Democrats Take Majority in House

The American People have spoken. The question is…Has President Bush heard?
Democrats Take Majority in House; Pelosi Poised to Become Speaker – washingtonpost.com:

“‘The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history,’ Pelosi said. “

Let’s hope Nancy and the rest of the Democrats now running Congress believe what she is saying. If they can’t make a change in the way Congress has done business under the Republican Party of Tom Delay, they wont have much hope of a long run.

Democrats Promise Broad New Agenda – washingtonpost.com:

“The American people have sent a resounding and unmistakable message of change and new direction for America,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.). “It’s time for the endless campaign to stop and the hard work of governing to begin.”

Do me a favor Rahm, lose the Bush speak, we all know it is hard work…Stop telling us and just do it. If you want to guarantee a long run with a Democrat majority, do the job you are elected to do, protect the rights and lives of the American People. Forget about the corporate boards and the campaign donors with their deep pockets. Do something about the screwed up way with define our voting districts. Do Your Jobs…

Just Vote!

I think anyone who has read my post would know my political leaning, but that’s beside the point. Today’s lesson in democracy is Go Vote. This really is one of those things where if you don’t use it, you lose it.

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

Torture and Terror, Un-American Activities

I was sitting at the kitchen table going through my morning emails, reading the blogs I keep up with and generally doing what I do during the quiet of a Saturday morn when after checking out Fragments I started running Fred’s link list. Basically, I was looking for some new voices on what was happening in the world.

The voice that resonated this morning is from Chris Clarke of Creek Running North. His essay from yesterday about the latest fiasco our “elected” representatives have gotten into was entitled “I am an enemy combatant”. Chris is just one of the multitude of voices beginning to rise up out here in the real world, and he has a very eloquent way of putting the common outrage being felt by at least half of this country’s citizens.

For all its manifold faults, for all its history steeped in racism and genocide, for all its wars of empire and Know-Nothing heritage, this country was manifestly founded on the notion that a just government bases its authority in the consent of the governed. Now the Bush administration has declared that the interests of this country are coincident with, and limited to, the short-term interests of the administration and its corporate backers, and the most basic, most essential Constitutional rights of the citizenry be damned, not by the odious exceptionalism of privilege that marred this country’s history, but across the board. All of us are three-fifths of a person now, granted the privilege of full protection only if we do nothing that requires protection, unless we are unlucky enough to be falsely accused. And I withdraw my consent.

It is a slippery slope that this administration and this congress have started us down. At some point the slide is going to get out of control. Who will have their hand on the button when this slide careens into the chasm at the bottom? We all know what the button controls, the biggest stockpile of wmd’s this old world has ever seen. And a petulant, spoiled child seems to have the button…Does that thought make you feel safe and comforted?

One of the commenters on Chris’s site, Alice, had this to say about his post…

The past few days, I’ve been pondering the quotation “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just”, even as I worry whether a God that I don’t believe in will care if I don’t observe Yom Kippur. Your post impelled me to google the quotation, which tells me (a) that it’s from Thomas Jefferson’s denunciation of slavery in 1785; and (b) that a lot of other folks are also pondering this, in the context of this latest assault on the principles underlying the founding of our country.

Of all of the fool things George W has done since he moved into the real world of international bull-in-the-china-shop, “I am the Decider” self indulgence, setting himself up to lead this country into a dictatorship has got to be the ultimate. And all because he needed that gold-plated “Get out of Jail Free” card. Can’t depend on the Republican congress coming back to keep all of the investigations shut down. Can’t take a chance the Democrats may take over the House and actually, you know, start doing the oversite that the Constitution mandates Congress do. Hell, if the democracy should actually spring up in America, you never know what might happen, George W and Dick may find themselves extradited to the Netherlands to face a jury of their peers…right?

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…Torture is Torture, America does not make it a policy to torture. As Chris said, we do not have a perfect record, but as a rule we try. Now the rule will be that you can, and we have all seen were that can get you. Does anyone in Washington remember Abu Ghraib? When you make it a policy to allow torture, torture happens. When you give the President the right to imprison people, does anyone want to bet it won’t happen?

As this debate played out in the halls of Congress, I had faith that somehow this Congress would find it’s (pardon the loss of a better word) balls to stand up to the Dick and George Show and remember what it was they swore an oath to protect. Sure, I’ve heard all of the arguments about this only applies to non-citizens, but so what. I am already being lumped in with the terrorists because I don’t feel that George W and crew have kept me safe without destroying the very things that make us American.

How long will it be before my rights of citizenship depend upon my kowtowing to the ruling party?

Crossposted at Blues From the Red Side of Life

Ann Richards

A great lady who preceded the mess we had with Gov. G W Bush died last week. Molly Ivins remembers a thing or two in her latest column. Go have a read…

Creators.com – Creators Syndicate: “At a long-ago political do at Scholz Garten in Austin, everybody who was anybody was there meetin’ and greetin’ at a furious pace. A group of us got the tired feet and went to lean our butts against a table at the back wall of the bar. Perched like birds in a row were Bob Bullock, then state comptroller, moi, Charles Miles, the head of Bullock’s personnel department, and Ms. Ann Richards. Bullock, 20 years in Texas politics, knew every sorry, no good sumbitch in the entire state. Some old racist judge from East Texas came up to him, ‘Bob, my boy, how are you?’

Bullock said, ‘Judge, I’d like you to meet my friends: This is Molly Ivins with the Texas Observer.’

The judge peered up at me and said, ‘How yew, little lady?’

Bullock, ‘And this is Charles Miles, the head of my personnel department.’ Miles, who is black, stuck out his hand, and the judge got an expression on his face as though he had just stepped into a fresh cowpie. He reached out and touched Charlie’s palm with one finger, while turning eagerly to the pretty, blonde, blue-eyed Ann Richards. ‘And who is this lovely lady?’

Ann beamed and replied, ‘I am Mrs. Miles.’ “

Ann Richards was the best Governor the state of Texas has had in my limited memory. Sadly, we will never know how well she governed because the Bush Team has spent the past decade undoing her work. Rest In Peace Madam Governor…

Why the National Guard?

From The Washington Post Editorial, May 17, 2006

“Why the National Guard?: “Disingenuously, Mr. Bush declared in his address that ‘we have enough Guard forces to win the war on terror, to respond to natural disasters and to help secure our border.’ That may be true in strictly numerical terms. But the president neglected to mention that the tens of thousands of Guard troops who will be rotated to the border over the next year will do so during their annual two- to three-week training periods. In other words, they will be deprived of time to train for war missions or natural disasters in order to drive trucks and staff desks for the Border Patrol.

Administration officials say the deployment is designed to provide such auxiliary services until civilian contractors can be brought in…”

The emphasis in the above is mine but I think it is telling that our CEO President is again moving government services to the private sector. Maybe it is only poetic that in all likelihood these civilian contractors will not be able to find any “American Workers” willing to apply for the jobs at the pay scale they will be willing to pay in order to guarantee the profits of the CEO’s. Which explains the “Guest Worker” plan, who else will we be putting on the border to protect us? Wouldn’t it just be easier to hire the Mexican Army to work the other side for us? We could call it foreign aide…

I find this reliance on “civilian contractor” very troubling in all of its various guises. Why do we now pay a company to do what we used to pay citizens to do? Call me a bleeding heart liberal, but I find it very hard to trust the good intentions of a corporate board. And I have yet to meet a Corporate Citizen with an inherent morality. And the fact that the courts wish to guarantee Corporate Free Speech while the “elected” officials take this very same “speech” to the bank is ruinous to the “common good”.

A Lonely Warning On Debt

A Lonely Warning On Debt: “‘The question I ask is, what sacrifice are we making? Anyone in the know who is watching us has to wonder about our character, our intellectual honesty, our concern about our national security, our nation’s competitiveness in the global marketplace now and in the future, and, last but not least, our don’t-give-a-darn attitude about the standard of living and quality of life of our children and grandchildren.

‘The question is, are we willing to be honest with ourselves and the American people and make these tough decisions?'”

George Voinovich, a Republican Senator from Ohio said the above in a speech on the floor of the Senate on May 3rd.

I find myself thinking that if there were more politicians in America today who would speak and vote these sentiments, I might still consider myself an Independent.

I was proud in the first 20 years of my voting history to vote the man not the party. That changed in 1992. That was the year I had the misfortune to attend every minute of the Republican Convention (it was my job not choice), and it was what I heard and saw there that caused me to change my mind about a lot of things. At the convention I tried to explain my political philosophy and I called myself a “fiscally conservative, social liberal” and the person I was speaking with could not understand what I was talking about.

Many things have changed in the last decade, but, the one thing that hasn’t changed in my opinion is the basic makeup of the American People. I feel that the majority of us still believe that America should live up to the ideals upon which it was founded. Someone recently commented on some trait or the other (I think it might have been something about the way we were treating prisoners), and the sentiment they expressed was that this was how our prisoners were being treated. My comment was that “as Americans, we are better than that, and I expected us to act like it.” I guess what I was really saying was that I chose to be better than that, and I expect the people who chose to represent me in government to live up to and by the Ideals I have chosen.

This has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with morality. And my morality seems to boil down to the old “Golden Rule”, do unto others as you would have them do unto you…

Our Government At Work

The Carpetbagger Report “The Washington Post ran an interesting chart this week that every Democrat should memorize. It shows your annual savings under the latest Republican tax cut. Here are the figures:

$10,000-$20,000: $2
$20,000-$30,000: $9
$30,000-$40,000: $16
$40,000-$50,000: $46
$50,000-$75,000: $100
$75,000-$100,000: $403
$100,000-$200,000: $1,388
$200,000-$500,000: $4,499
$500,000-$1 million: $5,562
More than $1 million: $41,977″

Ok, I am trying not to go off into the political blog side of life, but…The chart above from The Washington Post by way of The Carpetbagger Report makes my blood boil. Does Congress really think that the people making over a million dollars a year really need another $41k?

You, know I am from Texas and I have to admit in this state we get exactly the type of government we pay for…and in case you are wondering, we don’t pay much. Needless to say, with all of those Texans now in Washington they seem to be trying to duplicate the Texas experiment on a national scale…be afraid America, be very afraid.