Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Who will Meet with Victims of Bush's Government?

President Bush is spending his time meeting with victims of Sadam Hussein's government. I wonder who will meet with the victims of the Bush government. There are millions of us.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

O'Beirne's Book is Buried in Back

After reviewing the choice of cover art of Mrs. O'Beirne's new book that blames all the world's woes on feminism, I decided that if I was going to ever seriously refute Mrs. O'Beirne's claims that feminists are to blame for the reason why little boys can't read and big boys can't maintain an erection, I would have to break down, purchase and read this vile collection of crap.

I don't like purchasing from Amazon so thought I would visit my local Books-A-Million to find the book. I drove to Concord Mills Mall, North Carolina's most popular tourist attraction (Oh God I'm so proud) where I was sure that I would see the book on the big table in front where most new releases are found. I was pretty certain it would not be in their long display window reserved for the top ten to 15 best sellers and it wasn't. I looked on all three tables and the front end-caps to see if I could find the book. It wasn't there. I walked along the other display window where displays of featured books can be found. It wasn't there either.

I began to get a little excited thinking that maybe they wouldn't have the book and I could delay the agony of buying it. After wandering down the middle path in this very large, open book store and not seeing the book I decided to ask for some help. While the clerk was very sympathetic to my plight she indeed confirmed that they carried the book and proceeded to lead me to the social science area toward the back of the store. Indeed, there was the book on an end-cap facing the back of the store buried in with new book by Fred Barnes. Nine of the ten copies they had in stock were present and accounted for. They are still there.

My first impression upon picking the book up in my gloved hand is that it was very thin and very light. I have paid $25 for a decent sized book before, but not something that could be finished in less than an hour. While there were a few pages of footnotes I didn't find large numbers of data tables offering proof of O'Beirne's assertions. I was expecting to see scientific research somewhere in the book and not references to other people's work.

I have read almost every article I can find by Mrs. O'Beirne. I have read transcripts of interviews with her and by her. I will admit up front that I doubt Mrs. O'Beirne and I could agree on the color of the sky, but I was willing to purchase and read her book in order to give it a proper review. My impression of the cover still stands and I believe the cover is her book's worst enemy. My impression of the book after holding it and reading a few pages is that it has less to offer than most people might think. A few pages of footnotes does not prove her assertions. As a consumer I certainly would not pay the $24.95 being asked at the book store even if it were a book I really wanted to purchase. I am still waiting for the new Bill Maher book to come out in paperback. (September 2006)

My library doesn't have this book yet. It is rare that they get a new release unless it is a best seller that they can rent out for the first several months. My next stop is Barnes and Noble's internet store. I will also check the closest B&N to see how it has the book displayed. I will have the book purchased by the end of the week so I can begin to give it a proper review.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Call to Action

On a day when many of us are reflecting on the lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Al Gore delivered a speech that was awe-inspiring. He has called the American people to defend the Constitution and our civil liberties against the tyranny of a president who refuses to obey the rule of law.

The President and I agree on one thing. The threat from terrorism is all too real. There is simply no question that we continue to face new challenges in the wake of the attack on September 11th and that we must be ever-vigilant in protecting our citizens from harm.

Where we disagree is that we have to break the law or sacrifice our system of government to protect Americans from terrorism. In fact, doing so makes us weaker and more vulnerable.

Once violated, the rule of law is in danger. Unless stopped, lawlessness grows. The greater the power of the executive grows, the more difficult it becomes for the other branches to perform their constitutional roles. As the executive acts outside its constitutionally prescribed role and is able to control access to information that would expose its actions, it becomes increasingly difficult for the other branches to police it. Once that ability is lost, democracy itself is threatened and we become a government of men and not laws.

While I supported and voted for Gore I was never inspired by him. This speech just about did me in. I was with a group on another blog discussing it live and each of us at some point simply stopped and listened. We were reduced to one word posts and many were in tears by the time it was over.

I urge each of you to read this speech or go to
Crooks and Liars or C-Span to see the video. It will be worth your time. We cannot sit and wait for justice. We have to demand it over and over again. Mr. Gore has called us to action:

The intricate and carefully balanced constitutional system that is now in such danger was created with the full and widespread participation of the population as a whole. The Federalist Papers were, back in the day, widely-read newspaper essays, and they represented only one of twenty-four series of essays that crowded the vibrant marketplace of ideas in which farmers and shopkeepers recapitulated the debates that played out so fruitfully in Philadelphia.

Indeed, when the Convention had done its best, it was the people - in their various States - that refused to confirm the result until, at their insistence, the Bill of Rights was made integral to the document sent forward for ratification.

And it is "We the people" who must now find once again the ability we once had to play an integral role in saving our Constitution.


Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars simultaneously?

It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same.

We have a duty as Americans to defend our citizens' right not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the Executive Branch and the President's apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law.

I endorse the words of Bob Barr, when he said, "The President has dared the American people to do something about it. For the sake of the Constitution, I hope they will."

We have a job to do folks. Let's get busy.

UPDATE: ReddHedd and all of the wonderful folks at FireDogLake have more.
The Washington Post has now weighed in...finally.

Bush Gives Only 30 Days to Get Medicare Drug Mess Worked Out

When I first read this New York Times article by Robert Pear, I felt relief that our parents and grandparents would be able to get the prescriptions they need. Then I read further. Bush has said that insurers must make sure beneficiaries receive drugs, but only if they were taking them prior to the date the new plan started on January 1 and only for the next 30 days. If it is a new prescription the elderly may just have to find a way to pay for the drug or the co-pay which can put the purchase of necessary prescriptions out of reach for most. And 30 days? The federal government and the insurers they are working with to provide this benefit have had months to prepare for this. What makes them think they can fix this disaster in 30 days?

Dr. Mark B. McLellan, administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, says that with this latest temporary fix by the federal government all people covered by the plan should be able to get their prescriptions filled. The reporter for the New York Times has a more realistic view:
In the past, such predictions proved to be premature. New problems appeared as old ones were solved, and some insurers were slow to carry out federal instructions.

The article also says that the Bush administration is rushing to provide insurers with correct information about the extra subsidies available to the poor. Wait! How many months have they been working on this? Why don't insurers already have that information? I just don't get it. I can understand computer issues with new programs or providers being swamped with calls and response time being slow, but insurers not having the information they need BEFORE the program goes into effect is absolutely outrageous. The implementation of any new or revised government program is going to be cumbersome at best and problems are expected, but this is a disaster.

It begs the question: Which of Bush's cronies was put in charge of this disaster?

This is being covered in most major newspapers and other traditional news media. Here are a few: L.A. Times, CNN, MSNBC, NYTimes (requires subscription), Washington Post

Update: What are the Bloggers saying? Check them out: MyDD, Yellow Dog, Needlenose, and AMERICAblog

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ney Gives up Leadership Position

Senator Arlen Spector Say Bush's Wiretapping Not Allowed by FISA

Senator Arlen Spector mentioned impeachment as a remedy if it is proven President Bush broke the law when ordering wiretaps on American citizens without a warrant. Spector was interviewed on ABC's "This Week".

Spector said he did not believe that the President had the right to violate FISA.

Yahoo News has the story here.

Laura Bush Agrees that her Husband Can Break the Law

BIG FUCKING DEAL! What did you expect her to say? What's even more incredible is that the Washington Post actually thinks this is news! Unfuckingbelievable.

DeLay's Campaign Sucking Wind

It's a little early to claim victory, but according to Reuters, Tom DeLay's bid to retain his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives has hit some major roadblocks. The first is his indictment on money laundering charges and the second is his link to Jack Abramoff. There have also been questions raised about his use of funds raised by one of his non-profits, the U.S. Family Network. Most recently DeLay has been linked to the same defense contractors who bribed Duke Cunningham.

He claims it's a vast conspiracy on the left but actually Tom DeLay is his own worst enemy. How's that for just rewards?

Jeralyn Merritt has more at TalkLeft.
Josh Marshall has more at TalkingPointsMemo.
ReddHedd has more at FireDogLake.