Political Critic Archives - January 2006

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Fledgling President Addresses the Nation Tonight

George Bush will give his fifth, and hopefully final, State of the Union speech tonight.  With any luck, the man will be impeached and out of office by this time next year.  He will give this speech amid continued, rampant violence in Iraq; violence that he himself created unnecessarily.  He will try to justify the war the United States is losing.  He will also talk tough against Iran, the country he should've focused on originally.

The State of the Union is not strong.  It is perhaps the weakest of my lifetime.  Our military is stretched too thin, our deficits have reached historic proportions, and we are hated by hundreds of other countries around the world.  Five years ago, these things were not true.  Five years ago, our military was fine, we had budget surpluses, and we were respected by other nations in the world.

Five years ago, this country made a choice, a very bad choice.  They chose, sort of, for this man to be president over Al Gore.  Al Gore is not a great man by any stretch of the imagination, but he is no George Bush.  He would not have invaded Iraq, he would not violated the Geneva Conventions by torturing people, and he would not have run up the largest deficit in the history of our nation.  The truth of the matter is that we would have been a lot better off with a President Gore for the last five years.

People on the right talk about how "lucky" we were that George Bush was president after the attacks on September 11th.  Why is that, by the way?  What exactly did George do that was soooo presidential?  Everybody knew that the terrorists were in Afghanistan.  All George had to do was point to it on the map and say "attack".

The next three years are crucial to the survival of our democracy as we know it.  If George Bush is allowed to remain in office for the three more years, the United States will continue to weaken.  The "volunteer" military is already nearing the breaking point.  The U.S. has lost 20,000 soldiers to death or injury in Iraq and the rate is increasing, not decreasing.  The U.S. has no control over Iraq nearly three years into the invasion.  There were over 200 bombings just last week in Iraq.  If that isn't a sign that there is no control of the country, I don't know what is.

The United States is losing this war.  It pains me to write it, but it is undeniably true.  The only way to correct it is to get rid of the incompetent and corrupt administration immediately.  It doesn't have to be replaced by the Democrats, it just has to be replaced.  There are many Republicans not tied to this administration that are great public servants.  It is time we put them in charge before it is too late.


Monday, January 30, 2006

ABC Anchor Bob Woodruff, Cameraman in Serious Condition

An attack by insurgents on a U.S. and Iraqi convoy left Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt in serious but stable condition after an explosion caused near fatal injuries.  Bob Woodruff is the ABC News co-anchor, having taken over for Peter Jennings last year.  Doug Vogt is an award-winning cameraman.  The next few days are critical for their survival.  They suffered head wounds and broken bones, despite wearing bullet-proof vests, safety glasses, and helmets.

The men were embedded with U.S. and Iraqi forces near the town of Taji, a dangerous area that is part of the Sunni triangle.  The Sunni triangle is a region that is extremely unstable not only to journalists, but to military personnel also.  They were standing on the back of an armored car and taping a news report on the war.

The attack calls into question the need to have embedded journalists traveling with military forces and the risks that they take.  61 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began, making it one of the most deadly wars for reporters in modern history.  By comparison, 66 journalists were killed in Vietnam over a 20 year period.  The Iraq war is less than three years old.

Journalists must be in war zones to report what goes on, but it seems that many in this war are taking extraordinary and unnecessary risks in reporting the news.  These brave men and women are unarmed, yet they place themselves in an environment where people are shot and killed constantly.

We must balance the need for up-to-the minute news with the need for safety for all media members in war zones. Too often in the modern era, reporters are pushed for a great story, and in Iraq they must risk their own lives to get it. Perhaps it is time to take a step back and take a closer look at the role of journalists in Iraq.  Enough have died already.  If nothing changes, many more will die before this war ends.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Can the Democrats Filibuster Alito?

John Kerry called for a filibuster (no vote - forces Republicans to pick someone else) of Judge Samuel Alito in order to block his confirmation to the Supreme Court.  However, in order for a filibuster to work, the minority party (Democrats) need 41 Senators on their side.  There are only 44 Democrats (plus 1 Independent) in the Senate, so they can only lose four people to the other side.  Senators Ben Nelson (NE), Byrd (WV), and Tim Johnson (SD) have already announced that they will vote "Yes".  Senators Mary Landrieu (LA) and Salazar (CO) may vote "No", but have stated that they oppose a filibuster.

None of the 55 Republicans have decided to join the ranks of the Democrats on this one.  That means that they is no room for error on the Democrats part.  Senator Jeffords, the Independent, would vote "No", so they Democrats could afford only one more defect.

Even if the Democrats keep 41 or 42 people on their side, it remains to be seen whether all of them would agree to a filibuster.  If Salazar and Landrieu are to be believed, then the Dems do not have enough people to force the filibuster.

Why the left can't get their people in line is beyond me.  You don't see any Republicans defecting.  All 55 are sticking together.  However, three Democrats have changed sides and two more have publicly stated that they oppose a filibuster.  Now maybe John Kerry knows something that the rest of us don't (doubt it) and he can get the 41 Senators together to create the filibuster.  He must be able to talk Salazar or Landrieu into supporting the filibuster and he must shore up support among the other Dems.

All in all, it doesn't look good for the left.  Samuel Alito will likely be confirmed as the next Justice of the Supreme Court.  If the Democrats could get their act together, perhaps they could prevent the confirmation.  I just don't think it'll happen.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Rumsfeld in Denial About Military Being Overextended

A new report issued to the Pentagon concluded that the United States military has been overextended due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Secretary of Defense, however, is still in denial over this clear fact.  Donald Rumsfeld disputed the notion that the military is stretched too thin, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Why Rumsfeld is still the Defense Secretary is still a mystery.  If he doesn't even recognize that the U.S. is fighting beyond their long-term capability, then how can we trust that he is competent to run the war?  Many Republicans have lost confidence in the man and he continues to make mistakes.  He has made mistakes with the way the war was fought, the number of troops needed to fight it, and the ongoing strategy.

In addition, over 2,000 soldiers have been killed in Iraq and over 17,000 have been seriously injured.  That reduces military strength by nearly 20,000.  There are about 136,000 troops in Iraq right now, but the rotation of those troops creates a much larger number.  The same soldiers do not stay in Iraq forever; they rotate in and out.  This creates a need for even more.  The Army has not been able to recruit enough people over the last few years, as the war in Iraq has strongly deterred enlistment.  The army missed their recruitment goal last year by more than 6,600.

The point is that the U.S. military is very overextended.  The troop strength in Iraq will have to come down in the coming months simply because it is unsustainable. Either that or the draft will have to be reinstated, and that's not going to happen.

It is now a race against time.  Can the U.S. military get the situation in Iraq under control before they have to significantly reduce their troop level.  The next twelve months are crucial.  Will Iraq get worse or will it get better?  Right now, it is getting worse.   Regrettably, I believe it will continue to deteriorate.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Canadian Election a Preview of U.S. Elections in November?

Voters in Canada took to the polls yesterday to oust Prime Minister Paul Martin and his Liberal party government. Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper was voted in as Canada's new Prime Minister and his party now controls 124 of 308 seats in the Canadian Parliament.  With four major political parties in Canada, 124 seats gives the Conservatives the most.  This is a huge change in Canada, as the Liberal Party has been in control for the last thirteen years.

The main reason the Conservative Party won the elections was because of the corruption and scandals of the Liberal Party.  The liberals had been in power for so long in Canada that they have become greedy, crooked, and unethical. Does this sound familiar at all for those in the United States?  That is exactly what is going on here, just with a flip of the corrupt party.

See, it's not that Republicans are corrupt because they are Republicans.  They are corrupt because they have been in power for too long without any restraints.  The White House and Congress are controlled by Republicans, so they essentially have absolute power in the United States.  The same applies in Canada.  The ruling Liberal Party stayed in power for so long that they became crooked.

Fortunately, the voters in Canada were smart enough to vote out the criminals.  Canada is very much a liberal country, but the voters were so fed up with the actions of their government that they accepted conservative rule for the time being.

This concept is what needs to happen in the United States.  The conservatives in this country need to be voted out of office.  They don't need to be voted out because they are conservatives.  They need to be voted out because they are crooks.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Bush on PR Campaign to Avoid Impeachment Over Spying

President Bush took to the streets today in a full on media campaign to defend his illegal spy program to the American people.  Congressional hearings are set to begin in just a couple weeks, so the administration is attempting to get out in front of the story.  This strategy has actually been effective in the past, as Republicans have been great at spinning a story.

Bush proclaimed today that he is "protecting" the American people by eavesdropping on suspected terrorists.  He called the spying a "terrorist surveillance program", which is a great spin on the truth.  Bush dropped key words like Al-Qaeda and terrorists.  These are words that resonate (or they hope will) with the American people.  By using terms such as these, they hope to avoid having the conversation of just how widespread the surveillance program is.

The Republican strategy is to attack back as often as possible because the alternative is so frightening.  If the investigations into their activity reveal that they broke the law repeatedly, many people may be out of office, including the President.  Bush has already admitted to this wrongdoing, so his only option now is to say that he has the power to spy.

The president does have the right to spy on Americans...with a warrant.  That is the one problem that the administration will not be able to get past.  Bush is arguing that he has the right to spy on American citizens without a warrant.  He is incorrect.  The law is very clear in this area.  There is an exception in which a president can spy without a warrant, but he must go back to the FISA court within 72 hours after the surveillance to tell them what he's doing.  Bush never went back to the FISA court in any of the hundreds of instances of warrantless spying.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Google Fights; Yahoo, MSN, and AOL Cave to Justice Department

The overreaching U.S. government is at it again, trying to invade the privacy of American citizens through new and innovative means.  This time, the Department of Justice is coming after the top four search engines and demanding they hand over private and personal records to the government.  Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL all capitulated and handed over scores of documents to the government, but Google has basically told them to go pound sand!  As a result, the Justice Department decided to subpoena Google.

Google is far and away the top search engine in the country.  The hold more market share than all the other search engines combined!  The initial request from the DOJ would've forced Google to deliver information that would pile 15 miles high.  Clearly, the DOJ doesn't even know what they were asking for.  They are on a fishing expedition to invade privacy and they are doing it all under the guise of child pornography.

You see, when the U.S. government throws out an inflammatory phrase like child porn, they hope to win public support for their actions.  However, the request they are making has almost nothing to do with child pornography.

The DOJ "whittled" down their request of Google to one million random web addresses that are accessed by their users and the results of all requests made of Google's databases for a one week period.  This request is incredibly monumental to review and extremely difficult to put together. 

Just think about the DOJ's actual request above and try to figure out how it relates to kiddie porn.  You may have some trouble with this one, because it isn't related at all.  Sure you could find some porn addresses in the data, but you could also find just about anything else you wanted. 

The scope of the request is far too broad and Google was 100% correct in refusing it.  The right to privacy is very important and the government continues to attempt to break it down. 

If Google simply hands over all it's search information now, what would stop the government from asking for even more down the road?  Today it is the web site addresses.  Tomorrow, it'll be every bit of personal information in Google's database.  That would include personal information about you, the end user. 

Just to give you an example, as the owner of this site, I can see the location and IP address of everyone who comes to visit this domain.  I can tell how long a user is on this site, how many pages they viewed, what service provider they use, etc.  I could even find out even more information about my visitors, but I choose not to.

With Google, they have far more information than anyone else.  They know who you are and all the Internet sites you've been to.  Clearly this would be valuable information to the government.  Why tap telephone lines and conduct spying when you can just force Google to tell you everything you want to know?


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Scott McClellan Hiding Facts About Abramoff

Jack Abramoff had many, many ties to this White House, but you would never know it from listening to White House Spokesman Scott McClellan.  McClellan has been doing everything possible to cover up the facts about Abramoff's visits to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Reporters hammered McClellan yesterday for not disclosing information that he is well aware of.  In fact, McClellan basically told reporters that unless they uncover someone that Abramoff met with, he will not disclose it.

IMG: Scott McClellan

This is obstruction at its finest.  Scott McClellan has valuable and useful information about the number of trips Jack Abramoff made to the White House and who he met with, but he's not about to tell reporters.  He will discuss it, however, if reporters can dig it up.  Chief White House Correspondent for MSNBC, David Gregory, hammered McClellan over and over again for his refusal to answer questions.

The only conclusion we can draw from this is that Jack Abramoff had been to the White House on numerous occasions and met with senior officials.  If he hadn't, Scott McClellan would be the first one to tell the world.

The question is how frequent were Abramoff's visits and who he met with.  If he met with George Bush, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, or other senior level people, they may be in some hot water.  Abramoff has already cut a deal with prosecutors and he is starting to spill his guts.  If he was meeting with White House officials, he may bring some of them down with him.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006`

Lawsuits Filed Against Bush's Illegal Spy Program

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed lawsuits yesterday against President Bush in an attempt to stop his illegal surveillance program.  The lawsuits also named the head of the NSA.  They are designed to bring an immediate stop to Bush's illegal activity.

Bush and his merry thugs have already admitted to bypassing the FISA court to spy on American citizens.  The case is literally a slam-dunk.  Not even the president is allowed to go around the FISA court to conduct surveillance on Americans.

The New York Times also reported yesterday that thousands of innocent Americans were spied upon.  The domestic spying program was so widespread that it often led federal agents to dead ends or to ordinary civilians who had done nothing.

The Bush regime continued to cast blame elsewhere.  Torture Boy, Alberto Gonzales, jumped on the state-run Fox Network to claim that Bill Clinton spied illegally too.  Unfortunately, Torture Boy was incorrect.  President Clinton did a lot of illegal things, but circumventing the FISA court to spy on Americans was not one of them.  Torture Boy's defense is ludicrous even if Clinton did break the law (which he didn't in this case).  The defense of "he did it too" is just pathetic.  It sounds like something a 5 year old would tell his parents when caught doing wrong.

In addition, Hilary Clinton jumped in the fray to say that the Bush regime will go down as the worst in the history of our country (can't argue with her there).  She compared the Bush regime to a plantation and called them incompetent. Ok, the plantation crack is out of line, but she's right about the incompetent thing.  Finally, the Dems are standing up and fighting!!!  I was beginning to think they had disappeared.

The White House lashed out at Hilary and Al Gore for their comments.  For some reason, they seem to be outraged. It's all spin, of course.  Deep down, they already know that they're corrupt, incompetent, and breaking the law.


On another note, there are conflicting stories coming out of Pakistan with regard to the U.S. bombing last Friday.  There may have actually been terrorists killed in the airstrike.  In addition, there are reports that the U.S. may have permission from Pakistan to conduct airstrikes within the country. 

This changes the degree of my hostility in prior posts, but I still believe that innocent civilians are needlessly sacrificed and the U.S. government is extremely sloppy in their actions.  Terrorists can be killed without spilling the blood of so many innocent people.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Gore Agrees - Bush Breaks the Law Repeatedly

Al Gore spoke before the American Constitution Society yesterday and demanded that President Bush be investigated for his illegal domestic spying program.  Gore was vehement that a federal investigation be launched.  He called Bush's spying "a threat to the very structure of our government."  Al Gore stated that George Bush broke the law "repeatedly and persistently" with his use of wiretapping and surveillance.

The speech Al Gore gave was bipartisan in nature.  Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr was to introduce Gore at the event and Republican Arlen Specter has come out again and demanded a full investigation of the president.

Although I agree with Gore's assessment, I can't help but recall how Gore broke the law himself during his time as Vice President.  Granted, it was merely for fundraising improprieties, but his credibility is on shaky ground.

Regardless, Gore has the ear of the liberal left and many still believe he is the rightful president of this country.  He has a very strong following, even after being out of office for the last five years.  His speech was right on the money with regard to the corrupt President Bush.

Unfortunately, not enough Democrats and Republicans have not been as forthright as Mr. Gore.  They have called for an investigation, but have stopped short of claiming that President Bush broke the law repeatedly.  They should take a page from Al Gore and fight back with the veracity that he displayed in his speech.

Despite all the rhetoric, the widespread surveillance on innocent Americans continues to this day!  The Bush thugs have not been stopped and (as of today) are not being investigated.  I'm not holding my breath that they will be any time soon.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Condoleezza Rice Makes No Apology For Bombing Civilians

Thousands upon thousands of people took to the streets in Pakistan this weekend to protest the deaths of innocent civilians at the hands of the U.S. government.  Condoleezza Rice refused to apologize for the murder of 18 people in a U.S. airstrike on Friday.  Rice had the audacity to defend the bombing.  Her standard line of "we're fighting Al-Qaeda" grew more and more pathetic as Al-Qaeda was nowhere to be found.

I guess Condoleezza Rice sleeps better at night if she convinces herself that the vicious murder of innocent men, women, and children is somehow justified.  However, the rest of the world sees it far differently and anger against the United States is growing.  It grows even further when people like Rice refuse to apologize for their actions. Condoleezza Rice and the entire Bush administration use the Al-Qaeda excuse every time they kill, torture, or kidnap people that have nothing to do with their fight.

I suppose it's ok to kill anyone so long as it's done in the name of fighting terrorism.  The problem with that is that the United States has become what they beget.  They have tossed aside all of their principles.  They are the terrorists to the rest of the world.

For those who believe that Pakistan is fair game because they harbor terrorists, nothing could be further from the truth.  Pakistan is an ally to the United States.  Their military and police force have been searching for terrorists in conjunction with the U.S. for years now.  They have helped the U.S. capture a number of suspected terrorists since September 11, 2001.

The fact is that the United States government is out of control.  They respect no other nation and do as they wish. They are essentially the biggest bully on the block.  They have, by far, the largest military and they stop at nothing to demonstrate their power.

If a foreign country believed that a terrorist was living somewhere in the United States, would they be justified in invading U.S. airspace and dropping 10 bombs on a residential area in hopes of killing the right guy?  I suspect all Americans would say absolutely not!  Would Americans be angry when they discovered that children were among the dead?  Of course they would!  Americans would pick up a gun and fight if that ever happened.  Therefore, we should not be surprised if the citizens of Pakistan do the same.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

U.S. Missile Strike Kills Women and Children

The reckless and irresponsible United States government fired missiles into Pakistan yesterday and killed at least 17 people, including many women and children.  The CIA launched the illegal attack because they received information that Al-Qaeda's #2 was at the location.  The information was false and the CIA made no attempt to confirm it.

The CIA ordered Predator drones to cross into Pakistan and as many as 10 missiles were fired into the residential area.  Three houses were completely demolished.  The bodies that were recovered had been identified and buried.  According to villagers, there were no terrorists among the dead.

Pakistan has strongly condemned the attack of their country.  Pakistan and the United States are allies, but the U.S. is not allowed to operate on Pakistani soil.

This is not the first time the United States government has ordered attacks that killed innocent people.  In fact, it is a regular occurrence.  See here, here, and here.  The United States violates other countries' airspace and kill their citizens constantly!  They have zero respect for (non-American) life and for the laws of other nations.  The reckless and reprehensible behavior of the United States is ultimately responsible for the enemies they have.

People here in the United States wonder why terrorist target their homeland.  Here is their answer.  For every woman and child the United States kills, they create another enemy hell-bent on getting retribution.  Here is the perfect example.  A 17 year old villager from this bombing has vowed to seek justice from God.  He stated that 24 of his family members were killed in the blast

You could say that this is another war crime the U.S. has committed, and you would be correct.  However, the United States is not even at war with Pakistan.  Not only are they committing crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are killing innocent civilians in other countries as well.  The United States is simply just creating more enemies than they are killing.  If they ever want to win the war against terrorists, they have to stop acting like one.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Will Alito be Confirmed Now that Questions are Over?

An enormous amount of media coverage has surrounded Samuel Alito the last few days as he answers questions from the Senate.  The questioning is now over and it appears that Alito will be confirmed as the next Supreme Court Justice.  The Democrats failed to find out anything significant on Alito, despite efforts by Ted Kennedy and other liberals.

Questions remain about Alito's membership in a controversial alumni group, but not enough is known to draw a firm conclusion about his involvement. There are also questions about whether Alito would overturn Roe vs. Wade, but we don't know for sure if he would.  All signs indicate that Alito would overturn the law, but he didn't give an inch at the hearings, so the Senate and the public were left guessing.

Since we're left to guessing, I believe Alito would overturn Roe vs. Wade.  I base this on the statements he made while working for the Justice Department under Ronald Reagan.  These statements reflected very strong pro-life positions.  It's hard for me to believe that his opinion has changed that much.  That's not a horrible opinion, by the way.  I think everybody would like to reduce the number of abortions in the world.  Some people just have different methods on how to solve the problem.

However, we just don't know exactly how Samuel Alito will vote.  He appears to be very conservative, but we won't know until he starts ruling on cases.  There have been a number of Supreme Court justices who have not voted as they were expected to.

Either way, it looks like Samuel Alito will be confirmed.  He will replace Sandra Day O'Conner on the bench.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Don't Know What to Believe With Hearings

The entire Alito confirmation hearings are bordering on the absurd.  The American people have absolutely no idea what he believes.  Samuel Alito has run away from his pro-life beliefs in order to be confirmed, but he has also denounced the beliefs of a radical Princeton alumni group that has been labeled racist.

Samuel Alito pointed directly to his membership in this group in 1985 when he applied for a position in the Justice Department under Ronald Reagan.  He also made incredibly strong pro-life comments around the same time. However, in the last two days, he has shifted his position on those subjects.

My biggest concern with Samuel Alito is his membership in this group, which he presumably was proud of. Now he is denouncing the beliefs of this group, which is great if he actually believes it.  I question whether he does believe it because he is hedging constantly on his abortion position.

If Judge Alito came out and said that he would overturn Roe v. Wade and then said he denounced the beliefs of this racist group, I might be inclined to trust him.  However, everything in his record screams pro-life, yet he runs away from the stance.  Therefore, I don't know if I believe him or not when he runs away from this Princeton alumni group.

As I have said in prior posts, this confirmation process is all smoke and mirrors.  It doesn't accomplish anything because the nominee attempts to be all things to all people without upsetting anyone. I  am convinced that we won't know the real Samuel Alito until he has been on the Supreme Court for a couple years.  Unfortunately, it may be too late by then.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

German Chancellor Calls for US to Close Guantanamo

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has called on the United States to close their torture, uh I mean, detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The conservative leader came out strong against the torture camp by stating that it should not exist. Human rights organizations have all agreed with the German Chancellor about Guantanamo.

The US State Department came out today and completely rejected the German request.  Spokesman Sean McCormack had the audacity to claim that Guantanamo keeps society safe from dangerous people.  Of course, we don't actually know if they're dangerous because the United States is denying them a trial.  Mr. McCormack forgot to mention that part.

Sean McCormack also made the statement that the prisoners would go "right back in the fight if they were released". However, the German Chancellor is not asking for the prisoners to be released.  She simply wants the torture facility that operates outside the law to be closed.

This story has not been getting any press in the United States, but it is in Europe and the rest of the world.  The braindead, mainstream media has looked past the criminal activity at Guantanamo Bay.  Apparently the ratings aren't high enough for the media to care.

That is, after all, what decides the direction of news.  War protests and old stories (even unresolved ones) do not receive strong ratings, so the media doesn't cover them.  The torture at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba was reported on a long time ago.  The media moved on, but the torture continues.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Alito Running Away From Convictions

I can't stand this whole Supreme Court nominee process.  A candidate spends an entire career boosting his resume with degrees, rulings, arguments, etc., but when they get in front of Congress, they become a different person.  Judge Alito is now trying to run to the middle of the political spectrum in order to appease Democrats.

I don't understand why the man just can't come out and say that he is pro-life and that he would overturn Roe v. Wade if it ever came up.  We all know that he is and that he would.  It's not like 100% of the American public would disagree with him anyway.  A majority would, but not a large majority.  Why play games and run around in circles for hours and days on end?

Now Alito is saying stuff like he "respects the rule of law".  This is apparently code that he respects prior decisions such as the one saying that abortion is ok.  Republicans are fine with this answer, because they believe he is just avoiding the topic.

The problem is that this gets us nowhere.  At the end of this session, we will not know any more about Samuel Alito than we do right now.  All we will know is how talented he is at dancing around questions from members of Congress.

I can picture it now.  Senator Joe Biden will begin grilling Judge Alito some tough questions; Alito will give some fluff answer that has nothing to do with anything, and then Biden will get incredibly frustrated and complain that the nominee won't answer his question.  Biden will be correct, but if the roles were reversed and it was a liberal nominee up there, he wouldn't have any problem with the dodging.

It seems like the Democrats don't want a big fight over the nominee because it will take publicity away from the corruption scandal that is engulfing Republicans.  Now is this any way to lead the country?  Democrats want people to follow them in 2006, but they still don't get it.


Monday, January 9, 2006

Democrats Set to Attack Alito

Confirmation hearings are set to begin tomorrow for conservative justice Samuel Alito.  Democrats are getting ready to pounce on Alito for two controversial beliefs that he holds.  The first is his strong pro-life stance and the second is his abysmal record toward women and minorities.

The pro-life stance is to be expected from a judge nominated by a Republican president.  Alito is clearly pro-life. However, this is a useless argument for Democrats.  Every nominee will be pro-life.  The real way to attack Alito is by focusing on his stances against everybody who isn't a white male.

Alito was a member of a Princeton alumni group that strongly opposed efforts to bring more women and minorities into the university.  Alito has pointed to his membership in this discriminatory group to showcase his beliefs and the issues he wants to fight.  The group itself, called the "Concerned Alumni of Princeton" has been disbanded.  However, it has been described as ant-women and anti-black.

I have no faith in the attack the Democrats will employ against this questionable candidate.  They will focus too heavily on his abortion record and stances and they will not hammer him on issues such as equal rights for all people.  I know Democrats and fellow liberals want a pro-choice justice, but it just isn't going to happen.

The end result should be a justice in the model of John Roberts.  The next justice should be a conservative, but a moderate conservative.  We do not need a justice of the United States Supreme Court who was a proud member of an anti-black and anti-women organization.  This country will not be well served by a right wing extremist in the highest court in the land.


Saturday, January 7, 2006

Tom Delay Steps Down, but When Will He Leave Congress?

The evil Congressman from Texas, Tom Delay, announced that he will not try to reclaim his position as majority leader of the House of Representatives.  Delay has already stepped down from this post, so his announcement his not really a big deal.  What is news, however, is when Tom Delay will resign altogether from his position as Congressman.

Tom Delay has already been indicted for money laundering.  He is also under investigation in the Abramoff scandal, as he and Abramoff were close allies.  Delay accepted gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from Jack Abramoff.  Abramoff flew Delay and his cronies to Europe to play at one of the finest golf courses in the world, stay at five star hotels, and eat at incredibly expensive restaurants.

There are enough crooks already in Congress.  Why is Tom Delay still a member?  The fact that he resigned is leadership post is nice and all, but he needs to be kicked out of Congress entirely.  Of course he won't be.  Nobody in Congress actually has a spine. 

So until Delay gets sent to prison (and I pray that he does), he will continue to take part in voting on the laws of this country.  That is a frightening thought!


Friday, January 6, 2006

Pat Robertson - Senile in Old Age or Always a Wacko?

Ok, I'm a little late for my post for the day, but in my defense, Pat Robertson isn't really worth the space.  But for some reason, people on the far right follow this lunatic.  In case you missed it, good ole Pat, founder of the Christian Coalition believes that Ariel Sharon's stroke was "punishment from God for dividing the land of Israel".

Pat Robertson Lifetime Loser AwardWow!  This guy really is insane.  People are suggesting that Pat Robertson is somehow losing his mind and that he doesn't really mean what he says in his old age.  Well, to lose your mind, you must have one in the first place.  Pat Robertson isn't losing his mind.  He's always been a racist pig and a complete idiot.  He preaches "thou shalt not kill" to all of his loser followers, but then turns around and claims we should "take out" the President of Venezuela.

I could waste more time and space telling you what a nutjob this guy is, but most of you already know this. 

Heck, even the White House condemned what Pat Robertson said today.  Perhaps Pat knows he has become irrelevant and pathetic, so these comments are just a desperate way to get some face time for the camera whore that he is.


Thursday, January 5, 2006

Miner's Tragedy Made Worse by False Reports

A little before midnight on Tuesday night, correspondents at CNN and NBC jumped on the air to proclaim that 12 of the 13 trapped miners had been found alive.  Rita Cosby, among others, stated that the news was 'confirmed' by the AP and NBC.  In seconds, the story was picked up by everyone and was being broadcast around the world.  The miners had been rescued, said the media.

For three hours, the media continued to report that the miners had been saved.  They ran huge banners across the bottom of the television screen telling the world that tragedy had been averted.  They updated their websites to the same end.  All of this was a mistake, a huge mistake.  As we now know, only one miner survived, while the 12 others died in the mine.  When the media found out the truth, that the miners had perished, only then did they confirm the story before they reported it.

There are many people to blame besides the media, but they hold the most responsibility.  The have the duty to report accurate news and not report rumor as fact.  If this were an isolated incident, perhaps I could look past it as an honest mistake.  Unfortunately that is not the case.  The mainstream media has become incredibly sloppy over the last decade, all in an attempt to report the story faster than everybody else.

The problem is that the media often reports false news.  Five years ago, Al Gore won Florida and was declared the next president of the United States.  That was until the media recanted the story. It's not just relegated to politics either.  ESPN and other sports outlets constantly get the news wrong.  Just two months ago, ESPN reported that Theo Epstein had signed a three year contract with the Red Sox.  It wasn't until the next day that they realized that Epstein hadn't signed a thing and had quit his job as General Manager.

All of this could be avoided if these media outlets actually checked their stories.  But they are increasingly not doing that.  They are in such a rush to beat the next guy, that they become sloppy and inaccurate.  This problem can be easily corrected if the media simply enforced their own rules of confirming stories.

You don't report that miners in West Virginia have been rescued when you can't confirm it with the people at the site. This is what the media did and they are all guilty.  Not one person confirmed with anyone working at the site that the men had been found alive.  All they had was rumors.  That is not the news!


Wednesday, January 4, 2006

The Largest Scandal Since Watergate

The largest corruption scandal in over 30 years is beginning to take shape in Washington.  Jack Abramoff, a once powerful lobbyist, has plead guilty to fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials.  In pleading guilty, Abramoff also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as they investigate dozens of members of the United States Congress.

Jack Abramoff  Jack Abramoff has information that can bring down the most powerful people in Congress.  He worked very closely with many members of the U.S. House and Senate and many have participated in his corruption scheme.  Among those he is expected to testify against is Representative Bob Ney (R-Ohio).  Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Tex), Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont), and Representative John T. Doolittle (R-CA) may also be implicated by Abramoff. DeLay was the recipient of many extravagant gifts from Abramoff.

The way Washington politicians do business is finally coming under scrutiny.  Most Americans already know that politicians are crooked, but not much is ever done about it.  Now that Abramoff is willing to talk, we'll be able to get a glimpse into how many crooks there are.

Lobbyists will also be investigated.  Lobbyists are the people who bribe politicians on a daily basis without thinking twice about it. Jack Abramoff was simply the most corrupt of a bad bunch.  There are many more like him who operate on smaller scales.

The amount of money lobbyists have at their disposal is unbelievable.  The number of people in Congress has stayed the same, but the interest groups have tons more cash at their disposal.

The coming weeks and months will reveal how many politicians are in serious trouble.  When Jack Abramoff finishes telling prosecutors what he knows, there will be a lot of lawmakers looking for lawyers!


Tuesday, January 3, 2006

CIA Ignored Intel That Iraq Had No WMD's

New information has come to light in a book that details how the CIA blatantly ignored good intelligence that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.  The CIA sent some 30 family members of local Iraqi residents to obtain intel on Iraq's nuclear weapons program.  All of these people reported back that Iraq had abandoned the program.

A key figure was a doctor in Cleveland, who went to Iraq in September, 2002 to speak with her brother, who had been part of Saddam's nuclear operations.  The brother was shocked at the questions themselves.  He also confirmed that the program did not exist.  The CIA believed he was lying to his sister.

In fact, the CIA decided that all 30 people that they sent to Iraq had been told lies.  Now, the 30 people that were sent were all random.  They were not related to each other, so concluding that they had all lied is quite a leap.

A month later, the CIA reported to the President that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program and posed a serious threat.  Why the CIA chose to ignore the previous intel that there were no nukes is unclear.  It seems that they were determined to report that Iraq had been trying to attain nuclear weapons, no matter what.

Months after the U.S. invasion, it was determined that Iraq had no WMD's.  Why the intelligence was manipulated in the lead up to war is a mystery.


Monday, January 2, 2006

Bush Defends Illegal Spy Program

George W. Bush continued to defend his illegal spying program in a speech in San Antonio, Texas.  He insisted that the program was limited, despite the fact that it has been reported as incredibly widespread.  Apparently, Bush believes that if continues to state how necessary the program is, then maybe he'll actually believe that he didn't break the law.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has opened up an investigation of the leak of the story.  Of course, they're not opening up an investigation into the legality of the program, which  is the main problem.  The Bush regime worked extremely hard at making sure very few people knew of the illegal operation.  Someone leaked the story, so the DOJ is looking into who done it.

The investigation into Bush should begin in January, if Senators and Congressmen live up to their past rhetoric.  Republican and Democratic Senators alike have demanded an investigation into George Bush's actions.  Many people on both sides of the aisle believe he is guilty of spying without a warrant.  The investigation should (hopefully) reveal the extent of the operation and how many laws were broken.

Impeachment proceedings will not occur unless Democrats are able to take control of the House and Senate in the upcoming elections in November.  Without the balance in Washington between the legislative and executive branches, Bush will be able to get away with just about anything.  Thus far, he has proven that he can.  Honest, Republican lawmakers have refused to hold him accountable for his actions.  We should not be surprised though.  Democratic lawmakers never held President Clinton accountable when he was making a mockery of the White House.


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