Is America Burning - a Forum To Discuss Issues

All comments welcome, pro or con. Passionate ok, but let's be civil. ...Pertinent comments will be published on this blog. Air your viewpoints.


Skyline - Houston, Texas

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rats Desert Sinking Ship ?? Where Were You The Last 8 Years ?

Senate deals defeat to Bush on Iraq war spending

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer Fri May 23, 2:21 AM ET

WASHINGTON - In a stunning vote that illustrated President Bush's diminished standing, the Senate on Thursday ignored his veto threat and added tens of billions of dollars for veterans and the unemployed to his Iraq war spending bill.

A majority of Republicans broke ranks with Bush on a veto-proof 75-22 vote while adding more than $10 billion for various other domestic programs, including heating subsidies for the poor, wildfire fighting, road and bridge repair, and health research.

Democrats crowed about their victory. But the developments meant more confusion about when the must-pass measure might actually become law and what the final version will contain.

Senators voted 70-26 to approve $165 billion to fulfill Bush's request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into next spring, when Bush's successor will set war policy. Overall, the measure contains $212 billion over the coming two years — $28 billion more than the administration sought — plus about $50 billion more through 2017 for veterans' education benefits.

Bush has promised to veto the Iraq spending if it exceeds his request. He has enough GOP support in the House to sustain a veto.

But the spectacle of 25 Senate Republicans abandoning the White House and voting to extend jobless benefits by 13 weeks and boost the GI Bill to provide veterans enough money to pay for a four-year education at a public institution made it plain that Bush's influence is waning.

"He has no political capital left," said Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah.

"What influence?" said a triumphant Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader. Reid had been skeptical of adding dozens of items favored by the free-spending Appropriations Committee to Bush's war request.

But the committee's plan contained so many smaller items favored by senators in both parties — including money for Gulf Coast hurricane recovery, NASA, and additional food and drug safety inspectors — that even GOP conservatives such as Sens. Larry Craig and Mike Crapo of Idaho rebuffed the White House. The duo were strong supporters of $400 million to subsidize schools in rural counties hit hard by declines in timber revenues.

The bill also contained $490 million for grants to local police departments, $451 million to repair roads damaged by natural disasters, $200 million for the space shuttle program, and $400 million for National Institutes of Health research projects.

The Senate action sent the bill back to the House, which last week endorsed the help for veterans and the unemployed, but kept its version clean of most other domestic programs. The House also included a one-half of a percentage point income tax surcharge on wealthier people to pay for the expanded GI bill.

The House also failed to approve the war money in a vote last week. Republicans unhappy with the Democrats' add-ons joined with anti-war lawmakers to defeat it.

Because of the differences between the two versions, it will take weeks to pass a final compromise, which Bush is expected to veto, and then send him one he can sign.

Time is slipping, though Defense Secretary Robert Gates testified Wednesday that the Pentagon can scrape by until late July by shifting funds from other accounts to finance operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

First, however, lawmakers left Washington for a weeklong Memorial Day recess.

A popular plan in both the House and Senate bills would block new Bush administration rules that would cut spending on Medicaid health care for the poor and disabled by $13 billion over the next five years. Governors in both parties pressed for the relief.

The White House had braced for defeat even as Democrats initially expressed skepticism they would prevail. Yet the magnitude of the defeat was startling.

"Our troops deserve better than having essential war time resources held hostage to billions in unrelated spending," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. "Congress should pass a clean war funding bill when they return from Memorial Day recess."

Still, it seems clear that Bush will have to accept some Democratic additions.

"When it comes to Iraq, it appears that money is no object for President Bush," said the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. "Yet when it comes to important priorities here at home, he turns into Ebeneezer Scrooge."

Domestic programs included $8.2 billion for Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, with $5.8 billion for levees around New Orleans and $348 million for restoration of Mississippi coastal islands.

There is $850 million for international food aid, $1.9 billion for military construction projects, and several billion dollars in various foreign aid programs — all requested by the administration.

In a 63-34 vote, the Senate rejected Democratic efforts to urge Bush to begin redeployment of combat troops and place other limits on his ability to conduct the war in Iraq.

The House was on track to pass a bill authorizing $601.4 billion in defense spending for next year and raise troop pay by 3.9 percent. The legislation would trim money for missile defense and some modernization projects, while boosting spending on heavily armored vehicles.

The White House has threatened to veto the bill because of several provisions, including the more than $700 billion shaved from missile defense efforts.

Meanwhile, the House passed a bill authorizing $601.4 billion in defense spending for next year and raising troop pay by 3.9 percent. The legislation would trim money for missile defense and some modernization projects while boosting spending on heavily armored vehicles.

Prior to the 384-23 vote, the House approved two Democratic amendments that would prohibit the military from using contractors to interrogate detainees and require interrogations be videotaped. [WA: It's about time!!]

The White House has already threatened to veto the bill because of several other provisions, including the more than $700 billion shaved from missile defense efforts.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Are the Good Times All Over? Is America As We Knew It In a Permanent Decline?

Every great civilization rises, has it's heydey, then declines and gets trashed. Every generation looks back to previous times as "the good ole days". Sometimes there is a lot of truth in the nostalgia.

Even if you don't like country music, listen to the words. Has Bush Co and the neocons put America on a premature downhill slide? Remember, we were warned. So what are we going to do about it? This is OUR country; are we gonna just sit in front of the telly and LET this happen?
We have three (censoreds) running for president of the (at present) most powerful nation in the world. Will we hold the winner's feet to the fire and force him and our useless Congress to take action to SAVE us? To SAVE the future of our children? To SAVE the future of our nation?

Remember - the slide has already begun. Our dollar is slipping, we are generations in debt, our economy is headed for the toilet, we are hated by practically the entire world, legions of haters plot to destroy us, religious fanatics gain more and more power in our government, and Big Business rules on a global scale and doesn't give a sh*t about national identity. Greed and Power rule!

Pax Americana, my a$$!! Neocon visions of a New Rome might signal the end, NOT the powerful zenith of Old Rome.
Merle Haggard - Are The Good Times All Over For Good


Blogger ThomasLB said...

In addition to Merle Haggard wondering if the good times are over for good, I picture Jack Nicholson asking, "What if this is as good as it gets?"

Thursday, May 29, 2008 5:13:00 PM

Blogger The Beltway B@stard said...

At least Rome was tolerant of other religions, that is until Christianity came to full light. Maybe their initial response to it was right after all. But then again, that fueled the coming of the dark ages.

Yep - we are screwed.

Thursday, May 29, 2008 7:44:00 PM

Blogger Gadfly said...

ThomasLB: I'm scared sh*tless it was as Jack said.

Beltway b@stard: Screwed without kiss.

Friday, May 30, 2008 12:28:00 AM

Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

I hate answering questions like your title, but reality is, Yes. We will never again see the America of yesterday.

Friday, May 30, 2008 5:39:00 AM

Anonymous Kvatch said...

Yeah... we're done. Time to start hoarding grain and black pepper.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 6:13:00 PM


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Criticism of Bilary's Assassination comment


Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

Besides the fact that Shrillary is a freaking moron, I have to say I've lost all respect for the man blustering about her. He has all the objectivity of a hungry rat in a cheese factory.

Friday, May 30, 2008 5:43:00 AM

WA: Yes, he does get carried away at times but at least he doesn't pussy-foot around and nicey-nice the things he blusters about.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day: American Heroes

News Home > 60 Minutes > Newsmakers > Memorial Day
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Memorial Day: American Heroes

This Memorial Day, we pay tribute to the men and women who have fought and died for our country. We honor the fallen from the plains of Iraq to the jungles of Vietnam, the mountains of Afghanistan to the beaches of Normandy. Here is a roll call of stories from the last 40 years of "60 Minutes."

Memorial Day: American Heroes

Rate this segment:

Average (22 votes)

4.6 stars


Fallen friends>> Watch Clip

Aboard a B-17 over occupied Europe >> Watch Clip


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Strategy of the Big Lie

Many journalists, authors, bloggers and men on the street have often compared Bush's actions and policies to those of Hitler and the strategies employed to gain presidential power, establish a fascist nation and to rob the people of their rights to that of Nazi Germany.

The following psychological profile of Hitler by the OSS could have been written for Bush today. Employing the Big Lie(s) is a favored tactic.

Excerpt from:

Big Lie •

The Big Lie is a propaganda technique. It was defined by Adolf Hitler in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf as a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".

[WA: Or to continue with the lie even after it had been publically exposed as a lie! But Bush does.]

    Used in Hitler's psychological profile

    The phrase was also used in a report prepared during the war by the United States Office of Strategic Services in describing Hitler's psychological profile:[2]

    His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.[3]

    [WA: Emphasis mine]

    Excerpted from:
    The Nation, 100 Facts and 1 Opinion, November 8, 2004

    95. When asked at an April 2004 press conference to name a mistake he made during his presidency, Bush couldn't think of one.

    Source: White House


    WA: Now, nearly 4 years later, Bush still hold the same opinion.


    Don't Poke A Leopard

    Anonymous David G said...

    That Bush is a liar (and a fool) is one thing. That so many Americans believe his lies is another!

    Why do they?

    Saturday, May 24, 2008 8:37:00 PM

    Blogger Worried American said...

    Terminal idiocy of 28% to 30% of Americans who still support him. That's around 70% who do not, in spite of what demon-fool says.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 6:24:00 PM

    Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

    I agree. I am now reading a book by Amy and David Goodman entitled “Standing up to the Madness.” The first chapter begins with this quotation, variously attributed to Sinclair Lewis or Huey Long: “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the American flag.”

    They go on to write:

    “This prophetic warning…could have been written about post-9/11 American. Using fear, electoral fraud, and the smokescreen of terrorist attacks, the Bush administration has given us a lesson in how quickly a nation can be hijacked and the core tenets of democracy trampled.”

    I am only ion the third chapter, but already I can recommend that everyone read this book.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 10:26:00 PM

    Blogger Worried American said...

    Thank you for your input, SSNick, and thank you for the book recommendation. I shall have to find and read it. It sounds like my kind of book!

    Tuesday, May 27, 2008 3:15:00 AM


    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Nuclear War?

    God knows the idiot WANTS to! He has NO regard for how many of our enemies also have nuclear weapons of one kind or another and can retaliate . China and Russia have nukes and are very buddy-buddy with Iran. Will they furnish nuclear weapons, even "suitcase bombs", to terrorists enraged by an attack on Iran - or furnish WMDs to Iran and Syria? Ofcourse the morons don't care; after all, they will usher in the Messiah who will obligingly create a "new heaven and new earth" where the Fundies and Bush's masters will co-rule.

    Yeah, Right!


    If the "War President, Decider, Commander-in-Chief" doesn't fulfill his dearest fantasy and do the deed before he leaves the White House, either Bilary or Bomb-Bomb-Bomb-McCain will do it for him. Bilary has already promised to obliterate Iran if it bombs poor wittle innocent helpless Israel and Bomb-Bomb-Bomb-McCain is ready and willing - even sings a sick song about it. God only knows what that Wall Street lackey Obama will do.

    (Who in the hell created this poster, anyway? Surely it was done tongue-in-cheek? Born to "Royalty"? "Chosen by God"? My aching backside! )

    Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

    "My aching backside! "

    'S bout time you cleaned it up a little around here, ain't it??

    Poor ole Gadfly doesn't even know what that word means:) She probably thinks it's behind outside!:)

    Impressive picture, except I agree with you. Georgie wants to see one more "of those big things that fall out of airplanes and go boom boom!" before he leaves, and he may well get it.

    If the return strike hits the white house, I can fry happy on my way to hell.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:13:00 AM

    WA: I know, Dan'l, I should be ashamed of my bad language! :-) The old gal is not a happy camper at present and I tend to get testy at such times.
    Hit the White House? Just our luck the S.O.B. will be down at his ranch and he'll escape!
    Blogger The Beltway B@stard said...

    I think he's secretly the love child of George Sr. and Tom DeLay. It's the only way to explain it.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:14:00 AM

    Blogger The Beltway B@stard said...

    "If the return strike hits the white house, I can fry happy on my way to hell."

    FUTURE! Come on man, I'm only 20 miles from the White Castle - well within the fall-out zone. I really do want to make it out of the Boy King's reign alive.

    Every day after that, I'll treat as a gift. Or I'll move to South Cackalackie!

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:18:00 AM

    WA: If the terrorists are smart, they'll determine if the Boy King is in D.C. or Crawford before they do the dirty. If he's at the ranch then we Texans will suffer for his sins...but if so, I hope our crooked politicians get it too. There's gotta be SOME justice in this world!!


    Monday, May 19, 2008

    Squawking Old Woman


    Well Crapola, I don't know what happened to the Old Woman up there in Dallas but she is on a tear from hell! Squawking like a flogging hen. She'll eventually tell me but right now is no time to question her! I ain't very smart but I'm smart enough to know when to walk and talk soft. You guys might get some hell raising posts until she calms down. Notice - she even said "damned" and "hell" in her new post! That usually means she's PISSED!

    Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

    And you of course, being the safety minded citizen you are, rushed in with a pail of gasoline to put the fire out with!:)

    One of these days, I'm gonna get the following email:

    Dear Dan:
    Sorry about the demise of your partner.

    She pissed me off once too often and I fried her ass to a crisp!

    Love, Worried

    Monday, May 19, 2008 3:54:00 AM

    Brainwashing the Public - Past, Present and Future

    Has your brain been washed lately? Heard any campaign rhetoric of deeds to come and promises to be filled that put stars of glory and derring-do in your eyes? Have potential Saviours Of Our Nation filled your heart and mind with hope that the nasty mess Bush Co. has gotten America into will be miraculously raised free of the mire and the Nation restored? Do you have a mental image of any one of the three candidates dressed in white armor and riding a snow white charger?

    If you believe campaign promises I have some great ocean front property in Arizona that might interest you. If you believe "trust me" and boogy-man tales, I fear there is little hope for you.

    Do we have boogy-men out there? Damned right we do! Are we in danger? Damned right we are - in much worse peril than we were when our "saviour" rose to "protect" us. Are we and have we been manipulated by terroristic fears to fulfill political greed and need? Damned right we have been and still are. Are we continually bombarded with the same old lies over and over ad nauseum to maintain the brainwashing? Damned right we are.

    The following archived article from The Nation gives a step by step example of some of the brainwashing we got when Bush was running for re-election. Just in case it might fail, we know what happened to help steal the election. No chances were taken that the idiotic puppet megalomaniac might lose.

    I got the stars punched out of my eyes years ago and now this cynical old lady awaits the latest series of brainwashing. Ho Hum! Is there anything new under the sun - or out of Washington? But what the hell. It's worked before for generations, so persevere. Why change a winning strategy? There are always the sheeple who'll go for it.

    Vote for Bush or Die

    By Judd Legum & David Sirota

    This article appeared in the September 27, 2004 edition of The Nation.

    September 9, 2004

    On August 11, John Kerry criticized the Bush Administration for blocking a bipartisan plan to give seniors access to lower-priced prescription drugs from Canada. With almost 80 percent of Medicare recipients supporting Kerry's position, the Bush campaign was faced with the prospect of defending a politically unpopular position.

    [WA: That plan would never do! Bush had plans for his horrible Prescription D plan to further enrich the Big Pharmas].

    That same day, in an interview with the Associated Press, FDA Acting Commissioner Lester Crawford said terrorist "cues from chatter" led him to believe Al Qaeda may try to attack Americans by contaminating imported prescription drugs. Crawford refused to provide any details to substantiate his claims.

    Asked about Crawford's comments, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security was forced to concede, "We have no specific information now about any Al Qaeda threats to our food or drug supply." The Administration had brazenly used Americans' justifiable fears of a future terrorist attack to parry a routine criticism of its policies.

    [WA: It wasn't Al Qaeda who foisted off contaminated drugs on us. Or contaminated toys. Or contaminated pet food. It was our good friend China with whom we have nicey-nice marketing deals - and Bush's favorite money lender. Our good friend China who hates our guts, threatens us, is buds with Iran (as is Russia) and is building up their tremendous-man army just as Bushy-Baby threatens their good friend Iran).

    How did it come to this?

    Crawford's comments were the latest iteration of a political strategy--hatched in the days after 9/11--that has spiraled out of control. What started as an effort to leverage early support for the President on national security issues has expanded into the politicization of our country's safety and security infrastructure. That process has damaged the credibility of the federal government and made all Americans less secure.

    [WA: And has allowed this Administration to turn America into a Fascist nation and government with Hitler/Stalin-esque powers].

    Revving the Engines

    In the weeks following 9/11, President Bush's popularity--which was languishing at around 50 percent in August 2001--soared to 90 percent. By mid-October 2001, support for Republicans in Congress--which was at just 37 percent in August--had shot up thirty points. After Republicans lost most major 2001 gubernatorial races to Democrats, GOP strategists realized that the key to electoral success was tapping into the post-9/11 fear of terrorism and focusing on security issues.

    On January 19, 2002--just nineteen weeks after the 9/11 attacks--Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, told a high-level gathering at the Republican National Committee to "go to the country" and tell the American people they can "trust the Republican Party to do a better job of...protecting America." Soon afterward, Bush authorized the Republican Party to sell photographs of himself aboard Air Force One, looking concerned and talking on a red telephone to the Vice President on 9/11.

    As the 2002 midterm elections neared, White House political director Ken Mehlman developed a secret PowerPoint presentation--which was made public after being dropped in a park--urging Republican candidates to highlight fears of future terrorist attacks. In the most outrageous example, Georgia Senate candidate Saxby Chambliss, who had avoided service in Vietnam, ran campaign commercials drawing parallels between triple amputee Vietnam War veteran Max Cleland and Osama bin Laden.

    [WA: How low can you go? The Bush era has set some extreme examples , even worse than the rotten examples of previous administrations.]

    President Bush reinforced these tactics by barnstorming the country--he made seventeen appearances in the last week of the campaign alone--emphasizing the threat posed by Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein and impugning the security credentials of Democrats. Campaigning in New Jersey in late September, Bush claimed Democrats in the Senate were "not interested in the security of the American people."

    The strategy was successful, and on Election Day 2002, Republicans made significant gains in the House and Senate.

    In January 2003, eager to repeat their success, the Republicans decided to hold their convention in New York City in late August and early September of 2004--the latest date a convention has ever been held. The move insured that Ground Zero would be their backdrop on the eve of the three-year anniversary of 9/11.

    And it did not stop there. The Bush team's first political ads featured grisly images of firefighters carrying flag-draped coffins out of the rubble of the World Trade Center. But the spots backfired after firefighters and 9/11 victims' families accused the campaign of seeking to exploit the attacks for political gain.

    [WA: Ofcourse they were!]

    Republicans were forced to adopt alternative tactics, this time through mythmaking. In the spring, Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma told a group of Republicans that "if George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election." He was echoed by the right-wing media. One nationally syndicated columnist wrote, "Which candidate does our enemy want to lose? George W. Bush." Fox News pundit Monica Crowley similarly observed, "America's adversaries want to see John Kerry elected." Later that month, Republican political operatives commissioned an "independent" poll that purported to find that "60 percent of registered voters believed that terrorists would support John Kerry in this year's presidential elections." The poll was so suspect that only the right-wing media reported it. But it helped advance the story.

    By May, CNN Justice Department correspondent Kelli Arena "reported" that there was "some speculation that Al Qaeda believes it has a better chance of winning in Iraq if John Kerry is in the White House."

    The Bush campaign, meanwhile, sought to bolster this speculation with a new barrage of campaign advertisements distorting Kerry's voting record on defense and intelligence issues. All this despite Bush's January 2002 promise that he had "no ambition whatsoever to use the war [on 'terrorism'] as a political issue."

    But the images, partisan attacks and myths were not improving the President's poll numbers fast enough to counterbalance damage brought on by violence in Iraq and a sluggish economy. On May 16, a new Gallup poll showed the President's job-approval rating had fallen to 46 percent. Days later, as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was taking its toll on the White House, the media uncovered new information suggesting that responsibility for the scandal reached to top Administration officials.

    In short, more was needed.

    This is when mounting evidence began to indicate that the timing and substance of the government's terror warnings were being driven, in part, by political considerations.

    On May 26 Attorney General John Ashcroft held a dramatic press conference announcing that Al Qaeda was "almost ready to attack the United States" and had the "specific intention to hit the United States hard." But Ashcroft did not provide any new or specific information, the Homeland Security Department did not raise the terrorism threat alert level, and a senior Administration official told the New York Times that there was "no real new intelligence" to substantiate the warning.

    In July, two days after Kerry selected John Edwards as his running mate, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge held a press conference of his own to say that "Al Qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States." Again, he did not elaborate on what was new about his statement and was forced to admit, "We lack precise knowledge about time, place and method of attack."

    That same month, The New Republic reported that top Pakistani security officials were being pressured by the Bush Administration to announce the capture of high-value terrorist targets during the Democratic National Convention. The White House responded with a standard denial, and the rest of the media ultimately brushed it off as an uncorroborated conspiracy theory.

    But on July 29, just hours before Kerry's keynote address, Pakistan announced the capture of Al Qaeda suspect Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani. Curiously, he had been apprehended five days earlier. Even more suspect: The announcement was made at midnight Pakistani time, when most Pakistanis were asleep, but at the perfect time to coincide with America's prime-time television news schedule.

    [WA: What an amazing coincidence! My! My! Rather reminds me of the amazing coincidence of the Iranian Hostage Crisis being resolved and hostages released just in time for Reagan to get the credit instead of Carter. ( the Iranian..)Government released the hostages in January 1981 when Ronald Reagan became president.]

    A few days later--during the period when attention to nominee Kerry would traditionally lead to a bounce in popularity--Ridge announced that he was raising the threat level in New York City, Northern New Jersey and the District of Columbia to "Code Orange." He claimed the threat level was being raised because of "new and unusually specific information about where Al Qaeda would like to attack." Undermining his claim that "we don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security," he wove a campaign-style endorsement of the President into his warning: "We must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the President's leadership in the war against terror," Ridge declared just a few breaths after invoking frightening images of "explosives," "weapons of mass destruction" and "biological pathogens."

    But Ridge neglected to mention that most of the information was at least three years old, much of it surveillance data that had been collected before 9/11. Ridge also conceded that New York City--which was already at "Code Orange" before his announcement--would not raise its level of alert.

    A week later the right-wing media did its best to deflect the embarrassment by once again dredging up the myth that a vote against Bush is a vote for terrorists. The conservative Washington Times ran a front-page story quoting Bush officials as saying that in the upcoming election, "the view of Al Qaeda is 'anybody but Bush.'" Again, they provided no proof to back up the claim.

    Speaking to voters in Iowa on September 7, Cheney expressed what is now the very public message of the Bush campaign: "It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again. And we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating." In other words, vote for us or you'll die.

    The double talk and political opportunism by the Administration on these issues go beyond poor taste. By sending conflicting messages to the public, Administration officials create confusion about what actually poses a threat. Beyond that, each unnecessary warning produces "threat fatigue"--the tendency to ignore warnings when they are repeated--in the American public. That means Americans will become less receptive to truly urgent terrorism warnings when they arise. And if recent polling is any indication, this erosion in public confidence is already occurring. A new survey by Columbia University found that 59 percent of those polled would not evacuate their town immediately if directed to do so by the government.

    This is not to imply that the threat of terrorism isn't real. There is no reason to doubt the staff statement of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission that Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are "actively striving to attack the United States and inflict mass casualties." That means the government has a solemn obligation to do whatever is required to protect the American people from this threat.

    But there are now justifiable doubts about what is actually dictating our government's actions. Today critical decisions appear to be guided by political operatives instead of terrorism experts. And in the long run, that has weakened national security--the very issue Republicans want so desperately to call their own.

    Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

    Y'all stay right on that buckin' bronc, Old Girl! I'll get the gate fer ya!!

    Gadfly was right. Your soup does have a lot of fixin's in it!

    This isn't too "adult", but I have a pillow in my room here, and it's not for naps. It's for when I need to scream, I can do so without scaring the hell out of my wife!

    Monday, May 19, 2008 4:04:00 AM


    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    First Massachusetts, Now California

    I'm sure by now you've heard the decision of the Republican California Supreme Court. By a 4/3 decision, they ruled our state law banning same sex marriage was unconstitutional.

    For now, this clears the way for same sex couples to marry. I'm still not sure what happens with the marriages already performed in San Francisco - I've heard two versions, so far. The ruling is the size of an unabridged dictionary and I'm no lawyer.

    The other guys have been gathering petitions for a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman. The Guv has already said he won't support it and we're hoping it won't fly. Still, it's one more hurdle.

    For now, I'm celebrating on behalf of my son, my GLBT friends, and the state itself.

    Blogger ThomasLB said...

    I'm happy- but apprehensive. The right wing has been very effective at galvanizing their forces to stomp down every attempt to move forward into the 21st century.

    But for now- pop the cork on the champagne!

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 4:46:00 PM

    Blogger The Beltway B@stard said...

    Having a close family friend who is gay, the wife and I are very happy about this. She grew in SF btw.

    What really makes me angry about this subject, is that it's an issue at all. It's a "No Brainer".

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 7:29:00 PM

    Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

    The BB hit the nail on the head. I had my TV on the day that was announced. The talking head was yapping about how "it could come into play in the elections" 30 seconds after he made the announcement.

    Although Supreme Courts are supposed to be non-political, we both know the reality. The timing of this is suspicious, to be kind. Nevertheless, live one day at a time, and this is indeed a day for celebration!!!

    Friday, May 16, 2008 10:43:00 PM

    Blogger Granny said...

    The petition to amend the CA constitution was already in the works but I see what you mean.

    It will probably be on the November ballot and we can only hope that the larger turnout for a general election will work in our favor, not against. Usually they time these things for a small election on the theory that their people will vote; ours won't.

    We'll have to wait and see. If the Amendment is passed, it will go straight to the U. S. Supreme Court.

    Saturday, May 17, 2008 8:49:00 AM

    Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

    Someday, as a nation, we’ll look back at all of the commotion about same sex marriage and wonder what all of the fuss was about. The same thing took place during the many decades it took for women to gain the right to vote. Still, the issue is presently divisive and painful. I hope the future acceptance comes soon, but I fear it won’t be during my lifetime.

    Sunday, May 18, 2008 5:10:00 AM

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    IAB may be quiet for a few days.

    I will be out of town until Sunday night. My grand daughter is having surgery Wednesday and I am called upon to care for her for a few days. The Gadfly is also gadding off somewhere. So unless Granny has something to comment on, this blog will be quiet through next weekend.

    Close this window Jump to comment form
    Anonymous David G said...

    Hey, does my breath smell or what? I come to visit and you all clear out!

    For those like me who visit and are disappointed, please call over to my blog and read "What Bush Meant To Say To The Knesset!"

    It may make you smile. It may make you laugh. It may make you angry.

    Whatever, the truth will set you free.

    Cheers and enjoy your vacation.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 12:44:00 AM

    WA: Hi, David: I'll visit just as son as I have a moment. Life is crazy right now. Cheers to YOU!