Thursday, May 24, 2007

In Defense of Rosie O´Donnell

I was one of the people that saw yesterday's "The View" when Rosie O´Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck had a heated argument over the Iraq War. I decided to post this defense of Rosie because I have seen her words so twisted by the media that it makes me sick.

What she originally said was how we are perceived by the Iraqi people. Never once did she call our troops terrorists and Elisabeth Hasselbeck knew that. She also knew of Rosie's financial support of a new hospital for wounded veterans in San Antonio. What Rosie was asking her was very clear. Did she think that Rosie thought our troops were terrorists. It was a simple yes or no answer that Elisabeth refused to give. The original statement of how the US is perceived by the Iraqi people is a correct one. We are viewed as terrorists. What is the definition of terrorism? According to the US Dept. of Defense it is "the unlawful use of -- or threatened use of -- force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives.". If the Iraq War does not fit that description then would someone please tell me what doews. Here are some facts about Iraq since the invasion:

655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have died if the invasion had not occurred.

Less electricity than before the war.

35% Increase in Poverty Since the Invasion

60% unemployment

70% Rate of Inflation from 2005 to 2006

Women in Iraq are more unsafe than ever

A refugee crisis that is spiraling out of control

Production Sharing Agreements that will take most of Iraq's Oil Wealth for a generation and give it to big oil.

Now you tell me how the average Iraqi sees America. Their country is in shambles and they can barely leave their homes. Death and destruction is everywhere. Yes I would say the Iraqi people see us as terrorists. That is what Rosie was saying and she is correct. Never did she suggest that the troops were terrorists but that those who sent them are. That is a fact that is hard to deny.

Please someone pass these facts onto Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She said she deals in facts. I hate to tell her but Fox News is not facts and those that listen to Fox are being lied to plain and simple. Also someone should suggest to her that her third string quarterback husband should enlist. If she believes in this war so much let her have some "skin in the game".

Rosie O'Donnell gave both her money and her time for wounded troops. What exactly has Elisabeth given? Put up or shut up!!!!

The fact is that the Iraqi people were better off under a brutal dictator then they are now and that should make every single American sick to their stomach. Osama Bin Laden is still on the loose and plotting and scheming as we speak. When Elisabeth says how we are safer now because there was no attack since 911 I would ask her to remember that we were not attacked from February 1993 to September 2001. Bush has two years to go before he matches that record.

One other thought for Mrs. Hasselbeck: Waiting seven minutes during a nuclear attack could have meant the lives of countless thousands. If you truly believe that sitting in a classroom for seven minutes while the country was under attack was the best use of his time, then the hair dye has damaged your brain.

If our media would spend as much time examining the war and Bush policies as they do on Rosie maybe the American people would truly understand what is happening and demand change.

Gas Hikes Cost Econmy 20 Billion

While oil companies enjoy record profits, the average driver has already forked over an additional $146.00 per car this year.
"Spending billions more on gasoline constrains consumers' budgets, leaving less money available for other purchases," GAO's Thomas McCool said in written testimony to a House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on the cause of record prices.

Like many other energy experts, McCool said the GAO has found that current high pump costs are the result of a large amount of oil refining capacity being offline, strong gasoline demand and lower fuel inventories.
With record profits, why isn't money being spent to modernize refineries and allow greater capacity. The reason is simple. They are screwing us plain and simple. With less capacity and greater demand comes higher prices and higher profits. It is time to enact a windfall profits tax that would be used to reimburse taxpayers for this horribly corrupt practice.

Keith Olbermann On The Democrats

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC gave this amazing "Special Commentary". We must all call our elected officials and demand that they do not cave in on the Iraq Funding Bill. The Democrats were elected to end this war. If they think the American people do not fundamentally understand the bill that the President vetoed then they need to explain it. When the people understand completely they will stand with you and against this President. Grow a set for a sake of the hundreds possibly thousands of people who will die if you do not.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Was Al-Qaeda Using Iraq As A Base?

That is the title of an article in Time Magazine. My question is not why this article was written but the timing of the release of this classified information.
President Bush declassified portions of a 2005 intelligence assessment Tuesday that alleges that Osama bin Laden authorized allies in Iraq to plan operations both in and outside of that country targeting the U.S. The President very quickly put it to political use against the Democrats. On Wednesday, speaking at a commencement address to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., he said: "The question for our elected leaders is: Do we comprehend the danger of an al-Qaeda victory in Iraq, and will we do what it takes to stop them? However difficult the fight in Iraq has become, we must win it. Al-Qaeda is public enemy number one for Iraq's young democracy, and al-Qaeda is public enemy number one for America, as well. And that is why we must support our troops, we must support the Iraqi government, and we must defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq."
The reasons for the declassification are very transparent, its to try to increase support for the Iraq War. The problem with this strategy is that Al-Qaeda had no presence in Iraq before our invasion. The hell that is Iraq is the result of our invasion and no amount of declassified information will change that. There are no good options left in Iraq. They are in a civil war that is escalating and our presence is only making matters worse. It is time for this war to end.

John Edwards Statement on the Iraq Funding Compromise

This statement was just released by Senator John Edwards:

"The so-called compromise under discussion in Congress that would give the president another blank check to continue his failed war is a serious mistake. Full funding is full funding, no matter what you call it. Every member of Congress who wants to support our troops and end the war should oppose this proposal. If you're in Congress, and you believe this war is wrong, I urge you to use every power you have to stop it if it's brought up for a vote. Block the blank check.

And I urge all Americans who want this war to end to tell your representatives in Congress that you will support them if they stand up to the president. Tell them you understand that when the president vetoes a bill that funds the troop and ends the war, he is the only person in America stopping support for the troops. It is time for this war to end. As I have said repeatedly, Congress should send the president the same bill he vetoed again and again until he realizes he has no choice but to start bringing our troops home. Anything less is everything he needs to prolong the war."

Bravo Senator Edwards. It is time that the Democrats grow a spine and stop this senseless war!!!!.

Monica Goodling To Testify Today

Monica Goodling, the former Justice Department Official, will testify today at 10:15. She was granted limited immunity from prosecution to testify in the fired United States attorneys scandal.

This could be the second Monica who opened her mouth at the wrong time and took down a President. The difference with this one is that the activities she will be discussing could very well be criminal. Alberto Gonzales has claimed the memory of an Alzheimer´s patient on this scandal. Lets see if Ms. Goodling´s testimony jogs his memory. What everyone needs to listen for is the real reasons for the firings. It is becoming more and more clear that the Justice Department was being used as an arm of the Republican Party. Prosecutors were expected to go after Democrats and not investigate Republicans. This should be very interesting television. You can watch this live on C-Span or stream it here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Military Pay Increase Opposed By Bush Administration

The White house is trying to kill the Democratic plan to increase military pay 3.5% next year. The White House wants only 3%.
In a letter from the White House Office of Management and Budget to congressional committees overseeing the military, OMB director Rob Portman said Wednesday that the administration "strongly opposes" a Democratic plan to bump up military salaries by 3.5 percent instead of Bush's request for a 3 percent jump.

"The cost of increasing the FY 2008 military pay raise by an additional 0.5 percent is $265 million in FY 2008 and $7.3 billion" if similar raises are enacted over the next five years, Portman's office said in a six-page memo outlining concerns about the defense spending bill that was approved by the House early Friday and will be taken up by the Senate this week
Let me get this straight. The President professes to support the troops yet begrudges them a 2.5% additional pay raise over 5 years then what he proposed. This pay raise could be paid for with three weeks worth of expenditures from the Iraq War. I have an idea, how about we cancel the billions in oil company subsidies and use that to pay for this increase. The military is in Iraq fighting for their interests anyway. It only seems fair. Do you still believe that this President supports the troops? These people are disgusting with no redeeming qualities.

Are The Democrats Caving?

There are multiple reports that the Democratically controlled Congress will be sending a new war funding bill that will not include timetables for withdrawal from Iraq.
Party officials said Monday the next war spending bill most likely will fund military operations and not demand a time line to bring troops home, although it will contain other restrictions on Bush's Iraq policies.
I can understand the desire to make sure that the troops in the field are funded but the prior bill funded them completely. It was President Bush who vetoed that bill and put the safety of the troops at risk. Giving the President what he wants will do nothing to help end this disaster. The Democrats were put in control of both houses of Congress to get us out of this war. They need to stand firm and understand the American people are with them. If they roll over and play dead, to a President with the lowest approval ratings in a generation, they will cease to be relevant.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Gas Prices Continue To March Higher

Hold onto your wallets folks. The oil companies want more.
U.S. retail gasoline prices climbed to another record Monday, while crude oil futures were little changed amid concerns that domestic refiners are not producing enough gasoline to meet peak summer demand

A gallon of regular unleaded costs an average of $3.196 (84 cents a liter), up from $3.178 on Sunday, according to AAA and Oil Price Information Service. Prices are up 33.7 cents a gallon (9 cents a liter) from a month ago and 30.4 cents from a year ago, as demand remains strong, and a spate of planned and unexpected refinery shutdowns have constricted supply.
Why exactly are the refineries closing? Why don't they produce more when they are open? This is a deliberate attempt to further profit margins for the oil companies. When will Americans demand higher mileage standards? I am in Brazil and see thousands of small cars not sold in the United States made by American car companies. Why aren't these cars available. Its time to demand answers to these questions.

Jimmy Carter Is Right

Former President Jimmy Carter is today backing off his scathing criticism of the Bush Administration. In the Saturday article in the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette, he said that the Bush Administration was the worst in history for international relations. Today he said those remarks were careless.

I am in Brazil on vacation and I believe that what President Carter has said is the view of most of the worlds people. In my brief conversations with Brazilians, they have told me how much they hate President Bush. They have called him a killer, an idiot, a tyrant and the most dangerous man on earth. They have a real fear of him and are reluctant to have their government sign any trade agreements.

Brazilians have a long history of loving all things American. The movie theaters are filled with American movies, the malls filled with American products yet they distrust America and loathe President Bush. Anti-Americanism is high throughout South America and has contributed to the rise of leftist governments in Venezuela and Bolivia. Since President Bush started the Iraq War, I have seen firsthand the decline in the view of America.

Jimmy Carter is being diplomatic when he says his remarks were careless but a majority of the world shares that view. The image of America has been destroyed by the Bush Administration and made our nation less safe as a result.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tainted Chinese Imports Common

If you have been reading this site you know that I have posted about the problems with imports of food and medicine from China. It is time for real action before there are more needless deaths as a result of tainted food from China. Are we so concerned with corporate profit and the desire for cheap imports that we are willing to allow a certain amount of death from imported Chinese products?

American companies are constantly trying to break into the Chinese market but roadblocks are erected at every turn. The people of the United States need to stand up and demand labels on all food products telling us where all ingredients are from. We must also demand that any incidents of rancid food or banned ingredients are publicly available. This is a matter of homeland security and national health. We must put health and welfare before corporate profits.

Everyone needs to read this entire article. It really made me sick to my stomach.

Iraq is Big Money for Al-Qaida

Funds to further terrorist activities by al-Qaida are coming from Iraq. This is just the latest proof that the war in Iraq has emboldened al-Qaida and made us less safe all around the world.
In one of the most troubling trends, U.S. officials said al-Qaida's command base in Pakistan increasingly is being funded by cash from Iraq, where the terrorist network's operatives are raising substantial sums from donations to the insurgency as well as kidnappings of wealthy Iraqis and other criminal activity.

The influx of money has bolstered al-Qaida's leadership ranks at a time when the core command is regrouping. The trend also signals a reversal in the traditional flow of al-Qaida funds, with the leadership surviving to a large extent on money from its most profitable franchise, rather than distributing funds from headquarters to distant cells.

Al-Qaida's efforts were aided, intelligence officials said, by Pakistan's withdrawal in September of tens of thousands of troops from tribal areas along the Afghanistan border where bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, are believed to be hiding.
Pakistan, is our ally in name only and continues to be a safe haven for terrorists. If the Government of Pakistan falls it will quickly become the most dangerous nation on earth. The war in Iraq has misplaced our priorities and inflamed the next generation of Muslim men. Al-Qaida will have no trouble recruiting the next generation of terrorists. The Iraq War is a disaster on more levels than we can possibly imagine. We are left with no good options in Iraq. The daily bloodshed breeds the next generation of terrorists and pushes Iraq deeper into civil war. This is what happens when you choose war.

7 Soldiers Killed in Iraq

Seven American soldiers and a translator were killed in separate attacks in Baghdad and a city south of the capital, the U.S. military announced Sunday.

Six of the Americans — and the translator — died Saturday in a bombing in western Baghdad, the military said.

A soldier from the 13th Sustainment Command was killed and two were wounded when a blast struck their vehicle Saturday near Diwaniyah, a mostly Shiite city 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Baghdad, the command said.

The names of the victims were mot announced until their families can be notified.
When will this madness end? The only surge I see is the surge in the number of our soldiers killed and maimed. When is President Bush going to accept the fact that peace is not coming to Iraq? His actions have plunged Iraq into a civil war and 140,000 U.S. troops are not enough to stop it.

Food Safety Oversight Changes Are Proposed

Lawmakers are pushing to put all food safety concerns under one federal agency
"I believe the food safety system is broken. It's collapsing," Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, told CNN "We're unable to protect the public health. We're unable to protect public confidence in the food supply."

DeLauro has introduced the Food Safety Act of 2007, which would create a Food Safety Administration responsible for ensuring the security of the food supply from all forms of contamination.

Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and Chuck Schumer, D-New York, introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
The call for this legislation is the result of a few high profile food poising incidents, the most recent which led to the death of thousand of dogs and cats when they ate tainted pet food. The FDA is currently operating with fewer inspectors and a budget shortfall at a time when more and more of our food is being imported without any oversight. A single agency to handle this sounds like a solid plan. In the age of homeland security, how can we be cutting inspections? Shouldnt the safety of our food supply have as high a priority as the safety of our airplanes? Will we wait for a major incident before we close the gaping loopholes in our system? Corporate lobbyists will be doing their best to stop any legislation that could interfere with their profits. It is up to the people of the U.S. to demand safe food at any costs.