I Want to Save a Child's Sight!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My Favorite Headlines: 02/22/06

Bush Out of Loop on Port Deal [NYT] [CBS]

"President Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday."

Hmm...so, who was "approving" this deal? Who in the administration was approving this deal, and how did Bush not know about it? And wouldn't they then have to get Congressional approval after "approving" it? This totally doesn't add up, and someone is lying. My bet is on Bush, who was most likely told by Rove and "senior officials" to say that he didn't know about the deal until after. Purely my speculation, of course, but nonetheless, it fits. So if Bush says he didn't know about it until after it was "approved," then my question is, why is he so vehement about vetoing any Congressional attempt to block this terrible deal?

Mosque Attack Pushes Iraq Toward Civil War [Yahoo] [NYT]

"A powerful explosion shattered the golden dome of one of Iraq's most revered Shiite shrines this morning, setting off a day of almost unparalleled sectarian fury in cities and towns across Iraq as protesting mobs took to the streets to chant for revenge and set fire to dozens of Sunni mosques." and "Insurgents posing as police destroyed the golden dome of one of Iraq's holiest Shiite shrines Wednesday, setting off an unprecendented spasm of sectarian violence. Angry crowds thronged the streets, militiamen attacked Sunni mosques, and at least 19 people were killed."

I thought the insurgency was in its last throes? At least that's what they want you to think. Nope, they disguise themselves as police, and then bomb a holy site. I'm telling you that insurgency is dying out! Is it 2008 yet?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Budget Fictions

I rarely do this, because I don't like to just copy and paste, but this editorial from the NYT was just too good to pass up:

"When it comes to President Bush's new budget plan, what you don't know will hurt you."

"Mr. Bush's spending and taxing proposals are a mass of missing information. The cost of keeping the military in Iraq and Afghanistan isn't included. Neither, as it turns out, are the usual projections of the long-term effects of proposals to cut $183 billion from domestic programs other than entitlements."

"The administration's obfuscation is, however, being deciphered by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an independent watchdog organization. Specialists backtracked through tables of opaque data and deduced the following: Over five years, veterans' benefits would be cut 13 percent, or $10 billion. Despite all the political talk about energy research and alternate fuels, $4.4 billion would be cut from energy programs. Environmental spending, including for national parks, would be cut 22 percent, or $28 billion; housing, fuel, child care and nutrition programs for the poor and elderly would lose 13 percent, or $24 billion. Topping this surreal concoction is a 13 percent cut — $53 billion — in education and job programs by 2011."

"Political realists have already declared the budget dead on arrival on Capitol Hill. That's not enough. The administration's assault on domestic programs should stand as a permanent reminder of the folly of the $285 billion in additional upper-bracket tax cuts the president and the Republican-controlled Congress are aiming for across the next five years. Despite the budget fictions, the damage from the tax-cut mania will haunt future generations." [NYT]

Just take a look at what this budget is, a give-away to his rich corporate buddies and donors, and a screw-the-poor initiative. He comes to Milwaukee touting "alternative energy" and then with the other hand cuts support for it. $53 billion in cuts to education and job programs over the next five years! Has this man no soul? Or did he lose it in a game of poker when he was all coked up?


"President Bush said this afternoon that he would veto any legislation seeking to block the administration's decision to allow a state-owned company from Dubai to assume control of port terminals in New York and other cities."

"Mr. Bush's rare veto threat came as Republican leaders and many of their Democratic counterparts called up today for the port takeover to be put on hold. They demanded that the Bush administration conduct a further investigation of the Dubai company's acquisition of the British operator of the six American ports."

"After careful review by our government, I believe the transaction ought to go forward," Mr. Bush told reporters who were traveling with him on Air Force One to Washington, according to news agencies. "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company. I am trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, 'We'll treat you fairly." [NYT]

Could this be the first veto from Bush??? He would really choose this issue as his first veto in office? Ok, so pretty much every Senator has come out against this idea. And how does the Administration respond? By calling it racism. David Sirota says that this is all about free trade, and that there is a deal in the works for a free trade agreement with the UAE:

"The fact that no politicians and almost no media wants to even explore this simple fact is telling. Here we have a major U.S. security scandal with the same country we are simultaneously negotiating a free trade pact with, and no one in Washington is saying a thing. The silence tells you all you need to know about a political/media establishment that is so totally owned by Big Money interests they won't even talk about what's potentially at the heart of a burgeoning national security scandal."

What happened to "we won't negotiate with terrorists?"

Monday, February 20, 2006

No Safe Port

The rats are in charge of watching the cheese.

"Two Republican governors on Monday questioned a Bush administration decision allowing an Arab-owned company to operate six major U. S. ports, saying they may try to cancel lease arrangements at ports in their states."

"The deal -- which will affect the ports of New York and New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Miami, Florida; and New Orleans, Louisiana -- has triggered security concerns among some members of Congress and the public."

Bush has sold and turned over control of US Port Security to a company from the United Arab Emirates, or UAE. Great idea! Let's turn control of six of our most important, and largest ports to a foreign government with documented links to terrorism against our country. How many times did Bush use the term 9/11 in any of his recent speeches, and yet, he can't figure out that the UAE actually had a part in that attack?

"Critics have cited the UAE's history as an operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In addition, they contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea, and Libya by a Pakistani scientist." [Yahoo] [CNN] [WP] [NYDaily]

Just another way that Bush is making this country less safe.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

MY Spring Starts Today

Well, the weather outside is frightful, but that doesn't dampen my spirits today. Whatever the forecast may be, MY spring starts today.

Is Ben crazy? (No more than usual...). Today, pitchers and catchers reported for spring training! It is one of the happiest days of the year, and marks the true beginning of spring. Sure, they practice in warm, sunny climes like Mesa, AZ, and Winter Haven, FL, but that means that better weather, and better days are on their way.

Hope springs eternal.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cheney's Got A Gun

From David Letterman last night:

Top Ten Dick Cheney Excuses

10. "Heart palpitation caused trigger finger to spasm"

9. "Wanted to get the Iraq mess off the front page"

8. "Not enough Jim Beam"

7. "Trying to stop the spread of bird flu"

6. "I love to shoot people"

5. "Guy was making cracks about my lesbian daughter"

4. "I thought the guy was trying to go 'gay cowboy' on me"

3. "Excuse? I hit him, didn't I?"

2. "Until Democrats approve medicare reform, we have to make some tough choices for the elderly"

1. "Made a bet with Gretzky's wife"

(Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cheney Shoots Fellow Hunter

"Vice President Dick Cheyney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets. Harry Whittington, a millionaire attorney from Austin, was "alert and doing fine" in a Corpus Christi hospital Sunday after he was shot by Cheney on a ranch in south Texas, said Katharine Armstrong, the property's owner." [Yahoo]

So, what information did this guy have on Cheney?

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Olympics Are Coming!

The Turin Olympic Games are here!!!!!!!!! (For those keeping score at home, these are the games of the XX Olympiad).

Here's part of the reason that I love the Olympics.

But, for 17 days, we all get to become experts in sports and activities that we may have never even heard of before. I mean, they can include Curling in the Winter Games, but Baseball isn't in the Summer Games?

No, seriously, I love the Olympics. U-S-A! U-S-A!

The Innocent Have Nothing to Hide

Thanx Xoff! The original is at Working for Change.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Errors - HELP!!!

Sorry that I haven't posted a lot in the last few days...I've been having a lot of trouble with my browser(s). I made the mistake of downloading IE 7 (Beta 2), which overwrote my IE 6.x. Now, I can't seem to view anything correctly, because any website with any kind of security doesn't allow you to use a beta browser, including Blogger. So, I've been trying to figure out how I can go back to my original browser, and in the meantime, I downloaded Firefox.

Does anyone have any recommendations for me? (PLEASE leave a comment!!!) It will probably be months before IE 7 is mainstream enough to be accepted by most/all websites. I do like Firefox, however!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Tax Hell

"President Bush had it exactly backwards in his speech Tuesday night when he exhorted lawmakers to keep cutting taxes. He noted that when the going gets tough, leaders are tempted to take stands that are crowd pleasing yet counterproductive, like championing protectionism in the face of global competition. Fair enough." "But then he warned that in today's uncertain times, lawmakers might even be tempted to do something as weak-kneed as "increasing taxes."

"We hope Congress will realize that extending the tax cuts would be an act of political cowardice, not courage. The country is already deep in debt, and the tax cuts are largely to blame. In the next two weeks, the administration expects to hit the nation's legal debt limit — $8,184,000,000,000 — and has told Congress it needs to vote to raise the debt ceiling to nearly $9 trillion, a 51 percent increase since 2001, when Mr. Bush took office. Congress must raise the limit or the government will default. But Congressional leaders are looking for ways to downplay the vote, precisely because it's a disgrace."

"Casting the tax cuts in stone now would be particularly craven because they don't expire for another three to five years. But Mr. Bush and his supporters in Congress are hot to act now. That is because the cuts they want to extend the most — special low tax rates for investment income — overwhelmingly enrich the rich and will be even harder to justify in the years to come, when, by all reasonable estimates, the country's financial outlook will have deteriorated further. The tax cutters are not being brave. They are afraid they won't get their way if they wait." [NYT]

Whatever happened to having a sane tax policy? How did Bush squander the surplus that Clinton left him? Why is nobody else asking him these questions? Wake up America, you may have to accept a bit of sacrifice, and have your tax bill go up by $2. These tax cuts were meant to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer, and they're doing a great job of it.