Laid-Off Steel Workers Blaming CLinton

As Factory Jobs Disappear, Workers Have Few Options:
"Ask laid-off workers what is to blame for the woes, and they point to imports, low wages in China, the strong dollar, production moving overseas, President Bill Clinton for embracing the North American Free Trade Agreement and President Bush for focusing only recently on the crisis.
Robert White, a laid-off steelworker who voted for Mr. Bush three years ago, said: 'He's slowly getting his eyes awakened to what's going on. The air has been going out of the balloon for a long time, and he's trying to stop it. But the air is almost out of the balloon.' "
This reminds me of the poor people in Alabama who voted to keep their taxes high and their schools unfunded so that the rich people in Alabama don't get a tax increase. Also reminds me of the 70% of Americans who believe Iraq is behind 9/11. There is a HUGE gap in the information you and I get, and the information that people out there in the mainstream of America get.


Scoobie Davis / Buzzflash / Krugman

Scoobie Davis Online quotes a bit of the Buzzflash interview with Paul Krugman. Be sure to see it.

The Party Of The Confederacy

Republican poll seeks to identify Rebel flag supporters. The Republicans know who their voters are.

What I don't understand is why Democratic candidates, especially in the North, don't brand the Republicans as the Party of the Confederacy. No one in the North has any business voting for candidates from a party that supports, more and more openly, neo-Confederates.

Voting Machines Story

Newsday.com - Gaffe Casts Doubts on Electronic Voting
Silicon Valley computer experts have long criticized touch-screen voting machines, which do not normally provide a paper receipt and which send digital votes directly to a computer server. Programmers say software bugs, power outages or clever hackers could easily delete or alter data -- and recounts would prove impossible without paper backups.

"A Nation Remembers" Animation

"A Nation Remembers"

How The Right Spins

Take a look at this story, Jupiter homeowner faces foreclosure for flying U.S. flag.

What a terrible thing! What is our country coming to? A man is losing his home for flying the American flag! Those damn libruls!
Defiant flag flier George Andres once again is facing the prospect of losing his Jupiter home after a Palm Beach County judge ruled Wednesday that his homeowners association could go forward with a foreclosure sale next month to collect legal fees.
Wait a minute -- the headline said he was facing foreclosure for flying a flag, but the story says something else! He is facing foreclosure because he refuses to pay legal bills for refusing to go along with homeowner association rules.

The homeowner association had a rule against flagpoles. He knew about the rule and moved in anyway, violated the rule, and then refused to pay after a court ruled that homeowners associations have the right to make rules!

This reminds me of the right's tactic of saying a person is "arrested for praying" when the person was blocking a major intersection by sitting down in the middle of the street and shouting about Jesus. Or the right's tactic of saying people are forbidden from "praying in school" when teachers aren't allowed to try to convert the classes to one or another religion or version thereof. Anyone can pray whenever (not necessarily wherever) they want.

Big Voting Machines Story

See Scoop: Diebold Confirms U.S. Vote Count Vulnerabilities.

Read these e-mails from Diebold. Their ONLY concern is making the sale (of the voting machines), and if it involves hiding the security problems from the customer, so be it. If you have been in business, you will see in these e-mails that they are sales-driven, and you will be familiar with people with sales-driven attitudes. It's natural they will see anyone complaining about problems with their product as pests and threats.

The e-mails show they (and who else?) have known about security problems for ten years -- which means that ten years of elections handled by Diebold election machines are suspect.

skippy salutes

we salute the veterans of our nation over at skippy's blog.


Where Your Job Is Going

The Zeitgeist talks about where YOUR job is going, so your CEO can pocket more millions - and send a big check to The Party.

Who is our economy FOR?

Voting Machines Issue Reaching Senators

Following is an e-mail from Senator Corzine, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. It reads like someone in Washington has heard that some people are upset about something to do with voting machines, didn't bother to find out WHAT people are upset about, but let's see if we can get them to contribute money.
Republicans have sunk to a stunning new low.

First there was Florida and the theft of the 2000 presidential election by the Supreme Court. Then there was the California recall. And of course, there is Tom DeLay trying to rig the Congressional elections in Texas to ensure that the Republicans keep the majority in the U.S. House so they can advance their radical agenda.

Now ­ to show that Republicans will truly stop at next to nothing to win elections and hand the keys of the national treasury over to their fat cat donors - there is Walden O'Dell, the CEO of Diebold Inc. Diebold is the company that wants to get the contract to provide and program voting machines in every state for the 2004 election and O'Dell is raising money exclusively for President Bush and the Republican National Committee (RNC).

O'Dell, in a fundraising letter on August 14th, committed "to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year" according to the Associated Press. In the 2002 election cycle, O'Dell gave $5,965 to the RNC while Diebold gave the RNC $95,000.

This is outrageous!! Not only does Mr. O'Dell want the contract to provide every voting machine in the nation for the next election ­ he wants to "DELIVER" the election to Mr. Bush. In fact, Mr. O'Dell's fundraising appeal on behalf of President Bush came one day before Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, also a Republican, was set to qualify Diebold as one of three companies eligible to sell upgraded electronic voting machines to Ohio counties in time for the 2004 election. INCREDIBLE!! On the day before the Ohio Secretary of State was set to qualify Diebold to provide voting machines for the state of Ohio, its CEO said in a letter he will "DELIVER" Ohio for President Bush.

There are enough conflicts in this story to fill an ethics manual ­ but suffice it to say ­ when it comes to an issue as sensitive as how and who tabulates the votes of the American people ­ this episode is truly outrageous. Either Diebold should cease seeking the contracts for voting machines or Mr. Bush, the RNC and its affiliated committees should return the campaign cash they have received from Mr. O'Dell and his fundraising appeals and from Diebold.

HELP US STOP ANOTHER ELECTION FROM BEING STOLEN! Today, I'm asking you to sign a petition to the Chairman of the DSCC, Senator Corzine, to show your support for fighting back. Republicans must stop trying to steal elections.

Sign our petition and send them a message today: http://www.dscc.org/information/stopvotingmachines/

After you sign the petition, forward this to everyone you know. People MUST be educated about the tactics Republicans embrace. Their sickening attempts to hijack fair elections must be stopped. Florida 2000, California 2003, Texas redistricting ­ I could go on and on. Don't let Republicans get away with it. Sign the petition today.

Andrew Grossman,
Executive Director, DSCC
Right, return the money you gave to the RNC and everything will be all right. Right. But what about fixing the machines with a voter-verified paper trail, so we can see for sure that they recorded votes correctly? They don't get it yet.

But hey, it's still good news -- awareness of the voting machines issue IS penetrating to the top. One of these days they'll actually stop to learn what it is ABOUT the voting machines that is a problem!

Voting Machines

I just had a thought about a simple way to scam elections that use electronic voting machines that do not have paper trails.

You go to polling places in areas that traditionally vote a certain way, and bring a big magnet. Maybe it's a really big electromagnet in a truck. Maybe it's a device (and here) that generates an electromagnetic pulse. You go near the machines, turn the magnet on, and wham - everything in those machines is erased or screwed up, and the votes from that polling place cannot be counted, swinging the election toward the preferences of people in other precincts.

Call your Congressional Representative and demand voter-verified paper trails. It doesn't MATTER how secure they say these machines are. If I can't see for myself how that my vote is recorded correctly and backed up, I simply will not trust the election results.


Two years ago our country was attacked by an organization called al-Queda, based in Afghanistan. Now, two years later, our country is tied up in an occupation of Iraq -- a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the September 11, 2001 attack.

ONE country - Afghanistan - provided territory and resources to the al-Queda organization. For reasons that are still not entirely clear to any of us, our government has convinced much of the public that this OTHER country - Iraq - was responsible for what happened to us, and attacked that country.

Meanwhile, while diverting unbelievable amounts of money to cronies of the president's family, (both from revenue reductions and sweetheart contracts,) driving the once-wealthiest country into severe debt, money needed to protect the public for further attack is not forthcoming.

So much is happening so fast. We are all overwhelmed by the attack on our country's traditional values. Overwhelming the opposition is a tactic. Bush said yesterday, in another context, that the way to win wars "is to stay on the offensive..." The right knows what they're doing. And we're on the defensive, not even able to catch our breath before being hit by next attack on our values. "Healthy Forest Initiative" that lets logging companies profit by cutting down the trees. "Clean Air Initiative" that lets companies profit by polluting the air. School vouchers designed to gut public school funding because "government schools" (and here and here and lots more) indoctrinate children into socialism. The far-right nonsense is endless but THEY ARE IN CONTROL OF THE GOVERNMENT!

The historical implications of current events are almost too enormous to hold in the mind.

Update - I left out one important point. While ONE country - Afghanistan - provided territory and resources to the al-Queda organization, the terrorists involved in the September 11, 2001 attack themselves, came primarily from, and are rumored to have been financed by ANOTHER country, Saudi Arabia -- A country where the Bush family has extensive business interests. al-Queda's leader is a member of a family with whom the Bush family has extensive business interests. Meanwhile, Bush and the Republican Party are blocking investigations into failures of government agencies that led to the September 11, 2001 attacks, and into the relationship between Saudi Arabis and the terrorists. What is that all about? And why does Bush and the Repubican Party continue to block attempts to answer those questions? I report, you decide.

Repost - $50 Million Crony Contract

In this post I referenced a story about an Iraqi company that bid $300,000 to fix a Bhagdad bridge, but, instead, an American company was awarded $50 MILLION to do the job.

This should be a big story. If a $300,000 bridge repair becomes a $50,000,000 graft deal, where is the rest of that $87 billion going?

Come to think of it, where is ALL of the money that the Bush administration manages really going? A year ago I wrote about Koch Oil getting the contract to supply the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That is worth billions and billions, especially at the inflated price of oil. Koch is one of the major funders of the far-far-far right.

Just how much of our tax money is being paid out to Bush cronies or companies that have direct links to the Bush Crime Family?

9/11 Tribute to President Clinton

On his radio show, Tom Hartmann just reminded us that the Republicans mocked Clinton for being obsessed with Bin Laden. They accused him of "wagging the dog" for sending cruise missiles to try to kill Bin Laden in Afghanistan, and mocked him for "bombing an aspirin factory" for sending cruise missiles to destroy a chemical manufacturing plant owned by Bin Laden & suspected of manufacturing components of nerve gas.

While the Bush administration has, so far, effectively blocked any serious investigation into the failures of government agencies that occurred before 9/11, we do know that the outgoing Clinton administration tried very hard to get the incoming Bush administration interested in pursuing Bin Laden, and that the Bush administration refused to do anything -- even blocking funding for several anti-terrorism efforts. Also, see the post below about the unanswered questions.


The Philadelphia Daily News - WHY DON'T WE HAVE ANSWERS TO THESE 9/11 QUESTIONS?

Fuzzy Jobs

Bad news on jobs. New claims for unemployment rose by 3,000 from 413,000 to 422,000. (Remember, Bush = fuzzy math...)
The Labor Department said first-time filings for state jobless benefits rose by 3,000 to 422,000 in the week ended Sept. 6. The climb, which pushed claims to their highest level since early July, defied predictions on Wall Street for a drop to 400,000 from the 413,000 originally reported for the Aug. 30 week.

The 400,000 level is seen by economists as a dividing line between a deteriorating and improving labor situation.
Except Brad DeLong shows that it isn't 400,000, it's 357,000. More fuzzy math.

How come the fuzzy math always makes things look better than they really are?



"I am shutting down PLA."


If you see your weblog listed on the left, please put a link to Seeing the Forest on your weblog! (The technical term for this is "linkslutting.")

Tales from the Left Coast

Welcome Tales from the Left Coast.


Voters in Alabama overwhelmingly rejected a plan to cut their own taxes and raise taxes on the rich a bit. Instead the state services they receive will be cut dramatically.

The beneficiaries are a coalition of "bankers, farmers, small-business owners, timber interests and conservative groups like the Alabama Christian Coalition and Americans for Tax Reform."

Never forget what we're up against -- the Right's marketing people are the same people who convinced millions of people to kill themselves, but hand over their money first. These people are GOOD at what they do.

Update -From a Washington Post story:
Alabama has the nation's lowest state and local taxes per capita and ranks near the bottom in tests of public school performance. It also has more than 28,000 inmates in a prison system built for 12,000, and its state police force has only six troopers patrolling 67,500 miles of roadway after midnight. Riley's plan also aimed to shift the tax burden to the wealthiest Alabamians, who pay an effective tax rate of 3 percent, from the poorest, who pay 12 percent.
[. . .]
Perhaps most striking was opposition among low-income voters, whose taxes would have been cut dramatically. A poll conducted late last week by University of Alabama at Birmingham communications professor Larry Powell found that low- and middle-income voters opposed the plan by a margin of about 30 percentage points. Upper-income voters, who would face tax increases, opposed it by a margin of 14 percentage points.
What can I say? The right OWNS them. I was in the car earlier and Rush was saying that the librulmedia can't "get away with" anything anymore because there are enough people getting their information from him, and Fox, and Drudge and other far-right sources... He's right. ("Right" -- get it?)

Update - Read the comment from Romberry, who was working on this in Alabama!

Republicans Say Howard Stern Show Is News Program

The "Family Values" Republicans now say that Howard Stern Show Is News Program. This is a technicality, so Stern can plug Arnold.

Actually Arnold is another great example of Republican family values -- on AND off the screen. This all shows just how dedicated the Republicans really are to "Family Values" when it comes up against the interests of The Party.


Your Tax Dollars At Work

From the weblog Bhagdad Burning: (Please read the whole piece)
As May was drawing to a close, his manager told him that someone from the CPA wanted the company to estimate the building costs of replacing the New Diyala Bridge on the South East end of Baghdad. He got his team together, they went out and assessed the damage, decided it wasn’t too extensive, but it would be costly. They did the necessary tests and analyses (mumblings about soil composition and water depth, expansion joints and girders) and came up with a number they tentatively put forward- $300,000. This included new plans and designs, raw materials (quite cheap in Iraq), labor, contractors, travel expenses, etc.

Let’s pretend my cousin is a dolt. Let’s pretend he hasn’t been working with bridges for over 17 years. Let’s pretend he didn’t work on replacing at least 20 of the 133 bridges damaged during the first Gulf War. Let’s pretend he’s wrong and the cost of rebuilding this bridge is four times the number they estimated- let’s pretend it will actually cost $1,200,000. Let’s just use our imagination.

A week later, the New Diyala Bridge contract was given to an American company. This particular company estimated the cost of rebuilding the bridge would be around- brace yourselves- $50,000,000 !!
And we all just know that the company getting the $50 million contract is kicking back a percentage to The Party. (Or maybe just the Bush Crime Family.)

Update - Read this too, it's informative.

Never Mind

It looks like I may have miswrote earlier. I read summaries of the PNAC report, which made it sound much more like the PNAC report was asking for the US to develop "biological weapons 'that can target specific genotypes." For example, the commentary written by the former British cabinet minister said, "It also hints that the US may consider developing..."

Now I am reading the report itself (see page 60) FOR MYSELF and it says that this is a potential aspect of warfare in the future. The report does not specifically call for the US to develop these weapons.

Mistakes were made. Never mind. It isn't saxaphones and violins that people are upset about. (Let me know if you get that.)


Thanks to Sideshow I found this post by Teresa Nielsen Hayden, To put it bluntly:
"I’m not going to call you a sucker for voting for him. I’m telling you that he thinks you’re a sucker. That’s when he thinks about you at all, which isn’t often."


Please read this again. I think it's important, but I buried it among other posts.
In case it isn't jumping out at you, here's what this means. "Target specific genotypes" means viruses that kill only people of a certain race -- or even narrower characteristics. And "politically useful tool" means the ability to threaten to kill everyone of a specific race unless they do what we want.
Someone needs to find out quick if the United States is developing biological weapons that can target characteristics such as what we call "race." Most of the rest of the PNAC plan became Bush administration policy -- why not this? Keep in mind that Bush has rejected the bioweapons treaty. And people who describe biological weapons that can target specific races as a "politically useful tool" are now RUNNING OUR GOVERNMENT!

Not Important Until October, 2004

New Passport Rules Are Put Off by U.S.:
The rules, arising from the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, were intended to stop terrorists from trying to use false passports to enter the United States and make it easier for officials to gather information on people arriving here.
But stopping the use of false passports isn't important until October, 2004. Gotta have them tax cuts!

The Cost Of The War

From this story:
"With $166 billion spent or requested, Bush's war spending in 2003 and 2004 already exceeds the inflation-adjusted costs of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the Persian Gulf War combined, according to a study by Yale University economist William D. Nordhaus. The Iraq war approaches the $191 billion inflation-adjusted cost of World War I."
Just to keep things in perspective.

Yes, that's inflation-adjusted costs.

And one more thing, from the story:
"In the president's speech last night, there was a glaring omission," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). "While he fully funded the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, he failed to talk about anything that would beef up homeland security at home, such as making our airlines, ports, nuclear power systems and the like more secure."


Was Bush Behind 9/11?

I didn't write enough about this earlier when I pointed to this commentary. A former member of Britain's cabinet is dancing around making an accusation that the Bush administration was behind 9/11. That's pretty serious.

I report, you decide.

I Met Joe Trippi!

I met Joe Trippi (Gov. Dean's campaign manager) at a Dean fundraising event yesterday. He reads Seeing the Forest.

I told him I need to say this: "My mother lives a few blocks from the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Please don't let the Bush people get away with politicizing 9/11." I know that was corny, but I meant it. It's personal. My mother had to breath that cloud that rose after the buildings fell, and now we learn that Bush ordered the EPA to lie, and they told the public not to worry about what they were breathing. One day we will know the consequences of that lie, when we learn whether all the people who took no precautions -- because they were assured it was OK -- were harming their health.

I saw a few things on TV over the weekend looking back on the Trade Center attacks. It brought it back, and made me really mad to think about how Bush has used that event to push a right-wing agenda, and to attack Iraq! Then they used it to manipulate the 2002 elections. And now they've moved their convention into September in Manhattan so they can make the association with 9/11 in the public's mind. They should not get away with using that tragedy as they did. It should be exposed as blatant politicizing of a tragedy and the entire nation should react by turning every single Republican out of office.

Oh yeah, there was another guy at the Dean fundraiser yesterday -- Dean. He spoke shortly after President Bush's speech. Before he came out to speak he was giving press interviews nationally, in response to the President's speech. (Fortunately, too, because if he had come out when scheduled the sun would have been directly behind him as he spoke.) He was excellent. If you ever, ever get a chance to go see Gov. Dean speak live, do not miss it. This was the fourth time I have attended an event where he spoke. I am more convinced than ever that he is the right person at the right time.

The event was a "Garden Party" at Rep. Zoe Lofgren's house in San Jose. They had a pretty good turnout: the $100 even attracted 1,200 people. Rep. Lofgren said that was the cutoff because there wasn't more room, and upwards of 2,000 people wanted to come. That's $120,000, and it's NOT from 60 $2,000 donors. (They DID have a $1,000+ donor reception as well, before the garden event. I don't know how much was raised.)

This is being done the RIGHT way! The RIGHT way to beat Bush and the corporate money people is for lots of regular people to get involved and win with "people power."

Who Started The Fires

In August Bush flew to Oregon to push his "Health Forests Initiative" -- cutting down the trees to stop forest fires. Just before he got there, several suspicious forest fires started, creating a prefect backdrop for the photo-op.

Significant And Particularly Terrifying

I'm reading this from The Guardian, "This war on terrorism is bogus" -- written by a former British cabinet member, the Environment Minister from May 1997 to June 2003 -- and came across this about the infamous PNAC document. (That's the think tank report, adopted as policy by the Bush administration, from before 9/11 calling for the invasion of Iraq, etc.):
"The document also calls for the creation of 'US space forces' to dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent 'enemies' using the internet against the US. It also hints that the US may consider developing biological weapons 'that can target specific genotypes [and] may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool'. "
I missed this back when I first read about the PNAC report.

Well, I looked this up (especially here), and it appears to be for real that it's in the PNAC report. This is extremely significant and particularly terrifying, especially when you consider the extent of secret research in the military budget under Bush, and the Bush administration's rejection (and here) of the biological weapons treaty.

In case it isn't jumping out at you, here's what this means. "Target specific genotypes" means viruses that kill only people of a certain race -- or even narrower characteristics. And "politically useful tool" means the ability to threaten to kill everyone of a specific race unless they do what we want.