July 8, 2008 archive

Ending Poverty: Edwards vs Gingrich

We all know that the hallmark of John Edward’s presidential campaign was ending poverty in this country. And during the primaries, we were able to hear at least some of his thoughts about how to do that.

But did you know that Newt Gingrich also has a plan to end poverty? Well, until today, I didn’t either. And since both Edwards and Gingrich have written articles recently about their ideas, I thought it might be interesting to compare them. Neither of these men is running for any office right now (at least not that I’m aware of). And when I read these, it reminded me of some of the basic fundamental differences between the Democratic/left and the Republican/right. So lets take a look.

Uranium Found in Iraq!

It seems that on Saturday Brian Murphy of the Associated Press is reporting that the US has removed uranium from Iraq.

The removal of 550 metric tons of “yellowcake” — the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment — was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam’s nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.

Holy Cow!  WMDs!  Saddam’s nuclear arsenal!  Condi’s smoking gun!  I came across this story at redstate.com where they are taking this effort as validation of Bush’s invasion!

Of course, if you read the whole story from Murphy, it’s kinda funny, and kinda sad…

Four at Four

  1. The Washington Post reports a Narrow reading of the Clean Water Act thwarts enforcement. “An official administration guidance document on wetlands policy is undermining enforcement of the Clean Water Act” according to a memo written by Granta Y. Nakayama, the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief enforcement officer.

    As relayed in his memo, “Nakayama and his staff concluded that between July 2006 and December 2007, EPA’s regional offices had decided not to pursue potential Clean Water Act violations in 304 cases ‘because of jurisdictional uncertainty.’ … The administration’s guidance instructs federal officials to focus on the ‘relevant reach’ of a tributary, which translates into a single segment of a stream. In the memo, Nakayama argued that this definition ‘isolates the small tributary’ and ‘ignores longstanding scientific ecosystem and watershed protection principles critical to meeting the goals’ of the Clean Water Act.”

  2. TPM Muckraker reports Waxman threatens Attorney General with contempt. “House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) is wielding more than his gavel against Attorney General Michael Mukasey. In a letter to the AG today, Waxman brought out the big guns, stating that the Committee would vote to hold him in contempt on July 16, if he failed to produce a report on an interview with Vice President Cheney regarding the Valerie Plame leak scandal.”

    Of course these threats would be a lot less hollow sounding, if Congress starting finding these officials in “inherent contempt“.

  3. The NY Times reports Two former secretaries of state offer plan to revamp the War Powers Act. Former Secretaries of State Warren Christopher and James Baker “have declared the War Powers Resolution of 1973 obsolete and proposed a new system of closer consultation between the White House and Congress before American forces go into battle.”

    Their proposal would require the president to consult lawmakers before initiating combat lasting longer than a week except in rare cases requiring emergency action. Congress, for its part, would have 30 days to approve or disapprove of the military action.

    The plan would create a new committee of Congressional leaders and relevant committee chairmen, with a full-time staff with access to military and intelligence material. The president would be required to consult with the group in advance of any extended strike.

    Of course, this would be moot if Congress actually used the powers it has under the Constitution, specifically to declare and fund wars and hold the president accountable.

  4. The LA Times reports a U.S. soldier was killed by roadside bomb near Baghdad. “An American soldier was killed this morning when a roadside bomb struck his vehicle west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. The military also announced the deaths of four private contractors in a similar attack the previous day in northern Iraq. Eight contractors were injured in that bombing, which occurred about 15 miles south of the city of Mosul.” The contractors’ nationalities was not disclosed by the military. 4,115 American troops have now been killed in Iraq.

    The Ventura County Star reports that a Blogger is kicked out of Iraq province for war photos. After posting a picture of a dead Marine lying on his back with “his face damaged beyond recognition because of the blast” from a suicide bombin on his website zoriah.net, the U.S. Marines “immediately ‘disembedded'” photojournalist and blogger Zoriah Miller from the unit he was with and “barred from working with the military in Anbar”. Marine commanders felt he violated a “trust”.

    “I just feel this war has become so sanitized that it was important to show,” said Zoriah, who prefers to go by his first name. “My only discomfort is the idea that the family could accidentally stumble on it.” …

    “You’re a war photographer, but once you take a picture of what war is like then you get into trouble,” said Zoriah, a Denver native who has been in Iraq for much of the past year.

Rove, Pelosi and Contempt of Congress — Urgent – Action Needed – Update 7/9

I’m updating this diary because I really think we have a good chance to get some accountability and justice on this.  Please check the links in Lisa Lockwood’s comment below (it’s about the 4th comment).  Please read these links and take action.  ADS site link has toll free numbers to Congress and lists Jud Comm members.  The AtLarge link has really good prosecutable points!  end this update 7/9

House subpoenas

Karl Rove!!!

Rove’s lawyer claims that Rove will


response, the House Judiciary

Committee has SUBPOENAED the

former White House adviser

He is to appear July 10 to testify.

Now his lawyer says he will not

even show up. Conyers says Rove

is not above the law & he will take


This is breaking news which I heard at about 11:15 A.M. (7/8/08) on the Thom Hartmann show on Air America Radio.  Hartmann announced that not only has Karl Rove refused to testify under oath at his hearing before the House Judicial Committee on Thursday, 7/10; Rove’s attorney said today that Rove is not going to show up at all.  Rove will defy the subpoena completely.  Hartmann further reported that Pelosi has just said she will oppose prosecuting Rove for Contempt of Congress and has told Conyers not to proceed with such prosecution.

Thom Hartmann had Don Siegelman on his program to discuss this.  I have not been able to get further confirmation on Pelosi’s position; Spiegelman was not certain either.  Pelosi’s phone is busy/busy/busy!  Both Spiegelman and Hartmann urge all of us to take action.  Call our Congresspersons, call the speaker, call members of House Judiciary committee.

The person I spoke to in Conyers’ office claimed they didn’t know anything more that that Rove was scheduled at the hearing for this Thursday.  If anyone gets any confirmations of this, please post in comments.

More information at Don Siegelman dot com and Thom Hartmann dot come.

As xofferson says, “DO SOMETHING.”    

And, Thanks for doing something!  


We are all more fragile than we think.

We are all disposable.

According to “them.”

We are all stronger than we think.



WAR Powers

Putting them back where they belong comes from an Op-Ed written by James A. Baker III and Warren Christopher in the New York Times today, 7-08-08.

They led a bipartison group, the National War Powers Commission, they concluded:

The Height of Hubris Reached! Iraq wants US troops out. Bush sez NO!

(h/t to mishima for tipping me off on this story and providing the link)


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wants the U.S. to begin a timetable for removing our military from their country, and yet our Stubborn-Profits-Over-American-Lives-Or-The-Wishes-Of-A-Soverign-Nation Decider doesn’t want to do that.  He doesn’t AGREE!  

Not only does he NOT want to do what they want him to do, I assure you he WILL NOT do it.

Politically it would kill what remains of the Republican Party smokescreen if Bush agreed to a “TIMETABLE” for withdrawl of our Military in an election year, as the opposition Democratic Party has been calling for all along.

From AP:

Iraqis want US pullout timeline

Docudharma Times Tuesday July 8

The Beijing Olympics

Arrests Of Dissedents


Air Pollution

The Perfect Sporting Event

For The Authoritarian Leader

Tuesday’s Headlines:

Iraqis want US pullout timeline

With a month to go until Olympics, China grows anxious

Muslim-Hindu tension: Land riots bring down Kashmir coalition

The Big Question: Why is tension rising in Turkey, and is the country turning Islamist?

Russia ‘backed Litvinenko murder’

Saudi king set to lead rare interfaith talks in Spain

West Bank car enthusiasts start their engines

Sierra Leoneans look for peace through full truth about war crime

Zimbabwe sanctions could lead to civil war, Mbeki warns leaders

11 bodies found in Tijuana over 3 days

Beijing ‘failing pollution test’

Just a month before the start of the Beijing Olympics, the city is still failing to meet international air quality standards, the BBC has found.

By James Reynolds

BBC News, Beijing

When Beijing bid for the Olympics in 2001, it said its air would meet World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

The BBC put this to the test using a hand-held detector to test for airborne particles known as PM10.

We found that the city’s air failed to meet the WHO’s air quality guidelines for PM10 on six days out of seven.

These particles are caused by traffic, construction work and factory emissions. They are responsible for much of this city’s pollution.

Industrial Nations Endorse Halving Emissions by 2050


Published: July 8, 2008

RUSUTSU, Japan (AP) — The Group of Eight leading industrial nations on Tuesday endorsed halving world emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, edging forward in the battle against global warming but stopping short of tough, nearer-term targets.

The G-8 countries — the United States, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Britain, Canada and Italy — also called on all major economies to join in the effort to stem the potentially dangerous rise in world temperatures.

”The G-8 nations came to a mutual recognition that this target — cutting global emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 — should be a global target,” said Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who announced the endorsement.


U.S. Seeks Data Exchange

Newer European Union Countries Want Waiver From Visa Requirements

By Ellen Nakashima

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, July 8, 2008; Page D01

The United States is negotiating deals with European countries to exchange fingerprint and DNA data in criminal and terrorist cases, and in some circumstances to transfer data on race or ethnic origin, political and religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.

Such agreements are a condition for granting citizens of newer European Union member states the right to enter the United States without visas, and for maintaining that right for older E.U. members. U.S. citizens already enjoy such a right when traveling to Europe.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed his grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

–Katharine Lee Bates


It’s a great song.   But times have changed…

State of the Onion XXIV

America the Ugly

I do not set aside

the grace of God,

for if righteousness

could be gained

through the law,

Christ died for nothing!”

–Gal 2:21

Shedding Grace

God’s Eye

God sheds grace on us?

The shedding of grace

has a human face

We are graced with hunger

to measure our sense of charity

We are graced with poverty

to challenge us

to solve economic

inequity and despair

We are graced with pestilence

but also graced

with the scientific curiosity

necessary for us

to defeat disease

We are not graced with war

That is our doing

it is our responsibility to end it

We are not graced with greed

which is rather a byproduct

of the rotting

of human souls

We are not graced

with the false profiteers

who use religion

to tear us apart

when its purpose

is to bring us together

to give us common bonds

under our separate roofs

God sheds tears for us

tears of frustration

of shame and contempt

of anger and outrage

of pain and disgust

at what people have done

in God’s name

God sheds no grace now

America Amerika

We have spurned

the grace of God

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–March 30, 2006

Dharmathon: A Friend in Need (Final Update – Success!)

UPDATE #3:  I was able to connect with tes tonight and wire him the money.  I didn’t get to speak with him very long but I know he’s feeling a whole lot better tonight.  Thank you everyone!   Final total for the Dharmathon was $1050 but with the PayPal and Western Union fees I ended up sending $950. Which is awesome!

As some of you know, a beloved member of this blog, theevolutionarysieve (tes), is in trouble.   We hadn’t heard from him in a few months and then he showed up here a few days ago.  If you saw this – you know he’s not in a good place.  

Last we knew he was moving to the mountains to escape the city and begin preparing for the collapse of society.   These were his parting words:

On the road again……..

by: theevolutionarysieve

Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 11:39:42 PDT

I want to thank all of you.  You are really wonderful folks.  I will always consider this a place where I am welcome and where folks patiently try to understand my slightly deranged mind.  I have been going through a bit of change recently and have not been here much, and then only in a fragemented way.  My partner and I are in the middle of preparing to leave the bay area.  We are moving up into the sierra’s.  Near Mammoth Lakes.  I have had a some what precarious existence my whole life.  I am in a period of it now.  I will stop in from time to time. When we have landed and I have set up our satelite dish I will be able to be present again.  For the next four or five days I will check in, then I will be traveling to the high country.  Blessings on you all.  Keep me in your hearts.  As you will be in mine.  Believe in the power of networks of cooperation bonds.  Believe in the good heart.  Thanks for being kind to this old crank.

At this point, I don’t know any more of the story than what he has posted here the past few days.  Along the way to moving down there they had car trouble and borrowed and spent the last of their money getting their vehicles fixed.    They have been camping on National Forest land while he’s working to get money for a place to live.  Obnoxious vacationers from LA and SD have invaded their peaceful woods with their campers and ATVs.  The forest rangers have chased tes and his girlfriend off the land at gunpoint.  They were forced to move to a motel.  It sounds like there is no money left to stay there either.  

Precarious existence indeed.  No time to prepare for collapse.  It is happening to him now.      

The Stars Hollow Gazette

You want to know what really bugs me?

The lies.

Beltway myth: "The left-wing base" vs. "the American people" on Iraq

Glen Greenwald, Salon.com

Monday July 7, 2008 07:58 EDT

How much clearer could that be? The truth is exactly the opposite of what Liasson said. Americans want to withdraw from Iraq in accordance with Obama’s timetable (if not faster) regardless of circumstances “on the ground” — not conditioned on those circumstances. But because that’s not the view Liasson and her establishment colleagues embrace, they just lie and claim that the majority view is the one held only by the “left-wing” fringe, while their own actually fringe view is the one embraced by “the American people” and thus defines the “Center.”

This is the standard propaganda tactic of establishment media stars like Liasson, and she’s hardly unique — in this way or in any other. This is how they manipulate public opinion and coerce political officials to disregard the views of most Americans in favor of the fringe, establishment view. The views of the establishment pundit class are automatically labeled “the Center” even when they’re rejected by majorities of “the American people.” By contrast, views that are actually held by majorities but which the pundit class dislikes are demonized as those of “the Left.” Thus, they argue, political candidates, in order to win elections, must embrace the views of the establishment and reject the view of most Americans. That’s how a candidate “moves to the Center.”

My emphasis.

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