They Lied

This post over at Daily Kos talks about Bush officials admitting they lied about weapons of mass destruction, because they wanted a war for "a global show of American power and democracy". This Daily Kos post, the stories it links to, and the comments following are not just worthy of a read, they are worthy of telling others to read as well. I just did.

No Sharon Bush Book After All

Over at skimble.

U.S. Reporter Who Protested Iraq War Fired

U.S. Reporter Who Protested Iraq War Fired

tendentious covers this. Go there.

Howard Dean House Parties Tomorrow

This is a little bit short notice, but this story in today's news prompts me to write -- GOP: Dean's Support of Gays Will Hurt Him
WASHINGTON - Supporters of Howard Dean's presidential campaign will be celebrating Saturday's third anniversary of his signing of the nation's only law giving gay partners the same legal rights as married couples.

The loudest cheering, though, might come from Republicans.

Dean, a former Vermont governor, is touting his signing of the civil unions law. His campaign is helping organize more than 50 fund-raisers at the homes of supporters across the country Saturday to celebrate the anniversary, with Dean making conference calls to the guests.

Several of Dean's rivals for the Democratic nomination also are speaking out in support of increased rights and acceptance of gays. But many Republicans say strong support for gays will backfire in the general election and help President Bush (news - web sites) win more conservative and southern states.

Richard White, a Republican state senator from Mississippi, said any candidate talking about gay rights might as well not even visit his state.

"The people down here, they are not going to put up with that kind of stuff," White said. "We're not prepared for all that in Mississippi or anywhere else in the southern states."
Ah yes, the Party of the Confederacy trying to tell us all how to live our lives. Read the article, there's more.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is National House Party Day for Howard Dean, starting several days of events to, as the campaign puts it, "Celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of Governor Dean signing the Vermont Civil Union Law and his stand as a Democratic Presidential candidate for equal rights". House parties are local events in people's houses to bring together supporters and raise funds for the campaign. There are also larger (fundraising) events in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York during the week. I know that in San Francisco there is a "Greet Dean" rally outside before that event, Tuesday. That's at 6pm in front of the Ferry Building.

Click this to find a house party in your area. Use the pop-up menu next to "City:" to choose the city nearest you.

There is also a Dean for America Students page listing campus events. From the page:
Campus action across the country on April 26th:
Berkeley University. . .Scream for Dean and Ice Cream!
Carleton College. . .BBQ with Live Bluegrass Music
College of Charleston. . .Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
University of Chicago. . .Donuts for Dean
Georgia Students for Dean. . .Wild Poster Campaign!
Harvard. . .Posters! Posters! Posters!
University of Houston. . .Scream for Dean and Ice Cream
Lewis and Clark. . .Rock for Dean Concert
University of Pennsylvania. . ."Meet & Greet" with Ben & Jerry’s
Stanford. . .Dean and Ice cream!!!
SUNY Albany. . .Friendly Dinner at Friendly’s Diner
University of Tennessee, Knoxville. . .Cook-out for Dean
Tulane College. . .Liberalpalooza Promo
University of Wisconsin at Madison. . ."Party in the Park" Promo


High Taxes on the Rich are GOOD FOR a Consumer Economy

In a comment to the Gephardt Health Care piece below someone wrote something about Europe giving people health care helps their economy do well "despite" their high tax rates. That set me off. I wrote:
What do you mean Europeans do well "despite" their high taxation?

If you look at our history and compare tax rates with economic growth, you're in for a surprise.

But maybe not a surprise, if you think about us as a consumer economy, and when the tax base is shifted upward the burden of supporting the government is less on the broad mass of consumers, so they are better able to support the consumer economy.

High taxes on the rich are GOOD FOR a consumer economy. Concentration of the wealth at the top is BAD FOR a consumer economy.

AND on top of that, the way they USE the tax dollars is better for the people there. Health care, pensions, etc.

After all, who is our economy FOR?
And one more thing. Taxes don't "take money out of the economy." That's just focus-group crap that sounds good as long as you don't start thinking for yourself. Taxes on the rich put money back into the economy. Here's how: If you tax a rich person, and spend that tax money building a road, what you get is you employ a hundred people and you also get a road.

Maybe a better example is if you tax the rich and use the money build a solar power plant you employ a thousand people, get a source of renewable energy, stop importing so much damn oil from the Middle East, and also stop putting so much damn carbon into the atmosphere! (Tax the rich MORE and use LESS oil! If Bush or Cheney read THAT their heads would explode!)

It's What They DO, Not What They SAY

I left a comment in response to this post over at Daily Kos, discussing why there have been no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq.
You gotta learn to just ignore what these guys say -- EVERYTHING they say -- and look only at what they DO.

What they SAY is only intended to obscure and confuse. Never mind what they say. If you pay attention to what they say you risk getting lost in the fog and smoke. They are really good at fog and smoke. The ONLY way to learn what these guys are about is to watch what they are doing.

What they DID was invade Iraq, seize the oil fields and the oil ministry - AND NOTHING ELSE.
Bush shows up in New York after 9/11 and promises billions of dollars for reconstruction and for the fire and police departments. It never shows up. Bush says his tax cuts won't cause deficits, as a way of getting Congress to vote to pass the tax cuts. Of course, they caused the biggest deficits in history. Bush does a photo-op at an environmental site, later they cut the funding. Bush talks about being the "Education President" and later cuts funding. Bush talks about patriotism and supporting the troops, then cuts the budget for veterans' benefits. Need I continue? The only relationship between what these guys say and what they do is they say whatever is necessary to trick the public into believing one thing while they do another thing.

Under the Soviet system, people came to realize that they could not trust government sources of news. They learned to look for what was being done. Under Saddam Iraqis learned to trust what they saw instead of what they heard.

By now the pattern is clear. By now we should all be learning not to waste our time and energy refuting their arguments. That's just getting yourself bogged down in the fog and smoke. That's just looking "over there" when they point their finger and shout, "Look over there!" Their "facts" and arguments are just trees. See the forest. The forest is this: they lie. They just lie. They say whatever their polls and focus groups tell them to say. Learn to see only what they do.


Virtual March for Veterans Update

I previously posted about a "Virtual March" to support restoring the funds cut from the Veterans' benefits budget.

The Watch has posted a more detailed piece on the subject and has reset the date to May 22. Please go read.

This is such a great way to show our support for "the troops" where it counts. The chickenhawk Republicans and their propaganda machine crow about their "patriotism" and then turn around and cut veterans' benefits. This is a chance to seize their issue, publicize their hypocrisy AND, most important, to help out the vets.

Dean Calls For Santorum To Step Down

Over at the Dean Call To Action Weblog, Dean says,
Yesterday, I called on President Bush and the Republican Party leadership to condemn Senator Rick Santorum for his deeply offensive remarks comparing homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery. As additional reports have come to light, revealing a disturbing history of inflammatory, anti-gay rhetoric by Senator Santorum, the deafening silence of President Bush and his party has become inexcusable.

Sen. Santorum has refused to apologize for his repugnant remarks, calling his comments “a legitimate public policy discussion.” Gay-bashing is not a legitimate public policy discussion; it is immoral. Rick Santorum’s failure to recognize that attacking people because of who they are is morally wrong makes him unfit for a leadership position in the United States Senate. Today I call on Rick Santorum to resign from his post as Republican Conference Chairman.

Once again, I call on President Bush to repudiate Sen. Santorum’s remarks. The President of the United States must represent all Americans, regardless of race, gender, class or sexual orientation. In a nation dedicated to equality under the law, everyone must be equal under the law. By refusing to stand up for gay Americans under attack by members of his own party’s leadership, this President sends a message that intolerance and bigotry is acceptable. That is not acceptable.
The next entry below that one has Dean's remarks yesterday on the subject, including:
It is a policy that must end, and it is a policy that will end with a Dean Presidency. This Saturday, April 26th, marks the third anniversary of the signing of the Civil Unions bill in Vermont. I signed that bill because I believe no human being should be treated with less dignity than others simply because that person belongs to a different category or group. I also believe that, as Americans, it is our duty to speak up when others are treated wrongly—especially when others are treated wrongly by a member of the Senate leadership.

Gephardt - Repeal Tax Cuts, Provide Health Insurance

Washington Post: Presidential candidate Dick Gephardt called for completely repealing Bush's tax cuts, and providing a tax credit to pay for employers to provide health care for all employees. In the story is a quote from "an operative from a competing campaign":
"There isn't going to be a single candidate who disagrees with the goal that Gephardt has laid out," said an operative from a competing campaign. "However, by taking money out of the economy, which is what his plan would do, he will be criticized not only by the right, but by some Democrats, and by any economist worth his salt. The debate prior to this point has been about rolling back the unenacted portions of the tax cut, in large part because it is commonly understood by experts that taking money out of the economy in the midst of a downturn would only exacerbate that downturn."
Now let's see if we can guess which competing campaign would exactly quote Bush, saying that "taxes take money out of the economy." Could it be ... LIEBERMAN?

As a matter of fact, the tax CUTS take money out of the economy, causing layoffs of government workers as well as layoff of workers at companies that supply the government, and spending cuts by those laid-off workers in all the places they otherwise spend money, like clothing andgrocery stores, etc. and on like that through the economy while the Bush tax cuts just hand money to idle rich who then put the money in offshore accounts. On the other hand, this health care plan, paid for by repealing the tax cuts, would put $200 billion a year INTO the economy. I wonder if "any economist worth 'his' salt" -- and maybe some female economists as well -- would disagree with that?

From the story,
The Gephardt campaign asked Kenneth A. Thorpe, chairman of the health policy and management department at Emory University -- and a former Clinton White House adviser -- to do an analysis of the proposal. Thorpe concluded that the plan would cost about $214 billion a year and cover about 30 million of the nation's 41 million uninsured, resulting in about 97 percent of the population being insured.
Not quite universal health coverage, but a big step.


Virtual March To Support Veterans

The Watch is leading a "Virtual March" May 1 to restore funding for Veterans' benefits recently cut by Congress.
Tell the government that if they're going to wrap their agenda in some kind of concern for people in uniform, they better show some serious concern for people in uniform.
This is such a great idea I hope that you'll tell everyone about this, send e-mails, etc, asking people to phone their representatives on May 1, demanding restoration of full veterans' benefits!

Sweet'N Evil

pseudorandom asks if the sugar industry is evil.


Blatant Corruption

Over at Open Secrets you can see how all of the companies invited to bid on Iraq building contracts are major Republican Party donors. Companies were not even allowed to bid on projects if they were not big donors, and everything was done in secret! This is blatant corruption! This is blatant abuse of office. It is right out there in our faces, saying "you can't do anything about it so shut up!" And how come I have not heard every single Democrat screaming their lungs out about this?

I wrote about this the other day, but it is just so bad, so blatant and so corrupt that I want to write about it again. I am restraining myself from using bold and italics. Thanks to Bitter Shack of Resentment for making me angry all over again.

How Did I Miss This?

How did I miss this from April 9 when I read Ruminate This almost every day? Must have been something big going on the last few weeks... Go see for yourself what I'm talking about.

Thom Hartmann On The Radio

Thom's show starts today and I'm listening right now. You can listen over the internet! Go to ieamericaradio.com and click where it says "Listen Live" over on the left. You can also listen to Peter Werbe and Mike Malloy.

Seeing the Forest has pointed to a number of articles by Thom Hartmann.




Voting Machines

Voting Machines, at Slashdot. (Good, if you know what Slashdot is and how it works. Otherwise ... ?)

'A Chill Wind is Blowing in This Nation...'

For anyone who hasn't yet read this -- please go read it. 'A Chill Wind is Blowing in This Nation...', Transcript of the speech given by actor Tim Robbins to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 15, 2003. Here is an excerpt:
A chill wind is blowing in this nation. A message is being sent through the White House and its allies in talk radio and Clear Channel and Cooperstown. If you oppose this administration, there can and will be ramifications.

Every day, the air waves are filled with warnings, veiled and unveiled threats, spewed invective and hatred directed at any voice of dissent. And the public, like so many relatives and friends that I saw this weekend, sit in mute opposition and fear.
And look at the great photo, too.

I post this as much for you have a handy source for the speech, and can forward it to others, as for you to read it yourself. (Like The Dean Speech that I posted a source for previously.) Things that others should read. Things that can move people to think about making a difference. Things you should be passing around, as a way of making a difference yourself. As Robbins says later in his speech, "A bully can be stopped, and so can a mob. It takes one person with the courage and a resolute voice."

What I'm saying here is, Go be that voice!