Tuesday, August 29, 2006



Some articles are just too good to not be shared. Because we have a submissive congress to the worst president in history, it is up to the people to tell the truth. While i prefer to blog on my own, stories like this need to be told over and over now, instead of in the history books. So thanks to Thom Hartman for this article ( ) and as he is fond of saying. Tag! Your IT!

Published on Monday, July 10, 2006 by
Reclaiming The Issues: "Why Is Bush Spying On Democrats?!?"
by Thom Hartmann

Every time Democrats and progressives speak out about George W. Bush's spying on Americans without mentioning that he may also be spying on Democrats, they're playing into Karl Rove's "National Security Frame" and actually strengthening Republican electoral chances in November.
To short-circuit this, Democrats need to invoke the ghost of Richard Nixon.
If they don't, even Pete Hoekstra's new revelations that there are even more as-yet-unreported secret spying programs that Bush has been hiding from Congress will be used by Rove to say to average voters, "See? We're really looking out for you!"
The Bush administration doesn't deny it has been spying on Americans - they brag about it. They're listening to our phone calls, reading our emails, and looking at our bank transactions. They're gathering databases about our medical records, what we charge on our credit cards, and where we travel.
When Democrats point out that this is illegal without a court order, Rove simply floods the airwaves with Republicans who say, "We're doing it to protect you!"
The average American doesn't think this all the way through, and the Rovian frame seems like pretty commonsensical. In fact, it's at the heart of the right-wing rant.
For example, when some unfortunate and nearly illiterate idiots talked about attacking New York last week, the Bushies and the corporate press trumpeted the sting operation that led to these clueless wannabees' arrest as a "triumph in the war on terror!" Limbaugh intoned sternly that liberals would have prevented the United States from discovering such criminals, and all over America dittoheads nodded in agreement.
What's been entirely lost in the discussion about Bush administration spying is why so much of what Bush is doing is illegal.
And that takes us back to Richard Nixon, the last Republican to have an active domestic spying program without judicial or bipartisan congressional oversight. The one whose Bush-like abuses led to the FISA and other, similar laws.
Nixon said he was spying on Americans to keep us safe from communists. We were in the middle of a war, after all. The Soviets were out to get us (and armed with real weapons of mass destruction), and the North Vietnamese weren't far behind. He had to spy on Americans, he said, to protect the liberties of Americans.
Problem was, he had turned the tool of domestic surveillance against his political enemies (and those who weren't, like journalist Daniel Schorr, but whom he believed were). Nixon was spying on Democrats, and trying to cover it with the fig leaf of "national security."
Set aside all the highbrow talk about separation of powers and intent of the Founders, and this is what the FISA and other, similar, laws boil down to - stopping the president from spying on his political opponents. To prevent political abuse, he has to check in with a judge or a congressional committee before using our super-spies.
Imagine if Bill Clinton had been found to have a domestic spying program going on - even after the bombing of Oklahoma City and the first World Trade Center hit. Republicans would have been foaming at the mouth. "What's he hiding?! It must be that he's spying on us!!"
Yet Democrats seem unwilling to even raise the possibility of Bush administration political espionage, and the compliant corporate press hasn't raised a peep. Even though there's a precedent for Republicans - and, more recently, Bush Republicans - spying on Democrats.
Remember November of 2003? Using naked political espionage, Bush Republicans used intelligence gained in an illegal spying operation to outflank Democrats.
Republicans in the Senate - including a staffer for Republican Senator Orrin Hatch - hacked into the computers of several Senate Democrats, including Ted Kennedy and Dick Durbin. Reading Kennedy's and Durbin's correspondence, the Republican operatives discovered the strategy the Democrats intended to use to attack Republican high court nominees. They leaked fifteen bits of Kennedy's discussions to The Wall Street Journal and other Republican-friendly sources, who used the information to successfully trash and thwart the Democratic plans.
As the story began to unfold several months later, the headline from The New York Times on February 10, 2004, read: "Democrats Suggest Inquiry Points to Wider Spying by G.O.P."
But it stopped there, because Republicans control the Senate. Despite loud Democratic objections, Bill Frist has never allowed a serious investigation by the Senate's members into the data theft - even though these Republican burglars were actually more competent than those busted at Watergate.
Americans should demand that the Bush administration follow the law and gain court orders and/or serious congressional oversight for their domestic spying, because we don't want America to become a gulag-nation where average citizens are afraid to speak out about political issues, or where opposition politicians are routinely neutralized by such spying.
And the easy way for Democrats to drive that point home - and to snatch from the hands of Rove the "we're protecting you" torch he bears every time another Bush spy scheme is unveiled - is to start yelling: "I want to know why Bush, Gonzales, and Negroponte are spying on Democrats!?!"
When Democrats stop giving Bush a pass on this and start pointing out that Republicans from Nixon in 1972 to Orrin Hatch in 2003 have been caught spying on Democrats, the average American will get the reason for congressional and judicial oversight.
Inside-the-Beltway Democratic strategists wrongly take it for granted that Americans understand the potential consequences of unrestrained presidential spying activities. Unfortunately, most Americans don't give it a second thought.
But they will when Democrats begin to demand - loudly - to know which Democrats, Democratic Party donors, and people who vote for Democrats have been spied on.
When did Bush use the voter databases that Republican politicians like Jeb Bush and Ken Blackwell have compiled to compare the bank accounts, phone records, and doctor's records of people who vote as Democrats?
When did Bush use his illegal NSA wiretaps to listen in on Democratic Party political strategy sessions?
When did Bush begin snooping into the private lives of average people who committed the crime of registering as Democrats?
What information has he gathered by reading our emails? What is he doing with it? Who's on his "enemies list"?
Not only is this the only way to neutralize Rove's "we're doing it to protect you" frame, there's also a reasonable possibility that Bush actually is using his illegal domestic spying programs to target everybody from elected Democrats to average voters.
His administration and party have already been busted by the BBC for targeting Democratic voters in Florida and Ohio to strip them of their right to vote; have already been convicted in Federal Court of jamming Democratic phone banks on election day; have already been outed for targeting groups like the Raging Grannies and The League of Women Voters for "terrorist" surveillance.
Who was spied on first? Probably every Democratic politician in America. (We know they got Kennedy and Durban!)
Who was spied on after that? Probably every journalist and liberal author, columnist, and progressive talk show host in America.
Who will be spied on next? Probably you.
Pass it on and raise some hell. Why is Bush spying on Democrats?
Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk show carried on the Air America Radio network and Sirius. His most recent books include "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection," "We The People: A Call To Take Back America," "What Would Jefferson Do?" and "Ultimate Sacrifice." His next book, due out this autumn, is "Screwed: The Undeclared War on the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It."

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Lets Get Over the Dixie Chicks

Forgive – Sounds Good
Forget – I don’t think I could……

With the still incredible outrage towards the Dixie Chicks, its about time we look at the real story and the reasons behind their assault by the right-wing and how misguided the attack is. Artists, entertainers and people in the public eye, have used their position of prominence to speak out on the issues of the day as far back as recorded time. In recent history such artists as Pete Seeger, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Eminem, Green Day, Kanye West, Pink, Pearl Jam etc… have all used their position of prominence to speak their mind, yet none have paid the price that the Dixie Chicks have.

There is not one simple explanation, but a few that we will look at.

"Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas." Natalie Maines.

This is the quote that started the firestorm that led to 18th Century censorship and record(instead of book) burnings.The first part of the explanation has to be to change the subject. We had not yet invaded Iraq, and the Bushies knew that what they were about to do and that while the rational at the time was that Iraq had WMD’s and we needed to stop the Brutal Dictatorship of Saddam Hussein before he attacked us.

"We know that he has the infrastructure, nuclear scientists to make a nuclear weapon," she told me. "And we know that when the inspectors assessed this after the Gulf War, he was far, far closer to a crude nuclear device than anybody thought -- maybe six months from a crude nuclear device." "The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." Condi Rice 1/10/2003

We know where they [the weapons of mass destruction] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat." Don Rumsfeld

"There's no question Saddam Hussein had al-Qaeda ties." Bush said that September 17, 2003“We found the weapons of mass destruction,” George Bush May 29, 2003

Dick Cheney is quoted as saying, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, "We will in fact, be greeted as liberators... I think it will go relatively quickly... [in] weeks rather than months."

After such quotes as these by the people in power, which we know now, and they knew then were blatantly false, it was important to have a distraction like the Dixie Chicks.

"My answer is bring 'em on." —President George W. Bush, on Iraqi insurgents attacking U.S. f orces, Washington, D.C., July 3, 2003
"I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, I recall, that says, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.'" [President Bush, on Osama Bin Laden, 09/17/01]
"I don't know where he is.You know, I just don't spend that much time on him... I truly am not that concerned about him."[President Bush, Press Conference, 3/13/02]

"I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." -- on the Iraq insurgency, Dick Cheney June 20, 2005
"Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties." — George Bush discussing the Iraq war with Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson, as quoted by Robertson (Which George Bush never denied saying!)

Now you add the distraction to the fact that the right wing Christian(word used very lightly) Taliban that has taken over our country and that the Bush administration panders to at every single opportunity, has a massive disdain for women who are intelligent and speak their mind, it all starts to add up. This is a group of people who not only want to stop abortion, but also feel that birth control is immoral and that there shall be no talk of condoms ( Yet somehow many of these zealots, seem to only have a kid or two each, very curious(But I digress). This ties it altogether as to why the Dixie Chicks were the perfect target for the right wing echo chamber to attack.

Many women have told me, and surveys have shown, that they find it easier, more “professionally” gratifying, and certainly more socially affirming, to work outside the home than to give up their careers to take care of their children. Think about that for a moment…Here, we can thank the influence of radical feminism, one of the core philosophies of the village elders." Republican Senator Rick Santorum
“Feminism encourages women to leave their husband, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” Pat Robertson at the 1992 Republican National Convention.
“There are so many women on the floor of Congress it looks like a mall.” Representative Henry Hyde.
"It was a girl general who was in charge of running our Iraqi prison. And, you know, for one thing, I'm a little disappointed in Rumsfeld--he allows the greatest fighting force on the face of the globe to have girl generals."--Ann Coulter, in a May 5, 2004 radio interview
"Rail as they will about 'discrimination,' women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism." --Pat Buchanan (11/22/83)
"The real liberators of American women were not the feminist noise-makers, they were the automobile, the supermarket, the shopping center, the dishwasher, the washer-dryer, the freezer." --Pat Buchanan, "Right from the Beginning," p. 149

Now you see why the Dixie Chicks were subject o massive censorship and being told to “shut up and Sing.” They did not tote the company line. You can also answer Natalie Maines question of who would teach their daughter to hate, the Republican Party would!! Lets Give the Dixie Chicks an apology and spend some time on quotes that really should be looked into.

"Nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes."- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, NY Times, 4/3/03, CongressDaily, 3/17/03

"Emotional appeals about working families trying to get by on $4.25 an hour are hard to resist. Fortunately, such families do not exist."- Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), House Majority Whip, during a debate on increasing the minimum wage, Congressional Record, H3706, 04-23-96

Environmentalists are a socialist group of individuals that are the tool of the Democrat Party. I'm proud to say that they are my enemy. They are not Americans, never have been Americans, never will be Americans."- Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Alaska Public Radio, 08-19-96"

So many minority youths had volunteered…that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like myself." --Tom DeLay, explaining at the 1988 GOP convention why he and vice presidential nominee Dan Quayle did not fight in the Vietnam War (Source)

"Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills." –Tom DeLay, on causes of the Columbine High School massacre, 1999 (Source)

"A woman can take care of the family. It takes a man to provide structure. To provide stability. Not that a woman can't provide stability, I'm not saying that... It does take a father, though." -Tom DeLay, in a radio interview, Feb. 10, 2004 (Source)

"You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that." --President Bush, to a divorced mother of three in Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005 (Source) (Listen to audio clip)

"Get some devastation in the back." --Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, to a staff photographer as he posed for a photo op while visiting tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka, Jan. 6, 2005 (Source)

"We don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand." --James Watt (Secretary of the Interior under Reagan).** IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE HERE, IS THAT MANY REPUBLICANS NOW(INCLUDING GEEDUBYA) BELIEVE IN THE END TIMES AND THEY COUNT AMONGST THEIR FELLOW BELIEVERS TIMOTHY MCVEIGH.

"I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."--Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, NPR Morning Edition, 05-25-01

"When I see a first-class individual who makes $80,000 a year, he's lower middle class. When I see someone who is making anywhere from $300,000 to $750,000 a year, that's middle class. When I see anyone above that, that's upper middle class." --Rep. Fred Heineman (R-NC), explaining that his yearly income of $180,000 leaves him short of middle-class status

It's a hell of a challenge."--Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) responding to the question "Conrad, how canyou live back there with all those niggers?" AP, 10/20/94

"I've been portrayed as a caveman by some. That's not true. I'm a conservative progressive, and that means I think all men are equal, be they slants, beaners or niggers."--Jesse Helms

I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."--Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), praising Strom Thurmond's segregationist presidential campaign 12/5/02

“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building. “Ann Coulter
"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much." [p.103] Ann Coulter speaking of the widows of 911 victims.

Since this can go on all day, I will close with just three more. Probably the worst three, and most disgusting. I was going to rank them, but could not since each one is more sickening then the other. Hence they all tie and belong in the shameless Hall of Fame, and Geedubyas is actually treasonous in my book(and he spoke it on foreign soil)!

BENNETT: Well, I don't think it is either, I don't think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don't know. But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky. Morality expert and former Reagan administration official William Bennett(

Barbara Bush said: "Almost everyone I’ve talked to says we're going to move to Houston." Then she added: "What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality."And so many of the people in the arena here, youknow, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them." Former First Lady, finding humor and solace in the fact that Many people are living in horrendous conditions after watching their whole livelihood destroyed and too many families still not knowing where the rest of their loved ones are doing just fine by the Bush Matriarchs standards…….
Barbara Bush Bonus disgusting Quote!! “But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” Barbara Bush, On the impending war in Iraq, March 18, 2003

“America welcomes India's economic rise, because we understand that as other nations prosper, it creates more opportunity for us all. In a free economy, every citizen has something to contribute. That is why trade is such a powerful engine of prosperity and upward mobility. When markets are opened and the poor are given a chance to develop their talents and abilities, they can create a better life for their families, they add to the wealth of the world, and they can begin to afford goods and services from other nations. Free and fair trade is good for India, it's good for America, and it is good for the world.In my country, some focus only on one aspect of our trade relationship with India: outsourcing. It's true that some Americans have lost jobs when their companies moved operations overseas. It's also important to remember that when someone loses a job, it's an incredibly difficult period for the worker and their families. Some people believe the answer to this problem is to wall off our economy from the world through protectionist policies. I strongly disagree. My government is helping Americans who have lost their jobs get new skills for new careers. And we're helping to create millions of new jobs in both our countries by embracing the opportunities of a global economy.” George W Bush March 2006 in New Delhi. Espousing the benefits of outsourcing,and our record trade deficit on foreign soil. One of the biggest acts of treason I have ever seen a President perform!!!!

As we can see by their own words, Republican Hypocrisy runs deep!! Please remember these words when you go to the voting booth!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Joe Klein - Liberal Columnist??


During a recent article in Time Magazine by Joe Klein where he started out the story touting the genius of the bottom feeder karl Rove, then ended calling the truly great American John Conyers an embarrassment, it prompted this letter which I wrote on the airplane.

May 20, 2006

Dear Editors:

I was in awe of the May 22nd issue and Joe Klein’s column, Easy Targets for Karl Rove. I was amazed that Mr. Klein started his column by touting Karl Rove’s genius. Karl Rove is in the eye of the storm of the outing of Valerie Plame, and everything in his history suggest that this is par for the course and not an aberration( with a laundry list of pranks from bugging his own office, to being behind various racist whisper campaigns, to getting fired by George H Bush for leaking). Karl Rove’s accomplishments are not what I would call genius.

The amazement was only trumped by the ending of his column which he calls Congressman John Conyers “an embarrassment”. Congressman Conyers, who is the only politician that Martin Luther King Jr. endorsed, is the exact opposite of Karl Rove. John Conyers has spent the vast majority of his life in public service working for the public’s good. Congressman Conyers has promised to investigate such transgressions as to how could we have such an intelligence failure as to led to the events of 9/11, how we were misled into fighting a war in Iraq, who is directly responsible for torturing inmates, and how the President can add signing statements to bills sent to him from Congress and blatantly disregard the laws(750 different laws have been disregarded so far), among others. If President Bush is guilty of any of these offenses, then Congressman Conyers will draw up the articles of impeachment. It is sad that we live in an America where trying to enforce and uphold the Constitution is being labeled as a witch hunt.

I also find it an interesting twist of fate that a column that attempts to paint Congressman Conyers as an extremist, leads into a story of the current administrations illegal data mining of American citizens.


Jeff Simpson

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Open letter to Senator Schumer and Congressman Emanuel

I am writing to register a complaint with Senator Schumer. I have tried to call a couple time but have been disconnected both times so I thought I would email. I am a lifelong democrat from Wisconsin and am very upset of the treatment of Paul Hackett by Senator Schumer. While I liked what I heard of Paul Hackett, I was not a supporter becuase I live in WI. I am a supporter of the democratic process and felt that the people of Ohio should of been able to pick who they wanted to run as their Senate candidate. I also have a feeling that this is not an isolated case, and that for every instance we hear of there are many more that we do not. This is acceptable maybe in the Republican Party. but not in any party I will support with money, time and most importantly, my vote. I refuse to ever give a nickel to the democratic party again without a public apology to Paul Hackett from Senator Schumer and/or Congressmen Emanuel.
Thanks for your time.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hurricane Katrina Update

As was pointed out ina previous blog, there was tremendous incompetence at the federal level during and after the whole Hurricane Katrina disaster. While the Bush administration has yet to accept the blame for anything, and President George Bush still can not think of a mistake he has made, the GAO has come out with some findings, that despite what Faux news has to say, shows that the blood of the Hurricane victims lies strictly on George Bush's hands(thank you to the Washington Post and William Branigan).....

GAO Faults Federal Government for Katrina Response By William Branigin The Washington Post
Wednesday 01 February 2006
DHS rejects report while New Orleans mayor backs claims.
Despite plenty of advance disaster warning and decade-old recommendations on preparedness, the federal government failed to exercise adequate leadership in response to Hurricane Katrina and was slow to determine the scope of the catastrophe, the Government Accountability Office reported today.
In a preliminary report submitted to a House committee investigating the hurricane response, Comptroller General David M. Walker pointed to a failure of federal leadership as Katrina bore down on the Gulf Coast last year, with neither Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff nor any of his deputies stepping in to lead the relief effort.
The GAO chief indicated that national response planning for major disasters continues to be plagued by "weaknesses."
The Department of Homeland Security rejected the report as "premature and unprofessional" and complained that the findings were riddled with errors.
In the Senate, meanwhile, the mayor of New Orleans appeared to back the main thrust of the GAO report, testifying at a committee hearing that he had been frustrated by the lack of a "clear chain of command" for relief and recovery efforts.
The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, submitted its report to the House Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, chaired by Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). The committee plans to include the GAO conclusions in a report scheduled to be released Feb. 15.
Walker's nine-page statement of "preliminary observations" noted that "several federal, state and local agencies were clearly overwhelmed in response to Hurricane Katrina," resulting in "widespread dissatisfaction with the level of preparedness." But he said many of the lessons emerging from the disaster were "similar to those GAO identified more than a decade ago," after Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida. For example, Walker said, the GAO in 1993 "recommended that the president designate a senior official in the White House to oversee federal preparedness for, and response to, major catastrophic disasters."
He said the GAO continues to believe that a single person accountable to the president must act as "the central focal point" to lead the federal response.
However, Walker said, "Neither the DHS Secretary nor any of his designees, such as the Principal Federal Official (PFO), filled this leadership role during Hurricane Katrina, which serves to underscore the immaturity of and weaknesses relating to the current national response framework." The references were to Chertoff and the former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown.
"No one was designated in advance to lead the overall federal response in anticipation of the event despite clear warnings from the National Hurricane Center," Walker said in the statement. In addition, "governmental entities did not act decisively or quickly enough to determine the catastrophic nature of the incident," he said.
Chertoff, for example, designated Katrina as "an incident of national significance" on Aug. 30, the day after the massive storm made landfall. He did not designate it as a "catastrophic event," which would have triggered a "more proactive response" under the National Response Plan, Walker said.
"As a result, the federal posture generally was to wait for the affected states to request assistance," he said.
Because Brown's leadership role was "unclear," Walker said, "the efforts of all federal agencies involved in the response remained disjointed."
As a result, Walker said, "there were multiple chains of command, a myriad of approaches and processes for requesting and providing assistance and confusion about who should be advised of requests and what resources would be provided within specific time frames."
In response, the Department of Homeland Security complained that Walker had publicized an "incomplete" report "without even bothering to talk to the senior leadership" of the department.
"The resulting report is premature and unprofessional," DHS press secretary Russ Knocke said in a statement. "Apart from its obvious errors, it displays a significant misunderstanding of core aspects of the Katrina response that could have easily been corrected in the most basic conversations with DHS leaders."
For example, the report places undue emphasis on designating the hurricane as a catastrophic event, when such designations are for sudden disasters for which no personnel or supplies have been pre-positioned, the statement said. Moreover, the president's emergency declarations during the weekend before Katrina struck activated the National Response Plan and "gave FEMA full authority to coordinate the federal response in the field," it said.
The statement said the GAO report also "falsely implies inaction by DHS and FEMA before landfall," when in fact state officials were satisfied with "the federal government's asset pre-positioning and other pre-hurricane assistance."
The statement said DHS has already acknowledged that "federal, state and local response capabilities were overwhelmed by the size and scope of Hurricane Katrina" and that the storm "revealed problems in national response capabilities," demonstrating the need for more planning.
"For that reason, we are working closely with Congress, the administration and state and local responders to address shortcomings in planning and response," the statement said. It said the department soon will unveil "a comprehensive strategy to improve the nation's capability to manage catastrophic incidents."
In testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin was asked about a meeting he attended with President Bush and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) on Sept. 2, four days after the hurricane struck.
"I was specifically asking for a clear chain of command as it related to who had final authority, so that we could get things moving much quicker," Nagin said. "I felt as though ... there was an incredible dance going on between the federal government and the state government on who had final authority. And it was impeding, in my humble opinion, the recovery efforts, and it was very frustrating."
At one point, "I stopped everyone and basically said, 'Mr. President, Madame Governor, if the two of you don't get together on this issue, more people are going to die in this city, and you need to resolve this immediately,'" the New Orleans mayor told the committee.
He said later, "There needed to be more resources that came much quicker and not necessarily a dance on, you know, whether state or federal authority rules. I mean, that's just ridiculous to me."
Five months after the hurricane, the federal government still has not met some of the city's top needs, Nagin said. He said New Orleans has requested more than 45,000 temporary homes, such as trailers, but so far has received fewer than 2,000.
"Since the storm, we have been a financially crippled municipality struggling to bring our city back," Nagin said. "Hurricane Katrina, like 9/11 and other disasters before, has taught us that improvements in planning for disasters must be made at all levels of government."

Friday, January 20, 2006

John Kerry's Shameful act.

It was recently mentioned in the Nation , where Alexander Cockburn stated that John Kerry, due to his many campaign advisors from the Bush Administration had to know that Bush was illegally spying on Americans.

From the article:

Ever since the New York Times loitered a year late into print with its disclosure about the NSA spying program (only the latest in a sequence of unconstitutional infamies by that agency stretching back for decades, mostly against domestic political protesters), I've seen it argued that if the Times had gone with the story last year, Kerry might be President.
But if the Democrats had cared about the Constitution, they could have broken the story last year. Democratic Congressional leaders knew, because the whistleblowers from the NSA desperately tried to alert them, only to get the cold shoulder. Kerry's prime advisers on such matters--Richard Clarke and Rand Beers--knew, because they'd previously been Bush's top functionaries in the "war on terror."

This was an extreme disappointment to me as I supported Senator John Kerry from the very beginning and realize if he knew that and kept silent then I and the rest of the progressives and democrats in the country supported the wrong candidate.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

The following is my letter to John Kerry, I will post any response I get.

Dear Senator Kerry:

I am writing in regards to the latest story of the Bush/NSA wiretapping. I recently read an article in the Nation stating that becuase you had so many people from the Bush Administration working on your campaign, (Rand Beers, Richard Clarke, etc...), that you must of known that this was happening also. As a supporter of yours from the beginning of the primary season through the general election that disappointed me greatly. I attended every single time you visited Madison, WI and I also brought my family whenever I could.

I was initially disappointed when you were not the one to contest the election, and that burden fell on barbra boxers shoulders. While I have read much about this, and agree there probably was not enough to overturn the election in Ohio, there was definitely en ough voter fraud that this needs to be investigated. Unfortunately, I do not think it has been and do not feel confident we will ever have a fair election in certain states again.

While the election disappointed me, if it is true that you knew about the Bush/NSA spying on Americans during the election season and did not bring it up as an issue, i am even more disappointed. When the President blatantly breaks the law and goes against the Constitution of the United States, the very foundation of our democracy, we need leaders to stand up and fight for us. The stakes are too high and without real leadership leading this fight, i fear for our democracy and the future of our country. If we can not look to you as the only presidential contender to stand up for the constitution, then who will? I hope that my information is false, but I fear for the future of our country if it isn’t.

Thank you for your time.

Jeff Simpson debt consolidation loans