Saturday, April 29, 2006

Rush Goes Down

... but not hard. Rush apparently has agreed to a plea deal and fine on his oxxycontin escapades. Probably no jail time, but a nice judge might give us all a nice Mother's Day present! :)

yahoo link

The Difference Between the Parties

I was listening to some babble on the radio the other day and someone posited that old saw that there's not much difference between the Repugs and the Dems. I started thinking about that again and realized that, the dependency on corporate graft notwithstanding (just the realities of million dollar plus campaigns these days), there really is a difference between the parties.

Leaving aside the rich-poor, mommy-daddy dichotomies, it occured to that it all boils down to responsibility and authority. The Repugs want the authority (the daddy side, I guess) but want to avoid the responsibility. The Dems want the responsibility, but are predisposed against authority.

This leads to the Repugs doing nothing useful but passing laws limiting our freedoms, while the Dems try to defend our freedoms and get the government to do useful things. This can be shown in the rise and fall of FEMA. FEMA was roundly decried as a useless pile of bureaucratic shit after 12 years of Reagan-Bush, then made a stunning turn-around under the Clinton administration. Now, after only 5 years of Bush Part Deux, FEMA is in even worse shape than it was before Clinton. Maybe this is what the Repugs mean by efficiency- doing 12 years of damage in only 5!

But if it comes down to limiting my freedoms and not doing anything to help the country as a whole, or a party struggling to help the downtrodden and the middle class, keep government and big business out of our bedrooms and our pockets, I know which one I'll pick.

And if you bring up the National Security argument, I have one riposte. Under Clinton, that 'soft on terror' President, the baddies only damaged the WTC. Under Mr Macho Fighter Pilot, the took them both down. Defend us from such defenders.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rove & the Grand Jury

I haven't seen a news report on it, but apparently the Rovester spent (at least part of) the day with the Fitzgerald grand jury. Oh to have been a fly on that wall.

Net Neutrality Killed in Cmte.

From TPMcafe:

A House Committee sold out the Internet.

...

The good news is that, considering the lobbying power of the combined cable and telephone industry lobbying, losing by this little is a good sign. It's better than we did at subcommittee.

There is some recognition that the grass roots efforts that started relatively late in the game, combined with some lobbying by e-commerce companies, is starting to have an effect. We've probably got a couple of weeks before the full telecom bill goes to the House floor. (As I write this, the final vote hasn't happened yet, but there's no doubt the Committee will approve the bill.)

This turned, unfortunately, into a partisan fight. Only one courageous Republican, Heather Wilson of New Mexico, voted in favor of the amendment. These Democrats left the reservation: Ed Towns of New York, Bobby Rush of Illinois, Al Wynn of Maryland, Gene Green of Texas and Charlie Gonzales of Texas.

There are other developments. The House Judiciary Committee's special Telecom Task Force had a hearing on the issue the other day, and was deeply concerned about the issue. And there is legislation in the Senate that could also get serious consideration.



Saturday, April 22, 2006

Screw the Grunts

So, apparently, say our Repugs in Congress. In order to fund the Osprey V-22 tilt-rotor crashmachine, they've cut funding for things the troops REALLY need.

For whatever reason, blogger isnt letting me post the link. Here's the link from Americablog



A Senate measure to fund the war in Iraq would chop money for troops' night vision equipment and new battle vehicles but add $230 million for a tilt-rotor aircraft that has already cost $18 billion and is still facing safety questions.

...

Critics maintain that it's still a curious choice to be funded in a bill whose defining purpose is to replace equipment worn out or destroyed in Iraq.

The Osprey, manufactured by Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., has been in development since the 1980s and has cost the government $18 billion so far. It has suffered numerous setbacks over the years, including two crashes in 2000 that killed 23 people.

The Marine Corps says the program has gotten back on track since then despite an incident last month in which a V-22 momentarily took flight on its own.

To pay for the Ospreys, the Senate Appropriations Committee - guided by the Corps - cut into funding for night vision goggles, equipment for destroying mines and explosives, fire suppression systems for light armored vehicles and new vehicles that can be transported into battle inside the V-22.

The panel insists the equipment cuts won't affect readiness.

...

"They've hijacked the bill to spend money on their toys," said Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group. "You have the V-22, which isn't even ready for fielding and it's getting money in the supplemental."

The V-22 is but one example of the Pentagon and lawmakers using the mammoth bill to skirt limits on the already rapidly growing defense budget.

For example, there's more than $3 billion in funding for an ongoing overhaul of the Army that the Pentagon admits isn't directly related to fighting the war.

Meanwhile, senators have added $228 million to procure seven C-17 Air Force cargo planes that can't be completed until 2008 at the earliest - and would eventually cost a total of almost $2 billion.

The C-17 cargo plane is manufactured in Long Beach, Calif., by Boeing Co. The line there is now slated to close in 2008 with the completion of a 180-plane inventory. Instead, the $228 million would purchase parts as a downpayment for building seven more planes. It would take at least another $1.6 billion to finish the job.

"If it goes through, you basically force the Air Force to buy another seven planes," said a lobbyist for a rival defense contractor.


Great! Just fucking great!

Bye Scott

You won't be missed... unless they DO bring in Tony Snow.

Is it just me, or is it kinda strange that they tossed McClellan overboard without having a replacement in place already? The only thing the Bushistas can claim is rigid organization and operational control and apparently that is now gone too. So they've got nada.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Stop the Internet Giveaway

Congress (read the Repugs, with the acquiescence of the Dems) is trying to hand over control of the internet to the big telecoms. This is the death knell for the internet as we know it. Get off your asses and do something about it. Write your congresspersons, write other people's congresspersons, arouse your friends, make noise. All it takes on these issues is a little sunlight and they fade fast. Get a cyber Klieglight and shine it on this! NOW!

Not Dead (Yet, Anyway)

Despite the best efforts of my evil overseers to do me in by overwork, I am not quite dead. I'll make an effort to post something everyday, and maybe do a week's end review of stuff happening. It's just hard to keep up with all the crap since we get a new shovelload everyday.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Fareed on Immigration

Fareed Zakariah, who went thru the process, examines the immigration issue in WaPo. The money shot:

My own explanation is that American immigrant communities, even Arab and Muslim ones, are not very radicalized. (Even if such an attack does take place, the fact that 4 1/2 years have gone by without one provides some proof of this contention.) Compared with every other country in the world, America does immigration superbly. Do we really want to junk that for the French approach?


I dont have the answer to the problem (yet, anyway). But surely aping the far less successful methods of our EU friends is not the way to go.

Ohmigod!

Score one for the good guys! (Actually, it' s about the tenth goal so far....) The Exterminator has been terminated. Tom Delay announces he will NOT seek re-election and will resign (date unspecified) from Congress. With his two top (ex) aides going down in flames, the nexus of this den of iniquity is in tatters. This is great news, just on it's own, and for what it portends.

If they can get DeLay, they can get anyone. And, hopefully, with Tom's cooperation, they will!

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