Monday, July 31, 2006

New Element

New Chemical Element

A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Bushcronium." Bushcronium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an Atomic mass of 311. These 311 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. The symbol for Bushcronium is "W".

Bushcronium's mass actually increases over time, since each reorganization causes more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Bushcronium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass."

When catalyzed with money, Bushcronium activates Foxnewsium

Fooling the Voters - New York Times

Fooling the Voters - New York Times: "July 31, 2006
Fooling the Voters
The two bills passed by the House last Friday and Saturday reflect a single Republican electoral strategy. Representatives want to appear to have accomplished something when they face voters during their five-week summer break, which starts today, and at the same time keep campaign donations flowing from special-interest constituents who are well aware that a great deal was left to do.
One of the bills was a pension reform measure. The other was a grab bag that contains three main items: an extension of the expired tax credit for corporate research; a $2.10 an hour increase in the minimum wage, to be phased in over three years; and a multibillion-dollar estate-tax cut. That�s the deal House Republicans are really offering � a few more dollars for 6.6 million working Americans; billions more for some 8,000 of the wealthiest families.
It is cynical in the extreme. Extending the research tax credit is noncontroversial, yet pressing. A minimum wage increase is compelling � morally, politically and financially � but Republicans generally oppose it. And the estate-tax cut has already failed to pass the Senate twice this summer. So House Republicans linked it to the research credit and the minimum wage, hoping to flip a handful of senators from both parties who have voted against estate-tax cuts in the past. Democrats who vote against the estate tax, Republicans think, can be painted as voting against a higher minimum wage.
This is an attempt at extortion. There is no way to justify providing yet another enormous tax shelter to the nation�s wealthiest heirs in the face of huge budget deficits, growing income inequality and looming government obligations"

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The ABA Task Force on Presidential Signing Statement

How many ways can the Prez break constitutioal law? About 750.... (Freeway Blogging)

Be a freeway blogger! - DALLAS BLOG - KBH POPULARITY HIGHER THAN PREZ#comment428234

Excellent pont by Libby Shaw regarding Kay Bailey Hutchison. - DALLAS BLOG - KBH POPULARITY HIGHER THAN PREZ#comment428234: "Our senior Senator has broken her contact with America by reneging on her promise to serve only two terms. Our senior Senator has supported the crook of two centuries, Mr. Tom DeLay. Indeed, I wonder if the day she cut work when the Appropriations Committee met to divide up federal funding for all of the states, was the same one in which she chaired the fundraiser for DeLay�s legal defense fund. Or was it the day she attended a fund raising event for Abramoff?

Our Texas conservative politicians are everything the Republican author rails against in the article quoted above. They bring shame on the House and Senate.

Mr. Davis supports Senator Hutchison because she is �classy� and �dignified.� Well I find dignity and class hard to find in someone who routinely and cynically votes against all legislation that will help the working people in this state. She favors an immigration policy that will ensure a revolving door of slave laborers to big business at the expense of the Texan unskilled worker. The senator has voted to slash benefits for our veterans. Our schools are next to last in the nation and yet Senator Hutchison voted against the bill, which would give $52M for 21st century community learning, centers in our schools.

Our state has among the highest amount of folks without health care in the U.S. Thank God for Mississippi! Do policies that systematically undermine the educational, economic and physical well being of the working people of this state qualify as classy and dignified, Mr. Davis?

Mr. or Ms. Savrola says the Senator is good on not raising taxes. Which means, the Senator is really good at ensuring the upper 1% of wage earners enjoy tax cuts. Everyone else gets a few bucks "

Friday, July 28, 2006

Condi Decorates the Living Room While the Bedroom is in Flames | The Huffington Post

The Blog | Joseph A. Palermo: Condi Decorates the Living Room While the Bedroom is in Flames | The Huffington Post: "Right-wing ideologues make poor diplomats. They are blind to the social, cultural, political, and religious nuances of the Middle East, and they are far too dedicated to the use of force. (William Kristol and other nut-bags are openly advocating US military action against Iran.) When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. Bush and Condi's 'transformational diplomacy,' and the glorification of war to solve complex human problems, can only lead to more bloodshed, as it has in Iraq."

Folks, get your survival kits ready. Condi and company are about to blow up the house.

Rice tickles the ivories while the mideast burns

Rice has Mideast on her mind at Asian summit - Yahoo! News: "KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took a day off from her bid to untangle the Middle East crisis, but fallout from the fighting trailed her to an East Asia security summit.

Rice flew all night from Europe to Malaysia to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF), after a crisis conference in Rome and visits to Beirut and Jerusalem.
But amid signs she could be preparing a return trip to the Middle East, she found new foreign policy problems, including opposition to Israel's Lebanon offensive and North Korea's intransigence on nuclear talks.
A senior State Department official said she would leave Malaysia on Friday, a day earlier than first thought -- but Rice refused to reveal her destination.
'I have not yet made a determination about my further travel,' Rice said.
'I am willing and ready to go back to the Middle East at any time,' she said at a press conference with Southeast Asian ministers and dialogue partners.
Earlier, when asked whether a new Middle East shuttle was being planned, Rice told reporters on her plane: 'Stay tuned.'"
Coupe de Boule

A song called "Headbutt" written the day after the World Cup final is set to become the smash hit of the summer in France less than three weeks after its release.

The track, inspired by France's star player Zinedine Zidane, who was sent off in the final for headbutting Italy's Marco Materazzi, was written in 30 minutes by three despondent French fans.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Congressional candidate Rick Bolanos to be featured on Discovery Channel

Rick Bolanos Featured in Discovery Channel Documentary
CONTACT: Rick Bolanos 915-584-4583

Rick Bolanos the democratic nominee for the 23rd congressional district in the November election, will be featured in a documentary about veterans who are running for office this year that will air on the Discovery Times Channel in the fall.

A camera crew is following Bolanos throughout his campaign said his aide Placido Salazar. Bolanos an educator and Vietnam Veteran is one of four campaigns that have been selected by the Discovery Channel to document. Cinematographers Brent and Craig Renaud are filming the series. The Renaud brothers ( ) are award winning film producers that recently filmed a documentary about a group of Reserves from Clarksville Arkansas that were activated and sent to Iraq.
The brothers spent 18 months embedded with the reservists and their documentary, which ran 10 episodes on the Discovery channel, was recognized for awards both nationally and internationally. Denise Arrigali, spokesperson for the producers said that Bolanos is one of 50 veterans vying for a congressional seat. She went on to say that the brothers are collectively known as the “Band of Brothers” and that at no other time in history have so many veterans run for national office at the same time.
Bolanos, who is one of the original band of brothers that campaigned extensively for John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election, said that the Band of Brothers are running because they disagree with how Republicans are handling the war in Iraq. From a female Army captain who lost both her legs in Iraq to dozens of Purple Heart veterans (Bolanos included) from the Iraq and Viet Nam wars the series will follow the stories of those veterans as they run for elected offices.

Sigh, the Discovery channel couldn't make it to progessivegranie's house for the fundraiser, pictured here:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Go 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds

In an electric car by Tesla Motors. You have to see this! Of course, it's quite pricey I am sure. blew it.

AlterNet: Blogs: Video: Code Pink crashes Iraqi PM's speech

AlterNet: Blogs: Video: Code Pink crashes Iraqi PM's speechMedea Benjamin speaks out. This is what you won't see on the news. CNN only mentions it in passing.

Media Matters - In Middle East conflict, other crises, conservative media find signs of Biblical prophecy of Armageddon

If this does not scare the heck out of you I don't know what will. These folks are actually HAPPY about war, death and destruction. It makes one think, when will they drop a nuke on Iran? This is NUTS!Media Matters - In Middle East conflict, other crises, conservative media find signs of Biblical prophecy of Armageddon: "In recent days, some members of the conservative media have seen signs of the Apocalypse in the escalated conflicts in the Middle East and Asia. While some, like Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club host Pat Robertson, consider the possibility and seem to reject it; others see early signs; still others, including columnist and author Hal Lindsey, simply assert: 'Now Armageddon looms large before us.'
As Media Matters for America has noted, on the July 12 edition of his CNN Headline News show, host Glenn Beck identified the current conflicts in the Middle East and India as evidence that 'it is the end of days' and later described the conflicts as 'World War III and the impending apocalypse.' Beck also stated that 'whether you like it or not, this is a religious war.' As Media Matters also noted, Beck and former CIA officer Robert Baer had a similar discussion on the July 13 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, during which Baer said: 'We can see this spreading into other countries. We are much closer to Armageddon.'"." On the July 18 edition of the program, Beck referred to the recent heat wave as "the apocalypse" and after showing a photo of a cat born with two faces, Beck said it was "further evidence, oh, yes, that the end of days is approaching quickly." He then asked: "How far away from the plague of locusts are we?" As Media Matters further noted, on the July 24 edition of the program, while discussing Iran, Beck said: "I truly believe these mullahs are far worse than Hitler. ... I believe these guys are biblically evil." He concluded: "We have a series starting tomorrow on the coming of the messiah."
In a July 22 commentary posted on titled "On the threshold of Armageddon?" Rev. Jerry Falwell, founder and chairman of the Moral Majority Coalition, wrote: "It is apparent, in light of the rebirth of the state of Israel, that the present-day events in the Holy Land may very well serve as a prelude or forerunner to the future Battle of Armageddon and the glorious return of Jesus Christ."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Israeli invasion of Lebanon was planned between top Israeli officials and members of the Bush administration.

I found this to be very interesting. Since the administration is so secretive, who knows what is really going on. Makes me wonder about a big October suprise. Just remember the PNAC group said prior to 9-11 that what they needed was another Pearl Harbor. Where does it go? If we follow the money we know it isn't going to the middle class anywhere in the world, but the PNAC guys aren't doing to badly.

July 24, 2006, Wayne Madsen Report
noted the following

The Israeli invasion of Lebanon was planned between top Israeli officials and members of the Bush administration. On June 17 and 18, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Likud Knesset member Natan Sharansky met with Vice President Dick Cheney at the American Enterprise Institute conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado. There, the impending Israeli invasions of both Gaza and Lebanon were discussed. After receiving Cheney's full backing for the invasion of Gaza and Lebanon, Netanyahu flew back to Israel and participated in a special 'Ex-Prime Ministers' meeting, in which he conveyed the Bush administration's support for the carrying out of the 'Clean Break' policy -- the trashing of all past Middle East peace accords, including Oslo. Present at the meeting, in addition to Netanyahu, were current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres. Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir is very old and suffers from dementia and Ariel Sharon remains in a coma after a series of strokes.

After the AEI meeting, Sharansky, who has the ear of Bush, met with the Heritage Foundation in Washington and then attended a June 29 seminar at Philadelphia's Main Line Haverford School sponsored by the Middle East Forum led by Daniel Pipes. Sharansky appeared with Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum who this past Thursday was beating the war drums against Syria, Iran, and 'Islamo-fascism" in a fiery speech at the National Press Club attended by a cheering section composed of members of the neocon Israel Project, on whose board Santorum serves along with Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Virginia GOP Rep. Tom Davis."

Dennis Kucinich: What Happened to the Soul of the Democratic Party? (Report from Washington archive)

Dennis Kucinich: What Happened to the Soul of the Democratic Party? : "Being a Democrat can no longer entail a laundry list of slightly less harmful policies than our opponents. The vision of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy as enunciated in the Book of Matthew must be returned to Congress. As you know, 'Fear Ends, Hope Begins' was the theme of my campaign for the Democratic nomination for President in 2004. I continue to call not just for new policies, but a renewed vision of a politics of trust and compassion based on our most basic values of caring for one another.
Who ever imagined that we would live in an America where the 'merciful' would be called soft on crime? Where those who 'mourn' would be called whiners and where the 'meek' would be told that arrogance is a virtue? Who ever imagined that the sacred role of 'peacemaker' as described by Matthew in the Beatitudes would be recast as a traitor? The inversion of truth and the perversion of our basic values must be challenged.
The path for our renewal based on these sacred values is clear. Living Wages, Advocacy of Universal Health Care, a new WPA jobs program funded from military waste, Universal Pre-Kindergarten, tuition-free college, protection of Social Security and all pensions, the green energy of wind, solar, hydrogen, peaceful exploration of space, participation in the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty, and the International Criminal Court are part of a vision of the America that can be, if we are willing to take a stand."


We already knew this, glad to see the ABA agrees!

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 24, 2006 � Presidential signing statements that
assert President Bush�s authority to disregard or decline to enforce laws
adopted by Congress undermine the rule of law and our constitutional system
of separation of powers, according to a report released today by a
blue-ribbon American Bar Association task force.

To address these concerns, the task force urges Congress to adopt
legislation enabling its members to seek court review of signing statements
that assert the President�s right to ignore or not enforce laws passed by
Congress, and urges the President to veto bills he feels are not constitutional.

In appointing the special task force Greco said, �The use of presidential
signing statements raises serious issues relating to the constitutional
doctrine of separation of powers.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bonilla Votes Against Bilingual Ballots

(Washington, DC)—During renewal of the Voting Rights Act in the House of Representatives yesterday, Congressman Henry Bonilla (TX-23) voted to restrict access to bilingual ballots, making it harder for Spanish-speaking citizens to cast their vote at the ballot box. By voting for an amendment that would strike down the language assistance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, Bonilla voted to roll back the clock and return Texas to the days of Jim Crow laws. [Roll Call Vote #372]

“Henry Bonilla’s vote for this modern day literacy test is a slap in the face of the Hispanic community both in Texas and across this nation,” said Texas Democratic Party spokesman Hector Nieto. “Discriminating against hard-working, taxpaying citizens because of their language ability goes against everything the Voting Rights Act stands for.”

Despite the fact that Rep. Bonilla’s district is 55% Hispanic, he still chose to turn his back on his constituents and his heritage by ensuring his Hispanic constituents aren’t given every opportunity to have their voice heard at the ballot box. Additionally, Bonilla’s congressional district, which was created under a Tom DeLay-inspired sham redistricting scheme, was recently ruled unconstitutional and a violation of the Voting Rights Act because Hispanic voting strength was unfairly diluted.

“Congressman Bonilla has already supported an unprecedented redistricting plan that disenfranchised thousands of Hispanic Texans. Yesterday, he took it a step further by placing his stamp of approval on another effort to suppress minority voters,” added Nieto. “Bonilla’s vote to weaken a monumental piece of legislation like the Voting Rights Act that protects the rights of millions of voters is more proof he has fallen out of step with the constituents in his majority-minority district and has instead joined the most extreme, divisive, and negative element in partisan politics.”

I say, shame on you Mr. Bonilla!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dear Mr. President (Pink)

As you beat the war drums again, and refuse to work for peace, can YOU sleep at night? You spoke today of the sanctity of human life as you vetoed the stem cell bill (which of course was only to make republicans look good for election purposes). We see through your machinations. I do not believe that you really know the value of a human life, unless its for a photo op.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Text of Bush's Speech at the NAACP

Wanna read some total bullshit? Bush's speech is a load of crap, it's half-truths and all out lies.

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Text of Bush's Speech at the NAACP:
"BUSH: Thank you all very much. Thank you very much. Bruce, thanks for your introduction. Bruce is a polite guy, I thought what he was going to say, it's about time you showed up. And I'm glad I did. See, I see this as a moment of opportunity. I have come to celebrate the heroism of the civil rights movement, and the accomplishments of the NAACP.
I want to talk about ways to build what the NAACP has always sought, a nation united, committed to destroying discrimination and extending to every American the full blessings, the full blessings, of liberty and opportunity. It's important to me. It's important to our nation. I come from a family committed to civil rights. My faith tells me that we're all children of God, equally loved, equally cherished, equally entitled to the rights He grants us all...These second founders, led by the likes of Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in the constitutional guarantees of liberty and equality. They trusted fellow Americans to join them in doing the right thing. They were leaders. They toppled Jim Crow through simple deeds: boarding a bus, walking along the road, showing up peacefully at courthouses or joining in prayer and song. Despite the sheriff's dogs, and the jailer's scorn, and the hangman's noose, and the assassin's bullets, they prevailed...[blah, blah] So we've been working together in helping the citizens along the Gulf Coast recover from one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history. [blah, blah] We've got a plan, and we've got a commitment. And the commitment is not only to work together, but it's a commitment to the people of the Gulf Coast of the United States, to see to it that their lives are better and brighter than before the storm. We also worked together to ensure that African Americans can take advantage of the new Medicare drug benefit.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

EWWWWW ! ! !

Bush gropes German Chancellor Merkel. Where is this man's brain? This is totally inappropriate behavior for ANY adult male in a work setting for crying out loud!

BBC NEWS | Americas | US House rejects gay marriage ban

Bombing in the middle east, civilians dying, killings in Darfur...AND THIS MATTERS?????? Total bullshit. Our so-called elected representatives only pander for the votes they think they will get with stupid stunts like this. I am glad to see that some people had a few brain cells to rub together! A gay marriage or civil union has nothing, NOTHING to do with my marriage for crying out loud, or anybody else's marriage for that matter!
BBC NEWS | Americas | US House rejects gay marriage ban: "The US House of Representatives has rejected a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, ending the congressional debate on the issue.
The motion was backed by 236 to 187 votes - 47 votes short of the two thirds majority needed to advance it.
The bill had already been defeated in the Senate, which blocked it in June.
President George W Bush had backed the amendment. Critics said he was trying to win back disillusioned Republicans for November's mid-term elections. "

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Voodoo Pregnancy Centers - Voodoo Pregnancy Centers: "So how much does Henry Waxman rock? You have to love the work he does. The report released yesterday from his office that 20 out of 23 federally funded pregnancy crises centers gave bogus information to their researchers really shouldn't be all that shocking. It's not like people (including Waxman) haven't been saying for years that many anti-abortion, anti-sex education programs are based on morality masquerading as science. So why should it be any different in centers that are designed to prevent abortions? We already know medical science isn't their top selling point. The report is chock full of horrible statements of untruth told to the pretend 17-year-olds from Waxman's office.

There's plenty of misleading information about breast cancer and sterility that's amusing in a funny-sad kind of way. But nothing is as stupid as the quotes about abortion causing mental instability because there's nothing as mentally calming as giving birth when you are 17 years old."

SCIENCE not garbage is what our children deserve. "Morality masquerading as science" is hurting everyone. Separation of church and state is imperative.

Required reading: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood...that is, if you learned critical thinking skills in school. This novel shows "the darker interconnections between politics and sex." (attribution: Washington Post Book World).

Detailed Review of Proposed Congressional Redistricting Plans

Perry/Craddick/Dewhurst Plan Excessively Partisan and Disruptive
Dem. Cong. Delegation Plan Narrowly Tailored, Protects Texas Seniority
Hispanic Advocacy Groups Make Bid for Extra South Texas District
Parties to the Texas Congressional Redistricting lawsuit filed maps and supporting briefs with the three-judge Federal District Court on Friday, July 14, 2006 suggesting ways to correct the Texas Congressional map (1374C) ruled illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court. The three-judge panel may choose one of the plans submitted, construct a map using one of the submissions as a basis, or craft a plan entirely its own.
All submitted plans can be viewed at the Texas Legislative Council redistricting website using their RedViewer link here.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pay Uncle Sam to get rescued from Lebanon

Crooks and Liars: "Uncle Sam comes through again
By: John Amato @ 5:57 PM - PDT
A message to the American citizens in Lebanon:
'The Department of State reminds American citizens that the U.S. government does not provide no-cost transportation but does have the authority to provide repatriation loans to those in financial need [emphasis mine]. For the portion of your trip directly handled by the U.S. Government we will ask you to sign a promissory note and we will bill you at a later date."

Wow the US govt strikes again. The usual "best of luck" statement. Whereas the British are thinking of performing another "Dunkirk-type" of rescue of their citizens. Why did the US not already have a plan in order since the middle east is such an unstable zone? Oh, snap! That would require brains, something sorely lacking in the Bush administration.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I Miss Monica

I Miss Monica This is hilarious!

Good Old Fashioned Stump Rally

Democrat Stump Rally
August 26 , 2006

In Bandera, Tx, "Cowboy Capital of the World"

Hear from Great Democrats like:
Chris Bell Barbara Ann Radnofsky
David Van Os Rick BolaƱos
Carlos Uresti Dale Henry
Valinda Hathcox Maria Alvarado
Jack Wright Don Roberts --and more

Mansfield Park Air Conditioned Pavilion
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Admission= Plate-Lunch Purchase $7.00 donation

Also Enjoy: Bar-B-Q Lunch, Refreshments, Desserts
Silent Auction, Entertainment

Hosted by The Bandera Democratic Club

Contact: Jaye Rath
Bandera County Democratic Chair
830 796-7320

In Kendall County, contact progressivegrannie (Sally) for tickets. The price is $7.00.

Bush to Putin...

‘We Certainly Would Not Want…The Same Kind of Democracy As They Have in Iraq’
During a press conference today at the G8 summit in Russia, President Bush told President Vladimir Putin that Americans want Russia to develop a free press and free religion “like Iraq.” To laughter and applause, Putin responded: “We certainly would not want to have same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, quite honestly.” CNN’s Ed Henry called it a “tough jab.”

Full transcript:

BUSH: I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq, where there’s a free press and free religion. And I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia will do the same thing. I fully understand, however, that there will be a Russian-style democracy.

PUTIN: We certainly would not want to have same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, quite honestly.

BUSH: Just wait.

Geez...our moron in chief in action. This is about as good as his roast pig and BBQ talk in Germany (groan).

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Henry Bonilla-a War Profiteer

A fellow Texan and veteran posted this information about Henry Bonilla. Henry has done nothing much for his constituents while in office, and certainly not much to show me that he is an ethical man. I am sure that the former Mrs. Bonilla could be more than enlightening on that subject.

BCDP News: Henry Bonilla-a War Profiteer: "By Larry Romo (Photo)
Chairman of the Texas DemVets



Congressman Henry Bonilla is a War Profiteer. In 2002, he owned through his spouse, tens of thousands of dollars in stock, Alliant Techsystems Inc., a defense contractor.

That same year the Alliant Techsystems, Inc. Employees Political Action Committee (PAC) gave him funds for his campaign. He has also received thousands of dollars in contributions from the same PAC in previous years.

The end of year 2002, Alliant Techsytems Inc, company report states that $1.25 billion dollars for Army munitions were appropriated by Congress to that company, $94 million more than even the Department of Defense requested. The company reports also states that Alliant Techsystems Inc. will get much more defense appropriations if the US goes to war in Iraq and will at a minimum get double digit earnings the next two years due to these appropriations.

Congressman Bonilla and his spouse made money on his Alliant Techsystems stock by the Appropriations Committee voting for this appropriation and made even more money when Congress voted for and we went to war in Iraq.

The more money appropriated to this defense contractor the more the stock price rises. This is highly unethical as he is profiting from the war. Bonilla with his position on the House Appropriations Subcommittee unethically used his position to enrich himself.

A congressman should not be a WAR PROFITEER especially when they vote to send off our young men and women off to war and he is making money off their efforts and the taxpayers.

Bonilla�s 2002 Personal Financial Disclosure"

Operation !

Remember the game Operation? Well, you can play it Bush-administration style right here.

Rick Bolanos visits Boerne, rocks the house!

What a great evening! Food, friends, and spirited discussion. Rick Bolanos, Congressional Candidate in Tx district 23....the most gerrymandered district in Texas according to the court....came by for the evening. Spirits were high and the discussion was extremely animated, particularly when it came to the potential changes in our district before Nov. 2006. Rick spoke about his Congressional ethics complaint lodged against Henry Bonilla, who helped finance the redistricting efforts in Texas, in violation of ethics rules. As noted in an El Paso Times article.

Redistricting is a major discussion right now in District 23. The consensus of opinion was that this will probably end up being another, and worse gerrymander in order to save either Henry Bonilla or Henry Cuellar, and will not actually do anything to protect the voting rights of Hispanics in District 23. It's a shameful thing.

We had a great time, enjoying the company of the best of folks from Bandera, Kendall and Bexar county, awesome food, and fresh popcorn for the movie "The Big Buy" about Tom DeLay. An appropriate movie for those of us in District 23, who were screwed in the gerrymandering, thanks to DeLay.

I believe the Dems in this three county area are some of the best cooks around. After all, the world's best chicken mole was provided by Placido's wife...hats off to you dear madam! Yep folks, this is Texas, where we can be multicultural not only in our friendships, but also with our food. Potluck dinners bring a host of foods from the melting pot that is Texas. Yum!

Friday, July 14, 2006 :: Straight Talk 2006 - Introduction :: Straight Talk 2006 - Introduction: "Introduction to Straight Talk 2006
As Straight Talk 2006 is published, the catastrophic conservatism of George Bush and the DeLay Congress is collapsing. Americans have turned against the signature Bush initiatives: the war in Iraq, privatization of Social Security, trickle-down economics and the Big Oil energy policy. Katrina exposed the lethal incompetence, cronyism and corruption that is the hallmark of the Bush administration and the DeLay Congress. The GOP coalition is splintering. The religious right's extremism�Schiavo, stem cell research, attacks on science�alienates most Americans. DeLay is gone. Bush has moved from swagger to sorry.
The vast majority of Americans want the country to move in a dramatically different direction. Progressives have the opportunity to challenge the grip that the right has had on our imaginations and our policies over the past quarter century.
Straight Talk is designed to serve up ammunition for that challenge. It provides activists and candidates the basics on how to argue our case. "

The moron strikes again, an embarrassment in Germany

You should see the broadcasts, it's horrible. He is being asked intelligent questions, but all he can talk about it pork! Hmmmm....maybe he is really thinking about the US greenback kind of port? Roast pig guest-stars on Bush visit to Germany�|� "STRALSUND, Germany (Reuters) - President Bush had more on his mind than Iran's nuclear program, Middle East tensions and Russian press freedoms during a visit to Germany Thursday.
He kept mentioning a wild boar, slaughtered and roasted according to local tradition, that he planned to share at a dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her home constituency at a Baltic resort.
'I'm looking forward to the feast you're going to have tonight. I understand I may have the honor of slicing the pig,' Bush told Merkel at the outset of their joint news conference in Stralsund, north of Berlin."

You go girl!

Plame sues Cheney, Rove in leak case�|� "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband sued Vice President Dick Cheney, top White House aide Karl Rove and others on Thursday for their role in disclosing her classified CIA employment."

Baghdad Burning

Baghdad Burning: "Tuesday, July 11, 2006


It promises to be a long summer. We're almost at the mid-way point, but it feels like the days are just crawling by. It's a combination of the heat, the flies, the hours upon hours of no electricity and the corpses which keep appearing everywhere.

The day before yesterday was catastrophic. The day began with news of the killings in Jihad Quarter. According to people who live there, black-clad militiamen drove in mid-morning and opened fire on people in the streets and even in houses. They began pulling people off the street and checking their ID cards to see if they had Sunni names or Shia names and then the Sunnis were driven away and killed. Some were executed right there in the area. The media is playing it down and claiming 37 dead but the people in the area say the number is nearer 60."

This is a very moving blog posting. I have never experienced war, although I served in the US military. I was born during the Korean War, in an Asian country, where the populace made vases out of left over mortar shells, and my sister found the body of a downed US pilot. But, I know nothing of those things. I was too young. My knowledge of a conflict like this comes from a friend, a new US citizen, originally from Bosnia. Her stories of the war and genocide are innumberable and tragic, a picture of hatred and man's inhumanity to man. I found it interesting that in the former Yugolavia, as in Iraq, people can identify each other's ethnic origin by their names. I did not grow up learning that, although you knew some names signified a certain country of origin, it was not of great importance. Some kids were from Italy, some from Russia, some from other places, but all I knew is that their mothers made great food and were just like my Mom. However, as my friend told me, in Bosnia, if you had a Muslim name, you were a target to the Serbs. She speaks of seeing trucks go by that we full of dead bodies, covered in tarps to hide the evidence, but an arm or a leg might be sticking out. She fled at one point to the woods where they had nothing to eat, and no shelter, and of her fear. Eventually she made it to a refugee camp, pregnant, and starving. From that camp, she came to this country and became an proud US citizen and a Democrat. She believes in the values that many of our citizens have forgotten in their quest for money and greed. That all of us are created equal, that we can all suceed, and that we do not discriminate.
So, aren't these the values our President speaks so highly of? If so, why is it that we invaded a country for no reason, and subjected their people to continuous strife and hardship? Why haven't we fixed the electricity? Why do we allow this sectarian violence to continue? We stopped the genocide in Bosnia, but in Iraq we ignore the violence of one group upon another. This will bring democracy? I don't think so.
Why can't we all learn to celebrate our differences? Well, I believe corporate greed and oil have a lot to do with that. Such a sad state of affairs. May Allah bless Riverbend and her family, and some day grant them peace. The sooner the better.
Our nation did the right thing 41 years ago

An eloquent statement about how we, the people, ALL of us deserve the right to VOTE without impediment.
Have you ever crossed the Edmund Pettis bridge in Selma? It is like going back in time. I (a white woman) was ill, and had chest pain. We stopped at a gas station in Selma. My husband asked an older black man where the nearest hospital was, and he said, we could not go to that hospital but he would lead us to another one. He got into his truck and took us to a local hospital where I was cared for immediately. We asked why he took us across town...but we knew the answer. Some things have not changed (this was in the 1990's) but the voting rights act of 1965 changed part of what is wrong. Let us remind our elected "represntatives" that we want to keep something that was done right...the Voting Rights Act of 1964. They MUST renew it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Maxine Waters on renewal of the voting rights act

Sadly there were elected "representatives" who don't want to renew this act. Many people suffered and died for civil rights back in the day, which I remember personally. We do not need to go back to the days of Jim Crow, but evidently some folks want to. Maxine Waters is an excellent voice against these bigots. God Bless her.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gutting Labor Rights for Nurses and more...

Read on my brothers and sisters in the healthcare professions. You think you are screwed now? Two floors too much for you to manage there Mr/Ms RN? Looks like it will just be getting worse. My suggestion? Call SEIU and organize before you end up a slave to the corporation.

Gutting Labor Rights for Nurses -- and Millions of Others
by Nathan Newman
This week, nurses are rallying across the country to protest likely decisions by the National Labor Relations Board that would declare hundreds of thousands of Registered Nurses (RNs) to be "supervisors" under the law and therefore stripped of any protection under federal labor law. If these rulings go as expected, those RNs could be fired at will if they say anything positive about unions or are even suspected of being in favor of unions.
The core of the problem derives from the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act which denies labor rights to "supervisors", meaning that anyone deemed a supervisor can be fired at will if they say anything nice about unions or try to take action to support unions in their workplace.
Once upon a time, it was generally understood that a supervisor was someone who had some degree of power to hire and fire those below them, but the in a series of decisions, the courts and NLRB have expanded the meaning of supervisor to mean people who, because of their expertise, direct the actions of other employees in some way. Now, originally "progressionals" were specifically designated as retaining their right to unionize, but increasingly any professional actions that involve directing other workers actions essentially guts that protection for professionals' right to organize.
Back in the 1990s, the Clinton-appointed National Labor Relations Board had made a strong pro-union ruling in Kentucky River Community Care, stating that where nursing professionals had no power to discipline, fire or hire other employees, RNs overseeing nursing homes using "ordinary professional or technical judgment in directing less-skilled employees" would not be classified as supervisors since they were exercising their judgement for the benefit of patients not employers.
But the Supreme Court in 2001, by a 5-4 split vote between conservatives and liberal Justices, overruled the Clinton NLRB and barred unionization by that group of registered nurses with even nominal oversight of other nurses. So the question became what would happen to the right of RNs not in nursing homes but in hospitals where their authority is even more restricted. A limited bad ruling would deny labor rights to lead RNs, known as "charge" nurses, who oversee other nurses, but many anti-union employers and management attorneys are pushing for a ruling that would deny labor rights to all RNs.
And here's the kicker-- once a group of nominal "supervisors" lose their labor rights and can be threatened with being fired, they are forced to become anti-union shock troops to spy on other employees and undermine unionization by other workers. So not only could this kind of decision threaten unions for RNs, it threatens the labor rights of workers throughout the health care industry.
This is all part of a trend where the NLRB and the courts, without any legislative change, have been overturning decades of rules to deny workers rights to a wide range of employees previously protected under the law. This American Rights at Work memo outlines additional attacks on labor rights by the Bush NLRB in recent years:
July 2004: Graduate teaching and research assistants were deemed students and not employees, making them ineligible for [labor law] protection.
September 2004: The Labor Board determined that disabled workers who receive rehabilitative services from employers should not be classified as workers and are, therefore, ineligible to form unions under the protections of federal law.
November 2004: Employees of temp agencies were barred from organizing with regular employees without both employer and agency permission.
This is on top of a range of other rulings that have weakened protections for workers still covered by labor law but now subject to be fired if they stand up for their rights in the workplace.
But this attack on RNs as nominal "supervisors" could lead to one of the largest number of workers stripped of their labor rights in modern history. It's not surprising that this attack is coming now, as the health care industry has become one of the most successful areas for union organizing in recent years. As California Nurses Association (CNA) Director Rose Ann DeMoro has said:
"Corporate hospital employers also want to roll back the progress of a predominantly female work force which has finally begun to win the compensation and retirement security commensurate with their expertise and education after years of low pay and substandard benefits and pensions, and return to the days when nurses had few rights at the bedside."
So this is a dangerous attack on workers in the health industry, but the anti-union right-wing knows that a ruling against nurses could cascade through other workplaces as employers strategically hand nominal supervisory roles to various workers to strip them of their labor rights. It's typical of the quiet but steady legal assault on workers free speech and right to organize in American workplaces.
* * *
Nathan Newman is a lawyer, policy analyst and longtime community and labor activist. He is Policy Director for the Progressive States Network, a nonprofit that supports state legislative campaigns for economic and social justice. He also writes at TPMCafe and at his own long-established blog at and can be contacted at

Fight Ignorance: Read - It's The Conservatism, Stupid

This is why you can't argue with your repugnant conservative relatives. Of course we know they are stupid, but here's why:

Paul Waldman
July 12, 2006

Ask a conservative what the biggest problem in America is today, and you'll get answers like overtaxation, a sexualized culture, lack of respect for authority, insufficient church-going or big government running amok. But if you then asked the conservative what the real source of the problem was the beating heart pumping blood to each and all of these socio-politico-cultural wounds-you'd get the same answer: liberalism.
On the other hand, you could ask a liberal a hundred questions about the problems facing our country before you'd get to an answer that placed conservatism at the heart of the nation's ills.
And conservatives learn these messages when still young. What does a "campus liberal" do? Well, it depends what his or her issue is: fighting sweatshop labor, or environmental degradation, or the Iraq war, or any of a dozen other problems about which liberals are concerned. What, on the other hand, does a "campus conservative" do? Fight liberals and liberalism."link to full article
The Daily Show - Northa Korea

"The Daily Show” host uses a montage of video clips of Bush alternately dismissing and praising the use of diplomacy in dealing with WMD-bent dictators like Saddam Hussein and North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il."

The world, at least the middle east, is going to hell in a handbasket, and Jon Stewart can put a face on it that even the uninformed can understand. Thanks Jon.
After all, if I can't laugh about it once in awhile, I will just cry. Look at today, basically Israel has gone to war with its neighbors, and there are no signs they will be quitting any time soon. Obviously this will only get worse. Our fearless leader is clueless and thinks diplomacy just wastes time. Who will he piss off again? Or more? There is no US foreign policy...or maybe there conquest by corporations, whilst screwing the mythical little guy. War means profits for the big guys in DC while our kids get sent off to do their dirty work. PIGS!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Fear as a Weapon

Fear as a Weapon: "That we are a strong enough nation to defeat terrorism without fundamentally changing our nation is a message that Americans are clearly ready to hear. We are more than four years away from September 11, 2001, and despite the dire warnings of the Bush administration, people in rural Kansas and suburban Georgia and everywhere else are beginning to realize that on the list of problems and threats that endanger their children and impede their dreams, the potential of a terrorist attack does not predominate. In a rational world, risk is equal to impact multiplied by probability. As the Linguasphere Dictionary puts it: �In professional risk assessment, risk combines the probability of a negative event occurring with how harmful that event would be.� But the administration has spent four years urging Americans to ignore that way of thinking and instead assent to any government measure,no matter the costs of comparative harms, as long as it is pursued in the name of fighting this ultimate evil. "

If you have time, please read this article. Winston Churchill was right when he said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

2006 World Cup

"Secret Weapon France vs. Italy is a worthy final matchup, but the big names won't decide the outcome, says coaching veteran Thomas Rongen -- a certain X-factor could tip the scale in Les Bleus' favor."

Italy vs. France - the game is on July 8!
Can't wait!

My only wish is that I could be sitting in a pub in Germany with some great beer and some fun football fans while watching this game. We did that 4 years ago in the lead up to the finals...sat in an English pub in Cologne (Koln) and had a ball!

Media Matters - Coulter dodges CNN cameras

Media Matters - Coulter dodges CNN cameras: "TERENCE JEFFREY (Human Events editor): Does anyone really think that Ann Coulter is trying to plagiarize Planned Parenthood? Ann is not a reporter, she's a commentator. She takes her facts from other sources." (emphasis mine)

Isn't taking your facts from other sources akin to plagiarism? Love the spin on this one.

The Amazing Adventures of "Hollister Boy"

Hollister, the new fad in kids clothing. To me, Hollister means colostomy bags, LOL. To kids it's an image thing. As you will note, the company picture from their web site is akin to Abercrombie and Fitch. I learned some interesting things from "Hollister Boy," a young friend of one of my kids. First of all, you can't be ugly or fat or out of shape to work at Hollister. You must maintain a "Hollister-like" image both at work and on your days off. Weekends you must wear Hollister clothing in OD green (army green), but you have to buy the clothing out of your meager salary.
As my young friend says, Hollister is a white people's thing, a way they can think they look "cool." He was quietly outraged about orientation. They watched a film about the Hollister "image" which showed well dressed white kids making fun of a kid not dressed in Hollister clothing, a nerd, noting that they must "help" him because he looked so stupid. The orientation, to his surprise, did not focus on the usual items found in corporate orientation, like customer, it was about image. They must wear tight clothing to accentuate their great bodies, and males must make sure to show off their "packages." Thankfully our "Hollister Boy" has his head screwed on straight and can see some humor in the ridiculous job requirements. He sees it as playing a roll while at work, right down to the absolutely stupid manner in which they are encouraged to address customers, for example "Hey bro". He finds it all a bit racist and condescending. More as the adventures go on....

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ann Coulter-geist

Keith Olbermann found out that Ann Coulter isn’t disputing the plagiarism charges leveled against her by The NY Post. Isn’t that odd? Instead, she’s fighting back by calling it " New York’s second crappiest paper." That’s pretty lame. However, this latest rant is pretty sick even for her.

Olbermann: But our winner…

Not the plaigarism stuff — something new. She told a Denver radio station that while Liberals opposed people’s rights to smoke in restaurants, they seemed not to be worried about the health consequences of quote "polymorphous perversity." She concluded sarcastically — quoting again — "anal sex and fisting, that’s part of our deepest privacy rights."
Ann — euuuuhhhh…One of my producers proposed this headline "Woman With Adam’s Apple Denounces Anal Sex And Fisting."

Ann Coultergeist… today’s Worst… Person… In The World!

Redistricting news

July 7, 2006
Contact: Matt Angle
On the web at

Texas U.S. Supreme Court Decision
Mid-Decade and Partisan Redistricting Unchecked, African American Voting Rights Ignored, South Texas Map Scramble Underway

While the Supreme Court’s Texas decision was split 5/4, included six separate opinions and over 132 pages of text, the bottom line is clear:

The Court did not step in to halt mid-decade redistricting;
There is virtually no conceivable circumstance in which the Court will find illegal partisan gerrymandering;
Regardless of whether African Americans repeatedly demonstrate political control of a district, their voting rights will not be protected unless their voting age population in the district is at or near a raw majority; and
Hispanic districts with a clear majority of registered voters and demonstrating the potential ability to elect the candidate of their choice will continue to be protected.
The following Lone Star Project analysis is divided into two parts. Part One deals with plaintiff claims the Supreme Court rejected. Part Two looks at some various map options that may be offered to the Federal District Court

Part One
Green Light to Mid-Decade Redistricting
The Court refused to block mid-decade redistricting. The Court disagreed with the Jackson Plaintiffs who argued that mid-decade redistricting is illegal when the sole purpose is partisan gain and with the Travis County Plaintiffs who argued that mid-decade redistricting violated the one person-one vote principle because the census information used was outdated. The result of the Court’s opinion is that any state or locality, for solely political reasons, may engage in mid-decade redistricting to take advantage of, or to head-off, a change in the political fortunes of one party or the other.

Partisan Redistricting – It Quacks and Waddles, But It’s Not a Duck
While acknowledging that the sole purpose and ultimate result of the Republican redistricting effort in Texas was to guarantee the election of Republicans at the expense of Democrats, the Court refused to find illegal partisan gerrymandering. Most observers agree with the Washington Post’s opinion that although the Court, “again formally leaves open the question of whether any gerrymander could be bad enough to warrant judicial intervention. But if Texas's case is not bad enough, then the one that is can exist only in some place other than the real world.” (Source: The Washington Post, Editorial, July 5, 2006)

African Americans Voting Rights Discounted
The Court was unmoved by the detailed analysis conducted by both Republican and Democratic experts that demonstrated African Americans in a Fort Worth based congressional district (CD24) had consistently demonstrated that they dominated and controlled the Democratic primary and that their candidate of choice always won the General Election. Instead, the Court cited that the District was only 21 percent voting age African American and relied on non-expert witness testimony. Specifically, they used the comments of now defeated African American former State Representative Ron Wilson who worked with Republicans throughout the redistricting effort. They also took a comment made by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson out of context to justify their decision. Congresswoman Johnson’s quote was actually made when commenting about a different district in an earlier plan and NOT the district and plan that was before the Court. To read the conflicting expert and non-expert testimony, click here

Part Two
South Texas Map Scramble
The Supreme Court struck down Congressional District 23, represented by Henry Bonilla, ruling that the Republican Legislature violated the Voting Rights Act when it removed over 100,000 Hispanics from CD23 reducing its voting age Hispanic population from 63 percent to only 50.9 percent (source: Texas Legislative Council) and attempted to replace the district with a newly drawn Hispanic CD25 now represented by Lloyd Doggett. The Court ruled that Hispanic voting strength in CD23 was reduced in order to protect Henry Bonilla and that CD25 was not sufficiently compact to serve as a “replacement” Hispanic district. The Court has ordered all parties to the suit to present their proposed maps by July 14, 2006.

A scramble is now underway among Republicans representing the State of Texas, Members of Congress and Hispanic advocacy groups to construct a newly drawn plan. Each has their own priorities which will be reflected in their submissions to the Court. Below are some approaches we can expect to see.

Key Target Figures to look for in CD23
The Court determined that Hispanic Voting strength was sapped in CD23 just as Hispanics were on the verge of controlling the District. With this in mind, it is reasonable to suppose that the District Court will require that any remedy to CD23 restore its Hispanic percentages to their previous levels. They were as follows:

Total Hispanic Population - 66.8%
Voting Age Hispanic Population - 63.0%
Citizen Voting Age Population - 57.4%
Percentage Hispanic Registered Voter - 55.3%
Further, the District Court may not accept any map that materially reduces these key racial numbers in any of the other Voting Rights protected Districts in South Texas which are CD15 (Hinojosa), CD16 (Reyes), CD20 (Gonzalez), CD28 (Cuellar).

Potential Re-Map Options
Under a precedent set in the Supreme Court case Upham v. Seamon, the District Court is required to impose a “narrowly tailored” remedy, which requires that any new map (remedy) be limited to correcting the violation of law the Court has found. With this in mind, the options described below are those that would impact relatively few districts. It is assumed that options rippling across the entire State, or far outside South Texas, will not be seriously considered by the District Court.

All of Webb County into CD28 Option

All of Webb County would be moved into CD28 (Cuellar).
The Hispanic population in CD23 (Bonilla) would be increased by moving West Texas Hispanics currently in CD11 (Conaway) and Bexar County Hispanics in CD28 (Cuellar) into CD23.
This also may require population shifts within Bexar County involving CD20 (Gonzalez).
Hill Country Republicans currently in CD23 would move to CD11 (Conaway).
This option may, or may not, include changes in CD25 (Doggett).
Who might support? This option may be favored by Henry Cuellar and some congressional Republicans because it would increase Cuellar’s Webb County base, would not “pair” Bonilla with Cuellar, and it would add relatively low turnout West Texas and Bexar Hispanics to CD23, thus presenting less of a threat to Bonilla.
Who might oppose? Conaway and Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, may object to significant changes to CD11, especially the deep cuts into Ector and Midland Counties that might be required under this option. Also, if map drawers attempt to shift population in Bexar County and impact CD20 (Gonzalez), then Gonzalez may object.
Cautionary Note: CD20 (Gonzalez) is a Voting Rights protected district. Any shifts in population that result in lower Hispanic percentages may not be accepted by the Court.

All of Webb County to CD23 Option
This option most directly addresses the specific concerns of the Supreme Court

Webb County in its entirety would return to Bonilla’s 23rd District.
CD28 (Cuellar) would, in turn, pick up new Hispanic voters in Hidalgo and other nearby S. Texas Counties from CD25 (Doggett).
CD25 would shift northward picking up voters in and around Travis County from CD21 (L. Smith).
CD21 (L. Smith) would reclaim Republican Hill Country Counties currently in CD23.
Who might support? Travis County plaintiffs would likely support the notion of creating a clearly Austin-based district as this option would do. Also, Democrats who have been disappointed and often angered by Cuellar’s consistent support for President Bush, Governor Perry, and Republican House initiatives will like the idea of moving Cuellar’s base out of CD28, leaving it open for a more trustworthy Democrat. Finally, Hispanic advocacy organizations might favor an option that clearly returns the Hispanic voting strength that was removed from CD23, while addressing the Court’s concerns about CD25 compactness.
Who might oppose? It is doubtful Cuellar, Bonilla or Congressional Republicans would like this option. Because Bonilla draws very little support from Hispanic voters, Bonilla’s re-election would be in jeopardy by a return of all of Webb County and the loss of strong Hill Country GOP supporters. Cuellar would not want to be “paired” with Bonilla, who beat him by over 6,000 votes in a head-to-head match-up in 2002.

Leave Districts 28 and 25 Alone Option
Some believe that because the Supreme Court did not specifically direct that CD25 (Doggett) or CD28 (Cuellar) must be changed, that a map may be accepted that leaves them unchanged. This line of thought asserts that the Court simply directed that CD23 (Bonilla) be restored as a Hispanic opportunity district. It is possible to enhance the Hispanic population in CD23 without disturbing the current boundaries of CD28 or CD25.

Move Hispanics from CD11 (Conaway) into CD23.
Replace CD11 population with Hill Country and other West Texas Anglos now in CD23.
Shift population within Bexar County between CD23, CD20 (Gonzalez) and CD21 (L. Smith) to increase the overall Hispanic population of CD23.
Who might support? Congressional Republicans and Bonilla might see this as a better option than moving all of Webb back into CD23. Cuellar would also like the idea of CD28 remaining a Webb based district, not being “paired” with Bonilla and not facing a new primary. Some Hispanic advocacy groups might like the idea of CD23 being enhanced while also maintaining a heavily Hispanic CD25 (Doggett), which would leave seven rather than six majority Hispanic Districts that are S. Texas based.
Who might oppose? Charlie Gonzalez would not want to be embroiled in correcting a problem he has skillfully avoided. It is important to note that Gonzalez’s district 20 is a Voting Rights Act protected district and thus Hispanic voting strength cannot be reduced to any significant degree. Also, Travis County would like changes to be made in CD25 that would return it to an Austin-based District. Finally, the District Court may be leery of ordering a map that leaves CD25 untouched since the Supreme Court stated that it was not “sufficiently compact” to be considered an effective Hispanic district and indicated CD25 would likely change as a result of remedying the voting discrimination against Hispanics that the Republican Legislature did in dismantling District 23.
Cautionary Note: CD20 (Gonzalez) is a Voting Rights protected district. Any shifts in population that result in lower Hispanic percentages may not be accepted by the Court.

Hinojosa Option
Many Democrats and some Hispanic advocacy groups remain concerned that Hispanic voting strength in CD15 (Hinojosa) was significantly weakened under the current Republican-drawn map. Hispanic voting age population in the CD15 was reduced from 74.3 percent to 64 percent. In reviewing the plan, voting rights experts in the Department of Justice specifically noted that Hispanic voting strength in CD15 had been reduced to the point that it may not consistently perform as an effective Hispanic District. (Source: DOJ Section 5 Recommendation Memorandum, December 12, 2003)

An option to correct this would:

Move all of Webb County into CD23 (Bonilla).
Move some of the Hidalgo County population now in CD25 (Doggett) into CD28 (Cuellar).
Shift the remaining Hidalgo County population into CD15 (Hinojosa).
Contract (CD25) to the North and absorb new population in and around Travis County now in CD10 (McCall) and perhaps CD21 (L. Smith).
Rural counties to the north currently in CD15 would move into CD10 (McCall). GOP Hill Country counties now in CD23 would move to CD21 (L. Smith).
Who might support? Hidalgo County and Ruben Hinojosa may favor this type of solution. Also, Democrats who are concerned about the long-term viability of CD15 might like the idea.
Who might oppose the plan? Both Cuellar and Bonilla would likely oppose this approach. Also, those who are concerned that this approach does not meet the “narrowly tailored” requirement.

Will the Remedy Be Enforced in 2006?
While it is not unprecedented for the Court to allow an election to go forward before correcting a Voting Rights Violation, doing so is unusual. Most observers expect that the Court will order its remedy enforced in the 2006 election.

Texas Precedent
The precedent in Texas was set in 1996, when a three-judge Federal District Court ruled that three Texas Districts were unconstitutional and ordered a remedy that changed a total of 13 of 30 districts. Under this scenario:

The Court would vacate the already conducted 2004 primary in effected districts and order an “open” or “Louisiana Style” primary wherein all candidates from either party file and run together on the same ballot.
The primary would take place on the General Election date parallel to the regular General Election.
In any district in which one candidate does not garner more than 50 percent of the vote, a run-off is held 30 days later involving the top two finishers.
In 1996, Nick Lampson (CD9), Ken Bentsen (CD25) and Kevin Brady (CD8) were elected to Congress in December run-offs.
An important note to remember is that under this scenario “straight-ticket” votes would not be recorded in the congressional races. Voters who cast a “straight ticket” ballot would have to also mark their specific preference for Congress.

Hate Groups Are Infiltrating the Military, Group Asserts - New York Times

Hate Groups Are Infiltrating the Military, Group Asserts - New York Times: "July 7, 2006
Hate Groups Are Infiltrating the Military, Group Asserts
A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed 'large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists' to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist Web sites and magazines.
'We've got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad,' the group quoted a Defense Department investigator as saying in a report to be posted today on its Web site, 'That's a problem.'
A Defense Department spokeswoman said officials there could not comment on the report because they had not yet seen it.
The center called on Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to appoint a task force to study the problem, declare a new zero tolerance policy and strictly enforce it.
The report said that neo-Nazi groups like the National Alliance, whose founder, William Pierce, wrote 'The Turner Diaries,' the novel that was the inspiration and blueprint for Timothy J. McVeigh's bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, sought to enroll followers in the Army to get training for a race war.
The groups are being abetted, the report said, by pressure "

This is very frightening. Can you imagine a Balkans-style ethnic cleansing in our country? Perhaps it hits home to me because I have a friend from Bosnia who survived the war, was taken prisoner, and lived to tell about it. Her stories are blood curdling. This type of behavior should have been nipped in the bud, but again, The Pentagon seems to be ignoring this issue, as they have many others.
Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers - Trailer

If there’s one movie I’m anxiously awaiting this year it’s Robert Greenwald’s Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers. It’s a subject that gets almost no media coverage but should be making the blood pressure of all the Angry Dad Jack Caffertys in the world reach the boiling point. I’m proud to say I’m on the list of the 3010 people who donated $5, $10, $50 at a time to make this movie possible. Thanks so much to Robert who has kindly made a copy of the new trailer available on YouTube for our readers to see.

For those interested in the topic, our own Matt O. has been doing a fantastic weekly series every Saturday at 4pm PT/7pm ET. It’s really important stuff. Time to take the country back from the kleptocrats.

Bush does Chicago

President Bush Holds a News Conference in Chicago:
The Prez says: "Major companies have announced plans to add even more jobs.This morning we got some good news: The nation added 121,000 new jobs for the month of June. That's over 5.4 million jobs since August of 2003. That's 34 months of job increases.
First quarter, our economy grew at 5.6 percent. Productivity is high. People are better off. Things are working.

Whereas, CNN Money noted: Stocks tumbled Friday, with the Dow and Nasdaq closing down over 1 percent, after disappointing corporate news and the monthly jobs report pointed to slowing growth and rising inflationary pressure in the world's largest economy. link

Is Bush on crack? Gas prices are up, wages are stagnant, it's nearly impossible to send a kid to college, and economically speaking for the middle class, it sucks. Of course, if you saw him on Larry King live last night, you understand that he is totally deluded, and has no clue about what the rest of the US or the world, for that matter, are feeling right now.

Pledge to vote for peace


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Until Then

slide show
An excellent slide show of picture from Iraq. Take a few minutes to watch, then spend some time contacting our government about equipping them properly and getting them home.
Support Lt. WatadaHis moral and ethical reasons for refusing duty in Iraq are of value and we should pay

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

CIA Reportedly Disbands Bin Laden Unit

"A CIA unit that had hunted for Osama bin Laden and his top deputies for a decade has been disbanded, according to a published report.
Citing unnamed intelligence officials, The New York Times reported Tuesday that the unit, known as 'Alec Station,' was shut down late last year. The decision to close the unit, which predated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was first reported Monday by National Public Radio.
Osama bin Laden speaks in this 1998 file photo at a meeting at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. Bin Laden urged Iraqi militants in an Internet message Saturday July 1, 2006 to continue fighting the U.S.-led coalition in Baghdad, or else 'all the capitals in the region will fall to the crusaders.' The message also endorsed Abu Hamza al-Muhajer as the new leader for his terror network al-Qaida in Iraq, succeeding Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed last month in a U.S. airstrike."

So where is Bin Laden? IMHO, holed up at home in Saudi, and issuing tapes whenever Bush needs a boost in his poll numbers. Call me a cynic, but this report shows that when Bush said he doesn't think about Osama Bin Laden, it is true. Why care Mr. Bush? You have other fish to fry, your Iraq war that was not necessary.
And....about North Korea? Gosh you think that's a problem?full article

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Daily Kos: Right-Wing Blog Asks Readers to "Hunt Down" Info About NYT Editors' Children

Daily Kos: Right-Wing Blog Asks Readers to "Hunt Down" Info About NYT Editors' Children: "Let me just sum up the known facts here, and for the best big treatment of the story go see Glenn Greenwald.
The short story is that what passes for the conservative braintrust these days -- a collection of repulsive little scabs no smarter than their own shoes -- has seized upon an article in the New York Times' Travel section describing the small town of St. Michaels, Maryland, home to the vacation homes of numerous famous and wealthy Americans, notable among them Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. There's a picture there of Rumsfeld's driveway.
This, the right-wing bloggers assert, is an intentional 'exposure' of Cheney and Rumsfeld to terrorists, done with malice by the New York Times. No, I'm not kidding.
There's only a few problems with this 'theory', as Greenwald admirably points out with the help of others in the blogosphere. First, noting the astonishing fact that Cheney and Rumsfeld have vacation homes in St. Michaels is hardly new information. In addition to being public information, it was printed in a similar soft story in the Washington Post last year. So did, in fact, NewsMax -- one of the rightwing outlets now pretending that publishing that information now is treason.
Second, the New York Times printed a similar story in 2003 about the Clinton's Chappaqua home, demonstrating that these puff pieces are, golly gee, done all the time. Guess how many right-wing bloggers had a very public and ceremonially overdressed cow over that one? Yeah.
So essentially, this 'affront' to the delicate sensibilities of these overstuffed sausages known as the 'right' is a completely bogus story. It's all spin; there's no 'there'. None. NewsMax itself could tell you where Cheney lived -- they even cited the Wa"

Can't Win the War? Bomb the Press!

Frank Rich | Can't Win the War? Bomb the Press!: "Can't Win the War? Bomb the Press!
By Frank Rich
The New York Times
Sunday 02 July 2006
Old Glory lost today,' Bill Frist declaimed last week when his second attempt to rewrite the Constitution in a single month went the way of his happy prognosis for Terri Schiavo. Of course it isn't Old Glory that lost when the flag-burning amendment flamed out. The flag always survives the politicians who wrap themselves in it. What really provoked Mr. Frist's crocodile tears was the foiling of yet another ruse to distract Americans from the wreckage in Iraq. He and his party, eager to change the subject in an election year, just can't let go of their scapegoat strategy. It's illegal Hispanic immigrants, gay couples seeking marital rights, cut-and-run Democrats and rampaging flag burners who have betrayed America's values, not those who bungled a war.
No sooner were the flag burners hustled offstage than a new traitor was unveiled for the Fourth: the press. Public enemy No. 1 is The New York Times, which was accused of a 'disgraceful' compromise of national security (by President Bush) and treason (by Representative Peter King of New York and the Coulter amen chorus). The Times's offense was to publish a front-page article about a comprehensive American effort to track terrorists with the aid of a Belgian consortium, Swift, which serves as a clearinghouse for some 7,800 financial institutions in 200 countries.
It was a solid piece of journalism. But if you want to learn the truly dirty secrets of how our government prosecutes this war, the story of how it vilified The Times is more damning than anything in the article that caused the uproar. "

Lyrics to "Fortunate Son" by Creedence

This means as much today as it did back in 1969.
Protest Songs: "Fortunate Son
Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)
Album: Willy & The Poor Boys
Although they hailed from the San Francisco area, they rarely succumbed to the psychedelic indulgences of the era. John Fogerty was very good at voicing the concerns of the working class in songs like 'Fortunate Son,' which is an anti-government, anti-rich and anti-war song all rolled into one.

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they're red, white and blue
And when the band plays 'Hail To The Chief'
Ooh, they point the cannon at you,
Lord It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no senator's son
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no fortunate one
Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don't they help themselves, oh
But when the taxman come to the door
Lord, the house look a like a rummage sale, yes
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no millionaire's son
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no fortunate one
Yeah, some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war
And when you ask them, how much should we give
Ooh, they only answer, more, more, more, yeah
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no military son
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no fortunate one
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no fortunate one
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no fortunate son"
Evolution Family Guy style, and more clips

Just for fun ya'll. I just love this show. They make fun of everything and goodness knows we need as many good laughs as we can get in this day and age.


TPMmuckraker: "Top Ney Aides Jump Ship
By Paul Kiel - June 29, 2006, 4:24 PM
John Bresnahan over at Roll Call has the scoop.
Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) legislative director is already out the door, and his chief of staff and communications director are on the way out.
And that's not all. One of Ney's aides in Ohio was recently subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury, and 'Additional subpoenas of Ney's staffers are expected soon.'
Brian Walsh, Ney's battle-tested flack (thanks for the memories!), apparently hasn't had enough of the Abramoff scandal. He's leaving Ney to be the spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who's come up repeatedly because of his role in shutting down the casino of the Tigua tribe in West Texas when he was Attorney General there. Ralph Reed, working for Abramoff, was very active in pushing along Cornyn's crusade, something Cornyn has claimed to know nothing about. Oh, but there are emails.
It looks like the Justice Department really has built up a head of steam."

And for more on Cornyn:

E-mails refute Cornyn's denial.

Ralph Reed claimed in a November 30th, 2001 e-mail to Abramoff that he choreographed John Cornyn's efforts as Texas attorney general to shut down the casino. Several other e-mails would seem to refute Cornyn's claims of obliviousness to Abramoff and Reed:

- Nov. 12, 2001: Reed to Abramoff: "I'm scheduled to talk to Cornyn today. He has also been called by Ed Young, pastor of second Baptist, a good friend who he is counting on big time in the Senate race."

- Nov. 12, 2001: Reed to Abramoff: "get me the details so i can alert cornyn and let him know what we are doing to help him."

- Nov. 13, 2001: Reed to Abramoff: "I strongly suggest we start doing patch-throughs to perry and cornyn. We're getting killed on the phone."

- And Jan. 7, 2002 (with victory apparently in sight), Reed to Abramoff: "I think we should budget for an ataboy for cornyn."

Cornyn received a $1,000 campaign contribution from Abramoff.

When Cornyn ran for Senate in 2002, Abramoff contributed $1,000, the maximum amount legally allowed.

Big brother and friends on Fox....

#38353: "FOX really doesn't do a lot to try and combat the widely held opinion that they're the most Republican-friendly news channel out there. In this clip, Big Brother & Friends co-hosts E.D. Hill and Steve Doocy practically fall over themselves to make Arizona Rep. J.D. Hayworth look good.
Hayworth was on the show to give the daily two minutes' hate. Today's enemy? The New York Times.
It's quite possible that a transcript from 1984 was actually streaming across their teleprompters during this segment. "