Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Texas mayor shows some sense

This may be old news, but in case you missed it, Brazoria, TX Mayor Ken Corley tried to outlaw the N word last week. If his bill passed, a violation would have been considered a Class C misdemeanor, the lowest category of offense, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

You read that right, folks; the mayor of a small town in the United States of America thought that OUTLAWING A WORD would solve the racial divide in this country.

Yeah, I know.

Now I myself never use the N word and I try not to associate with people who do. However, I have enough sense to know what freedom of speech is and what nanny state means, and this proposal seemed to define one of those terms while damning the other (I'll let you figure it out). Apparently, most residents felt the same:
After facing intense opposition against a proposed ordinance that would have outlawed the use of the "N-word" in his town, Brazoria Mayor Ken Corley announced Thursday he would drop the proposal altogether.

Corley's decision brought applause from most of the 200 people who gathered in the middle of Main Street to discuss the issue, according to the Houston Chronicle. The meeting was held outside Thursday because the town's city council chambers was too small.

While almost all speakers said they condemned the use of any racial epithets, most said the Brazoria County town of 2,800 has few racial problems, and the proposed ordinance would cause more problems than it would cure.

"I'm embarrassed for my little town," said Bill Lott, who is white. "We need to unite, not divide."
Exactly, Mr. Lott. EXACTLY.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My recent silence? The SWACtion paid me off!

As some of you may have noticed, I have been a bit quiet as of late. I am quite sure that some of you are beyond thrilled with that, and way fewer of you are not. You can let me know in the comments if you like.

So why was I so quiet over the weekend (and more)?
The SWACtion paid me to shut up!!!
Nah, they didn't really, but they did do something totally cool, and I want to publicly thank them for it. And what better place than here, right?

Last week, I reported on some true Republican hilarity that occurred in the blogosphere directly after Bill Bolling's bloggers conference. If you missed it, the short version is that SWAC girl, Spank that Donkey!, and John Maxfield over at The Journal of the Common Man paid a visit to Richmond and my favorite watering/blogging hole. They succeeded in taking hysterical pictures of themselves in the exact same poses as Thaddaeus Toad and I (you can see the originals over on the right), and they claimed that they left us a gift. While I wasn't sure what to expect, I was totally psyched, because like most people, I love gifts. After being booted out of the Richmond City Democratic Committee meeting on Thursday night because of our lack of membership (TOTALLY our fault, and in retrospect, I completely understand), Thadd and I headed over to the Capital Ale House with some other Democratic buddies to await the news from those who stayed for the remarks and the vote. I was more than excited to check out my gift, if not a wee bit wary of what I might find.

As soon as we arrived, the manager came over to greet us. I asked her some questions, and we all laughed as she described the incident from earlier that week. She told us that some very nice people came in, asked her if she knew us after showing her a picture from here, and of course, she did. They then made some kind of a deal with her, and left me an envelope for the next time I came in. She presented it to me and went back to work.

I was definitely no longer wary - I figured there was no way they would anthrax me publicly, and dog poop doesn't fit in an envelope. So I opened it...
Inside, was a $20 bill, with a note on the envelope to have a drink on them. They all signed the envelope, complete with a little paw print and a "woof woof".
Basically, I was overjoyed. I don't care what side of the aisle you sit on, but if you manage to a. make me laugh hysterically, and b. buy me expensive beer, you are definitely on my list of pretty cool people.

So the truce is official. We may still argue here in the blogosphere, but to all members of the SWACtion - you guys are alright in my book. I hope you let me know the next time you will be in Richmond. We may have a political catfight, but at least I know we can do it over a good brewski.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH - might a truce be in the works?

West of Shockoe

NOT West of Shockoe

This is truly hilarious to me, and I must say that I am truly humbled by the good nature and obvious great humor of a few Republican bloggers. I am glad the Swaction enjoyed their meal and their libations, and I feel that I just may have to call for a truce. Guys, that picture is truly better than perfect.

From STD:
LG Bolling Day at the Assembly: Not West of Shockhoe
Look familiar?

I believe it's our biggest fans, of bestest friends PJ, and Thaddeus Toad!

SWAC GIRL, Max & I grabbed a bite to eat at lunch at their favorite watering and/or blogging hole. I must admit they have a great venue to do some blogging from. The Brat sandwich at Capital Ale House is awesome! I would have preferred a Guldens type mustard instead of the sweeter one they serve, but the sweeter taste did mix well with the Pale Ale.

And since it was a day off, did a little imbibing ourselves! Our college Republican friend had Ice Tea...

Now Don't Ya'll Feel the Love? Not to mention leaving you some Love, enjoy a couple on us!
John's post:
West of Shockoe INVADED!!!!

Legislators rushing. Time tables to keep. Constituents to meet with. Bills to pass. Bills to table. Lunches to attend. Functions to spotlight. Lobbyists to debate with. Bloggers to meet with. Welcome to the House and Senate Sessions of 2007.

And in the middle of all of this, after our morning sessions were concluded, a group of SWAC bloggers decided to grab a bite of lunch. We found a comfortable setting to dine, sat down, and decided to snap a quick picture.

Woops.... wrong picture. But it was then that we realized....OH NO! (Or was it, OH YES!?) We were in the bowels of West of Shockoe's Lair! THE CAPITAL ALE HOUSE. Then we realized that we sat not in any random seat....but in their usual seats! What a feat! What a success! And we left them a few surprises along the way! It is SUCH a shame we missed you all. Next time you all go, drink a beer for us and keep us in your fond memories...because we made it into your Lair under your nose...and that doesn't happen too often. It's what we like to call a 'cruel irony'...

And speaking of cruel ironies....

And from Swac Girl:
SWAC bloggers' phriendly invasion of West of Shockoe

I must admit we had fun yesterday phooling around with West of Shockoe's Phriendly Jaime.

The SWAC bloggers were in Richmond for Bill Bolling's Bloggers Day and, when it came time for a lunch break, we had a mission.

Our Mastermind: Spank That Donkey.

Accomplices: Johnathan Maxfield and SWAC Girl.

Mission: Duplicate the photo on WOS's blog taken at Capital Ale House.

Mission Accomplished? Absolutely ... and then some!

Spank That Donkey is mischievous anyway but this was one of his best! We set his laptop up at Capital Ale's bar, pulled up WOS's website to look at the photo we had in mind, and started "setting the stage." John was photographer: "Lean more forward. Tilt your head. More tilt...." It was hilarious.

But the piece de resistance has yet to come because I don't believe Jaime has been to the bar since we were there yesterday.

Jaime, get thee to the Ale House and have a drink on us! The manager took care of it ... you have a little "SWAC" gift waiting for you. :)

It was a pfun time in the capital city!

Excellent job, guys. You gave me a good laugh, and I am sorry to have missed you. Let me know next time you are in town, and I will definitely have a beer with you. BUT...just be prepared; this is hilarity that I think deserves good natured retaliation. ;) The next time it snows, you may see me on Swac's lawn catching snowflakes.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I'm sorry, but Tom Cruise is a frickin' psycho

I have been uncomfortable with Tom Cruise for a long time. To put it bluntly, I just plain don't trust his psychotic nature, nor do I trust his "religion". I don't believe his marriage is real, and I have a feeling his baby is adopted (which is FINE, but admit it already). I assure you that I am not alone in feeling this way. However, I thought I could get over it and move on with my life. But now that he is seen as the Messiah of Scientology, I am even more freaked out by him and his craziness.
Tom Cruise has been hailed as the "Christ" of Scientology.

The actor, who is a devout follower of the religion, has been hailed by leaders of the faith as the "chosen one" who will spread the word.

High-ranking Scientologist David Miscavige is convinced Cruise, 44, will one day be worshipped like Jesus all over the world, becoming a prophet for the religion.

A source close to the actor is quoted by Britain's The Sun newspaper as saying: "Tom has been told he is Scientology's Christ-like figure. Just like Christ, he has been criticised for his views. But future generations will realise he was right, just like Jesus."

Cruise, a top ranking Scientologist, joined the Church of Scientology in the mid-80s. His wife Katie Holmes has reportedly converted to the faith.

The religion's founder, American science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, claimed that extra terrestrial beings were sent to planet Earth by intergalactic ruler Xenu, who then blew up the aliens with hydrogen bombs in a volcano.
I want to remind all of my readers (and all of the world) that Scientology is simply the new word for Dianetics, which basically means CRAZY. You can go ahead and read up on it yourself, but my basic feeling is this: if I have to pay for religion, it must be fake. Period.
PS...if some man ever told me that I had to remain silent during birth, I would have to kill him; but hey, that's just me.

UPDATE: PLEASE tell me this is a joke...

UPDATE: Apparently, I fell for a big ole joke hook, line and sinker. But now this whole affair might even be funnier.

See Donnie's "response" here. If this is for real, he's worse than bat shit crazy. If it's a joke, he's friggin hilarious, and I fully admit to falling for it. Enjoy!


I learn a lot on these old internets of ours. I get all of my news from the internet, I shop, I get recipes, I can even teach my self a new language; the possibilities seem endless. But today, my brain almost exploded as I learned the best lesson ever.

NOTE: Intense sarcasm starts now.

Today, I learned that gay people can join a group to help them stop being gay. Just like that! Its awesome!!! I mean, who knew how easy it could be to stifle your feelings away forever, and reclaim the life you never wanted? Thank goodness the "Christians" can help us through life's journey. I mean, it makes perfect sense. Could anyone possibly argue with their welcome message on their home page? I doubt it...
Are you struggling with undesired same-sex attractions? Maybe you have been a Homosexual for a long time, but now are searching for a way out. You have come to the right place! Love God's Way is offering hope and help to people seeking freedom from being Gay. We believe and we have seen in thousands of lives that this freedom is possible through the power of our C.H.O.P.S program working in our hearts and minds.

The bottom line - you shouldn't be gay! You can lead a life of fulfillment and happiness as God intended, a life far better than what your Gay life has offered.

The journey to normalcy isn't an easy one, but we will be with you through the adventure. Our national network of online Christian ministries are devoted to providing the love and care you need as you find God, holiness, and healing.
Well, that's a relief, I must say. As they say, you SHOULDN'T be gay! No one should! Why? Because it isn't normal! At least, that's what reformed gay Donnie Davies thinks:
C.H.O.P.S is the powerful new program developed by Christian Youth expert Donnie Davies. C.H.O.P.S stands for CHANGING HOMOSEXUALS into ORDINARY PEOPLE.

If you have been having feelings that you DO NOT want to have towards people of the same sex as you, then this is the program for you.

If you've been acting on those same feelings, then this is DEFINATELY the program you've been looking for.
And Donnie Davies is an expert, so you KNOW he's got all of his ducks in a row. He has gotten over "the gay" himself, through hard work and determination! And he's here to tell you that you can too!
Hello Friends, I hope you take the time to read the quote by our good friend and compatriot, Oscar Wilde. In that one quote Oscar brings to life the isolation and despair of what he refers to as "us", the homosexuals. It is a long, lonely, desolate road, homosexuality. I've been there, friends. I know how horrible and rough that road can be. I have been called a "Faggot". You are not alone and guess what, God Loves You even if he hates your Homosexuality. You just can't stay that way. Let me help you love yourself. Follow me and together we'll C.H.O.P.S away the Gay.
That damn Oscar Wilde. He's a "reformed gay" too, you know.
"Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return. With us time itself does not progress. It revolves. It seems to circle round one centre of pain."
--Oscar Wilde (reformed homosexual)
Luckily for us, Donnie even has a video intro so you can "meet him" and bask in his wisdom and NON-gayness.

As you can probably tell, Donnie Davies is truly awesome, and he has special tips and kind words for parents of the evil-doing gays.
For parents, same sex attraction (homosexuality) can be hard to spot until it is too late. The C.H.O.P.S. program helps parents, teachers, ministers and other youth leaders identify and stop the encroachment of homosexuality before it can take root.

Topics include:
How to identify homosexuals.
What is a sexual predator?
What are gay bands?
Hmmmmmmmmmm...what ARE gay bands? And how can I protect myself, Mr. Davies?
One of the most dangerous ways homosexuality invades family life is through popular music. Parents should keep careful watch over their children's listening habits, especially in this Internet Age of MP3 piracy.

Bands to watch out for:
The Spores
Scissor Sisters
Rufus Wainwright
Ravi Shankar
Tech N9ne
Ghostface Killah
Bobby Conn
Morton Subotnik
Cole Porter
The String Cheese Incident
Eagles of Death Metal
Polyphonic Spree
The Faint
Tegan and Sara
Le Tigre
The Gossip
The Doors
The Strokes
Sufjan Stevens
The Pet Shop Boys
Judas Priest
The Village People
The Secret Handshake
The Rolling Stones
David Bowie
Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Man or Astroman
Richard Cheese
Depeche Mode
Ani DiFranco
John Mayer
The Indigo Girls
Velvet Underground
OH MY GOD!!!! I listen to some of those bands! I have been to some of their concerts! AM I GAY?!? WILL I BE GAY!?! WHAT CAN I DO?!?!?

We know that it can be difficult to differentiate what is good or bad for your child. With that in mind Love God's Way has created this powerful tool to let you see some bands and entertainment that is safe for your children.

Safe Music:
Cyndi Lauper
Falling Up
By The Tree
Scott Reed
Michael W. Smith
Jars of Clay
DC Talk
Phew. Praise the Lord for "safe" music. Hopefully by listening to those bands, the gay that is obviously after all of us will cease and desist.

BUT WAIT!!! Donnie Davies can help us even more by sharing his own NON GAY music with us! He even has a video!

Seriously, Donnie Davies rocks, doesn't he? We are truly blessed to have him in our lives to help us.

So, why now, Donnie? What made you come forward to share with us your wisdom on fighting the gay?
Why Now?

Quite simply, it has become apparent that the Moral Majority has crumbled and lost the Way. If not obvious in the Corruption and Scandal in our Republican party, then one does not have to turn far to see the Abuses and Indiscretions espoused by our church leaders.

We feel that the time has come to stand up and address the issues challenging our Country and our Religion.

If not Us then Who?

If not Now then When?

Join Us in or efforts to rebuild the Moral Majority.

Check out Donnie at his MySpace page, where he undoubtedly helps many of his "friends" get over their Satan-like homosexuality. And make sure you head on over to his webpage, where he blogs about his feelings and offers up his past sins for inspiration.

Senate Republicans block minimum wage increase

WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a Democratic bill to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade, demanding it first include small-business tax relief.

Democrats fell short of the 60 needed to end debate and go to passage of the House-passed measure, which would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour from $5.15 per hour over two years.

Republicans demanded tax breaks be added to the legislation to help small business cover the proposed pay hike for millions of America's lowest paid workers. Senate Democratic leaders have indicated they would be willing to go along with some sort of tax relief if necessary to win approval.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Congrats and cheers, Madam speaker Pelosi and Senator Webb

Tonight was YOUR night!

SOTU response party in Richmond

I won't be attending because I like watching TV in peace and quiet and in my own recliner. But if you are interested, here's the info:
Come out to watch our new Virginia Senator respond to George W. Bush tomorrow night in the Democratic Response to the State of the Union address. Watch parties have been organized all around the state, so those who helped put Jim in the position to deliver this address can come out and demonstrate they are still paying close attention to what this Senator says and does!
What: Democratic Response to the SOTU, delivered by Senator Jim Webb
When: Tuesday, Jan 23rd @ 8:00 pm
Where: Holiday Inn Central, located on the Blvd, ext 78 from 95
Please forward to every Democrat you know, every committee or local club membership. It is anticipated that media may be present.

One and only one expectation. This will not be an opportunity to revel in Bush Bashing on a large scale. If you're there as a Webb supporter, remember how your senator never behaved in an undignified manner during the campaign, and represent him accordingly. Thanks!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Roe vs. Wade - I couldn't have said it better myself

Due to craziness at work and the fact that I am really enjoying watching the Democratic Party kick the Republicans all over Congress on C-Span, I have been a bit slow on "the blogging" as of late. I dutifully apologize to my phans. ;)

But tonight, I bring you something very special, and very important.

Tonight, in honor of the very important anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, I bring you one of the most beautiful and poignant posts I have ever read. I cried when I read this, and I immediately called my mom for a heart to heart. I thanked her for raising me to be a strong woman; I thanked her for teaching me to think AND speak for myself instead of "my man" or for "society norms" and I thanked her for showing me the right CORRECT way (isn't it a damn shame that the word "right" now has to have a bad connotation? UGH...) or as I like to call it, the Real American Woman way. I hope you read it in its entirety, and I hope you take note of all of the links which point people towards FACTS; much different than the ANTI-CHOICE AND FREEDOM blogs, which are all emotion, no smarts. From Feministe, I bring you the words of Jill:
I am pro-choice because I believe women’s lives matter.

I am pro-choice because I think women themselves are the best people to decide when and if they get pregnant, give birth, and raise children.

I am pro-choice because I believe that the right to control your own reproduction is a fundamental right, and is protected both under our Constitution and basic human rights ideals — and I believe that fundamental right includes the right to prevent pregnancy, the right to get pregnant, the right to carry a pregnancy to term, and the right to terminate a pregnancy.

I am pro-choice because I believe that if we outlaw a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, there is no legal argument against forcing a woman to terminate a pregnancy, or disallowing certain people from reproducing.

I am pro-choice because I do not believe that anyone should be subject to totalitarian laws which impose unwanted occupations on certain classes of people.

I am pro-choice because I don’t believe that women should be legally compelled to maintain another life at the expense of her own wishes, her body, her health, or even her life.

I am pro-choice because I don’t believe that women’s bodies should be used against our will.

I am pro-choice because I believe that compulsory pregnancy and childbirth is immoral, cruel, and flies in the face of basic notions of freedom, liberty, and human rights.

I am pro-choice because I believe that forcing women to carry pregnancies against their will is involuntary servitude.

I am pro-choice because I believe that children should be wanted, their entrances into the world joyous occasions — that they should never be considered punishment.

I am pro-choice because I want women to be physically and emotionally healthy.

I am pro-choice because I don’t believe that pregnancy should be a punishment (or, as anti-choicers say, a “consequence”) of sex.

I am pro-choice because I realize that my rights to birth control, to have children, to make my own decisions, to be a fully autonomous human being all hinge on my very basic ability to decide when and if I reproduce.

I am pro-choice because I trust women.

I am pro-choice because reproductive rights are far more than abortion, and because I want to see us live in a true culture of life — one where men, women and children are truly valued, and where pregnancy doesn’t turn a woman into a second-class citizen.

I am pro-choice because those who attack abortion rights don’t plan on stopping there — they’re also going after contraception, science and even sex itself. And they’ve got a whole lot of political capital.
I am pro-choice because I see what places look like when “pro-life” policies are the rule of law. I see it again and again and again.

I am pro-choice because I see what places look like when abortion is safe, legal and available, contraception is accessible, and sex is considered natural, normal, and something we should take responsibility for, not be ashamed of.

I am pro-choice because “pro-life” policies kill and maim women. I am pro-choice because abortion rates are no higher in countries where abortion is legal than in countries where it is outlawed — but countries where abortion is legal see lower maternal mortality rates, lower infant mortality rates, greater economic prosperity, and greater gender equality.

I am pro-choice because women who live in the developing world account for 95 percent of the world’s illegal abortions, and I believe that access to safe health care should not be contingent on where you happened to be born. I am pro-choice because the countries with the lowest abortion rates — Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland — have liberal abortion laws, good health care, comprehensive sex education, and accessible and affordable contraception.

I am pro-choice because many countries where abortion is illegal or highly restricted have significantly higher abortion rates than we have in the United States, and astronomically higher rates than we see in Western Europe. Some of those countries include Brazil, Chile, Bangladesh, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, and the Philippines.

I am pro-choice because of the number of women hospitalized after unsafe illegal abortions in these countries:
Bangladesh: 71,800
Brazil: 288,700
Chile: 31,900
Colombia: 57,700
Dominican Republic: 16,500
Egypt: 216,000
Mexico: 106,500
Nigeria: 142,200
Peru: 54,200
The Philippines: 80,100

I am pro-choice because 80,000 women die every year from complications from illegal abortion, and hundreds of thousands more are injured.

I am pro-choice because the risk of dying from abortion is far higher in countries where abortion is illegal than where it’s legal.

I am pro-choice because illegal abortion is the cause of 25% of all maternal deaths in Latin America, 12% in Asia, and 13% in sub-Saharan Africa.

I am pro-choice because I will not go back.

I am pro-choice because if Roe is overturned, abortion will be illegal in many states. Even with Roe in place, states like Georgia are considering legislation which would impose life in prison or the death penalty as punishment for women who have abortions and doctors who perform the procedures.

I am pro-choice because I don’t believe we should criminalize women and doctors for exercising reproductive freedom.

I am pro-choice because seeing the impact of abortion rights on a country’s prosperity, gender equality and overall well-being is apparent simply by looking at a map.

I am pro-choice because it’s the pro-choice movement that has advocated for policies which actually decrease the need for abortion, and which make it easier for women to have children: comprehensive sexual health education, affordable and accessible contraception (including emergency contraception), pre-natal and well-baby care, social support for pregnant women and women with children, affordable child care, fair pay for working women, supporting pregnant girls, and gender equality. Comparatively, the “pro-life” movement* has no interest in actually lowering the abortion rate; their ultimate goal is sexual control of women, evidenced by their opposition to contraception and their belief that there is only one singular way to live: abstain from sex until heterosexual marriage, and then have as many children as God gives you.

I am pro-choice because I see the positive impact that the pro-choice movement has had in the United States. Women go to college at the same rates as men. We can define ourselves as something other than mothers, or as mothers and something else. Poverty has been cut in half since Roe gave women the right to control their own reproduction. Men can be nurturing too, and are expected to take part in raising their children. Families can be planned. Men have greater choices in their occupations since they aren’t required to be the sole bread-winner. More people have access to education. Women have more power to escape abusive relationships or bad jobs. Parents of both sexes spend more time with their kids than ever before.

I am pro-choice because I care about children — and according to the Children’s Defense Fund, 100% of the worst legislators for children in this country are pro-life.

I am pro-choice because I believe that my body is mine. I want women, girls, men, and children to be healthy, valued, and cared for. I want families to be healthy.
I want to live in a country that values the lives and well-being of all of its citizens

I am pro-choice because it is life-affirming. I am pro-choice because it is fundamentally just. I am pro-choice because to be anything else is to devalue and harm women, children, families, and my country.

I am pro-choice because my life is worth something.

Happy Roe day.

*By which I mean the fanatical leaders of anti-choice organizations, not the individual people who identify as “pro-life” to mean that they dislike abortion and want to see the abortion rate decreased, but also support common-sense policies like sex education and contraception.

Fan-fucking-tastic. Awesome job, Jill, and I must say; I am quite proud to be a woman tonight. :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Finally; a Bring the Troops Home bill

Yesterday afternoon, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey was joined by Congresswomen Waters and Congresswoman Lee in introducing a bill that would bring our troops home from Iraq within a six month timeframe. The Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act is the first comprehensive legislative proposal to end the occupation and provide a framework to help bring stability back to Iraq. Congresswoman Woolsey writes:
“Last Wednesday night, President Bush demonstrated to the world that he continues to deny the realities on the ground in Iraq. Instead of putting forth a plan that would withdraw our troops, the President is increasing our military presence, by escalating the number of troops by over twenty thousand. What the President fails to grasp is that our military presence is only fueling the insurgency, plunging Iraq further into chaos and civil war.

“The results of November 7th showed just how fed up the American public is with the President’s failed Iraq policy. It is time to honor that mandate. It is now up to the Congress to catch up with the will of the American public.

“During his weekly radio address on Saturday, the President challenged those of us who disagree with him to offer a plan of our own. Today, we stand before you, and the American public, to take up his challenge.

“The Congress has already appropriated funding that will support our troops and keep this occupation going for at least another six months. That funding instead should be used to finance an aggressive withdrawal plan that brings our troops home to their families. Our bill would do exactly that.

“Our plan will also…
1. Withdraw all U.S. troops and military contractors from Iraq within six months from date of enactment.

2. Prohibit any further funding to deploy, or continue to deploy U.S. troops in Iraq. The bill does, however, allow for funding to be used, as needed, to ensure a safe withdrawal of all US military personnel and contractors, diplomatic consultations. Funding may also be used for the increased training and equipping of Iraqi and international security forces.

3. Accelerate, during the six month transition, training of a permanent Iraqi security force.

4. Authorize, if requested by the Iraqi government, U.S. support for an international stabilization force. Such a force would be funded for no longer than two years, and be combined with economic and humanitarian assistance.

5. Guarantee full health care funding, including mental health, for U.S. veterans of military operations in Iraq and other conflicts.

“In addition the bill would:

6. Rescind the Congressional Authorization for the War in Iraq.

7. Prohibit the construction of permanent US military bases in the country.

8. Finally, we believe that Iraqi oil belongs to the Iraqis. Once the oil is in the international market, the U.S. will certainly have access to our share. That’s why our bill ensures that the U.S. has no long-term control over Iraqi oil.
“Our plan, with the exception of Veterans’ benefits, will cost the American people pennies on the dollar as compared to continuing the occupation for two more years. It will save lives, bodies, and minds, and it will give Iraq back to the Iraqis. It is an important step in regaining our credibility in the region and throughout the world, and provides the President, and this Congress, with a comprehensive way to respond to the majority of Americans who want our troops to come home.”

This bill is co-sponsored by: Barbara Lee (CA), Maxine Waters (CA), Diane Watson (CA), James McGovern (MA), Barney Frank (MA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Chaka Fattah (PA), Jerrold Nadler (NY), John Conyers Jr. (MI), Wm. Lacy Clay (MO), Steve Cohen (TN), Maurice Hinchey (NY), Bob Filner (CA), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Donald Payne (NJ) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX).
It'll be interesting to see who else signs on to the bill. There's a whole lot of greatness in the bill, specifically the benefits offered to the vets (and I can't wait to watch the the RepupliCANTS say that it'll cost too much-that'll go over well with the military base, right?); something we certainly haven't seen from ANY Republicans as of late.

You can read the PDF of the entire bill here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Apologizing for slavery is only ok when George Allen does it

Can Republicans not remember 2005?

George Allen sponsored an anti-lynching bill in 2005. Here is the list of the members of Congress who signed the bill. John McCain apologized for NOT signing an anti-lynching bill right away (he later signed on to the bill out of fear of being labeled a racist). No one bitched then, did they? NO. In fact, I distinctly remember MANY people screaming that George Allen couldn't POSSIBLY be a racist because of the said bill and his promise to apologize for slavery.
During the past two years, as Allen has flirted with the idea of running for president in 2008, he has introduced symbolic anti-lynching legislation in the Senate and promised to lead the charge for an official apology for slavery.
So, wait; was apologizing for slavery only ok when George Allen was going to do it? Or is the fact that as always, the Republicans weren't paying attention to governing bc the Republicans were in charge and they were just happy for that as opposed to caring about the outcome?

I'm guessing the latter.

I ask again; is apologizing for slavery only ok when George Allen is going to do it? I'm just checking.

The troops are now calling for withdrawal from Iraq

Earlier today, I posted a lengthy poll that shows the increasing deterioration of military support for Bush and his failed policies in Iraq. The numbers do not lie, and it is clear that the same brave men and women that are fighting the war are now joining the fight AGAINST the war. As if things couldn't get any worse for Bush and the Republican party, we also see that some of the troops have taken things a step further by banding together to call for troop withdrawal.
Last October, having completed his five-month tour of duty, Madden helped launch the Web site, a grass-roots anti-war movement of active-duty, reserve and National Guard officers.

The site collected signatures for the appeal, which states: "As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of American military forces and bases from Iraq.

"Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price," it adds. "It is time for U.S. troops to come home."

Madden and other members of the movement delivered the signatures Tuesday in a ceremony on Capitol Hill with Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.

Kucinich, a 2008 presidential candidate and member of the "Out of Iraq" caucus, told reporters the personnel - from all branches of the armed services - were not challenging orders or their duty to serve the country.

"But they do assert their Constitutional and military code rights to speak with members of Congress," he said.

The appeal was sponsored by a coalition of anti-war groups, including Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and Military Families Speak Out.
To read the article in its entirety, go here.

I also encourage you to take a look at the heartwrenching stories from more members of the military that agree with the fact that the Iraq war is NOT winnable, and that we would better serve our country and our fine members of the United States military if we were to leae now.

Again I ask, what could POSSIBLY be the reason for our best and brightest to turn on the President?
Its the Iraq War, Stupid.
Now support the troops and BRING THEM HOME.

Bush quote of the day - um, he doesn't approve of WHAT?


"I am frustrated with the progress. If you were to take it and put me in an opinion poll and said do I approve of Iraq, I'd be one of those that said, no, I don't."

-- President Bush, in an interview on the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer.

Jim Webb - still awesome, and where can I get that sticker?

The following are some blurbs I picked out of a piece that is floating around the internets today. It's hit fightindems-US, Wes Clark's page, the HuffPo, the FreeMarketNews, and, and I am more than happy to spread it around. I mean, what Virginia Dem has had enough of hearing about Jim Webb's awesomeness? NONE. So, enjoy!
The surge is George W. Bushs greatest strategic error in a sterling legacy of greatest hits. Had he listened to the Baker Commission, he could have crafted a graceful and responsible turn around which most Americans would have welcomed and honored.

But by ignoring the wise council of Bakers bipartisan council, Bush has instead awakened new voices in the Democratic Party; like New Hampshires formidable Carol Shea-Porter, who entered Congress this month, and Vermonts Bernie Sanders.

This will no longer be a Congress which appeases and accommodates neocon agenda, advances egregious torture strategies unknown since the Enlightenment and repeals habeas corpus. It is becoming instead a Congress of real warriors, like Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania and the new Senator from Virginia, Jim Webb, whose constituents today wear bumper stickers which read: My Senator is Fearless. Increasing, it is a Congress which looks to soldiers for strategic thinking as well, like Wesley Clark, which journalist Tom Rinaldo calls the peace candidate for 2008.
OK, where the hell can I get one of those bumper stickers? If anyone knows, please clue me in on where to buy. Thanks!
But the President, whos Yale undergraduate colleagues recall him to be a relentless player of Risk: The Game of Global Domination at a time when Clark and Webb were getting shot to pieces serving their country, is constitutionally incapable of strategic thinking.

Anyone with eyes can see a new awakening in Congress. But much of the mainstream press refuses to look. For the most part it is a state of denial. They are just hoping the leadership crisis will go away and things will go "back to normal." There will be no going back. The Democrats now have the initiative and they should go forward without looking back. This is the crisis which will bring us forward and will bring a new political generation to power.
When we look back years from now, we will look at 2006 as the beginning of the new century. There has been a tendency until now to look for the "new" Roosevelt, or the "new" Kennedy, or to see in a new candidate something which reminds us of a former period. It is a natural healthy yearning for the "return of the king." But it is spiritually debilitating. When Aragorn arrives, the yearning subsides.

The upcoming primary can change the sensibilities of the Democrats and the Democrats need to be changed. I have no doubt that we can win in 08. The Republicans are in free-fall and come to a dead end with the current mischief of President Bush and his Dungeon & Dragon Warriors.
What an awesome piece. Please do yoursleves a favor and read it in its entirety. While I have snipped here and there, the entire article is incredibly inspiring for any Democratic supporter, new and old. Go Dems; 08 and beyond.

The US Military CLEARLY does not support Bush or the war

CLEARLY, as you can see from the poll below, this is an old and no longer true picture. The man with his back to us has had his back to those he is shaking hands with for a long time (why else wouldn't he provide them with body armor over and over again?)...but 29% of the country still doesn't get it. So once again I say, as a member of the majority party and a supporter of the United States Military:
Support the Troops; BRING THEM HOME
Published: Dec. 29, 2006
Iraq, Afghanistan and President Bush
NOTE: Only active-duty responses were counted in remaining results.

1) Are you on active duty?
Yes - 100%
No - 0%

2) Service branch:
Army - 46%
Navy - 21%
Air Force - 23%
Marine Corps. - 9%
Coast Guard - 1%
No response - 0%

3) How many times have you deployed to Iraq?
Once - 32%
Twice - 12%
Three times - 3%
More than three times - 3%
Never/no response - 50%

4) How many times have you deployed to Afghanistan?
Once - 12%
Twice - 1%
Three times - 0%
More than three times - 0%
Never/no response - 85%

5) In total, I have deployed in support of the war in Afghanistan and/or Iraq for:
Less than 2 months - 3%
3-6 months - 17%
7-12 months - 25%
13-18 months - 11%
19 or more months - 9%
Haven't deployed/no response - 34%

6) Should the U.S. have gone to war in Iraq?
Yes - 41%
No - 37%
No opinion/no answer - 9%
Decline to answer/no answer - 11%

7) Regardless of whether you think the U.S. should have gone to war, how likely is the U.S. to succeed?
Very likely to succeed - 13%
Somewhat likely to succeed - 37%
Not very likely to succeed - 31%
Not at all likely to succeed - 10%
No opinion/no answer - 8%

8) How soon do you think the Iraqi military will be ready to replace large numbers of American troops?
Less than a year - 2%
1-2 years - 20%
3-5 years - 36%
5-10 years - 22%
More than 10 years - 12%
No opinion/no answer - 7%

9) How long do you think the U.S. will need to stay in Iraq to reach its goals?
Less than a year 2%
1-2 years - 8%
3-5 years - 26%
5-10 years - 31%
More than 10 years - 23%
No opinion/no answer - 8%

10) Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq?
Approve - 35%
Disapprove - 42%
No opinion - 10%
Decline to answer - 12%

11) Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?
Approve - 52%
Disapprove - 31%
No opinion - 6%
Decline to answer - 10%

12) Do you consider the war in Iraq to be part of the war on terrorism that began Sept. 11, 2001, or do you consider it to be an entirely separate military action?
Part of the war on terrorism - 47%
Separate military action - 47%
No opinion - 5%

13) We currently have 145,000 troops in Iraq and Kuwait. How many troops do you think we should have there?
Zero - 13%
0-50,000 - 7%
50,000-144,000 - 6%
145,000 - 13%
146,000-200,000 - 22%
200,000+ - 16%
No opinion/Don't know - 23%

14) We currently have 18,000 troops in Afghanistan. How many troops do you think we should have there?
Zero - 8%
0-10,000 - 7%
10,000-17,000 - 4%
18,000 - 15%
19,000-50,000 - 27%
50,000+ - 12%
No opinion/Don't know - 26%

Link to the poll above

Here is a link to the same poll conducted in 2005. The downward decline is astounding, and I suggest you take a look at both polls side by side.

I mean, what could POSSIBLY be the reason for our best and brightest to turn on the President?
Its the Iraq War, Stupid.
Now support the troops and BRING THEM HOME.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

OMG Update: When will Virginia Republicans stop embarassing Virginia?

UPDATE: This is INSANITY. Hargrove should resign, plain and simple, after today's remarks. Thanks to Ben at NLS for the update and audio link available here.

UPDATE from the AP:
RICHMOND, Va. -- A state legislator's statement that black people "should get over" slavery and questioning whether Jews should apologize "for killing Christ" caused furious and tearful denunciations Tuesday before stunned lawmakers.

Del. Frank D. Hargrove, in defending himself, told one of his critics, a delegate whose Jewish ancestors immigrated from Nazi-occupied Poland, that "your skin is a little too thin."

Hargrove, 79, in an interview published Tuesday in The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, voiced opposition to a measure apologizing on behalf of the state to the descendants of slaves.

In the interview, Hargrove, R-Hanover, said slavery ended nearly 140 years ago with the Civil War and added, "I personally think that our black citizens should get over it."

The newspaper also quoted him as wondering aloud, "are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?"

Black House of Delegates members swiftly denounced the comments Hargrove made on the holiday commemorating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

"When somebody tells me I should just get over slavery I can only express my emotion by projecting that I am appalled, absolutely appalled," said Del. Dwight C. Jones, head of the Legislative Black Caucus.

Del. David L. Englin, D-Alexandria, seated next to Hargrove, spoke passionately about his grandparents leaving Poland "where they were driven from their homes by people who believed that as Jews, we killed Christ."

As he held up a wallet-sized photo of his 7-year-old son, Caleb, Englin struggled to keep his composure as he pondered the possibility that the child might have to cope with anti-Semitic comments.

When Englin sat, Hargrove reached over and softly patted Englin on the arm. Then, Hargrove rose to speak and, looking down at his seatmate, said, "I didn't even know you were Jewish, I had no idea of what your religion, (and) I don't care what your religion is. I don't care."

"I think your skin was a little too thin," he said as Republicans and Democrats gasped and groaned in disbelief.
END UPDATE...for now...

When will Virginia Republicans stop embarassing Virginia?

Apparently, the plan is NEVER. I don't neeed to go into the specifics of Jim Gilmore, George Allen, Virgil Goode, Tom Davis, and the scads of other Virginia Republicans who cannot keep their mouths shut nor act like decent Americans, but I DO need to help spread the lastest news focusing on Virginia Republican bigotry. Actually, strike that; this is flat out racism. But before we move on to Republican craziness and intolerance, let's take a look at Democratic opinion and level headed behavior:
RICHMOND - A resolution to have Virginia apologize for slavery will encounter some opposition in the House of Delegates this month, according to legislators.

The highly symbolic issue likely to spark debate is a proposed state apology for African enslavement sponsored by black Virginia lawmakers, at least two of whom are descended from slaves.

“It is meant to be a resolution that is part of a healing process, a process that still needs to take place even today in 2007,” said one sponsor, Del. A. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico County.

“No one is asking any individual to apologize, because certainly there are no slaveholders alive today and there are no slaves alive today,” said McEachin, whose great-grandfather was born a slave.

“But Virginia is alive and well, and Virginia was built on the backs of slaves, and Virginia’s economy boomed because of slavery, and it is Virginia that ought to apologize,” he said.
Makes sense to me. In fact, it makes sense to other Democratic party members of Virginia, as we can see:
Virginia, which received its first slaves at Jamestown in 1619, would be the first state to formally apologize for slavery.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Richmond Democrat, apologized for slavery while mayor of Richmond, said Kevin Hall, Kaine’s press secretary. “He wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to it and certainly he’s got a history of being able to act while in office,” Hall said. A governor’s approval is not required for passage of a joint legislative resolution.


Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County, said the issue is symbolic but that from 1619 to 1863 many Virginians were denied their citizenship.

“I think it’s appropriate and I am going to vote for it,” Deeds said.
Excellent. It's nice to see that Virginia Democrats aren't nuts. However, the same cannot be said for Virginia Republicans, most notably Del. Frank D. Hargrove, R-Glen Allen, who has represented Hanover County in the House of Delegates since 1982 and will hopefully be ousted from his seat ASAP.
“The present commonwealth has nothing to do with slavery,” said Del. Frank D. Hargrove, R-Glen Allen, whose ancestors were French Huguenots who came to America in search of religious freedom.

How far do these calls for apologies go, wondered Hargrove, a member of the House Rules Committee that could take up McEachin’s resolution as early as Wednesday.

“Are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?” Hargrove wondered.


Hargrove said raising the issue is not only symbolic, but “I think it’s counterproductive.” Other Republican delegates kept their views off the record.

“I personally think that our black citizens should get over it,” Hargrove said of slavery, which existed in Virginia from 1619 until the Civil War. “By golly, we’re living in 2007.”
Sigh. So the embarassment continues. Thanks to The Richmond Democrat for the latest news on Republican bigotry alive and well in Virginia.

Virgil Goode's bad behavior is still a newsbreaker

Although the media quieted down for a few days re: Virgil Goode's bigotry, it looks like the nation is still taking notice of another Virginia Republican gone wild. I did a google news search today and I am happy to report that he is still being chastized and not lauded, as some recently-publicly-denounced-by-one-of-their-own CRAZIES would like us to believe. Here's a snippet from one of the best analogies made so far:
First stirred up by right-wing foghorn Dennis Prager, the “controversy” reached its zenith when Congressman Virgil Goode, R-Va., denounced Ellison for his choice of spiritual accompaniment to the ceremony.

“If American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran,” Goode wrote.

“I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped,” he wrote.

Good point, Rep. Goode — except that Ellison was born in Detroit. He converted to Islam in college. Obviously we should have strict laws against letting people from Detroit go to college.
What Rep. Goode, he of the upright nose, is doing is what a lot of Americans do as a pastime — seeking out a controversy that shouldn’t be controversial in a nation of immigrants.

American values? One would think that chief among them is pride in and attentiveness to the ingredients that made us us.

Muslims taking over Congress? What a threat. Let’s see: Ellison is the first Muslim congressman in American history. As Jon Stewart points out, that’s one Muslim every 231 years. Let’s all do the math.
Oh, nice. You can read the editorial in its awesome entirety here.

Awesome pic captured from another Virgil not so good(e) diary here on RK.

Obama is IN

From Barack Obama (not OSAMA, right wing crazies) via his website:
As many of you know, over the last few months I have been thinking hard about my plans for 2008. Running for the presidency is a profound decision - a decision no one should make on the basis of media hype or personal ambition alone - and so before I committed myself and my family to this race, I wanted to be sure that this was right for us and, more importantly, right for the country.

I certainly didn't expect to find myself in this position a year ago. But as I've spoken to many of you in my travels across the states these past months; as I've read your emails and read your letters; I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics.

So I've spent some time thinking about how I could best advance the cause of change and progress that we so desperately need.

The decisions that have been made in Washington these past six years, and the problems that have been ignored, have put our country in a precarious place. Our economy is changing rapidly, and that means profound changes for working people. Many of you have shared with me your stories about skyrocketing health care bills, the pensions you've lost and your struggles to pay for college for your kids. Our continued dependence on oil has put our security and our very planet at risk. And we're still mired in a tragic and costly war that should have never been waged.

But challenging as they are, it's not the magnitude of our problems that concerns me the most. It's the smallness of our politics. America's faced big problems before. But today, our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, common sense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can't tackle the big problems that demand solutions.

And that's what we have to change first.

We have to change our politics, and come together around our common interests and concerns as Americans.

This won't happen by itself. A change in our politics can only come from you; from people across our country who believe there's a better way and are willing to work for it.

Years ago, as a community organizer in Chicago, I learned that meaningful change always begins at the grassroots, and that engaged citizens working together can accomplish extraordinary things.

So even in the midst of the enormous challenges we face today, I have great faith and hope about the future - because I believe in you.
And that's why I wanted to tell you first that I'll be filing papers today to create a presidential exploratory committee. For the next several weeks, I am going to talk with people from around the country, listening and learning more about the challenges we face as a nation, the opportunities that lie before us, and the role that a presidential campaign might play in bringing our country together. And on February 10th, at the end of these decisions and in my home state of Illinois, I'll share my plans with my friends, neighbors and fellow Americans.

In the meantime, I want to thank all of you for your time, your suggestions, your encouragement and your prayers. And I look forward to continuing our conversation in the weeks and months to come.


U.S. Senator Barack Obama
You can also watch the speech on the website as well. Looks like the race to 08 is in full we just have to wait for the Oscars to be awarded and then hear what Al Gore (my pick) has decided.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A little useless evening humor

I am a big fan of David Cross, most notably known for his HBO sketch comedy series, Mr. Show with Bob and David. The following audio clip I grabbed from youtube is a short collection of political humor from one of David's recent albums, and I always get a huge kick out of it. I hope you enjoy...
Disclaimer: Not for those offended by foul language and/or Bush supporters.

The Kilgore boys have new jobs!

Just saw this over at the RTD. Looks like Jerry may be first in line to become Virginia chairman for former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, overseeing his 2008 effort here in Virginia to secure the nomination for POTUS for the Republican party. Jer-Bear isn't commenting yet; no word on whether or not it's because he hasn't yet found someone to dub his voice or if he just hasn't had the heart to tell Jim Gilmore of his plans. The juicy bits:
Jerry W. Kilgore, defeated for governor in 2005, is backing a guy with another kind of accent for the Republican presidential nomination.

Kilgore, known for his Southwestern Virginia twang, and Giuliani, with his New York patois, might seem an unlikely pair. Kilgore is conservative on many issues on which Giuliani is moderate or liberal, among them, gun control, abortion rights and gay rights.

Giuliani has enlisted Virginia fundraising consultants Tom Benedetti, Abby Farris Rogers and Christie Heath to plumb for dollars in mid-Atlantic states and in Washington. Their clients have included Kilgore, now a private lawyer in Richmond, and former Gov. Jim Gilmore, who this week launched a presidential exploratory committee.
You go Jer-Bear. You bring that liberal Northerner to Virginia and you git 'er done.

News on Terry:
Kilgore's twin brother, Terry, also is making political news. A delegate from Scott County, Terry G. Kilgore is the new chairman of the House Republican Caucus, succeeding Del. R. Steven Landes of Augusta County.
Congratulations to the Kilgore boys, folks! May they both sport little tiny mustaches and striped polos for years to come.

Joe Scarborough continues to expose Bill O'Reilly

I must say, I am more impressed with Joe Scarborough from MSNBC's Scarborough Country every day. Last week, Joe Scarborough came out HARD against Bill O'Reilly and his baseless attacks on MSNBC (with another great video). Now, I can understand Bill O'Reilly wanting to attack Keith Olbermann, who has done more than his fair share of mocking Bill O'Reilly and exposing him for the lying fraud he is. But Joe Scarborough and Bill O'Reilly are supposed to be on the same team, right? Joe Scarborough has history as an active Republican Congressman, and much to the chagrin of the Republicans, he has only recently come to his senses and denounced Bush's failed policies.
Scarborough, who signed the Contract with America, was part of the 1994 Republican takeover of the House, led by Newt Gingrich. Scarborough served on the Armed Services, Judiciary, Government Reform, and Education committees. In 1998, he was named Chairman of the Civil Service Committee.

Scarborough was one of a group of about 40 GOP freshmen legislators who dubbed themselves the "New Federalists" after the Federalist Papers. Scarborough was elected Political Director of the incoming legislators. The New Federalists called for sweeping cuts in the U.S. government, including plans to "privatize, localize, consolidate, [or] eliminate" the Departments of Commerce, Education, Energy and Housing and Urban Development, but were largely unsuccessful in their goals. Gingrich tapped Scarborough to head a Republican task force on education, and Scarborough declared "Our goal is to get as much money, power and authority out of Washington and get as much money, power and authority into the classroom as possible."
So why the sudden anger at O'Reilly?

Well, it seems that Bill O'Reilly has decided that MSNBC and ALL of its employees are just "too liberal" for America. Joe Scarborough, who is is obviously not a liberal at all, does not like being played by a man who constantly lies and spins the facts in order to praise the Republican party and degrade the Democratic party. And it looks like Joe just isn't going to take it anymore.

Welcome to reality, Joe; we are thrilled to have you here, standing with us on the side of the majority.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Just heard on Hardball with Chris Matthews

I will provide a link to the transcript or video as soon as it is made available:
There's grounds for the President to retire based on the mistakes he has made. But he won't, he won't retire.
--Chris Matthews

Unbelievable - YES to surge, NO to body armor

Tonight Mr Bush will give his speech on the troop surge he believes will finally bring victory to Iraq. As we know, the surge itself has already begun, so the speech is, in essence, an after thought; a nice little "F*@# you, naysayers!" from the "president." Tonight, in another one of Mr. Bush's "MOST IMPORTANT SPEECHES EVER", we will hear how we need the extra troops in order to scream "Mission Accomplished" from the rooftops, the same phrase Mr. Bush and the White House already used years ago. So what we see is that despite the fact that virtually no one is behind Mr. Bush on this issue, and although we DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY NOR THE TROOPS TO ACTUALLY HAVE A SURGE (and yes, the troops agree), we're just going to have to suck it up and deal.

The problem? Well, Mr. Bush and his buddies will be sending the troops, but they won't be sending the armor.

Nice, huh?
The thousands of troops that President Bush is expected to order to Iraq will join the fight largely without the protection of the latest armored vehicles that withstand bomb blasts far better than the Humvees in wide use, military officers said.

Vehicles such as the Cougar and the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle have proven ability to save lives, but production started late and relatively small numbers are in use in Iraq, mostly because of money shortages, industry officials said.

More than 1,000 American troops have been killed by roadside bombs since the war began in March 2003. At present there are fewer than 1,000 of the new armored trucks in Iraq. At $500,000 to $700,000 each, they cost more than twice as much as a standard Humvee, but already they are proving their worth.

"They are expensive, but they are going to save lives," said Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, during a recent trip to Iraq, where he reviewed the service's effort to get more of the vehicles.
Absolutely unbelievable.

Let me be perfectly clear; THIS IS NO LONGER A PARTISAN ARGUMENT. By applying logic, it is evident that we DO NOT HAVE the troops, we DO NOT HAVE the money required to continue to fight this war, and we DO NOT HAVE any sense of a plan nor an exit strategy. Mr. Bush DOES NOT HAVE American support for his "plan". And I would be remiss if I did not mention that ultra conservative, Republican Presidential candidate Senator Sam Brownback agrees with me.
“I do not believe that sending more troops to Iraq is the answer,” said Brownback. “Iraq requires a political rather than a military solution. In the last two days, I have met with Prime Minister Maliki, with two deputy presidents and the president of the Kurdish region. I came away from these meetings convinced that the United States should not increase its involvement until Sunnis and Shi'a are more willing to cooperate with each other instead of shooting at each other.”
It appears to me (and the majority of the country) that the dwindling 26% of those people who support Mr. Bush and his actions are simply not as big of a supporter of America and the troops as they claim to be. Shameful.

The speech is tonight, the surge has already begun

Well, while we all sit and watch Mr. Bush talk about the surge tonight, new troops are getting used to life in Baghdad. I guess that's why the talking points were leaked; the surge began while we were all talking about the President talking about a surge.
President Bush's speech may be scheduled for tonight, but the troop surge in Iraq is already under way.

ABC News has learned that the "surge" Bush is expected to announce in a prime time speech tonight has already begun. Ninety advance troops from the 82nd Airborne Division arrived in Baghdad today. An additional battalion of roughly 800 troops from the same division are expected to arrive in Baghdad Thursday.

It is the first small wave of troops in a new White House strategy that is expected to put more than 20,000 additional U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq and likely require new call-ups of the National Guard.

The president is expected to deliver his announcement about the increase of troops, a plan that has already been met with stiff criticism from many members of Congress, in a speech tonight from the White House.

The arrival of additional forces in Iraq comes a day after leading Democrats said they would back legislation that would block funding to pay for the additional military forces.
Watch for Senator Webb's post presidential address reaction on PBS tonight.

George Bush is officially seen as crazy and sad

Fewer than a third of Americans still support the war in Iraq, and more than half say they want U.S. troops out of the country within a year, according to the CNN poll. This 31 percent support marked a new low in the Opinion Research survey.

"Nearly three-quarters said Bush administration policy needs a complete overhaul or major changes. But only 11 percent of those polled backed calls to send more American troops to Iraq, as President Bush is said to be considering," CNN said.
I assume that at this point, staffers run when they see him coming or if forced to listen to him talk, twirl their fingers at their ears to make the "crazy" gesture when he's not looking. Who can possibly continue to defend this guy?

I am a sore loser

I am. I can only imagine what I would have been like if Virginia had had the audacity to re-elect George Allen or if the Democratic party had not swept the 2006 election in an unprecedented, amazing and necessary win. So, in retrospect, losing a football game is not a huge deal.

However, because I am an admitted sore loser and because there has just got to be a reason for the Buckeyes not playing football Monday night, I have an excuse for losing:
It's all the Republican party's fault
That's right. Why you ask? Because let's face it, anytime a Republican gets near anything OHIO related, disaster is sure to ensue; see Ohio 2004, presidential election and just TRY to say it ain't so. And we all know what happens with Republicans and Florida, correct? We get things like Katherine Harris, hurricane damage that is actually paid for purely for political reasons, and stolen elections. I really don't see how anyone could argue with me on this.

But what does this have to do with the game, you ask? Well, if you didn't watch it, you may not know, but...
That's right. John McCain did it.
Politics intruded on the world of college football Monday night as Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain flipped the coin to kick off the biggest game of the year — the BCS game between the Ohio State University and the University of Florida at the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe. Florida won the toss and the game, but McCain may have been the real winner, getting face time in front of 26.4 million viewers and potential U.S. voters.
The Republican party has once again stolen a piece of my soul. This will not be forgotten, and they will never be forgiven.

Disclaimer for those without a sense of humor: yes, this is mostly sarcasm and snark. I figure laughing is better than crying. Rest up, Buckeyes. That "game" on Monday was unnacceptable and deplorable; you deserved to get beat for playing like a crappy high school team. And that is as close to a "congrats" I will extend to the gators, because I really am a sore loser.

Monday, January 08, 2007

UPDATE: THIS did NOT happen tonight

UPDATE: I am in a jar of pickle juice right now, and I will take my ribbings as necessary.


Back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow

Pending some breaking news of extreme importance, I will not be discussing politics today. Today is all about the big game between #1 Ohio State and some team from Florida. I will be updating throughout the day with pics, articles, and blog pieces focusing on the lead up to tonight's final showdown of the year for college football. Please join me in football discussion, and remember;

Sunday, January 07, 2007

"Macaca" is the runner up for word of the year

It really is too bad that the year's biggest insult is what George Allen will be remembered for. It is also very sad that the great Commonwealth of Virginia has been sullied by such a terrible former senator.
The runner-up was "macaca" or "macaca moment," defined as "treating an American citizen as an alien" -- a reference to a campaign remark by former Virginia Sen. George Allen that some say marked the beginning of the end for his re-election hopes.

I'm, with Dannyboy, aka Donkey with a Trunk and Hanson ;)

I am also part of the Gore 2008 club. I don't have much to say on the subject except:
1. He is the man for 2008 as he was the man for 2000, when the election was ripped from his hands by a whiny, crybaby, son of a rich man.
2. We need to do something about our environment, period. If you still think global warming is anything BUT a cold, hard fact, then I feel bad for you and anyone who comes in contact with you. Gore is the man to help us get out of the environmental mess we face today.
Go read Dannyboy's piece; he put more time and effort into it than I did, and I agree with him. Rock on, Hanson. ;)

Go here for hilarious Al Gore videos, including the awesome one from SNL where he addresses the nation as if he were POTUS. It's funny, and also sad.

I am updating my blogroll today.

As you can see, I am missing important pholks and I have to remove some for a variety of reasons. The main reason I am removing blogs is because the authors stopped posting after the election, and I want to to focus on bloggers that have more to say, post 2006 crazy-ass awesome Democratic takeover. :)

Let me know if you want on or off the roll. Sensible and not bat-shit crazy Republican and conservative bloggers are more than welcome to request to be added; I will probably break the roll into red and blue categories, though. Just ask, and we'll take it from there. Sports and music blogs are encouraged to "apply" as well.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Um, Chevrolet? It's my country too

I knew I couldn't possibly be the only American disgusted by Chevrolet's latest ad campaign, "Our Country, Our Truck." The regionalized commercials have been playing since the fall, and I am beyond tired of Mellencamp's growly croon and the overall partisan and exclusive attitude displayed throughout the entire commercial. So it didn't surprise me to learn that people all around the country have been complaining about Chevrolet and their lack of integrity in advertising for months.
Historians might also find a somewhat muddled message in the syncing of Mellencamp's lyrics with the ad's images. As the pop singer (who appears briefly in the ad) croons, "I can stand beside ideals I think are right," pictures of Parks and scenes of happy families flash by. But the next line -- "I can stand beside the idea to stand and fight" -- is accompanied by shots of Vietnam combat and Ali, suggesting approval for both the war and for the boxer who resisted being drafted into it. (Mellencamp's manager offered the song to Chevy after it was written, according to Automotive News.)

Nevertheless, Tezanos said the commercial has generated an "overwhelmingly positive" response from consumers.

This group clearly does not include Carie Lemack, a co founder of Families of September 11. Lemack, whose mother, Judy Larocque, was a passenger on one of the jets that terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center, asked: "Have we become so accustomed to exploiting people's pain that it is acceptable for a company to make money using images of it?"

Lemack said when she heard about the commercial, "the first thing that ran through my mind was 'Why would Mom's murder be used to sell trucks?' . . . I hope that anyone that chooses to use images of 9/11 and other tragedies does it with the intention of making sure those tragedies never happen again. This ad does not do that. It uses the images gratuitously, with the sole intention of evoking strong emotions."
Of course, Chevrolet can try to say (with a straight face) that they have done nothing wrong and that they certainly aren't bringing politics into advertising, but they would be lying. As most of us know, the images of 911 and the nuclear bomb were cut from the commercials before they were aired due to numerous complaints. And I think we can all agree on one thing; Chevrolet certainly isn't convincing anyone who didn't want to buy a Chevy truck last summer that they should now buy one. Why, you ask?

Because consumers don't like to be insulted, that's why.

If a man who happens to need a truck but also likes cappuccinos sees that commercial and the little "dig" about "AMUHRICA'S coffee", there is no way he will buy a Silverado. If someone who uses both the internet and a large vehicle sees that commercial and takes offense to the "This is AMUHRICA'S chatroom", then I can almost guarantee he will drive on by that dealership. And as a woman? Are there any women driving the trucks in those commercials? ANY? Well, there goes that group of buyers.

I guess I shouldn't complain, since it looks like they are digging their own grave.

And in closing, I could not be more pleased to present you with these hilarious parodies of Chevy's not so brilliant and pretty darn insulting ad campaign.