Monday, October 24, 2005

Say That Again

Say that again!

With charges looming over the administration with regards to the CIA leak which resulted in one of our own agents being outed by the senior office staff of the President and the Vice president Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas brushed aside an indictment for perjury as a “technicality”. Say what? Hold your horses there pardner. This is the squeaky clean, virtuous, values administration; the new way to do bidness, no shenanigans no excuses no evil doing. So what’s a little perjury between friends? Ask Bill Clinton? Other conservatives, like Senator Hutchison, certainly thought it used to be a serious moral issue; one that warranted impeachment charges brought against the last President of the United States. I don’t know about you, but perjury to deflect a look at some personal failing versus perjury to cover up a Federal crime of outing a CIA agent seem to be on two different levels. The former jeopardizes ones soul; the latter jeopardizes ones soul and our National security. Now, I am the first to say that lying is wrong (that’s what perjury is) but not all crimes are equal. Senator Hutchison (R. Texas) would now have us lower the standard of behavior to an actual indictment of a class 1 felony and not to include "technicalities" such as perjury (lying). Kay, where were you for Bill? You could have saved the country $50 million dollars and Bill a lot of nights on the couch.
While we are on the topic of: “Say that again” I heard a speech the other day by W where he was going over the reasons why we invaded Iraq. Included in his airtight case was the reason that "Saddam would not let the inspectors into Iraq to look for weapons of mass destruction before the war." What the hell was Hans Blix, the UN weapons inspector, doing there before the war? The answer is not finding WMD. Not a single reporter picked him up on this false statement. Maybe there is something in the water in Texas. Everyone should send Senator Hutchison and W and while your at it, Tom DeLay, a bottle of Poland Spring water so we can bring them up to the Standard where perjury is never acceptable be it red or blue.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Lets Budget Some Sanity

I know the country is short on cash, or at least us poor folk are. We used to have a surplus expressed in trillions of dollars. Of course most of that money is gone back to the top 1% wealthy elite in the form of tax cuts. They were going to re-invest it so we all could have jobs. Five years later and the number of new jobs created are not keeping pace with the new entrants to the job market. Then there are those weapons of mass destruction we had to find, boy that cost a fortune, so now George has gotten his wish: Starve the beast. There is one small hitch he has made the beast bigger even more voracious. We are all starving right along with the government; well not all, but 99% are starving, that 1% at the top is just fine, thank you very much.
Now, there is a congressional budget fight on how to free up some money to help pay to turn the lights on in Washington DC. So what is the boy wonder and his pals going to do? They are going to cut health care benefits for the elderly, such as Medicaid, along with food stamps, pension guarantees and unemployment insurance programs; hardly a vision of a compassionate conservative. Did it ever occur to these geniuses that they could roll back their tax cut to the top 1% who have more money that the rest of us put together and put the country back on its feet?
I would like to propose a line item in the budget: Sanity as expressed in common sense.
Therefore, I propose we roll back the tax cut or we wont fund the war. I figure that’s a fight worth fighting. Take away all the smoke and mirrors, like evolution, abortion, death penalty, gay marriage all of the wedge issues, lets put them down long enough to get the country back in the black. Lets not ask the most needy and the elderly to support the top 1% wealthiest elite.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


The federal budget shouldn’t be confusing. To de-mystify it we need to ask two questions. What do we want the Government to do for the citizens? What are our priorities? I would rather fight about the very short list of priorities below than Gay marriage, religion in school, abortion and the death penalty. Take back the debate, talk about your national priorities for spending and get the wedge issues off the table, we can always go back to them.

Lets create 3 categories: Essential services at home, Essential foreign spending, and Non-essential services at home.

Here is my list in order of priority: What is yours?

Essential Services at Home
Safety (police and fire)
Public education (tied with safety)
Single payer health insurance (for everyone)
Clean air, clean water
Research for alternative energy sources
Protect the (environment) i.e., natural barriers (Like the wetlands off New Orleans)
Fund pure research projects in the Nations Universities
Public transportation systems
Maintain an all volunteer military

Essential Foreign Spending
Fund the program to collect every loose nuke in the former Soviet Union
Fund the programs in the UN to provide health and education services to the world’s poor
Fund programs in the UN for peace-keeping missions supported by the UN

Non Essential Spending
Highway spending
NASA space missions
Corporate subsidies

Now, get busy talking about things that really matter; make your voice heard and insist on your priorities.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Oil and Information: A scarce Commodity

We pay a price for scarcity. If oil/gas are in short supply then the price goes up. If oil and gas are plentiful then the price goes down. So it is with information, when information is kept secret and in short supply our freedoms shrink. When information flows freely our freedoms expand. Secretive governments tend to be authoritarian governments; authoritarian governments do not like dissent. What's the connection between oil and secrets? Lets roll back the clock to Dick Cheney's secret meetings with the major oil companies prior to the invasion of Iraq. Rather than forgetting about it I would, more than ever, like to know the sum and substance of those meetings. What course was set or discussed that helped the impoverished oil companies to achieve even greater riches on top of the tax cut that lined their pockets. Have you ever received a thank-you note for picking up the tab at tax time or at the pump? Me neither. Cheney argued that the government had the right to secrecy. I thought they worked for us. We have a right to know what is going on especially when we are paying for it in blood and treasure. Did the oil companies get a heads up on the war in Iraq a year in advance so they could arrange to get extra oil tankers to the gulf (it takes 6-12 months to schedule a tanker into a port. Its not like calling a cab). I don't like secrets and I don't like authoritarian governments. I prefer open /transparent government and a democratic discussion on topics of national importance. Energy policy should not be a secret; it is a matter of economic survival and of national importance. How can we have energy independence by 2020 if we allow our government to have secret meetings with corporations and therefore no accountability for the possible consequences of the meetings? Is the line between government and corporations so blurred that it is difficult to know where the policies are made? Consider this: The price of oil is up and the secrecy regarding the energy policy continues, and we are stuck with a bogus energy policy and we are not privy to the plans the administration hatched with the oil companies.