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    04 February 2006

    The Situation in Afghanistan

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    Fighting has flared through Southern Afghanistan in recent days targeting government offices. Over 30 insurgent and police dead. Forces numbering 200+ on either side. US involvement.

    Meanwhile, British forces show apprehension upon entering the theater, and the despotic city-state of Kabul can't extend its influence out to help people in the hinterlands suffering through 2 weeks of snow and cold.

    Posted by Geoff

    What a Boehner

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    So, the Republicans are having a little ethics trouble and they chose to replace Tom Delay with John Boehner. Are you telling me there are no untainted Republican congressmen? There's nobody better than this guy to cleanse the Republican Party? With just a cursory look at the guy we see that John Boehner handed out checks from the tobacco industry to members on the House floor at a time when lawmakers were considering eliminating a tobacco subsidy, took $65,000 from Sallie Mae while writing student loan legislation and Republican representative Chris Shays says, "The problem John faces is that he's so close to K Street; that's the challenge he's got".

    Does anyone remember the "Contract with America"? Boehner couldn't have forgotten already! He championed the darn thing!

    Here are some excerpts from a document whose purpose is "to restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives":

    1. THE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT: A balanced budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out- of-control Congress, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.

    * FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
    * SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;
    * FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
    * SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
    * EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.

    Seriously folks, if you have a chance read over the Contract with America. There's some good stuff in there. Heck, the Democrats could take about half of it verbatim and use it as a reform platform. Or maybe the Republicans could finally get around to doing what they said they'd do a decade ago?

    03 February 2006

    Get a little Progressive guys

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    So, the Muslim world is up in arms because of few barely hilarious comics (see below). Because these comics have been pretty hard to find since this shiessstorm started, I figured you'd like to see [some of them]. Granted, a few of the cartoons are obvious attempts to provoke. The most offensive thing here is that they aren't funny! If you're going to cause an international furor while denegrating a religion, you've got to at least be funny, if not side-splitting! Muslims went bonkers because it is against their faith to create any image of Muhammed. Is it not against their faith to saw off a captive's head in HIS name? Muslims, the Koran is not much different than the Torah or the Bible. It is time for you to bring your interpretation of scripture from the 16th century to the 21st. Although it is plainly stated in the Bible that we shall stone to death blashphemers (Leviticus 24:16) and kill all those who talk back to their parents (Leviticus 20:9), not even the most conservative Christians are cool with that anymore (not even Pat Robertson!). So anyways, we used to burn witches and legitimize slavery with the Bible, but we moved forward progressively. It is time for you Muslims to get a little progressive yourselves.

    Image hosting by Photobucket
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    -Bill [pic links fixed by Geoff]

    It should be noted that progressive Arabs have been vocal about the outrage and pleading for everyone to calm down. - Geoff

    Al Jazeera's response:
    Image hosting by Photobucket

    Should be noted that fundamental Islamists prohibit the depiction of any religious figure; Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, or any other faith.

    For more check this out.

    - Geoff

    Premeditated Domestic Espionage

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    Just like the war on Iraq, the domestic spying (that has become so common) was pushed 3 decades ago by...

    Cheney and Rummy
    An intense debate erupted during the Ford administration over the president's powers to eavesdrop without warrants to gather foreign intelligence, according to newly disclosed government documents. George H.W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney are cited in the documents.

    The roughly 200 pages of historic records obtained by The Associated Press reflect a remarkably similar dispute between the White House and Congress fully three decades before President Bush's acknowledgment he authorized wiretaps without warrants of some Americans in terrorism investigations.

    "Yogi Bera was right: It's deja vu all over again," said Tom Blanton

    Posted by Geoff

    Pat Buchanan on Bush's Foreign Policy

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    From the Conservative weekly rag, Human Events Online
    Why would a president use his State of the Union to lash out at a school of foreign policy thought that has had zero influence in his administration? The answer is a simple one, but it is not an easy one for Bush to face: His foreign policy is visibly failing, and his critics have been proven right.

    But rather than defend the fruits of his policy, Bush has chosen to caricature critics who warned him against interventionism. Like all politicians in trouble, Bush knows that the best defense is a good offense.

    Having plunged us into an unnecessary war, Bush now confronts the real possibility of strategic defeat and a failed presidency. His victory in Iraq, like the wars of Wilson and FDR, has turned to ashes in our mouths. And like Truman's war in Korea and Kennedy's war in Vietnam, Bush's war has left America divided and her people regretting he ever led us in. But unlike the world wars, Korea and Vietnam, Bush cannot claim the enemy attacked us and we had no choice. Iraq is Bush's war. Isolationists had nothing to do with it. To a man and woman, they opposed it.

    He's got it about right, but Vietnam never attacked us.

    Posted by Geoff

    02 February 2006

    BREAKING: Blair-Bush tried to coax Saddam into conflict

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    This is breaking out of The UK tonight. Another memo of a late January conversation between President Bush and Prime Minister Blair indacates a comitment to war on Iraq no matter what; meaning with or without WMD. It also indicated that Bush desired to coax Iraq into a conflict by flying a UN disguised spy plane over the State. More...
    A memo of a two-hour meeting between the two leaders at the White House on January 31 2003 - nearly two months before the invasion - reveals that Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second UN resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons programme.
    The memo seen by Prof Sands reveals:

    · Mr Bush told Mr Blair that the US was so worried about the failure to find hard evidence against Saddam that it thought of "flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft planes with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours". Mr Bush added: "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach [of UN resolutions]".

    · Mr Bush even expressed the hope that a defector would be extracted from Iraq and give a "public presentation about Saddam's WMD". He is also said to have referred Mr Blair to a "small possibility" that Saddam would be "assassinated".

    · Mr Blair told the US president that a second UN resolution would be an "insurance policy", providing "international cover, including with the Arabs" if anything went wrong with the military campaign, or if Saddam increased the stakes by burning oil wells, killing children, or fomenting internal divisions within Iraq.

    · Mr Bush told the prime minister that he "thought it unlikely that there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups". Mr Blair did not demur, according to the book.

    That last point really gets me. Anyone who thought the aftermath in Iraq would be stable was either another ingorant American that believes anything or a liar; either of which the President has proven to be capable of.

    Posted by Geoff

    We Live in a Fascist Nation, That Sides With Iran

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    Or maybe a totalitarian or authoritarian. But it's not the nation it was a decade ago, that's for sure.

    Why? Well we, the US, just sided with Iran and the Sudan among others to ban gay groups from joining the UN as consultants.
    In a surprising reversal, the United States voted with Iran and other anti-gay countries at the United Nations to deny observer status to two gay rights groups at the world body.

    The UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations of the United Nations Economic and Social Council voted January 23, 10-5 with three abstentions to deny the International Lesbian and Gay Association of Brussels and the Danish National Association for Gays and Lesbians of Denmark consultive status at the UN.

    Such status, which is enjoyed by over 3,000 NGOs around the world, allows access to UN proceedings, presence at conferences, and the right to propose agenda items.
    The resolution to reject was put forth by Iran. Joining them and the U.S. in support of it were Cameroon, China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Iran and Zimbabwe in particular are among the world's most GLBT-oppressive nations in the world.

    Land of the free...

    Posted by Geoff

    The Next Representative of SC District 1 - Randy Matta

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    Seems like a good guy, although he wouldn't have to do much to get my vote against Brown.

    Speaking of Brown, he has his own blog, check it out.

    Still on Brown, here are some quotes of and about him:
    "Henry is from the old school of `politics as usual' that just doesn't work today. He holds himself above scrutiny and is afraid to come out and debate the issues. He admits to letting others dictate his votes...All he does is follow along with what the Republican leadership wants him to do."

    - - Republican Bob Batchelder in The State, 5/25/02. More.

    "Henry's had a hard time catching on to a lot of things; give him a little time."

    -- U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings on Brown's performance in Congress, Oct. 31, 2001. More.

    "I think that I'm a team player. Unless it's completely contrary to my line of thinking, I won't go against the leadership."

    -- Henry Brown after being sworn in on Jan. 3, 2001. Source: The Post and Courier, 1/4/01

    "I'm confused as to why we need a minimum wage."

    -- Source: AARP candidate forum, North Charleston, S.C., 10/6/00

    provided by www.abouthenrybrown.com

    Brown and corruption? Well, truth is he's cleaner than most of the Republican Congresmen from SC. But he did accept $5000 from DeLay's PAC, which I believe does (or will) have a connection to Abramoff. Truth is he's never had much of an opposition, so he didn't need the money. But this time he'll have Mr. Matta and another Repub likely. He's old also so he may pack it up.

    For more on Randy Matta visit his site (issues page). He's asking for support, cash and volunteers, so dig deep!

    Posted by Geoff

    01 February 2006

    Drinking Liberally - Charleston, SC

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    How can you tell when King George is lying?
    His lips are moving.

    He said the "state of the Union is strong."
    He did not tell the truth about American acts of torture.
    He did not vow responsibility to the people before his greed and thirst for power. He did not call for accountability for past acts through an independent investigation.
    He did not define a plan that will finally do something for the 46 million Americans who lack health insurance.
    He did not ensure that torture in our names as Americans would never happen gain.
    He did not ensure retirement security for every American.

    While I'm filling up my car with some switchgrass, we hope you're making plans to join us for Drinking Liberally this week. Anybody who's been the past couple of Thursdays will have to agree the place has been hoppin'!
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    We've got the Army Men Project coming together. In March to commemorate the third anniversary of the war, DL Charleston will be taking part in a nationwide event to spread the plastic everywhere! Check it out for yourself and bring your ideas: www.mouthswideopen.org

    Bowling Libs are growing in number - Six bowlers turned out for the good times last week. This Friday we'll do it again. If you want a piece of this action, pass Larry a note at Voodoo Thursday or shoot him an email: larry_carter_center at yahoo dot com

    Drinking Liberally now offers social space for progressive pint-pourers in 131 locations across America. And to think ... we have one right here in the Holy City!

    Voodoo Lounge
    15 Magnolia Dr
    Every Thursday
    5:30 pm until the thoughts run dry

    Bowling Liberally
    Elks Lodge
    Sam Rittenberg
    Friday night
    7:30 until 11 (if you want a chance to win $$)
    $1.75 games, free shoes, $1 beer
    FOR MORE INFO, CATCH'EM AT VOODOO THURSDAY OR EMAIL LARRY AT larry_carter_center at yahoo dot com

    31 January 2006

    Bush Has A Lot On The Line Tonight

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    Says Josh Marshal
    It seems worth noting that last year's State of the Union address was the kick-off, the beginning of the downhill slide that the president continued on for the rest of the year. He set his legislative sights on privatizing Social Security and then proceeded to lose that battle after a multi-month barnstorming tour around the country.

    From there it was into the Fitzgerald investigation, into Katrina and then Abramoff. The key development came early when members of the opposition united against him and then members of his own party refused to stand with him.

    The president has been trying to overcome that pattern, reverse the slide for months. But his poll numbers seem stock near rock bottom, at 39% according to today's NBC/WSJ poll.

    He has to hit some big hit to reverse the pattern of slide and stumble. But the proposals he appears poised to announce aren't ones with much public support. And the members of his party in Congress, though eager to see him reverse his decline, are mainly looking to protect themselves in the face of the Abramoff Investigations.

    The Prof. has a list of things that won't be on the table tonight. Some of them seem pretty important
    1. US economic growth during the last quarter was an anemic 1.1%, the worst in 3 years.

    2. The US inflation rate has jumped to 3.4 percent, the highest rate in 5 years.

    3. The number of daily attacks in Iraq rose from 52 in December, 2004 to 77 in December, 2005.
    5. Increases in American consumer spending come from borrowing.

    6. The $320 - $400 bilion deficits run by the Bush administration may push up the cost of mortgages and loans.
    9. In fact, The US and Iran are tacit allies in Iraq.

    Posted by Geoff

    30 January 2006

    The True Conservative Bloggers

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    You may often hear about the evil liberal blogger and their portrayal of Bush as a fascist, or claims that Bill Frist is a cat-eater, or the popular 2000 hypotheses; but little is said of the conservative bloggers. They emerge quite often but their critics are few. Having lived in this environment for some time now I've met my share of conservative bloggers and, like us on the left, most of them are OK, but I've had a few sand fights. But it is time to display some of these so-called Patriots have to say about fellow American Jill Carol. Today, in response to the latest tape of the abducted and captive reporter, some of Americas finest stepped foward to provide comfort... for themselves. Before I share some of their views I must warn you that they've been duped. They've bought into the liberal media BS pushed by Bill, Rush, and every damn ignorant fool that buys that crap. They think anyone with a story that doesn't fit their dreams is a liberal operative. This is a pretty-sad top 8:

    Why should she be upset --- She's among friends...

    I have NO sympathy for her -- sorry
    3 posted on 01/30/2006 6:08:01 PM PST by conservativehusker (GO BIG RED!!!!)

    I'm sorry, but for some reason I'm not convinced she's not faking it.

    I've seen both videos. In the first, I did not see any fear in her eyes.

    In the second, she seemed to me to be acting.

    I base all this in the context of having watched other hostage videos and saw plenty of fear in the eyes of the captives.
    10 posted on 01/30/2006 6:21:38 PM PST by FReepaholic (Proud participant in FR mass hysteria since 1998)

    My daughter would have more brains than this women shows....isn't it funny how a pro terrorist journalist can get herself into this trouble..with the very animals she has supported - then we are supposed to feel sorry for her because "what if it was my daughter" well it's not...why should I have any sympathy for a person who gives aid and comfort to the very people who have sworn to kill everyone or enslave I love
    16 posted on 01/30/2006 6:28:20 PM PST by conservativehusker (GO BIG RED!!!!)

    Quite bizarre how all these do-gooder lefties interferring in Iraq are getting kidnapped by the people they want to "enlighten"!
    18 posted on 01/30/2006 6:46:00 PM PST by Critical Bill (An awareness of the Muslim contradiction must gnaw in even the dullest fundamentalist brain.)

    lets hope she looks at this as a learning experience...
    20 posted on 01/30/2006 7:00:31 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist ©®)

    I was rereading what I posted and I came down kinda hard..I didn't mean to upset anyone...I just really get angry at these pro-terrorist people...her writings and her fathers comments tell me anything I need or want to know about this women...
    21 posted on 01/30/2006 7:03:13 PM PST by conservativehusker (GO BIG RED!!!!)

    Regardless of her political inclinations, were the Islamofascists to execute her, it would confirm the need to invade their countries and kill their leaders - lets not make the same mistake we made in the 20's and 30's.

    22 posted on 01/30/2006 7:11:14 PM PST by spanalot

    She's implicit in the whole thing, when she's released she will spend the next couple of years denouncing Bush and anything western - and spending her cut of the ransom money.

    23 posted on 01/30/2006 7:16:00 PM PST by norton

    Sorry you had to see that, but the truth sometimes hurts.

    Posted by Geoff

    The Good Part of Iraq

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    As written by Juan Cole

    The complexities of Iraq are underlined by the increasingly flourishing condition of the holy Shiite city of Najaf south of Baghdad, which is fairly secure and peaceful. Its pharmacies have medicines, it has 20 hours of electricity a day, and US troops withdrew last September to a base well away from the city, reducing the chance of provocations. Plans are going forward for an airport. Some 3 million pilgrims a year are already coming, mostly from Iran but also from Lebanon, Kuwait, Pakistan and elsewhere, to visit the shrine of Imam Ali. The combination of resources from Iran and from the wealthy merchants and shopkeepers of the city, the calming influence of Grand Ayatollah Sistani, who resides there, the loyalty of the tribal levies to Sistani, the induction of members of the Badr Corps paramilitary into the provincial police and government military, and the defeat of the radical Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr in August 2004 by the joint efforts of Sistani, the other grand ayatollahs and the US Marines, have all contributed to this current flourishing situation. Ironically, Najaf's success is a rebuke to Paul Bremer, who once cancelled an election there because he feared Iranian influence in the city. In the end, Iran wins this one.

    AP explains the long relationship between the Iraqi Shiites and their Iranian co-religionists.
    Posted by Geoff

    Brown has a Challenger in '06!!!

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    This is sweet! A socially progressive but fiscally conservative candidate will be running against the culture of corruption embraced by Henry Brown in '06. As soon as Randy, a College of Charleston alum, gets situated we'll post links and other goodies!
    For the first time in six years, incumbent Rep. Henry Brown, R-S.C., has Democratic opposition in the 1st District, which runs along the coast from south of Charleston through the Grand Strand.

    Real estate investor Randy Maatta, a certified public accountant who has worked for the Federal Communications Commission and the State Department, will formally announce for the seat next week.

    "I am a conservative, first and foremost, and I am a new breed of Democrat," Maatta told The Associated Press on Thursday. "What you're going to find in this election cycle and the next election cycle (is) a wave of new breed Democrats who are ... social progressives but fiscal conservatives."
    He said that affordable health care, fiscal responsibility and job creation will be his top priorities if elected to Congress.

    "The country is just heading in the wrong direction," he said. "We're bogged down in a war in Iraq with no end in sight. We're facing deficits as far as the eye can see. Our national debt has increased by 60 percent since 2001."

    Posted by Geoff

    29 January 2006

    Separate Church and State? Ha!

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    The leader of Hamas won't support a secular government because it "breeds homosexuality, corruption and AIDS". Sounds like someone the Christian Right would get along with. Pat Robertson & Jerry Falwell have much more in common with these guys than most regular Americans. See, we're not all that different!


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