April 2007

President George W. Bush poses with flight deck crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln May 1, 2003.  White House photo by Paul MorseFour years ago on May 1 was when Georgie President Bush played dress-up and landed on a giant ship in the middle of the ocean right near San Diego. The banner behind him read “Mission Accomplished” and he said this:

My fellow Americans:  Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. (Applause.) And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country. In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world.

So the question is, what exactly was the mission? And did they accomplish it?

If it was to topple the government and grab secure the oil, then yes. If it was to topple Saddam, yes. If it was to give billions of dollars in contracts to their corporate friends, yes. Congratulations on a job well done!!! YEAY!!! (Now, why are you still there?)

But, if the purpose was to find WMD’s, then no, they didn’t accomplish the mission. If it was to bring democracy to the middle east, no. If it was to make the world safer, no. If it was to find Al Qaeda, no. (They weren’t there then.) If the mission was to fight terrorism, no. To punish Saddam for 9-11 (which he had nothing to do with), also no.


So should I congratulate Bush or ask him to re-define the mission? Or just ask him to get our troops out of Iraq?

Every once in a while you hear these studies about how little Americans know about geography. I have always been pretty good at that and I like studying about other places even though I have never yet left Texas. Saw this map the other day and started to wonder if this really IS how Americans see the world. If so, we should all be really worried!

(Can’t wait to see what my World Geog teacher thinks of it!)

American world map

There is not enough in the media about the soldiers who died in our war of choice and occupation of Iraq. This tells the story of one of those soldiers in the voice of his wife and his little girl. It might make you cry, but that is a good thing. We need to cry about what is happening here.

Like most of my political posts, this is cross-posted at Political Teen Tidbits and at YouThinkLeft.

donate bloodHave you seen this in the American press? The world certainly notices the effects of our government’s policy. Do we?

Youth in Moscow donate blood “for victims of American policies”

MOSCOW. April 28 (Interfax) – About 1,000 activists of Russian youth organizations have donated blood in an action being held in front of the U.S. embassy in Moscow on Saturday.

“This blood will be used to form a donor bank for the victims of American aggression,” Anastasiya Suslova, the press secretary of the Nashi movement, told Interfax. The purpose of the action “is to draw the attention of the U.S. State Department and the U.S embassy to consequences of their orders,” she said. The blood donated by young Russians is also intended for those” who will yet suffer from the American struggle for lofty ideals,” she added. The action, in the estimate of law enforcement agencies, involves over 1,000 activists of the Nashi, Young Russia and Mestnye (Locals)youth movements. The U.S. embassy is being guarded by reinforced police squads and riot police. The demonstrators’ conduct is absolutely proper, polices aid.

Electronic voting machineThe Republican Party plays dirty when it comes to elections.  In 2000, they STOPPED the Florida vote count and have been disenfranchising black voters for years in many places.  Bobby Kennedy Jr has had two important articles recently about election fraud.  (Will The Next Election Be Hacked and Was the 2004 Election Stolen?”)  Now there is a new article in the Free Press that talks about four different ways that the election might have been stolen.    In the article, Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman connect the 5 million missing RNC emails to the election results and talk about the RNC email servers and the official Ohio election servers being housed in the same place and run by the same company.Here are some of the interesting things in the article itself:

E-mails being sought from Karl Rove’s computers, and recent revelations about critical electronic conflicts of interest, may be the smoking guns of Ohio’s stolen 2004 election. A thorough recount of ballots and electronic files. preserved by a federal lawsuit, could tell the tale.


 But two felony convictions have thus far resulted from what prosecutors have called the “rigging” of the recount in Cuyahoga County (where Bennett has been forced to resign his chairmanship of the board of elections). More are likely to follow.

The practices that led to these convictions were apparently repeated in many of Ohio’s 88 counties. The order to violate the law—or at least tacit approval to do so—is almost certain to have come from Blackwell.

Please this article in the Free Press for more information.

TV clipart For the first time since I watched Sesame Street regularly, I watched a PBS show for an hour and a half tonight and it was really wonderful. The show is BUYING THE WAR: and you can click the link to watch it, read the transcript, or comment on it.
According to PBS,

“Buying the War” examines the press coverage in the lead-up to the war as evidence of a paradigm shift in the role of journalists in democracy and asks, four years after the invasion, what’s changed? “More and morethe media become, I think, common carriers of administration statements and critics of the administration,” says THE WASHINGTON POST’s Walter Pincus. “We’ve sort of given up being independent on our own.”

newspapersI watched this while blogging with a group of adults who were also watching, and we all agreed that it was a great explanation of how the press didn’t do its job in questioning the reasons for the Iraq war, the intelligence about the Iraq war, or even the existence of protests against the war.
Knut Wicksell, one of the people I was blogging with said this:

“Bill Moyers is doing a great service to this nation by pointing out (a) that the war was sold by Goebbels-like propaganda, and (b) that the majority of the public were against it until they were subjected to it, and (c) that a large number of us demonstrated against it, but the press refused to cover.

“This war is a moral as well as a strategic catastrophe. We are unable to undo the strategic catastrophe and will simply have to live with the fact, with all its implications, which are many. But the moral ones can be saved just a little by the fact that many of us resisted. And Moyers is testifying to that resistance.”

I agree completely. Please go check out this great TV program.

Like most of my posts, this is cross-posted at Political Teen Tidbits and at YouThinkLeft.

Read this diagnosis and see if you can figure out what the mental illness is. Also, does this remind you of anyone in public office in the United States?

Diagnostic criteria

At least five of the following are necessary for a diagnosis (as with many DSM diagnoses, they must form a pervasive pattern; for example, a person who shows these criteria only in one or two relationships or situations would not properly be diagnosed with NPD):

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by other special people
  4. requires excessive admiration
  5. strong sense of entitlement
  6. takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. lacks empathy
  8. is often envious or believes others are envious of him or her
  9. arrogant affect.

The diagnosis is for Narcissistic Personaility Disorder and is from Wikipedia.

Who did you guess? Leave an answer in the comment section.

I love these pix.  Someone sent them to me as a series but I put them together as a comic.


Cat and mouse are friends

Every time the Bush administration has proposed and passed a new initiative, it seems that the end result is the opposite of whatever they named it to begin with. Here are a few that I came up with that turned out to serve corporate America rather than the US citizens, in spite of what the name implied.

Let’s see how many of these the Democratic congress can overturn.

Republican vocabulary chart new and revised

Chart revised 4/22/07.  Additional terms and definitions are welcome.

I would love to give you a play-by-play accounting of today’s hearings in the US Senate, but unfortunately I was sitting at a desk wasting time on the 4000th standardized test of academic career. So, the best I can offer is to tell you where you might find good coverage in case you too were unable to see the hearings.

http://www.slate.com/id/2164307/nav/tap1/ Great overview

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/04/19/gonzo-the-burdens-not-with-me/ A video clip of Senator Schumer asking questions

http://www.slate.com/id/2164652/pagenum/all/#page_start Good summary and a good graph that I include below

http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/01/06/gonzales.hearing/index.html CNN summary

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/04/19/sen-tom-coburn-r-ok-to-gonzales/ Video of Senator Coburn telling Gonzales he should resign.

AG chart from Senator Whitehouse

Jon Stewart and Stephen ColbertYou know how you keep hearing that 31% or so Americans still support Bush? And then you shake your head and ask yourself, “But WHY? Don’t they know any better?” Turns out …. they don’t!

Now these may not be exactly the same 31%, but it turns out that 31% of American adults do not know the name of the vice-President. Also, according to a Pew survey,

Told that Shia was one group of Muslims struggling
in Iraq, only 32% of the total sample could name “Sunni” as the other
key group.

The best of the findings though is that

those who scored the highest were regular watchers of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and Colbert Report.

Oh good grief! The news has gotten so bad that fake news on a comedy channel is better than the regular news.

Scariest thing? All those uninformed adults have the right to vote, and only one or two of the YouThinkLeft writers are old enough for that right. But we can all name Dick Cheney and tell you that the other group of Muslims in Iraq is the Sunni.

Like most of my posts, this is cross-posted at Political Teen Tidbits and at YouThinkLeft.


A28 Impeach SpaceSome progressives have been wanting to impeach Bush and Cheney for
several years now.  Many are considering the possibility, and quite a
few want Nancy Pelosi to put it back on the table. A28 ImpeachSpace is organizing impeachment events for  April 28, 2007 and is also  hosting blogs and discussion groups about impeachment.  Click here if you are interested.

I LOVE political cartoons!

Alberto Gonzales is digging his own grave in this one.


And this one seems to be asking if the American people (or at least the ones on TV) are outraged at the right things.


no comment
Leave Iraq cartoon

Here’s one from Robert Arail about the department of transportation but it could just as easily be about the whole government these days.

DOT cartoon

This is yesterday’s political cartoon from Ben Sargent. I like it a lot because a new war czar will no more do Bush’s job of commander in chief than he will do the boy’s job of taking out the trash or finishing homework.

No homework czar

You can find many more cartoons by Ben Sargent daily in the Austin American Statesman.

This last one is just plain offensive. Henry Payne seems to have not noticed that (A) House Speaker Pelosi cleared her trip with the White House and (B) many republican congressmen met with the Syrian president as well, at the same time and the following week. Also, Bin Ladin??? Huh??? If he is in Syria, what are we doing in Iraq and Afghanistan? And, lastly, the bed is offensive.

offensive cartoon about Pelosi

Last week I shared some words we all need to learn to survive in the Bush years, and many of you suggested some additions. Here are some that a friend pointed me to that are from the TOP SECRET REPUBLICAN DICTIONARY.

alternative energy sources n.-New locations to drill for gas and oil.Republican elephant upside down

bankruptcy n.- A means of escaping debt available to corporations but not to poor people.

burning bush” n.- A biblical allusion to the response of the
President of the United States, when asked a question by a journalist who has not been paid to inquire about non-issues.

Cheney, **** n.-The greater of two evils.

class warfare n.- Any attempt to raise the minimum wage.

climate change n- Progress toward the blessed day when the blue states are swallowed by the oceans (Also: global warming).

compassionate conservatism n.-Poignant concern for the very wealthy.

creation science n–Pseudoscience that claims George W. Bush’s resemblance to a chimpanzee is totally coincidental.

DeLay, Tom n.-Past tense of De Lie.

extraordinary rendition n.-Outsourcing torture.

faith n-The belief that the Beatitudes (statements made by JC) include “Blessed are the rich” and “Blessed are the war-makers.”

free markets n.- Halliburton no-bid contracts at taxpayer expense.

girly-men n.-Men who neglect opportunities to grope unwilling women.

God n.-Senior presidential adviser.

growth n.
1. The justification for tax cuts for the rich.
2. What happens to the national debt when policy is made according to Definition 1.

healthy forest n.-No tree left behind.

honesty n.- Lies told in simple declarative sentences
(e.g., “Freedom is on the march”).

House of Representatives n.- Exclusive club; entry fee: $1 million to $5 million (See: Senate).

insanity n.-See: staying the course.

laziness n.-When The Poor are not working.

leisure time n.-When The Wealthy are not working.

liberal(s) n.-Followers of the Antichrist.

No Child Left Behind riff.-There are always jobs in the military.

ownership society n.
1. A civilization where 1% of the population controls 90% of the wealth.
2. A political system where all power is in the hands of the owners.

Patriot Act n.
1. Pre-emptive strike on American freedoms to prevent the terrorists from destroying them first.
2. The elimination of one of the reasons why they hate us.

Patriotism n.- Blindly supprting the actions of the government without question.

pro-life adj.-Valuing human life up until birth.

Senate n.- Exclusive club; entry fee: $10 million to $30 million. (See: House of Representatives).

simplify v.-To cut the taxes of Republican donors.

staying the course interj.; colloquialism.-Continuing to perform the
same actions and expecting different results (See: insanity).

stuff happens interj.; colloquialism.-I don’t have to live in Baghdad.

voter fraud n.-A significant minority turnout.

woman n.-
1. Person who can be trusted to raise a child but can’t be trusted to decide whether or not she wishes to have a child.
2. Person who must have all decisions regarding her reproductive
functions made by men with whom she wouldn’t want to have sex in the
first place.


Boys are Smelly

On average, how long does it take a boy to outgrow this stage?

#2 on BlogMad

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