Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Happy Veteran's Day to you too

Bush's War on Veterans

November 9, 2005
By Mary Shaw

On Friday, November 11, Americans will observe Veteran's Day. This is a day set aside to honor our war veterans. I cannot think of a more worthy purpose for a holiday.

Now let me guess: this Veteran's Day, George W. Bush will strut his way into a specially choreographed photo opportunity and smirk and say some carefully crafted yet predictable and hollow-sounding words about how the American people appreciate the sacrifices that our veterans have made in the noble quest to defend freedom and democracy.

And he will be right. We the people do appreciate the sacrifices that our veterans have made.

After all, our brave veterans made those sacrifices while Dubya's congressman dad pulled enough strings to get his boy out of harm's way and into the elite Texas Air National Guard to avoid Vietnam.

Our brave veterans made those sacrifices while Dick Cheney arranged for five separate deferrals because he had "other priorities."

Our brave veterans made those sacrifices while Congressman Tom DeLay managed to draw a high draft number and then orchestrate some convenient deferrals, while stating that he really wanted to serve, but that all the slots were taken by blacks and Hispanics.

Our brave veterans made those sacrifices while House Speaker Dennis Hastert avoided duty due to bad knees - the same knees that didn't stop his college wrestling career.

And so on.

Okay, so these guys don't have what it takes to earn the title of veteran. But they do seem to have what it takes to be hypocrites and punish those veterans who actually had the nerve to serve, while at the same time praising them for their selfless sacrifices.

Yes, these self-proclaimed "compassionate conservatives" are punishing our veterans.

Some examples:

Earlier this year, Republican leaders in Congress blocked $2 billion in emergency funding for veterans' health care from the $82 billion supplemental funding bill. They felt that the money would be better spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we're producing more and more injured soldiers for whom we cannot afford adequate medical care.

Then the Bush administration requested a mere 2.7 percent increase in Veterans Affairs (VA) spending, even though the VA's under-secretary testified last year that the VA health care system needs a 13 to 14 percent increase annually to maintain their current level of services.

Thousands of veterans of the first Gulf War are suffering the effects of exposure to depleted uranium, or have died from that exposure, yet the U.S. government denies the effects and continues to ship depleted uranium munitions for use in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Some wounded U.S. soldiers have returned home from the current war in Iraq only to learn that they are being referred to credit agencies who want the soldiers to pay for equipment they lost when they were injured; or for charges for military housing.

And about one-fourth of all homeless Americans are veterans. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Two percent of them are female. Most of these cases are attributed to lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse, compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.

This is how our government treats those who have so bravely fought for their country. It's no wonder that the military recruiters are finding it so difficult to meet their quotas, even in the "red states."

The Bush administration would be wise to consider the words of George Washington, our first Commander-in-Chief, who said: "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."

Happy Veteran's Day.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/articles/05/11/09_veterans.html

And speaking of sticking it to Shrub,

(From http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/bw-cong/2005/nov/07/110703390.html)

Lawmakers Cut Funding for Yucca Mountain

By ERICA WERNER
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers agreed Monday to cut 2006 spending for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump well below past-year levels and President Bush's budget request, reflecting the faltering prospects for the project in the Nevada desert.

They also ditched a House plan to supplement Yucca with interim storage sites for nuclear waste, settling instead on spending $50 million to promote recycling spent nuclear fuel.

House and Senate negotiators finished work on a $30.5 billion bill to fund energy and water projects.

They agreed to spend $450 million in 2006 on Yucca Mountain, the planned underground repository for 77,000 tons of the nation's most radioactive nuclear waste.

The project's budget was $577 million in each of the past two years, and Bush asked for $650 million for the dump in his 2006 budget request.

The final figure was also less than the House and the Senate agreed to separately earlier in the year, but lawmakers and aides said delays on the project kept the number low.

"No matter what side of Yucca you're on, the truth of the matter is Yucca is ... not on the schedule that even was predicted the last time. It's behind schedule," Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's energy and water subcommittee, told reporters.

"We think that this will keep what should be done on schedule," he said.

Two years ago, the Energy Department projected needing $1.2 billion for Yucca Mountain in 2006. That was when officials were hoping to quickly submit a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and open the dump by 2010.

Since then, a series of setbacks - including a required rewrite of radiation safety standards for the dump - have slowed the project.

Now it's not clear when the license application will be submitted, and the projected opening date has slipped to 2012, at the earliest.

"While this funding decision may force us to go at a slower pace, it will not deter us from our principles of using sound science to develop a high-quality license application and a disposal facility that is safe and reliable to operate," said Energy Department spokesman Craig Stevens.

Lawmakers deleted a House proposal to spend $10 million for the Energy Department to produce a plan for temporary aboveground storage for spent reactor fuel from commercial nuclear power plants.

Instead the bill contains $50 million for spent fuel recycling, including $20 million for states or localities to compete to host a recycling facility and $30 million for research and other work.

The bill, expected to be approved later this week by the full House and Senate, also:

-Spends $220 million to build a plant at the federal Savannah River complex in South Carolina where weapons-grade plutonium would be processed into a mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel - a less dangerous fuel for commercial power reactors. That figure is $118 million lower than Bush's request.

-Meets Bush's $337 million budget request for the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore nuclear weapons lab in California. Domenici had sought to slash construction funding for the project, a giant laser being built to simulate the explosion of a hydrogen bomb. Already $2.8 billion has been spent on it.

-Drops funding, as expected, for a proposed "bunker-buster" nuclear warhead. Instead the administration plans to pursue a conventional weapon that can penetrate hardened underground targets.

-Gives $5.4 billion to the Corps of Engineers, $1 billion above Bush's request. That includes $8 million requested by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., for the Corps to design a plan to bring south Louisiana up to Category Five hurricane protection.

Congress has mostly dealt with spending related to Hurricane Katrina through separate spending bills.

WE WON!!!!!!

That about says it all, really.
Despite reports of horrendous shit like opposition autodials purposely directing potential voters to incorrect polling locations etc., we pulled it out.
Take that, Shrub! And the special interests you rode in on!!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Teehee-- just in time for Hallowe'en

Friday, October 07, 2005

Ain't we got fun......gi

From Salon.com ( http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/10/06/toxic_gulf/index_np.html)

Toxic gumbo

The EPA is failing to protect the Gulf Coast's homebound citizens from Katrina's poisons.

By Katharine Mieszkowski and Mark Benjamin


"I'll give you 10 bucks for your boots," says Donna Harney, a fourth-grade teacher, to a reporter wearing knee-high black waders. Harney is standing on the oil-caked driveway of her best friend's house on Jacob Drive in Meraux, just southeast of New Orleans. A headache-inducing stench fills the air. A faint waterline rings the house, just inches below the top of the front doors. A chocolate-brown line covers the bottom quarter of the house. That's the oil line.

It forms a bathtub ring around a row of 20 or so modest brick houses that stretch up and down the street. Most look salvageable from the outside, but that illusion is dispelled the moment you step inside. Behind every front door is a toxic junkyard, where the remains of each family's possessions, rearranged by floodwaters into garbled piles -- and infested by weeks of mold and rot -- are coated in a putrid mud, thick with crude.

I shouldn't get myself all worked up, but as a Northerner---

I love this: http://www.fuckthesouth.com/

Sometimes it's hard to be a stealth Canadian down below the Mason/Dixon.

*grits--shudder*

Saturday, October 01, 2005

How retarded is this?????

"E. coli, not Ebola, thankfully

The other day we reported that the president's barber, Zahira Zahir, was thought to have contracted the Ebola virus while in Afghanistan. Apparently, she and her daughter misunderstood the doctor's diagnosis. She is very ill with E. coli, a bacterial infection."

Who the fuck confuses Ebola with E. coli???? Did that flaming twit Karen Feld not spend 1/8 of an instant scratching her head over the original declaration?
Man, if I was her I'd resign.
I'd have already resigned.
I'd insinuate myself into the witness protection program and never approach a keyboard again.
UGH.

The same issue contained this:

"Karen Feld's August 19, 2005 "Buzz" column discussed several contacts made by Kathy Benz, an assignment editor at CNN. The column said Ms. Benz had been linked romantically with nine men. We now believe we were the target of an Internet "spoofer" who used an email address that appeared to come from another news organization. Ms. Benz has filed a lawsuit against The Washington Examiner regarding this column; while we ordinarily would not comment on pending litigation, we have learned that Mark Kulkis was interviewed by Ms. Benz but they never had a relationship of any kind. In her complaint, Ms. Benz says that she dated Gary Williams, Paul Bosserman and John Daggett, but did not date the other men mentioned in the column. We regret the errors. We did not intend to suggest any improper relationship or misuse of her position at CNN and apologize to Ms. Benz for any offense taken."

Why has she still got a job???

Okay I know it's a free piece of crap, but still.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I have no idea what to make of this....

According to the gossip columnist Karen Feld of the D.C. Examiner,

"The Buzz - President's barber claimed to have Ebola - Karen Feld

27Sept'05



We hear that Zahira Zahir, the president's barber, who owns the Watergate Salon, apparently contracted the dreaded Ebola virus on a recent monthlong trip to Afghanistan. She is being treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital."

WTF?? Since when do they have Ebola in Afghanistan?? Can you contract it by sharing an airplane with an affected individual? How much expertise in the treatment of tropical horrors do they have over at INOVA? And lastly--has she cut Shrub's hair since her return??
http://dcexaminer.com/articles/2005/09/28//gossip/karen_feld/86buzzfeld27.txt

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

HAW--just read this on Kilgore's site--

Tim Kaine has an "F" rating from the NRA which is defined as a "true enemy of gun-owners rights."


Works for me!!!

So I've been working over at the Kaine campaign office--

same Bat cave, different Bat...Tim Kaine is the Democratic (DUH!!) candidate for governor in Virginia (ELECTION'S ON 8 NOVEMBER, KIDS--WRITE IT DOWN).
He's not as out there as, say, Bernie Sanders (http://bernie.house.gov/biography/index.asp
but he beats the shit outta his Republican opponent, Jerry Kilgore. According to vpap.org, Kilgore's received no less than $47, 500 in donations from the illustrious Pat "Who would Jesus whack?" Robertson, which I think about says it all.

Normally I wouldn't say pink is my colour....

But I damn sure wore some on Saturday.
My old squad leader and her daughter came up from North Carolina to join DH and Wretched Sprog down on the Mall for the anti-war march--us and 300,000 other folk. (Conservative estimate, kids--and I use the word advisedly) Man it was good. I have no idea how many organizations were represented--there were Iraq Veterans for Peace, United for Peace and Justice, ANSWER, as well as any number of anarchists, socialists, solar power proponents etc. Slogans/signs/t-shirts included "Give Impeachment a Chance"; ""War is Terrorism with a Bigger Budget"; "The Rapture is not an Exit Plan"; and, over a particularly dippy photo of Shrub, "Who would have expected that the face of evil would look so stupid?". Fortunately it was nice and cool out, since we had to stand and wait over an hour and a half!! before we started moving. Holy crap. But that was because there were so many of us!! Little kids and people in wheelchairs, soldiers in uniform and the "Raging Grannies", women from NOW... We marched with CodePink, partly because they do nice costumes. Metro trains were crazymad--apparently there was track work going on on a couple of lines, and Amtrak had some problem with lines from NYC (coincidence?? Many thought not) so there were impromptu demonstrations at Penn Station? etc.
It was very cool.
I uploaded the pics that Sprog and Elder Sprog took at http://www.kodakgallery.com/BrowsePhotos.jsp?&collid=15916901707&page=1&sort_order=0 There's some great aerial shots at http://news.yahoo.com/photos/ss/events/wl/102602iraqprotests;_ylt=Al.ZPrjt9yob6IFPLVY6gY1H2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTA3bGk2OHYzBHNlYwN0bXA

Friday, September 23, 2005

Here we go again......

http://www.dailyadvance.com/news/content/shared-gen/ap/National/Rita_Stuck_in_Houston_HK1.html

Y'know, say what you like about Bill Clinton, he'd BEEN poor. He at least knew how to look like he gave a shit.