Bush Says ‘America Loses’ Under Democrats – washingtonpost.com

Reading the news over my morning coffee

It looks like the “Decider-in-Chief” has made another decision. Now a vote in our democracy is treasonous if it isn’t cast for a Republican. If you vote for a Democrat you are aiding and abetting the terrorists. How long now before your vote can cause you to be considered an “enemy combatant” in this new phase of the “War for Congress”?

Bush Says ‘America Loses’ Under Democrats – washingtonpost.com:
“SUGAR LAND, Tex., Oct. 30 — President Bush said terrorists will win if Democrats win and impose their policies on Iraq, as he and Vice President Cheney escalated their rhetoric Monday in an effort to turn out Republican voters in next week’s midterm elections.”

You know the President is in trouble when he has to visit my old district (Tom kicked me out in his redistricting plan) to campaign.

“However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses,” Bush told a raucous crowd of about 5,000 GOP partisans packed in an arena at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, one of his stops Monday. “That’s what’s at stake in this election. The Democrat goal is to get out of Iraq. The Republican goal is to win in Iraq.”

They have been talking a lot about their plan to win in Iraq…Other than “Staying The Course”, has anyone seen a plan to win. Hell, do they really have a plan for anything but the enrichment of KBR and their other cronies?

I knew it wouldn’t be long before someone came up with something good on the Rumsfeld presser the other day. When I say the video it pretty much floored me. So when I saw Eugene Robinson’s piece in the Post I had to chuckle, even at something this sad.

Go ahead, people, you have your orders from Napoleon Bonaparte, I mean Donald Rumsfeld. “Back off” and “relax.” Book a cruise to Chillsville. Don’t worry your pretty little heads about the debacle in Iraq, because “it’s complicated, it’s difficult.” Are mere mortals going to be able to get their minds around a problem that even Albert Einstein, I mean Donald Rumsfeld, finds complicated? Let’s be realistic here.
We should all thank our lucky stars that “honorable people” are willing to do all this super-advanced thinking for us. Aristotle, I mean Donald Rumsfeld, was kind enough to phrase it that way rather than spell out what he really meant, which was “people who are smarter than you.”

You really should take a look at the rest of the piece…and “Back Off”.

A quote from an email…

”Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little; we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.”
– William Cowper

And another story about the fabled American food supply chain…

ATLANTA — A salmonella outbreak potentially linked to produce has sickened at least 172 people in 18 states, health officials said Monday.
Health officials think the bacteria might have spread through some form of produce; the list of suspects includes lettuce and tomatoes. But the illnesses have not been tied to any specific product, chain, restaurants or supermarkets.
The states involved are Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.
By Mike Stobbe
Associated Press

From the Houston Chronicle it’s just another example of how our nationalized food supply is going to end up killing us yet. Sadly, it wont even take terrorists to do it, though, with a little help from the wrong kind of people something like this could be much worse than a couple of days on the throne…

Looks like the road calls…later

Monday Coffee Reads

Monday Coffee Reads
If nothing else, this op-ed from the Washington Post has one of the best lines on the Bush Administration and Climate Change I have seen in a while.

Changing Climate on Climate – washingtonpost.com: “Indeed, it is difficult to imagine that the intransigence of Mr. Bush’s administration on climate change will long survive his tenure, no matter who succeeds him. Will he take a hand in developing America’s response to this global problem, or will he go down as the president who fiddled while Greenland melted?”

Let’s hope they are right about the change coming next week.

This little tidbit from Robert Novak really hit me like a blast from the past…

Losing Nicaragua Again – washingtonpost.com:”Oliver North and his associates were leaving Managua last Tuesday on a private plane after a dramatic surprise visit when they heard news they could scarcely comprehend. The State Department had just issued a “public announcement” that, in effect, warned Americans not to travel to Nicaragua because of the prospect for “violent demonstrations” and “sporadic acts of violence” leading up to the Nov. 5 presidential election there.”

Does Oliver North still have the ability to bring out the high dollar donors for the Republican Party? Why this reference to the darling of the Reagan Republicans at this time.

Oliver North and the reaction the non-delegate attendees at the ’92 Convention had to him was one of the things that pushed me completely into backing only Democratic Party Candidates (unless, as happens often in rural Texas, you can’t find a Democrat which means you vote Green of Libertarian or even Socialist to vote against the Republican Party). I think it was the way they fawned over a man , who by all accounts I had seen, should have been in prison not walking around with bodyguards at a Political Convention.

Then you have this…

”That buttresses suspicion that the U.S. government wants to keep away meddling Americans like North, who seek to influence an election that now appears likely to return Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas to power after an absence of 16 years.”

My God, is Oliver North still “meddling” in Nicaragua after all these years?

Time to hit the road…more later.

I apologize for the political nature of the above, my only excuse is that is what is in the news…

Falling back…

After sleeping in, on this fall back Sunday, I spent the morning doing the email, political blog rant, cussing Blogger errors kind of thing. Then I did the morning talk shows before turning my interest to reading my way through my blogroll. Creek Running North was at the top of my list today, so I started working my way back through Chris Clarke’s posts. When I hit the post on Deborah Tall the following quote reached up of the screen and grabbed me…

Creek Running North: Deborah Tall
“No one’s about to step out of the woods and tell us what in another place would be subject of song and legend — oh whale who wandered from the sea, stalled in lake water, turned to stone…— the landscape brought to life as story. I need to learn the plot and poetry of this place, the outlines of time passing on it, in order that it not be merely scenery. But my neighbors are reticent, sedentary. They mumble and nod the rare times we pass on the road. No one, as in my rural fantasy, has come by with a welcoming plate of homemade cookies, with chat and advice, not to speak of legends. By nightfall, their houses give off the platinum glow of television. We’re left to our own devices.”

After reading all of Chris’ post, I can understand some of the pain he felt on reading those words about his home and kin. But, I have too many times found myself on the other side too. The newcomer in a place with a history I don’t share, but would like to. Even wandering back to the places my ancestors once called home doesn’t give me an inherent place with those that stayed and lived the history of place. I may be trying to capture a bit of the same naïve nostalgia that seems to come across from the snippets Chris has chosen to quote.

Not having read Deborah Tall’s book, I can’t comment on it. But, the fact that Chris states he reads it annually leaves a desire to see what she had to say.

Oh well, time to get off my duff and go visit my own little piece of the American population explosion. He may not have been the 300 millionth, but he was close. Later…

Fall Color

Even in Texas we get one tree out of 20 – 30 acres that will show fall coloring this time of year… 
The only real problem is…It’s tough to hold the camera steady as you beat yourself trying to kill the swarm of mosquitoes that is carrying you off over the standing water from the past two weeks storms…swat, splat…ouch…I think I know what they feel like living in the swamps.
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Saturday over coffee

Over coffee this morning I was checking out my email. Had a couple from Colleen, which made my day ‘cause it means I’m not just blathering out into cyberspace to myself. She pointed me to her post of this morning which led me to comment. Since my own posts have been a bit slow this week I thought I would go ahead and repost my comment here… So here’s the thread.

Jamming at the Jamboree with Jim Webb

It was “standing room only” at Floyd’s Country Store, home of the Friday Night Jamboree, when Democratic Senatorial Candidate Jim Webb and former Governor Mark Warner came to visit on Thursday. By the look of the line of young people waiting outside for their arrival, I figured that a high school field trip was underway. Inside, the turnout reminded me of the one that gathered to hear author Barbara Kingsolver in September.

Reading Colleen’s post led to this comment…

Colleen, I have tried to not let my passion carry me away this election cycle as my wife doesn’t like me screaming at the television when the President speaks. This is another of the reasons I have been light on my posting.

“I’m a registered independent, fiscally conservative who votes Democratic because they represent my interests in labor rights, civil rights, women’s rights, and environmental protections better than the counterparts,” I explained at one point during our back and forth conversations.

How well I relate…I had the “fun” of working at the Republican National Convention here in Houston in 1992 (it was my job, the firm I work for was the general contractor). I remember having the same conversation with some of the volunteers. When I said I was a fiscally conservative social liberal I saw a wash of blank looks spread over the group. Someone even asked what the hell that meant. Seems they all thought the two concepts were diametrically opposed.

Before the convention I had always considered myself an independent. I voted for the man, not the party…blah, blah, blah. I was at the convention that year for many more hours than the delegates. I heard every speech, saw much of the off the floor maneuvering. Had access to many of the hospitality suites of the big donors and the corporate sponsors. And after it was all said and done I walked out and voted my first straight party ticket in my life. What I saw that year was the beginnings of 1994 and the takeover of the Republicans by the religious right. I have to admit it scared me then. It still scares me now.

I think this election is important in so many ways, but mainly it is about stopping the erosion of or constitutional form of government. If the administration manages to keep control of both houses this election, they will probably consolidate the Presidential powers to such an extent that we will never have the chance again to back them up.

Politicians have managed to get caught often enough with their hands in the cookie jar to convince most of the public not to vote. That actually works for the politicians. The lower the vote, the smaller the base needed to mobilize. Gerrymandering accomplishes the same thing. If you are a liberal in a conservative district, you don’t vote because there isn’t any use…Your voice won’t be heard, the same holds true for the conservative in a liberal district.

To my way of thinking this is what has stifled the conversation in America. The lack of an egalitarian process of running elections is killing democracy. The fiction that money equates to “free speech” is an outright attack on democracy. The fiction the corporations are “people” entitled to “free speech” is the main stumbling block to clean politics…And I’ve run on way to long. I apologize for the rant.

So, now that I’ve ranted in two places today, Ya’ll have a great day yourselves…

Long week with no posts….

Sorry for my absence, if anyone noticed. I never know how many readers might actually lurk out there (if any). It has been a long week at work, I am behind and getting even further behind by the day. But I am glad to be over the hump and headed for the weekend. I haven’t even made it out on any photo expeditions. The weekend weather for the past two weeks has been quite unappealing. Hopefully, this weekend will invite me out to enjoy the conversation…

Most of what I am reading these days is political in nature, even when I try to limit my political intake. And, though, the polls lead me to be optimistic, I do not want to get my hopes up to high before Nov. 8. As anyone who wanders through these musings will be aware my political leanings are definitely leftward.

So…In order to push my thoughts in another direction, I found today’s “A Cook’s Garden” an informative read. What with the history of Halloween and jack-o’-lanterns and pumpkin pies and soups, Barbara Damrosch manages to capture my interest in a subject I didn’t expect to find interesting…And she starts out this way…

“A big red pumpkin sits on my kitchen counter, the color of the sun when it is just about to set. It lights up the whole room. About 15 inches across, with a flattened shape, its name is Rouge Vif d’Etampes, a French heirloom introduced by Burpee in 1883. I will be enjoying it long after Halloween, but right now it is part of the celebration.”

All Hail the Great Pumpkin – washingtonpost.com

Oh well…gotta run. Work calls.

Photo of the day

The mighty hunter…

Logan’s First Visit

On the way home from the hospital the proud parents stopped by for a visit. Of course they brought the bundle of joy…

Grandma, Great-Aunt, and Mother

Proud Papa…

It’s been a long day…

Grandpa and Logan, all tuckered out.

For more pictures go HERE

The Writer’s Almanac from American Public Media

An excerpt from todays “The Writer’s Almanac”. Go read the whole poem or listen to Garrison Kieillor read it…

The Writer’s Almanac from American Public Media:

A hill, a farm,
A forest, and a valley.
Half a hill plowed, half woods.
A forest valley and a valley field.

Sun passes over;
Two solstices a year
Cow in the pasture
Sometimes deer

A farmhouse built of wood.
A forest built on bones.
The high field, hawks
The low field, crows”

“Map” by Gary Snyder, from Left Out in the Rain. © Shoemaker & Hoard

Wednesday Morning Coffee Muse

The rain I spoke about on Monday really caused problems on Tuesday. You have to understand, the rain stopped on Monday evening before sundown but the waters kept rising. My Tuesday morning commute was compounded by the fact that young son needed a ride to work…naturally, his job is on the opposite side of Houston from home and my job. In addition there were a number of major cmmuter arteries shut down with high water. SO to start off the morning what is normally a 25 minute run bcame a 90 min run. Added to that was the round trip to his office and back with all of the other folks who were running late. Then the evening commute added another 90 minutes to the drive home. Talk about a long day…

Oh well, today is a new day. Unfortunatly, they are predicting more ran with the cold front (this is Texas so that mean highs in the 70’s for a few days) headed our way for the afternoon commute…

Then the first headline I read in the Washington Post is Bush Sets Defense As Space Priority

“President Bush has signed a new National Space Policy that rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space and asserts a right to deny access to space to anyone “hostile to U.S. interests.”

“Freedom of action in space is as important to the United States as air power and sea power,” the policy asserts in its introduction.

Our priority in space is defense? Against who? Maybe I’ve read to many SciFi novels in my mis-spent youth, but if anyone comes at us from space, I don’t think there is much our government is going to do about them…So that leaves…Ahhh, another round of contract for KBR. Got-cha.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but does our government really think they can dictate to the world who can use the rest of the solar system? And here again, our Imperial President is going to disavow existing treaties when he disagrees with them. I know it’s a lot to expect from Mr. Bush but could someone give the man remedial lessons in government, at least enough so he understands that we have a constitution and it’s not up to the President to ignore the parts he doesn’t like…

Then there is Bush Signs Terrorism Measure. The key paragraph in the story falls way down in the story…

“With the midterm elections coming on Nov. 7, congressional Republicans immediately seized on the new law, which was opposed by most Democratic lawmakers, as evidence of their commitment to protect the country against terrorist attacks.”

And so goes our Bill of Rights…

Time for another adventureous commute…more later