I Want to Save a Child's Sight!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Shameless Plug

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UPDATE: Thursday, 12/01/05 @ 5:40 PM. I lost. Thank you to all of you that voted for me. May all of your dreams still come true.

Feingold on President's Speech Today

“While today’s speech by the President was billed as yet another attempt to lay out a plan for finishing the military mission in Iraq, the only new thing the administration gave the American people was a glossy 35-page pamphlet filled with the same rhetoric we’ve all heard before. Today’s action by the White House isn’t a step forward, it’s a step back. In fact the booklet the administration released to accompany the President’s speech is described as a “…document [that] articulates the broad strategy the President set forth in 2003…” That alone makes it clear that the President seems more dug in than ever to the same old “stay the course” way of thinking. This is not a strategy, and it certainly is not a plan to complete the military mission in Iraq."

"The American people, an increasing number of elected officials, and more and more military and intelligence officials understand what the President doesn’t - that our seemingly indefinite presence in Iraq, and the lack of a plan to redeploy troops, feeds the insurgency and hurts our national security. We need leadership, and we need a policy on Iraq that includes a flexible timetable for completing our military mission there, so that we can focus on our national security priority – defeating the global terrorist networks that threaten the U.S. The President missed a vital opportunity today. Our brave service members, their families, the American people, and the Iraqi’s themselves deserve and demand more.” [Attribution]

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Even Supporters Doubt President as Issues Pile Up

"Leesa Martin never considered President Bush a great leader, but she voted for him a year ago because she admired how he handled the terrorist attacks of 2001. Then came the past summer, when the death toll from the war in Iraq hit this state particularly hard: 16 marines from the same battalion killed in one week. She thought the federal government should have acted faster to help after Hurricane Katrina. She was baffled by the president's nomination of Harriet E. Miers, a woman she considered unqualified for the Supreme Court, and disappointed when he did not nominate another woman after Ms. Miers withdrew. And she remains unsettled by questions about whether the White House leaked the name of a C.I.A. agent whose husband had accused the president of misleading the country about the intelligence that led to the war."

"Many people who voted for Mr. Bush a year ago had trouble pinning their current discontent on any one thing. Many mentioned the hurricane and the indictment of a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, which some said raised doubts about the president's candor and his judgment. But there was a sense that something had veered off course in the last few months, and the war was the one constant. Over and over, even some of Mr. Bush's supporters raised comparisons with Vietnam." [NYT]

To those of you that voted for him: Too bad. You made the (poor) choice to vote for Bush, now you have to live with it. Problem is, we all have to live with it. I don't feel bad for you at all, now changing your mind about Bush and his administration. Maybe if you would have voted your own best interests to begin with, you wouldn't be where you are today, and maybe we as a nation wouldn't be where we are today.

My parting shot: where are the democrats??? Stand up for yourselves! Show America and the World that we are not going to take it anymore, this fleecing of America, this attacking and stealing from other nations, this diminishing of us in the World's eyes. We are better than this! Show us what you stand for before it's too late.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

They Flat Out Lied. But You Knew That

"Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter."

"One of the more intriguing things that Bush was told during the briefing was that the few credible reports of contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda involved attempts by Saddam Hussein to monitor the terrorist group. Saddam viewed Al Qaeda as well as other theocratic radical Islamist organizations as a potential threat to his secular regime. At one point, analysts believed, Saddam considered infiltrating the ranks of Al Qaeda with Iraqi nationals or even Iraqi intelligence operatives to learn more about its inner workings, according to records and sources."

"Bush and Cheney have also recently answered their critics by ascribing partisan motivations to them and saying their criticism has the effect of undermining the war effort. In a speech on November 11, the president made his strongest comments to date on the subject: "Baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will." Since then, he has adopted a different tone, and he said on his way home from Asia on November 21, "This is not an issue of who is a patriot or not." In his own speech to the American Enterprise Institute yesterday, Cheney also changed tone, saying that "disagreement, argument, and debate are the essence of democracy" and the "sign of a healthy political system." He then added: "Any suggestion that prewar information was distorted, hyped, or fabricated by the leader of the nation is utterly false." [NationalJournal]

Bush, Cheney, and the entire administration lied, and continue to lie and spin. But, you already knew that.

Special Thanks to Scott of Brewtown Politico and Buzzflash.

Iraqis Want U.S. Out


This is a repost of the original from Mike, which links to a recent Krugman post, which I will now comment on. It was very good...thanks Mike!

The Great Paul Krugman weighs in: "Representative John Murtha's speech calling for a quick departure from Iraq was full of passion, but it was also serious and specific in a way rarely seen on the other side of the debate. President Bush and his apologists speak in vague generalities about staying the course and finishing the job. But Mr. Murtha spoke of mounting casualties and lagging recruiting, the rising frequency of insurgent attacks, stagnant oil production and lack of clean water. Mr. Murtha - a much-decorated veteran who cares deeply about America's fighting men and women - argued that our presence in Iraq is making things worse, not better. Meanwhile, the war is destroying the military he loves. And that's why he wants us out as soon as possible."

"Some administration officials accused Mr. Murtha of undermining the troops and giving comfort to the enemy. But that sort of thing no longer works, now that the administration has lost the public's trust. Instead, defenders of our current policy have had to make a substantive argument: we can't leave Iraq now, because a civil war will break out after we're gone. One is tempted to say that they should have thought about that possibility back when they were cheerleading us into this war. But the real question is this: When, exactly, would be a good time to leave Iraq?"

"Pessimists think that Iraq will fall into chaos whenever we leave. If so, we're better off leaving sooner rather than later. As a Marine officer quoted by James Fallows in the current Atlantic Monthly puts it, "We can lose in Iraq and destroy our Army, or we can just lose." [Source]

This starts here, but where it ends, no one knows. I've been an outspoken critic of the war since the run-up began. Now, the American public at large is starting to see what is going on, and the human toll that this conflict is taking. When is a good time to get out? Well, now and never. We preemptively invaded a sovereign nation to among other things steal oil. We destroyed Iraq's infrastructure. They now suffer from nearly 70% unemployment, extreme lack of clean running water, and sporatic electricity. We can't just ruin their society and leave. But look at what this has done to our armed forces. Now, we have kids, yes kids, from the National Guard, who were never meant to serve overseas in a combat situation, serving 13+ month tours of duty in Iraq, and dying in droves. It's not cutting and running to protect ourselves. But, we're more concerned about getting as much black gold out of the ground than anything. Oil is a diminishing resource, and that fact hasn't escaped this administration. Those who control it, control the world. I wonder why, then, that the Bush administration has rejected nearly every mention of alternative energy sources. Someone and their friends have the market cornered.


"Ohio Republican Jean Schmidt said Tuesday she should have rephrased her sharp critique of a fellow congressman's call to immediately pull troops from Iraq. Schmidt was booed off the floor of the U.S. House on Friday after she criticized Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), D-Pa., saying that "cowards cut and run, Marines never do." When Schmidt made the comment, Democrats rose in protest at the suggestion that Murtha, a decorated Vietnam veteran and the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, was a coward. Schmidt said the comment was prompted by a conversation she had with state Rep. Danny Bubp, though he denies discussing Murtha with Schmidt." [Yahoo]

Too little, too late Jean. Pathetic is what you are.

Special thanks to Brewtown Politico for the original story.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

HP Goblet of Fire Review

If you'll allow me to play critic briefly:

Went last night and saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. As a devotee of the books, I wasn't sure what to expect. I mean, who really listens to the professional reviewers anyways.

The plot moved too fast (all of a sudden it was the 2nd task, then it was June for the 3rd task). They didn't show enough interaction between Ron, Hermione, and Harry. They certainly didn't follow the book at all in some areas.

But, for all of it's shortcomings, it was an excellent movie. The action scenes were wicked intense, and not for the faint of heart. The graveyard scene at the end was just AWESOME. The trio of Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe has really come of age, and their abilities really shined. Two and a half hours that were very well spent, but went way too fast.

Overall, I'd give it an A-. 3 1/2 out of 4.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Never Tickle A Sleeping Dragon

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire opens tonight at Midnight!!!

Read Reviews [Tribune] [NYT] [TeaserTrailers]

Quotable Feingold

"I welcome the comments today of Congressman John Murtha about the situation in Iraq. Congressman Murtha should be commended for having the courage to stand up to the administration’s outrageous attempts to intimidate into silence those who are trying to fix our Iraq policy."

"I have suggested December 31, 2006, as a target date for bringing our troops home—Congressman Murtha suggests withdrawal should begin immediately. Given the choice between staying indefinitely without a plan, which is the current situation, and bringing our troops home, I would opt for bringing our troops home, but I would prefer to do so based on a flexible timetable for achieving clear, realistic goals."

"The administration’s continued efforts to change the subject and attack those who question their “stay the course” mentality are simply irresponsible. The administration must spend more time getting our Iraq and national security policies straight and less time attacking those who question the deeply flawed course we are on." [Attribution]


Always with the wedge issues!

"The Legislature is on the verge of passing a bill that would require school districts with human growth and development classes to teach sexual abstinence until marriage as the preferred behavior. The bill (SB 286) touched off a firestorm at a public hearing Tuesday, where abstinence was called the only "100% effective method" of avoiding pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Opponents said the move would ignore the fact that many teens already engage in sexual activity."

"The bill's sponsor, Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), said Wisconsin teens don't get the abstinence message in classrooms enough, because of a focus on using condoms and birth control instead. "Abstinence isn't taught out there, or isn't emphasized," Lazich told the Assembly Education Committee." [JSOnline]

Oh heaven forbid that we teach something like SAFETY to our kids in school. Something like 60% or more kids are sexually active by age 18. I agree, abstinence should be taught, but you can't simply forget about condoms, birth control, and preventing STD's. Just another attempt by a conservative Republican to push the conservative christian religious agenda onto the rest of us.

A second bill (AB 690), is being offered up by Rep. Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee). Let's hope that common sense prevails.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Lies and the Lying LIARS That Tell Them

Here is a follow up to Bush's revisionist history:

NYT: "To avoid having to account for his administration's misleading statements before the war with Iraq, President Bush has tried denial, saying he did not skew the intelligence. He's tried to share the blame, claiming that Congress had the same intelligence he had, as well as President Bill Clinton. He's tried to pass the buck and blame the C.I.A. Lately, he's gone on the attack, accusing Democrats in Congress of aiding the terrorists. Yesterday in Alaska, Mr. Bush trotted out the same tedious deflection on Iraq that he usually attempts when his back is against the wall: he claims that questioning his actions three years ago is a betrayal of the troops in battle today."

"It all amounts to one energetic effort at avoidance. But like the W.M.D. reports that started the whole thing, the only problem is that none of it has been true." [NYT]

The scary thing is that Bush had the same intelligence data that Clinton had. Clinton believed (correctly) that the sanctions and the inspectors were working in Iraq. Apparently, Bush read the same info, and decided that we were in mortal danger.

From the Center for American Progress, here are some questions that we should be asking to every member of Congress, but we aren't:
1. Was intelligence on Iraq exaggerated, manipulated or misused?
2. What is your strategy for Iraq?
3. Knowing what you know now, would you still vote for the war in Iraq? (At least John Edwards had the balls to say that he was wrong.) [CAP]

This pretty much sums it up...even the New York Times gets it right sometimes:
"The president and his top advisers may very well have sincerely believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But they did not allow the American people, or even Congress, to have the information necessary to make reasoned judgments of their own. It's obvious that the Bush administration misled Americans about Mr. Hussein's weapons and his terrorist connections. We need to know how that happened and why. Mr. Bush said last Friday that he welcomed debate, even in a time of war, but that "it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began." We agree, but it is Mr. Bush and his team who are rewriting history."

Monday, November 14, 2005



What can I even say about this guy??? Mike is dead on: this guy is scary only because he has an audience. Here's what O'Lie-ly had to say:

"If city voters were intent on voting to oppose military recruitment in public schools and to ban handgun ownership, O'Reilly reasoned, then maybe it should be cut off from federal dollars. To illustrate his point, O'Reilly riffed on a vision of a San Francisco nation-state:

"Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead," O'Reilly went on. "And if al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead."

Err...so, what does opposing military recruitment in public schools and banning handguns have to do with terrorists attacking the Coit Tower?? Leave it to O'Reilly to make some sort of convoluted connection.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Revisionist History

First, today is Veteran's Day. A hearty Thank You to all of the brave men and women that have served. It does not go unnoticed by those of us that have benefitted from your sacrifices.

But, how do we honor them? I just saw an interview with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, and he said that the best way to honor the current veterans (those in Iraq) was to come up with a coherent foreign policy, an exit strategy, and to just be honest with these soldiers about why they are there. I agree; but it goes much farther than that...what about when these soldiers come home? We need to protect these soldiers when they come home with help on jobs, housing, better health care, including mental health care, and better pay and retirement benefits.

This stems from today's attack by President Bush on war critics, drumming up that old line of his, that war critics are undermining the troops in Iraq. Meanwhile, Bush resurrects his old standby: "Congress had the same intelligence on Iraq as I did!"

Harry Reid retorts: "Attacking those patriotic Americans who have raised serious questions about the case the Bush administration made to take our country to war does not provide us a plan for success that will bring our troops home," Mr. Reid said. "While the Bush administration continues to stonewall the Congress from finding the truth about the manipulation of pre-war intelligence, Democrats will continue to press for a full airing of the facts."

John Kerry responds: "Mr. Kerry responded in Boston, where he participated in ceremonies honoring veterans and active duty forces. "I wish President Bush knew better than to dishonor America's veterans by playing the politics of fear and smear on Veterans Day," Mr. Kerry said. "This administration misled a nation into war by cherry-picking intelligence and stretching the truth beyond recognition."

Mr. Bush considers it "revisionist history" to question why we went to war in the first place. Then again, his poll numbers are in the toilet...you do the math. [Yahoo]

While it is perfectly true that the misguided war in Iraq had bi-partisan support at the time, it was based on cherry-picked intelligence and outright LIES. We went over there to among other things, steal Iraqi oil. We've lost over 2,050 soldiers since we launched the Iraq war. Isn't it time we did these brave soldiers a favor and brought them home?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Kangaroo Court

Kangaroo Court: Noun; "A self-appointed tribunal that violates established legal procedure; also, a dishonest or incompetent court of law. For example, The rebels set up a kangaroo court and condemned the prisoners to summary execution, or That judge runs a kangaroo courthe tells rape victims they should have been more careful. This expression is thought to liken the jumping ability of kangaroos to a court that jumps to conclusions on an invalid basis. [Mid-1800s]"
1. A mock court set up in violation of established legal procedure.
2. A court characterized by dishonesty or incompetence. [AmericanHeritage]

"And that definition clearly describes yesterday's Senate hearings on energy prices.
First and foremost was the Republicans efforts to kiss the pearly white asses of the oil industry executives that they were supposed to be demanding answers from. As you may recall, these executives have used America's oil industry crisis to rake record profits, while bleeding American consumers dry (Exxon, for instance, pocketed more in profits this quarter than any corporation in U.S. history). Yet, instead of grilling these guys, the GOP did everything they could to make them comfortable. As just one example, Republicans refused to swear in the executives, and actually cleared the room of reporters so that there weren't any damning photos of them a la the famous hearings with tobacco industry execs." [Sirota]

What's worse is this: "But what really made this a kangaroo court was the testimony of Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Deborah Majoras. As the New York Times reported, " she opposed a federal price-gouging law because it might lead to price caps." Hmm...so let us get this straight - the industry is price gouging Americans all over the country, but what we really should be afraid of is a law barring that price gouging because it may actually force companies to bring down their prices?"

More on Majoras here. [WorkingForChange]
Oil Company Execs Defend Huge Profits. [Yahoo]

This is fantastic. Bush appoints Majoras, a former ChevronTexaco exec, to head the Federal Trade Commission. What a gift to the oil companies, and ensures they stay loyal to the republican party. So, the republicans let these execs continue bilking the American consumer for extraordinary amounts, but it's ok because the oil industry is lining their pockets to keep them in office. Then they get soft questions when they finally have a hearing in the House about it, and don't even swear in the execs to keep them "honest." I love cronyism!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Happy Blogoversary!

One year ago today, I had my first post. I've come a long way baby!

Lots of changes in my life, and in the world since I started last November. The newest being my new baby, Keira Elizabeth.

I won't be able to make it (or I already missed) Drinking Liberally tonight. We just got home from the hospital again. Seems like we live there now.

Here's to another year of personal growth, outing Bush Family Evil Empire lies and corruption, and the betterment of the world as a whole.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Family Picture

Updated Photos

Both Becky and Keira are doing very well. We expect to be able to bring her home tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


We have a baby!

Just a quick post before I get back to the hospital, but mother and baby are doing just fine. Click on her name below to see an online photo gallery.

Keira Elizabeth Bryhan

She was 6 pounds, 1 ounce, and 18 inches long. She came to us at 12:03 AM this morning.