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Republicans: unanimously against the largest middle class tax cut ever

For years, the republican Party mantra was that Democrats will raise your taxes and raise them again, and once they are done, they will raise them one more time.

Well, it looks like the foot’s on the other hand now, as the estimated $282 billion in tax cuts over two years is more than either of the 2001-2002 or the 2004-2005 Bush tax cuts or the Kennedy or Reagan tax cuts.

And with most of these cuts going to the middle class and upper middle class, every single House republican and nearly every Senate republican will be voting against these cuts.

This is my son

He turns 9 months old in a couple of days.  As you can see, he is a pretty happy kid.  He has a laugh that can make anyone smile – no matter how crappy a day we have had.  Sure, when he wants something or is tired or doesn’t want to eat or play anymore or he tries to stand up or crawl but can’t, he gets upset.  And as a parent, I can tell you that the overwhelming love that I (and the missus) have for him can’t be put into words.  There isn’t anything that we wouldn’t do in our power for him, and even though we know that most of the time when he cries, it is temporary and nothing major- it still makes us sad when he is sad.  

He is a lucky boy and I am a lucky dad.  He doesn’t have to worry about bombs going off in our neighborhood on a daily basis.  He doesn’t get woken up in the middle of the night by incoming fire or by having our house stormed – not by an occupying force that is in a no-win situation, not by religious rivals with a grudge, not by the police who have an axe to grind or were tipped off that a “terrorist” lives here.  He (and we) live in relative comfort, safety and security.

If not for Biden, she (and many other women) may be dead

It is well documented how much of a horrific record John McCain has when it comes to his views and votes and policies towards women.  And while some people know about the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden was nearly singlehandedly responsible for drafting and getting passed, the stark contrast between how the two tickets approach issues important to women is not getting nearly enough attention.

Hopefully the following story will help change that.

If McCain wins, your kids and grandkids will fight his wars

You have a friend or a colleague who has kids?  Or one that has grandkids?  Or is thinking about having kids?

Are they thinking that McCain is “moving to the center” (as I was told by a colleague earlier today)?  Are they considering voting for McCain because Obama “doesn’t necessarily have the right experience” or for some other nonsensical reason?  Do they believe the lies that McCain was “very against the war from the beginning”?  Are they unfamiliar with McCain’s “there will be more wars” comment?  Do they not know about his 100 years in Iraq comment?

If there is no other distinction that people can understand (or care enough about) – even though there are more distinctions than I can easily count to (and I am an accountant), it is this one: if McCain wins, he and his neoconservative buddies will ensure that there are more wars.  Enough of the “more wars” that not only many of us, but our children and grandchildren will be shipped off to fight..

So, I plan on telling one of my closest friends, who is a self described “moderate libertarian” who happens to vote republican because of his wallet (he owns 2 dental practices) that his 7 year old son, 4 year old daughter and 1 year old son (who I am the godfather of) could likely be shipped overseas to fight in one of the many wars that McCain will start or inflame.

And I will tell my parents, who think McCain is not conservative enough that if he wins, they will be setting things up so that my 4 year old niece has a shot at being drafted into the decades long war that he plans on continuing (I will personally flee the country with the little mollusk if need be).  Ditto for my work colleague down the hall who has 2 sons under the age of 6, and all of the people in my neighborhood who have young children, including my next door neighbors who have twin grandchildren who are around 2 years old.

It is that simple to me.  It is that clear.  SCOTUS is of utmost importance, however the damaging impact from McCain SCOTUS picks are not as easy to describe in tangible terms as “McCain would gladly have your kids kill and possibly die halfway across the world – or come back with PTSD or permanent injuries”.

Or the reverse – “Do you want your kids or grandkids to become fodder for McCain’s continuation of failed aggression?”

Either way, it is a very powerful question, and paints a picture in very stark terms of what we can expect under a McCain presidency.  And with there being absolutely no coverage of Iraq on the major news outlets and therefore no talk of the human cost in lost and damaged lives, I can think of no stronger more powerful way to pointedly show what is at stake here.

About that “September 10 mindset”

Since this bullshit line is being trotted out again in an attempt to scare people into who-knows-what, let’s look at what a September 10 mindset really means and relates to.

Bill Clinton’s transition team warned the Bush administration about al Qaeda in 2000: Senior Clinton administration officials called to testify next week before the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks say they are prepared to detail how they repeatedly warned their Bush administration counterparts in late 2000 that Al Qaeda posed the worst security threat facing the nation — and how the new administration was slow to act.

They said the warnings were delivered in urgent post-election intelligence briefings in December 2000 and January 2001 for Condoleezza Rice, who became Mr. Bush’s national security adviser; Stephen Hadley, now Ms. Rice’s deputy; and Philip D. Zelikow, a member of the Bush transition team, among others.

…and what happens when Mukasey ignores these subpoenas?

On one hand, I gotta express support, yet again, for Rep. Waxman, as he is one of a shrinking number of Congressional officials that dare to investigate, ask tough questions and follow up to a large extent.

On the other hand, I can’t help but feel that we have been down this road more than once over the past few years and still are in the same crappy place we were had no subpoenas been issued in the first place.

This was done in your name

This is a disturbing diary, so I am warning you up front.

A report out of Iraq this past week by Dahr Jamail highlights another stunningly horrific result of the illegal use of white phosphorus and chemical weapons in Fallujah by “coalition forces” back in late 2004 and 2005.

Babies born in Fallujah are showing illnesses and deformities on a scale never seen before, doctors and residents say.

The new cases, and the number of deaths among children, have risen after “special weaponry” was used in the two massive bombing campaigns in Fallujah in 2004.

After denying it at first, the Pentagon admitted in November 2005 that white phosphorous, a restricted incendiary weapon, was used a year earlier in Fallujah.

In addition, depleted uranium (DU) munitions, which contain low-level radioactive waste, were used heavily in Fallujah. The Pentagon admits to having used 1,200 tons of DU in Iraq thus far.

How about some straight talk on abortion, Senator McCain?

A week or so back, I created a bit of a stir with a diary whose title referred to SCOTUS overturning Roe.  And while I make no apologies for the title, I did only talk about McCain’s “fondness” for judges like Alito, Scalia and Roberts, and how he would like to appoint SCOTUS justices in their mold.

McCain’s positions on abortion have been, even for someone who is firmly on the anti-privacy and choice side of the ledger, all over the road.  But the least odious of the miserable positions that he takes is that he would like to see the decision revert back to the states, where a good number of states already have “trigger laws” on the books, which would effectively ban the right for a woman to have control over her personal private medical decisions.

“SCOTUS overturns ‘Roe’, eliminates right of privacy”

You can expect to see that headline if John McCain wins the Presidency.

It is no secret that the non-“activist judges” on the Supreme Court are the older ones, and it is no secret that there could be two, maybe even three appointments over the next 4 years.  And it is also no secret that McCain has been pandering to those who want to erode the Constitution further – ironically in the name of “strictly interpreting it”.

One of the more difficult things that face Democrats and progressives is to undo the “maverick” and “moderate” brand that McCain has spent decades building and crafting.  There are mountains of evidence, hundreds of votes, countless comments, actions and people that he has closely aligned himself with – yet he is STILL though of as more likely to reach across the aisle and more likely to effectively work with the other party than Obama.

While “defending its honor”, MSM still dropping the ball

For starters, I only use “MSM” in the title because “corporate media” or “infotainment media” wouldn’t fit.  That being said, the sad irony of the press corps which once again shows how out of touch the village idiots are with reality is that, despite all of the huffing and puffing about how Scott McClellan wouldn’t let them do their jobs, they still are falling flat on their faces at every turn.

I’d use the term jumped the shark (hyperlinked for those who don’t know what it means) to describe them and their role in the whole “reporting the news and professional journalism” thing that they clearly have long given up but I think the term “jump the shark” has kind of jumped the shark…

McCain needs to explain his own deep ties to Chalabi

Earlier today, teacherken had a very important diary about the connection between McCain campaign honcho, lobbyist and political advisor Charles Black and Ahmed Chalabi, who we all know as the de facto Iranian double agent who duped the US with bogus intelligence about Saddam.

But there is something that has only been noted here and there which really merits more probing, and certainly demands an explanation from McCain himself – especially if he is to claim that he is not clueless on foreign policy and that is his own connections to Chalabi and how he helped Chalabi dupe the US, how he stood by Chalabi and how he propped up Chalabi all while Chalabi was working for Iran (even FoxNews reported that Chalabi was spying for Iran).


If you think there is a humanitarian crisis in Iraq now…

There has been a lot of talk over the past few months and even past couple of years with respect to the refugee crisis in Iraq – the flight of much of the professional class from Iraq, the displacement of millions of Iraqis and the sectarian cleansing are just some of the things that jump to mind.  Couple that with the high unemployment rate, the lack of electricity, the ongoing violence and rampant corruption, and the outlook has been pretty bleak for quite some time.

However, the recent events and fighting in Sadr City that created a shortage of food, water and medicine for tens of thousands of Iraqis (including up to 75,000 children) is just the tip of the iceberg.

How can that be, you may ask.  

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