Friday, December 28, 2007

Letterman is the King

A strike bearded David Letterman took the stage last night amidst dancing Writer's Guild Strikers and read his monologue. That's right he read it. The show was the first show to be written "by union writers!" since the Writers Guild of America went on strike two months ago. Letterman's production company Worldwide Pants accepted "the very same proposals that the guild was prepared to present to the media conglomerates when they walked out of negotiations." Dave was is old self, happy to be back, though it was tough for him to get a word in with Robin Williams as a guest. The Top Ten List of Writers's demands was read by striking writers from "The Daily Show", "The Colbert Report", and else where and one skit was cut short for "A message from the WGA". His "employee" Craig Ferguson was also back with a show solely written by union writers. There were no guests. It was all scripted sketches to maximize the residuals his, until last night unemployeed, writing staff would get for their first show back in two months.

Other late night shows were back without their writers, because the major studios that own and run them still won't pay writers residuals for internet material that they have written. Jimmy Kimmel showed previously scripted "Great Moments For Which Residual Payments Are Made To Our Unemployed Writers". The strike bearded WGA member, Conan O'Brian, awkwardly wasted time showing off pictures of himself in his office and spinning his wedding ring, in lieu, of comedy. And Leno, who some claim broke the rules of the WGA strike, which he Is a member of, had the candidate for president who recently shot a shotgun directly over the heads of the press come on to play politician and bass. The Baptist preacher and "populist" crossed picket lines to do it. I'm sure Jesus would have done the same.

I normally don't Write about television, except to admonish it, but this a labor action. These are working people who deserve compensation for their work. The billionaire production corporations, that run what we see, refuse to cut into profits to give them their just due. I will not watch leno or conan or kimmel or any of the new slew of un"reality" they put out, but hey, I don't really watch much anyway.

David Letterman showed how it can be done. Negotiation is possible.

David Letterman is the King of Late Night!

Lists of 7 for 2007

7 "Biggest" news stories of 2007 (in no particular order)
1. Homophobe Senator Larry Craig in gay bathroom sex scandal
2. Tony Blair resigns/New PM Brown starts pulling English troops out of Iraq.
3. Democrats take control of the House and Senate (look for "Dems find the
their balls" in 2008)

4. Subprime Mortgage bubble bursts.
5. The Virginia Tech shootings
6. The wildfires in California
7. US ally Pakistan's State of Emergency/Top challenger, of US backed
Benazir Bhutto MURDERED.

7 news stories receiving Honorary Mention to the 7 "biggest" stories of 2007 :
1. US Military temporarily misplaces 6 nucLEar warheads.
2. The Chinese toy recall.
3. "Family Values" Senator David Vitter in D.C. Madam's little black book.
4. Buddhist Monks protest in Myanmar (previously known as Thailand)
5. Al Gore and UN Scientists get the Nobel Prize for climate crisis work and

6. US contractors (Blackwater) murder Iraqi civilians and have their
immunity revoked.

7. karl rove and alberto gonzales join the droves of resigning bush appointees.

7 "Biggest" NON-stories of 2007
1. Britney shaves her head.
2. The cost of John Edwards hair cut.
3. Don Imus says "nappy headed hoes"
4. Anna Nicole Smith dies.
5. Amy Whinehouse does drugs.
6. The last Harry Potter book.
7. O.J. gets busted for trying to steal his stuff back.

7 favorite 2007 lists
1. Time Magazine
2. Mad Magazine's 20 Dumbest people, places, and things of 2007
3. Bill Maher's Dickheads of the Year
4. Popular Science's Innovation's of the Year
5. Best of 2007 by David Cross
6. Best viral vidoes of 2007
7. List of lists of 2007

7 too be remembered
1. Kurt Vonnegut, author and satorist the world hasn't
seen since Mark Twain
2. Norman Mailer, Journalist, bad ass, masculinist
Luciano Pavarotti, The greatest voice I've ever heard
4. Molly Ivins, A liberal columnist, and coiner of "shrub"
5. Phil Rizzuto, The Scooter, Baseball hall of famer, sports
commentator without peer

Merv Griffin, TV Icon, talk show host, producer
7. Evel Knievel, Death defying dare devil

Other notable deaths in 2007:
899 American troops in Iraq. 2007 was the deadliest year of
the war so far.
Max Roach, crazy bebop jazz drummer
Kurt Waldheim, Austrian politician and alleged nazi
Joel Siegel, movie critic, and great mustache

Bill Walsh, Legendary head coach of the San Francisco 49'ers
Tom Snyder, Talk show host extraordinaire
Lee Hazelwood, Legendary songwriter/producer
Jerry Falwell, Major evangelist preacher
Ranters note: I don't have to like them for their passing to
be important.(See Waldheim)

Oscar Peterson, crazy jazz pianist
Leona Helmsley, "Big" news making, mean, rich lady who left
all hermoney to her dog.
Robert Goulet, An entertainer in that old Vegas style
Ike Turner, A major music maker in his own rite, better as
an abusive husband
Dan Fogelberg, singer/sonwriter
Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistani prime minister, whose
death further illustrates the turmoil that is that region
of the world.

Now go out and Have a Great New Year's Eve!

08's gonna be Great!


Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

I'm allowed to say Christmas, because that's what my family celebrates, right? And because Hanukkah and Ramadan are over and Kwanzaa doesn't start until the 26th. I'm not really sure about the other winter solstice holidays out there. I'm sure there all very nice. Okay.
Onto the airing of the grievances!

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go. Vice dick is burning a CIA scandal file yule log in his "ceremonial" office. The president is saying "happy holidays" to a pesky press that thinks the president is some how supposed to know what his executive branch is doing. The elfin failure-in-chief did get a present from the recently "gone shopping" Congress with both their capitulation on $70,000,000,000.00 more to a war that has long since lost any actual definition for victory and adding to the Federal Deficit that lil' bush's economic policies created from the surplus we were stuck with from President Clinton's. To be fair, those of us who have been yelling for someone in Congress to show some balls, aside from the usual marginalized suspects (wexler, conyers, byrd, etc.) got a gift this week. Senator and Presidential candidate Christopher Dodd threatened to filibuster a CIA wiretapping bill that gave immunity to telecommunications companies (like Verizon and AT&T) that may have given the Private information of American Citizens to the US Government for its Illegal domestic Spying program. Senator Dodd left his campaign in Iowa and stood up on the floor of the United States Senate and said No to "holiday" push over Senate Majority leader harry reid. Truly a Christmas miracle!

The "holiday season" in New Orleans has the police decking the halls with stun guns and pepper spray as residents protested the demolition of the city's four largest housing "projects" to build nice new "mixed" income housing. I wonder what's going to happen when the Federal Government evicts the rest of the Katrina refugees they've housed in trailer parks out. And speaking of miserable failures by this president's administration, Iraqis are once again saying they'll be better off without Our friends. Why do they want Iraq to fail? Is it because of the torture chambers? Is it because the contractors representing Us are brutally attacking female employees, like they're Saudi women? Maybe it's the bombs they now feel from their neighbor Turkey? Or maybe they just hate Our Freedom? But New Orleans and Iraq aren't the only reasons the jack ass-in-chief should get coal in his stocking. Afghanistan is getting worse. Some say it may be worse, long term, than Iraq. And let's not even get into the latest "bush era" scandal with the destruction of videotapes of the CIA "interrogating" prisoners. I hope for the president's sake he is one day tried in New Jersey, where the government has had the good "moral" sense to abolish the death penalty.

Well Happy Holidays!

And one more thing. Today is Frank Zappa's Birthday. Back in 1993, the world lost this true American voice of dissent, composer, and guitar hero . One can only imagine what that man would be singing about today.

Peace on Earth
Goodwill towards men (and women).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Red, Blue and Write.

The reds are splintering. Man, that felt good to type. But it's more than just empty rhetoric. The recent rise of intolerant, social conservative, preacher turned candidate, mike huckabee in Iowa and else where, is evidence of the red's predicament. Somewhere pat robertson is blaming the ice storm in the central United States on the Midwesterners who are turning away from his boy rudy. But seriously, the reds don't have a candidate with both "the terrorists are coming, the terrorists are coming" fear rhetoric they respond so well to and the "pro-life" until birth, anti-gay, jesus is the only god, Christian extremism that is their "faith". Back when the one term governor/son of a failed president ran in 1999, he ran as a "family values" moral leader, because you know President Bill Clinton cheated on his wife, like Mayor Guiliani did (without the divorces). Lil' napolean did it to two wives and had tax payers pay for his second mistress's police escort to visit her family without him. The inexperienced, in everything but ruining Houston's air and daddy's friends' oil companies, would be president wasn't on his "security over liberty" kick yet. That didn't happen until after the largest attack on US soil occurred on his watch. In the 2003 campaign, george bush jr. was a "uniter", not among Americans nationally, but he enjoyed the full throated (insert red senator craig, red congressmen foley, or red fake press man jeff gannon joke here) support of his party. The fear mongering, rights are secondary wing nuts joined the mega churched, women came from a man's rib "religious right" fanatics. That's not the case this time around. Two of the front runners are (or were, depending on who you're talking to) social liberals from, of all places, Massachusetts and New York City. Mr. 9/11 and flip romney are/were pro-choice, pro-gay rights and pro-gun control elected officials from solid Blue "yankee" states. Hell, if they weren't flip flopping so much to pander to the wack job right, I'd be writing about how great it is to see the republican party moving left (a point I still LOVE to make with my red friends).

On the Democratic side of the aisle, the big news this week was Oprah... Obama.... Obama.... Oprah. The mighty "O", whose influence gave the meat industry reason enough to sue her for stating "It has just stopped me cold from eating another burger!" is now, for the first time in her life, coming out and stumping for a candidate. In her terms, she was "compelled to stand up" for her "personal conviction" about Senator Barack Obama and his "new vision for America". Now, there are those who say "Why is she getting involved?" "Who cares what Hollywood has to say?" I agree with the latter when you are talking about lazy old fred thompson, but Oprah Winfrey is different than your average Dixie Chick. She mainstreams Obama in a way that only the most watched, richest female entertainer could. My Mother is a Democrat. My Mother is an Oprah fan. The doubts that she has about Senator Barack Obama's electability are now further assuaged by Oprah. Oprah believes he can/should be president, and Oprah is no dummy.

All that (and my man crush) aside, on a larger, full Democratic slate point of view, I look at the field of candidates and feel, for the first time in recent memory, like I could vote for any of them without having to completely hold my nose. Sure, Senator Clinton is too much of a Clintonian centrist/hawk for Israel/establishment for me, but it wouldn't even be the lesser of evils (see intellect, the environment and Health Care). The Democrats are smarter, more experienced, and better politicians then the contestants on the other side. It's just that simple. Picture a debate with anyone on the red team against any Democrat. It's not all "flowers and sweets" for the Democratic party. The "Get Us the Hell Out of Iraq Now" contingent of the growing left is pissed enough to start their own strike (on donations) to make the Democratically lead Congress stop funding the war and/or make their obstructionist red "colleagues" actually filibuster and not just threaten to. Why not make them tell the Country why they want us in Iraq, why they don't want to give more children health care, and why they don't want to join the international community and the American public on fighting global warming? And when they are done talking a Democrat can take the floor, right?

Speaking of strikes, the Broadway stage hands have agreed on the terms for a new contract, thus ending their strike. The Writers' Guild of America, however, is still striking for residuals from the internet (that Al Gore never said he invented). With studio executives saying revenues will "double with digital", you would think they would have enough profit to pay the just royalties to the folks who wrote the material they are displaying for Our entertainment. But don't take my word for it check out what Seth McFarlane and Tenacious D have to say. For more videos and information on the WGA strike go to or my favorite strike site The irony of free internet videos helping these workers get paid for internet viewed material is not lost on me. But let's face it, if they had to depend on the studio owned media to get their side of the story out to the people, they'd be in even worse shape. At least the screenplay for Harold and Kumar Escape from Guatanamo Bay made it out in time.

Some possible topics for the next rant:
Torture: The CIA destroying video of torturing prisoners that the bush White House was court ordered to preserve.
The Death Penalty: New Jersey senators voted 21-16 to get rid of capital punishment (the "death penalty") in favor of life without parole.
His talking action figure sells out at walmart and was he really the devil's "brother".

"A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ."
-part of a full page ad preacher huckabee signed back in the day.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Democracy and the failure-in-chief

Hugo Chavez can not run for his elected office indefinitely, as his recently voted down proposal would have allowed. Our "enemy" in Venezuela loses and it's "Hurray for Democracy" and "the system works". A marked change in the official attitude towards the Venezuelan elections, that have kept President Hugo Chavez in office. If this one was legit so were they, right? In Russia, however, the "enemy" whose "soul" bush once "got a sense of", saw his party make real gains in parliament in their recent elections. Europe (sans Russia, of course) is looking into "foul play". It's a wonder they didn't smell foul play in the land of hanging chads, when the loser of the popular vote was given the winning state, where his brother was the governor and his state campaign co-chair was the secretary of state. I know... USA! USA! We invented democracy. Actually a lot of it came from France. Oh and we're a Republic, not a democracy. But I digress.

The unprovoked war to force democracy on Iraq has produced the third most corrupt nation in the world. Adding thousands of US soldiers has the security situation in Iraq "showing improvement", but how will that improvement be maintained. Lord knows (wait who?) the Iraqi Army, the incompetent-in-chief disbanded isn't up to speed, and the new Iraqi government isn't anywhere near first gear yet. Can anyone say quagmire? Or predicted quagmire? Maybe that's why the "bomb Iran" chant has gotten softer. That and the recent United States National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) which says that Iran stopped it's nuCLEar weapons program in 2003. 2003?!??! Then what has bushco. been talking about (link to An Amazing Obermann!) for the last 4 years. They couldn't been exaggerating or LYING about weapons of mass destruction, could they?

In little over a year, bush will be sitting back on his sugar cane plantation in Paraguay, avoiding prosecution, while a new administration tries to clean up the mess his abysmal failure of a presidency has created with respect to Iraq, the Middle East, Our standing and stature in the world, the environment, the economy, and Our system of three coequal branches of Government. Hopefully, the next regime will be more than just another scare tactic/holier than thou/sound bite regime (see the "my mistress deserves a tax funded security detail" guiliani/"isolate the diseased to get closer to christ" huckabee '08 ticket).

Imagine a president with intelligence. A president with more than their money or that of their contributors on their mind. Imagine a president with the vision to see that government is there to help those who need it. Imagine a president for the common American. Imagine a president who puts Country ahead of party. A president who understands and approves of the US Constitution's freedoms of speech, press, and assembly. A president that understands that "no law [is to be made] respecting an establishment of religion". A president who believes that it is "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures". Imagine a president (and a congress) that put the majority, the Country and the Rule of Law first.

" You may say I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, And the world will be as one
-John Lennon

Saturday, December 08, 2007

27 years ago today, John Lennon was shot dead.

Yoko is asking that people download, print out and put up the old John and Yoko ad campaign for peace poster "War is Over! If you want it" It's not a bad idea.

Happy Christmas!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Friends and Enemies.

The "American" corporation Citigroup was bailed out by one of the Arab nations, uber rich from $90+ per barrel oil prices. A trend that has only just begun. Not to worry though, these are the "good" arab nations, our allies. You know the rich ones, like the one that Halliburton is moving to. A new report has found that 60% of the "foreign fighters" (not including us, of course) in Iraq come from some of these very same allies. The biggest of which is the same country that bin laden called home, the same country that 15 of the 19 hijackers that struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon just before lil' napolean guiliani went running for the TV cameras, the same country where the royal family has the same lawyer as the bush family, and the same country whose oil dominance may be one of the reasons 4,000+ american soldiers have died and we've spent $500,000,000,000.00 in Iraq. You guessed it... Saudi Arabia. This week the "monkey"-in-chief extended his olive (oil) branch to some new friends. No, I'm not talking about "no nation building" george honoring the winner of the Nobel Prize, not to mention the popular vote in 2004, former vice president Al Gore. The presidential photo op for peace in the Middle East I am referring to took place in Annapolis, Maryland. The surprise was the administration meeting with Syria. Remember what the bushies, and the lacky media, thought of House Speaker Pelosi's diplomatic mission to Syria? Well, not to worry they've flipped on that, not that they have admitted their previous mistaken ideology. The criminal-in-chief actually said, after seven years of doing nothing, except pouring gasoline on the fire with the War in Iraq, "The time is right for peace in the Middle East." Pakistan just ended its "state of emergency". Lebanon is in one. Iran is more powerful than before, as is Hezbollah and Hamas. Yeah, the time is perfect. In all fairness the summit did produce some results. Israeli and Palestinian leaders, whose names junior can't even pronounce, did agree on how to talk. Who knows, maybe the Olmert/bush private meeting on Iran was the real reason hidden under the cover of the "summit".

Since I've written about the candidates for the Democratic nomination to be a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, I thought I should give the red contestants some type, too. You know to be "fair and balanced". Before that, it needs to be mentioned that two more red congressmen have joined the red tide leaving public service. Ex-speaker denny hastert resigned and left office last week and disgraced ex-majority leader trent lott resigned, two days before his brother-in-law and nephew were indicted on Federal bribery charges. The speculation about lott's resignation has ranged from getting out before lobbying rules kick in, to Alaska's oil money scandal, to, my favorite, he's part of a Larry Flynt investigation.

Now onto the reds' CNN/YouTube debate that took place in St. Petersburg, Florida. With questions about space exploration and rooting for the red sox, it's no wonder they ran out of time for questions on trivial topics like health care, Pakistan, or Iran. The big battle of the night was lil' napolean rudy versus mitt "the flip" romney, though old man mccain's answer on waterboarding was by far my favorite moment of the night. Mr. 9/11 questioned mitt the flip's judgement in allowing a company in his employ to use illegal immigrants (without his knowledge apparently). That must mean that the man Jimmy Breslin once called "A small man in search of a balcony" is responsible for his employee and business partner bernie kerik's actions or the actions of the sheik, connected to 9/11 mastermind khalid sheikh muhammahed, rudy did business with.

It is hard to pay attention the political circus sideshows that currently pass for "presidential" debates, when police are tasing people for not signing speeding tickets and foreclosures on people's homes are up 94% from last year, but it is more constructive entertainment than "news" about air-headed blonde celebrities. At least we're safer, right?

“I have to say this is one of the most arrogant, incompetent administrations I’ve ever seen or ever read about,” “They have failed the country.”
-Senator Hagel (Republican)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Success in Iraq.

The New York Times report "Baghdad’s Weary Start to Exhale as Security Improves" tells of a Baghdad returning to "normalcy". I guess "normalcy" means what it was like before we invaded, minus the brutal favoritism shown to one ethnic group over another by a military dictator. Introduced in the report was a new metric by which to measure military success. The article states that "at a handful of once shuttered liquor stores customers now line up outside". Huzzah! Maybe someday they'll be as many open as there were before we invaded. Many see the recent decline in violence as proof that the surge has worked. Iraqis are walking through parts of Baghdad with the strongest sense of security they have felt since Our invasion began in 2003. Great News! We can bring the troops home now, right?! Call it a successful surge. Call it the fact that Baghdad's neighborhood's are far more ethnically cleansed and divided than before we invaded. Call it whatever you want. Call it "mission accomplished". More importantly, call it a reason to start bringing Our over worked, over stretched, and under rested military home, and not just those additional troops added for "the surge" but a reduction from the pre-surge numbers. Then we can really talk about success. Of course, for that discussion to happen, we will agree upon which reason or cause for the US's unprovoked invasion of Iraq we have been victorious over. And "regime change" is not allowed under international principles and law.

Oh the spin we're in for on Our "victory". The neo-con, "bush doctrined", "pre-emptive", invasion of Iraq that has cost 4,310 American soldiers their lives and the American taxpayer $470,000,000,000.00 has accomplished a lot. There are more (proven) members of al qaeda in Iraq now than before we invaded. Iraqi streets are less secure than before we invaded Iraq. Iraqis citizens have less electricity and clean water than before we invaded. Iraq, especially Baghdad, is more ethnic segregated than before we invaded Iraq. Iraqi oil production is down 1 million barrels a day from what it was before we invaded. Since invading Iraq, less of the world population, not to mention official foreign governments, admire Us, look up to Us, or want to emulate Us. We are no longer an authority in the World on Human Rights. But at least after 4 and 3/4 years there, we seem to have turned the corner on lowering the violence in a capital city. Victory sure is sweet.

In other (non-Nation at War) news, the failure-in-chief pardoned his thirteenth (including scooter libby) turkey in the Rose Garden, an Atlanta "Mega-Church" is in the midst of another holier than though sex scandal, and New Orleans was rejected as a site for a Presidential Debate because "the city has not sufficiently recovered from Hurricane Katrina to handle such a major event" (another bush success story).

Oh and here's a sweet little piece of pumpkin pie from scott "lil' bush's former mouth piece" mcclellan's new book
"The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself."

Surprise! The president lied to Us about outing a CIA operative working for Our National Defense, with a specific emphasis on Iran of all things. Can we start the impeachment hearings now, or should we wait to see what he does "domestically" with a cigar?

Have a Happy Turkey Day!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Workers, writers, and Mailer

In modern day America, we're taught that being rich is the universal dream and that dream is attainable for everyone. It's not a new idea to think that the latter part of that sentence is the reason the American public doesn't take to the streets when we hear about CEOs making over 500 times as much as their counterparts in the mail room, not to mention getting taxed on that salary at a lower rate. With the right lottery ticket the mail clerk could be right there with him. So why would they want the CEO taxed more on his income. Oh yeah, and taxes are bad. We don't demand that gasoline companies cut into their Monstrous profits to lower the price at the pump. Our current economic philosophy cares more about a company's bottom line going up than getting affordable gas and heating oil to Americans that Need it. The "needs" of the top outweigh the needs of those at the bottom, even though there are far more Americans at the bottom than are at the top. Oil company profits aren't driving the price of oil, that's more about demand (with places like China coming on), production, and the falling US dollar that its value is calculated in. "Big Oil" could share the economic hit with their consumers, but why would they care about people.

Speaking of people versus huge corporations, the Writers Guild of America strike is still going on, denying a satire craving public of programs like the Daily Show and the Colbert Report (links to their videos on the strike). You see, the studios put episodes and "webisodes" written by writers on the internet. Millions of viewers watch the episodes and web exclusive webisodes. The studio takes the viewership and uses its numbers to sell advertising, which the studios make a bundle on. The problem the Writers Guild of America has is that those who write the material presented in these internet productions, and episodes rerun, receive zero royalties, zero residuals,
ZERO compensation for the work they did in helping to create what is now being used by the studio to sell advertising, like they are in another medium called television. The worker, in this case the writer, is totally undervalued by the boss, in this case the studio. Writers, and late night viewers, aren't the only ones being hurt by the strike. The cast and crew of the effected television shows, films, etc. are really feeling it. People are starting to step up to help. David Letterman is paying his crew out of his pocket while the strike continues. 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live have held one night stage performances to raise money for those effected by the strike. And the studios have started suspending the actors. The Writers Guild may sit down as early as the November 26th with the studios to hammer out a contract. The Broadway stage hands and France's transit workers are also currently on strike.

I would be completely remiss not to mention that, on November 10th, America and the world lost a great writer with the death of Norman Mailer. Mailer was a self confident to a fault proponent of pugilism, a new journalist, a political activist, the sworn enemy of Gore Vidal, and a Real Man. Along with his huge ego, Mailer had the balls to tell truth to power and to the public, in all its irreverence. His guts set him apart from other authors of his time, and are something that is sorely missed in Our current dialogue.

"America is a hurricane," said Mailer, "and the only people who do not hear the sound are those fortunate if incredibly stupid and smug White Protestants who live in the center, in the serene eye of the big wind.”

Friday, November 16, 2007

Let's Talk Politics.

Back when the earliest Americans were trying to figure out how to keep the infantile US together and shape it's government during it's most formative of years, there were two parties. They were the Federalists and the Republicans. Republicans, like Thomas Jefferson, were for more power at the state and local level. The Federalists wanted a powerful, centralized government. Some thought the Federalist idea of the power of the Executive Branch was too much like that of the English monarchy that the Revolution was fought to free us from. President bush jr. is set to give the (modern day) Federalist Society's keynote address this year. The strong central government movement has certainly gained a lot during the failure-in-chief's tenure, especially when it comes to the power of the Executive. With his refusals to answer for his actions or his statements under oath, his signing statements on laws that he reserves the right to deem below him, and his unilateral war without a Congressional Declaration of War are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how this little prince has taken the president's power to new levels. I wonder if his minions will have a problem with this power when a Democrat is sitting in the Oval Office.

Speaking of a Democratic president, the Iowa primary is less than 50 days away, and the Democratic field (at least the top of it) is "deadlocked". And at this point in the discussion it seems as though the gloves have finally come off, both when it comes to hitting the reds and hitting the Democratic front runner, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. My favorite line so far has to be Senator Biden's shot at rudy, saying "there's only three things he mentions in a sentence, a noun, a verb, and 9/11" Though Congressman Kucinich's answer to tim russert's question on the important issue of UFOs was pretty good too. In redville, the desperation and splintering has become even more apparent, with pat "9/11 was the gay abortionists of America's fault" robertson endorsing rudy "there Must be public funding of abortion" guiliani. To be fair, that's not an exact quote from robertson. What front runner robertson probably didn't expect was the "right to life" endorsement of fred "hollywood knows best" thompson (alternative nicknames for Thompson: that old guy or the savings and loan lobbyist). The former "laziest Senator in the room" is running as reagan. Problem is he's more like old bewildered reagan, than young, republican party leading, governor of California gipper.

It's starting to get interesting. As most of you already know, I'm an Obama man (see left column). Best case scenario for me, and in my opinion the Country, would be an Obama/Biden ticket. That being said, all of the Candidates for the Democratic nomination to be a Candidate for the President of the United States have their red counterparts beat on everything, except maybe fear. Though a Hillary Clinton versus Ron Paul contest in 2008 might see me vote for my first red. His social views are the opposite of mine, but his policy making and government philosophies may make that fact irrelevant. And wouldn't it be better to elect the monkey wrench to the machine than another cog? It is Country before party, isn't it?

Who knows? Maybe bushco. is watching coup d'etat general/"coalition" ally musharaff's "state of emergency" in Pakistan delaying elections, silencing dissent and jailing opposition. I can almost hear cheney asking bush to ask his new "it depends on what your definition of torture is" attorney general "how can we make this legal enough to do here?" Ah the march to freedom and democracy...

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Impeachment of Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney

Holding hearings is not a waste of time or a distraction from important issues. It is essentially important that those in the highest levels of Our Government be held to the highest legal and ethical standards. Vice president Cheney, along with others, lead us into war, and must be held accountable for statements that were not congruent with facts that came to light after we "broke it" and had to "fix it" in Iraq.

The vice president said August of 2002 "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. And there is no doubt that his aggressive regional ambitions will lead him into future confrontations with his neighbors -- confrontations that will involve both the weapons he has today, and the ones he will continue to develop with his oil wealth."

This elected official has yet to be put under oath, by himself, before Congress or the American people. If an adulterous affair is call for impeachment hearings, urging an unnecessary, and quite possibly illegal, invasion of a country who posed no actual immediate treat to Our Nation certainly should be.

Unless you'd rather investigate the vice president's involvement in:
The outing of a covert CIA Officer
The ignoring of the Geneva Conventions on torture and imprisonment
The spying on American Citizens without legal warrant
The unConstitutional leaps in Executive power made the past 6 years

I am calling on you and your colleagues to Please discuss and debate H Res 333.

Thank you for your time, and your service.

David Calamoneri
Hoboken, NJ

This message was sent to the Democratic members
(and the ranking republican) of the House Judiciary Committee.

"Vice President Dick Cheney and the Bush Administration have demonstrated a consistent pattern of abusing the law and misleading Congress and the American people. We see the consequences of these actions abroad in Iraq and at home through the violations of our civil liberties. The American people are served well with a legitimate and thorough impeachment inquiry. I will urge the Judiciary Committee to schedule impeachment hearings immediately and not let this issue languish as it has over the last six months. Only through hearings can we bring begin to correct the abuses of Dick Cheney and the Bush Administration; and, if it is determined in these hearings that Vice President Cheney has committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors, he should be impeached and removed from office. It is time for Congress to expose the multitude of misdeeds of the Administration, and I am hopeful that the Judiciary Committee will expeditiously begin an investigation of this matter."

Congressman Robert Wexler, (Fla. - D) urging the House Judiciary Committee, on which he sits, to move forward with impeachment hearings.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sometimes it's Hard to Keep Track.

So the reds are mad at bushco. for their diplomacy with North Korea, because they may have helped Syria with a nuclear program, the way they did Pakistan. Israel recently bombed what "appeared to be" a future nuclear reactor facility in Syria with little fanfare and even littler news coverage. I guess bombing a nation without being provoked still may be considered bad, and our 51st state can do no wrong. There's been much a do about Iran's nuclear ambitions. Bushco. recently, not to mention unilaterally, sanctioned Iran for "threatening behavior" (sounds like they must have overwhelming evidence to me). The sanctions are no surprise. What was surprising to me was that Iran, as well as China, were awarded large power plant construction contracts in Iraq. They will try and do what the US's $5 Billion effort has thus far failed to, provide adequate power to an electricity grid that still only provides power for a few hours a day for many "liberated" Iraqis. I wonder if this means we'll start sanctioning Iraq again. Knowing bushco. they'll use the Iran/Iraq deal to justify bombing the Kurds so as not to piss off Turkey, who has already begun shelling Northern Iraq. Turkey's airbase, more specifically Our use of it, is the reason President Flip Flop now says the Turks slaughtering 1,500,000 Armenians based on their ethnicity should not be officially considered genocide. It's a good thing ahmadinejad** isn't part of bush's "coalition of the willing" or Our president would be backing holocaust deniers the same way he's backing these genocide deniers today. At least bush wasn't praising their country's most famous rebel while they were holding our debt and are responsible for the bulk of the goods sold at our biggest stores. By the way george, I'm a huge dalai lama fan too.

In "we're a Nation at War" news, the Iraqi government has revoked bremer's provisional authority decree that security contractors are "immune from prosecution". It's hard to believe that those killing, I mean securing Iraq for democracy, on Our behalf have to obey the law. Oh yeah, the US is clearly on the forefront of human rights since these "folks" took over the executive branch. The non-partisan Congressional Budget office estimates that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq could cost $2.4 TRILLION by 2017. The failure-in-chief's mouth piece blew the number off as speculation. If only they had blown off Paul Wolfowitz's "the war will pay for itself"estimate, not to mention the White House's $50 Billion estimate, as speculation instead of treating them as accurate. There were a lot of things that bushco. had "no doubt" about that turned out to be nothing more then speculation, and that's being nice. At least we have cheaper oil now. Wait, is it really at $92 a barrel?

In the war on science news, the "lie by omission" administration edited five pages out of the director of the Center of Disease Control's Congressional testimony on global warming. No surprise there. Here is another non-surprise. 388 more liberal, leftist, pinko, tree hugging scientists from around the world have come out with yet another "wake up call" report on how we, as humans, live in direct contrast with and have an adverse effect on Our home planet and the way it sustains Us. You know, with things like air and water.

And of course, I would be remiss in not mentioning the tragic 500,000 acre fire in southern California which has seen 500,000 residents evacuated (about half the amount evacuated from New Orleans Before Katrina hit). Hopefully bushco. will do and has done a better job on this disaster despite the fact that half of the California National Guard equipment is in Iraq. I also hope the improved response has nothing to do with the fact that the governor is republican, or that some, if not most, of the home destroyed were owned by the rich as opposed to the ninth ward of New Orleans, which hasn’t been reconstructed in the two plus years since the storm. It was nice to see that the mood was festive (complete with bands, buffets, and massages) at the Qualcomm Center in California, as opposed to what life was like in the Superdome.

Oh and a quick word of CAUTION:
Be careful "sleepytime" cheney is going hunting this weekend.

Have a Happy Halloween!

**the first spell check suggestion at for ahmadinejad is "hitler". I'm not kidding.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gore (Green is the New Black)

Not since former President Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize have I been so interested in the esteemed award's recipient, but when word started to come out last week that former Vice President Al Gore was a front runner, a smile ran to my face. Then today it was announced that Al Gore and the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were the winners of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Al Gore's recent work on the unique and gathering threat of a worldwide climate crisis and what we, as humans, can do to slow or maybe reverse it's current trajectory reinforces what I firmly believe. Al Gore is more focused, and powerful, outside of elected office than in it. Gore has been a passionate environmentalist longer than he has been in the national spotlight. His book "Earth in Balance" (1992) remains one of my favorite environmental texts. It's right up there with "The Lorax". Though they did manage to defend the air we breath, the water we drink, and the land on which we live from industrial and downright Anti-environmental attacks, the Clinton Administration didn't do much on the Offense when it came to environmental or energy policy. I don't blame Al Gore completely for this, but it was very disappointing at the time. Now that his attention is focused back on his passion and not in all the directions the Number 2 man in the free world is pulled, he is much more effective.

That being said, with few detractors, Al Gore has been and remains on the forefront of environmental science and more specifically global warming, or as he likes to call it "the coming climate crisis". The Academy Award winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" (see link to the left) chronicles a touring slide show on the subject that Gore had presented for years before movie cameras showed up. He co-founded Generation Investment Management which invests in sustainability research and sustainable development, proving that environmental policy does not have to be at odds with economic policy. His success has been instrumental in what looks to be somewhat of a ground swell of a new "green" movement. His Live Earth concert was an important part of a recent greening of big ticket concerts. Simple ideas like volunteers manning the "compost, recyclable, and landfill" cans and compostable beer cups made from corn or sugar cane make the foot print of festival concerts that much smaller. His carbon calculator calculates how big your carbon foot print is and gives you options on how you can offset it. With the change of a light bulb or having one vegan day a week he and his instruct us how little changes made by many can make a difference.

Why so many don't want to make simple changes that would reduce our dependency on foreign oil, reduce the pollution we breathe, reduce the cost of their electric bill and the cost they pay at the pump is beyond me. I guess changing or even questioning the current environmental or energy policy is anti-american left wing nutty liberal craziness, even if it does sound a lot like common sense. It is good to see more and more talking and acting "green". Maybe it really is the new black.

Heckuva job Al! Keep doing what you're doing. And don't run for president.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Change in America.

Here in America, we are for human rights, even for the worst of humans. Here in America we are for free speech even, and especially, if that speech is offensive. Here in America we believe in helping those who need help. We are a melting pot of different and diverse cultures. We are at the forefront of science and technology, ingenuity and know how. We are a beacon of hope and opportunity. America leads by example. This is My America. A country created by the People and for the People. Problem is, the existence of My America seems about as real as Abbie Hoffman's "Woodstock Nation".

The new America pounds rationalizations for torture into the hearts and minds of Americans, tugging at Our lowest human impulses. The new America confuses American flag pins with patriotism. The new America privatizes the military without holding contractors accountable for murder, grand theft, or incompetence. The new America supports the troops by lengthening their tours, shortening their rests, and cutting their benefits. The new America spies on its own citizens. The new American scares its citizens into thinking that their rights are privileges. The new America lets the president act like a king. The new America scoffs at science. The new America leads by force and condemns any nation who follows its example. The new America doesn't care what the rest of the world thinks. It would rather insult those with opposing views (freedom fries) than discuss those views. The new America helps those that have and looks further down on the have-nots.

I do not hate America. I love America. I remember what happened on September 11, 2001. I was standing across the Hudson River, watching, while it was happening. That cursed day, that cursed attack is not a reason to throw away everything America stands for. There's is a sticker on my door that reads "Our grief is not a cry for war". What is stronger, standing up and saying "We will not be deterred. Our way of life will not change, because of your brutality" or saying "We will become brutal, we will give up rights and freedoms, we will live in fear of the next attack"?

Our leaders can not be trusted to bring America back. They are either too conniving or too afraid. The change has to come from the People. Until it does, the light at the end of the tunnel is only going to get dimmer. It's not easy to pay attention to the war or poverty instead of the latest reality show results. It's hard to pay attention to what Our leaders are doing when there is new "news" about an amateur porn video star marrying another amateur porn video star. It's easier to keep up on the custody battle of a former child pop star whose career has gone south than it is to think about health care coverage for everyone American.

But it's up to Us. We can sit back, watching the world go by on Our television or we can act. I vote for action.

"Change does not happen from the top down. It happens from the bottom up"
-Senator Barack Obama in NYC 9/27/7.

Gore to come later.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Pro-Death, Anti-Health

$200 Billion more for war THIS YEAR is fine with bush (Especially because it's all borrowed money. Somebody else will pay the debt later.), but $35 Billion over 5 YEARS for expanding health care by 4 Million children is not. He uses his fourth veto on it.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Broken (Where have all the balls gone?)

"Our politics are broken" Senator Barack Obama told the thousands crammed into Washington Square Park. A fact that most of us already knew. Unfortunately, that's not all that's broken. Students are being tased for asking questions of their leaders. Our Country arrogantly insults adversarial world leaders. In Congress, the US House voted against free speech/press and the Senate voted for a possible backdoor into another war. It's getting easier and easier to see just how broken things are.

Neither john kerry nor anyone else in the auditorium moved to help a student while he screamed as "security" man handled and then tased him for asking about 2004 voter suppression, kerry's membership in the Skull and Bones Society at Yale and the IMPEACHment of george bush. Not even a "STOP!" from the Senator who once stood up to His leaders in an attempt to end an unjust war. Just a barely audible "i'd like to answer the question." Why expect anything more from one of the many toothless elected officials who sit in Our Halls of Congress? A vote against!?!?!?! Never mind free speech, freedom of the press, and the fact that NY Times, Inc. can put whatever ad in their paper they want. Let's talk about faux news insulting the generals who are speaking out against the little tyrant in the White House. How about the inaction of Congress on the infamous "swiftboaters"? Better yet let's have a vote condemning blackwater for mowing down civilians in Iraq (the pentagon just gave them a new contract) . Or condemning Halliburton and the countless other companies moving their corporations, and the little taxes they pay, to foreign countries. How about a vote on reducing the troops in Iraq? Oh wait...

Last week Congress had three votes that damn near sent me through the roof. One was the legislation. The second was on the amendment proposed by Senator Levin (one of the few with balls in Our legislature) "To provide for a reduction and transition of United States forces in Iraq". It received a vote of 47 to 47. That's right. Six Senators didn't vote. I've written them all and await their form letters. The democrats won in 2006, because We the People wanted a Change in policy in Iraq, not more political eggshell walking. US soldier and Iraqi civilian deaths are down in September to a level not seen since... last year. This is a good thing. But after 4 and a half years, the lives of 4,800+ soldiers, and $450,000,000,000.00, it's too little, too late. As Senator Joe Biden (another with huevos) recently put it, "We shouldn't be there".

Now for the next war We shouldn't Start. Iran says they have started a nuclear program (no missiles yet). Reason for sanctions? Surgical missile strikes? War? Sure, as soon as the United States lets the UN inspectors into all of Our military and weapon production facilities, and We get rid of Our 10,000 nuclear warheads. But then people argue that "Iran's brand has been found on weapons in Iraq". Well, I bet Russia's brand can be found too, and saudi arabia's and, that's right, Ours. Remember we were backing saddam against Iran, back when he was using chemical weapons on them. I wonder where he got those? Iran's president ahmadinejad came to the US recently to speak at the UN. I guess it used to make sense that the world peace keeping organization was in Our country. The world leader wasn't allowed to travel more than 25 miles from the UN, was not allowed to pay his respects at "ground zero" (Remember the candle light vigils in Tehran after 9/11 ?), and was refused a meeting with bush. Our failure in chief gave a speech with barely a mention of the war he started in Iraq or the the one he, and his, want to start in Iran. At least he didn't mispronounce anything. The phonetically spelled out speech turned out to be a good idea after all. Even crazy border wall builder pat buchanan asks "Does this generation possess the gravitas to lead the world?" in his piece "Infantile Nation".

There was a time when leaders had the courage to meet with and talk to Our adversaries, as well as Our allies. Nixon went to Russia as they were arming Vietnam. He met with mass murdering mao. Eisenhower met with kruschev. And these adversaries had committed actual documented atrocities. Einstein once said "Force attracts men of low morality". It takes courage and principle to use diplomacy with adversaries. Think of the school yard. It's what comes to my mind with all the name calling going on. What does a bully do when frustrated by an argument he is either not winning or is over his head? Does he think? Does he discuss? Take pause? No, he punches his way to victory. Argument ended, but of course not resolved. The jackals that have run this Country for the last six are dying for a reason to throw the first punch.

"Change does not happen from the top down. It happens from the bottom up." Senator and hopeful presidential hopeful Barack Obama in Washington Square Park last week.

"Childrens do learn" president and former Yale cheerleader george bush junior speaking about his no child left behind program.

A quick Follow up:
It's nice to see people are reading these things from time to time. A few friends have responded to Monday's "Broken (Where have all the balls gone?)" and I would like to just clear a couple things up. It was not my intention to "compare" the US to Iran. I was just calling some attention to the hypocrisy of having the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and saying other countries can't have a nuclear weapon. We are obviously a freer nation. I'm an example of that freedom. We are not a nation lead by religious zealots who believe that their god is the only god and all non-believers should be smited, or is it smote? God Bless America! I am also no fan of the Iranian President (I'm not really a fan of any foreign leader), and it was not my intention to defend him. My critique was with the lack of respect towards a world leader with whom we should be diplomatically trying to avoid war. I can't help it, I think war should be the last resort. Not to mention how good diplomacy seems to be working in ridding North Korea of their nuclear facitilties. That being said I did a little research.

Did you know that the words "wipe Israel off the map" never came out of his mouth and is just an interesting/propagandic translation of something he was quoting? I did find a convincing page on his involvement in the taking of US hostages in 1979 (I don't really see the resemblance past the beard and hair, but it is pretty damn compelling). I wonder if that means reagan negotiated with him for their release.