I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Friday, June 30, 2006

That Neil Young Guy...

Living With War Network & Living With War Today Newspaper
Available Now at www.neilyoung.com

Submissions Being Accepted for
Protest & Topical Songs & Videos

(Burbank, CA) June 29, 2006-Two exciting new additions to Neil Young's website make their debut today. Living With War Network will feature both brand new videos and documentaries for songs from the recent album Living With War, as well as rare archival material from the musician's past, including a live clip of "Mideast Vacation," filmed in 1987. Several other surprises are going to be available on the site soon, making it a not-to-miss interactive destination for everyone interested in world events.

Living With War Today, with its motto "All War All The Time," is a special online newspaper with an wide array of features, ranging from a unique Time Line Analyzer to reports from the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Freedom of Speech '06 tour. There will be continual tour info and updates, which starts Thursday, July 6th in Camden, NJ, continuing across the United States and Canada.

A unique feature of the newspaper will be a section for artists to submit their own protest or topical songs and videos for possible play on the LWW web network. Along with that is the LWW Today Questionnaire, which asks readers to share their thoughts on five questions regarding the war, with selected responses to be posted as they come in.

Other newspaper items include the exclusive Time Line Analyzer, which allows website visitors the ability to track events before, during and after the Living With War album throughout the media. The Great Debate section, which collects all the pro and con reviews of Young's Living With War album is also now available at LWW Today, allowing readers to fully trace all the critical reactions to the controversial release.

Other highlights include an exclusive travel section, as well as a series of features on each song from the album. The first story, "After The Garden," is written by noted scribe Jack Flak. Others will become available over the summer.

Two important icons are included near the masthead that provide links to both the USO, so readers can support those in the military needing assistance, as well as the League of Women Voters, for those seeking voting information regarding the upcoming election in the Fall.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Even Lassie Can't Help Timmy Pawlenty

Since we’ve got Timmy...

"Since we got Timmy Taxcut, we've got fewer police, (and surprise! more crime.) We've got Minneapolis libraries that are only open 3 days per week, and we've got a transportation system that is costing us millions in lost productivity and fuel waste. But at least we can take the time we're sitting dead on the freeways to count our tax savings."
This is one mess Lassie can’t help Timmy get out of.
Hat tip to Read Menace

PS: If you see Lassie ask him to come home, we've a new kid on the block!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Iraq Reality

...Maybe if we saw more 'reality' out of Iraq and less spin, this war would end a lot sooner.

This is what "BJ Hunnicutt" had to say about the Bagdad ER.

I saw "Baghdad ER" on HBO last night (Sunday, May 21). I'd heard that the Defense Dept. had issued warnings urging servicemen and women back from Iraq to be wary of watching as it might trigger PTSD symptoms. Perhaps they hoped those about to go wouldn't watch as well, for fear they might not show up.

"Baghdad ER" is a documentary about a "CASH," a Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. I recommend it for every American, but the queasy be warned: it is excruciating. I cringed at the gore, was sickened by the death, wept at the frustration and resignation of the medics, at the faith of the chaplain, at the simple, shocked, blank expressions on the faces of kids younger than my son – victims of this fool's war. Listening to the bravado of some, aching to comfort those who came in knowing they were hurt but not how badly, made me want to scream. Watching this horrifying, endless process, the tears on my face kept drying from the heat of my anger. Glorious, generous, talented, dedicated human beings forced to be part of this circus of carnage made me so furious I couldn't speak at the end.

I loathe the people who have created this monstrosity. I want the criminals who lied and cheated and pretended and twisted and perverted reality - and those who rationalized their crimes - so they could send over 2400 servicemen and woman to their death, nearly 18,000 to come home torn - some never to be whole again - thousands more to suffer mental damage, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians to be swept into the garbage can of "collateral damage," to pay. These bastards and their apologists should be stripped naked and forced to walk the main streets of America, allowing every city and town that has lost a loved one to injury or death in this shameful catastrophe to heap on them the scorn they deserve.

John F. Kennedy said America would never start a war. Well, it has now, and its architects have damaged our character, poisoned our standing in the world and soiled the soul of what was once the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Minnesota's Unholy Alliance of Cheney And Bachman

Vice President Dick Cheney was in town fund raising for local republican candidate Michele Bachmann better known as an obstructionist chalkful of ideological bombs. In other words she's all Minnesota wingbat with no Minnesota's values.

MnPublius blogged: "One of her arguments is that the traditional family is under attack. I wonder, what does she think of Vice-President Cheney's family? She'll gladly keep her mouth shut, I imagine, as long as he brings in $250/head."

So what is it? Cheney has openly supported Mary, his gay daughter. Is that acceptable behavior to Bachman? As long as she rolls in the $$$ to hell with her 'family' values! Are her values and beliefs only as deep as her campaign fund?

And what about Cheney? Does he really want to fund raise for Minnesota's anti-gay icon? Talk about an unholy alliance! Is there nothing these folks won't do for the 'cause' and to stay empowered?

And since were asking questions, who pays for all the state troopers used to shut down the highway when Cheney travels to/from these GOP fundraisers? I know I didn't enjoy waiting in traffic at rush hour. And why was this fundraiser outside Bachman's district?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Is MN State Auditor Anderson Suffering from Number Fatigue?

Minnesota's Auditor Pat Anderson must surely be suffering from number fatigue given the $12 million in errors posted in reports on her website and now claiming to be twenty positions lower than her assigned start in the Farmington Parade lineup!

It would seem that Pat Anderson was not happy with her late entry number and was telling organizers she was number 43 instead of 68. She insisted they had made a mistake and needed to move her group up in the parade line up.

Unfortunatedly Pat Anderson remained at her higher assigned position when organizers told her that she would have to provide proof. (Anderson claimed she had a written notice from them giving her a lower number but failed to produce it). According to one organizer, every year they can count on Anerson to complain about something and demand 'special' treatment.

So, how hard could it be to track your parade line up number especially if you're Minnesota's State Auditor? Is this just one more sign that being the watchdog isn't Anderson's forte! Maybe it's time for a change to Rebecca Otto.

BTW, the republican'ts marched with a blowup plastic bulldog/watchdog that kept deflating and the music "who let the dogs out'. John Kline (R) had some large dogs with posters....but the show stealers where the two little brats (boston/rat terrier mix) dogs that marched with the Coleen Rowley for Congress group!

In Minnesota The Times Are A-Changin

Two years ago the Koposia Day parade in South Saint Paul was a little disheartening. There were hecklers that chanted B U $ H, BU$H, BU$H...while hurling insults as we walked with other Democrats. There was one display of open encouragement for us as I remember it. Most of the time the crowd was subdued and silent. Although Democrats won all three MN seats in the Senate District. there was no doubt about the loud subgroup of republican'ts within the senate district. Koposia Days wasn't a parade for the faint of heart Democrat.

So imagine my surprise at the positive greeting Democrats got last Friday night at the same South Saint Paul Kaposia Day Parade. In a display of Democratic unity, Betty McCollum, Jim Metzen, Joe Atkins, Rick Hansen, Katie Siebens, and Karla Bigham marched together as one Democratic Delegation. The parade attendees openly cheered, yelled and clapped in support. They shouted out encouragement and greetings as our group passed by. Many of the watching adults would reach out and just shake our hands and tell how glad they were that we were Democrats. They took stickers and passed them around to their neighbors and friends openly encouraging them to support us.

I'm proud to be a Democrat. But last Friday night I was even prouder that others recognize why. The times are definately a-changin..

Bob Dylan
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Friday, June 23, 2006

By All Signs, It's Friday

All the signs are there...if you just read them...
Have a safe and wonderful weekend.
Try not to squint when you read.
And remember, idiots are everywhere!

The War in Iraq
It’s simple: Democrats are for a new direction with a road map and a plan... Republicants are for more of the same

Thursday, June 22, 2006

State Representative Keith Ellison Unplugged

This article was written by a friend of mine Isaac Peterson. While long, I thought it contained lots of insight into the character and passion of Keith Ellison and therefore well worth the read.

Minneapolis’ Northside state rep riffs on his run for Congress
If State Representative Keith Ellison’s current bid to replace outgoing Martin Sabo in the U.S. House of Representatives is successful, it would make him the first African American to represent Minnesota in Congress, as well as the first Muslim from any state.

Ellison, a North Minneapolis attorney and member of Minnesota’s House of Representatives, emerged as the front-runner in a crowded field of candidates to cinch the DFL endorsement in May. Ellison still must win the DFL primary in September, where he will face challengers Ember Reichgott Junge, Paul Ostrow and Mike Erlandson.

In the Minnesota legislature, Ellison established for himself a reputation as a formidable orator and a passionate advocate for the causes he championed. It has been suggested by some that Ellison has the potential to go to Washington and become “the next Paul Wellstone.”

Although Ellison has assembled a strong campaign team and appears to want to run an issue-oriented campaign, he does have his critics and detractors and has been forced to deal with what he considers to be petty side issues.

Ellison shared with us his reasons for running for Congress, his record as a State Representative, his views on the Bush administration, and other topics. The words beneath the following subheadings are entirely Ellison’s.

*Why he’s running*
The reason I’m running for office is because I want to make peace and justice the guiding principles of our country, because I think that if we have peace we can divert all the resources being devoted into this war into things that human beings actually need.

If we have peace, we can have better relations with other countries around the world. If we operate on the basis of peace, we can credibly promote peace in other parts of the world.

I’m very concerned about how the Bush administration seems to see war as the guiding principle of our nation and always look to military action as the first option.

The second reason I’m running is that I believe that we should have universal health coverage in our country. Everybody should be able to go to the doctor — at this point we have 46 million Americans who see the emergency room as their healthcare plan.

This is ridiculous in the wealthiest country in the world. If other industrialized countries like Canada and the European Union can cover everybody, we ought to be able to cover everybody, too.

Third, I think we have to move very deliberately and quickly towards a renewable future. We need to invest heavily in clean energy and renewable fuels. We need to invest heavily in hybrid vehicles and in mass transit so that we can move people and not cars.

Fourth, I think that we need to really look at the expansion of executive authority. The Bush administration, based on the fear associated with 9/11, has essentially manipulated the country to the point where he controls us through fear and has thereby expanded his authority.

I think the executive branch at this point is almost an imperial presidency. He says that he can torture people if he wants to; he says that he can spy on people if he wants to; and he has now forced through a law that says that they can look at our library records and the books we purchase from bookstores...

The very basis of privacy is threatened in our country.

Another reason I’m running is I want to stand against the “wedges.” The Bush administration told us last year that the problem with our country is the gay and lesbian community, and that barring them from the institution is the number-one issue. This year they’re telling us the immigrants are the problem, and then most recently they’re telling us that gay marriage is the problem all over again.

So they keep on manipulating the population through these wedge issues, and I think it’s important for people to stand up against those wedge issues as I have done and will continue to do.

That’s why I’m running, and that’s what my agenda’s all about.

*His Minnesota House record*
As you know, the Democrats have been in the minority in the House. And despite the challenge of being a member of the minority, I’ve still been able to pass bills to protect our children from lead poisoning, from being exposed to mercury. I’ve been able to pass bills on election integrity to protect the vote, to be a co-author on bills to expand transit like the Northstar commuter rail.

I’ve introduced more bills than any [other] Democrat, and I’m only behind about three Republicans who are all committee chairs.

I’ve always been an independent voice for the environment, for children, for our seniors, for transit, for the right to vote, to make sure that we have good reentry services for people who leave prison and try to stay straight; all these are things I’ve been working on and been consistent about.

*Sabo’s legacy*
Martin Sabo was a great legislator, and I hope to be able to be as effective as he was in Congress. I hope to be able to bring people together the way he did, to fight for basic economic justice issues like Social Security as he did, and maintain that legacy.

I just want to say that this election presents us all with a choice: an “ownership society” — in other words, an “on your own society” — or a society in which we’re all in this together [and] we have shared responsibility and shared benefits.

I choose the shared society, the society where we all believe that everybody counts and everybody matters. I’m running on that platform, and quite frankly, people who try to distract us from that platform are simply enemies of that platform.

*Guiding principles*
Over the last four years, my religion has not come up as an issue. Now it seems to be all certain people want to talk about when, in fact, I’ve been consistent in making sure that my faith shows through my behavior and in how I try to treat other people well.

I’ve never worn it on my sleeve or made it an issue for other people. Now it seems to be something people want to talk about on a regular basis, but it simply doesn’t matter.

I also want to say that I am a curious person. I have looked into the issues — I haven’t just taken people’s word for it. I’ve gone to lectures and I’ve spoken out on issues that I care about, but always with the idea that civil and human rights are the most important things in our country.

The idea that everybody has a voice, that people should be treated fairly and equally, that’s been a guiding principle of my life. I’ve always, always stood by that.

*Keith Ellison’s campaign may be contacted through www.keithellison.org or by calling 612-522-4416.

By: Isaac Peterson, III
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 6/14/2006

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Summer Solstice

What a lovely first day of summer.
Children are dying,
Mothers are crying,
Shell Oil is buying,
Troll-shit is flying,
Mother Mary is sighing,
and I keep on trying,and trying,
and trying not to lose hope.
-Poem from kablooie at BlondeSense

The summer solstice is the day of the year with the longest daylight period and hence the shortest night. Metaphorically that should mark the end of the dark evil reign of Bu$h...More babblegook here.

Omens Of Doom

The 'Coalition of the Willing' (which wasn't all that big to begin with) has really been shrinking as of late. The lastest to annouce exit plans from the coalition is Japan and Italy. For those keeping score, the United States deploys the vast majority of the soldiers in the occupying coalition with the majority of other troops coming from the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom will probably continue to follow Bu$hCo's folly through the Iraq quagmire and right over a cliff. In fact by all accounts we may be 'free falling' right now given today's events in Iraq:
Japan and soon to be former coalition member Italy... will have plenty of company with former coalition members: Bulgaria, Ukraine, Nicaragua, Spain, Honduras, Norway, Dominican Repubnlic, Philippines, Thailand, Hungary, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Netherlands, Moldova, Tona, Iceland, Kazakhstan. South Korean, New Zealand, El Salvador, Norway, the Netherlands and Thailand.

Bush's 'Lie And Die' War

That Kerry Guy

On Iraq: My plan is not "cut and run." Their plan is "lie and die."
According to NYTimes : Kerry has pissed off some Demos because he wants specifics regarding a time table for withdrawing troops.

Imagine that, wanting a specific plan during a major operation or a war.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Underfunding = Higher Crime = Unprepared

Expect stuff like this to continue because the Bush Administration's budget significantly cuts grants for our nation's first responders-police, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel.

While Governor Pawlenty plays a blame game, let there be no mistake about who is to blame...Minnesota's First Responder Formula grants are underfunded by the current administration a whopping: $16,572,418.

Is there any wonder Homeland Security Report Releases US Still Unprepared for Major Emergency...

Putting The DNC Convention In Minnesota

Next week, June 26-28, Minneapolis/St. Paul will play host to delegates from the Democratic National Committee Technical Advisory Committee. The delegates will help in determining if Minneapolis/St. Paul will host the National Democratic National Convention in 2008. Among the other cities looking to play hosts is: New Orleans, a sentimental favorite, Denver. a strong contender as well as New York. AP says
"While they're here, they'll be treated to a $20,000 reception at the Walker Art Center. They'll also find $500 worth of flowers in their hotel rooms and they'll each go home with gift bags valued at $200, according to documents obtained by the Star Tribune. The Twin Cities are finalists to host the GOP or Democratic national conventions. Democrats will be in town June 25-28, and Republicans will scout out the area in August"

Monday, June 19, 2006

Send in the Clown...

Well, the Iraq “victory” didn’t last long. Dump John Kline tells us about a sensitive cable from the US Embassy that “…outlines in spare prose the daily-worsening conditions for those who live outside the heavily guarded international zone: harassment, threats and the employees' constant fears that their neighbors will discover they work for the U.S. government.”

Maybe Bu$h will go back and stay longer than 5 hours....but then again, there's a war going on. He'll just have to send his lapdog John Kline, who as DJK points out, is a good soldier and war cheerleader but not a very good independent leader for the folks in Minnesota's second congressional district...but then I already knew that.

Mr. Bu$h Has An Immigration Wedgie

Bu$hCo's Lies:

"As a nation that values immigration and depends on immigration, we should have immigration laws that work and make us proud," Bu$h said. "Yet, today, we do not."
The Facts:
..."Between 1999 and 2003, worksite enforcement operations were scaled back 95 percent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which has been merged into the Homeland Security Department."

The number of employers prosecuted for unlawfully employing immigrants dropped from 182 to four, and fines collected declined from $3.6 million to $212,000, according to federal statistics.
If you don't enforce the laws you have, how do you know they don't work?

I'm Having Trouble Sleeping At Night

This has got to end.

"This is the end Beautiful friend
This is the end My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
Ill never look into your eyes...again
Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need...of some...strangers hand
In a...desperate land
Lost in a roman...wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane"

The End

Saturday, June 17, 2006

'W' For Strong Democratic Women Candidates

I took a walk today in the Cottage Grove Parade with a couple of great Democratic candidates...and it wasn't until someone mentioned it that I realized they were all women!

Yes, five endorsed DFLers... and all are women! This is one time when the capital 'W" stands for WOMEN. Ironically W probably was a motativing force behind their decisions to become involved in politics.

I encourage everyone to visit their websites and if you can give money! We will win with women (five 'W's!)

Karla Bigham, (MN Rep candidate SD57A)
Eileen Weber, (MN Rep candidate SD57B)
Katie Sieben, (Current MN Rep & MN Sen candidate SD57)
Coleen Rowley, (CD2 Congressional candidate)
Amy Klobuchar, (US Senate candidate)

Pawlenty Wrong With Minnesota's Roads

Delayed since 2001, it looks like there will be at least one more year delay to repairs scheduled to Hwy 62 (Crossroad Commons) because of Governor Pawlenty.

The repair is estimated to cost 250 million dollars but Pawlenty wanted contractors to 'put up' front money of 96 million that the state would pay back to them later. Really I guess that's a sweet deal for the state, that is, if you can find a contractor...er sucker...willing to underwrite half the cost of the project. Problem is: not one contractor was willing. Not a single road contractor bid for the 250 million dollars contract for Hwy 62..

Maybe it's time to rename all of Minnesota's potholed and congested highways "Pawlenty's follies". Unfortunately Minnesota now has so many roads like this, if we named them all, we would just drive around in circles...er..that is when we can move around. Most times we'd be sitting in our cars, waiting and buring up gas while cursing another shortsighted lack of leadership move by our governor that leaves Minnesota's citizens stranded on:
'Highway's to Hell'.
Livin' easy, livin' free,
Season ticket on a one-way rideAskin' nothin',
leave me be,Takin' everything in my stride
Don't need reason, don't need rhyme,
Ain't nothin' I would rather do
Goin' down, party time,
My friends are gonna be there, too

I'm on the highway to Hell!
On the highway to Hell!
Highway to Hell!
I'm on the highway to Hell!

No one stop signs, speed limit,
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Like a wheel, gonna spin it, Nobody's gonna mess me 'round
Hey Satan, payin' my dues,Playin' in a rockin' band
Hey momma, look at me,I'm on my way to the Promised Land Whoo!

I'm on the highway to Hell!
Highway to Hell! I'm on the highway to Hell!
Highway to Hell, mmmmm...Don't stop me!Yeah! Yeah! Ow!
I'm on the highway to Hell!
On the highway to Hell!
I'm on the highway to Hell!
On the highway to - whoa!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Deja Vu Friday

It seems like just last week it was Friday! Deja Vu..Enjoy...

Deja Vue America:
It's official America is now a police state.
And in case you had doubts...

Deja Vu Conventions:
Our DFL Convention:

Packed and up to our necks in Democracy,,,1225 delegates on Friday!
even the greenies and meanies dropped in for visits...

Their (Republican'ts) Convention:
No one showed up...
True story, a young DFL college leader I know has a grandma who's a life long rethug. She stopped driving last year due to her health. My friend was afraid he would have to drive granny because she was a delegate to the rethug convention. When he mentioned it to grandma, she said "Heaven's no, I don't need to go! They've already done everything anyway"

So much for inclusiveness and team work. No wonder the place is empty.

Deja Vu Iraq
''Terrorists can strike and can kill without warning before the forces of order can throw them back. And now he has struck again. At this very hour, a second wave of terrorists is striking the cities. Our forces are ready. I know they will acquit themselves, as they always have, however tough the battle becomes. There has never been a finer fighting force wearing the American uniform than you." Lyndon Johnson (37 years ago)

Deja Vu Bu$h
Another milestone in a long and growing resume of milestones.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Pulling A Boehner

Republican Majority Leader Boehner is a creep. Think Progress posted up a memo that takes a look at how his mind works......here's the summary of what it's says:

1. Exploit 9/11. The two page memo mentions 9/11 seven times. It describes debating Iraq in the context of 9/11 as an imperative.

2. Attack opponents ad hominem. The memo describes those who opposes President Bu$h's policies in Iraq as sheepish, weak, and prone to waver endlessly.

3. Create a false choice. The memo says the decision is between supporting Preznut Bu$hCo's policies and hoping terrorist threats will fade away.

Here's my reply to Boehner

Dear Mr. Bu$hiter Boehner, Here's some help defining rethugs:

1. Traitors that don't look out for or set policies in the interests and welfare of all Americans or uphold our constitution.

2. War Profiteers and Halliburton shills that make money off of their policies including the war in Iraq.

3. Murderers for not following up on pre 911 warnings, pre-emptive war in Iraq, stripping FEMA and it's ability to respond timely and adequately during Katerina,jholding prisoners indefinately with charges or trail, and intentionally not caring for America's weakest, poor, seniors, sick and youngest.

4. Criminals for all the above, for law they broken and malfeasant malfeasants of office.

2,500 Reasons To Get Out Now

Per the Pentagon:
American deaths since the invasion of Iraq have reached 2,500.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed.

18,490 US troops have been wounded in the war.

Meanwhile, Bush tries to devert attention away from the facts.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bush In Iraq Today!

Here's his speech:
Blah, blah blah, today is a new day. Blah, turned the corner for freedom. Blah a new start toward an independent government. Blah, blah, blah, freedom. Blah a historical turning point in the war against terrorism blah freedom. Blah, milestone blah, blah Iraq’s recovery blah freedom. Freedom isn't free. Blah, blah...
Okay I confess I didn’t actually see Bush, but I bet I got it really close to what the idiot said..er..lied about. Need a refresher on the real speech..er..lies Bu$h has told about Iraq:

Bush’s Claim
"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.”
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003
Iraq has 500 tons of chemical weapons:
- Sarin gas
- Mustard gas
- VX Nerve agent
Not True
Zero Chemical Weapons FoundNot a drop of any chemical weapons has been found anywhere in Iraq

Bush’s Claim“U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents.”
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003
Iraq has 30,000 weapons capable of dumping chemical weapons on people
Not True
Zero Munitions FoundNot a single chemical weapon’s munition has been found anywhere in Iraq

Bush’s Claim“We have also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003
Iraq has a growing fleet of planes capable of dispersing chemical weapons almost anywhere in the world
Not True
Zero Aerial Vehicles FoundNot a single aerial vehicle capable of dispersing chemical or biological weapons, has been found anywhere in Iraq

Bush’s Claim"Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaida."
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003
Iraq aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda
And implied that Iraq was somehow behind 9/11
Not True
Zero Al Qaeda Connection
To date, not a shred of evidence connecting Hussein with Al Qaida or any other known terrorist organizations have been revealed. (besides certain Palestinian groups who represent no direct threat to the US)

Bush’s Claim"Our intelligence sources tell us that he (Saddam) has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003
Iraq has attempted to purchase metal tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production
Not True
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as well as dozens of leading scientists declared said tubes unsuitable for nuclear weapons production -- months before the war.

Bush’s Claim"Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at [past nuclear] sites."
Bush speech to the nation – 10/7/2002
Iraq is rebuilding nuclear facilities at former sites.
Not True
Two months of inspections at these former Iraqi nuclear sites found zero evidence of prohibited nuclear activities there
IAEA report to UN Security Council – 1/27/2003

Bush’s Claim"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003
Iraq recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa
Not True
The documents implied were known at the time by Bush to be forged and not credible.

Bush’s Claim"We know he's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
VP Dick Cheney – “Meet the Press” 3/16/2003
Iraq has Nuclear Weapons for a fact
Not True
“The IAEA had found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq."
IAEA report to UN Security Council – 3/7/2003

Bush’s Claim"We gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in."
Bush Press Conference 7/14/2003
Iraq’s Saddam Hussein refused to allow UN inspectors into Iraq
Not True
UN inspectors went into Iraq to search for possible weapons violations from December 2002 into March 2003

I Testify

Jamie Raskin, professor of law at AU, after testifying in March 2006 was asked By Republican't Senator Nancy Jacobs
"Mr. Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What do you have to say about that?"
Raskin replied:

"Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."


Bu$hCo's Back Door Tricks Permanency

The Bu$hCo administration is moving toward Iran. Getting physically closer everyday. This briefing paper Iran: Consequences of War provides a comprehensive analysis of the likely nature of US or Israeli military action that would be intended to disable Iran’s nuclear capabilities. It outlines both the consequences in terms of loss of human life, facilities and infrastructure, but also the likely Iranian extensive responses.

Don't believe the U.S. is headed that way? Then how do you explain:

Immediately to the west of Iran, the United States is building permanent military bases. . . To the east, Iran sees the United States firmly ensconced in Afghanistan, with two permanent bases now established at Bagram near Kabul and at Kandahar . . . Moreover, a large new military base is being developed near the western Afghan city of Herat, close to Iran’s eastern border with that country. Finally, the United States has developed close military links and, in some cases, basing facilities in a number of countries to the north and east of Iran, especially those close to the Caspian Basin oil fields or pipelines that bring such oil through to Black Sea or Mediterranean ports.

The House and Senate went on record opposing permanent bases, but now the Republicans are trying to sneak them back in in the middle of the night by attaching them in the middle of other bills. Fortunately one was caught last week and deleted.

The Republicans willingness to abuse the legislative process is clear evidence of their unwillingness to level with the American people about their plans for Iraq and Iran. Instead of just asking 'when will it all end?', perhaps we need to also ask 'where will this all lead to?'.

Internet Vote For Coleen Rowley

Two organizations, Democracy for America and Mark Warner's Forward Together PAC, are conducting an online vote right now to determine which progressive candidates will receive a donation from their respective committees. Coleen Rowley (Minnesota Democratic congressional candidate in CD2) has been chosen as a candidate for both. This is grassroots at its best, and it costs you nothing to participate.

Visit their site and vote for Coleen. Better yet, encourage friends and family to do the same. It's that easy. This is strictly a numbers game: the top vote recipients move on to the next round. So go vote!
The sites:
DFA: http://tools.democracyforamerica.com/housevote/

Forward Together PAC (you must register first): http://www.forwardtogetherpac.com/mapchangers

Monday, June 12, 2006

Impeach George Bush Today

Zarqawi's Death
...Not in my name
"It doesn't bring me relief because it doesn't bring my son back. We could prevent the suffering of far more families if we would impeach George Bush today and end this war today...Any loss of human life is a loss for all of us...In Zarqawi's case, it's a double loss. Not only was he a human being who has parents who are suffering in the same way that my family and I have suffered, he's also a political figure, and his death is going to reignite the next wave of revenge - revenge that Zarqawi participated in, revenge that George Bush participates in, revenge that goes back to prehistoric times. It never solves anything."- Michael Berg, father of contrctor Nicholas Berg, who was beheaded in Iraq. It is believed that Berg was killed by Zarqawi's hand (USA Today)
So 'Zarqawi' is finally dead. Zarqawi is killed but Iraqis aren't celebrating in the streets- worries over electricity, water, death squads, tests, corpses and extremists in high places prevail for now.
As long as foreign troops are in Iraq, resistance or 'insurgency' will continue- why is that SO difficult to understand? How is that concept a foreign one?"A new day for Iraqis" is the current theme of the Iraqi puppet government and the Americans. Like it was "A New Day for Iraqis" on April 9, 2003 . And it was "A New Day for Iraqis" when they killed Oday and Qusay. Another "New Day for Iraqis" when they caught Saddam. More "New Day" when they drafted the constitution… I'm beginning to think it's like one of those questions they give you on IQ tests: If 'New' is equal to 'More' and 'Day' is equal to 'Suffering', what does "New Day for Iraqis" mean?How do I feel? To hell with Zarqawi (or Zayrkawi as Bush calls him). He was an American creation- he came along with them- they don't need him anymore, apparently. His influence was greatly exaggerated but he was the justification for every single family they killed through military strikes and troops. It was WMD at first, then it was Saddam, then it was Zarqawi. Who will it be now? Who will be the new excuse for killing and detaining Iraqis?
Will the car bombs lessen? Will the ethnic cleansing halt? Will military strikes and sieges die down? Wasn't that the promise made when we invaded, then when we took control, and then when we caught Saddam, and then when we ot Al Zayrkawi?

Now- who needs to be killed to stop the Ministry of Interior death squads and trigger-happy foreign troops?

US Diplomacy Sucks

U.S. Diplomacy isn't working and I know the reason why:
The Bush administration stared down a new wave of international condemnation of Guantànamo yesterday, dismissing the suicides by three inmates of the prison camp as a "good PR move" on their part and an "act of asymmetrical warfare", or that's what Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Coleen Graffy had to say.

DFL All-Stars

US Senate – Amy Klobuchar
US Congress – Coleen Rowley
MN State Governor – Mike Hatch
MN Secretary of State – Mark Ritchie
MN State Auditor – Rebecca Otto
MN Attorney General – Matt Entenza

Saturday, June 10, 2006

DFL Convention Review- The Good, the Bad, The Ugly

Okay so my battery ran out in ballot #7 yesterday...which is just a well, so here the summary with one or two observations...

First, In my opinion every single candidate (minus the of the floor Amy K. opponents) were above average and capable of performing in the positions they ran for. In many cases the only differences was style and type of experiences. This bodes well for the DFL. It means that the caliber of leadership and thier experiences will only get better in the next couple of years. Those who didn't get endorsed this time, will run for other positions in the future. It also means that our party is now positioned to provide the leaders for the future of Minnesota. The convention definitely was a Win-Win for all the delegates looking for quality candidates that understand Minnesota's needs for representation that will use our values.

In regards to those who won:
Hatch won on the voter base of union. About 35% of his base was union. They were there to vote Hatch and so his base was steady and slowly bled off the others. I guess if I was running for DFL endorsement I'd make sure to court the union first. They are a large enough block to keep your base solid while building the rest.

Mark R was pretty close to the same story with one exception. Both Christian and Mark had union but Mark came out early and had already shored up the old Dean group who bring with them many grassroots organizers. The two fractions together made the difference in tipping the scale for Mark R. I found both of the candidates to be compelling in their beliefs and passion and believe the DFL need more like these two outstanding candidates.

The Convention itself:
The DFL leadership stepped up and put on a very professional and open convention. There needs to be some tweaking of credentials (okay maybe a little more than tweaking, more like a complete overhaul of the processs) but that was minor compared to the rest of the convention.

Brian Melendez is to be congratulated for the inclusiveness of the convention. In the past, one or two key DFL staff ran the whole mismanaged show. With this convention, Brian built a team of staff and activist so that the history and learning curve will carry over to the next convention. Now that's true leadership - to see not only what has to be done now but several years down the road! This was a perfect example of how the DFL has changed for the better under Melendez's leadership. Besides running a totally open convention, he built a solid base to do the next one. Kudos to him and his staff for an excellent job!

Some suggestions:
I'd like to see more music during dead time...It's a party so let's party!

Alternates need to be involved! I've thought about this and decided there should be classes for them during the convention when they're not on the floor. Maybe one or two classes (one morning and one afternoon) for typically Democrat activities. Obviously they want to be involved so let's get them trained. Maybe bring in Wellstone to do a quick workshop or presentation. We need to recognize them for coming at their own expense without knowing if they will even get on the floor. Several time I would look up and the baloney was always full. Let's get them involved or give them something each day to feel it's worth it.

I would also offer up that they need there own entertainment so why not DFL bingo. Give those sitting in the balcony DFL bingo once or twice a day. It could be fun and informative. Or pass out quick quizzes and offer token prizes to winners. Or ask that the candidates run through the alternates first or afterwards. Come on...get them involved!

Finally, I think there should be a handout developed before caucuses that explains to delegates the time, money and travel to attend a convention. Our SD was missing several folks because they didn't realize the cost when they ran for the position. For those new, I don't believe that's unique.

DFL Convention Day 2 Update 4

5:20 Pm
6th Ballot
60% 778
Hatch 665 for 51.3%
Kelley 606.5 for 46.8
no endorsement 24 for 1.9

Still looking like a long time...
I have a headache from all the shouting..
The floor looks like a rolling sea of moving signs full of loudly shouting folks. Hatch has the loudest group that's for sure.

DFL Convention Day 2 Update 3

Well we're at the flash poin...5th ballot.
1209 votes
60% would be 779
Hatch 646.5 for 49.8%
Kelley 609 for 46.9%
no endorse 42.9

So It looks like most went to Kelley and no endorse,,,or they went home and their alternates voted Kelley....

Folks we have a dead heat race going on...
Next ballot will tell us if we're going to be here awhile.

DFL Convention Day 2 Update 2

3:30 PM On the 4th ballot Becky Lourey was dropped off. She indicated that she would see everyone in September. I take that to mean she'll be running in the primary without endorsement.

The count for the 4 ballot:
total 1394.5
60% would be 777 votes
Hatch 580.5 for 44.8%
Kelley 429 for 33.1%
Lourey 282.5 for 21.8 (dropped because she's not at 25%)

so the question will be where will Becky's people go. Will they go to Hatch, Kelley, or home?

I predict that 60% go to Kelley...the rest to hatch although I bet at least 10 to 20% go home.

Stay tune...

DFL Convention Day 2 Update 1

Looks to be a long day based on the first ballot.
Hatch 39.4%
Kelley 29.4%
Lourey 31%

Voting my hopes and dreams I'd like to see Lourey but this one is up in the air for now...just to close to tell.

DFL Convention in Review Day 1

No big surprise. Amy Klobachar received the endorsement for US Senate.

There was two challengers but between them they drew less than 1% of the votes. They did manage to get 24% to uncommitted to show disapproval of Amy's position regarding her lukewarm stance on withdrawal of troops in Iraq and also her insistances that nukes are an option she wouldn't rule out.

While I personally want a stronger candidate on these issues. Combined with all her other assets and positions Amy makes a compelling candidate and one that will surely be better than Kennedy.

I'm disapointed in the direction the peace first folks took in trying to promote an issue by hurting a Democratic candidate. Surely even they are aware that Amy will be better than the rethug option. And while I kept hearing we have to send a message...how about this...let send a POSITIVE message. One full of our hopes and dreams and beliefs and thoughts without cheap positioning on top of individuals. Additionally, they spent a lot of time and energy by calling delegates and alternates that could have been better spent developing talking points and information on why we should be out of Iraq instead of why we shouldn't support Amy. Lastly I believe they hurt their cause by standing outside outside the convention and telling folks Amy was 'republican lite'.

For the future of the peace movement, we need to concentrate on issues and promote those who carry our message. Energy spend on tearing up someone we need as an ally won't further the cause....

DFL Convention in Review Day 1

No big surprise. Amy Klobachar received the endorsement for US Senate.

There was two challengers but between them they drew less than 1% of the votes. They did manage to get 24% to uncommitted to show disapproval of Amy's position regarding her lukewarm stance on withdrawal of troops in Iraq and also her insistances that nukes are an option she wouldn't rule out.

While I personally want a stronger candidate on these issues. Combined with all her other assets and positions Amy makes a compelling candidate and one that will surely be better than Kennedy.

I'm disapointed in the direction the peace first folks took in trying to promote an issue by hurting a Democratic candidate. Surely even they are aware that Amy will be better than the rethug option. And while I kept hearing we have to send a message...how about this...let send a POSITIVE message. One full of our hopes and dreams and beliefs and thoughts without cheap positioning on top of individuals. Additionally, they spent a lot of time and energy by calling delegates and alternates that could have been better spent developing talking points and information on why we should be out of Iraq instead of why we shouldn't support Amy. Lastly I believe they hurt their cause by standing outside outside the convention and telling folks Amy was 'republican lite'.

For the future of the peace movement, we need to concentrate on issues and promote those who carry our message. Energy spend on tearing up someone we need as an ally won't further the cause....

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

To Senator Russ Feingold: "I Do"

As Jon Stewart pointed out last night, "the last time Bu$h resurrected any support for the Marriage Amendment was two years ago (before the last elections)." So the fact that we're seeing it now has nothing to do with chance or marriage and everything to do with elections.

With Republicans facing a tough uphill run to maintain their seats amid growing scandals and corruption charges, Bu$h brings out the 2000 pound elephant called 'the Marriage Protection' amendment. But instead of taking it directly on, Democrats have argued against it on procedural grounds, leaving Republicans on their moral high horse er elephant.

But yesterday, on the Senate floor, Senator Russ Feingold, began by framing the issue for what it is:
"This is pure politics, an election year gambit. Mr. President, we should not play politics with the Constitution. Nor should we play politics with the lives of gay and lesbian Americans who correctly see this constitutional amendment as an effort to make them permanent second-class citizens."
Senator Feingold did eventually made all the appropriate procedural anti-amendment arguments but also went on to say:

"I happen to believe that two adults who love each other and want to makea lifelong commitment to each other, with all of the responsibilities that thatentails, should be able to do so, regardless of their sex."

Today the amendment was defeated but theirs always the next election. Hopefully by then, we're prepared to do more than just react.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

666=WWW=Just Another Minnesota Day

So it's late afternoon under a beautiful Minnesota sky and I'm still standing...unmarked on the 6 day of the 6 month in the 6 year of 2000...
I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but it just hasn't... not as of yet. Sure there's some signs, omens if you will, like Bu$h announcing yesterday a federal amendment to take civil rights away from gays and of course there's more and more iraq war crimes by US 'liberators' coming to light.

But other than a Tektronic printer spewing out numeric code in an apparant attempt to communicate, I haven't seen any blights, locust, avenging angels, salesmen or horsemen. I have seen the IT guys but they're trying to discern what my printer is doing.

As this is 666 (06/06/06) some are worried that prophecy theorists (Republican'ts Christians) or hate groups (the remaining koolaid drinking Republican'ts) might read something ominous into the date and use it as an excuse to stir tension. Or as said in the book of Revelations:
"Here is wisdom. Let he who has understanding calculate the number of the Beast; for his number is that of a man; and his number is 666". Rev:13:18
For others, it is a beastly marketing opportunity as 20th Century Fox's remake of "The Omen" and Rethug's Head Queen 'B', Ann Coulter's book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism, both 'coming out' today.

While there's many scholars who will differ, 666 is suppose to signify the beast as in anti-christ. A "W" ( pronounced 'vov'') is the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and, in the Hebraic number system, has traditionally stood for the number 6, so WWW = 666 (yes the internet comes into play here! or Dubya!Dubya!Dubya!)...For those really into numbers and meanings, look into cabal or just google away...lots out there to entertain you till the beasts come home...

For most of us, it's a non happening...a 'be in' that wasn't. Although I did stumble across this and it gave me pause to think about the beast in all of us:
Carbon atoms, key to life as we know it, have six protons, six neutrons, and six electrons in their most common form.

If Marriage Is Between One Man and One Women What Do We Do About Utah?

Well, since all the real problems like proverty, childcare, education funding, affordable transportation and infrastructure, healthcare, taxation, enviromental, gas prices and war have been addressed, the Senate will vote to enshrine homophobia into the US Constitution. President Bush says
“Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of marriage would undermine the family structure. Marriage is the most fundamental institution of civilization, and it should not be redefined by activist judges,”

So, my question is this: When can we expect the state and federal authorities to start enforce the law already in place regarding marriage? Or, is this just more fluffy hotair to go with the already in place immigration laws that aren’t enforceable as is and don't adequately deal with the problem? Mybe we can fence in all those un-gay marriages?

To become law, the proposal would need two-thirds support in the Senate and House, and then be ratified by at least 38 state legislatures. It stands little chance of passing the 100-member Senate, where proponents are struggling to get even 50 votes. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the amendment on May 18 along party lines after a shouting match between a Democrat and the chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. He bid Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., “good riddance” after Feingold declared his opposition to the amendment and his intention to leave the meeting.

FYI: Utah is a very red state...
How many Polygamists are there in Utah?
About 60,000 (5% of Utah Mormons)

Why aren't all those polygamists jailed?
A recent (1998) poll by the Salt Lake tribune found that 35% of Utah's population think that polygamists should not be prosecuted. Many of the folks in Utah are descendants of polygamists, and don't care to heap the same type of intolerant abuse on their neighbors that the early Mormon people were subjected to. In addition, the laws that were written against polygamy are basically laws against consensual sensuality, which cannot be prosecuted in today's legal climate. (so why against gay?)

Mark Ritchie for Secretary of State

I feel compelled to post my personal endorsement of Mark Rithcie for Secretary of State. He is the one candidate I feel most passionately for this year, and I believe that he will make a great SoS. His broad experience and clear understanding of voting rights is what we need in that office, and he will be a solid candidate to win in November. His fantastic fundraising abilities, and his in-depth knowledge of many issues, plus his inspirational spirit will help the entire DFL ticket. Please join me in supporting him for SoS.

There is an in-depth discussion going on right now at Minnesota Campaign Report. Check it out!

Monday, June 05, 2006

A President Pretty In Pink With Cookies...

Before Bill became President, Hillary Clinton had become an accomplished attorney and was widely known in Democratic policymaking circles as a successful children's advocate. She was also a Yale-trained lawyer who had made partner in one of Arkansas most prestigious law firms. By all accounts, Hillary was a self made women. Now, there's loads of speculation she'll be running for President which has brought out the yea and nay sayers...

"The truth...
...Is that Hillary Clinton is not very interesting. She doesn't lead. She doesn't address real problems that people are facing. She preens and self-righteously moralizes about the flag and how kids are lazy and play violent video games. She passes some reasonable legislation, like the minimum wage increase, and works on good things like net neutrality. But there's nothing particularly interesting, considering that her last name is Clinton." Matt at MyDD
I'm adding my nay to the growing list...but surprising enough I really don't want to but...In 1992 amid mounting criticisms of how active a role she had in establishing policy, Hillary put on a pink designer suit with a white apron and entered the 'Family Circle' presidential wives' bake-off (between Clinton and Barbara Bush). It was a feeble attempt to mollify the asses and thugs by acknowledging where they saw her place...Which, I might add...Didn't work.

In my eyes it was like she was trying to play stupid or worse yet...Blond. And in case you don't know the reason for pink:
Observers parsed Clinton's pink suit for meaning and it was read as deliberate costuming. A tough woman had wrapped herself in sugary innocence. She was trying to seduce an audience into believing that nothing untoward could have been done by the little lady in baby-blanket pink.

It was difficult to see any irony in Clinton's pink suit, although there well may have been plenty. A woman in pink, exuding all the connotations of girls being made of "sugar and spice and everything nice," is a cliche that stubbornly lingers in the culture. Clinton wasn't so much mocking the process as succumbing to it. She was settling into her "proper" place if only for the photo of. For Clinton, a pink suit worked like a shield.

Isn't it past time we judge women in the political arena for their acumen and not their cookie receipe? Really I don't give a fig if the President can bake cookies, I just want to know if she'll show the necessary leadership to help guide our country and make wise decisions while being a solid and trusted figured. And I want the women I vote for to be strong enough to keep to policy over cookies no matter how hot it becomes in the kitchen.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Friday, It's A Wrap

It's beautiful out, enjoy the weekend...

Just one more reason why Democrats are the party open to all.

And along the same line...let's start using "Republican'ts".
Okay I still like rethugs but maybe ...for sure...it's time for a change!

Is it just me or does music speak to both beauty and beast?

RFK Jr.'s post-mortem of the '04 election fraud in Ohio is a must read...Not because you'll feel any better, but because it will give some closure. You'll still be angry, upset and spiting mad but hey, that been the last six years.

"Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen." Lou Harris, "the father of modern political polling.

"Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House."BY ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.

That's the headline and lead-in of this article in Rolling Stone.

And Circle over at KOS waxes more on RFK. Oddly enough it reminded me of…me…

Martin Luther King was right when he said if you haven't discovered something
you're willing to die for, you aren't fit to live.

And in a related story:
"Ohio coin dealer admits funneling illegal campaign funds to Bush"

A Revolutionary Act

"When deceit becomes universal, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
Coleen Rowley: Singing the Truth: Not Ready to Back Down

Meet one of the leaders in the revolution to take back our country.
Coleen Rowley, Agent for Change in Minnesota's Second Congressional District.