Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Racism in America

It's alive and well. Unfortunately. Obvious examples emanate from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Bill Bennett provides another.

Bennett has made morality and personal responsibility an integral part of the political debate. Bennett portrays liberals as inherently less moral than conservatives, more given to excusing personal weaknesses, and unwilling to confront the vices that destroy families. During the impeachment of Bill Clinton, Bennett was among the president's most unrelenting detractors.

But there's one vice Bennett hasn't attacked...gambling. Perhaps that's because he's a heavy gambler with estimated losses in the millions. Now we also know Bennett is a racist.

Media Matters has the story:

Addressing a caller's suggestion that the "lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30 years" would be enough to preserve Social Security's solvency, radio host and former Reagan administration Secretary of Education Bill Bennett dismissed such "far-reaching, extensive extrapolations" by declaring that if "you wanted to reduce crime ... if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." Bennett conceded that aborting all African-American babies "would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do," then added again, "but the crime rate would go down."

How many Republicans will need to publicly admit their racist views before the average American voter realizes the GOP is inherently racist?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ahoy! It's Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Shiver me timbers, I nearly missed it. It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Arrr!

As noted on their web site, "Talk Like A Pirate Day is an original concept created in a moment of temporary insanity by John Baur and Mark Summers."

Avast, me hearties! Don't be a bilge rat! Smartly grab a bottle o' rum, kick aft, and talk like a pirate. Savvy?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Aha! It's The Sierra Club's Fault!

Unable to effectively blame Louisiana Gov. Blanco for the federal government's slow response to Hurricane Katrina, now the Bush administration (i.e. Karl Rove) are trying to blame environmental groups.

The Clarion-Ledger has details:

The Clarion-Ledger has obtained a copy of an internal e-mail the U.S. Department of Justice sent out this week to various U.S. attorneys' offices: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."

Cynthia Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said Thursday she couldn't comment "because it's an internal e-mail."

Shown a copy of the e-mail, David Bookbinder, senior attorney for Sierra Club, remarked, "Why are they (Bush administration officials) trying to smear us like this?"

Why? Because wingnuts said to:
Whoever is behind the e-mail may have spotted the Sept. 8 issue of National Review Online that chastised the Sierra Club and other environmental groups for suing to halt the corps' 1996 plan to raise and fortify 303 miles of Mississippi River levees in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.

The corps settled the litigation in 1997, agreeing to hold off on some work until an environmental impact could be completed. The National Review article concluded: "Whether this delay directly affected the levees that broke in New Orleans is difficult to ascertain."

The problem with that conclusion?

The levees that broke causing New Orleans to flood weren't Mississippi River levees. They were levees that protected the city from Lake Pontchartrain levees on the other side of the city.

When Katrina struck, the hurricane pushed tons of water from the Gulf of Mexico into Lake Pontchartrain, which borders the city to the north. Corps officials say the water from the lake cleared the levees by 3 feet. It was those floodwaters, they say, that caused the levees to degrade until they ruptured, causing 80 percent of New Orleans to flood.

Bookbinder said the purpose of the litigation by the Sierra Club and others in 1996 was where the corps got the dirt for the project. "We had no objections to levees," he said. "We said, 'Just don't dig film materials out of the wetlands. Get the dirt from somewhere else.' "

If you listen to what some conservatives say about environmentalists, he said, "We're responsible for most of the world's ills."

You might wonder what the Army Corps of Engineers has to say about all this:
Since 1999, corps officials have studied the concept of building huge floodgates to prevent flooding in New Orleans from a Category 4 or 5 hurricane.

Although the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2001 listed a hurricane striking New Orleans as one of the top three catastrophic events the nation could face (the others being a terrorist attack on New York City and an earthquake in San Francisco), funding for corps projects aimed at curbing flooding in southeast Louisiana lagged.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., has said the White House cut $400 million from corps' requests for flood control money in the area.

In fiscal 2006, the corps had hoped to receive up to $10 million in funding for a six-year feasibility study on such floodgates. According to a recent estimate, the project would take 10 years to build and cost $2.5 billion.

But remember, according to Dubya, no one "anticipated the breach of the levees."

Roy Blunt on Katrina

As a follow up to the post below regarding Dubya's efforts to destroy "rebuild" following Katrina, here's what Southwest Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt says:

I am committed to making sure that those affected by this tragedy will have the full support of the Federal government to get the resources they need. It is critical that we respond in a rational organized manner in order to best help those who are suffering.

That includes pushing through more tax cuts for the rich:
The ultimate Republican response to Hurricane Katrina came from House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo. He said Congress should consider tax cuts as a party "stimulus package" in response to Katrina.

It also includes increasing pollution and protecting oil company profits:
House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) today announced the formation of the Gas Price Task force, comprised of Members of Congress and dedicated to immediate action to ease the widespread fuel supply crisis occurring throughout much of the nation.

The task force’s first action was a letter to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commending their prompt actions to provide short-term motor fuel specification waivers and advocating for approval of pending fuel waiver requests, designed to temporarily reduce the number of boutique fuels required throughout the country. These boutique fuels cause the price of gasoline to spike during emergencies, such as Hurricane Katrina, which take refineries that produce the special blends off-line.

“While there is some good news coming out of the Gulf Coast regarding the restoration of crude production, refining capacity, and pipeline transportation, we are concerned that gasoline and diesel fuel inventories have not had the chance to recover enough to allow for the expiration of current waivers or to stop considering additional measures to bring more motor fuel supplies to the market,” wrote Blunt, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and the members of the Task Force.

The Gas Price Task Force, comprised of Blunt and Representatives Vito Fossella (N.Y.), Steve Pearce (NM), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Robin Hayes (hN.C.), Paul Ryan (Wisc.), Jerry Moran (KS), Jack Kingston (GA) and Eric Cantor (Va.), plans to work together on solutions on pricing, supply, and regulatory issues.

“In the wake of the Katrina Disaster, the information drawn from this Task Force will help our members to explain what is happening with gas prices to their constituents while finding reasonable solutions to rising prices, which will help Americans and their families now and in the future,” added Blunt.

I especially like that last part--the information will help explain what is happening with gas prices while finding reasonable solutions. Like lowering emission standards for "boutique fuels required throughout the country." California can certainly handle more pollution.

Note also that the task force is made up of Republicans. Evidently Democrats couldn't possibly come up with reasonable solutions to rising gas prices.

And Roy Blunt wants to make sure only Republican-approved corporations profit from Katrina.
Roy Blunt also said Friday that Gulf States residents who opted out of property insurance must shoulder responsibility for the $200 billion cleanup.

"Frankly, we don't want to send the message here that people who don't have insurance come out of this as well as the people who do have insurance," he said. "We can't teach the wrong lessons here."

Roy Blunt. Compassionate Corporate Lackey.

Missouri can do better than Roy Blunt.

Bush's Priority in NOLA: Cut Wages, Reward Cronies

What was the first thing President Bush did to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina? Cut their wages. On September 8th, Dubya suspended the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 in certain areas directly affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Dubya's action allows companies lining up for a piece of the $200 or $300 billion needed to rebuild the Gulf Coast region to cut the wages of the folks who are actually going to do the work.

It's important to also note that companies connected to Bush and Cheney have already been awarded no-bid contracts in the recovery effort.

At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President George W. Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.

Bechtel National Inc., a unit of San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp., has also been selected by FEMA to provide short-term housing for people displaced by the hurricane. Bush named Bechtel's CEO to his Export Council and put the former CEO of Bechtel Energy in charge of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Experts say it has been common practice in both Republican and Democratic administrations for policy makers to take lobbying jobs once they leave office, and many of the same companies seeking contracts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina have already received billions of dollars for work in Iraq.

Halliburton alone has earned more than $9 billion. Pentagon audits released by Democrats in June showed $1.03 billion in "questioned" costs and $422 million in "unsupported" costs for Halliburton's work in Iraq.

This is the same administration that cannot account for $8.8 (B)billion it transferred to government ministries in Iraq. True, the money reportedly came from revenues from the United Nations' former oil-for-food program, oil sales and seized assets -- all Iraqi money. Still, it's just missing. No record of it. Nearly NINE BILLION DOLLARS. Gone.

But it's not all bad news. As he so often has, Dubya seems to have messed up in his proclamation. According to Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Dubya was in such a hurry to cut victim's wages he failed to follow the law.
The President suspended wage standards for workers on the Gulf Coast before he declared a national emergency. That means he was so focused on cutting the wages of people who'd be returning to the Gulf Coast to rebuild their lives and their communities that, in order to hasten the suspension, he failed to follow the law. And at the same time the White House was cutting workers' wages, it was busy awarding no-bid contracts. The President has proven once again that he's more interested in governing for the few than in governing for all of us.

The President's pay cut affects tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of Americans who desperately need a decent income to rebuild their lives. People working construction jobs in the Gulf Coast might only have earned $7 or $8 in the first place; now, the only protection left for them is the federal minimum wage, which is a disgraceful $5.15 an hour because Republicans repeatedly refuse to increase it.

What the President has done is immoral.

I agree. America can do better than George W. Bush.

Bush Speech: All About Image (Part 2)

Prior to Dubya's reading to the nation speech Thursday I wrote this:

Once again, Dubya is all about the image. Jackson Square, including the St. Louis Cathedral, is one of the oldest sites in New Orleans. It's in the historic French Quarter, it's the spiritual and cultural center of the city. It's also on relatively high ground these days.

What I'd really like to see is for at least one of the networks to have the courage to do a split screen with Bush on one side and images of the parts of New Orleans still under water on the other.

Editorializing? You bet. But what is Bush's speech if not propaganda? Dubya is concerned about his image, not about New Orleans. He's concerned about the hits he's taken in the polls because of the slow response to Katrina.

Now we know it was worse than I anticipated. NBC anchor Brian Williams noted this on his blog:
I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions.

Now for those of you ready to jump on this report because you watched ABC state emphatically that the White House was providing the power for Dubya's little dog and pony show speech: Yes, that is true. But that's not what Brian Williams was blogging about. He was discussing power turned on in the warehouse district (not Jackson Square) so that Dubya's motorcade wouldn't have to drive through dark streets. Then the power went off.

I'm also a bit disturbed by that statement regarding the White House supplying the power for the speech. How many tax dollars did it take to get Dubya and his entourage to New Orleans, prepare the site, set up the equipment (including the flood lights), and tear it down? Why couldn't that money go toward relief efforts? Why didn't Bush speak from the White House?

Because it's all about the image.

America Can Do Better Than George W. Bush.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Comment Spam

I've turned on word verification in the comments section. I've been getting too much spam posted there and am tired of having to delete it. This means that you will have to type in a ramdom word before you can post a comment. Nothing to be concerned about. Just another simple step. Sorry for any inconvenience. Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited by law. Member FDIC. Nothing to see here. Move along. These aren't the droids we're looking for. TTFN.

Bush Speech: All About Image

Dubya is scheduled to speak to the nation on prime-time television tonight. It will be, as usual with Dubya, a carefully choreographed event. No live audience is planned (wouldn't want anyone who disagrees to be in shouting distance) and even the media have been told they won't be allowed to stray from their vans.

I find this report from Nedra Pickler interesting:

It is Bush's first formal prime-time speech during more than two weeks of suffering along the Gulf, with most of the victims chased out by floodwaters in New Orleans. Bush planned to speak from the heart of the French Quarter, while across the city officials were still working to pump out waters and collect bodies left behind.

Bush planned to show sympathy for the misery brought on by the killer storm while charting a hopeful vision for the future. Many people, including members of the president's party, have said he should have given that kind of speech soon after the hurricane made landfall along the coast on Aug. 29. . . .

Rather than speak before a live audience, Bush planned to stand alone and broadcast his message directly into the camera from the evacuated city's historic Jackson Square, according to a White House official speaking on condition of anonymity since the site had not been announced.

The square and its most famed landmark, the St. Louis Cathedral, were on high enough ground to avoid flooding but did not escape damage from Katrina's 145-mph winds. Two massive oak trees outside the 278-year-old cathedral came out by the roots, ripping out a 30-foot section of ornamental iron fence and snapping off the thumb and forefinger of the outstretched hand on a marble statue of Jesus.

Once again, Dubya is all about the image. Jackson Square, including the St. Louis Cathedral, is one of the oldest sites in New Orleans. It's in the historic French Quarter, it's the spiritual and cultural center of the city. It's also on relatively high ground these days.

What I'd really like to see is for at least one of the networks to have the courage to do a split screen with Bush on one side and images of the parts of New Orleans still under water on the other.

Editorializing? You bet. But what is Bush's speech if not propaganda? Dubya is concerned about his image, not about New Orleans. He's concerned about the hits he's taken in the polls because of the slow response to Katrina. As noted at AmericaBlog:
Giving a few well choreographed speeches won't change the fact that Bush stayed on vacation while parts of our country were being wiped out. Spinning the media won't change the fact that this country is not safe under the leadership of George Bush. Running a smear campaign won't change the fact that George Bush is a failed President.

America can do better than George W. Bush.

Bad Joke. Bad. Bad Joke.

This may be a bit old to some of you, but I just read it for the first time.

Q: What is Bush's position on Roe v. Wade?

A: He really doesn't care how people get out of New Orleans.

I'm sorry. I annoy me, too.

Iowa Senator Shows Some Smarts

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Grassley has been portrayed as a country bumpkin by Iowa news media, including yours truly in a previous life. Yesterday, Grassley showed he's not the "dumb farmer" others accuse him of being.

The Des Moines Register reports:

It would appear "unseemly" for Congress to push through a permanent repeal of the estate tax while also trying to come up with money for victims of the hurricane disaster in the Gulf, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa said today.

Until recently, the Senate had been on track to consider a permanent repeal of the estate tax or "death tax." The tax generally is levied on the estates of those who die leaving behind $1 million or more in assets, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

The tax gradually is being phased out, under tax cut packages approved by Congress and would be gone by 2010. But that would last just a year and the tax would be reinstated in 2011.

The repeal has been championed by groups such as the American Farm Bureau Federation but opposed by some Democrats who view it as a giveaway for the wealthy.

Grassley said in a conference call with Iowa reporters that he doubts now the tax repeal will be considered in 2005.

"It's a little unseemly to be talking about doing away with or enhancing the estate tax at a time when people are suffering," said Grassley, a Republican who is in charge of the committee that writes U.S. tax policy.

Grassley's statements are a surprise because Grover Norquist used Hurricane Katrina to argue that the Senate should vote to repeal (PDF) the estate tax, arguing it "is exactly what the residents of the Gulf Region need at this time to start the rebuilding process for their neighborhoods and more importantly for their lives."

Fortunately, some Republican senators came to their senses.

The Register article caught our eye because of the byline. We went to college with Jane Norman, took some classes with her, and wrote for the campus newspaper and a weekly campus TV news program with her. Alas, she's covering Washington and we're writing a blog.

Why Do Bond & Talent Hate America?

Missouri senators Kit Bond and Jim Talent joined their fellow Republicans in killing legislation establishing an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate what went so horribly wrong with Hurricane Katrina.

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, 76% of Americans want an independent bipartisan commission, like the one that investigated the 9/11 attacks, to investigate what went wrong.

Yesterday, every Republican U.S. Senator (except the Senator from Louisiana, who simply didn't vote) voted AGAINST forming such a commission. All 54 of them.

Why? Don't they want to find out how we avoid an even larger catastrophe the next time Osama attacks a major American city with a chemical, biological or nuclear bomb?

Every Democratic Senator (except for one who didn't vote at all) voted in favor of an independent, bipartisan commission. All 44 of them.

Which party wants to protect America, and which one wants to cover-up anything that might make them look bad?

Georgie Needs A Potty Break

U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York September 14, 2005. World leaders are exploring ways to revitalize the United Nations at a summit on Wednesday but their blueprint falls short of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's vision of freedom from want, persecution and war. REUTERS/Rick Wilking.

Here's the uncropped picture at Reuters.

I have nothing to add.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hey Look! Another Missing White Woman!

Wonder how long it will be before the MSM become obsessed with the latest missing blonde white woman? NBC's Today show did a tear-jerking bit this morning while ABC and CBS were showing Bush's speech at the U.N.

The Washington Post posted this article yesterday:

Eager to begin her freshman year at Virginia Commonwealth University, Taylor Behl created an online profile and wrote that she was looking for new friends in the Richmond area. Last week, she told her roommate she was going out for a few hours. She did not come back.

Behl, 17, was last seen Sept. 5, and campus officials said yesterday they still do not suspect foul play. But they are becoming increasingly concerned, and the investigation into her disappearance gains momentum and urgency with each passing day.


Behl's mother, Janet Pelasara, drove to Richmond from her Vienna home Wednesday, hours after her daughter's disappearance was reported to campus police. She said in several telephone interviews that Behl is an outgoing, friendly girl, not the sort who would cease contact with her family and friends.

"She's very family-oriented," Pelasara said. "She's basically a happy kid, a good kid. She's fun; she's funny; she's smart as a whip. I'm very worried about her."

Nothing wrong with reporting this story. But let's hope CNN, FOX, and MSNBC don't go to wall-to-wall coverage as they have in the past.

Let's also hope Behl is found alive and well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bush Stayed on Vacation

Many on the Right argue that we shouldn't play the "blame game" while Hurricane Katrina survivors still need help. Some have attempted to shift blame for the slow federal relief response away from George Bush. But they cannot avoid one simple fact: while thousands of Americans fought for their lives during the worst natural disaster in this nation's history, GEORGE W. BUSH STAYED ON VACATION.

Bush flew to Arizona to plug his Medicare program and eat cake with Sen. John McCain on the day Katrina made landfall and the levees failed in New Orleans.

Bush flew to California for a celebration of V-J Day the day after Katrina made landfall and the levees failed in New Orleans.

Bush announced he would cut his vacation short by two days, and returned to his home in Crawford, Texas for one more night of vacation.

Bush finally returned to the White House on Wednesday, two days AFTER Katrina made landfall and the levees failed in New Orleans.

To be fair, Vice President Dick Cheney stayed on vacation for six days after Katrina made landfall and the levees failed in New Orleans. And Sec. of State Condi Rice WENT on vacation for three days AFTER Katrina made landfall and the levees failed in New Orleans.

Imagine how the Republicans (and mainstream media) would have reacted if Bill Clinton and Al Gore had behaved similarly. Why is there no outcry from the mainstream media about this?

Recall that Bush has spent more time on vacation as president than any other president in the history of the United States. And he's done that in less than five full years.

Recall also that Bush justified his unprecedented five-week vacation by stating:

I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy.

Katrina struck and we've now seen what "good, crisp decisions", Bush-style, look like. Not very good, not very crisp.

Take for example Bush's claim that no one had anticipated breeching of the levees, even though everyone had anticipated that very breech. Bush is now trying to explain his earlier ignorance.
What I was referring to is this: When that storm came by, a lot of people said we dodged a bullet. When that storm came through at first, people said, Whew. There was a sense of relaxation. And that's what I was referring to.

And I myself thought we had dodged a bullet. You know why? Because I was listening to people probably over the airwaves say, The bullet has been dodged. And that was what I was referring to.

Of course, there were plans in case the levee had been breached. There was a sense of relaxation at a critical moment.

I'm sure all the sheep on the Right will applaud on cue their infallible president's clear explanation. But really, "sense of relaxation?" "Dodged a bullet?" John Aravosis at AmericaBlog has compiled the headlines screaming at us while Bush was feeling a "sense of relaxation." Go read them and see if you can find anything that resembles "we dodged a bullet", or conveys a "sense of relaxation." If you can point it out to me, I'll eat my words.

Oh, and in case you think these are mock-up front pages, you can find them at the Newseum.

Oh, and one more thing. Why is the President of the United States getting his information about the worst natural disaster in our nation's history from people on the airwaves? Doesn't he have tax-dollar-paid staff and advisors to keep him posted on such matters? Is this how Bush gets all of his information, from people over the airwaves?

America can do better than George W. Bush/

Monday, September 12, 2005

More Katrina Horror

The mainstream news media has been doing a pretty good job documenting the ravishes of Hurricane Katrina. Despite FEMA's demand that no images of dead bodies be published or broadcast (since retracted), newspapers and TV networks have been showing some pretty horrible stuff.

Stories of heroics and sorrows have appeared frequently. Now comes a very disturbing story from Australia's Daily Telegraph.

Patients put down
September 12, 2005

DOCTORS working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leave them to die in agony as they evacuated.

With gangs of rapists and looters rampaging through wards in the flooded city, senior doctors took the harrowing decision to give massive overdoses of morphine to those they believed could not make it out alive.

One New Orleans doctor told how she "prayed for God to have mercy on her soul" after she ignored every tenet of medical ethics and ended the lives of patients she had earlier fought to save.

Her heart-rending account has been corroborated by a hospital orderly and by local government officials.

One emergency official, William Forest McQueen, said: "Those who had no chance of making it were given a lot of morphine and lain down in a dark place to die."

Euthanasia is illegal in Louisiana and the doctors spoke only on condition on anonymity.

How many euthanized people could have been saved if FEMA and Bush had been up to the task of dealing with this natural disaster? And for all the dimwits blowing hot air about how the survivors in New Orleans "deserved" what they got because the didn't evacuate, please explain how a terminal patient was suppose to evacuate the city. Entirely Bush's fault? No. But if he wants to take credit for anything that goes right on his watch, he ought to be held responsible for what goes wrong.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Best. Picture. Ever.

A DailyKos diarist posted this, captured from a TV screen carrying Sky News Ireland. Clearly worth a thousand words.

Republican Shame

Next time you think about voting for a Republican, remember that 11 Republican Congressmen voted against providing victims of Hurricane Katrina with $51 billion in aid. Fortunately, none were from Missouri. But I'm ashamed that one was from my home state of Iowa. The Evil Eleven:

Joe Barton - TX
Jeff Flake - AZ
Virginia Foxx - NC
Scott Garrett - NJ
John Hostettler - IN
Steve King - IA
Butch Otter - ID
Ron Paul - TX
James Sensenbrenner - WI
Tom Tancredo - CO
Lynn Westmoreland - GA

Still Think Fox News Is "Fair and Balanced?"

Atrios reports, you decide:

Before the official announcement that Vice Admiral Allen was taking over Katrina duties from Brown, he'd already been scheduled as a guest on Fox News Sunday.

Your Rights Slowly Taken Away

Two items. First, as Ron Davis pointed out, the Bush administration has seen fit to suspend the Second Amendment in New Orleans. Now the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals says they can imprison you without trial, indefinitely.

A decision by the 4th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the federal government's right to hold an American citizen in custody indefinitely a so-called "enemy combatant" without bringing criminal charges against him.

The case was brought by attorneys for Jose Padilla, am American citizen who has been held in a brig in a naval brig for more than three years without charge after being arrested on American soil.

The government has alleged that Padilla had trained at al-Qaeda terrorist camps and had plans to blow up buildings in the United States. To date, Padilla has not been charged with any specific crime.

Padilla's attorneys and civil rights advocates said the detention was illegal and could easily lead to abuses by the government who could then arrest almost anybody for protesting against government policy or even taking out the "wrong" books from the public library.

No right to meet with an attorney. No right to face your accusers. Bush can label you an "enemy combatant" and imprison you until the day you die. Do you feel safer with George W. Bush as president?

Friday Beagle Blogging

"I'd prefer you didn't read over my shoulder."

Long Time, No See

The events of the past couple weeks kept me away from blogging. Too glued to news reports from mainstream media and bloggers to contribute much. Thoughts still jumbled, but I'll try to put some together.

Most importantly, please do what you can to help those who've lost everything. The horrors of Katrina won't go away soon. One item I don't see mentioned nearly enough...give blood. Local agencies aren't just supplying local needs now.