Friday, October 26, 2007

Bush Arrives for Photo-op, Relief Stops!

Sitting here in Tampa while at a conference I spoke with a guy who works for the Red Cross as a first responder. He told me the same thing the firefighters in California said about the Bush visit. When Bush comes to a disaster scene for one of his photo-ops it stops everything. Relief efforts stop, traffic stops and everything is on hold while the Bush Secret Service secures the area and basically shuts it down for the photo-op.

So to show how concerned Bush is he prevents people from getting the relief and supplies they need for his own publicity. That’s a sorry position to put people in and it’s no wonder Bush has such a poor reputation in disaster areas. He is a showboat!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ENDA Will Be Reintroduced Soon!

Fox News Blames California Fires on Al Qaida!

It’s good to know the folks at Fox News are still as bat-s*#t crazy as ever. The actually went on the air today and postulated that Al Qaida has been setting the forest fires in California. Sighting a 2002 FBI memo that raised the possibility that Al Qaida might try to start fires in western states like Wyoming and Montana, Steve Doocy raised the “booga booga booga – it’s the terrorists” alarm that Bush and Fox revert to when they have nothing else to say.

The administration and the propagandists at Fox News play the terrorism card so many times that if and when the terrorists do attack inside the borders of our country, we will ignore it as just another cry of “wolf”. Of course by then there will be new terror level colors and even more alarming warnings about Iran, so maybe we can blame the next natural disaster on the Iranians?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

State Department Loses $1.2 Billion - Private Contractor Shell Game?

The US State Department is starting to sound like a doddering old relative who constantly misplaces things and just can’t remember what happened to his keys. Seems they misplaced $1.2 billion of taxpayer’s money, give or take a few million. That’s what the two new reports released yesterday show.

A State Department review by its own auditors says the practices used in keeping track of money being spent with private contractors are shoddy at best. In fact the department has no records of what it received from one of its largest contractors, DynCorp for most of the $1.2 billion it was paid to train police officers in Iraq. Other contractors mentioned in the audit are the infamous Blackwater USA and Triple Canopy.

It’s starting to seem as though anything to do with private security contractors and Iraq is a recipe for making money disappear. With so much money missing and Bush asking for billions more for the war in Iraq, I have to wonder how much longer Congress will sit on its collective ass and do nothing? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where the money is going. It’s going into the pockets of DynCorp, Blackwater USA and Triple Canopy. Private security contractors with little or no oversight and a license to not only kill in Iraq, but apparently perhaps to steal. It's the private sector shell game. Why use public funds to fund government agencies when someone else can do a shoddy job and make a profit?

And as the State Department officials near the end of their term under the Bush administration I suspect a few of them are either lining their pockets or lining up choice private sector jobs with offshore assets and bank accounts in Dubai for their retirement.

I lived in Mexico for a year back in the 1980’s. It was a time in Mexico when each administration that was in power left with the treasury at the end of their 6 year term. (Something Vicente Fox brought to an end!) I am beginning to think the Bush folks have used that corrupt government as a model. More importantly, they used the old Mexican economic model as well, very few super-rich and lots of peasants!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Al Qaida in Iraq Starts PR Push - Maybe.

Al Qaida in Iraq is trying to improve its image. According to bloggers in Baghdad Al Qaida forces have been circulating in some neighborhoods handing out money and fixing up storefronts. They are actively encouraging people to return to their closed shops and businesses. They are offering protection against further attacks and violence.

Unfortunately, these same factions have been implicated in assaults and rapes of Iraqi civilians in the same neighborhoods. The stories are still only anecdotal but it would follow a similar pattern that has happened in the past. The assaults are designed to threaten and intimidate anyone who cooperates with the US forces.

Mix this latest push with the actions of the rival militias and the whole situation sounds pretty chaotic. There have been brief respites in the violence, but the long term outlook is still dim. For a personal and enlightening look at life in Baghdad check out

National Review - Delusional Neo Cons

The National Review, long-time bastion of conservative opinion has actually become delusional in recent days. Columnist Tom Gross postulates that Bush and Cheney might be deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize for their rhetoric and posturing about war with Iran. This is the same kind of craziness that drives our foreign policy. I swear we are living I the Late Roman Empire, where peace is secured through continued conquests. Peace through war is about as oxymoronic a concept as you can imagine, and it’s just what our government is doing.

Meanwhile, Kathryn Jean Lopez another delusional writer for the National Review is encouraging Lynne Cheney to run for president. What have these people been smoking?

Obama's Latest Ad in New Hampshire

Messages like this are why I like Obama!

Government Official in India Killed by Monkeys!

Sometimes a news story is just too strange to ignore. Hope you are sitting down.

An Indian official in New Delhi was killed by a gang of….(wait for it)…. Monkeys! Yup, roving bands of Rhesus macaques have been wreaking havoc in New Delhi and the official, Deputy Mayor S.S. Bajwa, fell from his home balcony into a gang of the wild monkeys.

Part of the problem is that Hindus believe monkeys are manifestations of the monkey god Hanuman, and so they often feed them with fruit and nuts. The government has been trying to catch and disperse the monkeys with little success.

And now back to the real news.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

50% of Americans Would Not Vote For Hillary According to New Poll

The results of the latest Zogby poll are exactly why I just can’t get behind a Hillary ticket in 2008. According to the poll roughly half of all registered voters surveyed say they could never vote for Hillary. Does that mean Hillary is a bad person? Nope, she is just a potential problem for a Democratic ticket.

As most of my friends know, I support Barak Obama in the primaries. The reasons are many but the top one is his electability. I feel Obama has the charisma to inspire people and give our country hope at a time when a lot of people have lost that valuable commodity. After the 8 years of George Bush, we desperately need a person who inspires hope for our country and a better tomorrow.

Additionally, on the scale of who you would never vote for as president, Obama came in at 37% and it this case it puts him near the lead for people likely to garner votes. Check out the poll numbers and consider the problems ahead. A Democratic victory is not a sure thing and with Hillary as the candidate a GOP contender could campaign on “I’m not Hillary” as a platform and do well. I would rather see someone who could use that tactic for the Dems but their motto would be “I’m not Bush”.

Gonzales May Face Criminal Charges

Finally, looks like the Justice Department is going to live up to its name. The US Inspector General may recommend criminal charges against Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales lied about the reasons for the firings of US attorneys under oath. That is a crime in our country.

That would be some vindication for the politicization of our government by the Bush administration, but I really wouldn’t be happy until the war crimes tribunal was called for the folks that took us into the illegal and immoral war in Iraq.