Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bill Bennett Helps GOP to Lose More Minority Votes

Bill Bennett Helps GOP to Lose More Minority Votes
..This idiotic run-of-the-mouth may lose the GOP as many minority votes as the Hurricane Katrina federal response failures

A titan among moral titans. Virtuous spokesman of the virtuous Republican party. Distinguished Fellow of the Heritage Foundation. Bill Bennett says...

"You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down"
[See Steve Gilliard]

A commenter at Gilliard's News Blog says, in response:
We could come up with some stats that prove that if we aborted the offspring of conservative whites about 50-60 years ago, we would have less white collar crime, federal cronyism and government incompetance.

The Public's Changing Mood

The Public's Changing Mood

David Michael Green on the changing mood of the public toward American politics:
Even conservative columnists like David Brooks (though not Novak) are writing articles nowadays accurately describing the changed mood of the American public. Where those powerful currents are heading is unclear, but given the radical right experiment of the present as their point of departure, there would seem to be only two choices. We can either go completely off the deep-end and finally constitute the Fascist Republic of Cheney, or we can turn to the left, toward some semblance of rational policymaking. The latter seems far more likely, especially as America increasingly regains its senses after a long bout of temporary insanity. These are bad bits of news for poor George, but worse yet is that they are only the first signs of the coming apocalypse. The real fun stuff is just around the corner.

Rall on Iraq War: Polarization, Apathy, and Silence

Rall on Iraq War: Polarization, Apathy, and Silence

Ted Rall has some interesting thoughts on the Iraq war.
A year ago, [certain developments] would have sparked accusations, counterarguments and fierce debates in the U.S. over what to do next. Now, no one cares.
Rall claims that political polarization has contributed to citizen apathy and silence.
The Iraq war, validated by neither constitutional legality nor (unlike Vietnam) international endorsement via the U.N., prompted millions to protest before it even began. So when the reality of Iraq belied the Bush Administration's promises--no WMDs, no body armor, no rose petals, no mission accomplished--we clammed up like a bickering couple whose positions are intractable and diametrically opposed. After 9/11, only a fool would have let Saddam remain in power, say the Bushian 44 percent. And 56 percent reply: only a fool would have attacked Saddam while 9/11 remained unavenged. But they keep their opinions to themselves and the occasional pollster.
How do you stop a war that you believe is unjust and immoral when most Americans could give a hoot?
"..the war has become institutionalized. It is background noise. It is hard to imagine what could happen in Iraq that would make pay attention and talk, even argue, about the war. A bomb that killed a thousand civilians? Probably not even that ... Right or wrong? Essential or idiotic? When it comes to the war against Iraq, Americans only agree about one thing: It is no longer interesting. And so, pro or con, it is lost all the same."

Republican Scandals Abound

Republican Scandals Abound

Catherine Dodge and Laura Litvan [Bloomberg] report that U.S. Senate Majority leader Bill Frist will cooperate with all probes and "denies having any non-public information when he directed the sale of his HCA Inc. stock a month before the company said quarterly profit would miss analysts estimates."

Otis Bilodeau [Bloomberg] follows up his own story about the probability of an SEC probe from yesterday with today's Frist Faces Heat as SEC Orders Formal Inquiry Into Stock Sale
The SEC authorized a formal order of investigation of Frist's sale in June of HCA Inc. shares, people with direct knowledge of the inquiry said yesterday. The order allows the agency's enforcement unit to subpoena documents and compel witnesses to testify, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the order hasn't been made public...``This turns the flame up under the kettle and keeps the water boiling,'' said Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the independent Rothenberg Poltical Report in Washington.
At the WaPo, Terry M. Neal asks:
Is it 1994 all over again? .. Dark and ominous clouds are gathering over the Republican Party these days, with a series of ethical and legal scandals that threaten to further damage a White House and Congress already reeling from a sharp drop in public approval ratings...Rep. Tom Delay (Tex.), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.) and a top administration official (David Safavian, the White House's top procurement officer) have all been ensnared in highly embarrassing ethics scandals recently.
Catherine Dodge [Bloomberg] reports that U.S. House Representative Roy Blunt will replace Tom Delay as U.S. House Majority leader. (Blunt info)

When will we hear about what U.S. federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald discovered over the summer about traitors/CIA outers Karl Rove and Scooter Libby?

The "I-word" (impeachment) is seriously discussed by Dr. Bernard Weiner.

Citizens/Media Speak Out on Posse Comitatus

Citizens/Media Speak Out on Posse Comitatus

- Farewell Posse Comitatus []

- The Mother of All Bad Ideas []

- The War on Posse Comitatus [mutualist blog]

- Posse Comitatus Problems

- Using the Military at Home [PBS]

- Repealing Posse Comitatus Means Iraq in the US. Do We Really Want This? []

- If Posse Comitatus is chucked, time to reconsider federalism

- Hands off Posse Comitatus []

- Leave things that don't need fixing alone []

- Should the military handle natural disasters? - Posse antiqus []

- The Danger of Standing Armies []

- Pentagon begins review of law on military's domestic role []

- Proposal for military to take lead in disasters raises concerns [Knight Ridder]

- Bush Wants to Consider Broadening of Military's Powers During Natural Disasters [NYT]

Poverty in America

Poverty in America

It's plain to see that Poverty is in the forefront of American minds today, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the reality of which Katrina exposed as she literally blew the curtain away. There is a reawakening in this country, after 30-40 years of virtual political silence.

Sandra Price says the key to stopping the cycle of poverty is Education:
I watch every Governor’s convention on CSPAN and hear them pat each other on the back for some stupid bridge or street and they know damn well the children in their own states are failing academically in every district...We must pull these kids up to a higher standard and allow them to set goals and learn their own strengths and help fix their weaknesses.
Published originally at

Others have ideas about the state of American education and the poverty problem:

1. Paul Nyhan - College divide threatens to keep the poor in poverty [Seattle Intelligencer]

2. David Brooks - The Education Gap [NYT Select]

Marc H. Morial lays out the National Urban League's ideas regarding post-Katrina protection for those who have lived for too long in poverty:
"...the National Urban League has proposed a Victims Bill of Rights which recommends guidelines Congress should take to protect the victims and ease their burdens—including a victims compensation fund (as was done for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks) for the hundreds of thousands of citizens injured, killed and displaced as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Congress should also provide meaningful federal disaster unemployment assistance to every worker—estimated to be at least half a million—left jobless by this tragedy. And it must ensure that the hundreds of thousands of displaced Gulf citizens continue to have full voting rights in their home states and districts, so that they can have a proper voice in the rebuilding of their communities."

The poverty rate in Santa Clara county, California, has shocked many people. Of the nearly 400,000 families living in Santa Clara County, almost a quarter, or approximately 93,000 families, earn annual incomes less than the local family threshold of $45,000.

Jim Cresson of the Cape Gazette (Cape region, Delaware) staff reports that Derrick Span, national president of the Community Action Partnership, urged people of Sussex County to call on their elected representatives to support a renewed anti-poverty plan for America. Hurricane Katrina shed new light on old problems, said Span, speaking Sept. 17 to more than 125 members and guests at the Lower Sussex Branch of the NAACP's annual Freedom Fund Banquet at Grace United Methodist Church.
“Katrina was a sociological exclamation point, a political question mark, a moral indictment and a theological statement,” he said. “Why in a nation committed to family values, was so little done to protect those displaced families in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane? Why did it take so long to rescue them? Every human being has dignity, and all humans deserve to be rescued.”....Span said it became obvious that the hurricane revealed a need for a new national anti-poverty law. He said the Congressional Black Caucus recently laid out an eight-point plan to fight poverty and presented it to the Bush administration. But he also said more needs to be done.

There are more than 37 million Americans living in poverty,” Span said. “That is 1 million more people than were living in poverty in 2004. There are 47 million people, many of them working poor, who do not have health insurance for themselves or their families.”

Span said that poverty is not just a black or white issue; it is a multicultural issue. He said it is not just an inner-city issue; it is also a rural issue. And he said it is not just a regional issue; it is an American issue, one that must be solved soon.

There is no coherent policy for the poor, and that amounts to economic terrorism,” he said. “The weapons of mass destruction related to poverty are poor health, poor housing and no housing. People who work must be paid more. There is no such thing as a menial job, because every job has dignity. There is just menial pay, and that can be corrected.”
Full text available at Cape

In a Hartford Courant article about an upcoming Mahavir Ahimsa (non-violence) Seminar at the University of Connecticut's Storrs campus featuring Sri Lankan speaker Jeyanthy Siva, Susan Campbell says:
"Substitute "New Orleans" or "Gulf Coast" for "Sri Lanka" and you can ask the same questions. But Siva pushes the discussion just a little further: How can we continue to ignore U.S. poverty?"Whether a 20-meter wall of water works to clear the minds of a populace horrified by poverty and devastation, a discussion of inequity and fairness must be ongoing. And it must not fall into the us vs. them category...Katrina ripped off a psychic lid...If a wall of water did not cleanse the land, it can at least serve to clear perceptions.

Voice of America (Jim Malone) has a feature on the ways in which the "Hurricane aftermath" has sparked a debate over Poverty.
Malone report - Download 674k
- Listen to Malone report
- watch Hurricane Poverty report / Real broadband
- watch Hurricane Poverty report /Real broadband
- watch Hurricane Poverty report / Real dialup
- watch Hurricane Poverty report / Real dialup


Jack Kemp, the 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee and former U.S. Housing secretary, wrote last week that conservatives could turn Katrina into an opportunity just as presidents Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt did during other periods of crisis.

In an essay in the online conservative journal Human Events, Kemp wrote: "In the wake of this national catastrophe we should all be imagining the unimaginable."
- From a report at, which is site with Republican-based views. See Rep. Elijah Cummings'(D-MD) comments, also.


Poverty: The Crisis Katrina Revealed BusinessWeek

Politicians' ignorance of poverty helps foster climate of cynicism Decatur Daily Democrat

Katrina highlighted the problem of poverty Fort Worth Star Telegram

Bringing Up Mommy Portsmouth Herald, NH

Realities of Poverty Atmore Advance, AL

Poverty exposed: Winds of Katrina swept away cloak that hides America's poor Martha Mendoza | Associated Press

Empowering the poor by David T. Ellwood Boston Globe

New Orleans flooding flushes poverty back into fashion Tom Teepen/SaltLakeTribune

Poverty and Racism in America Kevin Agnese/Manhattan College Quadrangle

", in the aftermath of one of the greatest natural disasters the country has ever faced, with his approval ratings slipping down the tubes because thousands of poor residents didn't have any means to escape certain death, the nation is expected to believe Bush cares about the poor. Sorry Mr. President, not a chance."
[State of the Legacy - The Daily Campus - UConn]

John Edwards on Jon Stewart's Daily Show Oct 5th

John Edwards on Jon Stewart's Daily Show Oct 5th

Sen John Edwards will appear on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on October 5th (next Wednesday).

Recent Speeches Available Online:

Center for American Progress Speech
Video & Transcript
• Intro: Video
• Speech: Video
• Q&A Session: Video
• Transcript: Full text (PDF)

Sen Tom Harkin's (D-Iowa) Steak Fry,
Warren County Fairgrounds, Indianola, Iowa (CSPAN)