March 20, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Four years after the invasion of Iraq, the high and growing demand for US troops there and in Afghanistan has left ground forces in the United States short of the training, personnel, and equipment that would be vital to fight a major ground conflict elsewhere, senior US military and government officials acknowledge.

More troubling, the officials say, is that it will take years for the Army and Marine Corps to recover from what some officials privately have called a "death spiral," in which the ever-more-rapid pace of war-zone rotations has consumed 40 percent of their total gear, wearied troops, and left no time to train to fight anything other than the insurgencies now at hand.

The risk to the nation is serious and deepening, senior officers warn, because the US military now lacks a large strategic reserve of ground troops ready to respond quickly and decisively to potential foreign crises, whether the internal collapse of Pakistan, a conflict with Iran, or an outbreak of war on the Korean Peninsula. Air and naval power can only go so far in compensating for infantry, artillery, and other land forces, they said. An immediate concern is that critical Army overseas equipment stocks for use in another conflict have been depleted by the recent troop increases in Iraq, they said. ... (full article)

Murtha Responds to Bush Threats

The House has passed the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health and Iraq Accountability Act, 218-212.

Rep. Jack Murtha closes the debate on the Iraq Accountability Act.
Rep. Murtha: Iraq Accountability Act Closing Speech

Shortly after the vote in the House, Bush threatened to veto the bill.
Shortly after that Jack Murtha reacted to Bush's threat.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Majority of Americans Are Democrats

Americans have realized that they were having the wool pulled over their eyes by the Republican Party. Compassionate Conservatism was a scam. Republicans Politicians and Conservative Religious demagogue's have turned out to be thieves, liars and sicko's.

Democrats haven't offered pie in the sky answers to life's hard questions, they've been unglamorously honest. And now, American understands that it's true; “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”.
Bush may have missed his opportunity to build a GOP majority
By Steven Thomma - McClatchy Newspapers

... A solid Republican majority seemed within reach, especially after the country rallied behind Bush after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Bush's Republicans defied history by gaining seats in the 2002 midterm congressional elections, which usually tilt against the president's party. That year, the Republicans moved into a tie with the Democrats in terms of voters' self-proclaimed party identification: 43 percent called themselves Democrats or leaning that way, and the same percentage called themselves Republicans.

Now that's all gone.

Today, 50 percent of Americans call themselves Democrats or lean that way, while 35 percent call themselves Republicans or lean that way.

"Over the past five years, the political landscape of the nation has shifted from one of partisan parity to a sizable Democratic advantage," the Pew analysis said. "But the change reflects Republican losses more than Democratic gains."

"That's due to dissatisfaction with the White House," Kohut added in an interview.

Dissatisfaction with the White House stems from many sources. Soaring federal spending. Budget deficits. Illegal immigration. Hurricane Katrina. And, of course, Iraq.

At the same time, the country is becoming more amenable to the Democratic view of such divisive issues as God, war and welfare, the Pew survey found. Kohut attributed some of that to what he called the "cycles of history." ... (McClathy Washington Bureau)
( For the full Pew survey, go to

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gore Testimony

GORE HIGHLIGHTS: Our Grandchildren Are Counting On Us

During the Senate hearing James Inhofe (R-OK) showed he really isn't OK. He got so out of hand that Chairwoman Boxer had to rein him in.
Inhofe asked Gore for his reaction, but then quickly cut him off saying Gore had taken up too much time. When Gore tried to go on, Inhofe repeatedly interrupted, adding, “I don’t want to be rude, but from now on, I’m going to ask you to respond…in writing.” Inhofe said Gore could respond verbally only if it was a “very brief response.”

Committee chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) finally intervened. “Would you agree to let the Vice President answer your questions?” Inhofe said Gore could respond when he was done talking, but Boxer wouldn’t have it: “No, that isn’t the rule. You’re not making the rules. You used to when you did this. Elections have consequences. So I make the rules.” The hearing audience applauded loudly. (ThinkProgess)

Watch: Barbara Boxer Gives Sen. Inhofe A Lesson

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What's Bush Hiding?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A defiant President Bush warned Democrats Tuesday to accept his offer to have top aides speak about the firings of federal prosecutors only privately and not under oath, or risk a constitutional showdown from which he would not back down.

Democrats' response was swift and firm: They said they would start authorizing subpoenas as soon as Wednesday for the White House aides.

"Testimony should be on the record and under oath. That's the formula for true accountability," said Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. ...

... Bush said his White House counsel, Fred Fielding, told lawmakers they could interview presidential counselor Karl Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and their deputies - but only on the president's terms: in private, "without the need for an oath" and without a transcript. ... (full article)

If the Bush Administration hasn't done anything wrong, why won't they go to Congress and testify?

In DOJ documents that were publicly posted by the House Judiciary Committee, there is a gap from mid-November to early December in e-mails and other memos, which was a critical period as the White House and Justice Department reviewed, then approved, which U.S. attorneys would be fired while also developing a political and communications strategy for countering any fallout from the firings. ...(from: The Politico)
If they haven't done anything wrong, then why the gap from mid-November to early December? Goodness gracious! What were they up to?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Another Podthing from Rachel

The Rachel Maddow Podthing - Four War Years

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Sport We Can All Love

Bellingham Roller Betties, an all-women roller derby league.

WA Senators vote for Troops Home


Iraq troop withdrawal: By a vote of 48-50, the Senate on Thursday defeated a binding measure (SJ Res 9) to start U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq within four months of enactment. The measure, which needed 60 votes for approval, suggested March 31, 2008, as the date for completing the pullout while leaving a residual force to protect American interests, train Iraqi forces and pursue terrorists.

A yes vote backed the resolution.

Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D; Patty Murray, D.

(Seattle Times)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ides of March edition

Rolling Stone Magazine gathered a panel of experts to examine the situation in Iraq. Their unanimous conclusion is that the U.S. has lost. They also conclude that having U.S. troops stay-the-course will only make things worse in the long run. Since the panel isn't blowing jingoistic sunshine up anybodies backside, doubtless the Right-wing true-believers will consider this honest analysis to be a stab in the back.
Beyond Quagmire
A panel of experts convened by Rolling Stone agree that the war in Iraq is lost. The only question now is: How bad will the coming explosion be?


The war in Iraq isn't over yet, but -- surge or no surge -- the United States has already lost. That's the grim consensus of a panel of experts assembled by Rolling Stone to assess the future of Iraq. "Even if we had a million men to go in, it's too late now," says retired four-star Gen. Tony McPeak, who served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War. "Humpty Dumpty can't be put back together again."

Those on the panel -- including diplomats, counterterror analysts and a former top military commander -- agree that President Bush's attempt to secure Baghdad will only succeed in dragging out the conflict, creating something far beyond any Vietnam-style "quagmire." The surge won't bring an end to the sectarian cleansing that has ravaged Iraq, as the newly empowered Shiite majority seeks to settle scores built up during centuries of oppressive rule by the Sunni minority. It will do nothing to defuse the powder keg that an independence-minded Kurdistan, in Iraq's northern provinces, poses to the governments of Turkey, Syria and Iran, which have long brutalized their own Kurdish separatists. And it will only worsen the global war on terror. ...

... How bad will things get in Iraq -- and what price will the world ultimately pay for the president's decision to prolong the war? To answer those questions, we asked our panel to sketch out three distinct scenarios for Iraq: the best we can hope for, the most likely outcome and the worst that could happen. ... (Rolling Stone - Leaving Iraq: The Grim Truth)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

WA Republicans Fake Another Scandal

The Seattle Times chief political reporter Dave Postman wrote on his blog about how the BIAW and their Republican lackeys in the State House are attempting to smear the Governor. They are trying to create a scandal out of thin air.
... But they are part of wider efforts by Republicans and their backers at the Building Industry Association of Washington to raise questions about Gregoire's political ties to the tribes. Tribes are generous donors to Gregoire, state Democrats and last year to a Gregoire-endorsed PAC that raised money for Supreme Court incumbents.

Buri said in a press release last night: "No one on our side of the aisle is accusing the governor of misusing her office."

But the suggestion has certainly been made. In a Feb. 26 letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne asking him to stop the gaming agreement, Deputy Republican Leader Doug Ericksen said:

We are also asking for a denial of this gaming compact to allow time to address questions that have arisen regarding the circumstances of the negotiations and the decision-making process that led to the submission of this compact to your office. Recent news reports have tied substantial campaign contributions from the tribes and tribal gaming interests to key decision-makers. It has led us to consider whether the bargaining position of the state has been compromised.

... There really hasn't been much coverage and very little that I'd characterize the way the Ericksen letter did. ... (Postman on Politics)
What this right-wing squawking reminds me of most is the bold face lying that went on in 2004 when Dino Rossi (R) lost the Governors race. The BIAW and WA Republicans tried to generate an election scandal by lying about voter fraud. And remember, these are the same people who conspired to have U.S. Attorney McKay removed from his job because he wouldn't open a groundless, politically motivated investigation/smear of the gubernatorial election.

Right-wing Republicans in Washington State have a long history of baseless accusations and fabricating scandals. Their increasingly obvious dishonesty is the main reason they're on their way to extinction and refusing to acknowledge evolution won't save them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fife and Drummed Out of the Army

Rachel Maddow, my favorite talk radio host, is now doing podcasts. Watch, listen, ponder.
The Rachel Maddow Podthing -
Walter Reed Blame Game

Monday, March 12, 2007

Farmers Goosed by Global Warming

While Right-wingers are still rejecting Global warming with simpleminded arguments, farmers here in Washington state are already suffering financial loses.
Climate change arrives on wings of snow geese
More to come, a biologist predicts

Cookson Beecher
Capital Press Staff Writer

STANWOOD, Wash. - Dairy farmer Ted Oien may not think of the tens of thousands of snow geese that have descended on his fields and wiped out his first cutting of grass hay as a visible sign of climate change, but that's how some biologists see it. ...

Climate change enters the picture because the snow geese breed and nest on Wrangel Island, Russia, which Davison described as "a volatile arctic environment."

Now that the climate has moderated in that frigid region, more eggs are hatching out and more chicks are surviving.

For some farmers in the Stanwood area of Snohomish County and on Fir Island in Skagit County, those successful hatches and survival rates add up to what has become a financial nightmare. ...(source:
Capital Press Agriculture Weekly)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Saturday - Tear Gas Special

Tacoma Police Attack Peace Protesters

king5 TV report

Three arrests made overnight at Port

Published: March 10th, 2007 11:01 AM

Three protesters were arrested late Friday and early today at the Port of Tacoma during a campaign to try to stop the shipment of Strykers and other military vehicles to Iraq.

Police used pepper spray and gas to control protesters, said Tacoma police spokeswoman Gretchen Ellis.

Two protesters were arrested at 2:30 a.m. today when a group threw wooden road barriers onto the street and sat in the roadway at Milwaukee Way and Lincoln Avenue, Ellis said. One was arrested for obstructing police and another was arrested for third-degree assault of a police officer, she said. The group refused a police warning to leave and was then sprayed with a gas, ...(article)

Friday, March 09, 2007

run.....President Gore

i have been listening to the talk about presidential candidates and i certainly have my short list of those who have declared.....i have been a big fan of President Gore since he won the election and fought all the way to the supreme court to serve.....bush v gore("just this once" )
if he would decide to give us another chance and run for president i was just convinced by Rachel Maddow today that would be a great idea..... and it would be fun to elect him 3 times!!

SHOULD AL RUN? Today on the show, Rachel gives us her take on why she thinks Al Gore should run for President. Not why he should win, just why he should run.
It's a theory largely supported by an amazing speech Al Gore made in 2002.

another speech i heard that moved me....... amazing!
this exerpt is from a speech that was presidental and breathtaking......

Transcript: Al Gore On the Limits of Executive Power
Monday, 16 January 2006
by Al Gore
.......A special counsel should immediately be appointed by the Attorney General to remedy the obvious conflict of interest that prevents him from investigating what many believe are serious violations of law by the President. We have had a fresh demonstration of how an independent investigation by a special counsel with integrity can rebuild confidence in our system of justice. Patrick Fitzgerald has, by all accounts, shown neither fear nor favor in pursuing allegations that the Executive Branch has violated other laws. Republican as well as Democratic members of Congress should support the bipartisan call of the Liberty Coalition for the appointment of a special counsel to pursue the criminal issues raised by warrantless wiretapping of Americans by the President.
Second, new whistleblower protections should immediately be established for members of the Executive Branch who report evidence of wrongdoing -- especially where it involves theabuse of Executive Branch authority in the sensitive areas of national security.
Third, both Houses of Congress should hold comprehensive-and not just superficial-hearings into these serious allegations of criminal behavior on the part of the President. And, they should follow the evidence wherever it leads.
the extensive new powers requested by the Executive Branch in its proposal to extend and enlarge the Patriot Act should, under no circumstances be granted, unless and until there are adequate and enforceable safeguards to protect the Constitution and the rights of the American people against the kinds of abuses that have so recently been revealed.
Fifth, any telecommunications company that has provided the government with access to private information concerning the communications of Americans without a proper warrant should immediately cease and desist their complicity in this apparently illegal invasion of the privacy of American citizens.
transcipt here
full speech can be heard here

so i will urge him to run and if he does i will go to caucus for him and try to convince others to as well.....and i will work like a dog to get him elected if he is nominated.(as i will do for other great democrats as well)

Al Gore as president would have us in such a different place on planet earth right the very least i am so grateful to him for never giving up trying to make this planet a better place and caring so much about those that come after us......

Thursday, March 08, 2007


CBC (that's the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has a News program called the fifth estate. It's real investigative journalism, like we used to have here in the U.S. of A.. This week they presented a program titled "The Lies That Led To War":
The Lies That Led To War provides context to the events of the previous six years, showing how political, diplomatic, media spin – which sometimes crossed the line into outright lies - have been used by the those in power to further their own agendas.
You can watch the whole program online

CBC News: the fifth estate

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

letter thanks Senator Brandland and i do too!

i visited Senator Brandland in february with

he was very cordial, receiving us in his office....i wasn't sure how he would vote and i think this letter to the editor expresses my feeling. thank you Senator Brandland. i will remember this one........

Thanks Brandland for vote on sex ed
On behalf of ASK (Advocates for Sexual Health Knowledge), a group of concerned local high school students, I would like to thank state Sen. Dale Brandland, R-Whatcom County, for voting for the Healthy Youth Act (SB 5297) in the Senate Education Committee on Feb. 26. His vote shows that he supports teens’ rights to receive comprehensive and medically accurate sexual health education in schools.
Last month several members of ASK. met with Brandland in Olympia to discuss this important bill. He listened attentively to our comments and promised to give the bill his serious consideration. Brandland’s vote shows that he kept this promise, and I appreciate his willingness to listen to the young people whose lives will be affected by this bill.
Hopefully, with his support, Washington state teens will soon be ensured the information we need to make informed, healthy decisions about our sexual health.

Andy McClenahan


end healthcare profiteering........

this looks like it will be well worth attending......

United for National Health Care presents:

Dr. Don Sloan

author of
Practicing Medicine Without a License: The corporate takeover of healthcare in America

Sunday, March 11, 7:00 pm
Fairhaven Public Library
1117 12th Street

Dr. Sloan presents a comprehensive critique of our failing healthcare system. He gives historical context to the current political debate, articulates the need for reform, and makes the case for a radical solution: a single payer, universal health plan for everyone, mandated by law.

a free community event -- for more information phone 360-398-7326

Monday, March 05, 2007

Conservatives Hypocrisy Exposed

Watch Air America radio host Rachel Maddow dissect Ann Coulters loose lips

MSNBC TV - Countdown
Ann Coulter's loose lips
March 5: Are Republicans outraged enough to end their cycle of giving Ann Coulter a platform? Air America radio host Rachel Maddow discusses.

Then read:
Potty Mouth Malkin
by Max Blumenthal
Family-friendly language cop Michelle Malkin gets vulgar over a VideoNation documentary. Who's unhinged?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Conservatism on Parade

You can watch some of the Right-wing's annual antics in:
Max Blumenthal’s CPAC: The Unauthorized Documentary.

Near the end of the video is Godless Ann Coulter's slur of John Edwards. Missy Ann has since made her usual tediously lame excuses, saying; “C’mon, it was a joke. ..."

GOP Presidential candidates didn't think Ann's comments were a joke:
The remarks by Ann Coulter, an author who regularly speaks at conservative events, were sharply denounced by the candidates, Senator John McCain of Arizona, Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. Their statements came after Democrats, gay rights groups and bloggers raised a storm of protest over the remarks. (NYT)
And neither did Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition!

WASHINGTON, Mar. 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Christian Defense Coalition denounces Ann Coulter's use of the term "faggot" in describing Senator John Edwards and hopes she will issue an apology.

Group says hateful speech and harsh name calling should have no place in American politics. (Christian Newswire)
Dave at Orcinus has some good analysis of the meaning behind the Conservatives invite her, condemn her syndrome: "Coulter and the rest of us"

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Support Our Troops - Bush Style

Bush joins outcry in hospital scandal

As the row over filthy conditions at a top US military ward cost two army chiefs their jobs, the President vows to help veterans

Paul Harris in New York
Sunday March 4, 2007
The Observer

President Bush was forced to pledge tough action yesterday to deal with a growing scandal over the poor treatment of wounded Iraq war veterans, which has led to a series of military resignations.

The furore has centred on conditions at the Walter Reed hospital in Washington, DC, which is considered the best military facility of its kind in America. However, revelations in the Washington Post last week revealed dilapidated conditions at several buildings used to house military outpatients.

The newspaper described infestations of rats in some rooms, mouldy walls and damp-stained fixtures. That was enough for the head of Walter Reed, Major-General George Weightman, to be fired. His sacking was then swiftly followed by the resignation of the Army Secretary, Francis Harvey. Harvey was the army's top civilian official.

But the political crisis has not stopped there. In a highly unusual move aimed at stemming the damage, the White House has now become involved. In his weekly radio address yesterday, Bush slammed conditions at the hospital. 'This is unacceptable to me, it is unacceptable to our country and it is not going to continue,' he said. ... (link)
Today Bush had some Big Words. But where's he been up to now? All of his doting devotees never tire of telling us how he's the Commander-in-Chief. Why has it taken an exposé in the WaPo to get his attention?

The Marine Corps Times tells us the problems have been known for years:

But the troubles at the hospital — substandard housing for injured troops and a dysfunctional medical evaluation system — did not start on Weightman’s watch.

As far back as 2005, service members spoke about these problems in congressional hearings. The Government Accountability Office reported on the problems last March. And the Army Inspector General has been investigating the problems for over a year.

Indeed, the GAO report traces the problems back to the tenure of Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, who commanded Walter Reed from June 2002 to September 2004. (link)

Clearly those reports didn't get Bush's attention any more than that August 6, 2001 PDB titled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US".

Now Bush has speechified on how he's a'gonna fix things. Will he lavish the same attention to this problem that he's given to the Gulf Coast after hurricane Katrina? I suspect his promise that "it is not going to continue" will be just one more helping of plastic thanksgiving turkey for the troops.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Domestic Partnership Passes in WA Senate

Washington State Senate Bill 5336 creates domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. It passes today by a vote of 28 - 19 with 2 excused.

Four Democrats voted against the Bill:
Tim Sheldon - 35th LD, Brian Hatfield - 19th LD, Jim Hargrove - 24th LD and Marilyn Rasmussen - 2nd LD. I hope their votes don't mean they're in sympathy with the perverse views of Val Stevens (R) 39th LD:
"We have watched this incremental movement as it has slowly eroded the sanctity of marriage," said Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington. "This bill isn't about civil rights. It's about changing society in ways that will ultimately harm it." (source)
In stark contrast to the sick and twisted ideas of 'Satan's Grandma' Val Stevens:

The lone Republican to vote for the bill was Sen. Dale Brandland of Bellingham. He didn't speak to his vote during the floor debate, but later said he was affected by the story of Kathryn Fleming, who died in December after she became trapped by rising water in her basement studio in Seattle.

Her partner, Charlene Strong, told lawmakers during public hearings about how she was initially barred from the hospital room and later encountered obstacles in trying to donate Fleming's retinas, and in planning the funeral.

"I started thinking about my law enforcement career and people that I know, and I started thinking to myself how would I like that if one of those people got injured and their domestic partner couldn't get up to see them," Brandland said. "I just couldn't do that." (source)

Senator Dale Brandland (R) 42nd LD deserves praise for bucking the right-wing ideologues of his party and making a truly moral vote.