Saturday, March 08, 2008

New Book Tells Exactly How Much Bush Knew Prior To 9-11. Lots!

Finally someone has written a book that gives a real timeline of what the Bush White House knew prior to the 9-11 attacks. The titles of the senior briefings that were given to Condeleza Rice and BPresident Bush tell an ominous story.

"Terrorist Groups Said Co-operating on US Hostage Plot" (May 23)
"Bin Ladin's Networks' Plans Advancing" (May 26)
"Bin Ladin Attacks May Be Imminent"(June 23)
"Bin Ladin and Associates Making Near-Term Threats" (June 25)
"Bin Ladin Planning High-Profile Attacks" (June 30),
"Planning for Bin Ladin Attacks Continues, Despite Delays" (July 2)

These all prior to the one that everyone now remembers , “Bin Laden determined to strike in US” (August 6).

Now with all this information and all these warnings why would Bush keep reading about the pet goat when he found out about the attacks? Either he is an idiot, which very well may be the case, or he was not the one making decisions, which is a freightening conclusion.

The book, The Commission - The Uncensored History Of The 9/11 Investigation by Philip Shenon will be published Monday.

Oklahoma Politician Says Gays Are Like A Cancer! Hate Speech In Oklahoma.

So just how homophobic are politicians? Well one in Oklahoma could write the book. Her name, OK State Rep. Sally Kern/ She delivered what I believe was one of the most hateful speeches I have ever heard a politician give. She thought only a few people were listening, but someone recorded it and here it is. You decide, and if you find this little diatribe as disturbing as I do, let her know about it. Here is her phone number and email address.

(405) 557-7348

Obama Leading In Wyoming

Barack Obama is holding a commanding lead in the Wyoming Caucus this afternoon. With 78% of the precincts reporting Obama holds a 59% lead over Hillary Clinton’s 40%. Only 12 delegates are at stake, but that could mean 7 additional delegates for Barack Obama bringing his lead to 1368 pledged delegates to Clinton’s 1225 which would include 5 from Wyoming.

The real battle will be over the Michigan and Florida delegates. There is now talk of do-over election or caucuses in both states. Howard Dean, chair of the National Democratic Party says the costs of those repeat elections will have to be covered by the state parties or other funding.

McCain Scandal Involving Lobbyists Widens

John” Bush” McCain has obviously been doing his homework. He already is looking more and more like a third term Bush presidency should he win. Take a look at his shenanigans with the FCC on behalf of Broadcaster Lowell "Bud" Paxson. Paxson says he met with McCain several weeks before he the Arizona Senator wrote two letters to the FCC asking for quick approval of Paxson’s purchase of a Pittsburg TV station.

Paxson also said Vicki Iseman, the lobbyist connected with McCain in a growing scandal was also present. The McCain camp denies any meeting took place before writing the letters and using carefully crafted wording stated, “No representative of Paxson or Alcalde and Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC regarding this proceeding”.

In other words, they didn’t “ask” for him to send the letters in so many words. You do the math.

Friday, March 07, 2008

McCain Sounds More Like Bush Every Day

Much as he tries, John McCain still looks like he would be the third term of the Bush presidency. His buddy act yesterday with the president was a show to assure the party faithful that he plans to continue business as usual in the Bush White House. Want proof?

How about this? When the Senate brought a bill to the floor that would ban the use of torture such as waterboarding, McCain, a frequent vocal opponent to torture, voted against the bill! Sounds like Bush now doesn’t he? He speaks out in favor of one issue but when the rubber hits the road, he makes a U-turn.

The scenario reminds me of Bush’s ridiculous statement that the US leads the world in fighting global warming. This is the same president that refused to sign the Kyoto protocols which would limit greenhouse gasses and fight global warming!

Now as the Democrats slug it out for the next few months, McCain can count on the short term memory of the American public to forget any of his statements that went against the Bush White House. Then he can campaign in the fall on a platform of "4 more years".

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Abu Ghraib In Texas - Children Jailed, Parents Seperated - Their Crime? Seeking Asylum.

From the descriptions of the facility it is Abu Ghraib right here in the Lone Star State. I am talking about a little know dirty secret here in Texas, the T. Don Hutto facility in Taylor, Texas. Hutto, is a privately run prison that contracts to the Us Immigration Service and houses families awaiting immigration hearings. These are people who came to the United States seeking political asylum, many of them are families with children, and we have them locked up in a jail.
A recent story in the New Yorker details the nightmare of an Iranian family who fled Iran after their father was caught photocopying pages of The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. His journey started when he escaped Iran and traveled to Canada. In Toronto he waited for his wife and children. After they were threatened with torture, they too fled and joined him in Toronto. They stayed there for a few years and even had a child who became a natural born Canadian citizen.

Everything seemed fine until the Canadian government denied their application for political asylum, and the family was deported to Iran. There the husband was imprisoned and tortured for over a month. The family paid a smuggler to get him out using false documents. They were returning to Canada when the flight they were on was diverted to Puerto Rico. One of the plane’s passengers had a heart attack and they had to land.

That’s where American officials figured out that the families documents were fake and so they applied for political asylum in the US. From there the real nightmare began. In Taylor, Texas the family was incarcerated in a medium security prison run by Correction Corporation of America. The mother and father were held in separate cells and the children were put in another. They could not touch or visit each other except through a glass wall by telephone. The cells are bare concrete with metal beds and the members of the family and other detainees are kept locked up for 12 hours at a time with numerous bed-checks and other harassments.

The children were not allowed to have stuffed animals, crayons, pencils, or pens in their cells. And they were not allowed to take the pictures they had made back to their cells and hang them up. Essentially they were treated like hardened criminals.

If you have the stomach, you can read the rest of the story at The New America Foundations website here.

Now my take on this crap. This is what we get when we trade liberty for security. The statue of Liberty might as well be torn down and sold for scrap. That poem at its base is a lie now. Emma Lazarus must be rolling in her grave. For those who don’t know it, here it is. Read it and weep for what we have become.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden

Attending The Caucus In Texas - My Experience

My partner and I attended the Democratic Precinct Convention for our neighborhood Tuesday night. Here in Texas we have a convoluted system of selecting delegates for the national convention and the Precinct Conventions which the press has been erroneously calling caucuses play a part in the process.

I had never attended one of these before since Texas rarely mattered in the nomination process. In prior elections the Presidential candidates had already been anointed by the time Texans got to vote. Now our vote counted!

To say the Precinct Convention was well attended would be an understatement. In the past our precinct had little or no attendance at these affairs. In fact we did not even have a precinct chair for the Democratic Party in our neighborhood, so everyone was surprised when 103 people showed up for the meeting.

I have heard stories of chaos and confusion, and we had our share of confusion, but things settled down and we all got a chance to meet our fellow Democrats in the neighborhood. Most of our area votes Republican so a visible Democrat is a beautiful thing! It was cordial and really felt like democracy in action.

As far as the vote went, we had slightly more folks caucusing for Clinton than Obama, but the total delegates to the state convention were split 8 for Clinton and 7 for Obama. I am proud to say I am one of those for Obama and this will be my first experience as a delegate, albeit to a local senatorial convention. I am looking forward to the experience.

The experience was a bit drawn out, but overall everyone was good natured and excited. I left with a feeling that democracy can actually work, even in a state like Texas.

Bush Lies Again, Claims US Leader In Fighting Global Warming

Our delusional Decider in Chief made another mind boggling statement yesterday when he claimed the US lead the world in fighting climate change! Say what?

In his own words speaking to the issue of the world’s view of America in regard to climate change he said,

“Now, look, I understand stereotypes are hard to defeat. People get an image planted in their head, and sometimes it causes them not to listen to the facts. But America is in the lead when it comes to energy independence; we’re in the lead when it comes to new technologies; we’re in the lead when it comes to global climate change — and we’ll stay that way.”

Perhaps Mr. Bush has been breathing too many carbon emissions or maybe he is just a pathological liar, but the truth is very different from his statement.

This is the man who refused to sign the Kyoto Protocols and according to a report on, at the UN conference in Bali in December, the US objected to the proposal — backed by Britain and the EU — to cut carbon dioxide emissions 24-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. “We have problems with defining the numbers up front,” the White House’s head climate negotiator explained.

Six months earlier, Bush single-handedly killed a statement of commitment to halving emissions by 2050 by the leaders at the G8 summit.

This kind of wacko talk makes his endorsement of John McCain seem about as useful to the McCain campaign as a burning sack of poop!

Obama Gains Delegates In Texas Caucus Ruckus

Looking at the delegate count in Texas this morning I discovered a strange thing. It looks like Obama won the caucus delegates and edged Clinton by about 5 delegates overall. In a race result that was a slim victory for Clinton in the primary, the caucus attendance seems to have favored Obama.

Here is a news release from the Obama campaign in Texas’ State Campaign Director Adrian Saenz.

"By fighting the primary to a near-draw and earning a resounding victory in the caucus, the people of Texas have moved Barack Obama one step closer to claiming the Democratic nomination for president," said Adrian Saenz. "Texans in both parties and of all ages sent a clear message that the American people are ready for the kind of change that Barack Obama will bring to Washington, DC as our 44th President."

Because of the close finish, Senator Clinton will likely net only two delegates up-for-grabs in the Texas Primary. Based on a large sample of caucus results in all 31 state senate districts, Senator Obama is projected to post a substantial victory in the Texas caucus and, thereby, net at least seven delegates. This means that Senator Obama will win at least five more pledged delegates from Texas than Senator Clinton.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Working At The Polls - The GOP Dirty Trick

Yesterday I witnessed the democratic process from the inside. I volunteered as a clerk for a precinct polling place and spent the day signing in voters and checking ID’s. It was a very hectic day that started at 6:15 am and for me didn’t end until 6:00pm when I had to end my shift to make my local precinct convention. To say it was exhausting would be an understatement.

We had over a thousand voters in the Democratic primary in the precinct I worked. Interestingly enough, it was set up in a church gymnasium right across from the Republican primary. Their table looked bored, as a few people each hour showed up to vote in the GOP primary. The Democrat side was non-stop. We had a line at 6:30am ready to vote when the polls opened at 7:00am and it didn’t let up until almost 10:00am. Luckily there was a lull and we had time for a much needed bathroom break.

Many of the votes I met had rarely voted and quite a few were first timers. This gave me a great deal of hope for our country. Unfortunately, many of the people who showed up had no clue as to what was involved. Voter registration cards were often missing, but with the help of a data-base we could look up the voters and check their registration. A few had to be turned away because they had showed up at the wrong location and some just didn’t show up in any voter rolls at all. I guess that is par for the course, but this was my first experience behind the table and it was eye opening.

Now to the strange part. A few dozen voters pointedly asked if they could vote in the Democratic Primary even if they were Republicans. In Texas the answer is “yes” since we have an open primary system, however I had to explain to them that it would preclude them voting in the Republican Primary. Most were unfazed by this, and several expressed frustration with the GOP ticket, feeling they had a better choice in the Democratic field. Before anyone goes screaming voting irregularities, let me say that these folks told me this unsolicited and some even let me know that they were voting for Obama because he was a better candidate than McCain.

Even stranger were the people who asked pointedly if they could vote for Hillary Clinton and no other races. “Of course they could”, I replied since you can choose not to vote for any race in the primary. The real interesting comment came when some of these GOP voters told me they had been told by radio talk-show hosts to vote in the Democratic Primary for Hillary since she would be easier to beat than Obama. That happened about a dozen times. I don’t think it made any real difference in the outcome of the vote, but it does send a chilling message to the party. IN the eyes of many GOP, Hillary is a better opponent to McCain than Obama. That means they feel she would be easier to target with attack ads and the usual GOP dirty tricks. After all, they had 8 years to get that attack ready while she was First Lady and you can be assured we will begin hearing about Vince Foster and Whitewater and they whole impeachment thing again any day now.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Limbaugh Endorses Hillary?

Rush Limbaugh is urging his listeners to vote for Clinton. Really! His reasons?

"I'm asking people to cross over, and if they can stomach it and I know it's a difficult thing to do, vote for Clinton, but it will sustain this soap opera, and it's something I think we need and it'll be fun, too."

He also said he thought a win for Hillary would assure a win for McCain in November. This is something to remember when going to the polls. The GOP has long thought Hillary was an easy target to beat. They are afraid of Obama.

New Obama TV Ad - A Class Act

This ad will run tonight in very heavy rotation all over Texas. It shows exactly why Obama is the right choice for our country.

Obama Still Holds Lead In Texas & Ohio

The Zogby Poll shows Obama edging out Clinton with a 47% lead in Texas and 45% in Ohio. This seems to follow the trend for Obama in the past few elections where he gained momentum on the last few days before the election.

A similar outcome was shown in Quinnipiac University Poll showing Obama with a 49% lead in Ohio yesterday. This changed in the past weeks from a 55% lead for Clinton which has disappeared. Again evidence of a late gain for Obama heading into tomorrow’s primary.

Obama In Texas Video - Watch It!

Fear And Ricin In Las Vegas

So he was not a terrorist they say, but still no one has been able to talk to the man who had enough vials of Ricin, a deadly toxin, in his hotel room to kill hundreds of people. Police and FBI are now searching a home where Roger Von Bergendorff stayed in Utah and that of his cousin Thomas Tholen. They are also searching storage units in Salt Lake City alleged to have belonged to Von Bergendorff.

Now remember he was not a terrorist. He just had guns, an anarchist textbook that told how to make ricin from castor beans and several vials of illegal poison. Nope doesn’t sound like a terrorist to me.

The city that never sleeps, Las Vegas is undoubtedly behind the tight lips of the FBI and local authorities. A scare, even a minor one would hurt tourism there and the roulette wheels must spin! I think it would probably take a direct and very visible attack before Las Vegas would ever admit anything was amiss. Let’s hope that never happens, but until then it would be nice for the authorities to come clean with what they know. Who knows, a little more information might lead to someone who knew the suspect coming forward and spilling the beans…castor beans that is.

Dallas Morning News Endorses Obama

Today the Dallas Morning News soundly endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic nominee. I am delighted and I hope it helps tip the scales in Obama’s favor. Personally I never thought the Dallas Morning News would ever endorse an African American candidate in my lifetime. I guess even the staid conservative Belo folks are moved by Obama’s inspiration.

They say he is the right candidate both on style and substance and that echoes my opinion as well. Vote in the primary and then attend the precinct caucus after the polls close. It takes both measures to make sure Obama wins the Texas primary!

Clinton Loosing Momentum - Obama Movement Continues

On this last day of campaigning before the Texas primary, I listened to Hillary Clinton’s speech in a high school in Ohio. Telling was the fact that it wasn’t a packed house. The commentator on NPR noted that many rows of seats were empty. That may be a telling sign. More telling was the tone of her voice.

I can’t mince words, she sounded shrill. I know that is the term used by people who want to use a veiled reference to a woman being the “B” word, but I can’t think of any other term. Her speech was filled with attacks on Obama and she made the statement that she wasn’t going to give people big ideas, but real solutions.

That is a mistake lots of Democrats make and it’s the way we Democrats have been losing national elections for the past few years. Democratic candidates come up with laundry lists of problems and programs, lots of facts and figures and the general public’s eyes glaze over. The sad truth is that people end up voting by their gut and their heart not their mind. It’s not a bad way to vote, since a President cannot make laws but only influence the lawmaking bodies of the Senate and House. To do that you have to be able to inspire people into action.

I will not dispute that our party has had good candidates in the past, but they concentrated on details that most voters couldn’t or wouldn’t understand instead of inspiring confidence in their abilities to lead and motivate people. In the past, the great presidents could do that. Alsop some not so great presidents got into office simply because they were likable and seemed like good folks. Either way, the winners tended to be candidates who people liked and I feel the stakes are so high this election that we as Democrats must win. To try to fall back on the old laundry list strategy will not work. It hasn’t worked in the past.

It is time we had a clear voice for the Democratic Party who can inspire and motivate people because in the end it is that motivation that will not only win the election but influence congress as well. For me, Barack Obama is that voice and I urge my fellow Texans to vote for him in the primary so we can have a Democrat in the White House in November.