March 4, 2009 archive

The Best Green Power You Might Have Never Heard Of!

Okay, let’s talk Solar Power for a little bit. The Dog knows what immediately jumps to your mind, huge, flat black panels atop the house of that local hippie couple, that either generate enough electricity to run a 12 inch  black and white TV, or barely give you enough hot water for a single shower.  

Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports President Obama calls for a review of how military contracts are awarded by the government. Obama said greater competition is needed, but the changes will only save up to $40 billion a year.

    “The days of giving defense contractors a blank check are over,” Mr. Obama said. “We need more competition for contracts and more oversight as they are carried out.”

    The Washington Post adds Obama introduces reforms for government contracts. Obama ordered the Office of Management and Budget to have “tough new guidelines” on contracting in place by the end of September. The new guidelines will eliminate no-bid contracts.

    “Over the last eight years, government spending on contracts has doubled to over half a trillion dollars,” Obama said today. “Far too often, the spending is plagued by massive cost overruns, outright fraud and the absence of oversight and accountability. . . . We are spending money on things that we don’t need, and we are paying more than we need to pay, and that’s completely unacceptable.”

Four at Four continues with Afghanistan, military contractors, and asylum seekers from Mexico.

Turley on Tyranny….and How Close We Came

To contradict the Firesign Theatre, everything we knew…..was right.

George Bush DID give himself dictatorial powers. And Congress let him. John Cornyn at the Leahy Torture Commission today said that Congress should be given credit for oversight. I can’t even give them credit for sight.

With the crimes that were committed….and those that could have been committed….under these memos, what we have is a massive house of cards. Now, one by one, as evidence emerges piece by piece, those cards are being pulled out from under the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress. As well as the Democrats who let the Republicans buffalo them…as a President gave himself secret dictatorial powers.

The Bush Crimes and attempted usurpation of the Constitution were committed under a shroud of secrecy. The Bush corruption of the Department of Justice made that shroud impenetrable.

But let it never be forgotten that the Speech or Debate Clause existed during those eight years. If there has ever been a time in our history when an opposition party should have put everything on the line to expose what they knew, this was it. And they didn’t.

Now, they have to fix this. They have power now, almost unlimited power, as (ironically) many of the gross excesses of the Unitary Executive/dictatorial powers are still in place.

This cannot stand.

Barack Obama and the Democratic controlled Congress MUST investigate fully and expose exactly how this was allowed to happen, but most importantly, they must find a way to FIX the system that allowed a president to become a dictator by his own fiat. Or it will surely happen again. Investigate and reform Executive Branch Powers, investigate and reform the Department of Justice.

Clean house.

From the Congressional oath of office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;”

A domestic enemy assaulted the Constitution, that is clear now. What is not clear is what will be done about it. In light of the vast scope of the corruption of democracy itself, I have to say that Senator Leahy’s truth commission is needed. Only a vehicle of immensely broad scope, as opposed to the relatively narrow scope of prosecutions, can address something so vast. No single case or even congregation of cases will ever truly capture what happened…and what could have happened.

While prosecution of these domestic enemies must take place, the scale of what happened to corrupt our very form of government is not and never will be fully prosecutable. It goes beyond that. Well beyond. And the American people must be made to know what occurred, how deep and wide the threat to democracy itself truly was. The Constitution was assaulted, democracy was assaulted, We The People were assaulted.

What occurred in this country is well beyond politics, and perhaps even beyond the Law itself. It is so momentous that at this time, it cannot even be comprehended. But comprehended it must be.

Now we have to figure out how, next we have to figure out what to do about it.

Help Fight The Religious Right…TODAY

One of my relatives on the other side of the political spectrum forwarded an email to me from a group called the American Family Association (why oh why do these folks have to usurp such a nice concept like “family” and twist it into indecipherable political contortions?). Seems that they’re trying to do a writing campaign to the White House to force President Obama to backtrack on his rescinding the Bush administration’s rule that would allow doctors or hospitals to deny people health care if their religion trumped the need of the person standing in front of them asking for help.

Iraq: Military to Withdraw{?}, Media Retreats!

War, And Results Of, Fast Becoming A Non-Issue!!

US Withdrawing as Media Retreat from Iraq – 03.03.2009


Live Blog: Senate Hearing re Torture Commission

Senate Judiciary Committee: Getting to the Truth Through a Nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry

Starting at 10 AM Eastern/ 7 AM Pacific

Watch it here:

Webcast on Committee Page


Witness List:

Thomas Pickering

Vice Chairman

Hills & Company, International Consultants

Washington, D.C.

Retired Vice Admiral Lee Gunn


The American Security Project

Washington, D.C.

John Farmer


Arsenault, Whipple, Farmer, Fasset and Azzarello, L.L.P.

Chatham, NJ

Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr.

Senior Counsel

Brennan Center for Justice

New York University School of Law

New York, NY

David B. Rivkin, Jr.

Baker & Hostetler, L.L.P.

Washington, D.C.

Jeremy Rabkin

Professor of Law

George Mason University School of Law

Arlington, VA

There is no longer any doubt as to whether the Bush administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

~Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba

Obama’s Plan For Not Leaving Iraq

Crossposted from Antemedius

Real News – March 03, 2009 – 12 min 36 sec

Gareth Porter asks: Why is Obama leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq?

Why, indeed?

They aren’t staying to guard day care centers while Iraqi troops leave their children behind to fight to preserve US dominance over Iraqi oil reserves, I’m fairly sure.

I suppose once you’re elected and you have an overwhelming approval rating no matter what you do and don’t do, regardless of what you said you would do, there is no motivation left to live up to campaign statements.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Assembling the Fragments


When you build yourself

out of fragments

assembling carefully

that which is good

shedding the bad

like a winter coat

deciding what fits

what is detritus

left suspended

in the wake

of growing up

why would there be

any desire

to conceal

the finished product?

Do I live my life

to minimize your


with the idea

of regeneration



or do I live my life

to improve

our common existence?

Is there really

a choice there?

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–February 13, 2009

Upcoming Liveblog

In about an hour On The Bus is going to start a front page liveblog of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on establishing an investigation of the numerous crimes committed by the administration of George W. Bush.

The evidence is already clear and undebatable.  George W. Bush and Richard Cheney have publicly confessed on video tape.

On more than one occasion.

To what?

  • Torture.
  • Murder.
  • Spying on you.
    • All of you.
    • All the time.

This is what we already know Pat.

They’re also common thieves who stole billions and billions of dollars shrink wrapped on pallets.  Their bankster paymasters are 14 trillion dollar Ponzi scammers.

If you and the Villagers try another Iran-Contra Immunity Bullshit Whitewash we’ll know that too.

Late Night Karaoke

Just Wicked Games  

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

From Yahoo News Science

1 Overexposed: Imaging tests boost U.S. radiation dose

By Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters

Tue Mar 3, 8:58 pm ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Americans are exposed to seven times more radiation from diagnostic scans than in 1980, a report found on Tuesday as experts said doctors are overusing the tests for profit and raising health risks for patients.

The findings, issued by National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement, add to already mounting evidence that doctors are ordering too many diagnostic tests, driving up the cost of healthcare in the United States and potentially harming patients.

While diagnostic scans give doctors valuable information and many times are necessary, doctors fear too much radiation exposure can cause cancer, especially in younger people.

Stop giving our cash to bankers – Sack them!

Original article via Socialist Worker (UK):

Disgraced banker Fred Goodwin is going to keep his £16 million pension, despite some bluster from elements of the Labour government.

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