Friday, May 05, 2006
This has got to be some kind of a joke:
BBC, Reuters, and the Media Center recently conducted a worldwide poll asking respondents about their level of trust in the news that they receive from governmental sources, newspapers and television/radio/internet.
In three countries governments scored higher than the media. In the US, 67% of respondents said they trusted the government compared with 59% prepared to put their trust in the media.
But here's the joker: in the United States, the single most trusted news outlet is FOX News.
Source: BBC (pdf)
Thursday, May 04, 2006
As if we didn't have enough crap to worry about, now it transpires that most of the Democrats in the House of Representatives - and now the Senate - have signed on to a bill (HR 282, the Iran Freedom Support Act -vote: 397-21) designed to impose sanctions on Iran, and, as near as I can tell, whether or not they are actually trying to make a nuclear bomb.
In the House, Nancy Pelosi was a co-sponsor, and in the Senate - wait for it - both Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are co-sponsors!! These ladies have gone around the bend, as far as I'm concerned.
And here's the kicker =
Hoyer Speaks About Iran: "'This bill also would authorize financial and political assistance to human rights dissidents and pro-democracy advocates in Iran. And, it expresses the sense of Congress that the President should instruct our U.N. representative to work to secure a Security Council resolution calling for sanctions on Iran for its repeated and flagrant breaches of its nuclear nonproliferation obligations. "
In plain English, they want us to send in the freaking CIA (and Rummy's blackbag boys as well) to "seed" democracy in Iran.
Given the results of our meddling in other countries' internal affairs before (the overthrow of Allende in Chile, the botched assasination attempts all over the place, etc) this looks to come a cropper.
But what is especially irksome is the fact that the American people didn't ask for this, it was AIPAC, the premier Jewish lobby in the US, a paid foreign agent of Israeli Zionists.
Dennis Kuchinich (D-OH) is calling it "a stepping stone to war."
Yeah, I guess.
Update: Here's the list of sponsors from AIPAC's own website.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Russ Feingold has introduced an amendment to the emergency military approptiations bill about to be introduced to the floor of the Senate.His amendment calls on the administration to devise a "clear plan" for redeployedment of our forces in Iraq by December 31, 2006.The full text of his announcement is here. Meanwhile, here's a snippet:
Don't get all excited, though. Note that he is actually calling for the "Pentagon to draw up a flexible timeline for redeployment."
Unfortunately, Mr. President, the Senate will not be given the opportunity to vote on this amendment if we invoke cloture on the emergency supplemental bill that we will be considering shortly. This body has failed time and again to debate the direction of our country’s policy in Iraq.
Three years ago the President landed on an aircraft carrier and declared “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. Today, with thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars spent, we are still no closer to a policy that lifts the burden from our troops and taxpayers, and that actually makes our country safer from the terrorist networks that seek to hurt us.By failing to discuss alternatives to the Administration’s failed Iraq policy, we have let down this institution and our constituents.
We simply cannot continue to avoid asking the tough questions about Iraq. We should not be appropriating billions of dollars for Iraq without debating – and demanding -- a strategy to complete our military mission there. Not when the lives of our soldiers and the safety of our country are at risk, Mr. President.
Mr. President, our military has performed heroically in Iraq, but the continued and indefinite presence of large numbers of U.S. forces there significantly weakens our ability to fight the global terrorist networks that threaten us today. That is why I filed an amendment requiring the Pentagon to draw up a flexible timeline for redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of this year.
The President has repeatedly failed to spell out for the American people when we can expect our troops to redeploy from Iraq. He has refused to provide a vision for ending our military mission in Iraq, and as a result a growing majority of Americans have lost confidence in our purpose, our direction, and our presence in Iraq.
Better than just sitting around complaining, I guess.
Alternet [dot] org profiles a self-identified anarchist and Ultimate Fighter, Jeff "The Snowman" Monson. Let's see one of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders go up against this guy.
"I'm not some sort of conspiracy theorist," Monson says of his political leanings. "I'm not talking about how the government is trying to hide UFOs. I just want to do away with hierarchy. I'm saying that our economic system, capitalism, is structured so that it only benefits a small percentage of very wealthy people. When I was traveling in Brazil, they had us staying at a really posh hotel. Outside the hotel there was a mom sleeping on the sidewalk with her two kids. That's when reality hits you. What did that woman ever do? Who did she ever hurt?"
While you're standing there at the pump, filling your Lincoln Navigator (weight: 5,800 lbs; 28 gallons to fill the tank; MPG: 13/18), and watching the numbers whizzing ever upwards in the little LCD screen, ponder this: every time Bush opens his yap to threaten Iran over their perfectly legal desire to play with radioactive materials to generate electricity (so they claim), the price of your gasoline GOES UP.
Yes, indeed, as the price of crude hits 74 bucks, remember the old rule of supply and demand: the less the supply, the higher the price.
So, as the Shrub's threats to bomb Iran climb in stridency, Wall Street and other futures traders in oil respond by assuming that the Decider means what he says, that the US will bomb Iran, and that will end oil suppy from that benighted place, and, presto, no more supply and thus higher oil prices.
If you want lower gas prices, tell the Shrub to keep his big mouth shut.
Monday, May 01, 2006
This president has been very fond of reserving to himself the right to decide if a law enacted by Congress might be constitutional, and whether or not he should obey it.
He writes signing statements, which have no basis in the Constitution itself, are in fact sort of an ad hoc editorial comment, but have somehow become legitimate through long practice, which is to say, legimate only by virtue of Congress' dereliction of its duty in its longtime toleration of this extra-legal practice.
And when a congressman or senator does object, or even gets a piece of legislation passed (as McCain did when he sponsored his McCain Amendment) specifically admonishing the president as to his conduct in regard to, say, illegal wiretapping, why, the president just writes another signing letter saying he'll think about it, and that's it. The law goes in the dumpster and stays there.
Same thing with the war powers. Theoretically, only Congress can declare war, but the prez, claiming he's the decider, decides that he can do whatever the hell he wants with the armed forces, and Congress can just go whistle.
But check this out:
"War ... should only be declared by the authority of the people, whose toils and treasures are to support its burdens, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits." -- James Madison (1751–1836)
Yeah; that James Madison.
Thomas Jefferson, who knew a thing or two about original intent, thought that We The People should have a Constitutional Convention every twenty years or so, just to keep everybody on their toes.
I think it's about time we had one. And I mean We, The People; not them, the "deciders."