Quote Of The Day
... than to kill ten thousand."
Olive Emilie Albertina Schreiner (1855-1920)
Feminist, Socialist, & Writer
An On-Line Magazine containing thought provoking discourse on politics, current events, arts and leisure.
May 30, 2006With Montana on the verge of tipping blue can Kansas be far behind. If Kansas moderates swing to the Dem column this could be a fine November indeed!
Sebelius flips the GOP's Parkinson
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, is set to announce her running mate at 9 a.m. Wednesday at KU's Edwards campus in Overland Park.
As the new week began, all indications were that her pick would be former Kansas Republican chairman Mark Parkinson.
And that would mean another upheaval in state politics and another blow to a state GOP beset for more than a decade by infighting between conservative and moderate factions.
Snow's successes never proved enoughSteady for who I'd like to know. Record trade deficits, The worst budget deficits in history, and stagnant/ declining wages for the majority of Americans. Lest we forget the travails of the dollar against the Euro, oil price leading to the recent rise in the CPI.
By Greg Robb, MarketWatch
Last Update: 9:51 AM ET May 30, 2006
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Ending one of the capital's longest death watches ever, Treasury Secretary John Snow has finally resigned his post.
President Bush nominated Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson as Treasury secretary on Tuesday, allowing Snow to tender his resignation. See full story.
The announcement came after weeks of speculation that Snow would be removed in a spring cleaning engineered by Josh Bolton, the new White House chief of staff.
By many metrics, Snow's three-year term at Treasury should be rated a success. Since he joined Treasury in February 2003, the economy has been on steady footing, averaging about a 3.7% growth rate in gross domestic product over that time.
Paris Hilton says her upcoming album will be a mix of reggae, pop and hip-hop, with the first single being a reggae song called "Stars Are Blind."
Hilton will also do a remake of the Rod Stewart song "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?," she was quoted as saying in the June issue of Hong Kong magazine Prestige....
"I have always had a voice and always known I could sing, but I was too shy to let it come out. I think that is the hardest thing you can do, to sing in front of people. When I finally let go and did it, I realized it is what I am most talented at and what I love to do the most," Hilton said
O'REILLY: Why do you think the left in this country is so anti-Iraq war? Why? Is it just the hatred of the president? Or is -- do they see another pathway to fighting Al Qaeda?Yes Bill we do. It is s called ACTUALLY FIGHTING AL QAEDA! Not detouring 135,000 troops and hundreds of billions of dollars to fight a country that had nothing to do with 9/11!
RUMSFELD: This is not new. There has always been controversy.You really need someone to answer this for you Bill?
O'REILLY: But why?
RUMSFELD: Wars are unpopular.
RUMSFELD: They're bloody, horrible things. They're terrible things.Three words: WAR OF CHOICE.
O'REILLY: But, these are Americans, too. I mean, David Letterman's an American.Damn! Great! I am soooo happy we got Letterman's citizenship status out of the way here. I am sure Dave's relieved he is not illegal
O'REILLY: OK? And he -- I go on to his program. And he goes, "What are we doing in Iraq anyway?"Wow! Thanks Rummsy I thought it was just me. Just a bit scary that you agree that you have no idea why we are in Iraq
O'REILLY: OK? So why, in your opinion -- you're a smart guy. You see this stuff every day. You get a clip file. Why does a guy like David Letterman think this whole Iraq thing is some kind of corrupt, ridiculous adventure?Let's see Bill, the war so far has cost over $282,931,000,000. Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR have both been caught bilking the armed forces for hundreds of millions of dollars. Over 8 billion disappeared under US Viceroy Paul Bremmer. We have lost over 2,400 soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians are dead with no perceivable gains made. Gee why would some one question the war.
RUMSFELD: Yeah. Well, it isn't. And it is serious business. And the --Jesbus! At some point I would love to here this guy say one thing that makes sense, or comes remotely close to answering a question.
O'REILLY: But have you ever analyzed why he thinks that way?
RUMSFELD: Well, no. I don't know him as you do. But the fact of the matter is, we've got 300 million people in our country almost. And there has never been a war where there hasn't been controversy, where there haven't been a lot of people against it and a lot of people for it. It's -- there's nothing new about this. The shrillness of it is always unfortunate because it doesn't elevate the national dialogue on what is enormously important.
Personal Data of 26.5 Million Veterans StolenThe Website mentioned in the article goes to First Gov, which is the Federal Governments portal site. Amongst other thing mentioned in the FAQ here are some other contact numbers IF you suspect illegal activity has occured:
By Christopher Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 22, 2006; 3:30 PM
Every living veteran is at risk of identity theft after thieves stole an electronic data file this month containing the names, birthdates and Social Security numbers from the home of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee, VA Secretary R. James Nicholson said today.
The theft of the data, which the employee was not authorized to take home, represents one of the most sweeping government losses of sensitive personal information, experts said. The file did not contain medical records, Nicholson said.
Nicholson said the employee, a career civil servant whom he would not identify by name or title, has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations by the FBI, local police and the Veterans Affairs inspector general.
Police "believe this was a random burglary and not targeted at this data," Nicholson said. "There have been a series of burglaries in that community."
Nicholson said officials have no indication yet that anyone was making use of the pilfered data "or even that they know they have it." Although publicly revealing the existence of the theft might tip off the thieves to the value of their haul, Nicholson said VA officials weighed the alternatives and decided that veterans needed to know in order to protect themselves.
The Veterans Affairs Department plans to send letters to all veteran notifying them that their personal information had been compromised, Nicholson said. The department also has established a Web site with a Q&A about the situation and a toll free number (1-800-333-4636) for veterans to call for information or to report anything suspicious.
The Federal Trade Commission recommends the following four steps if you detect suspicious activity:
Step 1 – Contact the fraud department of one of the three major credit bureaus:
* Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
* Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, Texas 75013
* TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Step 2 – Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
Step 3 – File a police report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.
Step 4 – File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by using the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline by telephone: 1-877-438-4338, online at www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or by mail at Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20580.
YEAH! F*ING "A" BILL! Lets see how that boycott is kicking ass and taking names!
O'REILLY: Thus, Mexico exports its poverty problem to the U.S.A. The government down there will not fix the corruption, so we have to suffer the chaos.
After hearing President Bush order 6,000 National Guard troops to the southern border earlier this week, Mexico's foreign secretary, Luis Ernesto Derbez, went on a radio program in Mexico City and said, quote, "If there is a real wave of rights abuses, if we see the National Guard starting to directly participate in detaining people, we would immediately start filing lawsuits through our consulates."
OK, then, Mr. Secretary, here's a no-spin message right back to you: If the Mexican government files one lawsuit in the U.S.A., one, pertaining to the National Guard, I will call for a total boycott of Mexican goods and no travel to your country.Now that might sound presumptuous, and I don't mean to be threatening, but enough's enough. It is your government's fault, sir, that there is border chaos. We in America have a right to security and a right to expect our immigration laws be enforced. So once again, any action by the Mexican government that impacts border security and the U.S.A. will be met with a boycott call. And if you don't believe me or you think it doesn't matter, Mr. Secretary, why don't you give the French ambassador a call? He'll fill you in.
I mean, come on, how much nonsense do we have to absorb? U.S.A. has been a great friend to Mexico. American taxpayers pick up a $68 billion-a-year tab for all the immigration mess. Mexico has an obligation to work with our National Guard, not sue it. Mexico has an obligation to help its own people by creating a vibrant, honest economy.
There's no reason Canada should be prosperous and Mexico not. No reason on this earth.
| 2001 ||19,864.5||30,408.0||-10,543.5|
| 2002 ||19,015.9||28,240.1||-9,224.2|
| 2003 ||17,053.0||29,219.3||-12,166.3|
| 2004 ||21,263.3||31,605.7||-10,342.5|
| 2005 ||22,402.2||33,847.4||-11,445.2|
GIBSON: Now time for "My Word."Yes folks, believe it or not, this guy wants to be take seriously.
Some misunderstandings about a recent "My Word." I've been accused of being a racist because I said something simple. It was a couple of days ago, and I said procreate not recreate. It was a thought or two about demographics, about the science of looking into population trends and making predictions.
My concern was simply that I didn't want America to become Europe, where the birth rate is so low the continent is fast being populated by immigrants, mainly from Muslim countries, whose birth rate is very high. That fact was coupled with a news item that said half of all babies in America under five are minorities and the majority of those are Hispanic.
I said, fine, but it was also a good idea if people other than Hispanics also got busy and had more babies. Those people would include both blacks and whites. I suppose Asians, too. I said you can't expect Hispanics to do all the work when it comes to supplying our country with babies.
Well, you would have thought I put on a sheet and a pointed cap and started riding around at night carrying torches. People called me a racist. And for what? For simply saying that we ought to be having more babies in this country, and that while Hispanics were doing their part, others should be doing more.
If you look at the demographic trends, as I have, you could conclude, as I have, that 50 years from now, Europe will be brown and Muslim, and America will be brown and Christian. I am fine with that, America, and I've said so many times. I'd rather live with the Christians here than live in -- under Sharia law in Europe. Of course, I won't be alive anyway, but I hope you get the point.
The overall point here today is to say people are wrong if they say I am urging white people to have more babies because I'm afraid of more brown people and I'm a racist. Couldn't be farther from the truth. Not that the truth matters when people want to lie about you for their own personal and vicious motives, which seems to happen a lot lately. That's "My Word."
"A lie is a lie. It is a misrepresentation of fact." Senator J. William Fulbright referring to President Johnson's official statements concerning the Tonkin Gulf "incidents"Although I disagree with about half of John Murtha's politics, I totally agree that he deserves this award. What he did on the floor of the House gave the Anti-war movement a figure that appeals to both sides of the political divide. A conservative, hawkish, Democrat willing to stand up and call the Administration's bluff. Murtha was ridiculed by the talking heads, that carry water for the Iraqi occupation, and made to seem a man alone by cowards within his own party.
"Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency? "
- Special Counsel for the Army Joseph N. Welch to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy
Murtha to Receive JFK Award for Iraq StanceTo see a list of other recipients of this award visit The JFK Library page here.
By KIMBERLY HEFLING
The Associated Press
Monday, May 22, 2006; 6:44 AM
WASHINGTON -- The first Vietnam veteran elected to Congress, Rep. John Murtha took pride in politicking quietly, behind the scenes, with Republicans and fellow Democrats alike. Washington has become more deeply partisan since Murtha was swept into office more than 30 years ago, and so has Murtha _ in a very public way.
On Monday, Murtha is to be awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in Boston for his bold pronouncement that U.S. troops should be pulled out of Iraq _ a statement many say helped change the public debate over the war, because of Murtha's past as a Democratic hawk and retired Marines Reserves colonel who enjoyed easy access to presidents.
"There aren't many around like him any more," said Jack Johannes, a political science professor at Villanova University. "As a result, when the generations change, the environments change, even someone like John Murtha has to change."
Fourth Circuit OKs Firing Worker Who Reported That Co-Worker Referred to African-Americans as “Black Monkeys” (Whole Article Here)
While a group of workers watched a breaking news story on the office TV, one employee known for making similar comments blurted out, “They should put those two black monkeys in a cage with a bunch of black apes and let the apes f**k them.” Last Friday, May 12, a divided Fourth Circuit panel concluded that there’s nothing illegal about firing an employee for reporting such racially inflammatory remarks to supervisors. Republican appointees Paul Niemeyer (Bush I) and H. Emory Widener (Nixon) joined in the majority over a sharp dissent by Clinton appointee Robert King, who simply could not fathom a ruling so manifestly contrary to federal anti-discrimination law and the public policy goals underlying it.
In October 2002, Robert Jordan, an African-American employee at an IBM office in Montgomery County, Maryland, stood with co-workers watching television reports of the capture of two men suspected of being the notorious Washington, D.C. area snipers. After hearing the news, Jordan’s coworker, Jay Farjah, uttered the “black monkey” comment. Offended, Jordan discussed the remark with two other co-workers, each of whom revealed that Farjah had made similar remarks before. Pursuant to IBM’s mandatory anti-harassment policy, Jordan quickly reported Farjah’s behavior to his supervisors. How did they respond? Within a month’s time, they changed Jordan’s shift so that he could no longer pick up his son from school, made a crude remark toward him at a holiday party and then, despite his four years of service to the company, fired him.
ABC News Reports:
Out-of-power Taliban Resumes Public Executions
Taliban Flexes Its Might in War-Torn Afghanistan
By RAHIMULLAH YUSUFZAI (Click for Full Story)
PESHAWAR, Pakistan May 15, 2006 — Almost five years after being thrown out of power as a result of the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan, the Taliban has gained sufficient strength in some remote parts of the country to resume public executions of people convicted of murder by pro-Taliban Islamic courts....
...This marks the first time after losing power in December 2001 that the Taliban has organized a public execution of a convicted killer. Ahmadi said it showed the level of Taliban control in the Urozgan and added that the Taliban had the power to arrest and try criminals and publicly implement decisions of its Islamic courts.
President Hamid Karzai's Afghan government and the U.S. and NATO military authorities refrained from commenting on the Taliban's claims. They neither confirmed nor denied the execution.
On John Conyers (D-MI)Klein writes this as if it is a bad thing. Conyers may be incendiary, but for all the right reasons. He grew up fighting to gain the promises that this nation swore to give all its citizens, but reneged. Now at 77 John Conyers continues to struggle by calling the Administration to account. Sorry Joe at this stage of the game John Conyers is not going to start Tom-ing it up for ya.
Conyers will be chairman of the Judiciary Committee if the Democrats win control of the House in November, and he has already threatened impeachment hearings against President Bush. This is one of the few scenarios that might rouse the demoralized Republican base from its torpor. It is also likely to alienate independents, who are sick of the hyperpartisanship in Washington and will be less likely to vote for Democrats if the party is emphasizing witch hunts instead of substantive policies.
But the ugly truth is that Conyers is a twofer: in addition to being foolishly incendiary, he is an African American of a certain age and ideology, easily stereotyped by Republicans. He is one of the ancient band of left-liberals who grew up in the angry hothouse of inner-city, racial-preference politics in the 1960s, a group "more likely to cry 'racism' and 'victimization' than the new generation of black politicians," a member of the Congressional Black Caucus told me.
May 15, 2006Interesting choice of words Madam Miller, however one might think you are being a bit disingenuous considering that your district is bordered by water in the North, Lake Huron and to the South by Lake Erie. It seems that your opposition is influenced more by your ties to the real estate industry than by geography.
Politics Stalls Plan to Bolster Flood Insurance
By CHRISTOPHER DREW and JOSEPH B. TREASTER
If ever there was a moment for the obscure federal flood insurance program to ride to the rescue, it would seem to have been in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Its premiums were supposed to insure homeowners in flood-prone areas and also protect taxpayers from spending billions to bail out flood victims. But with Hurricane Katrina, the program failed on both counts.
Nearly half the victims did not even have flood insurance. Claims from homeowners who were insured, $25 billion worth, bankrupted the program. And the government has had to commit $15 billion in additional taxpayer money for rebuilding in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Now, an effort to rescue the insurance program that grew in Hurricane Katrina's wake is faltering, too. Though experts foresee a generation of fiercer and more frequent storms, Congress seems unlikely to make more than modest changes when it takes up the program in the coming weeks.
The drive to restructure the perennially underfinanced program has been blocked by real estate interests, who worry that requiring millions more people to buy flood insurance would stifle development, and by lawmakers from areas that rarely flood who see their constituents as supporting those who are frequently flooded, particularly in the South.
"You've got people living in dry areas paying for people who want to keep living in wet ones," said Representative Candice S. Miller, Republican of Michigan. "They're sticking it to us, and I don't like to be stuck."
The inability over decades to work out who pays the bill for flooding is at the heart of the weaknesses in the insurance program so blatantly laid bare by Hurricane Katrina.
The la Raza (a Hispanic cultural group) e-mail warns that, quote, "While the (immigration) bill doesn't overtly mention assimilation, it is very strong on patriotism and traditional American values language in a way that is potentially dangerous to our communities," close quote.5/11/06(link)
Potentially dangerous? Patriotism and traditional American values are bad things? I think this kind of discussion by a major Hispanic political organization like la Raza casts a lot of suspicion about what open immigration groups are up to. There has been much discussion -- much discussion about the so-called reconquista, which is the retaking of old Mexico territories, which are now part of the United States, by pure birth rate.
GIBSON: Now, it's time for "My Word." Do your duty. Make more babies. That's a lesson drawn out of two interesting stories over the last couple of days.That's right white girls, assume the position! Gibby says we gotta have more chilrun!
First, a story yesterday that half of the kids in this country under five years old are minorities. By far, the greatest number are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic. Why is that? Well, Hispanics are having more kids than others. Notably, the ones Hispanics call "gabachos" -- white people -- are having fewer.
....To put it bluntly, we need more babies. Forget about that zero population growth stuff that my poor generation was misled on. Why is this important? Because civilizations need population to survive. So far, we are doing our part here in America but Hispanics can't carry the whole load. The rest of you, get busy. Make babies, or put another way -- a slogan for our times: "procreation not recreation." That's "My Word."
The latter issue involves highly secret technology that is difficult to discuss in an open hearing. The technology itself is hard to explain in lay language. There's no doubt that some warrantless searching of some calls is on occasion necessary, and it is hard to explain to the casual observer where the line is between reasonably necessary sleuthing and the massive mining by computers of innumerable phone calls (or for that matter Internet communication).While I really like the article as a whole, I have a problem with this clause here
it is hard to explain to the casual observer where the line is between reasonably necessary sleuthing and the massive mining by computers of innumerable phone callsActually its not. If there is probable cause the President/AG can begin a wiretap and in 72 hours the tap must be approved by the FISA court. It is done in specific cases for specific reasons to specific people. What the NSA's program entails is the collection of every point to point communication, in other words one phone number to another. This data can then be compiled to show calling patterns and partners.
NSA has massive database of Americans' phone callsFrom the White House:
Updated 5/11/2006 10:38 AM ET
By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY
The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.
The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews....."It's the largest database ever assembled in the world," said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA's activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the nation's borders, this person added.
''The intelligence activities undertaken by the United States government are lawful, necessary and required to protect Americans from terrorist attacks...''Reaction from the Hill:
Dana Perino, the deputy White House press secretary
"I don't know enough about the details except that I am willing to find out because I'm not sure why it would be necessary to keep and have that kind of information,"
House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio)
"The idea of collecting millions or thousands of phone numbers, how does that fit into following the enemy?"
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C).
"We need more. We need to take this seriously, more seriously than some other matters that might come before the committee because our privacy as American citizens is at stake,"
Richard Durbin (D-Il).
The program "is not a warrantless wiretapping of the American people. I don't think this action is nearly as troublesome as being made out here, because they are not tapping our phones."As usual Pat Leahy puts the hammer to the anvil on this:
Sen. Jeff Sessions, (R-Al)
''Are you telling me that tens of millions of Americans are involved with al Qaeda? These are tens of millions of Americans who are not suspected of anything ... Where does it stop?''...USA Today supplies a FAQ about this issue.
''Shame on us for being so far behind and being so willing to rubber stamp anything this administration does. We ought to fold our tents.''
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
"While the challenge of running a successful campaign over the next several months was exciting, and while I am confident we would have been successful, ultimately my decision came down to the fundamental question of whether I was willing to spend the next six, 12 or possibly 18 years of my life away from my family and my home serving Florida in the U.S. Senate," said Bense in a statement. "After much thought and prayer, I realized the answer is 'no.'"This leaves Harris all on her lonesome and some serious egg on the face of The Shrub. In order to humiliate herself further she attempted to meld with Shrub when he landed in Tampa.
Though the White House also has spoken supportively of Bense _ who remains undecided about running _ it's difficult for a president to shun a local member of Congress. So Harris, the state's former secretary of state who captured headlines for her role in clinching the 2000 election for Bush, was waiting for the president as his plane landed in Tampa.
But though Harris spoke animatedly for several minutes and kept a firm grip on the president's hand, he wore a grim expression and didn't display the jocularity he usually bestows on local greeters. Harris did not attend other events with the president, while GOP Rep. Adam Putnam, who also was at the plane, did.
Rate Me on BlogHop.com!