Thursday, August 30, 2007

Teamsters to try to block Mexican trucks


The Teamsters Union said Wednesday it will ask a federal appeals court to block the Bush administration's plan to allow Mexican trucks to carry cargo anywhere in the United States.

The union said it has been told by officials in the Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that the first Mexican trucks will be coming across the border on Saturday.

Teamsters leaders said they planned to seek an emergency injunction Wednesday from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

"What a slap in the face to American workers, opening the highways to dangerous trucks on Labor Day weekend, one of the busiest driving weekends of the year," said Teamsters President Jim Hoffa.

Joining the Teamsters in seeking the emergency stay were the Sierra Club and Public Citizen. "Before providing unconditional access throughout the country to tens of thousands of big rigs we know little to nothing about, we must insure they meet safety and environmental standards," Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope said.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in a statement, said: "we believe this lawsuit is without merit and that our program will benefit consumers by reducing the costly practice of requiring all cross-border shipments to be hauled by three separate trucks operated by three different drivers and provide U.S. trucking companies the opportunity to expand their business into our nation's third largest trading partner."

More @ Yahoo

It appears we are in a race for the bottom. This will "benefit consumers" by lowering costs at the expense of jobs, safety, and the environment. Just how badly do American consumers want this benefit? -Stash

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Why the White House wants to write the Petraeus Report

The Washington Post will probably be branded as traitors and not supporting our troops for giving us an advance look at the Patraeus Report... BEFORE the White House propoganda ministers get hold of it.

What our military would write:

Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress., according to a draft of a Government Accountability Office report. The document questions whether some aspects of a more positive assessment by the White House last month adequately reflected the range of views the GAO found within the administration The strikingly negative GAO draft, which will be delivered to Congress in final form on Tuesday. comes as the White House prepares to deliver its own new benchmark report in the second week of September, along with congressional testimony from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker. They are expected to describe significant security improvements and offer at least some promise for political reconciliation in Iraq.

After some "editing only for space", what the White House will release:

Iraq has failed to meet three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress, according to a positive assessment by the White House which will be delivered to Congress in final form on Tuesday along with congressional testimony from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker. They are expected to describe significant security improvements and offer at least some promise for political reconciliation in Iraq.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

With Gonzo out, Bush needs a nominee.

Just as qualified: Miss Teen South Carolina!

If not AG, how about FEMA?

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Draft College Republicans!


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Monday, August 27, 2007

A Socialist Plot

by Paul Krugman

Suppose, for a moment, that the Heritage Foundation were to put out a press release attacking the liberal view that even children whose parents could afford to send them to private school should be entitled to free government-run education.

They’d have a point: many American families with middle-class incomes do send their kids to school at public expense, so taxpayers without school-age children subsidize families that do. And the effect is to displace the private sector: if public schools weren’t available, many families would pay for private schools instead.

So let’s end this un-American system and make education what it should be — a matter of individual responsibility and private enterprise. Oh, and we shouldn’t have any government mandates that force children to get educated, either. As a Republican presidential candidate might say, the future of America’s education system lies in free-market solutions, not socialist models.

O.K., in case you’re wondering, I haven’t lost my mind, I’m drawing an analogy. The real Heritage press release, titled “The Middle-Class Welfare Kid Next Door,” is an attack on proposals to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. ... And Rudy Giuliani’s call for “free-market solutions, not socialist models” was about health care, not education...

The truth is that there’s no difference in principle between saying that every American child is entitled to an education and saying that every American child is entitled to adequate health care. It’s just a matter of historical accident that we think of access to free K-12 education as a basic right, but consider having the government pay children’s medical bills “welfare,“ with all the negative connotations that go with that term.

And conservative opposition to giving every child in this country access to health care is, in a fundamental sense, un-American.

Here’s what I mean: The great majority of Americans believe that everyone is entitled to a chance to make the most of his or her life. Even conservatives usually claim to believe that...

But a child who doesn’t receive adequate health care, like a child who doesn’t receive an adequate education, doesn’t have the same ... chances in life as children who get both these things. And insurance is crucial to receiving adequate health care...

So how can conservatives defend the indefensible, and oppose giving children the health care they need? By trying the old welfare queen in her Cadillac strategy (albeit without the racial innuendo that made it so effective when Reagan used it). That is, to divert public sympathy from people who really need help, they’re trying to change the subject to the supposedly undeserving recipients of government aid. Hence the emphasis on the evils of “middle-class welfare.”

Proponents of an expansion of children’s health care have, as they should, responded to this strategy with facts and figures. Congressional Budget Office estimates show that S-chip expansion would, in fact, primarily benefit those who need it most: the great majority of children receiving coverage under an expanded program would otherwise have been uninsured.

But the more fundamental response should be, so what?

We offer free education, and don’t worry about middle-class families getting benefits they don’t need, because that’s the only way to ensure that every child gets an education — and giving every child a fair chance is the American way. And we should guarantee health care to every child, for the same reason.

NY Times link (sign up required)

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Ted Nugent - Insane, Obnoxious Bastard!

Even if we felt this way about Bush, could we say it? Should we say it?

This guy is whale dung... and nothing sinks lower.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

FAUX News vs. Iran... at our peril

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Another Day in Republican Nutbar Paradise (Congressman Bill Sali)

On August 8th, Republican Congressman Bill Sali said, "We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes -- and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers."

Sali said the only way the United States has been allowed to exist in a world that is so hostile to Christian principles is through "the protective hand of God."

"You know, the Lord can cause the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike," says the Idaho Republican. He stated when a Hindu prayer is offered, "that's a different god" and that it "creates problems for the longevity of this country."

The comments drew criticism from liberal bloggers and Idaho Democrats. Former Idaho Democratic congressman Richard Stallings called for Sali to either apologize or resign.
Sali responded days later, sending Ellison an e-mail explaining he meant no offense.
"He said that he wanted to make sure that Congressman Ellison understood that he meant no harm or disrespect," Sali spokesman Wayne Hoffman said. Yahoo

So, on the 8th he trashes Congressman Ellison's religion as a problem contributing to the demise of the country, and on the 18th he says, "Hey, Keith! No offense, bro!"

What a putz, this Sali!! He didn't apologize. He basically said, "Bummer those Muslims got miffed." The Muslim community considers this an apology? The article states: 'A spokesman for a national Islamic civil rights group said the organization is satisfied with Sali's response.'

We may not be the most sensitive judges of Political Correctness but, Sali got off way too easy.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

ACLU to Gonzo: "Watzyerthinkin' here?" Anyone think he'll answer?

The Honorable Alberto Gonzales
Attorney General
United States Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

Today, my staff was briefed by the Justice Department regarding guidelines to institute the new foreign to domestic wiretapping authority Congress granted to you this month by The Protect America Act.

Regrettably, my colleagues reported that they learned virtually nothing new about how you intend to use the broad new authority to intercept emails and phone calls when one party is in the U.S., or how those U.S. people will be protected from unwarranted government intrusion. With so much at stake, the public needs to have a fuller understanding of what its Justice Department will be doing with its most private communications.

In particular, the Act confers on you the authority to issue year long orders for entire spying programs that identify neither the people nor the facilities that will be tapped. The only requirement is that the communications be of an international character - that at least one leg of the email or call is overseas. By definition, this new program will sweep in all those calls where the other leg is in the U.S., and will do so without court or congressional review. While we have long supported legislation that would allow our government to intercept foreign to foreign calls, this new, warrantless interception of Americans' international communications is far more than what the Administration asked for and what we believe the Constitution allows.

Further, the legislation was silent on how to treat these communications to which someone in the U.S. is a party. We are gravely concerned that Congress chose not to include mandatory protections for American communications, and instead left all such decisions to the Justice Department without further guidance.

Because you are solely responsible for determining how U.S. persons will be protected in this new program, we respectfully request a meeting with you to discuss in more depth how the Justice Department will be using its new authority. In particular, we would like to discuss:
Whether your new authority will be used to collect all international communications coming into and out of the United States,

*Whether you plan to return to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when you discover that a certain line or person has significant contact with the United States, and

*How information gathered on people in the United States will be used and what civil liberties safeguards will be put in place for instances in which information is collected on individuals who have no intelligence value to the government.

Congress left all of these questions to your discretion and we eagerly look forward to discussing with you how the Justice Department intends to deal with the serious civil liberties issues implicated by this new law.


Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union
ACLU Website

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Monday, August 06, 2007

The dry powder tour

Excellent post on Kos

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Feeble Democrats give Bush anything he wants.

Just one day after the Democratic Senate embarrassed itself by extending George W. Bush Domestic Spying Program, the House rolls over for him, too.

A loyal member of the Democratic Party would have to start wondering by now... just what was the point of winning the elections, again?

Weren't we going to be able to stand up to this miserable failure now that we controlled the House and the Senate?

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Nutbar of the Right, Tom Tancredo!

Tancredo told about 30 people at a town hall meeting in Osceola, Iowa, on Tuesday that he believes that a nuclear terrorist attack on the U.S. could be imminent and that the U.S. needs to hurry up and think of a way to stop it.

"If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina. Because that's the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they otherwise might do," he said.


So, riddle me this, Tom -

When we have Right Wing Christian nutbars setting of bombs or shooting doctors, should we, as a nation, send a bomb into... say..... The Crystal Cathedral? or another of the mega churches?

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Dodd rips O'Reilly a new one!

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tragedy in Minnesota

50 vehicles trapped. At least 62 people injured. 20 to 30 missing.


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