Monday, February 27, 2006

What did Bellingham ever do to Alaska?

Ferry to Alaska becomes pawn in political dispute over Arctic drilling
In symbolic move, lawmaker proposes ending states' link


A symbolic move? Sounds more like attempted blackmail!

Senator Ted Stevens (R)-Oilaska vowed revenge after he was thwarted in his crude move to open ANWR to drilling. He and his pals have been trying to screw over Washington State ever since.

First, Stevens tried to increase oil-tanker traffic (and the risk of oil spills) in Puget Sound by doing away with the 1977 Magnuson Marine Mammal Protection Act. But he was unsuccessful. (and we'll pretend like we didn't notice that Stevens attempted revenge on Senator Cantwell would have benefited one of his all time biggest contributors - BP, by letting them enlarge their refinery at Cherry Point.)

Then, Stevens pal Don Young (R) Alaska (chair of the House Transportation Committee), attempted to move the homeport of the Coast Guard ice-breaker Healy from Seattle to Anchorage. Young quietly inserted a one-sentence line about this in the 78-page bill on the Coast Guard and maritime transportation. That jab at Washington State didn't work out either. He withdrew his proposal.

Now, we've got Rep. Kurt Olson, (R-Soldotna) sponsoring a resolution in the Alaska state legislature to terminate ferry service between Bellingham, WA and Alaska. His resolution is sitting in committee and Olson said he would wait until he discusses it with U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, before requesting a hearing. But Alaskans (especially those who can't enter Canada because of DUI convictions) think it's a stupid idea that would hurt them more than it would hurt Bellingham.

With Republicans in charge - who needs enemies

The Bush Administration with the collusion of the Republicans in congress have been wearing out and using up our National Guard. After multiple rotations to Iraq, the situation has become critical.
Bush Policies Are Weakening National Guard, Governors Say

...Tens of thousands of National Guard members have been sent to Iraq, along with much of the equipment needed to deal with natural disasters and terrorist threats in the United States, the governors said here at the winter meeting of the National Governors Association. ...

...In a preview of their message, all 50 governors signed a letter to the president opposing any cuts in the size of the National Guard. ...(more)
With the Bushiveks in charge, Iraq has become an endless exercise in deadly stubbornness, where our troops don't lose but can't win.
Fort Lewis'’ first Stryker Brigade prepares for second trek to Iraq

Published: February 27th, 2006 02:30 AM

Soldiers from the Army's first Stryker Brigade Combat Team are in the midst of their last major training exercise as they prepare for a second tour in Iraq. ...

...The 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, based in Fort Lewis, began a yearlong combat mission in Iraq in late 2003. They'’re preparing to replace the 172nd Stryker Brigade of Fort Wainwright, Alaska. ...(more)

With Democrats in charge, Washington State is picking up the slack left by the criminal mismanagement of the Pentagon and the VA system.

State reaches out to veterans torn by trauma
More money to treat post-traumatic stress disorder is written into budget proposals.

By Blythe Lawrence
Herald Writer

OLYMPIA - The effects of the war in Iraq are beginning to reverberate in the state Legislature.

A state-funded treatment program for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder could receive an extra $170,000 this year, enough to serve another 130 soldiers should they need help when they return from Iraq.

The funds are in a $500,000 package for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the budgets proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire, the House of Representatives and state Senate.

Only Washington and New Jersey have state-funded PTSD treatment programs. Washington is the only state with an increasing number of veterans, said Tom Schumacher, who runs the Everett-based program. ...(more)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

more depleted(not)uranium.....and Iraq

what kind of hell can we buy with $77million tax dollars........

ATK Bags $38 Million Tank Ammo Order

by UPI WireFeb 20, 2006

........The M829A3 specs show that the 22.3-kilogram round uses 8 kilograms of solid propellent to attain a muzzle velocity of 1,555 meters per second. While the velocity isn't as fast as other U.S. 120-mm rounds, the 10-kg projectile is heavier than the others. The projectile's use of depleted uranium shows continued confidence in the slightly radioactive but increasingly controversial depleted uranium. full article

and this......

The Sunday Times
February 19, 2006
UK radiation jump blamed on Iraq shells
Mark Gould and Jon Ungoed-Thomas
RADIATION detectors in Britain recorded a fourfold increase in uranium levels in the atmosphere after the “shock and
awe” bombing campaign against Iraq, according to a report.
Environmental scientists who uncovered the figures through freedom of information laws say it is evidence that depleted uranium from the shells was carried by wind currents
to Britain. full article

I sent this to my congressman who i heard on saturday....he believes we should "stay the course" and repeats the administration "training up the troops" rhetoric....i don’t think we can talk about Iraq and depleted uranium too much.………

I saw you in Bellingham today and appreciated much of what you had to say. I disagree with your position on Iraq. And I remember well your vote against the war in the beginning. That has sustained me through the some other votes. (Bankruptcy for instance) However, our staying in Iraq will just fuel the steady decline we have witnessed since the beginning of this disaster. The same inept, corrupt civilian leadership are running things. My favorite Iraqi voice, Riverbend, summarizes things pretty well in this post. She is well worth following. If the people of Iraq had water, electricity, jobs, and safety things could be different. Right now I think most Iraqis see us as the cause of the horrible conditions in their country. There cannot be an insurgency without the support of the people. Iraqis want us out of there!!! We have done nothing but make their lives a living hell. Iraq has turned into the quagmire credible people predicted. The Iraqis know how to rebuild their country. They do not need war profiteering contractors. Isn’t that against the law? We should be out of there and paying reparations to them. We cannot win anything there. And I have yet to know what our mission is there? Staying will only continue the financial and moral bankrupting of our nation. I don’t know if we will ever recover from the reckless foreign policy of the last 5 years. And the new branding this month of “the long war” says everything. The latest news about the training of the Iraqis to take this over is not good.

Pentagon: Iraqi troops downgraded No Iraqi battalion capable offighting without U.S. support

Friday, February 24, 2006; Posted: 8:29 p.m.EST (01:29 GMT)WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The only Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without U.S. support has been downgraded to a level requiring them to fight with American troops backing them up, the Pentagon said Friday. full article

.........Another thing you mentioned was nuclear proliferation. I sure do agree this is a huge problem and look forward to real work toward solutions. How can we have any moral authority on this issue? We have the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet with plans for more. How can we ask the rest of the world to work with us when it seems we are saying one thing and doing the opposite? And the fact that we are spreading our nuclear waste all over the middle east in the form of depleted uranium is unconscionable. We are using this and selling weapons for others to use. Over 11,000 Gulf War1veterans, to date, have died and thousands more are disabled. DU has been definitely linked to Gulf War Syndrome. And the DU spread then is nothing compared to what has been done since march 03 and continues. We are leaving a gift that “keeps on giving” to the innocent people living there. Our veterans and their families are paying a horrific price. We face a worldwide health crisis from what we are doing right now.

Heads roll at Veterans Administration Mushrooming depleted uranium(DU) scandal blamed
by Bob Nichols
Project Censored Award Winner Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter charged Monday that the reason Veterans Affairs
Secretary Anthony Principi stepped down earlier thismonth was the growing scandal surrounding the use of uranium munitions in the Iraq War. …..Arthur N. Bernklau, executivedirector of Veterans for Constitutional Law in New York, stated, “The real reason for Mr. Principi’s departure was really never given, however a special report published by eminent scientist Leuren Moret naming depleted uranium as the definitive cause of the ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ has fed a growing scandal about the continued use of uranium munitions by the US Military.” Full article

Depleted uranium: Dirty bombs, dirty missiles, dirty bullets A death sentence here and abroad

by Leuren Moret full article

This insanity has got to stop. I feel we must get out of Iraq. Until we are demonstrating the right behavior it’s hard to ask much of the rest of the world. Right now we are behaving as belligerent bullies instead of the good people I believe most Americans are. As you often say, we agree about most things. I really do appreciate the work you do. I sure wouldn’t be able to do what you do.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Almost here - A Washington Media "Shield Law"

There's an editorial in the Bellingham Herald urging the Washington State Senate to pass the Media "Shield Law" HB 2452 . A Media "Shield Law" is certainly a good idea and this bill looks pretty comprehensive in it's protection.

I'm not sure why the editorial takes Democratic State Senators to task, it certainly doesn't step-up and name names. The bill passed the State House 87-11 with ten of those eleven nay votes coming from Republicans; So it's tough to tell if there's really a problem or if it's just grandstanding by Attorney General Rob McKenna (R).

It couldn't hurt to drop an email to your State Senator, asking them to be sure this bill gets passed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Of Seaports and Security

A United Arab Emirates government-owned business is set to take over running SIX major American ports and:
Bush said the seaports arrangement is "a legitimate deal that will not jeopardize the security of the country."
Yeah, well... I'm having some trouble buying that. Bush's track record on "Homeland Security" and honesty are abysmal.

Jan. 24, 2006 — Documents released today by Congress show that two days before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the White House received detailed damage forecasts from Homeland Security officials predicting that the city's levees might be overtopped or breached.

Yet in the days after the storm struck on Aug. 29, federal officials, including President Bush, said the levee breaches could not have been foreseen.

And in spite of the Aug. 6, 2001 PBD wasn't Bush the guy who said no one could have imagined terrorist flying planes into the World Trade Towers?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Washington State G-O-Pooh

Remember when the Washington State Republican Legislators announced they had a plan, a "Commitment to Washington"? Well they have a progress report on their plan. And it turns out their plan is to take credit for what the Democrats have done!
Rep. Doug Ericksen (R) - Press Room

Commitment to Washington update

Jan. 19, 2006 - (Olympia) - This is the first of several periodic updates on the progress of legislation proposed by House and Senate Republicans in their Commitment to Washington - an 11-point agenda for the 2006 legislative session.

* House Bill 2370 passed the House and Senate and signed into law -– Provides $7.6 million in low-income energy assistance and is one part of our commitment to help reduce energy costs for families.
Yes, Doug Ericksen Republican Floor Leader, added his name to the co-sponsors of Bill 2370 and now that's the number one accomplishment of the House Republican Caucus. Just one wee little problem, Ericksen is the only Republican co-sponsor and their are thirty Democratic co-sponsor!!!

HB 2370 - 2005-06
Funding low-income home energy assistance.

Sponsors: Representatives Green (D-28th), Williams (D-22nd), Kessler (D-24th), Kilmer (D-26th), Chase (D-32nd ), Blake (D-19th), Morrell (D-25th), Appleton (D-23rd), Moeller (D-49th), Hasegawa (D-11th), Murray (D-43rd), Linville (D-42nd), Conway (D-29th), P. Sullivan (D-11th), Springer (D-45th), Takko (D-19th), Lantz (D-26th), Dickerson (D-36th), Kenney (D-46th), Fromhold (D-49th), Kagi (D-32nd), McIntire (D-46th), B. Sullivan (D-21st), Simpson (D-47th), Ericks (D-1st), Sells (D-38th), Upthegrove (D-33rd), Ormsby (D-3rd), McDermott (D-34th), Schual-Berke (D- 33rd), Ericksen (R-42nd )

By Request: Governor Gregoire

And the Senate companion bill doesn't make the Republicans look any better, with only four Republicans versus twenty-two Democrats co-sponsoring the bill.
SB 6285 - 2005-06
Funding low-income home energy assistance.

Sponsors: Senators Eide (D), Poulsen (D), Rockefeller (D), Pridemore (D), Rasmussen (D), Brown (D), Haugen (D), Berkey (D), Keiser (D), Prentice (D), Fairley (D), Kastama (D), Fraser (D), Kohl-Welles (D), McAuliffe (D), Thibaudeau (D), Spanel (D), Regala (D), Kline (D), Shin (D), Sheldon (D), Franklin (D), Mulliken-R, Morton-R, Roach-R, Oke-R

By Request: Governor Gregoire
Companion Bill: HB 2370
There are some words for what Republican Floor Leader Ericksen and his GOPals are trying to do, and the polite ones are: lie; perjure, equivocate, fudge, palter; beguile, cozen, deceive, delude, dupe, fool, gull, hoax, hoodwink, kid, snow, take in, trick; defame, libel, slander, traduce; falsify, misrepresent, misstate; distort, garble; dissemble, dissimulate; misguide, misinform, mislead

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Bush Robbing the Working Class to pay the Rich

U.S. Has Royalty Plan to Give Windfall to Oil Companies
Published: February 14, 2006

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 — The federal government is on the verge of one of the biggest giveaways of oil and gas in American history, worth an estimated $7 billion over five years.

New projections, buried in the Interior Department's just-published budget plan, anticipate that the government will let companies pump about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government. ...(more)

Bush and his coconspirators are planning to give at least $7 billion to their oil and gas pals while he squeezes a billion out of working families by jacking up PNW electric bills 10%.

Federal Budget: Juicing the region


Tuesday, February 7, 2006

The Pacific Northwest got a jolting reminder Monday of what passes for budgeting in the Bush administration.

If the president has his way, the region will have to pay more for electricity. The proposed increase in Bonneville Power Administration rates would hit some utilities harder than others. But we would all likely feel the effects from taking nearly $1 billion from Northwest families and businesses over 10 years to make a minor difference in the federal Treasury. ...(more)

And there's more at stake than an increase in our electric bills,

there are Family Wage Jobs on the chopping block:

Future again hinges on an uncertain BPA contract

...Coming to an agreement may prove challenging. The region has grown and BPA has more customers sharing the once-abundant supply of cheap hydroelectric power from dams on the Columbia River.

If Intalco and BPA can't reach an agreement, the facility once again will be at a huge risk of closure. ...

...Facing a future as cloudy as Intalco's, company officials have tried to find ways to survive. That's meant trying to make the facility as efficient as possible, according to Rousseau. One effort has been a program to purchase scrap metal and re-melt it, which takes less energy than creating new metal. The scrap metal project now represents about 30 percent of all the products that come from the facility. ....
Employees: About 460 people work at the facility. Before the energy crunch of 2000, the plant had about 1,100 employees when running at full capacity.

Fast facts: The plant is one of two aluminum smelter facilities left in Washington state, the other is in Wenatchee. Since 2001, the facility has used improved operational procedures to reduce greenhouse gas potential from aluminum reduction by more than 60 percent. The company pays about $1.2 million annually in property taxes.
How about joining the fight to keep PNW regional power and jobs.

Cantwell tells Bush she will fight BPA plan


WASHINGTON -- Sen. Maria Cantwell met with President Bush on Tuesday and told him that Northwest lawmakers strongly oppose an administration plan to change the revenue structure of the Bonneville Power Administration.

Under the president's budget, surplus revenue from the Portland, Ore.-based federal power marketing agency would no longer be used to lower electricity rates for Northwest consumers. Instead the money would be used to pay down the federal debt.

Cantwell and other Northwest lawmakers call the plan unacceptable. The Washington Democrat said she told the president as much at the White House meeting. ...

...Cantwell has called on Northwest residents to sign an online petition demanding an end to the plan, which she would said "unravel" BPA's cost-based rates. The petition is posted on Cantwell's Senate Web site at More than 1,000 people have signed the petition in the past three days.

Don't blame the whole Party

It stinks, but don't blame the whole Democratic Party for what some Politicians are doing.

Iraq Vet Abandons Ohio Political Bid

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett, a Bush administration critic who had been recruited by top Democrats to run for U.S. Senate, said Tuesday he was reluctantly dropping his campaign and declared his political career over.

Hackett said he was pressured by party leaders to drop out of the Senate primary and run for the House against Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt instead.

National Democratic leaders, especially Sen. Charles Schumer, added to that pressure by telling his top fundraisers to stop sending money, Hackett said. ...(more)

Personally, I'm still onboard with Doctor, Governor, Chairman Howard Dean.

The Democratic Party's Blog
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
About Paul Hackett

As you know, Iraq veteran Paul Hackett left the race for U.S. Senate in Ohio today. In his campaigns, Paul had the courage to stand up and speak out for what he believes in. That is how Democrats will win elections and take this country back for the people who built it. Our country and our party are better off when people like Paul step up and run for office, up and down the ballot, in every election. I also want you to know that it is the policy of the Democratic National Committee not to intervene in contested primaries. We need more people running for office at every level, gaining experience and bringing new voices into our party. I want to thank Paul Hackett for inspiring so many people to be part of the political process, including many of the "Fighting Dems" running for office across the country. Keep up the fight, Howard

Posted by Howard Dean at 11:57 AM
It's going to take time to remake the Democratic Party as a really Grassroots Party. And it won't happen at all if the Grassroots are a bunch of petulant wimps who take their toys and go home at the first sign of trouble.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"Shattered The Myth Of White Supremacy"

just heard this quotation and loved it......thanks Liberal Serving.....

"If there's one thing that George Bush has done that we should never forget, it's that for us and for our children, he has shattered the myth of white supremacy once and for all,"

Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY), via Tennessee
Guerilla Women

Farm Bureau files initiative to end farming

Farm bureau files land-use initiative
Property owners would be paid for restrictions


The Washington Farm Bureau filed an initiative Wednesday that would require governments to compensate landowners who've suffered financially or lost use of their land because of regulations passed in the past 10 years.

"Our ... Initiative would require government to understand the impact that its laws and regulations have on landowners, both financial and personal," said Steve Appel, a Whitman County wheat grower and state Farm Bureau president. "Who can argue with that?" ...(more)

"Who can argue with that?" Well... for starters:

Brian at Washblog sez:

Our fake property rights advocates, the Washington Farm Bureau and the Building Industry Association of Washington, have filed their loophole initiative to develop farmland into tract housing and big-box retail stripmalls. ...

Jon DeVore at VanBlog has a thing or two to say about it.

Carl at Washington State Political Report wrote the Farm Bureau a sarcastic letter about the initiative and received a thoroughly clueless reply.

From my vantage point way up here in rural Whatcom County, this sure does look like a Land Developers (aka Carpet Baggers) Initiative. If voters get sucked in and pass this and it stands up to court challenges, then Washington State will become a Carpet Baggers paradise. Zoning laws will be out the window and Farmers certainly will be able to sell their land to Developers; 'course once they do that, they won't be Farmers anymore... will they. Any Farmer who wants to continue farming will need to lawyer up, 'cause I'm sure one of the first laws to be rescinded will be The Washington Right to Farm Act. Once those McMansions got sprinkled in amongst working farms it'd be just too expensive for the government to defend farmers and pay (with OUR tax dollars!!!) for all that lost property value. I mean after all, the dust, machinery noise and farm smells would be property devaluing nuisances in exurban McParadise.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Biofuel passes in spite of WA GOP obstruction

House passes measure on biofuel, ethanol


The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington state drivers could have a greener option at the pump under a measure approved Friday by the state House as part of a larger energy independence package.

The measure, which passed on a 70-28 vote, means that 2 percent of the state's diesel sales will be biodiesel by Dec. 1, 2008.

By that same date, gasoline must be blended with a minimum blend of 2 percent ethanol. Ethanol standards could jump to 10 percent if air quality won't be affected. ...(more)

Republican Floor Leader Rep. Doug Ericksen - (District 42) stood on the state House floor and opposed this bill just before the vote this evening. He's supposed to be representing me and the other voters in the 42nd legislative district, but his votes say otherwise.

So far this session he's spent his time whinging on about phoney issues like repealing the estate tax on multi-millionaires and blindly opposing everything that the Democratic majority proposes.

Meanwhile our other Representative Kelli Linville (D - 42nd LD) has worked to pass nine bills designed to help Veterans, National Guard members and military families.

GOP Candidate runs aground in Bellingham

Republicans say they are targeting Rep. Rick Larsen, WA - 2nd Congressional District's quiet workhorse. That must be because in 2004 Larsen only got 64% of the vote.

True to form, the GOP has found an affable doofus to run. A Navy has-been Veteran with no ideas of his own. The Bellingham Herald obligingly covered the candidates appearance at the Northwest Business Club, a PR front group for Whatcom County Republican Party. (Don't believe it's a front? Ask Bruce Ayers Vice President of the Northwest Business Club and Whatcom County Republican Party Chairman.)

There was the obligatory 'business good, government bad' quote:
... He criticized government regulations for stifling small businesses and promised to have the courage "to stand up and do something."
"Sitting on the sidelines is not an option anymore," Roulstone said. "If you believe in these principles, you have to stand up.
Right... no sitting on the sidelines... stand up... stand up. blah blah blah. Sporty active verbs: Yes... Content: No. Oh yeah, this affable doofus is named Doug Roulstone, (but perhaps we should refer to him as Ol' Roulstain in honor of Capt. Queeg.)
..."he supported a constitutional amendment to make burning the flag a crime."...

..."It doesn't make sense we have some foaming at the mouth over ANWR," he said. "It's not a big piece of property. ..."
But my favorite is:
...He called the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps "a program that makes sense,"
Yeah! Vigilante's prowling the border in the name of fear-mongering, that's an idea who's time has come! Yes indeed; a month of feverish activity by our local border vigilantes netted one impulsive young man who stepped across the border so he could call his girlfriend and say he was calling from Canada.

The B'ham Herald said Ol' Roulstain has raise $278,461... BUT, forgot to mention that about a third of that has come from GOP members of Congress!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Democrat warns Democrats....huh?

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety…………Benjamin Franklin

This quote is as important today as it was then. Anyone in a leadership position should heed it’s warning. Since when has the truth been dangerous for Democrats????????

Vilsack: Opposing wiretapping dangerous for Democrats
January 31, 2006
Gov. Tom Vilsack said Monday that Democrats
risk political backlash if they object to the Bush administration's wiretapping but cannot show that Americans' civil liberties are at risk.

"If the president broke the law, that's unacceptable. But I think it's debateable whether he did," Vilsack told Des Moines Register editors and reporters.
Under a directive signed by President
Bush, the National Security Agency can monitor the international communications of people inside the country, when one party to the call or e-mail is believed to be involved with the terrorist network al-Qaida. The practice is done without a court order, normally required to monitor such communications. full article

Huh? What the hell……
Does anybody recognize America……?? Because of the abuse of power, we now attack preemptively based on lies….torture and render people…..hold American citizens and others indefinitely without access to the courts. All this behavior fueled by doses of fear and adolescent bravado that passes as security. ie. Landing on an aircraft carrier all dressed up tough! Only a leader willing to stand up with courage and speak the truth can lead us away from the dangerous direction this county is headed.
How the hell will we know if the president broke the law if we don’t know if the president broke the law??? Let the debate begin!! Let’s start with the stuff that, as far as we know, didn’t get anybody killed. We have a perfectly broad law in place that allows for super secret surrveilance. As an active member of the democratic party, I expect leaders to stand up for civil liberties and against the abuse of executive power.

Our Constitution is a political issue?

Domestic spying tests GOP lawmakers' loyalties

By Maura Reynolds - Los Angeles Times

... The tenor of the hearing rests on a central question: Do the Republicans who control Capitol Hill have greater loyalty to Congress as an institution or to the president who heads their political party?

The National Security Agency (NSA) controversy may be the first of the Bush presidency to place Republicans' roles as lawmakers and politicians so directly in conflict. Some GOP lawmakers have been less vocal than usual in defending the president, a sign that many have not made up their minds which role to put first. ...

... The controversy strikes a nerve with senators from the GOP's libertarian wing, who banded together late last year to help stall reauthorization of the Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism law passed in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.

"You have a substantial group of genuine conservatives who are very uneasy about 'Big Brother' and who have a long-standing, outspoken drive on privacy issues," said Norman Ornstein, an expert on Congress and head of the American Enterprise Institute think tank. "It doesn't matter who the president is, they don't like the idea of the government looking over people's shoulders.

"I think if you took a secret ballot in the Senate and House, you'd get a majority of Republicans joining on to those [libertarian] concerns," Ornstein said. "But the majority of Republicans in both houses see themselves more as field soldiers in the president's army than as independent actors in an independent branch of government. ...

[That group is] very reluctant to challenge their president and to do so in a way that gives Democrats a political issue." ...

But apparently Tom Vilsack is still loyal to the Unitary Executive

Vilsack: Opposing wiretapping dangerous for Democrats


January 31, 2006

Gov. Tom Vilsack said Monday that Democrats risk political backlash if they object to the Bush administration's wiretapping but cannot show that Americans' civil liberties are at risk. ...

..."If the president broke the law, that's unacceptable. But I think it's debateable whether he did," Vilsack told Des Moines Register editors and reporters.

"And I think Democrats are falling into a very, very large political trap," he said. "Democrats are not going to win elections until they can reassure people they are going to keep them safe." ...

... Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has compared the practice to President Nixon's practice of monitoring his political adversaries' communications.

Vilsacks readiness to toss our Constitutional Rights into the dumpster of history has gained him praise from that bastion of right-wing propaganda the WeeklyStandard: "Iowa Gov. and DLC Chair Vilsack Won't Be Led Around by the Nose by the Far Left"

So the WeeklyStandard and the DLC think the Constitution is a Far Left Document?

As well as being the leader of the DLC, Tom Vilsack is still Governor of Iowa. He really needs to get up, walk across his office to the Iowa State Flag and read the states motto:

"Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain"

Friday, February 03, 2006

Has DeBolt & WA-GOP apologized Yet?

Democratic majority in the State Legislature = tough on sex offenders in spite of Republican sabotage! The Republicans smear campaign couldn't derail good legislation and what's more it's now a felony to distribute phony sex offender notifications (House Bill 3238) - - [ Ha Ha! ]
OLYMPIA -- In a series of unanimous votes, the House of Representatives passed a package of tough bills to catch more sex offenders, convict more sex offenders and protect more victims.

"Police and prosecutors tell us we've made our bills as tough as you can get without leading to fewer convictions," said the chair of the Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee, Rep. Al O'Brien (D-Mountlake Terrace). "These bills are specifically designed for victims to speak out, which is the first thing we need to get sex offenders locked-up."

County prosecutors, sheriffs and police chiefs say the new laws will give them better tools to catch and convict child molesters and rapists. ... (link)
The Police seem to be pretty happy with Democrats.
OLYMPIA -- The state's sheriffs and police officers have the back of Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane.

The Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs (WACOPS) yesterday honored Brown with its 2005 Legislator of the Year Award.

Asked why WACOPS chose Brown, Lee Reaves, the organization's governmental affairs director, called Brown a "class act." ... (link)
But in the sour grapes department we have...
House Republican Leader Doug Ericksen, (R-Ferndale) votes for sex offender law, but wants more to be done ... (link)
And that "more to be done" appears to be beating up on teachers.
OLYMPIA-- Rep. Toby Nixon (R-Kirkland) has redoubled his efforts to enact penalties for teacher strikes after an attorney general opinion affirming they have no right to strike. Nixon introduced House Bill 2808 last month that would impose penalties of up to $10,000 per day on labor unions that incite illegal strikes. ... (link)
Fortunately and quite correctly, Nixons bill went nowhere this session.

It's way past time to replace these Republican poseurs with honest hardworking Democrats. Jasper MacSlarrow is running against Doug Ericksen and let's hope there's an equally good candidate out there to run against Toby Nixon .

Thursday, February 02, 2006

comment to previous post

thanks for the comment Lietta and great job!!.....i will contact my reps. and i brought this post forward. so important!!!

HB 3107 Exposure to depleted uranium H State Govt 1/20/2006
Studying military uranium exposure.
and SB 6732 Exposure to depleted uranium S Hea/L-T Care 1/19/2006 Studying military uranium exposure.
Hearings already held in Washington State House; hearings today in Washington State Senate. Follow the progress of these as well, and encourage your elected officials to support. Requests medical screening for depleted uranium for returning WA Natl Guard and establishing a State Registry. A small group from Pt Townsend (DUST) in conjunction with Veterans for Peace members did the work-up to get this from proposal to hearings. Representing Military Families Speak Out, Washington State Chapter, I was asked to participate in giving testimony and have submitted written testimony for today's State Senate hearings to be entered into the record.
# posted by Lietta Ruger : 11:42 AM

my letter to editor

well not really cuz the bellingham herald didn't print i'll post it here.....

Our current use of depleted uranium weapons is producing a catastrophe. We will be counting human victims in the millions. Tons of depleted uranium is being spread in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our troops are being exposed. We are all increasing exposed as it travels in the atmosphere. If we think we are facing a healthcare crisis now folks, we have seen nothing yet.
We have been doing this since Gulf War I. Out of the 580,400 soldiers who served in the first Gulf War 11,000 are now dead. By 2000, there were 325,000 on Permanent Medical Disability. Eminent scientist Leuren Moret recently named depleted uranium as the definitive cause of ‘Gulf War Syndrome.
Support Congressman Jim McDermott’s nonpartisan legislation studying the health and environmental impacts from the militaries use of depleted uranium in combat zones and clean up of sites in the U.S. H. R. 2410. Ask Representative Rick Larsen to cosponsor.

if your rep hasn't co sponsored yet , ask them to. bill status

We have a choice about how we live. We can co-operate with all people of the world. We can make important decisions about how we use the earth’s resources. We must immediately stop waging nuclear war with depleted uranium. Our children’s future depends on it.


Riverbend on church and state......sounds kinda familiar.....and i sure know what she means about not dwelling on the results too much (i know the chill and quiet terror) and i have had non-stop electricity and move freely and safely thru my day. i can't even imagine living in constant danger under occupation. i know there are many people in my life(some i've known since my birth) that i can't have a discussion about policy with. the mixing of politics and religion is dangerous where ever it is used.

.......Americans write to me wondering, “But where are the educated Iraqis? Why didn’t they vote for secular parties?” The educated Iraqis have been systematically silenced since 2003. They’ve been pressured and bullied outside of the country. They’ve been assassinated, detained, tortured and abducted. Many of them have lost faith in the possibility of a secular Iraq.

Then again… who is to say that many of the people who voted for religious parties aren’t educated? I know some perfectly educated Iraqis who take criticism towards parties like Da’awa and SCIRI as a personal affront. This is because these parties are so cloaked and cocooned within their religious identity, that it is almost taken as an attack against Shia in general when one
criticizes them. It’s the same thing for many Sunnis when a political Sunni party comes under criticism.

That’s the danger of mixing politics and religion- it becomes

I try not to dwell on the results too much- the fact that Shia religious fundamentalists are currently in power- because when I do, I’m filled with this sort of chill that leaves in its wake a feeling of quiet terror. It’s like when the electricity goes out suddenly and you’re plunged into a deep, quiet, almost
tangible darkness- you try not to focus too intently on the subtle noises and movements around you because the unseen possibilities will drive you mad…
Thursday, February 02,

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cantwell and the non-filibuster

I still want to know Senator Maria Cantwell's reason for not supporting a filibuster of Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court... I think she owes her constituents a clear statement about the reasoning behind her decision.

Whatever her explanation is, I probably won't agree with it. But will I vote for her in November? You betcha!

There are good reasons to re-elect Cantwell. I hear people say she's not progressive enough, but her voting record doesn't look so bad. I went to "" and looked at the ratings. It's true that Maria Cantwell isn't as progressive as Patty Murray, but not by much.

Patty Murray's progressive score is 90.30% making her #17

Maria Cantwell's progressive score is 88.57% making her #20!

Consider that John Kerry is #24 with a progressive score of 86.23%

Referring to the progressive-punch scores again, the most moderate Republicans in the Senate are:

Chafee, Lincoln (R- RI) 42.67%

Specter, Arlen (R-PA) 35.27%

Snowe, Olympia J. (R-ME) 32.28%

Collins, Susan M. (R-ME) 30.73%

Then comes Shelby, Richard C. (R-AL) at 16.06%

So with that in mind, I wouldn't want to risk losing Maria and ending up with a Republican Senator... or even a Green/Libertarian/...Democrat.

So - here's this mornings pointer to the words of our beloved Senator Cantwell:

No Fixes for Troubled Medicare Rx Plan; Record Oil Company Profits with No Plan to Cut Skyrocketing Fuel Costs