Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Right Sharpens Knives for "Sicko"

By Jay Diamond
June 27, 2007

In this guest essay, radio personality Jay Diamond writes that Sean Hannity and other right-wing voices are trying to scare Americans with horror stories about "socialized medicine" while ignoring the valuable services performed by VA hospitals and Medicare:

Do a search on "Hannity 'Sicko'" or "Romney 'Sicko''' on any search engine and you will find an assortment of You Tube excerpts of Sean Hannity recycling talking points off the panicked presses of the Heritage Foundation, CEI, AEI, Manhattan Institute, etc., bearing dire warnings of the health care terror Michael Moore and other evil progressives are preparing to inflict on America.

But in all their truculent and fear-mongering invocations of the purported evils of "socialized medicine," there is curiously something that Romney, Hannity, and all the other American rightists consistently omit; and in that deliberate omission is an important lesson in the way America's hard right works their deceptions.

They never mention that there are more individuals right here in the United States who receive their health coverage on what you call "socialized medicine" than there are people in the entire country of France.

Add up all the people on Medicare and the Veterans Administration.

Hey Sean, Hey Mitt, Did you forget about those interesting little nuggets....Medicare and the VA ?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Go see Sicko this weekend at the Bijou at Crossroads

Think about it. We have maternal child death rates that rival a third world country. And for us older folks, we need to think about the fact that our longevity rates are the lowest for developed nations. Worse yet, if you have a long term illness or an acute illness, you may not be able to pay for the medical care and could end up losing everything. Why should a nation that can afford to spend BILLIONS of dollars a day in war, not spend money to ensure the health, safety and longevity of its citizens? Well, I guess because we are disposable to the 2% of our population that are rich. It's a feudal system. Stand up, be counted and notify your legislators that this will not stand!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This is exactly how I felt!

William Rivers Pitt put in words what I could barely articulate to my husband when I got home last Thursday. In fact, I can barely state my angst to this day. Our constitution has been dissed by Cheney and Bush AGAIN! This time, it's beyond belief, really. The same constitution that I swore to uphold and defend (with my life) as they did (only not with their lives, actually), was being put away, put down, thrown away, because Cheney, the evil Emperor, will not be questioned, at all, period, the end. It was astounding to me.

So thank you William Rivers Pitt for stating this so eloquently for me.

How Dick Cheney Broke My Mind By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t Columnist
Tuesday 26 June 2007
I was absolutely savaged by an unexpected emotional detonation on Thursday. Every rough emotion I am capable of experiencing - anger, fear, sorrow, rage, bitterness, despair, loathing, astonishment, woe, regret, horror, fury - erupted within me at the same time that day. I spent hours in the aftermath trying to type an accurate description of what had happened to me and why, but I failed. For the first time in a long, long while, I was completely unable to write.
What could have been powerful enough to huff and puff and blow my house down? What manner of mind bomb could hurl me so far off kilter that I was incapable of explaining it on paper?
It was, of course, Dick Cheney.
The news story that started it all was just another report on Dick being Dick, doing his Dick thing the way Dick always does. If they ever hold a contest to decide which politician has the most appropriate first name, you should bet the farm, the barn, the house, the cow, every crop, every truck, and throw in all your shoes besides, on Dick winning in a walk. Dick would win in such a dominant fashion that the NBA Finals would appear competitive by comparison.
It was Dick, and he got me on Thursday but good. You've probably heard the news story by now, and maybe you reacted to it like I did.
The National Archives is basically the federal filing cabinet where all governmental paper records are stored and organized. The Archives is an invaluable repository of our governmental history. These documents are publicly available, and are a giant treasure trove for historians, biographers or anyone who loves to feel a bit of history between their fingers.
So the Archives people had asked Cheney's office for his papers, because it was time to do so, because doing so is the law, because those papers are the property of the people. We pay for their printing and we pay for their storage, and the return on our investment can be found in the History/Biography/Politics section of any bookstore in America.
Dick turned the National Archives down flat, and this is what destroyed me on Thursday. Not only did he turn them down, his office wrote - actually wrote on paper in a letter to the Archives - their amazing explanation for refusing to hand over the papers. If you've not heard this, brace yourself.
Dick had the fire-breathing gall, the awe-inspiring temerity, the light-bending arrogance to put forth the argument - which was actually written down - that the office of The vice president of the United States is not actually part of the executive branch of the federal government, and is therefore not required to give any papers to anyone, ever.
Breathe. Breathe. It'll pass.
I could use a thousand words to describe what this thing did as it ripped through me. I tried all Thursday to do it, and failed time and again. I have finally fixed upon the one word that truly explains how I felt once the shock had passed.
I was offended.

Full article:

Friends keep sending pictures

We are blessed to have so many friends who sent pictures taken on our anniversary. Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate in style! Special thanks to Sen. Obama who made it a very special day.

Monday, June 25, 2007

To Senator Hutchison

Sen. Hutchison, you were quoted as saying the following with regard to Vice President Cheney's statement that he is not part of the Executive branch: "I don't think that the vice president, with all due respect to everyone, is saying that the law doesn't apply to him or that he's above the law," said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. "I think there are some legal interpretations. We have to look at those."
Now, you swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the USA, as I did when I was in the military. When was the last time you re-read the Constitution?

The Vice President's office is indeed part of the executive branch. There is no quibbling, and no interpretation required. I suggest you correct yourself madam. Some of us remember what we learned in government classes.

This media ignored event, as Vice President Cheney declares that he is not a member of the Executive Branch, is a constitutional crisis. If Cheney is not a member of the executive branch, then what is he? A sovereign nation or Emperor?

To refresh my memory on the subject I read many resources, but this one is most telling, and it is from the White House website.

According to the President's own website, the members of the executive branch include:

"Executive Branch
The power of the executive branch is vested in the President, who also serves as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The President appoints the Cabinet and oversees the various agencies and departments of the federal government.

In order for a person to become President, he or she must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years of age, and have resided in the United States for at least 14 years. Once elected, the President serves a term of four years and may be re-elected only once.

To learn more about the Executive Branch please visit the President's Cabinet page on the White House web site.

President's Cabinet
The tradition of the Cabinet dates back to the beginnings of the Presidency itself. One of the principal purposes of the Cabinet (drawn from Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution) is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of their respective offices.

The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments-the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, and the Attorney General. Under President George W. Bush, Cabinet-level rank also has been accorded to the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency; Director, Office of Management and Budget; the Director, National Drug Control Policy; and the U.S. Trade Representative."

At what point do we plan to throw out our constitution, and allow Bush, Cheney, et al to take over our government? They swore to uphold and defend the constitution, but instead they shred it at every opportunity, to their benefit. This illegality must stop. Impeach!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Celebrating 35 years!!!

We were blessed that Sen. Obama met with all the volunteers after the event, and we got to meet him. For my husband and I, it was even a more momentous occasion when Sen. Obama signed the back of my shirt, when he noted that we were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary with him today. My husband greatly appreciated the Senator's congratulations as well. We will always treasure our anniversary wishes from Sen. Obama. It just made a special day even more special.
although....a bit of a sweaty you can see.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

As one So. Texas bumper sticker we noted said, make tacos not war

So, here is the taco recipe:

  • 16 flour tortillas

  • 1 large can refried beans

  • 1 cup or more shredded cheddar cheese

  • 6 eggs

  • 1/2 cup cooked, cubed potatoes

  • 4 strips bacon, cooked

  • salt and pepper

  • Cholula or tabasco sauce or picante sauce

  1. Heat a frying pan or griddle or comal

  2. Place your tortilla, store bought or home made on the comal or pan, and heat over medium high heat until it puffs a little, but is still plyable, put in a tortilla warmer, or on a plate lined with a paper towel then cover with a lid

  3. After heating all the tortillas.

  4. Put the refried beans on to heat, in a saucepan

  5. Scramble the eggs

  6. Put oil in a pan (canola) and cook the cubed potatoes

  7. Add the eggs and scramble them

  8. Place small amount of egg/potato mixture in a tortilla and fold in half, wrap in foil and place in a slow cooker on low heat. Repeat until all the egg mixture is used up.

  9. Now, take the refried beans and place a little in each tortilla, add shredded cheddar cheese, fold in half, wrap in foil and place in a slow cooker

  10. Serving: potato/egg tortillas are served with cholula, picante or tobasco; home made picante sauce is the sauce of choice. Bean and cheese tacos are served directly from the crock pot.

  11. This is efficient when making breakfast tacos for a large crowd, like our extended family of 15. We just fill the crock pot (slow cooker) and we can let it sit until everyone, including the teenagers, get out of bed. It helps to crumble a bit of foil in the bottom of the slow cooker, then put the tacos on top, so nothing gets too heated and the tacos don't get too tough.

  12. So, make tacos, not war. Make tacos for the family, and sit down and read the Sunday paper.

South Texas Breakfast Tacos 2 Variations @ Group Recipes

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

From the Young Turks

I like them both, but combined? Could be great, but will Gore run at the last minute?
Basically, what I have learned since the Howard Dean campaign (which I worked on) is that the media and the corporations decide. We can work, campaign and even pray, but unless a miracle occurs, we will lose. To win, it will take a TON of commtted folks to get to the polls and vote. We must overwhelm the Rethuglican's machinery or we lose.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The propaganda I grew up with, not unlike today

Duck and Cover

You Can Beat the A-Bomb

One World or None

and then, watch the movie the US vs John Lennon, which we did last night and you can see more fully the propaganda we were subjected to, and why we RESISTED!

Rather, Nixon and Rove

See Rove working for Nixon's re-election campaign just before Watergate.

We need Arabic translators, so why do we fire them?

Oh wait, we fire them for being gay. How stupid. As a person who has served in the military, with gay people, I might add, I see no problem in letting everyone serve that wants to serve. I personally have showered in "gang showers" those big open shower rooms, with gay people, and all we did was shower for crying out loud. You are hot, sweaty and tired and a shower is the biggest deal when you have been the field for a long time. That, and flush toilets. Gay or not, who cares?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Randi Rhodes and Greg Palast on the vultures

More on voter caging from Palast and BBC

We need to be aware and make this stop!

Palast's email today noted the following:
The Tears of a Clone
Conyers Closes in on Karl and his Rove-bots ...

By Greg Palast | June 18, 2007
Special to BRAD BLOG

Boo-hoo! I made Tim Griffin cry.

He cried. Then he lied.

You remember Tim. Karl Rove's right hand (right claw?) man. The GOP's ragin' cagin' man.

Griffin is the Rove-bot exposed by our BBC Newsnight investigations team as the man who gathered and sent out the infamous 'caging' lists to Republican state chairmen during the 2004 election.

Caging lists, BBC discovered, were used secretly as a basis to challenge the right to vote of thousands of citizens - including the homeless, students and soldiers sent overseas. The day after BBC broadcast that the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, sought our evidence on Griffin, Tim resigned his post as US Attorney for Arkansas. That job was a little gift from Karl Rove who made room for his man Griffin by demanding the firing of US prosecutor Bud Cummins.

Last week, our cameras captured Griffin, all teary-eyed, in his humiliating kiss-off speech delivered in Little Rock at the University of Arkansas where he moaned that, "public service isn't worth it."

True. In the old Jim Crow days in Arkansas, you could get yourself elected by blocking African-Americans. (The voters his caging game targeted are - quelle surprise! - disproportionately Black citizens.)

But today, Griffin can't even get an unemployment check. When he resigned two weeks ago following our broadcast, the cover story was that the voter persecutor-turned-prosecutor had resigned to work for Presidential wannabe Fred Thompson. But when Thompson's staff was asked by a reporter why they would hire the 'cagin' man,' suddenly, the 'Law and Order' star decided associating with Griffin might take the shine off Thompson's badge, even if it is from the props department.

For more, go to Brad Blog

Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps

From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all

Tuesday April 24, 2007
The Guardian

Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down: the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on travel, and took certain activists into custody.

They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.
As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.

Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree - domestically - as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we don't learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of "homeland" security - remember who else was keen on the word "homeland" - didn't raise the alarm bells it might have.

It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable - as the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen here. And that we are further along than we realise.
complete article

I have been saying this for months and months. We need to understand the roots of fascism and realize it is here, now.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A cooking blog from Iraq

It is fascinating. This link is to a section regarding 10th century cooking rules, amazing how we still follow many of these rules.

Free Genarlow Wilson

Free Genarlow Wilson. Sign the petition, write the Georgia state legislature, do something. Teens will have sex, we know that. Imprisoning them or calling them sex offenders is just ridiculous. The racists in Georgia (as I well remember from my experience of living in Georgia) should not prevail. Genarlo deserves to be free.

legislation for veterans healthcare

A step in the right directon. If only the troops could be covered for traumatic brain injury treatment at some of our nations large civilian head injury center. Guess they did not consider that to be important, but all in all, this should be a vast improvement.


Legislation to ensure quality care for wounded troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan was unveiled in the Senate Thursday, winning instant praise from veterans organizations.

"The days of not paying attention to our service members are over," declared Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, a leading force behind the legislation for the Senate Democratic leadership.

The bipartisan legislation, called the Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act, follows reports of deplorable housing for wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

But similar conditions and bureaucratic red tape interfering with the treatment of troops injured on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan were found at facilities around the country.

The legislation requires a comprehensive policy on the care of veterans as they move from active military duty into Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, including adoption of the VA standards for assigning disability levels.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Enchiladas Suizas

  • 2 cups or so shredded chicken

  • Green salsa, like Herdez or Goya (salsa verde) to taste

  • corn tortillas, about 8-10

  • 2 cups white sauce

  • cheese, either Monterrey Jack or a combination of Monterrey Jack and manchego

  • Canola oil

  1. Heat canola oil in frying pan.

  2. When hot, dip tortillas in one by one, until limp and almost puffy

  3. Drain.

  4. Make white sauce.

  5. Add salsa verde to taste, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup.

  6. Spray 9 x 13 pan with Pam.

  7. Lay one tortilla in the pan, fill with shredded chicken, a little cheese, roll as for enchiladas.

  8. Continue until the pan is full.

  9. Cover with the mixture of white sauce and salsa verde.

  10. Cover top with cheese.

  11. Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes until bubbly.

  12. Hint: Here in Texas our HEB grocery store stocks shredded chicken, and it works quite well and saves a lot of time. Otherwise, just shred a whole rotisserie chicken from your store.

Enchiladas Suizas @ Group Recipes

Monday, June 04, 2007

Imagine How the Media Would Cover the Divorced Rich Republican Presidential Candidates, If They Were Democrats

This article was sent to me by a friend, and it's oh so appropriate. The media calls Edwards the "$400 dollar haircut boy," and they have worse to say about Clinton and Obama. Of course the voter caging, outed by the great sleuth Greg Palast, will never see the news, but if there is a democrat to bash, the "liberal" media will have a field day. I am sick of it. There is no real news, just propaganda. Like the so-called terror plot over the weekend. Baloney! It was a way to misdirect the attention of the sheeple, and believe me, it will only get worse the closer we get to the election. Why, we might have the terror level raised to Ernie. Even now we still remain at Bert.

Enjoy reading another article from Media Matters; the link to the complete article will be at the bottom of this post.

By Jamison Foser, Media Matters for America
Posted on June 4, 2007, Printed on June 4, 2007

Imagine how the media would react if a multimillionaire, East Coast, big-city, thrice-married presidential candidate who was a progressive Democrat said his most recent music purchase was opera, his favorite fitness activity, golf, and added that he doesn't drive -- he navigates.

Or if a progressive Democratic candidate who had launched his political career by marrying into a wealthy and politically connected family, and then promptly ran for Congress, revealed that he has pet turtles named "Cuff" and "Link."

Or if a progressive Democratic candidate who was the son of a governor, who has a net worth of around $200 million, whose own campaign staff was concerned he is seen as not tough enough and that his hair looks too perfect ... imagine if such a candidate said that if he weren't running for office, he'd probably be chief executive of an auto company and that his staff boasted that the difference between him and the president is "intelligence."

The media would have an absolute field day, yammering endlessly about how the candidate is too "soft" and is an elitist, an arrogant know-it-all with a misguided sense of entitlement who is hopelessly out of touch with the rugged regular-folk who live in Michigan and enjoy NASCAR and country music and drive pickups. There would be a real danger of Chris Matthews literally exploding on live television, unable to contain his incredulity that such a clueless candidate could possibly think a Pennsylvania steelworker would care what he has to say. (Then, with the Klieg lights turned off, Matthews would head off to one of the glitzy balls that he frequents, maintaining his place on Washington Life's "Social List" -- or perhaps he'd take a quick trip to relax by the pool of his vacation home nestled among the dunes of Nantucket. Railing against cultural elites on behalf of the Working Man is tiring, after all.)

But when the three leading (for now) Republican presidential candidates reveal their fondness for opera (Giuliani), have their pets named after fashion accessories (McCain), and boast that if they weren't running for president, they'd probably be running an auto company (Romney), it passes without notice.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Senator Palpatine and Darth Vader

Bush has issued a directive that would place all governmental powers in his hands in the case of a catastrophic emergency. If a terrorist attack happens before the 2008 election, could Bush and Cheney use this to avoid relinquishing power to a successor administration?

As my daughter says, Does this mean that Bush will be like Senator Palpatine and Cheney like Darth Vader, in the movie Star Wars episode 3? Could be. link