Bread is the great re-enforcer of the reality principle. Bread is life. But if you're like me you have a thousand and more times repeated the ordinary experience of eating bread without a thought for the process that brings it to your table. The reality is physical: I need this bread to live. But the reality is also social: I need others to provide the bread. I depend for bread on hundreds of people I don't know and will never meet. If they fail me, I go hungry. If I offer them nothing of value in exchange for their loaf, I betray them. The people who grow the wheat, process and store the grain, and transport it from farm to city; who bake it, package it, and market it—these people and I are bound together in an intricate reciprocal bargain. We exchange value.
He claims he was called a nigger, an animal and other epithets by guards who also liked to spit in his food, shoot him with stun guns, spray him with tear gas and kick him down steps while he was handcuffed.
For more than two decades, Dave Lalli made an honest living a few blocks from his home, pumping gas and fixing cars at his 19th Street and Oregon Avenue Sunoco station. He made just enough money selling gas to cover the rent and the cost of pumping fuel. His profit came from his markup on repairs in his cramped but clean four-bay garage.
That's all changed in the past two years, as gas prices have gone up about 50 percent.
While Sunoco and other oil companies have reaped profits the size of Saudi sand dunes, Lalli is sinking into financial quicksand. He's some $52,000 in debt and is about to be evicted by Sunoco for not keeping up with increasing rent. He blames the homegrown oil giant's retail pricing strategy.
“Witnesses to the slaying of 24 Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines in the western town of Haditha say the Americans shot men, women and children at close range in retaliation for the death of a Marine lance corporal in a roadside bombing.Eric Alterman summarizes the situation in Iraq perfectly:
Aws Fahmi, a Haditha resident who said he watched and listened from his home as Marines went from house to house killing members of three families, recalled hearing his neighbor across the street, Younis Salim Khafif, plead in English for his life and the lives of his family members. "I heard Younis speaking to the Americans, saying: 'I am a friend. I am good,' " Fahmi said. "But they killed him, and his wife and daughters."
The 24 Iraqi civilians killed on Nov. 19 included children and the women who were trying to shield them, witnesses told a Washington Post special correspondent in Haditha this week and U.S. investigators said in Washington. The girls killed inside Khafif's house were ages 14, 10, 5, 3 and 1, according to death certificates.
The remains of the 24 lie today in a cemetery called Martyrs' Graveyard. Stray dogs scrounge in the deserted homes. "Democracy assassinated the family that was here," graffiti on one of the houses declared.
The insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq said it sent copies of the journalism student's videotape to mosques in Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, using the killings of the women and children to recruit fighters.
"They are waiting for the sentence -- although they are convinced that the sentence will be like one for someone who killed a dog in the United States," said Waleed Mohammed, a lawyer preparing a file for Iraqi courts and the United Nations, if the U.S. trial disappoints. "Because Iraqis have become like dogs in the eyes of Americans.''
1. We are apparently discrediting the idea of democracy.The despair I feel over the Iraq war is immense. What we have wrought in the world is nothing short of evil. And all of us, everyone single one of us, is responsible. I despair that the United States will ever have a moral compass again, much less be a moral beacon.
2. We are creating recruitment videos for anti-American terrorists.
3. We are paying a trillion dollars to do this.
4. We are losing our young men and women to do this.
5. We have destroyed a country to do this.
As the summer travel season shifts into high gear, the car rental business is counting on a new breed of customers to bolster its bottom line.My wife and I are currently in the market for a new car. This is an option we are seriously considering ... buy a small around-town car and then rent a larger vehicle for trips. Looks like we're not alone. It really makes sense. Who needs all the extra weight and size for a trip to the grocery store to buy a loaf of bread?
They're frequent renters, local customers who have their own vehicles but rent cars for convenience.
Such consumers are driving expansion of neighborhood auto rental centers, which now account for over half of the industry's nearly $19 billion annual U.S. revenue.
For the first time, more people are renting from neighborhood centers than from airport counters.
The Los Angeles Times leads with the investigation into the killings of civilians in Haditha, Iraq, by U.S. Marines. The NYT broke this story yesterday and what the LAT adds is somewhat thin: that some of the victims were killed "execution-style." While chilling, that's not a big step up from the NYT saying that some of the killings were "methodical in nature." The Post runs a good story on the same incident above the fold, but theirs is based on interviews with residents in Haditha. One new detail in both stories: A 500-pound bomb may have been dropped on the town (the LAT says it happened; the Post says it's a point of contention), which the Post points out would indicate that senior commanders, who have to approve such things, would at least be aware that something was going on in Haditha.One of the reports I read yesterday said that the killing spree went on for several hours.
The NYT and WP front Prime Minister Tony Blair hanging at the White House with Bush, where they defended the war, declined to commit to a drawdown of troops, and expressed a few regrets. Bush acknowledged it wasn't a good move to challenge insurgents to "bring it on" nor to say he wanted Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive." Said the president, "I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner."The video of this shows a sincerity that I've not often seen in Bush. Who knows, he probably was coached to look sincere. But his self critical discussion of the cowboy macho BS he was spouting is right on target.
Breaking: Murray Waas reports that Karl Rove, Robert Novak's source for learning Valerie Plame's identity, may have collaborated with the columnist to cover up his leak. Upon first learning of the federal probe into the Plame leak, Rove and Novak spoke and invented a "cover story" to hide the truth about the leak, Fitzgerald's investigators believe.Is that a conspiracy or obstruction of justice charge I hear rattle around?
The Washington Post leads with House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issuing a joint statement demanding the Justice Department unhand the files taken in the bribe-related raid of Rep. William Jefferson's office. The Post says the raid is "the first time that the FBI has executed a search warrant on the Capitol Hill office of a sitting lawmaker." A piece inside the WP says the move might have been impolitic and uncustomary, but it probably wasn't illegal.Imagine this for just one moment.
May 23 (Bloomberg) -- All seven people infected with bird flu in a cluster of Indonesian cases can be linked to other patients, according to disease trackers investigating possible human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus.Not confirmed yet. But if so, this would be a big story. The source is Bloomberg which is usually well sourced.
Chad Heeter reports from Waveland, a town on the Mississippi coast on the eve of the next hurricane season that the only rebuilding that's gone on since Hurricane Katrina leveled the area is casinos and fast-food outlets. Otherwise, FEMA's idea of rebuilding was to put Mississippians in "travel trailers" -- 100,000 Mississippi residents in 38,000 trailers. The problem with travel trailers is simple: Gusts of 50 miles per hour lasting more than three seconds can damage mobile homes. From March 2003 to April 2005, thirteen storms with winds of at least 58 mph -- the low-end of a severe storm -- blew through Waveland and surrounding communities. Even the FEMA website points out that people in trailers in hurricane season need storm shelters. Only problem, there is just one certified Red Cross shelter in Waveland's county, 20 minutes inland, with a capacity of 250 people. (The current estimated population of the county is over 40,000 people.) That sums up the Bush administration's Iraq-style "reconstruction" at home, here.You know this is true throughout the Gulf region, not just in this area.
David Cay Johnston writes in the New York Times: "The $69 billion tax cut bill that President Bush signed this week tripled tax rates for teenagers with college savings funds, despite Mr. Bush's 1999 pledge to veto any tax increase. . . .Isn't it good to know that Bush is trying to attain fiscal responsibility by taxing that grossly undertaxed group, college students?
"Mr. Bush pledged in 1999 to veto any bill that raised taxes. In response to a question about the tax increase on teenagers in the new legislation, the White House issued a statement Friday that made no reference to the tax increase, but recounted the tax cuts the administration has sponsored and stated that President Bush had 'reduced taxes on all people who pay income taxes.'
"Challenged on that point, the White House modified its statement 21 minutes later to say that Mr. Bush had 'reduced taxes on virtually all people who pay income taxes.' "
"pathologically unsexy ... not a raving beauty,"And who had this gem of analysis?
THURSDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic Americans in cardiac arrest are less likely [half as likely] than whites to receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a new California study finds.
Researchers reviewed data on 1,239 cases from the Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation Evaluation in Los Angeles and the California Death Statistic Master File.
They found that 12.8 percent of Hispanic cardiac arrest victims received bystander CPR, compared with 23.9 percent of whites.
This disparity persisted even after the researchers adjusted for socioeconomic factors such as income and education.
Bystander CPR is known to provide improved outcomes in people who survive cardiac arrest.
"The Latino population is the fastest growing population in the United States, and clearly, it is of paramount importance to identify disparities affecting any historically underserved population. It is our hope that this study will bring about additional research specifically directed to addressing health-care disparities in underserved populations," lead investigator Dr. Peter C. Benson said in a prepared statement.
There is data to show that black Americans are also less likely than whites to receive BCPR, the researchers noted.
The findings are expected to be presented Saturday at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine annual meeting, in San Francisco.
Al-Hayat also says that Shiite on Shiite violence in Basra,[the former peaceful area of Iraq] the second-largest city in Iraq, threatens an end to the phase in which it enjoyed relative calm. The representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Shaikh Muhammad Falak, accused the spiritual leader of the Virtue (Fadhila) Party, Ayatollah Muhammad al-Ya`qubi, of having declined to take any steps toward snuffing out the crisis in the city after the governor became the target of a failed assassination attempt. Falak emphasized that the Virtue Party has created secret prisons where it tortures captives, and has resorted to forcibly expelling others (Sunnis).Iraq, as a society, is simply becoming untenable. Anyone who can is leaving. Those who can't are either fighting or cowering.
Patrick Henry once said: "Give me liberty or give me death."
Pat Roberts said yesterday: Take my liberty and spare me death.
Shameless plug: Last October, "The Unpleasant Truth About Inflation" noted all the reasons why inflation was actually much higher than most people (including the Economists on Wall Street) believed.It's simply impossible to repeal the laws of economics. There's no free lunch when it comes to borrowing and boy, has the U.S. been borrowing. To me, the only question is how bad will this stagnating economy get?
It took market participants an astonishing 8 months to figure this out.
Nothing much has changed except perception. Growth is still slowing, and is as Real Estate dependent as ever. Prices continue to increase, regardless of the idiotic focus on the Core rate (don't sugar coat it, tell us how you really feel).
What has changed from last week, when the dominant meme was Pause! to today, when the newfound fear is a Half-Point hike? Psychology. Groupthink. Emotions and sentiment.
The only thing truly different is the Goldilocks fantasists have changed trains, and are now on the Reality Express. Next stop: 2% GDP, 5% inflation. ALL ABOARD!
Of course, the markets haven't liked this. Goldilocks is a fairy tale, while Reality has warts. These are consequences for decades of easy money and years of bad policy. Like the twin deficits. Growing disparities in wealth, which will ultimately lead to spasmodic anti-capitalist legislation. Deficit producing tax cuts. Post crash damage still unresolved from 2000. A ruinous war costing treasure and lives and despoiling the United State's reputation globally. Is it any surprise the greenback has gotten kicked around like a junkyard dog? All the while these markets have been as utterly dependent as a babe at its mother's breast on massive government stimulus for ongoing growth. My name is Mr. Market, and I am stimulus-aholic (Hi Mr. Market!)
Keep repeating after me: Except for everything going up in price, there is no inflation . . .
"I got three great kids, but if you tell me, 'Go out and find all the bad things they've done, Hayden,' I could build you a pretty good dossier," he said. "You'd think they were pretty bad people because that's what I was looking for and that's what I built up. That'd be very wrong, OK? That would be inaccurate. That would be misleading."Gen. Hayden describing the Pentagon led intelligence effort to make a case to go to war in Iraq.
“Even Baby Jesus accepted gifts, and I don’t believe it corrupted him.” — North Carolina State Rep. Drew Saunders (D), arguing that a $200 gift-reporting requirement for legislators from non-family members was too low.
"He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that. Students jumped on him; I challenged him." When asked to explain a particular comment, said Tsurumi, Bush would respond, "Oh, I never said that." A White House spokeswoman did not return a phone call seeking comment.
In 1973, as the oil and energy crisis raged, Tsurumi led a discussion on whether government should assist retirees and other people on fixed incomes with heating costs. Bush, he recalled, "made this ridiculous statement and when I asked him to explain, he said, 'The government doesn't have to help poor people -- because they are lazy.' I said, 'Well, could you explain that assumption?' Not only could he not explain it, he started backtracking on it, saying, 'No, I didn't say that.'"
Atrocities in Iraq? Sure, it's a pressure cooker. Put young men with guns in a situation where everyone hates them and they're understaffed, what would we really expect? It's a wonder it hasn't happened more. Then again, we don't know that it hasn't.
How about the nastiest piece of political direct mail ever sent?Who knows? Perhaps the slow news week is the calm before a storm. We shall see.
"I'm just shocked," Shelltrack said. "I really thought this would all be over, and we could go on with our lives."The family in question is a couple who have THREE children. Guess it's time to put them on the streets to promote family values. It's one of those, "we have to destroy it to save it" moments. I'd hate to think what they'll do to gay people with kids. Or how about college kids who share rents? They probably don't have any such thing as "college" there.
Mayor Norman McCourt said starting Wednesday the city will begin trying to evict groups who do not fit into [the town of ] Black Jack’s definition of family, reports CBS affiliate KMOV-TV in St. Louis.
The current ordinance prohibits more than three people from living together unless they are related by "blood, marriage or adoption." The defeated measure would have changed the definition of a family to include unmarried couples with two or more children.
Militarizing the border is a totally terrible idea. Do we have a State Department? Are they sentient? How much do you want to infuriate Mexico when it's sitting on quite a bit of oil? Bush knows what the most likely outcome of this move will be. He was governor during the political firestorm that ensued when a Marine taking part in anti-drug patrols on the border shot and killed Esequiel Hernandez, an innocent goat-herder from Redford, Texas. That's the definition of crazy - repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Both President Bush and Veep Cheney are still going around claiming if you cut taxes, your tax revenues increase. No, they don't. Now we're just in whackoville. It's not true. Their own economists tell them it's not true, but they go about claiming it is with the same desperate tenacity they clung to false tales of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. How pathetic.
Speaking of lunacy, the saddest report from Iraq is that American soldiers showing signs of psychological distress and depression are being kept on active duty, increasing the risk of suicide. The Hartford Courant reports that even soldiers who have already been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome are kept on duty. This has led to an increase in the suicide rate - 22 soldiers in 2005. And as I have reported before, the military is unprepared to deal with the flood of head cases coming back from Iraq. How many ways can we mistreat our own soldiers, while the right makes this elaborate show of devotion to "the troops"?
Ordinarily, a company that conceals their transactions and activities from the public would violate securities law. But an presidential memorandum signed by the President on May 5 allows the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, to authorize a company to conceal activities related to national security. (See 15 U.S.C. 78m(b)(3)(A))If this is the case, the extension of fascism just continues with corporations being protected from the rule of law by a dictator. In fact, this is the essence of fascism. It will be quite interesting to watch the courts deal with all of this as time goes by.
He [a friend/expert retired from the government data mining programs] cautions that I shouldn't get ahead of themselves worrying about an all-seeing government and a seamless surveillance culture. Billions are being secretly spent annually for software development, network infrastructure, database management, etc., to build a dreamed for system that will be able to autonomously connect the dots and detect terrorists before they strike. But a seamless system, my always reliable and level headed friend assures, is still far away.Given government incompetence of late, it's no surprise that it's not up and running yet. In fact, Arkin's point is the like the star wars program, a comprehensive data mining system may be a pipe dream. We've spent over $130 billion on a failed star wars program to date. Will we spend a gazillion dollars on a failed comprehensive data mining program?
Ok, now the substance. The ad makes a couple of claims. One, that web site operators don't pay for the internet. That is a lie. They pay massive sums of money for bandwidth, on the order of $10 billion last year alone. So does the public in tax subsidies for telecom companies, perhaps as high as $200 billion over the years (though it's hard to tell with all the mergers and weird accounting). Yes, that you read that right. Two, they claim they have never degraded a web site or service. Of course, executives for these companies are on record discussing their plans to do precisely that. The telco sponsored legislation would strip the FCC from being able to deal with degraded service or blocked web sites. Three, the telecom companies claim that net neutrality means intrusive government regulation. This claim is a bit harder to unpack, but it's worth following me here since what they are saying is in fact 180 degrees from the truth.
Here's the deal. The internet has always had rules. One of those rules is that even if you own a pipe, you're not allowed to tell people what they can put through that pipe. You can't block web sites, you can't say 'don't stream video', and you can't dictate what people and can't say. You do have to pay for the pipe you use; Google pays millions a month on one end, and millions of consumers pay smaller amounts ($20-$60) a month on the other. But no one can tell you what you can do with those pipes. It's very much the opposite of cable TV. There are no gatekeepers, and that's by design. This has created a highly competitive marketplace.
Through a series of regulatory decisions from 2002-2005, the FCC stripped these protections for broadband pipes. Now telecom companies can do whatever they want, and they have basically announced business models that depend on their ability to turn the internet into a more cable-like service. This new playground for them is tenous, because the FCC could at any point reverse themselves. To firm this up, the telecom companies want to legislate a change in the rules, stripping authority from the FCC to hold ISPs accountable for degrading service.
So that's what this is all about.
33 Dead in Civil WarI could put stuff up like this daily. The tragedy that is Iraq just keeps on going.
7 US Troops Killed over Weekend
Basra in Chaos as Tribes Feud
MOSUL: Guerrillas detonated a bomb in the northern city, killing one policeman and wounding 2 others.It will take Americans more than a generation to live down what we have helped create in Iraq.
RAMADI: Heavy fighting between local guerrillas and US troops left 8 dead and 9 wounded.
BALAD RUZ - Guerrillas shot down 4 primary school teachers in Diyala Province an hour's drive from Baquba.
WAJIHIYA: Guerrillas east of Baghdad fired a mortar shell that landed on a civilian home, killing a seven-year-old girl and wounding 7 members of her family.
BAGHDAD: Five members of a family in the capital were shot dead.
MAHAWEEL: Guerrillas detonated a bomb that wounded 3 policemen and left a civilian bystander dead.
KARBALA: A policeman who had earlier been abducted showed up dead in the Shiite shrine city on Monday. (Two ex-Baathists were also assassinated.)
AMARA: A mortar attack on a British base wounded one soldier seriously in the leg and inflicted minor injuries on three others.
BASRA: Tribesmen of the Marsh Arab Karamisha [Gramsha] tribe killed 11 policemen in and around Basra. They may have been taking revenge for the killing of one of their clan chiefs by persons dressed as special police commandos, a unit heavily infiltrated by the Badr Corps of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
But Bush will really be engaging in some sleight-of-hand. Anyone who thinks that as a result of the President's order there are soon going to be US troops with weapons in their hands standing steely guard on la linea is going to be very, very disappointed. The new infusion of Guardsmen, if it happens at all, will mostly mean the "troops" taking over some desk jobs and some technical chores, thereby freeing up more Border Patrol agents to run up and down the ravines of Arizona chasing our future cooks and bottle-washers. Some of the guard but might have an expanded role in surveillance as well; but make no mistake, there will be no phalanx of troops on the border. There's also the question of what sort of deployment takes place if the governors of New Mexico and California--as they have indicated--might oppose the measure.Adding 6,000 untrained troops to border patrol is a drop in the bucket. But hey, if Congress can spend the next few months arguing about flag-burning, I guess some local National Guardsman can put together some TexMex barbeque for themselves out in the desert. Hey, they might even get some of the illegals to help out!
There are some stories out today about the dissatisfaction by the American taliban with their annoited party, the Republicans. They're complaining that they haven't received the social reforms they were promised.
-- Rev. Pat Robertson, quoted by the Manassas Journal Messenger.
A senior federal law enforcement official tells us the government is tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential sources.Government spying on reporters. I'm soooo surprised!
"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.
We do not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.
Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.
US authorities can get access to EU citizens' data on phone calls, sms' and emails, giving a recent EU data-retention law much wider-reaching consequences than first expected, reports Swedish daily Sydsvenskan.
The EU data retention bill, passed in February after much controversy and with implementation tabled for late 2007, obliges telephone operators and internet service providers to store information on who called who and who emailed who for at least six months, aimed at fighting terrorism and organised crime.
Of course, this potentially sets the scene for the next loop in the downward spiral towards a full-fledged police state. If and when the next terrorist attack comes, the natural response of the national security bureaucracy (and its legal camp followers) will be to insist the tragedy never would have happened if it had been given access to all the data it wanted, all the money it needed, and all the investigative powers it demanded. It’ll be the fighting-with-one-hand-tied-behind-our-back argument, re-imported from Iraq. And who’s going to say no when another major American landmark is a smoldering ruin?Indeed.
CongressDaily reports that former NSA staffer Russell Tice will testify to the Senate Armed Services Committee next week that not only do employees at the agency believe the activities they are being asked to perform are unlawful, but that what has been disclosed so far is only the tip of the iceberg.
CANVASSING....So is Howard Dean's effort to build up the Democratic Party infrastructure in all 50 states paying off? Here's an anecdote from a reader in Georgia:Indeed, we can hope. This is what's it's about. You work in any campaign and they'll tell you that person to person contact is how you win votes. I know that in state and national races this is quite difficult. But it's why the GOP has been so successful through the utilization of churches.About 6:30 this evening, a young lady rang my doorbell. She was canvassing for the DNC, going door to door talking to people and collecting small donations. We chatted for a while about this year's elections, Karl Rove, possible presidential candidates, and so on.Well, we can hope.
Now here's the thing: I have lived in blue and not so blue states in my life (and currently in the reddest of red states, Georgia) but this is the first time anyone representing the party has come to my house. What does she get for it? OK, I gave her some cash, but what is more interesting is what she found at some other houses in the neighborhood — Republican ones. Some of them gave her cash too. Others said they couldn't give money since it would put them in a bad position with the party, but that she was getting their vote this year. I can't help but think that this was worth whatever the DNC is paying her. She is creating new Democrats.
Meanwhile, the Republican sex cop who authored Ken Starr’s final report on Clinton’s Lewinsky relationship after Starr cut and ran, has been charged with stalking an ex-girlfriend, a law enforcement official said, here. Should we be surprised? I dunno. Ask Rush Limbaugh, Bill Bennett or Newt Gingrich.Gosh. Is there a pattern here?
Here we go again: a story that could bring down any administration, especially considering the fabrications we've heard about the scope of the NSA's activities and the legalities thereof. But part of me suspects we'll be seeing the same old thing, a scattershot effort from Dem leaders, no genuine crisis coverage from the press, lockstep Republican apologists, and an eventual yawn as this fades into the Bush memory hole...
When will this administration's overreach attain crisis-level attention? Will it simply be another blogswarm and a few days of scattered coverage? Will OJ Simpson and Natalee Holloway and Michael Jackson and Bush's rehashed speeches be the only items that receive roadblock coverage on the cable nets? Will Dem leaders step up and say "enough!" Will so-called 'conservatives' draw a line in the sand?
Once again, I have my doubts.
In other words, you can kill your neighbor "in self defense" because you know he hates you, he has weapons in his house (and has talked about getting some more!) and you can't just wait for the smoking gun to be a mushroom souffle. Invade his home and kill him. (Oh and hold a gun to his kids' heads and force them to pick a new daddy for the family. That way, it'll be their decision.)Digby, describing a metaphor for Bush's doctrine of pre-emptive war.
It has recently been exposed that the National Security Agency has been collecting the personal and business call records of tens of millions of innocent Americans. This is an intrusion on privacy. I call on you, as leaders of a co-equal branch of our government, to investigate this matter fully. In order to fully understand the breadth of this program, all witness testimony should be delivered under oath.
According to the New York Times, tension is building between DNC chairman Howard Dean and Democratic congressional leaders. “Dean was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee on an unusual promise: To send millions of dollars in contributions to build up state Democratic parties, even in states that vote solidly Republican." Dean " has done precisely that. But the policy that has defined his tenure -- while delighting state Democratic chairmen -- has embroiled him in a battle with the two Congressional Democrats leading the effort to retake Congress this fall.”Poor ba-beee
In a "heated meeting" last week, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) "challenged Mr. Dean on his 50-state program, saying it was undercutting Democratic hopes of taking back the House and the Senate, Democrats said. They warned that Mr. Dean was squandering an opportunity by sending money to parties in states that are a long way from becoming Democratic.”
The Washington Post notes that the argument was so fierce, Emanuel “stormed out of Dean's office several days ago leaving a trail of expletives.”
"I don't believe that the president has had a true slide or fall from grace like other political figures might. In my opinion this administration has been pretty consistent in their quest to expand executive powers, focusing on the wrong things . . . and basic lack of accountability since early 2001. What did change during this time were the attitudes of the American public and the press. September 11th changed the way that the American people saw President Bush and the office of the president in general. They gave him much more credit than usual for small successes and refused to hit him hard for the many big mistakes of his first term.So maybe we're returning to sanity after the 911 attack?
"So many reports now are focusing on why his poll numbers are so low today (Iraq, gas prices, Katrina) but no one has examined the psychology of the American public and press that elevated the man to such high ratings not for what he had done but for what had been done to us. I would be interested to hear this as part of the discussion because if we can't learn what so many of us in America did wrong for five years, we will be sure to repeat these mistakes and give an undeserving leader entirely too much power over us again."
House and Senate Republican negotiators reached a final agreement yesterday on a five-year, nearly $70 billion tax package that would extend President Bush's deep cuts to tax rates on dividends and capital gains, while sparing about 15 million middle-income Americans from the alternative minimum tax.
But with the budget deficit still expected to exceed $300 billion this year, despite a strong economy, opponents say the government cannot afford to add $70 billion more over the next five years.
"The point is the preponderance of these revenues will go to upper-income people, people who make a million dollars or more," Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) said yesterday. "It's a question of priorities."
Critics maintain that those tax cuts have overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy, while budget cuts target programs for the poor to close a deficit created largely by tax cuts totaling nearly $2 trillion since Bush took office.
I really believe the goal of the neocons is, as Grover Norquist once said, shrink government down to a size where you can drown it in a bathtub. They are doing a good job so far. Once the government is crippled, who is there to step up? Corporations. This administration has managed to privatize almost every segment of our government in some form. I don't know about you, but I don't want to live in a corporate run, Ayn Randian type of world but that is precisely where we are headed.
VOTE THESE FUCKERS OUT!
Canada has 20% of the entire world's supply of freshwater.But hey, on the other hand, that little global warming problem will be creating a lot of more.
About 1.5 billion people around the globe lack freshwater. In about 20 years demand for freshwater will exceed supply by 56 percent.
"in 1997 the United Nations concluded that the best—perhaps the only—way to get water to them was through a system of international markets and trade."
The point is, when you get down to 31% approval in a Gallup Poll, and your disapproval rating is trying to poll vault over the record high set by Richard Nixon just before he resigned in disgrace, it means the American people essentially think you're the political equivalent of crab lice. At that point, they're probably going to hate anything and everything you do -- even if they actually agree with it -- just because you're the one doing it. And when your own political allies feel the same way, or at least feel compelled to act the same way . . . well, it's a pretty stupid time to pick a fight.
I'm a very lucky person with every allergy known to man but still happy to be enjoying a wonderful life living in the best place in the world!