Current Washington DC Pastime…Shredding the 4th Amendment

November 29, 2007
Leave a Comment

And in the US Senate, debate continues about shredding what’s left of the 4th Amendment, oh, excuse me, I meant debate about the new Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, [FISA….] silly me! The ACLU’s Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office had this to say on Firedoglake.com {http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/11/29/}

Hello everybody!

As you all probably know, recently the, the House passed the “RESTORE Act” on partisan lines. The bill made some improvements in the “Protect America Act” that was rushed through Congress in August. Most importantly, it reasserted the intelligence court’s role in approving surveillance before it takes place — a lot of the improvement was due to the concerted efforts of the Progressive Caucus, and Congressman Rush Holt, bolstered by grassroots and netroots pressure.


Chicken Little and the Mortgage-Housing Crisis

November 29, 2007
Leave a Comment

Maybe Chicken Little is right, the sky IS falling! I don’t know about you but the news about the resignation of Citigroup CEO Charles Prince, [who will no doubt exit the crisis with his pockets stuffed…] coming on the heels of an announced loss over at Merrilly-Lynched of about 8 BILLION DOLLARS, is starting to sound more and more like the dam is slowly breaking apart. I’m no Paul Krugman or Thomas Friedman economist type….but the creaking I hear sure don’t sound good.

On Sunday, the chairman and chief exec of Citigroup, Inc., Charles Prince, threw in his ATM card and stepped down — this as the bank announced it would probably have to write off 11 BILLION dollars in subprime mortgage losses……now, if this sounds a bit like old news, it may be because Citicorp just wrote down 6.5 BILLION lastquarter


Thats TWO companies, and 25 Billion Dollars. And, it doesn’t even begin to add in the fallout from the really big mortgage & housing construction companies, AND Fannie & Sallie Mae…drip drip drip…

“Liberal” Media that Savaged Pelosi Over April Meeting With Syria Gushes Over Rice’s November Meeting…With Syria

November 29, 2007
Leave a Comment



Some days webSurfing really pays off...

The article below is cribbed from a blog I came up on called FoxAttacks. com {http://foxattacks.com/blog/}. If Bill Oroily and Slam Hammity make yer skin crawl then this site gives you ammo to use when your cousin Henrietta and her husband Six Pack Joe stop by and try to convert you over dinner. Faux News continues to serve up some of the most inane drivel disguised as “news” while at the same time promoting a borderline neo-fascist poopaganda war with their talk shows . Worth a minute or five of your time.

Pssst, pass it on…

Remember back in April when Nancy Pelosi went to Syria? All of the usual suspects piled on, despite the fact that several republicans had visited Syria just days before and the 9/11 Commission explicitly recommended increasing diplomacy with Syria. At the time, Bush said:

Meetings with President [of Syria] Assad lead the Assad government to believe they’re part of the mainstream of the international community, when, in fact, they’re a state sponsor of terror

Cheney called Pelosi’s trip “counterproductive” and that Assad’s “bad behavior’s being rewarded in a sense.” White House liar spokeswoman Dana Perino said:

I know that Assad probably really wants people to come and have a photo opportunity and have tea with him, and have discussions about where they’re coming from, but we do think that’s a really bad idea.

Mittwit Romney, who doesn’t really like Muslims anyway, was told to say:

[Pelosi] going to a state which is without question a sponsor of terror, and having her picture taken with Assad and being seen in a headscarf and so forth is sending the wrong signal to the people of Syria and to the people of the Middle East…I just don’t know what got into her head, to be completely honest with you. I think it was a huge, huge mistake.

That head scarf thing really riled up the right wing, whose idea of religious tolerance is killing all muslims. (more…)

Military Recruiting Vans at Schools Draw Fire

November 28, 2007
Leave a Comment

by Pat Elder

A ninth grader in a suburban Washington DC classroom is delighted to be excused from Algebra class to spend a half hour shooting a life-like 9 MM pistol and lobbing explosive ordinance from an M1A2 Abrams tank simulator. At the same time 3,000 miles away in La Habra, California, a 15 year-old girl is released from English class to squeeze off rounds from a very real looking M-16 rifle. The kids thoroughly enjoy the experience, especially the part about getting out of class.

The two students have experienced the Army’s Adventure Van, a 60-foot, 30-ton 18-wheeler with several interactive exhibits that bring an adrenaline rush and glorify weaponry and combat. The Army’s 19 vans frequent various community events and two thousand schools a year, generating more than 63,000 recruiter leads. In addition to the Adventure Van, the Army has three other 18-wheelers for recruiting purposes. The Aviation Recruiting Van contains an AH 64 Helicopter flight simulator and an interactive air warrior and weapons display.

The American Soldier Adventure Van has an interactive air/land warrior display and a future warrior display. The Army Marksmanship Trainer has an interactive rifle range. (more…)

The Ministers, the Dayton City Anti-Discrimination Ordinance and the Future

November 25, 2007
Leave a Comment

It’s Saturday, at the 2nd Street Market, and I’m talking to one of the vendors when I hear a muffled hello. Turning, I see the HAT moving down the aisle…it’s Mayor McLin. Taking the opportunity in hand, I walk up  and tell her, “I am very glad for the stand that you took Wed at the City Commission meeting in the anti-discrimination ordinance “debate”. ” Smiling broadly, she replied, “Oh, thank you so much”. Ms McLin acknowledged that there had been quite bit of pressure brought to bear on the Commission, but, that she and the other members who voted for the ordinance had concluded the time for discussion was over and a decision needed to be made. I’ll make mention that I was not the only one to make a positive comment on this issue to her. Politics in the air at the Market!

Some may dismiss this slight woman as a “figurehead” mayor, but in my estimation it took a quite a bit of extra spine/courage to stand up to the Interdenominational Ministers Alliance’s assault on the ordinance. This same cabal has opposed progressive initiatives based on questions of sexuality for years. They seem to have a degree of credibility that may not be justified by the actual numbers of their followers, which I think is an open question. And, I don’t mean being able to get 30-40 people to attend a city commission meeting…maybe that is everybody you represent? Those in the “know” about Dayton’s semi-underground political culture are fully aware of the checkered past of some of the leaders of this group and that, in part, is why the extra spine displayed Wed needs to be applauded. (more…)

A False Choice for Pakistan

November 23, 2007
Leave a Comment


By Salman Ahmad/ Washington Post

Monday, November 19, 2007;
As Pakistan descends into political chaos, much attention has been given to two leaders competing for power — the current dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and the media-savvy former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. The White House appears to be backing Musharraf as its best bet in the “war on terror,” while much of the world’s media and Western liberal elite see Bhutto as a democratic savior for a country mired in Islamic fundamentalism.

Both fail to recognize the core problem plaguing Pakistani society: Without a strong and independent judiciary, Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state, will forever be at the mercy of dictators and power-hungry politicians. Lack of oversight and institutional accountability leads to coups, counter-coups and perpetual instability.


As an artist and social activist, I have worked with the governments of both Musharraf and Bhutto on peace initiatives and socially uplifting themes. I have been disillusioned by their lack of commitment to getting real work done; they appear to spend most of their time consolidating their power bases. (more…)

Thanksgiving 2007: The American Predicament/Huffington Post

November 22, 2007
Leave a Comment

Jon Robin Baitz|

Posted November 21, 2007 | 11:46 PM (EST) in the

The Huffington Post


Read More: Christopher Hitchens, Curb Your Enthusiasm, George Bush, Giving Thanks, Keith Olbermann, Mad Men, Marian Wright Edelman, Michel De Montaigne, New York Times, No Child Left Behind, Sidney Lumet, Thanksgiving, The Children’s Defense Fund, Walter Reed, Warren Buffett, Breaking News

After five years of being mostly in L.A. where Thanksgiving generally happens under the harshest of desert suns, I am back home in New York, which pleases me. I was considering sharing my mother’s marvelous and slightly eccentric recipe for turkey, bathed in garlic and a good olive oil and cooked in a brown paper bag, which is not to be opened until the bird is cooked. I have done it many times, to (first) the bafflement and worry, and then (inevitable) pleasure of friends, and it always produces a gorgeous and succulent bird. I’ll save it for next year.



At Passover, I am the one who causes the trouble, and asks unpleasant questions about the current iteration of the land of milk and honey. So you can tell where this is going, regarding the giving of thanks. If you are lucky enough to share the day with friends and family, there is usually a moment where you take in the gathered, the noise, the remains of the meal, kids, dogs, parents, all more or less equally sedated, and sort of smile. You smile at the good fortune of being with people you love, and have known for a very long time. At the safety of it. In my case, there is much to be grateful for. Health, faculties more or less intact, sense of humor more or less intact, and a small measure of financial security for now. So without turning Thanksgiving into some sort of secular Yom Kippur (one is enough, really), a little accounting is in order between the glazed yams and the turkey sandwich the next day. (more…)

California Electoral College Initiative Backers are Up to Dirty tricks [watch video]

November 22, 2007
Leave a Comment

We’ve caught the dirty tricksters on video.

As you know, California Counts — a cabal of right-wing political operatives linked to Rudy Giuliani — is working hard to steal the White House (again) in 2008. They want to fool California voters into changing the rules so Giuliani — or some other regressive Republican presidential nominee — can rob at least 20 Electoral College votes from California next November.

When Steven Attewell, an eagle-eyed member of the blog Daily Kos, alerted me that California Counts petition-gatherers at UC Santa Barbara were gathering signatures to help “children with cancer,” I headed out to investigate.

And, sure enough, when I looked carefully at what they wanted me to sign, I noticed that “children with cancer” was just a sneaky tactic to get people to sign the so-called “Electoral College Reform Initiative” — what we call the dirty trick initiative.

Now, Secretary of State Debra Bowen is considering whether to open an investigation — if enough of us come forward with stories like what I saw at UCSB.

Click here to watch my YouTube video of the sneaky petitioners trying to trick college students. If you’ve seen a signature gatherer using sneaky tactics to obtain signatures for the Dirty Trick Initiative, please let us know and we will pass on the information to Secretary Bowen:



15 Documentaries, including Body of War, Move Ahead in 2007 Oscar® Race

November 20, 2007
Leave a Comment

This just in from my friend Maddi, who has been keeping me up to date with news of her old friend Phil Donahue’s work on his documentary about Iraq called BODY OF WAR.
With a theme song written & performed by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vetter, the film made it’s debut at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this year.

Beverly Hills, CA — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 80th Academy Awards®. Seventy pictures had originally qualified in the category.


The 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order:

“Autism: The Musical”
Body of War”
“For the Bible Tells Me So”
“Lake of Fire”
“No End in Sight”
“Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience”
“Please Vote for Me”
“The Price of Sugar”
“A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman”
“The Rape of Europa”
“Taxi to the Dark Side”
“White Light/Black Rain”


The Documentary Branch screening committee viewed all the eligible documentaries for the preliminary round of votings. Documentary Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles on the shortlist.


The 80th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 22, 2008, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2007 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2008, at the Kodak Theater at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PT.

# # #

The following link will take to you to a 10 min. video that features interview with Phil Donahue and a clip of Eddie Vetter’s theme song, No More War



November 20, 2007
Leave a Comment


The Senate is in pro forma sessions until Monday, December 3. The House is in recess until Tuesday, December 4.
Recent Senate Votes
Improving Head Start Act – Vote Agreed to (95-0, 5 Not Voting)

The Senate unanimously passed this bill boosting funding for the Head Start program.

Sen. George Voinovich voted YES……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Motion to Invoke Cloture: Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act, FY2008 – Vote Rejected (53-45, 2 Not Voting)

Before embarking on its Thanksgiving recess, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on this bill that would provide $50 billion of funding for the War in Iraq while setting a troop withdrawal plan.

Sen. George Voinovich voted NO……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Recent House Votes
Improving Head Start Act – Vote Passed (381-36, 15 Not Voting)

This House bill boosts funding for the Head Start program.

Rep. Michael Turner voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Conference Report on Transportation/HUD Appropriations, FY2008 – Vote Passed (270-147, 15 Not Voting)

On Wednesday the House passed this $51.2 billion bill to fund the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development for the 2008 fiscal year.

Rep. Michael Turner voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act, FY2008 – Vote Passed (218-203, 1 Present, 11 Not Voting)

The House approved legislation to grant the Department of Defense four months’ worth of emergency funding for the War in Iraq, under the condition that troop redeployment begins 30 days following the bill’s enactment.

Rep. Michael Turner voted NO……send e-mail or see bio

Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act – Vote Passed (291-127, 14 Not Voting)

The House passed this bill that would reform consumer mortgage practices.

Rep. Michael Turner voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Responsible Electronic Surveillance That is Overseen, Reviewed, and Effective (RESTORE) Act – Vote Passed (227-189, 16 Not Voting)

This House bill would update the intelligence surveillance bill passed earlier this year.

Rep. Michael Turner voted NO……send e-mail or see bio

Overriding the Veto of the Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations Act, FY2008 – Vote Failed (277-141, 15 Not Voting)

The House failed to override the veto of this $150.7 billion bill that would fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.

Rep. Michael Turner voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

MegaVote is powered by Capitol Advantage © 2007.


Next Page »

About author