Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ignorant religious conservatives - deep in the heart of TN


I think you just have to see this to believe it. Normally, I wouldn't bash people for their ignorance but when it comes to something as important as justifying their vote for a presidential candidate, I have little patience for ignorance that when repeated become lies.

Or see it on youtube

They're probably good, decent people who care about their families, but listen to what they are saying — they are picking a president on the basis of his dedication to the Bible. They are advocating a foreign policy based on biblical prophecy. They measure patriotism by whether someone "worships" (interesting slip, there) the flag and Jesus. They parrot lies, such as that Obama is planning to be sworn in on the Koran. …but the whole problem here is that their brains have been poisoned by religion, a lying, dishonest, corrupting religion that has turned them into deluded fools. Lay the blame for this criminal distortion of human minds right at the feet of religious belief.

Like I said, probably good people…but the whole problem here is that their brains have been poisoned by religion, a lying, dishonest, corrupting religion that has turned them into deluded fools. Lay the blame for this criminal distortion of human minds right at the feet of religious belief.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

How 'southernism' has affected American politics

From an interesting op/ed in Newsweek on how the conservative south has changed the face of American politics: "How the South won this Civil War" by Michael Hirsh.

Based on these trends, I'd say it's not been a healthy direction for America. Hirsh cites the founding fathers, the Jefferson-Adams letters:
When Jefferson, in his letter of May 5, 1817, condemned the "den of the priesthood" and "protestant popedom" represented by Massachusetts' state-supported church, he was speaking for both of them--the North and South poles of the revolution. Yet John McCain, even with the GOP nomination in hand, would never dare repeat his brave but politically foolhardy condemnation of the religious right in 2000 as "agents of intolerance." Why? Because we have become an intolerant nation, and that's what gets you elected.
And as a result you have this kind of shit in politics as Hirsh points out:
We must endure "lapel-pin politics" that elevates the shallowest sort of faux jingoism over who's got a better plan for Iraq and Afghanistan. We have re-imported creationism into our political dialogue (in the form of "intelligent design"). Hillary Clinton panders shamelessly to Roman Catholics, who have allied with Southern Protestant evangelicals on questions of morality, with anti-abortionism serving as the main bridge.

Hirsh explains the irrational southern conservative hero worship of GW Bush:

In Bush there seems little trace left of the Eastern WASP sensibility into which he was born and educated, and which explains so much of his father's far more moderate presidency. The younger Bush went to Andover, Yale and Harvard, but he rebelled against the ethos he learned there. The transformation is complete, right down to the Texas accent that no one else in his family seems to have.

And you can see where we are now as a result: seriously lacking leadership possessing sensibility, intelligence, prudence and the competence that moderate, balanced and diverse influences bring. Some might say it's a culture war where a lack of knowledge coupled with religious fundamentalism, authoritarianism, isolationism, and bigotry have indelibly changed American politics. Hence the emergence of intolerance, the 'white Christian party' and the neo-cons. I shudder to think where we'd be right now if the Bush presidency had been successful in any measure. Fortunately, the jury is in on that.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Republicans to soldiers: You can risk your life but you can't read Playboy

Can you image a bill like this coming from anywhere but Dumbfuckistan Republicans??

House Rep. Paul Broun [R-GA], with 15 Republican co-sponsors recently introduced a bill that would ban on sales of Playboy and Penthouse magazines on U.S. military installations.

Let me get this straight... US soldiers are involved in 2 hellish wars, both of which aren't going well, and these congressmens' biggest concern is to remove soldiers rights to read Playboy??

Rep. Broun explains:
"Allowing the sale of pornography on military bases has harmed military men and women by: escalating the number of violent, sexual crimes; feeding a base addiction; eroding the family as the primary building block of society; and denigrating the moral standing of our troops both here and abroad."
If this doesn't give you an idea of how fucked up and backward thinking these morons are, I don't know what could. I'm speechless.

Republicans kill voting reform bill - deny voter paper trail

The same Republicans that supported the bill in committee unanimously voted against the bill on the House floor.

Under the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act, the federal government would help localities switch to paper ballots or attach printers to their electronic voting machines in time for the November elections. To overcome states’ rights objections, Holt crafted the bill as an opt-in: Nobody would be required to switch technologies or conduct audits, but federal funding would be available to offset costs for those who did.

So why did the Republicans fail to support a bill assisting in fair and verifiable elections? Because the Bush Administration came out in opposition to the bill, they said it was too expensive. The estimated cost of the bill, $680 million, is about what is being spent in Iraq every two days.

What this shows is that the accusations of fraud that marred the 2000 and 2004 elections will continue. Republicans show that they feel no responsibility to protect our the primary fabric of our democracy: free and fair elections.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bush administration caught red-handed in organized war propaganda effort

So what? The fact is that it is likely an illegal Pentagon-constructed psychological operation aimed at the American people to sell a government policy through lies in the media.

The NYT exposed the first details of the Pentagon's Military Analyst Program and now there are calls for a Congressional investigation. So, what's this all about?

This program was launched in early 2002 by then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke to recruit "key influentials" such as retired military to help sell a wary public on the planned Iraq invasion. More than 75 retired officers have been coached by government and military officials to spin the news about Iraq or simply lie on countless network and cable channel news programs and talk shows over the course of the past five years or more. Fox News has led the way in presenting these individuals to the public and other networks followed. Watch this short video story.
NYT: "Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as 'message force multipliers' or 'surrogates' who could be counted on to deliver administration 'themes and messages' to millions of Americans 'in the form of their own opinions.' ... Don Meyer, an aide to Ms. Clarke, said a strategic decision was made in 2002 to make the analysts the main focus of the public relations push to construct a case for war"

So? Why is this illegal?

Because "covert" propaganda is illegal. Covert propaganda is defined as "materials such as editorials or other articles prepared by an agency or its contractors at the behest of the agency and circulated as the ostensible position of parties outside the agency."

Kathy Gill notes one of many likely illegal uses of propaganda:
"Pentagon officials helped two Fox analysts, General McInerney and General Vallely, write an opinion article for The Wall Street Journal defending Mr. Rumsfeld. The military "analysts" did not disclose to the networks, the papers or the public that they were parroting the Bush party line or working in their defense. Instead, they were presented as "experts" -- one assumes vetted for neutrality by the networks. We're only now finding out that they were in fact paid to appear on TV, [possibly also paid to write the op-eds]."

The most insidious thing was that many of the 'analysts' have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. They were promoting a war that they stood to profit from.

Of course, the Bush family knows a lot about war profiteering.
I urge everyone, read the whole story of how your news was written by the government.

Bush administration's "abstinence-only" programs a failure, waste of taxpayer money

Over a billion dollars has been spent on abstinence only sex education that doesn't work according to experts testifying before congress. The federal government currently spends $176 million a year on abstinence-only education, which only supplements the millions more spent on abstinence-only in state and local matching grants.

Programs teaching U.S. schoolchildren to abstain from sex have not cut teen pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases or delayed the age at which sex begins, health groups told Congress on Wednesday:
"Vast sums of federal monies continue to be directed toward these programs. And, in fact, there is evidence to suggest that some of these programs are even harmful and have negative consequences by not providing adequate information for those teens who do become sexually active." -- Dr. Margaret Blythe, American Academy of Pediatrics

So, how does our local Republican Representative John Duncan, from Dumbfuckistan (TN) respond?
"...it seems rather elitist that people with academic degrees in health think they know better than parents what type of sex education is appropriate. "

What use could Republicans possibly need with such silly things as education, data, and science? Another battle in the Republican War on Science (and education.)

Bush has said repeatedly that the government must only fund those programs “that work.” Study after study show these programs don't work yet Harry Wilson, a top official in the Department of Health and Human Services, told the WaPost last week “that the administration has no intention of changing funding priorities in light of the results.” Say what?

Henry Waxman astutely pointed out the idiocy of the policy:
"We are showering funds on abstinence-only programs that don't appear to work, while ignoring proven comprehensive sex education programs that can delay sex, protect teens from disease, and result in fewer teen pregnancies. ... we have no dedicated source of federal funding specifically for comprehensive classroom sex education."

This is a choice between funding ideological nonsense or effective, comprehensive lessons on sexual health. Guess which one the White House prefers? Once again, another verification of the conservative psyche: 'stay the course even though everything tells you you're wrong' ... classic. Dumb. More

Trouble for McCain the war candidate - opposition to Iraq war at all-time high

The most recent USA Today/Gallup poll finds 63% of Americans saying the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq.

Check out these facts and statements by Gallup:
  • This is the highest "mistake" percentage Gallup has ever measured for an active war involving the United States -- surpassing by two points the 61% who said the Vietnam War was a mistake in May 1971.

  • The average percentage saying the war is a mistake has increased every year of the conflict...majority opposition to the Iraq war is basically cemented.
Sadly, it looks as if this month will be the worst death toll of US troops since Sept '07 if the present trend continues.

Speaking of polls, I see in the RCP poll of polls, both Clinton and Obama are slightly ahead of McCain now. This margin will widen considerably once a Dem candidate is chosen, I guarantee it.

McCain and Republicans oppose equal pay for women

McCain again didn't show up for work. Hillary and Barack both came back to the Senate to vote for and speak out on behalf of this legislation - a Senate bill that sought equal pay for women. The bill fell 4 votes short of the 60 votes needed despite bipartisan support. Every Democrat and both independents (Lieberman and Sanders) supported the measure, along with six Republicans.

The Republican minority did what it does best: obstruct legislation.

McCain explained his opposition to the bill by claiming it ‘opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.’ He added that instead of legislation allowing women to fight for equal pay, they simply need ‘education and training.’

If American workers are being discriminated against, they should be able to file suit. Employers then will stop discriminating and there will be fewer such lawsuits in the future.

OK ladies, now you know who to NOT to vote for. McCain has a way with women. If McCain becomes president, forget about equal pay, you just need to be trained and educated.

No wonder Jenna Bush has refused to support McCain so far!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's official - Bush the worst in history

Bush's disapproval rating 69% -- worst of any president in the 70 year history of the Gallup Poll

WASHINGTON — President Bush has set a record he'd presumably prefer to avoid: the highest disapproval rating of any president in the 70-year history of the Gallup Poll.

In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, 28% of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing; 69% disapprove. The approval rating matches the low point of his presidency, and the disapproval sets a new high for any president since Franklin Roosevelt.

The previous record of 67% was reached by Harry Truman in January 1952, when the United States was enmeshed in the Korean War.

More encouraging was this:
Of independents, 23% approve, 72% disapprove of the job he's doing.

And more good news, this is from Pennsylvania but is shaping up to be a national trend:
Since Jan. 1, more than 178,000 people in Pennsylvania have changed their party affiliations, and 92 percent of them have gone from Republican or independent to Democrat.

Where is the GOP going?



Down !!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Intelligent Design movie, "Expelled" - debuts as a miserable failure

Another failure in the Conservative Religious right wing War on Science.

The reviews are in ...the move Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed sucks. Called a "flunkout documentary," an "unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike," Expelled is a crusade by Ben Stein to show how believers of intelligent design are victims of persecution and that Darwinism is the root of all evil. As the Chicago Tribune put it:
"...a cynical attempt to sucker Christian conservatives into thinking they’re losing the “intelligent design” debate because of academic “prejudice.”

Typical of the religious right, Expelled is a loathsome and idiotic attempt to show scientific legitimacy for a creationist worldview while desperately trying to swiftboat science.

UPDATE: The National Center for Science Education has launched a website exposing the lies of the film "Exposed." Check out - Expelled Exposed.
Further exposing the films unprofessionalism, the producers of Expelled have been cited for copyright violations.


One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry.
Mixing physical apples and metaphysical oranges at every turn “Expelled” is an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike. In its fudging, eliding and refusal to define terms, the movie proves that the only expulsion here is of reason itself.

New York Post:
After all of his efforts to unhook the ID caboose from the creationism train, Stein makes it clear that his beef with Darwinism is that it weakens religion.

In a long, greasy detour, Stein shows that the Nazis were Darwinists. So what? They also liked skiing. Having Nazi fans doesn’t make Darwin wrong.

It’s in the film’s final third that it runs entirely off the rails as Stein argues that there is a clear line from Darwinism to euthanasia, abortion, eugenics and–wait for it–Nazism. Theories of natural selection, it’s claimed, were a necessary if not sufficient condition for Hitler’s killing machine to get started. The truth, of course, is that the only necessary and sufficient condition for human beings to murder one another is the simple fact of being human. We’ve always been a lustily fratricidal species, one that needed no Charles Darwin to goad us into millenniums of self-slaughter.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mission not accomplished: suicide bombings doubled in 2007, over a half million GIs with brain injuries/mental problems

In a report (pdf) published by the National Defense University in Washington, retired colonel and former senior adviser to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Joseph Collins has described the Iraq as a "major debacle" whose outcome is "in doubt."

Read excerpts (USA Today) from the Colonel's report that calls the Bush Administration's decision to invade: "a classic case of failure to adopt and adapt prudent courses of action that balance ends, ways, and means" resulting in a "damaged" and "fallen" status as a moral leader in the world, "a severely strained military," and "a negative impact on all other efforts in the war on terror."

The cost of invasion has been high.

A study by the RAND Corp. estimated 320,000 troops have sustained a possible traumatic brain injury during deployment and another 300,000 suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. (story)

On top of all that, what has been accomplished? Terrorist suicide bombings doubled world wide in 2007 compared with 2006 according to data compiled by U.S. government experts. (story)

Looks like "the surge" has had quite an effect.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gov't Report: Bush administration's war on terror is abject failure

Title of new report (pdf) from the Government Accountability Office:

The United States Lacks a Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe Haven in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas

The report flatly states that an al Qaeda attack is now likely because the Bush Administration has not met US security goals to destroy the terrorist threat and close the al Qaeda's safe haven. Further, the report states that the Bush Administration has no plans to eliminate this known terrorist threat.

Bushie ... you're doin' a heckuva job.

It's not like they haven't been warned or been given enough time:

87 months after Richard Clarke first insisted that the Bush Administration develop a strategy to combat Al Qaeda, 62 months after the Bush Administration announced its intention to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries, 45 months after the 9/11 Commission called for the Administration to develop a strategy to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries, 258 days after Congress required the Administration to submit a strategy to combat terrorist safe havens in Pakistan within 90 days, the GAO releases a report finding:
No comprehensive plan for meeting U.S. national security goals in the fight against terrorism has been developed, as stipulated by the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism (2003), called for by an independent commission (2004), and mandated by congressional legislation (2007).

Abject failure in the war on terror, an expensive quagmire in Iraq with no end in sight, and a faltering economy. That's the legacy of GW Bush.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Colin Powell supports Iraq withdrawl and praises Obama

Colin Powell was the best, most qualified, and most intelligent military person in the Bush Administration. It is not surprising that he was fired, he was too smart to be a part of an incompetent regime that has considerably weakened America.

It is no surprise that he is a voice of reason in military matters and can see how the disaster of Iraq is affecting the American military and worse, how the present Iraq policy of "no end in sight" could do real serious damage to our military in the future. For that reason, Powell supports a withdrawl from Iraq:
"I'll tell you what they're all going to face — whichever one of them becomes president on Jan. 21 of 2009 — they will face a military force, a United States military force, that cannot sustain, continue to sustain, 140,000 people deployed in Iraq, and the 20 (to) 25,000 people we have deployed in Afghanistan, and our other deployments.... [The president] will have to continue to draw down at some pace. "

-- Powell told ABC's Diane Sawyer

Further, Powell commended Obama on reaction to the Rev. Wright controversy:
"I think that Sen. Obama handled the issue well . . . he didn't look the other way. He didn't wait for the, for the, you know, for the storm to go over. He went on television, and I thought, gave a very, very thoughtful, direct speech. And he didn't abandon the minister who brought him closer to his faith. It was a good (speech). I admired him for giving it. And I agreed with much of what he said." -- Colin Powell

Do I see an Obama/Powell ticket? Awesome, unbeatable.

Bringing freedom to Iraq - Bush style

This is what freedom means to Iraqis:
  • 43% of population lives in absolute poverty

  • prior to war 19% of children suffered malnutrition; today 28%

  • last year 75% elementary-aged kids went to school; now 30%

  • 70% lacked access to clean water

  • only 50 of 142 primary health care centers are open to public

Read what the Red Cross is saying about conditions in Iraq. Most Iraqis were absolutely better off under Saddam.

This is what the war means to the United States of America:
  • U.S. troops killed: 4,028

  • U.S. troops wounded: 29,676

  • U.S. troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since September 2001: Nearly 1.7 million

  • U.S. troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan more than once: More than 599,000

  • U.S. servicemembers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan who have children: 782,000

  • Percent of current and former military officers who believe the Iraq war has “stretched the U.S. military dangerously thin:” 88%

  • Percent of these officers who say the U.S. military is weaker than it was five years ago: 60%

  • Percent of U.S. troops that have served in Iraq or Afghanistan at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D.): 20%

  • Amount the United States is spending on the war in Iraq every month: $10.3 billion

According to Gen. Petraeus, any gains in Iraq are marginal and fragile. Only more of the same commitment of troops and money will preserve the fragile gains. When asked about this lack of basic necessities for Iraqis and the billions of dollars pouring into the country, Gen. Petraeus responded: “Security conditions made it difficult to bring projects to closure in a timely fashion.”

No shit.

In other words...there is no end in sight.

Thanks dumbya. Now all we need is another dumb warmonger to continue the Iraq debacle.

Crossposted at TNFree

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker admit that US war on terror is misdirected

Joe Biden asked Amb. Crocker where it would be better for American national security interests to eliminate Al Qaeda in Iraq or Al Qaeda along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Crocker had to answer the question:
Crocker: I would therefore pick Al Qaeda on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

So, the Ambassdor to Iraq just admitted that Iraq is not the central front in the war on terror. This was seconded by Gen. Petraeus when asked about where Al Qaeda's primary base of operations are.
Sen. Feingold: You would agree that their greater safe haven and greater operability is in Pakistan/Afghanistan rather than in Iraq, correct?

Gen. Petraeus: I believe that is so.

Calling all wingnuts and Bush ass kissers... please answer this question:

What level of incompetence can be justified so as to allow terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan, the country from which the 9/11 attacks were launched, such that Al Qaeda is even stronger today than they were 7 years ago?

We spend nearly a $ half billion a day in Iraq while our economy suffers, our military is weakened, our major infrastructure collapses, and Al Qaeda gets stronger. Now the neo-cons want to start another war with Iran.

Republican Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) nailed it. He said because of the Iraq war, “we’re at a point where we’re really strained and stressed out. I hate to agree with Sen. Feingold, but I think Osama bin Laden is sitting back right now looking at this thing [and saying] in effect, ‘We’re kinda bankrupting this country.’

Bingo. The chimp has waged a poorly executed, ineffective, incredibly expensive, ill advised, misdirected, and most of all ... a very unintelligent war. 12 US soldiers have died in Iraq since Sunday.

Speaking of unintelligent, McCain again demonstrates he's clueless about Iraq and Al Qaeda. Speaking of Al Qaeda, McCain said today:
MCCAIN: [Al Qaeda is] certainly not an obscure sect of the Shi’ites overall?


MCCAIN: Or Sunnis or anybody else.

Wrong again idiot. Al Qaeda has nothing to do with Shi'ites and IS in fact an obscure sect of Sunnis.

Yet another story on McCain's temperament emerges. He apparently called his wife a "cunt" and a "trollop" in public.

crossposted at TNFree

Cheney doesn't care what the troops think

The troops want to cut 'n run. Better call out the swiftboats

What? Are they cowards? Hell no, they've been lied to, under supplied, put in a war with unclear and changing objectives, and returned for numerous tours that have been extended beyond reasonable. The troops have been abused by an incompetent administration. The troops recognize their work is done.

Bush and his wingnuts suggest that pulling the troops out would, "undermine the morale of our troops by betraying the cause for which they have sacrificed."

Really? Over two years ago, Zogby Poll found that:
    72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the troops should leave immediately

Dick Cheney vowed the U.S. would keep “a long-term military presence in Iraq until al-Qaida is defeated” there. After Cheney's rousing speech to the troops in Iraq last month, ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz spoke with soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan about their political preferences, and found that most of the soldiers she spoke to favored candidates who supported withdrawal from Iraq.

So does the Iraqi military. They overwhelmingly favor Democrats for president.

According to a new CNN poll, just 36 percent of the American public believes that “the situation in Iraq was worth going to war over." Do you think Dick Cheney really cares about what the troops or the American public think? Here's your answer:
RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.


RADDATZ So? You don’t care what the American people think?


crossposted at TNFree