Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Ask Joe Hatfield of Fieldate Farms Corp.
Hatfield not only contributed money to Perdue, Cagle, and the GOP, Perdue gave Hatfield a sweet government job.
Hatfield was appointed to the Natural Resources Board that oversees Georgia's Environmental Protection Agency.
I'm not worried about a conflict of interest. I just wanna know about the 50,000 gallons of sludge Hatfield illegally dumped in Big Tom's Creek. Not the previous dumpings. The most recent one.
Before Hatfield got his appointment to Natural Resources, he served on Perdue's Board of Economic Development.
I guess since Hatfield ruined the economy, he has earned a shot at ruining the environment of North Georgia.
Details in the AJC
Europe is asking questions about illegal CIA actions that have taken place. Bush is warning Europe, "Don't Ask!" We can assume Bush won't tell even when international laws have been broken, people stolen in the middle of the night, and innocent agents killed.
Currently, Italy wants extradition of some CIA agents. Other countries want some members of our military.
But, Bush won't support our allies since the day could come when 'old' Europe wants Bush put on trial.
Don't Ask. Don't Tell.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Details from a study by the AMA
"Of the 284 participants, 70 percent said they had suffered sexual trauma in the military, and many discussed being raped years ago, according to the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association."
Vice President Dick Cheney has no room to laugh these days. Air Force Two, the ultra slick and expensive jet for the VP, had a small electrical problem returning from Australia. As a result, the plane had no hot food, no reading lights, and no in flight movie.
The United States Air Force, apparently unable to replace a fuse, quickly got a double wide trailer and chained it inside a cargo jet. Vice President Cheney continued his trip in the style and comfort he would choose for his constituency.
I wonder if it really was a double wide or if the press secretary gave the VP an upgrade in status?
The late Princess Diana wanted to ban land mines to save the world's children.
I'm with Charles on this one. Keep the land mines and put them in the drive through lanes.
A suicide bomber killed at least 20 human beings outside the complex fortress where Cheney slept for a night. To get in the front gate, a bomber would have to pass through three security check points. Once inside the fortress, the bomber has to pass through more security check points for each additional section or department within the fort. I wonder if the fort is in the middle of a desert like in Beau Geste?
This 'fort' is a lot like the Green Zone in Iraq. It's where our troops and civilian contractors stay. Ironic, the only safe place for the "Liberator of Iraq" is in a bunker inside a fortress in Afghanistan.
Ney was the first Congressman jailed in the Jack Abramoff scandal which involved Ralph Reed of the extreme Christian Coalition.
Now, Ney's former top employee, William Heaton, 28, gets to spend some quality time with Duke Cunningham, R, CA, Ney, R, OH, Tom DeLay, R, TX, and Abramoff, Crook, GOP.
Bush might be able to stack the Supreme Court and fire half the lawyers in the Justice Department, but there will always be enough honest public servants to stop some corruption.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Why, yes you can since cargo containers were used as prisons in Afghanistan and by the U.S. forces in Cuba at Gitmo..
Can you imagine U.S. soldiers shooting holes for ventilation in the sides of the containers while there were prisoners inside? I hope you can't.
Can you imagine 3,000 prisoners slaughtered in Afghanistan in 2002 after the U.S. defeated the Taliban? All in one spot? Transported to slaughter in cargo trailers? The bones still lying on the ground to bleach in the sun?
Want to see the video? Afghan Massacre: Convoy of Death
You should be able to view it online at Google Video.
A federal indictment has been drafted naming President George W. Bush and other top administration officials for conspiracy to defraud US Congress and the American people over the need to invade Iraq.
The American people are too narrowly concerned about whether Bush Administration officials lied or not, when in fact, lying is just one type of fraud."A scheme to defraud is any plan or course of action that�s intended to deceive another through false pretenses, representations, or promises," according to De la Vega.
"In addition to outright lies are: false pretenses, false representations, half truths, deliberate concealment of important information, misleading information, and statements made with reckless indifference to their truth."
Too bad it's just a book written by a federal prosecutor.
Thanks for Michelle M giving us a steer to the article in the Atlanta Progressive News!
Saturday, February 24, 2007
International Herald Tribune
Making martial law easier
Monday, February 19, 2007
A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike
to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of
night. So it was with a provision quietly tucked into the enormous
defense budget bill at the Bush administration's behest that makes it
easier for a president to override local control of law enforcement
and declare martial law.
The provision, signed into law in October, weakens two obscure but
important bulwarks of liberty. One is the doctrine that bars military
forces, including a federalized National Guard, from engaging in law
enforcement. Called posse comitatus, it was enshrined in law after the
Civil War to preserve the line between civil government and the
military. The other is the Insurrection Act of 1807, which provides
the major exemptions to posse comitatus. It essentially limits a
president's use of the military in law enforcement to putting down
lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion, where a state is violating
federal law or depriving people of constitutional rights.
The newly enacted provisions upset this careful balance. They shift
the focus from making sure that federal laws are enforced to restoring
Beyond cases of actual insurrection, the president may now use
military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural
disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any "other
Changes of this magnitude should be made only after a thorough public
airing. But these new presidential powers were slipped into the law
without hearings or public debate. The president made no mention of
the changes when he signed the measure, and neither the White House
nor Congress consulted in advance with the country's governors.
There is a bipartisan bill, introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy,
Democrat of Vermont, and Christopher Bond, Republican of Missouri, and
backed unanimously by the nation's governors, that would repeal the
stealthy revisions. Congress should pass it. If changes of this kind
are proposed in the future, they must get a full and open debate.
International Herald Tribune Copyright © 2007 The International
Herald Tribune | www.iht.com
A US soldier has been sentenced to 100 years in prison for his role in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the murders of her family.
But under the terms of his plea agreement, Sergeant Paul E. Cortez, 24, could be eligible for parole in 10 years.
Cortez, 24, admitted he was among five soldiers who plotted the rape and murders in Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad, last March, while they were drinking gin and whisky and playing cards at a traffic checkpoint.
Drinking gin, whisky, and playing cards while on duty at a traffic checkpoint? And, also plotting a gang rape and multiple murders. In our all volunteer military.
What happened to "Duty, Honor, and Country" as a motto?
This story shows that the average American that responded to this poll, slightly under estimated US combat casualties. And, greatly under estimated civilian casualties.
Far from a vague statistic, the death toll is painfully real for many Americans. Seventeen percent in the poll know someone who has been killed or wounded in Iraq. And among adults under 35, those closest to the ages of those deployed, 27 percent know someone who has been killed or wounded.
Details and full story here.
During his rotations, he spent a lot of time at VA clinics working with doctors from Walter Reed. This was in 2003 and 2004. Most of the VA Doctors had things to say about the GOP, Bush, and the handling of the foolish invasion of Iraq that even I won't repeat.
Walter Reed Hospital is falling apart around our wounded. It's not new News. It's not old news.
It's treason committed by Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Nathan Deal, Saxby Chambliss...all every Republican in our Nation.
More on my sons impressions in another post another day.
Details in the Australian
What did "Shooter" think about Iraq?
"There's a democratically elected Government ... in Baghdad," he said. "The Iraqi people are well on the road to establishing a viable democracy."
"Unrepentant" is the word the Aussies used to describe Cheney's rosy stories of success in Iraq.
Friday, February 23, 2007
1) We are abusing civilian contractors in Iraq by making them "fill in" for our under supplied, under armored, and under equipped troops.
2) We are not reporting the civilian deaths or treating the civilian casualties as combat related.
3) We treat our military casualties like dirt.
Four years of war and the GOP treats your sons and daughters like expendable pawns on a game board.
So much for the GOP and the rants about 'family values.'
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Australians took to the streets before Cheney arrived to protest the "bugger."
"PROTESTERS demonstrating against US Vice-President Dick Cheney's Australian visit have clashed with police outside Sydney's Town Hall.
Police attempting to prevent the protesters from marching down George Street scuffled with dozens of the demonstrators."
Australian Democrats Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja criticised the federal and NSW governments for permitting Mr Cheney’s security team to carry firearms in Australia. “This is another example of the Australian government kowtowing to the United States,” Senator Stott-Despoja said in a statement.More world views of the US as gun-toting Cowboys brought to you by one of our Allies.
Details in the Australian
What did Japan have to say about the visit, besides Yankee scum go home?
US Vice-President Dick Cheney flew out of Japan this morning after a brief visit that followed weeks of outspoken criticism of American policy from within the Japanese Government.Details in the Australian
Japanese cabinet ministers have openly denounced US policy in Iraq as childish and accused the Bush administration of being cocky.
The latest blow was last week’s agreement on North Korea’s nuclear program which is privately regarded by many in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Government as an American betrayal.
Wasn't Japan named as a member of the coalition of the willing? Oh, I think so!
Oh yes, Iran meets the Bush Doctrine perfectly. Oil, Islam, Middle East, and no military other than maybe a few nuclear bombs.
But, Turkmenistan is making my short list. The former Soviet/Russian country has massive amounts of natural gas, only 5 million people, a dictatorship, ethic cleansing, and it's in the middle of the former Soviet empire!
A perfect place to establish Democracy at the point of a gun and at the same time, sell the natural gas to pay for it all!
Read the details on the horrible conditions in Turkmenistan here.
Then I guess ask Bush, Cheney, and the GOP to invade. I'm sure this time, we'll be welcomed with open arms.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
So who is this Mr. Wells and how does he know more than anyone else about the Bush bandwagon?
Mr. Wells is THE attorney for Scooter Libby, who is currently on trial as a liar. So much for attorney - client privilege. Or loyalty for Bush.
But, Scooter's legal mouthpiece doesn't say anything bad about Cheney? How come?
Well, the little weasel is on trial for lying to protect Vice President Dick "Shooter" Cheney.
So does Libby tell the truth now? No, not about Cheney and not about himself. But, he tells the truth about Bush.
The wheels fell off a long time ago.
Full Details at the NYT, registration required.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Zilla Huma Usman, the minister for social welfare in Punjab province and an ally of President General Pervez Musharraf was shot once and died later in a Lahore hospital.
She was 35. She was elected in 2002 and fought for the rights of women in a predominately Muslim nation. Her killer said she violated Islamic Law by being in politics and by not dressing properly in public. The gunman is not alleged to be the member of any political group. In 2002, the gunman was investigated for the murder and mutilation of four prostitutes. He was released for lack of evidence.
Full Details in the Australian
Pakistan helped train extremists like bin Laden to fight the Soviets in the 1980's. Bin Laden received medical help directly from Musharraf and is alleged to be hiding within Pakistan. Pakistan has both nuclear weapons and long range missiles. Pakistan also traded nuclear technology to North Korea in exchange for improved missile technology.
The only things preventing a US invasion would be Pakistan's status as an ally to the US and the lack of oil reserves.
Where is the flappin' coalition of the willing?
Gone, all gone, but us.
It is difficult to get a bottom line number from anyone on how much terrorism activity is happening or isn't happening.
A November 2001 federal crackdown on security breaches at airports, for example, yielded arrests on immigration and false document charges, but no evidence of terrorist activity. Nonetheless, the attorneys' office lumped them in with other anti-terror cases since they were investigated by federal Joint Terrorism Task Forces or with other counterterror measures.
Other examples, according to the audit, included:
_Charges against a marriage-broker for being paid to arrange six fraudulent marriages between Tunisians and U.S. citizens.
_Prosecution of a Mexican citizen who falsely identified himself as another person in a passport application._Charges against a suspect for dealing firearms without a license. The prosecutor handling the case told auditors it should not have been labeled as anti-terrorism.
"We do not agree that law enforcement efforts such as these should be counted as anti-terrorism," the audit concluded. Even if those cases were not taken into account, the audit said, the U.S. attorneys' office had overstated statistics in all other categories it reported.
This audit shows the U.S. attorney's office overstated statistics.
During the election cycle, the GOP hit property rights as an issue. Often they made promises to stop eminent domain. Eminent domain, the right of the state to condemn private property, has been used to take property from private citizens and then give that land to corporations.
The article makes it clear that the GOP LIED again!
The GOP is writing laws that make it easier for corporations to take your land.
This new law is connected to allegations of sexual gifts from a lobbyist to the GOP's Glen Richardson. Bobby Kahn filed an ethics complaint against Mr. Richardson.
The GOP Ethics Commission, headed by Senator Eric Johnson (R), rejected the complaint without reading it.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Now that wouldn't be news except John McCain praised Rumsfeld in November, saying Rumsfeld deserved respect and America's gratitude.
How long before we see the GOP eating its young? I only ask because they're cannibalizing the politically dead. Bush, Cheney, Rove, John Roberts, all on life support and soon to be fed to GOP presidential wanna-bees. Out of the twelve GOP faithful who want to be President, who will be the first to gnaw on Bush? How long before the little GOP piranhas smell the blood in the water?
With twelve contenders in the GOP, I'd guess they have been smelling the blood in the water ever since Katrina flooded New Orleans.
Iraq isn't the world center for "radical Islamic Muslim terrorists." Nor, can any one make a logical argument that "America" and "Christians" are the main target for terrorists. We are an after-thought.
India has been attacked many times by radical Islamic Muslim terrorists. Most of the population, about 80 percent, practice the Hindu faith.
Those radical Islamic Muslim terrorists firebomb trains in India. Trains are far more important to daily life to the average citizen than airline travel is to U.S. citizens. The windows of trains are covered with bars to help prevent attacks.
Yet, as this news story shows, terrorists can get past security in any country.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
The New York Times reports Harriet Miers had H.E. Cummins III fired as a United States attorney without cause or explanation. Ms. Miers already had an infamous place in legal history as the worst political nominee for Supreme Court by the worst President. Bush nominated Miers but Miers' nomination failed very quickly.
Harriet E. Miers after her ill-fated and ill-conceived nomination for Supreme Court Justice remained White House legal counsel until January 31, 2007.
Ding, Dong. The witch is dead.
It is being reported in the Australian press that "Israeli Prime Olmert had a secret summit in Jordan with Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's national security director."
I couldn't make up a more unbelievable story.
Details in the Australian
Vice President Cheney is begging Australia to be more helpful in Iraq. Why?
In 2004, during the Australian elections, candidate Mark Latham promised to bring the Australian troops home "by Christmas."
Cheney, still waiting for his personal Christmas, will beg the Australians for more help. The Australians will have to give Cheney a lot of help but it won't be in the streets of Baghdad. Massive street protests are expected in Sidney to protest Cheney. Perhaps some signs will say, "Yanks, Go Home or Go it Alone!"
Cheney and Bush have escalated the troops in Iraq from 140,000 to 161,500 according to figures cited in the Australian Press. In a speech in Washington late last week Mr Bush exhorted allies to commit more troops.
Australia has only 1400 troops in Iraq.
Cheney will meet seperately with the opposition party then meet with the current administration of Australia.
The current Prime Minister, John Howard, has already signaled his decision on sending more troops. Senior government spokespersons said Howard "would be surprised if there was any request for additional troops on the ground."
Robert McClelland, foreign affairs spokesman for Howard's opposition, called the Iraq campaign a "catastrophe" and said "Australian troops are being held hostage to the action or inaction of" the American backed Iraqi government.
Nothing short of a Huge Whopper of a Lie will change the Australian perceptions of Bush and Cheney.
Cheney should take his best friend, Scooter Libby, with him. Libby can explain that the Vice President is a very busy man and often forgets small details. Small details like, for example, CIA Agents are on our side, Iraq had no connections to 9/11, and Saddam is not a blood brother to bin Laden.
Details from the Australian
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Laser guided bombs!
Surgical strike capability!
Death ignores rank, uniform, and sides in a war. A bullet made in the United States can kill a brave Pat Tillman just as easily as a bullet made ... where does al-Qaeda get bullets?
The United States government does not issue statistics on how many 'coalition' people were killed by the coalition in Iraq or Afghanistan. Pat Tillman's death by friendly fire was covered up by the military.
The United KINGDOM is actively investigating a possible friendly fire death in Afghanistan.
Full Story Here
Father of two Corporal Bryan Budd, 29, of the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, was killed as he stormed a Taliban position single-handedly in Helmand, trying to protect seven of his colleagues from heavy fire.Corporal Bryan Budd was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery prior to his death.
"Twice he behaved with extraordinary gallantry but his single-handed action on the second occasion and his determination, though wounded, to push on against a superior enemy force stands out as a premeditated act of inspirational leadership and supreme valour."
"Only the dead have seen the end of war." Plato
It was gutless. "Ask the infantry," said Hemingway. "War is a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead."
Nathan Deal said he wanted some facts, not emotions. Partisanship is nothing but the worst of all human emotions. There's a fact for him.
He challenges us to "engage radical Islam now." But, Deal can't define that enemy with meaningful terms other than "radical." He even says, "I don't know for sure what the best policy is in this fight against radical Islamic groups."
To paraphrase Lincoln's comment to McClelland, "If you're not using your seat in Congress, I would like to borrow it."
Friday, February 16, 2007
The Republican Governor of Nevada
Gibbons said he had not been contacted by the FBI regarding his contacts with Warren Trepp, a longtime friend and owner of eTreppid who contributed nearly $100,000 to Gibbons' campaign for governor.
"I don't think that I have done anything that hasn't been done by others, which is opening doors for businesses in the state of Nevada," Gibbons said.
Trepp, a former chief trader for convicted junk-bond dealer Michael Milken, also has denied any wrongdoing.
Another GOP Governor has to be sweating bullets. Has Sonny Perdue spent his $100,000 tax rebate check? He better spend it fast. After all, Ralph Reed spent his $4,000,000 from Jack Abramoff instead of giving it back. Gosh, when the FBI starts investigating petty amounts like a $100,000 ... what Republican will be safe?
However, Rumsfeld and Franks did not show the President or any member of the United States Congress this earlier slide show briefing called "Desert Crossing" created in 1999.
The Desert Crossing slide show created under Clinton assumes 400,000 troops in a post-war Iraq and a country in chaos. "Desert Crossing" was a war game exercise worked out by competitive teams over months.
The "Polo"slide show, named for the exclusive sport, was worked on for a few weeks at most by a single team.
Congressmen, like Nathan Deal and Saxby Chambliss, who were serving in 1999 have no excuse.
Personally, I'm reminded of children playing a version of 'tag' in a pool. One child is 'It' and pretends to be blind. Each time they call out, "Marco," the others must answer, "Polo."
The pretend 'blind' child then chases "Polo," an endlessly moving target.
Yes, I'm saying Deal and Chambliss are all wet, self-blinded, and begging for a clue.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
You can! (I almost feel like I'm hawking goods in an infomercial on the Shopping Channel!)
By December of 2006, General Tommy Franks predicted we would have only 5,000 troops in Iraq.
Further, "General Franks issued new guidance to his commanders a week after the fall of Baghdad on April 9 that they should be prepared to reduce the American troops in Iraq to a little more than a division by September 2003 — some 30,000 troops."
No one planned this war. We soon will have 150,000 troops in Iraq, 30 times the estimates.
When conservatives tell you the war in Iraq -- not the planned war but the war that really happened -- is key in defeating terrorism. Try not to scream Bull Shit.
No one planned on finding al-Qaeda in Iraq. No one planned on a long battle against terrorists and al-Qaeda in Iraq. Anyone saying Iraq is the battlefield where the US will defeat global Islamic Terrorism, needs to watch the slide show.
Full Story at NYT
He thinks Jews are behind the teaching of Evolution in public schools?
Move over Mel Gibson. We might need to make room for the newest anti-Semitist.
"'Asked if the president’s proposal includes enough soldiers to get the job done, Deal said, “It depends on who you listen to. There are those who say that is not adequate, it has to be significantly more than that. I’m not in a position to make that judgment. Presumably the president is, since he has all of the information from the commanders in the field, from the intelligence sources. So I’m not going to try and second guess whether it’s too big, too little, or whatever.'”
When my friend, Edward Chapman, filed an Ethics Complaint, the Ethics Committee refused to even read the documents?
The three man Republican Committee said they have no power!
The three blind mice of ethics said they can't review anything that happened before January of 2006.
I bet Tom DeLay, Scooter Libby, Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff, Charles Manson, David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and Adolf Hitler weren't so lucky.
Can anyone imagine a judge saying, "Sorry guys, I can't look at documents more than a year old."
With such law abiding mice working for Perdue and not you, don't you wish the whole country was still run by Halliburton and a Culture of Corruption?
Full Story in the Macon Telegraph
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
U.S., Britain faulted on child welfare
By DAVID McHUGH, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 30 minutes ago
The United States and Britain ranked at the bottom of a U.N. survey of child welfare in 21 wealthy countries that assessed everything from infant mortality to whether children ate dinner with their parents or were bullied at school.
The Netherlands, followed by Sweden, Denmark and Finland, finished at the top of the rankings, while the U.S. was 20th and Britain 21st, according to the report released Wednesday by UNICEF in Germany.
One of the study's researchers, Jonathan Bradshaw, said children fared worse in the U.S. and Britain — despite high overall levels of national wealth — because of greater economic inequality and poor levels of public support for families.
"What they have in common are very high levels of inequality, very high levels of child poverty, which is also associated with inequality, and in rather different ways poorly developed services to families with children," said Bradshaw, a professor of social policy at the University of York in Britain.
"They don't invest as much in children as continental European countries do," he said, citing the lack of day care services in both countries and poorer health coverage and preventative care for children in the U.S.
Car blast slays 18 elite soldiers
February 15, 2007 From The Australian
"TEHRAN: Eighteen members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards were killed yesterday when a car loaded with explosives blew up near the bus taking them to work in the country's southeast.
The car stopped at about 6.30am (2pm AEDT) in front of the bus on the outskirts of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan Province.
The car's occupants fled on motorbikes seconds before the car exploded, the Islamic Republic News Agency said last night. It called the attack in the Ahmadabad district a terrorist operation."
I am sorry to learn that terrorism has struck in Iran. I regret the loss of human life even though Iran is not an pro-Western country.
By posting this article, I am not supporting Iran or anti-Western terrorists. Hopefully, those who read this post will reflect upon the futility of invading one country and calling that a 'war on terrorism.'
Another close, personal friend of George W. Bush has tried to manipulate U.S. elections. The Prime Minister of Australia, a huge supporter of Bush and the Iraq occupation, says Al-Qaeda is praying for the Democrats and Obama in the 2008 elections.
Did the Prime Minister pray with Al-Qaeda? Is that how he knows?
Last year, according to FBI crime statistics, over 14 million Americans were arrested and held at least over night in a jail cell. Over fifty percent of the arrests were for alcohol abuse.
Having George Bush and Dick Cheney in the White House could drive any sane man to drink!
When we reflect on the 3 million jobs lost, the near demise of Chrysler, Ford, and GM by record high gasoline prices, maybe spending the next three years in a prison cell is the sane thing for a Democrat.
On second thought, I don't want to hang out with Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, Scooter Libby and all their corrupt pals.
Study: Prison population on the rise
By Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer
"Get-tough policies that lock up offenders for longer sentences are propelling a projected increase of nearly 200,000 in the nation's prison population in the next five years, according a private study released Wednesday.
The increase — projected by the Pew Charitable Trusts study to be three times faster than overall population growth in the U.S. — is expected to cost states more than $27 billion."
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Few people realize the stock market does twice as well under Democratic Presidents as under Republican Presidents. Or, what that really means. We lose fewer jobs. We have fewer companies move to China. We have fewer companies file for bankruptcy. We have fewer people lose their homes, their health insurance, and their retirement nest egg.
This year, a trillion dollars of Wealth moved out of the United States, a quarter of that Wealth moved into Communist China.
What did all the Presidents Men have to say about this Humpty Dumpty economy?
Oh, something about the worst is behind us now. The dollar is weaker and that's a good thing.
What did all the Presidents Men do? Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson hired a drug company executive to negotiate with China.
I expect the American Pharmaceutical industry to invest heavily in China as a result while the taxpayer gets more Egg Drop Soup.
I had not seen anything about this Congressional testimony by U.S. Treasury chief, Henry Paulson until I was browsing the AJC Opinion page.
Mr. Paulson, formerly of Goldman Sachs, wants to make a few deals behind closed doors to solve the 'insolvency problems' with Roosevelts' Social Security program.
That would be the program to keep our elderly folks from living in adject poverty. About 40% of elderly Americans lived under terrible conditions prior to Roosevelts' New Deal. In an effort to keep people from thinking of the program as 'charity,' Roosevelt created a broad tax. Everyone who worked would pay something into a fund. Everyone with a need could get a monthly check after age 65.
The program details have changed over the years. The biggest change comes from how we collect the tax. Some personal income is now exempt from taxation. Completely exempt. For example, if I work by the hour, I pay the tax in full on every dollar earned. If I get paid a weekly salary, I pay the full tax on every dollar earned until I earn about $50,000.
If I make a sweet heart stock deal, I pay no taxes on the windfall.
If my employer pays me a stock bonus, I pay no taxes.
If I wheel and deal in futures markets, currency markets, or the real estate market, I skip the taxes.
However, if I am self-employed, I pay double the normal tax rate.
Back to the former Goldman Sachs employee. His former company paid billions in employee bonuses just a few weeks ago. I don't think we should trust Mr. Paulson to negotiate for us. Not in public and not behind closed doors. When he returns to private industry, and he will, that industry may be in control of the current 3.5 trillion dollar Social Security surplus.
That is enough to disqualify him from the process of solving the 'insolvency' of Social Security.
The GOP dominated Georgia House of Representatives also had a solution to a huge problem for gun owners. Where to hide a gun while driving around on a sunny day.
Under the measure, I can keep my gun anywhere I feel it is safe. Like tucked away in the small of my back, under a seat, or under a newspaper on the seat of my car.
Rep. Tim Beardon was the sponsor and the first to recognize this horrible erosion of the 2nd Amendment. I wonder how many times Tim Beardon had his life endangered because his gun was inconveniently locked in the glove compartment?
A Senate plan would allow employees to keep their firearms in their cars or trucks in 'public' parking lots while at work.
Tim "Quickdraw" Beardon, the newest gunslinger in town, passed the measure despite opposition by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, which sent a letter to lawmakers warning that the bill would extend the right to bear arms to "an absurd level" and could lead to more killings of police officers and innocent civilians.
The kids without healthcare are grateful Rep. Tim Beardon is protecting their rights.
So am I.
It is my view our nation is facing the greatest danger in our history. This is a result of the relentless and effective assaults on human rights, civil liberties and our very democracy by the far right wing conservative executive branch of the government.
In fact I fear much has been lost already. It is outrageous that a Vice President claims the majority opinion of the people is not relevant and outrageous to have a President that acts that way.
The question is how much and how soon can democracy be recovered? Free speech that "let(s) the sun shine in" and the vote are those most effective tools to bring that about.
Even autocrats cannot endure in the face of organized opposition by the polis. So, Let's keep organizing!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Since roughly the day Dubya took the oath of President, the FBI has “lost” over nine HUNDRED laptops and ‘weapons.’
How could it be that the FBI would lose a gun? “Gee, Mr. Director, I had it under my pillow last night when I went to bed. This morning, I got up and it just wasn’t there!”
As many as 60 of the 477 ‘missing’ laptops had sensitive or classified information. Seven were in counter-intelligence or counter-terrorism divisions. OPS! Oh well, just like boys will be boys, spies will be spies.
But, when the Administration needs a good intelligence report, the FBI, now a part of Homeland Security just like Michael Brown of Katrina shame, can deliver those goods. Like the intelligence reports that link Iranian weapons to Iraqi bombings.
I just have to ask. If the US government can trace exploded bits of bombs back to “Iranian weapons,” why doesn’t the US government know how to trace 477 ‘missing laptops’ and 514 ‘missing weapons’ purchased with taxpayer dollars?
You can always tell what a Republican proposal is “really” about by “reading” its title and thinking the opposite (e.g. the Healthy Forests Act, the Patriot Act). This one is called the Safety Act, so naturally it jeopardizes our rights in some way.
VNUNET: A bill introduced to the US House of Representatives would require ISPs to record all users’ surfing activity, IM conversations and email traffic indefinitely.
The bill, dubbed the Safety Act by sponsor Lamar Smith, a Republican Congressman from Texas, would impose fines and a prison term of one year on ISPs which failed to keep full records.
“A crime is still a crime, whether it occurs on the street or on the internet,” said Congressman Smith.
“In this age of increasing digital and technological sophistication, cyber-crimes and cyber-terrorism pose a serious threat to the US. Law enforcement and the private sector must be prepared to deal with these crimes.”