Friday, April 27, 2007

Chickenhawk Bill Kristol Confronted With Reality

Lead Chickenhawk Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard, who has never seen a war he didn't want others to go and fight, was confronted over the phone yesterday morning by a military wife while appearing on C-Span.

This woman, whose family has sacrificed so much for this war, told Kristol, who has sacrificed so little, that the soldiers and their families are real people who just "need a break."

Kristol looks incredibly uncomfortable (what's he drawing, 3-D cubes?), and blabbers about how he understands. No you don't, Bill. You don't understand shit. All you understand is calling for other people to go and fight and die while you and your fellow warmongerers make millions. Kristol will continue to propagate lies about how "we're turning the corner" and other bullshit like that, all the while not losing a wink of sleep. In the meantime, our soldiers and their families will continue to sacrifice and suffer until either Bush and Cheney are impeached and replaced by sensible leaders or a Democrat replaces those draft-dodgers in January 2009.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday Links

  • File under: Bush and the GOP using every lever of government to maintain power - White House officials conducted 20 private briefings on Republican electoral prospects in the last midterm election for senior officials in at least 15 government agencies covered by federal restrictions on partisan political activity. The previously undisclosed briefings were part of what now appears to be a regular effort in which the White House sent senior political officials to brief top appointees in government agencies on which seats Republican candidates might win or lose, and how the election outcomes could affect the success of administration policies. By the way, this is illegal.

  • Blacks already feeling the pinch from a housing shortage in the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina are facing racial discrimination in their search for rental property.

  • When New Hampshire's Democratic Governor John Lynch signs the civil union bill granting gay and lesbian couples virtually all the same legal rights as married heterosexuals next week, it will make New England the first region to have every state granting a measure of legal rights to same-sex couples. Even as the bulk of the country has passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and civil unions, New England has stubbornly gone its own way.

Alternative Energy Daily News - April 26, 2007

  • Boeing and Virgin Atlantic announced an environmental partnership, which includes an order for 15 787-9 Dreamliners, marking the largest 787 order to date for Europe.

  • Major grocery chains cut energy use.

  • Venture capitalists turned their attention to alternative energy like never before in the first quarter of 2007, pouring four times more money than a year ago, or $237 million into 10 deals. They put another $54 million into environmental innovation.

  • In one of the strongest statements on climate change ever made by a U.S. auto industry executive, Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally said Monday that global warming is real, manmade and caused in part by auto emissions. The same day, a top General Motors Corp. executive said that the nation should accelerate the push toward renewable energy to fuel automobiles and said the conversion to ethanol as a leading contributor is "entirely realistic" in a few years.

The Dick Rears its Ugly Head Again

You knew that it had to happen. It was just a matter of time. After being uncharacteristically quiet for a period of time after the November 2006 elections (in an undisclosed location, no doubt) it is back in its full glory. This is not its first reappearance since the "thumping" of 2006. First it shrunk back in defeat, but then it slowly began growing back to prominence. First peeking one eye out at a time. Then rising back up. And now it has fully raised its ugly head again. I am talking, of course, about The Dick Cheney, and it’s recent attack on Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid. Reid and the Democrats have had the audacity to call for a timetable for withdrawal from that catastrophic success known as Iraq in exchange for more war spending. How dare Reid and the Democrats mess with The Bush and The Dick’s little war. On Tuesday The Dick charged that the Dem’s "blind opposition to the new strategy in Iraq" was politically motivated. What?

If The Dick wanted to see a war equals votes strategy, I suggest that it simply go to the Oval office and look at The Bush. Or simply take a long, loving look in the mirror. What it will see are the authors of a war started and continued in large part merely to fan the flames of fear and false patriotism in the American public. Simply for the purpose of wining elections and gaining more power. Take a tragedy, use it to instill fear in the public, then blame it on a non-guilty but handy and defenseless enemy. Then beat the war drums further with false charges of mushroom clouds. Use this to win two elections. Then, when the war goes south, continue the same mantra, despite all of the evidence that your policy is dead and the war is lost. Deny reality. Blame that reality, which you yourself created, on the opposition. Call them unpatriotic or defeatist. Meanwhile, the death toll beat goes on. Yes, The Dick has reared its ugly head yet again. And it is uglier than ever.

If anyone now could now doubt that this administration manipulated 911, the so-called war on terror, and bogus WMDs all for political purposes, just look at the news this week. Look at the testimony before Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-Calf.) House Committee on Oversight and Reform, that the military and this administration lied to Pat Tillman’s family and the American people about the circumstances surrounding Tillman’s death. Tillman, the NFL star who gave up a multi-million dollar contract to join the army to fight, ostensibly, for freedom, was shot and killed by a fellow army ranger in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. However, to have revealed to the country, particularly following on the heals of the revelations regarding Abu Ghraib, that Tillman was killed by mistake would have been politically unacceptable. After all, in The Bush and The Dick’s wars, Americans, particularly good looking rich football stars, do not die in vain. They must die heroically. So The Bush and The Dick had to create a story, a myth. Just as they had to create the lie about Rambo Jessica Lynch. Just as they created the story and myth of the 911-Saddam connection and WMDs.

The Dick should just shut up and go away. Nobody now believes its crap anymore. It should just hunker down with the Bush and sit out the rest of this war, just like it and The Bush did during Vietnam.

- Jeff Bloomfield

Editors note: Perhaps not so ironically, on Tuesday GOP presidential candidate (and the mayor of New York on 9-11) Rudy Giuliani continued the Republican tradition of the politics of fear, asserting that if a Democrat is elected President in 2008 America will be in greater danger of "a new 9-11." Keith Olbermann took Rudolf to task last night with another one of his amazing Special Comments. Watch it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Alternative Energy Daily News - April 24, 2007

  • New York city mayor Michael Bloomberg presented a package of 127 initiatives designed to achieve the sustainability goals that he had outlined in December 2006, including reducing carbon emissions by 30% by 2030.

  • Houston is rolling out 10 hybrid buses, with another 30 on the way.

  • Members of the Senate Energy Committee met Monday to begin hearings on the Energy Efficiency Promotion Act. Topics on the agenda include promoting efficient use of oil, natural gas and electricity; reducing oil consumption and heightening energy efficiency standards for consumer products and industrial equipment.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Update: Senator Feingold on GOP's Secret Hold

Just below, we noted that an anonymous Republican senator has placed a "secret hold" on a bill that would make campiagn finance (gasp!) more transparent.

This afternoon on DailyKos, Democratic Senator Russ Feingold comments on the GOP's blatantly obstructionary and cowardly tactics.

Senator Feingold is one of our favorite senators for many reasons, not the least of which is his willingness to take absolutely zero bullshit from Republicans. He's also a fellow progressive, and you can join him and his Progressive Patriots today.

Monday Links

  • Despite a cartoonishly bad performance in front of the Senate last Thursday by Alberto Gonzalez, in which he lost even more support from Congressional Republicans, Bush continues to express "full confidence" in the Attorney General, his fellow Texas Troglodyte. However, the mainstream media is starting to note that the "signs point to the White House"and, at least in some degree, to the president's political adviser, Karl Rove in this scandal. David Iglesias, the former New Mexico U.S. attorney and one of the eight fired last year, said, "If I were Congress, I would say, `If the attorney general doesn't have answers, then who would?' There's enough evidence to indicate that Karl Rove was involved up to his eyeballs."

  • Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer will introduce a bill in the coming weeks to legalize same-sex marriage in New York.

  • Mike Adkinson, a colorful developer, hopes to build a brand new city from scratch in Mississippi for thousands of Katrina refugees.

  • A secret hold has been placed on a bill, S. 223, that would mandate that Senators file their campaign finance reports electronically. This process would not only make these reports more readily available to the public but would also save money and resources. The Sunlight Foundation is working to find out which senator has placed the hold on the bill. Oh, and surprise surprise, the senator in question is guessed it, the GOP! Who else would object to ordinary citizens knowing where their dirty money comes from? You can help the Sunlight Foundation out this loser here.

  • The Washington state legislature passed a landmark five-week paid family leave bill.

Nasty Newt

I just could not pass up a quick comment on Newt Gingrich’s statements on ABC News’ "This Week With George Stepanopoulos" Sunday wherein Mr. Newt blamed the Virginia Tech massacre on "liberalism." When asked by Stepanopoulos to explain this comment he replied with some bizarre nonsense about violence in video games, not being able to talk about rights coming from God, and situational ethics. What a craven use of a tragedy for political purposes (typical for Republicans, and not unprecedented for Newt). What a lowlife, scum-sucking pig this guy is. And he wants to run for president? Democrats should be so lucky. Hey Newt, how about blaming Virginia Tech on capitalism? Who sells and makes millions of dollars off of violent video games and music? Ever thought of that? Nah.

- Jeff Bloomfield

Alternative Energy Daily News - April 23, 2007

Hope everyone enjoyed Earth Day 2007. Let's make a commitment to do something every day to help stop global warming.

  • Beginning May 1, all 229 buses in the Memphis Area Transit Authority fleet will burn a biodiesel fuel blend. And, sometime in the summer, the agency is slated to receive four even cleaner diesel-electric hybrid buses. Notably, the switch will bring cost benefits.

  • New York University purchased 118 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy between 2006 and 2007, earning it the greenest-school title in the EPA's annual College & University Green Power Challenge.

  • Governor Don Carcieri's administration this week unveiled a report calling it feasible to build wind farms off the coast of Rhode Island as part of a plan to get 15% of the state's energy from wind in five years.

  • New Mexico's two U.S. Senators have introduced legislation to reduce the use of fossil fuels by improving efficiency in vehicles, buildings, home appliances and industrial equipment.

  • In the past two years, many retailers have started going greener in the way they build stores, use direct mail and package their products.

  • In nod to consumer tastes, Nissan to sell cleaner cars.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Safer to be Daffy

Back during my duck hunting days, it was illegal to use a shotgun that could hold more than three shells at one time. This, I assume, was to protect the ducks from greater slaughter and allow the duck population to flourish. I heard no one complain that their beloved Second Amendment was being violated by this. It was accepted as a reasonable restriction. A compromise. A balance of competing interests.

If we can protect Daffy without destroying the Second Amendment, why can’t we protect people by a similar limit on the number of rounds that a handgun or clip can carry? Simply ban 20 round clips. Limit handguns to 3 shots. Can a reasonable argument be made by the NRA that this would not have at least kept the carnage at Virginia Tech to a lower level?

Of course, we cannot have a rational discussion of ways to balance Second Amendment rights with saving lives. The response by the NRA and others to any discussion of gun control is that any limit on guns is a left wing, communist, secular humanist, anti-Christian, un-American, socialist, Jewish, Islamo-fascist, pinko, homosexual plot to take away our guns. After we are rendered defenseless, "they" will then ban school prayer, burn our flag, ban our SUV’s, rape our sons, enslave our daughters, and then force us to eat crepes while listening to the Dixie Chicks and watching the Motorcycle Diaries. If we let them limits any aspect of our precious gun toting heritage, then it is only a matter of time before the guvment has taken all our guns away. This cogent argument, of course, comes from the people who gladly let our guvment restrict other constitutional rights in the name of security (and saving lives).

This country simply must get past these insane arguments and finally address the gun problem that we clearly have in this country. As we have not, but need to do with national security, we must also find a balance between the constitution and public safety. Until we do this, it is safer to be Daffy.

- Jeff Bloomfield