Friday, May 19, 2006

The Things Republicans say these days...

I watched the Tavis Smiley show last night. He had as his guest Congressman Tom Tancredo, Republican of Colorado (Chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus)

  • The Presidents plan sucks
  • NAFTA was a disaster
  • There is no such thing as an 'American Company' any more


It's a good interview. Here are some of the things that Tancredo had to say about Bush and immigration reform:

Tancredo: Because he [Bush] ruins it. He ruins the, when he starts talking about enforcement, we can, as I say, get sort of enthusiastic. But it is ruined entirely by his commitment to amnesty. It is a terrible public policy. And I do not believe, first of all, I have to tell you I am leery about the administration’s commitment to the concept of enforcement. And so, I'm not willing to give them a package that includes amnesty and a guest worker plan.

Tancredo: Secondly, how do you deal with the people who are presently here? You do not have to do this, round them up, all this draconian talk about how we’re going to deport 13 million people.

All you have to do is something that I admit is a kind of a radical idea around here, and that is enforce the law. Enforce the law. If you do that, if you go after employers who are creating the demand side of this equation, you will see an attrition. People will leave the country and go back to the country of origin, because there really are no other alternatives.

Tavis: But back to the earlier point, though. So many of these employers, come on, you and I know the truth here. So many of these employers are your friends. They're Republicans. They ain’t trying to hear that.

Tancredo: Well, I don’t care what they're trying to hear, and yeah, I'm a Republican, and have been one all my life. But I'm telling you that we have to stop the demand side. It is imperative. It’s the core. It’s the core principle. You can do a lot of stuff on the border, but as long as the magnet of jobs still pulls people into the country, they’ll come. So you have to go after them.

Tavis: Yet there are a number of people who feel that the failure of NAFTA is always left out of this conversation about immigration, and you can’t separate those two things. Do you agree or disagree?

Tancredo: I agree. I agree. NAFTA was a disaster, especially for Mexico, especially for the small subsistence farmer in Mexico who can no longer compete. They went out of business. They came north; they went to the maquiladoras, the factories on the border. Then last year, of course, because of the globalization of the economy, the maquiladoras lost 800,000 jobs to China. So where did those people go? They came north.

Tavis: I got 45 seconds here, can we legitimately blame U.S. corporations for making more money at home, sending more jobs abroad? They don’t give a living wage to these people in the countries where they work, and because they get exploited there, they come here looking for a better life. You wanna blame American corporations at all?

Tancredo: I'm telling you, I don’t even know what an American corporation is anymore, frankly. For the most part, these multinational corporations have absolutely no loyalty to a particular country. They have a loyalty to the bottom line, and they couldn’t care less about what happens in the United States. They are looking at their profit margins. I think it’s getting more and more difficult to actually identify an American, quote, corporation.

I noticed a couple of points in Bush's speech the other night that I haven't heard being commented on in the MSM or the Blogosphere.

First, Bush talked about deporting illegal's and how his plan calls for increasing the number of 'beds' to hold these people while waiting for deportation. He talked about non Mexican immigrants taking more resources to deport because you can't just drop them off over the boarder. This got me to thinking about the reports recently about the $400 million contract with Halliberton to build 'detention centers' to hold 'mass migrations of peoples across our boarders or other future government programs'.

The second thing I noticed was the way he tried to protect those same corporations who, as Tancredo says, "couldn't care less about what happens in the United States" by claiming that with out his new worker ID program, have a real hard time distinguishing legal from non legal workers. That part says to me that Bush's plan has no interest in going after companies that hire non legal workers. Why is it that so many call un-documented aliens 'criminals' but we rarely hear that term used for the companies and businesses that illegally hire them?

Maybe we should save some space in those 'detention centers' for the criminals who hire illegal's!

In a 'News Hour' program about the issue they had one man saying that every job that an illegal worker takes is taking a job away from an American. But, in the same program that said that businesses have said that if the gravy train of cheap labor gets derailed by immigration reform they will have to send many of the jobs overseas to find other cheap (slave) labor. This brings me to a point that no one seems to make on the news. These workers who sneak over the boarder are not taking jobs that Americans won't do. They are taking jobs that companies won't pay more for.

One last thing about the Tancredo interview. He has a possibly telling slip of the tongue in the interview where he says:

I think that there are enough Republicans even in the Senate to perhaps sustain a veto.

Then corrects himself:

I said that wrong. To perhaps sustain a filibuster.

Was this a slip of the tongue or a veiled threat to the President that if they put up a bill that gets vetoed by Bush, the Republicans can over ride it?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Every call you make, I'll be watching you.

I watched some of the Senate hearings on the NSA data mining story last night. Now I understand that this is not a system that actually listens to any phone conversations, but rather a data mining system that keeps a record of virtually every call made. The system collects the phone number of the person calling and the phone number of the person called. This allows the NSA (theoretically) to run this data base thru a computer which looks for 'patterns'. They say this is not a problem because they are not collecting the name, social security number, or any other personal information about the phone numbers. But they are collecting the phone numbers. Isn't that like saying you didn't blow Valery Plame's cover because you said 'Joe Willson's Wife'? If they have your phone number they can get all the information that they say this system is not collecting. All they have to do is hit this data base up against any number of public databases that aren't in the NSA system, so they don't have to say they are collecting the information when actually they most likely are. If you go now to Google and type your phone number in the search bar there is a good chance that it will show your name and address (Unless you have asked Google to remove it).

The Democrats on the panel last night were concentrating on the fact that the NSA is deliberately going around the DOD and the Justice Dept. so no one will have to go on record OK'ing this program. One company, Quest out of Colorado, asked to get a letter from the Justice Dept. saying that it was legal for them to share this info with the NSA and the NSA stopped asking for the info.

The Republicans mostly harped on how any knowledge of this program weakens our security. But that opens a nasty can of worms. Are they saying that to be safe we must do away with all Congressional over site of the White House? The question the Republicans need to ask themselves, and think very seriously about, is would they be supportive of this program if Hillary Clinton were the President? How about Al Gore? How much money would you bet that if a Democrat becomes President the Republicans will immediately start working to curb the power of the White House.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

One, two, three, four! We don't want your stinking war!

I just read a great article on Juan Cole's 'Informed Comment' web site (one of my favorites and a must read for true in site to what is going on in the middle east). The piece starts out with Juan tearing into the drunken ramblings and lies of Christopher 'hic'-Hitchens.

Well, I don't think it is any secret that Hitchens has for some time had a very serious and debilitating drinking problem. He once showed up drunk to a talk I gave and heckled me. I can only imagine that he was deep in his cups when he wrote, or had some far Rightwing think tank write, his current piece of yellow journalism. I am sorry to witness the ruin of a once-fine journalistic mind.

But the other reason for Hitchens's piece may be that he has become a warmonger, and it is possible that he wants a US war against Iran.

The whole post is on the drive by the current war mongers in power to push for military actions against Iran. Cole points out that:

As for the matter at issue, Ahmadinejad is a non-entity. The Iranian "president" is mostly powerless. The commander of the armed forces is the Supreme Jurisprudent, Ali Khamenei. Worrying about Ahmadinejad's antics is like worrying that the US military will act on the orders of the secretary of the interior.

It ends with a very strong anti-war push by Cole to try and get students to organize and act out against a military conflict with Iran.

One, two, three, four! We don't want your stinking war!

We are not going to see any more US troops come home in body bags at Dover for the sake of some Cheney affiliate grabbing the petroleum in Iran's Ahvaz fields.

We are not going to have another 15,000 wounded vets flood onto our streets with spine damange and brain damage.

We are not going to put Yazd behind barbed wire to liberate it, as a millenarian Christian general did to Habbaniyah in Iraq.

We are not going to imprison and torture thousands of Iranians at Evin Penitentiary in Tehran, as worthy successors to the bloodthirsty Shah and Khomeini.

We are not going to kill 200,000 Iranians with aerial bombardments of Tabriz, Isfahan, Qom, Kerman, Shiraz and Mashahd.

We are not going to let dozens of US corporations loot the American people and the Iranian people alike with no-bid "contracts", embezzlement, corruption, and graft.

We are not going to let you have a war against Iran.

So sit down and shut up, American Enterprise Institute, and Hudson Institute, and Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and American Heritage Institute, and this institue and that institute, and cable "news", and government "spokesmen", and all the pundit-ferrets you pay millions to make business for the American military-industrial complex and Big Oil.

We don't give a rat's ass what Ahmadinejad thinks about European history or what pissant speech the little shit gives.

I call on university students across America to begin holding antiwar rallies. The only way you can have a war on Iran is to draft the young people. It is you who are on the line. Demonstrate! Demonstrate against the very hint of war! Demonstrate in front of the warmongering "institutes" in Washington, DC! Demonstrate to end the one we've already got! (See Speaker's Forum on Iraq

Here is what the real Iran experts think about the prospect of an Iran war.

Because Hitchens's dirty tricks and lies against me are only the beginning. Whoever stands against the Perpetual War machine will be attacked, slimed, marginalized, and destroyed if the warmongers get their way. I don't care. Thus far and no farther.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

"I'm Mad,...It's not Fair" -- Ken Lay.

The Department of Justice has launched a new website:

The Enron Exhibits Website will contain publicly released documents, including exhibits entered into evidence by the government and any press releases related to court proceedings. - U.S. Dept. of Justice website

In Lay's hand written notes for his speech he says "True character is born in times of crisis". I guess times of crisis can show off your lack of character as well.

Notes (handwritten) of Kenneth Lay - All Employee Meeting

· Very turbulent (very tough) times
· Expect we still have more to come
· I will do everything I can to turn it around
· I'm mad.
· I'm frustrated
· It’s not fair
· True character is born in times of crisis.
· Need to show our character
· I'm hear till the board throws me out or until we restore Enron to its greatness most of us have experienced.
· Hope you do to. I really need your commitment to Enron and to making it great again.

Enron Trial Exhibits and Releases

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Bush'es in Connecticut

Two headlines caught my eye tonight. Both had to do with some one named Bush and my home state of Connecticut.

The first is not surprising, and something I expect to see in many states soon.

Bush Sinks To 24% In State Poll

The second one is about Laura Bush attending a fund raiser for three Connecticut Republicans: Joe Lieberman, Nancy Johnson, Christopher Shays and Rob Simmons. O.K., Joe wasn't actually at the event.

Laura Bush Visits Stamford For GOP

I think Laura is going to be very busy stumping for congressional Republicans, seeing how they don't seem to want to appear in person with Bush.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher Snubs Bush

And speaking of Lieberman:

Scripts Of Lieberman Ads

Joe is kicking his campaign to stay in office into gear. He launched two adds, both addressing the opposition he has been getting because of his support of the Iraq war and the Bush policies related to that war.

"I already know that some of you feel passionately against my position on Iraq.

"I respect your views, and while we probably won't change each others' minds, I hope we can still have a dialogue and find common ground on all the issues where we do agree.

Says one.

"You may not always agree with him, but you can depend on his integrity, his compassion and his willingness to listen and hear all sides.

Says the other.

The first ad is a folksy 'I've always been there for you and I always will' piece. The second is an attempt to highlight his differences from Bush.

according to the Hartford Current:
As of March 31, the last campaign finance filing period, Lieberman had raised $4.7 million and Lamont $712,000.

Ned Lamont has been doing a lot of town hall meetings around the state. You can see his speeches here:

Ned Lamont on

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Dollar, The Euro, and what the Red Herring saw.

Here is a very interesting article in Information Clearing House that outlines the Dollar v. Euro aspect of U.S. foreign policy.

The basics of it are this:

The U.S. economy used to be based on the Gold standard. That means that the Dollar was back up by it's value in gold.

The Definition from wickopedia is:
The gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is a fixed weight of gold.

Under the gold standard, currency issuers guarantee to redeem notes in that amount of gold. Nations that employ such a fixed unit of account, and which will redeem their notes to other nations in gold, share a fixed currency relationship.

The gold standard system is claimed to be resistant to credit and debt expansion, since money cannot be created through government fiat currency, and will therefore be protected against artificial inflation by the devaluation of currency. This is supposed to remove "currency uncertainty", supposed to keep the credit of the issuing monetary authority sound, and supposed to encourage lending.

The basic idea is that governments can not just print as much money as they feel like, that have to back it up with something of real value (i.e. gold)

In the 1960's the U.S. started printing more and more money to pay for the Vietnam war, with out the gold to back it up.

In the early 70's other countries started asking to be repaid for loans to the U.S. in gold, but we didn't have the gold to back it up, so the U.S. was essential bankrupt.

The U.S. had to find a way to convince the rest of the world to continue to do business in U.S. Dollars and the best leverage that had was oil. So the U.S. government made a deal with Saudi Arabia and OPEC to do business only in U.S. Dollars in exchange for our military protection of the House of Saud. This, in effect, created a new standard based not on gold but on oil.

This brings us to our current situation in the middle east. In 2001 Saddam Hussein made the announcement that he no longer wanted to sell oil for U.S. Dollars but would instead sell based on the Euro. This would have the effect of devaluing the Dollar.

Now Iran has said it will change over to the Euro as well. I believe they have already started just last week. What was the responce from the U.S. Government, besides talk of pre-emptive attacks for their nuclear program, a bill that would punish any country that invests money in Iran's energy sector.

Several other countries are thinking about doing the same thing, and you can bet that the U.S. will use all of it's economic, military, and political might to prevent it. But they'll never tell us the real reason for their actions. Instead they give us more reasons like WMD and stock piles of chemical weapons and other red herrings.

You can read the article here Information Clearing House

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Democrats = Impotence, Ignorance, and Incompetence. A three 'I'ed monster with no teeth

The Democratic party in this country is impotent, ignorant, and incompetent. A three 'I'ed monster with no teeth. Faced with the most arrogant, incompetent, and criminal administration in modern history, the Democrats have decided that the only way to win in 06 is to become just as ignorant and incompetent as their opponents.

Senator Russ Feingold introduced censure legislation on Monday and the rest of the Democratic party ran and hid under their beds, hoping Russ would just go away. The Republicans even offered to vote on censure, Majority Leader Bill Frist, tried to hold a vote Monday on Feingold's resolution but was blocked by Democrats. That's right the Democrats blocked a vote to censure George W. Bush. I think they should change the name of their party from Democrats to Dependsocrats, because they piss themselves every time they have an opportunity to actually make a change in this country.

People are talking about the Republicans loosing the House or the Senate in the 06 mid-term elections, But which Democrats are we talking about replacing them with? I'm all for electing 'new' Democrats to replace these flaccid, thumb suckers who currently cower from or kowtow to the Republicans and their bankrupt administration.
It is for this reason that I am encouraging all Democratic voters to kick these appeasers and incompetents out and replace them with candidates that still have a backbone.

In my state of Connecticut we have one particular Senator who really needs to go. Joe Lieberman is the poster boy for Republican subservience by Democrats. Joe is what we call a DINO, Democrat in name only. He spends more time hugging and kissing George W. Bush, and supporting Bush's policies than Laura Bush. I don't know what goes on in Joe's mind but he seems to be stuck in that 'Democrats are perceived as week on security so I can't say anything but good things about Bush and the war'. Joe, you are so wrong and so out of touch with the people.

It is Republicans who are week on Defense. Yes, that's right, the Republicans are very strong on 'offence' but weak as hell on 'defense'. The war in Iraq was said to be going well while the U.S. was attacking Saddam, but now that we have to defend Iraq from insurgents and outside forces the military seems incapable of doing anything right. Can't Joe see this?

Getting back to the censure, here is what Joe Lieberman said in a press conference about the censure resolution:

QUESTION: Would you support censuring the president?

LIEBERMAN: Well, in fairness, I want to -- first off, I respect Senator Feingold, and I certainly respect him enough to take a look at his resolution of censure. It's a very unusual measure. I don't believe it's happened in more than a century and a half. But frankly, I'd prefer to spend our time figuring out ways to bring this very important program of surveillance of potential terrorists here in the United States under the law.

I've said before that I disagree with the Bush administration's legal judgment on this one. I don't believe that they have operated within the law as it exists. But this is a critically important program -- the prevention of terrorist acts here in the United States. And I don't know a person here in the Senate who is against this program. If this place was operating as it should, we'd all be figuring out how to sit down around a table and bring it within the law. And I hope that's what will happen. But I'll look at it and let you know how I feel after that.

QUESTION: Will you likely vote no? I just want to be clear on where you would be on this.

LIEBERMAN: I haven't even seen it. As I said, I don't think -- I don't want to see us get into -- look, Russ is a very thoughtful senator, a friend. He has a right to put before the Senate whatever he chooses, and I feel a responsibility to respect it and look at it. I'd prefer to see us solve the problem. And the problem is that we have a critically important national security program -- how do we listen to the conversations and read the e-mails of people we have reason to believe are terrorists, who want to strike the United States. I don't think the administration program has been conducted within the existing FISA law. We ought to figure out a way together to make sure that that's the way the program goes forward.

He comes right out and says the President violated the law (that's what most people refer to as a 'crime') but all he wants to do is make it legal for Bush to continue to break the law. Joe hems and haws and talks about how much respect he has for his fellow Dem, and then says that he willing to look at what he has already decided to vote 'no' on.

Joe has got to go!

That is why I am supporting Ned Lamont for Senator in Connecticut in 06.