Poll Numbers on Impeachment

7 07 2007

From Politicalwire.com:

July 06, 2007

Public Split on Impeachment

From a new American Research Group poll:
45% of Americans favor the House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against President Bush, while 46% are opposed.

54% of Americans favor the House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney, while 40% are opposed.

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You Go, Joe!

6 07 2007

From •The New York Times•:

JULY 4, 2007,  5:05 PM

Biden Talks Tough
By ADAM NAGOURNEY

DES MOINES — Joseph Biden, the Delaware Democrat running for president, is a man of strong opinions. During a campaign event in a Des Moines backyard today, Mr. Biden had some choice words for President Bush and two of the Republicans running for the White House.

“This guy is brain dead,” Mr. Biden said to surprised applause and laughter from the crowd. “I know I’ll be quoted, I’ll be killed for that.”
“This is a guy who is on the balls of his heels, here’s a guy who is lower off in the polls than any president in modern history and he goes ahead and he does something that just flies in the face of the sensibilities of the American people.”

A few minutes later, Mr. Biden turned his sights on Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, and a Republican running for president. “I can hardly wait to debate Rudy Giuliani if he is their nominee,” he said. “Because I will eat his lunch. The next time I hear a Republican talk about us being tough on terror – give me a break!”

Finally, Mr. Biden’s target was Mitt Romney, the Massachusetts Republican running for president. “I found Romney’s statements yesterday profound – crazy — when he talked about going to war with Iran,” he said. “Why are we talking about going to war with Iran?”





Idiot President is Lonely

2 07 2007

An excerpt from The Washington Post:

A President Besieged and Isolated, Yet at Ease
Bush, Grasping for Answers and Fixated on Iraq, Remains Resolute
By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 2, 2007; Page A01

At the nadir of his presidency, George W. Bush is looking for answers. One at a time or in small groups, he summons leading authors, historians, philosophers and theologians to the White House to join him in the search.
Over sodas and sparkling water, he asks his questions: What is the nature of good and evil in the post-Sept. 11 world? What lessons does history have for a president facing the turmoil I’m facing? How will history judge what we’ve done? Why does the rest of the world seem to hate America? Or is it just me they hate?

These are the questions of a president who has endured the most drastic political collapse in a generation. Not generally known for intellectual curiosity, Bush is seeking out those who are, engaging in a philosophical exploration of the currents of history that have swept up his administration. For all the setbacks, he remains unflinching, rarely expressing doubt in his direction, yet trying to understand how he got off course.

These sessions, usually held in the Oval Office or the elegant living areas of the executive mansion, are never listed on the president’s public schedule and remain largely unknown even to many on his staff. To some of those invited to talk, Bush seems alone, isolated by events beyond his control, with trusted advisers taking their leave and erstwhile friends turning on him.

“You think about prime ministers and presidents being surrounded by cabinet officials and aides and so forth,” said Alistair Horne, a British historian who met with Bush recently. “But at the end of the day, they’re alone. They’re lonely. And that’s what occurred to me as I was at the White House. It must be quite difficult for him to get out and about.”

Friends worry about that as well. Burdened by an unrelenting war, challenged by an opposition Congress, defeated just last week on immigration, his last major domestic priority, Bush remains largely locked inside the fortress of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in the seventh year of a presidency turned sour. He still travels, making speeches to friendly audiences and attending summit meetings, such as this weekend’s Kennebunkport talks with President Vladimir Putin of Russia. But he rarely goes out to dinner, and he no longer plays golf, except occasionally chipping at Camp David, where, as at his Texas ranch, he can find refuge.

“I don’t know how he copes with it,” said Donald Burnham Ensenat, a friend for 43 years who just stepped down as State Department protocol officer. Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.), another longtime friend who once worked for Bush, said he looks worn down. “It’s a marked difference in his physical appearance,” Conaway said. “It’s an incredibly heavy load. When you ask men and women to take risks, to send them into war knowing they might not come home, that’s got to be an incredible burden to have on your shoulders.”

Bush is fixated on Iraq, according to friends and advisers. One former aide went to see him recently to discuss various matters, only to find Bush turning the conversation back to Iraq again and again. He recognizes that his presidency hinges on whether Iraq can be turned around in 18 months. “Nothing matters except the war,” said one person close to Bush. “That’s all that matters. The whole thing rides on that.”

And yet Bush does not come across like a man lamenting his plight. In public and in private, according to intimates, he exhibits an inexorable upbeat energy that defies the political storms. Even when he convenes philosophical discussions with scholars, he avoids second-guessing his actions. He still acts as if he were master of the universe, even if the rest of Washington no longer sees him that way.

“You don’t get any feeling of somebody crouching down in the bunker,” said Irwin M. Stelzer, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who was part of one group of scholars who met with Bush. “This is either extraordinary self-confidence or out of touch with reality. I can’t tell you which.”

A Parade of Setbacks

The reality has been daunting by any account. No modern president has experienced such a sustained rejection by the American public. Bush’s approval rating slipped below 50 percent in Washington Post-ABC News polls in January 2005 and has not topped that level in the 30 months since. The last president mired under 50 percent so long was Harry S. Truman. Even Richard M. Nixon did not fall below 50 percent until April 1973, 16 months before he resigned.

The polls reflect the events of Bush’s second term, an unyielding sequence of bad news. Social Security. Hurricane Katrina. Harriet E. Miers. Dubai Ports World. Vice President Cheney’s hunting accident. Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay and Mark Foley. The midterm elections. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Alberto R. Gonzales and Paul D. Wolfowitz. Immigration. And overshadowing it all, the Iraq war, now longer than the U.S. fight in World War II.





Hamas Murders Children’s Television Character

30 06 2007

In a horrifying end to a bizarre children’s television show produced by the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, the “Martyr Mouse” was beaten to death!

Yet another example of how religion can abused by fanatics!

Hamas TV kills off Mickey Mouse double

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Mickey Mouse lookalike who preached Islamic domination on a Hamas-affiliated children’s television program was beaten to death in the show’s final episode Friday.
In the final skit, “Farfour” was killed by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour’s land. At one point, the mouse called the Israeli a “terrorist.”

“Farfour was martyred while defending his land,” said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed “by the killers of children,” she added.
The weekly show, featuring a giant black-and-white rodent with a high-pitched voice, had attracted worldwide attention because the character urged Palestinian children to fight Israel. It was broadcast on Hamas-affiliated Al Aqsa TV.

Station officials said Friday that Farfour was taken off the air to make room for new programs. Station manager Mohammed Bilal said he did not know what would be shown instead.

Israeli officials have denounced the program, “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” as incendiary and outrageous. The program was also opposed by the state-run Palestinian Broadcasting Corp., which is controlled by Fatah, Hamas’ rival.

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.





Record Low For Bush

21 06 2007

From Politicalwire.com:

June 21, 2007

Bush Hits Record Low Approval

According to the latest Newsweek poll, President Bush’s approval rating has reached a record low. Only 26% of Americans, just over one in four, approve of the job he is doing; while, a record 65% disapprove, including nearly a third of Republicans.

“The only president in the last 35 years to score lower than Bush is Richard Nixon. Nixon’s approval rating tumbled to 23% in January 1974, seven months before his resignation over the botched Watergate break-in.”

There’s bad new for Democrats as well: “Only 25% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.”

26%. 1 in 4. If we had a proper Parliamentary system, Bush would have been forced to resign by now!





GOP Stalls House over Earmarks

15 06 2007

The “grand old party” — no longer so grand — has stalled operations in the House of Representatives in a bid to insert more wasteful spending into the budget. Such pork spending exploded since the Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, and was one factor in their electoral defeat in 2006. Nevertheless, these crazy fascists have decided to derail the Congress rather than give up their pet projects. Such earmarks are simply a way to by themselves another term in office, a shameful and degrading act that violates the spirit of their individual mandates. For shame! For shame!

An excerpt from the •San Francisco Chronicle•:

House grinds to a halt in rift over earmarks

Republicans stall Homeland Security spending bill

Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau
Thursday, June 14, 2007
(06-14) 04:00 PDT Washington — For the second straight day, minority House Republicans ground the House to a standstill Wednesday as they drove home their objections to a Democratic plan to deny a floor vote on lawmakers’ thousands of pet projects.

Public anger over the surging number of special member projects called earmarks — derided as pork barrel spending — was a factor in the Republicans’ loss of House control last November, GOP members concede, and now they say they’ve gotten religion on the need for openness in government.

Charges of hypocrisy flew in floor speeches as House leaders huddled behind closed doors to seek a way out of a dispute that Republicans said showed Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi had backed down on promises of openness and disclosure made when they took power last January.
Democrats had hoped this week to pass four of the 12 annual bills that pay for federal operations beginning Oct. 1. Instead, Republicans have offered 116 amendments to a $37.4 billion Homeland Security spending bill — the first of the bills on the floor — in a bid to stall it. And on Tuesday they offered repeated motions to adjourn the House, each requiring a vote, keeping a wary House in session until 2:10 a.m. Wednesday.

Democrats argued Republicans were engaging in partisan attacks to try to embarrass Pelosi. They charged the GOP lawmakers lacked credibility on earmarks, the number of which exploded during their 12 years of House rule.
But Republicans cried foul over a plan by Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., for the House to pass all of the dozen spending bills without any earmarks.

Obey said House members from both parties — even while expressing concern about rising government spending — had inundated his committee with 33,000 earmark requests. He said it would take the committee’s staff four weeks to study all those pork barrel requests and pare them to a manageable level.

Obey proposed to put the earmarks into the bill as the House prepares to confer with the Senate to reconcile the two chambers’ different versions of the spending bills. Obey promised to disclose the list of the earmarks a month before such a conference, which Democrats hope to hold by late summer, so members and the public will have time to scrutinize and react to the projects.





Chaplains Try To Convert Vet

14 06 2007

It should be clear to everyone by now that the Evangelical, radical right-wing has seized control of much of the military. There have been horror stories for years about how non-Christians have been abused at the service academies. The NavyTimes recently ran an article about a Navy veteran and Orthodox Jew who sought treatment at his local VA hospital, and was repeated proselytized by the chaplains in an effort to convert him. This is absolutely outrageous behavior, and completely unacceptable in a branch of the federal government.

Navy vet: Chaplains tried converting me

By William Petroski – The Des Moines Register
Posted : Monday May 14, 2007 12:35:14 EDT

Navy veteran David Miller said that when he checked into the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City, he didn’t realize he would get a hard sell for Christian fundamentalism along with treatment for his kidney stones.

Miller, 46, an Orthodox Jew, said he was repeatedly proselytized by hospital chaplains and staff in attempts to convert him to Christianity during three hospitalizations over the past two years.

He said he went hungry each time because the hospital wouldn’t serve him kosher food, and the staff refused to contact his rabbi, who could have brought him something to eat.

Miller, an Iowa City resident and former petty officer third class who spent four years in the Navy, outlined his complaints at a news conference in Des Moines on Thursday. The event was sponsored by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an activist group based in Albuquerque, N.M.

He described the Iowa City facility as an institution permeated by government sponsorship of fundamentalist Christianity and unconstitutional discrimination against Jews.

Miller has been classified as 100 percent disabled because of chronic painful problems with kidney stones, and he has repeatedly visited the center as a patient and outpatient.

The hospital’s chaplains and staff, Miller said, have the attitude that you either accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior and you are saved, or you are damned.

He said he has tried to resolve the problems with the hospital’s administration without success.

“I am not trying to get rid of the chaplain corps,” Miller said. “When I was in the Navy, I was a religious program specialist. I worked with Christian chaplains, and I believe in the value of the chaplain corps, but not using it to bludgeon people, for heaven’s sake.”

Kirt Sickels, a spokesman for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City, said the facility’s administrators take Miller’s allegations seriously.

“We will look into these concerns that Mr. Miller is talking about. The Iowa City VA respects the rights to religious beliefs for every patient. If they have a request for any kind of religious needs, we try to accommodate whatever those needs or beliefs might be.”

Kosher meals are available to Jewish VA patients in Iowa City, Sickels said.

Michael Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and an attorney who worked in the White House under President Reagan, said Thursday that he is preparing to sue the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in federal court over Miller’s treatment. He said he suspects other veterans have been treated similarly and that Miller’s case could become a class-action lawsuit.

“He has been in the situation where clearly his faith — which happens to be the Jewish faith — is the wrong faith for the Veterans Administration,” said Weinstein, an Air Force Academy graduate.

Miller, a divorced father with four sons, said his first two visits by chaplains involved attempts to convert him to Christianity. These visits occurred while he was suffering acute chest pains and was wired to a heart monitor, he said.

When he complained, he said a hospital official told him he simply needed to object more strenuously to terminate such proselytizing. Miller said he considered such a request to be ridiculous, considering his medical problems.

Over the past two years, Miller said, he has been asked over and over by the Iowa City VA medical center’s staff within its offices, clinics and wards, “You mean you don’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah?” and “Is it just Orthodox Jews who deny Jesus?” He said one staffer told him, “I don’t understand; how can you not believe in Jesus; he’s the Messiah of the Jews, too, you know.”

Sickels said it is standard practice within hospitals nationwide to conduct a spiritual assessment of each patient upon admission. Ministry and pastoral counseling are available, but “it is always the patient’s right to decline any of these services.”

David Brown, an Assemblies of God minister who is a chaplain at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center, declined to comment when reached by a reporter Thursday afternoon.

Miller said the Christian influence at the Iowa City medical facility is so pervasive that he couldn’t even escape it in a patient waiting room. He described how an elderly couple played a keyboard and sang hymns, such as “The Old Rugged Cross,” much to the delight of Christian veterans waiting for doctor’s appointments.

“It was driving me nuts, and they were enjoying it. I was not going to go in front of all of these people and say, ‘Hey, will you stop?’ and then have all the other veterans turn on me. They were setting me up to be further ostracized. It was just ridiculous.”