"On Topic" With Doug Krile

Monday, July 31, 2006

Kerry's Health Care Plan

I love the fact that this is based on the Health Care Plan Congress gives its own members. Nice touch!


John Kerry Lays Out Health Care Plan, Calls for Universal Health Care Coverage by 2012



In a speech today at Boston’s Faneuil Hall, Senator John Kerry put forth his comprehensive health care plan, which lowers the cost of and improves quality of health care, covers every child in America, and ensures that every American has access to the same type of health care that members of Congress give themselves. Kerry’s [...]


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Voting Problems

Lou Dobbs just reported on an Iowa county where the ES&S machines were programmed incorrectly.  When a popular candidate running for re-election was suddenly getting swamped by a 19 year old candidate, election officials thought something might be wrong. Seems the machines had  moved the kid from #9 to #1.  A programming error.  At least they had a paper trail to check. Not so in this case.


Proof of Election Fraud by Diebold?



I'm not a computer geek so I don't know what to make of this story, but it sure sounds bad: SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- “This may be the worst security flaw we have seen in touch screen voting machines,” says Open Voting Foundation president, Alan Dechert. Upon examining the inner workings of one of the most popular paperless touch screen voting machines used in public elections in the United States, it has been determined that with the flip of a single switch inside, the machine can behave in a completely different [...]


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Analyzing Bush's Quote

I was only half paying attention when I heard the President's statement on the Middle East this morning.  I thought, at the time, that it didn't make a lot of sense.  But, I blamed that on my inattention. Looks like some other folks had the same reaction.


Bush's take on the 'current crisis'



The president gave a brief summary of his thoughts on the ongoing crisis in the Middle East during a speech at the Port of Miami today. I've been mulling over what he might have been trying to say, but it's not altogether clear. "The current crisis is part of a larger struggle between the forces of [...]


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Qana Kids Killed

Yes, there is something strange about the timetable.  But the conservative side of the blogosphere is entirely too pleased to tackle this possibility.


Qana Bombing Victims Staged By Hezbollah?



No clear evidence for that yet, but it sort of seems that way according to this: "An IDF investigation has found that the building in Qana struck by the Air Force fell around eight hours after being hit by the [...]


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Hot Enough for Ya?

Just walking from the car to a store today was enough to leave me drenched in sweat.  This is just TOO hot.


Heat wave in America, heat wave in Europe, but don't tell Bush and the Republicans that this is global warming



But seriously, trust the Republicans - they say it's nothing. Just like they say that condoms don't work, that the earth is really 6,000 years old, and that dinosaurs lived alongside modern men. Oh yeah, they also told us that we'd be greeted like liberators in Iraq and that the war would be over in [...]


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Vacation

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. There have been no posts since last night.  Vacation. And, for once, I really did absolutely nothing. I'll try to scrounge up a couple tonight.


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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Media Quote of The Day

Chris Matthews utters the "money quote" of the morning.


Matthews: War in Iraq United ‘the Disparate Pieces of Shia Radicalism into a Frankenstein Monster’



Chris Matthews, at the conclusion of his Sunday morning talk show explored the impact of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Matthews said that Iraq used to be “a country which has fought revolutionary Iran for eight years to a bloody stand still.” Now, it’s a “Shia dominated ally of Iran.” Matthews concluded: “Our brave soldiers [...]



But, guess who isn't happy? Chris Matthews Exhibits Shocking Ignorance of Middle East History



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Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Touring Again.  Take nine minutes and watch this. Some amazing comments from people who grew up in the same era as I did.


CSN&Y and Patrick Murphy


Watch the documentary.


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Sunday Talkers Roundup

Wow.  45 minutes of yard work just darn near did me in this afternoon!  It's hot out there.  REALLY hot!  Back in, chugging down water right now, and polishing up a couple of posts for you guys.


The Sunday Show Review



The deaths at Qana were a big part of this morning's shows, but the most important concept to the hosts seemed to be that Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora had told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to go away, she was not welcome in Beirut [...]


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Sunday Collection

...of things to make you lose sleep.


Is US actually pushing escalation of Mideast war?



Read Josh Marshall's post on this subject of escalation. It's enlightening in a very frightening way -- and helps explain the seemingly hapless way the US has conducted itself during [...]


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Rescuing Baghdad

We're trying to rescue Baghdad, sending in more troops.  Meanwhile, the mainstream media is focusing on the Israel/Lebanon conflict, it seems.


The Amazing Disappearing War



Today Glenn Greenwald blogged about “the very sudden, and virtually complete, disappearance of the war in Iraq from the media radar.” That country is literally falling apart, engulfed by what even war proponents are acknowledging increasingly appears to be an inevitable civil war and growing anarchy. And yet for the last week, Iraq was barely discussed, [...]


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Medicare Drug Plans

A lot of bloggers and other analysts warned this would happen.  Apparently, the word didn't circulate widely enough.


Seniors learning the Bush/GOP drug plan is a disaster



The calls are starting to come in from shocked or angry seniors. They have just learned that their Medicare drug plans are maxing out on early coverage and that they must now spend $2,850 from their own pockets before [...]


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Middle East Discussion

More on today's disaster in the Middle East.


Israeli air strike kills 34 children



...So here's the ethical question of the day. Someone is firing hundreds of missiles at your citizens each day, and launching them from civilians areas because think they think you won't hit back (or hope you do, and thus kill civilians, causing a storm of bad publicity). As for the civilians, it's an open question whether [...]


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Newsweek on Rumsfeld

This could be the quote of the day from the  Sunday talk shows.


Newsweek Editor Zakaria: Rumsfeld "Seems Literally In A Parallel Universe And Slightly Deranged"...



Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria ripped into Donald Rumsfeld this morning on ABC's This Week...Transcript: "[If I were running against conservatives,] I would make up a campaign commercial almost entirely of Donald Rumsfeld's press conferences, because the man is looking -- I mean, it's not just that he seems like a bad Secretary of [Defense]. He seems literally in a parallel universe and slightly deranged. If you listen to what he said last week about Iraq, he's living in a [...]


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Mideast Violence

Woke up this morning, turned on the TV and was immediately overwhelmed by the news out of the Middle East.  Israel bombs a village in Lebanon, killing fifty-some sixty-some people.  More than thirty were children. Lebanon says Condi isn't welcome, so she's headed back to Washington with no peace deal.   And, Lebanon thanks the Hezbollah for helping protect it against Israel.  Or am I hearing thsi all wrong. 


America- war is peace



JERUSALEM - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday she is "deeply saddened by the terrible loss of innocent life" from Israel's attack on a Lebanese village, but she held firm to the internationally unpopular position that a quick cease-fire won't solve the crisis. Her position is that if the rest of the world thinks one way, than the US position should be the complete opposite. If [...]



Oh, yeah.  Then there was this little protest thing: What I Think We're Seeing



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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tax Cuts

Gonna pop a DVD in the player tonight, I think. "Good Night and Good Luck" or "Walk The Line" are the choices.  Any suggestions between those two.


Here's something for you to read if you're online instead of occupied elsewhere.


Tax Cut Follies



I failed in my duty earlier this week to blog about Tuesday's Treasury report that studied the long-term effects of making Bush's tax cuts permanent. Why? Because it concluded - and you better sit down for this - [...]


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Watching the Dollars Disappear

Absolutely amazing accounting practices.


Spending like "drunken sailors on shore leave"



I wonder when the books are closed, what the final tab will be, for Bush's vanity war against Saddam?  "BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 29 - The State Department agency in charge of $1.4 billion in reconstruction money in Iraq used an accounting shell game to hide ballooning cost overruns on its projects there and knowingly withheld information on schedule delays from Congress, a federal audit released late [...]


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The Heat Wave

Oh, yeah. It really IS hot.  Darn near everywhere.


Dakotas At The Epicenter Of Crippling US Drought...



Fields of wheat, durum and barley in the Dakotas this dry summer will never end up as pasta, bread or beer. What is left of the stifled crops has been salvaged to feed livestock struggling on pastures where hot winds blow clouds of dirt from [...]


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Saturday Posts

Back from the Farmers' Market with loads of fresh fruits and vegetables!  I really love this time of year, when you can get tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, cantalopes and more - fresh from the field. We're in the height of peach season, too.  The vendors are all like family.  It's one of the best hours of my week, even when it's as hot as it is right now.  The blogosphere appears to be stifled by the heat, too. Not as many posts as usual.  So, we're going to devote some time this afternoon to some things that need to be done around the house.  IF we can stand the heat.  Check back later.  We'll try for some late afternoon posts.


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Katrina Aftermath

Unbelievably, there are still 49 bodies that have not been identified in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Almost a year later.  And, there's another report on how badly it was all handled.


John Kerry on New Katrina Disaster Aid Report



Today the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report addressing the federal government’s failures in getting timely disaster assistance to Gulf Coast hurricane victims. According to the Governmental Accountability Office report, “four months after Hurricane Katrina hit the region last Aug. 29, an estimated 204,000 loan applications were still waiting to be approved.” After developing a [...]


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Bad Move

Mel Gibson has really gone and done it, this time.  Oh, man.  We know the DWI part of the account is true.  But the rest? Could the "policed report" have been faked?


Mel Gibson Self-Destructs



Here's the page from the police report about Mel Gibson's rants about the Jews after an arrest for drunk-driving: Every anti-Semitic trope imaginable - from the darling of the Christianist right. Not that many of us hadn't already deduced this, [...]



UPDATE:  Looks like it was all true.


Mel Gibson Issues Apology



As Ron reported here earlier, Mel Gibson went on a tirade when arrested for drunk driving Friday. Unfortunately, the tirade was reported to be filled with a slew of anti-Semitic statements. AP reports that Gibson has issued a lengthy statement today apologizing for his “drunk driving arrest and saying he has battled alcoholism throughout his [...]




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Safely Home

And speaking his mind.  From the "A Soldier's Thought" blog.


3,500 Happy Campers



Life is good isn't it? Just ask the 3,500 soldiers who have had the good news spread to them.  "As part of the Baghdad security plan, all flights out for soldiers currently at the end of their deployment were canceled as of Tuesday, as commanders wrestled how to supply troops for the effort, a third official said." This is in addition to the fact that we are having to increase the number of troops we have there. I wonder if this is freedom? Do you think the Iraqis [...]


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More on The David Gregory Question

This deserves much more than just a single post.  David Gregory's inciteful question during today's news conference gets a detailed analysis here.


Thoughts on the Bush Foreign Policy



Below, I am going to analyze one of Bush's answers in today's joint Bush-Blair press conference. Here's the question. QUESTION: Mr. President, both of you, I'd like to ask you about the big picture that you're discussing. Mr. President, three years ago, you argued that an invasion of Iraq would create a new stage of Arab-Israeli peace. And yet today there is an Iraqi prime minister who has been sharply critical of Israel. Arab governments, despite your arguments, who first criticized Hezbollah, have now changed their tune. Now they're sharply [...]


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Friday, July 28, 2006

So Much To Talk About

Indeed, there is.


In Contempt



I’ve been blogging about the Bush Administration for just over four years. During that time it’s rare that a day has gone by without some fresh outrage or revelation to write about. But now the calamities are coming so fast my head is spinning. Several major, and dangerous, developments are happening all at once. It’s [...]


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California Heat Wave

This is not just a small problem.


Morning Eye-Opener



The California heat wave is no joke. In fact, it’s a little Katrina. The AP lede says “Corpses piled up in the morgue Thursday…” One hundred are dead statewide. –Schwarzenegger moves to help farm workers. The prospect of dairy shortages is not far off, as dairy production has plummeted. Watch for [...]


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Whoa!

And they thought nobody was watching!


MSNBC online poll with more than 250,000 responses - over 86% believe Bush should be impeached



Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment? [...]


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No Surprise Here

It was, I guess, only a matter of time.


LEAKED MEMO: Coal Industry Coordinating Propaganda Blitz Attacking Global Warming Science



A secret memo by the coal industry details a coordinated campaign to spread misinformation about global warming. The memo expresses fear that if the government addresses climate change — through a carbon tax or regulating greenhouse gasses — it will cut into their profits. Their solution: “support the scientific community that is willing to stand [...]


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Horse Trading, Congressional-Style

Why, oh why?


The 'poison pill' we've been waiting for



Just to follow up for a moment on an earlier post, we were waiting to see what congressional Republicans would tie to a minimum-wage increase, if anything. GOP leaders could let Congress pass it straight, take credit for a popular move, and take a key campaign issue away from Dems. Or they could play a silly [...]



And, the Conservative bloggers are claiming victory.


Brilliant!



The idea is, we force the Dems to either vote for the tax cuts, or against the wage increase. Either way, it's win-win for the GOP.  The Dems are crying like little babies already: [...]


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No Law is Legal For These Guys

The amazing thing is that this is a GOP law that the White House wants to change.


Bush Wants "Protections" From Torture Laws



The Bush administration is asking Congress to pass "protections" from prosecution of people who kill or torture prisoners. The specific law they want changed was passed by a Republican-controlled [...]


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So Much for The War on Terror

Gonna lose a wheel with a turn like this.


White House admits that our troops in Iraq aren't really dying for the war on terror anymore



I'm sure the remaining few Americans who still support this fiasco are going to love this. As Dan Froomkin at the WashingtonPost.com put it: "President Bush and national security adviser Stephen Hadley yesterday for the first time publicly acknowledged the momentous shift in the role for U.S. troops in Iraq, from fighting terrorists to trying to suppress religious violence. This sea change was [...]


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The Economic Update For Today

Yet, the markets are all higher.  Something of a disconnect, I'd say.


Stagflation



The Washington Post reports that the latest economic news is grim: "The nation's gross domestic product, which measures the value of all goods and services produced, rose at a below-average 2.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter....Meanwhile, consumer prices shot [...]


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Hardball Takes On Coulter

This was actually quite entertaining TV.


Thursday Night Fights: Chris Matthews and Audience Take on Ann Coulter



For your viewing pleasure, MSNBC decided to add to the Friday Night Fights series with a special Thursday edition. However, as "Hardball's" producers must have believed the challenger in the left corner, host Chris Matthews, was going to be outmatched by the challenger in the right corner, they decided to film the segment with an audience conveniently stocked with Ann Coulter haters. As a result, the fight turned more into [...]


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Cafferty Criticizes

And he does it so eloquently.


Cafferty on those al Qaeda video tapes



Another day, another tape from al Qaeda.  So what?  What exactly is the world supposed to do because some al Qaeda dirtbag releases a tape saying he’s going to support Hezbollah?  Should we all get under the bed now? The fact is, these morons have been [...]


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A Clean Sweep

Record-busters all around.


Chevron caps out big Big Oil week



Record profits and plenty of smiling faces on one side, groaning and anger on the other. Same same, but different. Fortunately George Bush is an oil man and he promised to jaw bone the industry and you know he has us in mind. He's a compassionate conservative, of course, so [...]


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Gregory's Questions

Pretty impressive!  NBC's David Gregory got his chance to ask THE question at today's news conference with Tony Blair and George Bush. Actually, it was ALMOST the question he wanted to pose the other day.  Close enough for gubernent work, as they say.  I'm really not sure he got an answer, though.  I'll watch for a clip or transcript.


UPDATE:  Another comment: BREAKING: President Bush...



Yes, I grant you, this may have been reported in other outlets before. But we're here listening to the Bush-Blair press conference. And a few minutes ago a reporter (I think David Gregory, but will check on that) asked the president in so many words: You said Iraq was going to bring about new Middle East but now the Middle East is s a complete [...]



UPDATE 2: Keep an eye on this link for video.   And here, too.


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Switching Parties

A sign of more to come, perhaps?


A Republican Wants to See a Democrat Congress in November



It’s nice to see someone in that party has come to their senses. I am a Republican, intend to remain a Republican, and am descended from three generations of California Republicans, . . . . It has been difficult, nevertheless, to conclude as I have, that the Republican House leadership has been so unalterably corrupted [...]


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They're Only Words

Via Taegan Goddard:  Click it and read. It'll only take two seconds.


Quote of the Day



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Philosophical Post

Just some deep thoughts to get your brain working today.


Terror, Power and the NeoConservative Ideology



I hope some of you copy and paste this and pass it along: Neoconservatives desperately needed more power, and that power was delivered on a silver platter in the form of 9/11. Neoconservative documents have long professed a desire to rule the world. Their own documents show they knew a truly "American" society would never support their plans. ...their own documents show they understood the [...]


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No Return Flights

Blogging will likely be somewhat scattered for the next few days.  I'm burning a couple of days of vacation, getting some chores done around the old homestead.  But, we'll find time for a cup of coffee and a couple of posts now and then.


As the military guy on MSNBC said, this confirms the fact that the Bush Administration now admits that Baghdad is a disaster.


Bush extends duty for thousands of US troops in Iraq. He was serious when he said there'd be no withdrawal.



It's time the American people took George Bush at his word. Yes, he's incompetent and a bit dumb, but he's been pretty consistent with his foreign policy. And Bush said he wasn't going to withdraw from Iraq, and he means it. So if you like US troops being bogged down in Iraq for the next several years - Bush himself said [...]


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Not A Kennedy

Believe it or not.


State Official Crashes Party, Car, Career



We were remiss in not linking sooner to this fabulous New York Post piece, by scribes Erin Calabrese and Lauren Elkies: A State Department worker cruising down 34th Street with three scantily clad women in what appeared to be a [...]


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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wasted Money

Need more examples of incompetence?


Homeland Security Contracts Waste Hundreds of Millions of Taxpayer Dollars



The WaPo reports today that “since the Homeland Security Department’s formation in 2003, an explosion of no-bid deals and a critical shortage of trained government contract managers have created a system prone to abuse.” Based on a comprehensive survey of hundreds of government audits, 32 Homeland Security Department contracts worth a total of $34 [...]


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WMD Updates

A late afternoon update from the Conservative side. One question.  If we KNEW he was moving the WMD to Syria, was the attack still needed?  Or, was our intelligence so weak that we didn't know if he moved everything or just a portion?  Not that I'd trust Santorum to deliver this...


(BREAKING) Iraqi WMD, Possible Transfer To Syria



Senator Rick Santorum on Sean Hannity today (5:00 PM EST) has announced a document ( ISGQ-2005-00022470 Title: "Information from a source about the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to Syria prior to the attack of the Coalition Forces on Iraq") has been released by the "US Army Foreign Military [...]


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Neighbors

How  nice.


Cindy Sheehan Buys Land Near Bush's Crawford Ranch...



War protester Cindy Sheehan has purchased a 5-acre plot in Crawford with some of the insurance money she received after her son was killed in Iraq. The group she helps lead, Gold Star Families for Peace, says on its Web site [...]


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Another Smackdown

Our government isn't doing a very good job of protecting us. Surprised?  Not my comment, but from Congress.


US House report criticizes Bush administration intelligence work related to war on terror



The Bush administration has a pre-September 11 mentality. "U.S. intelligence has a poor understanding of threats against the United States, nearly five years after the September 11 attacks prompted the U.S. war on terrorism, according to a report released on Thursday. The unclassified report on intelligence reform, issued by [...]


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Raw Numbers

Some startling statistics out of Iraq.  Somebody needs to float a copy of this past the White House folks. Here's just one example.  Go and read them all.



Number of Iraqis who had access to potable water before invasion: 13 million
Number of Iraqis who have access to potable water, according to the April 2006 SIGIR report: 8 million [...]


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Congressional Control

Of course, somebody will criticize this poll because it's from NPR.


Poll Suggests GOP Will Lose Control of House



A new NPR poll looked at the fifty most competitive congressional districts and found 29% of respondents said they will "definitely or probably" vote to re-elect their congressman while 46% say they will "definitely or probably" vote for the challenger. "Forty of those seats are currently held by [...]


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The Forgotten War

That's what they're calling it now, you know.


At Least 31 Killed In Latest Baghdad Bombings...



A mortar barrage followed minutes later by a car bomb blasted Baghdad's upscale Karradah district Thursday, killing at least 31 people and wounding 153, police said. The explosions occurred at midmorning in a religiously mixed neighborhood controlled by [...]


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Democrats Have a Plan

Finally.  And it's getting some good support on the blogs.  At least the more progressive ones.


Six for '06



I've been supportive of the idea that congressional Democrats should remind voters of their differences with the GOP, and explain to the electorate what a Dem Congress would do differently than what we have now. It now appears that the party is taking the strategy pretty seriously. Democrats plan to press for a minimum wage increase [...]


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Not Very Optimistic, Are We?

Read 'em, and weep.


American Pessimism Highest in Years



65% of Americans think that their children will NOT be better off than themselves. 58% don’t think the Iraq War will come to a successful conclusion for the US. 27% think the US is headed in the right direction. 81% do not think that things will get better for a long time. 53% think that the Israeli-Hizbollah conflict [...]


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Speaking Out

I'm betting the military bosses won't be any too happy with these quotes.


"Waiting to get blown up"



US troops speak out about Iraq, and they're not happy:  "Spec. Joshua Steffey, 24, of Asheville, N.C... said he wished "somebody would explain to us, 'Hey, this is what we're working for.' " With a stream of expletives, he said he could not care less "if Iraq's free" or [...]


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Basis of A Campaign

Ya know, this just might make some sense.


Cheers and Jeers: Thursday



Smartest idea I've heard all week...from Molly Ivins, of course:   "Here's what we do. We run Bill Moyers for president. I am serious as a stroke about this. It's simple, cheap and effective, and it will move the entire spectrum of political discussion in this country. Moyers is the only public figure who can take the entire discussion and shove it toward moral clarity just by being there. [...]


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Backtracking Big Time

So much for credibility, I'd say.


Scarlet Letter Steele says he was only joking



Yesterday, in a Washington Post article, we learned that a "GOP Senate Candidate" identified later as Michael Steele was bashing Bush and the GOP. Today, we learn that he was only kidding [...]


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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Baffled Beyond Belief

I really am. Baffled as to how this could happen.


Pentagon sells excess military gear to anybody



Would you like to start your own army, or perhaps terrorist organization, but can't quite get hold of all the materials you need? Looking to build weapons of mass destruction but the parts for your chemical factory are too hard to find? Not to worry, for now you can buy just about everything you need. From the U.S. Department of Defense. At pennies on [...]


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Another Day. Another Poll.

I apologize folr the delayed posts.  It was a combination of lots of work and simply too many good posts.


Another thud to the bounce.


Bush Approval Remains Low



"Americans are again increasingly concerned about the national economy and their personal financial situations, including those saying they approve of the way George W. Bush is handling his job and the economy," according to a new [...]


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Do-Nothings in Congress

It's just paperwork.  That's what they have staffers for.  What ELSE have they been accomplishing?


Congress Drags Feet, Impedes Cunningham Probe



It has been nearly five months since Justice Department prosecutors working the Duke Cunningham corruption case first requested information from three key House committees. To date, they haven't got a scrap of paper in return, nor a single interview with [...]


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Middle East Violence

Split feelings.


Gallup: 50% say Israel overreacted



The Gallup poll organization has a survey on the Israel-Hezbollah-Lebanon conflict out today which suggests a significant number of Americans, perhaps even half, believe Israel has overreacted in retaliating against Hezbollah. The July 21-July 23 survey, done with USA Today, found that 50 percent of respondents said Israel was justified in responding to Hezbollah but had gone too far. Only a third of Americans said all Israel’s military actions were justified [....]


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