Retired General Odom says all the right things

Another ex-Reagan administration official lets loose on Bush:

President Bush should sign legislation starting the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq on Oct. 1, retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom said Saturday.


The general accused Bush of squandering U.S. lives and helping Iran and al-Qaida when he invaded Iraq. (emphasis added)

"The challenge we face today is not how to win in Iraq; it is how to recover from a strategic mistake: invading Iraq in the first place," he said. "The president has let (the Iraq war) proceed on automatic pilot, making no corrections in the face of accumulating evidence that his strategy is failing and cannot be rescued. He lets the United States fly further and further into trouble, squandering its influence, money and blood, facilitating the gains of our enemies." (emphasis added)

Odom said he desn't favor congressional involvement in the execution of foreign and military policy, but argued that Bush had been derelict in his responsibilities. This week Congress passed an Iraq war spending bill that would require Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq on Oct. 1.


Keith Olbermann at it again - this time he slams Giuliani

First there was this, and now there's this:

The whole thing is great, but the last minute is particularly dead-on. 'Wow' doesn't begin to describe it.


GOP hypocrisy on display yet AGAIN

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with President Bush last week and had this to say about the situation in Iraq:

"I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and -- you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows -- [know] this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday," said Reid, D-Nevada.
Obviously, leading Republicans didn't exactly like what Reid said. Here's how Reid's Republican counterpart responded:
"I can't begin to imagine how our troops in the field, who are risking their lives every day, are going to react when they get back to base and hear that the Democrat leader of the United States Senate has declared the war is lost," said Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.
Surely no conservative would say that the war is lost, now would they? Would they?

Well, if by 'they' you mean former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, then they would.

ANDREW MARR: Do you think there is any hope left of a clear military victory in Iraq?

HENRY KISSINGER: If you mean by clear military victory an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible.

Oh my Mr. Secretary... How dare you say that! Surely your fellow Republicans will make you pay for that statement!

Or will they?

I have yet to hear one example of a Republican criticizing Kissinger for saying that the war is lost. And yet when Reid says it, what do we hear? Whining.

Not that they don't know a thing or two about hypocrisy, of course.


John Edwards: I'd Invest Billions in Michigan

My stock in Edwards is climbing.

The U.S. government should invest billions to help Michigan become the hub for transforming the nation's energy economy, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said Saturday.

Speaking to more than 1,800 Democrats at the annual Jefferson Jackson dinner at Cobo Center in Detroit, Edwards said he'd like to see Michigan evolve.

"We should put billions of dollars into creation of the new technology and $1 billion should go right to the car companies," he said. "I don't want to see the cars of the future built anywhere else."

With the first primary elections nine months away, Edwards consistently trails U.S. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama in public opinion polls about the Democratic contenders for the White House. But he struck a popular theme with the labor-heavy audience.


Virginia Tech

Sorry it took a few days for me to post about this.

Obviously the events at Virginia Tech have shocked so many people at CMU and across the country. At least 33 lives have been lost in the deadliest shooting ever in US history.

Our hearts go out to all of the victims's families, and to the entire Virginia Tech community.

Feel free to reply to this post with your thoughts on this gruesome tragedy.


Actual excerpts from the 2000 Republican platform (I kid you not)

For those of you who don't know what a political party's platform is (I imagine most people who read this know - but if you don't), it's basically a statement the party issues just before every presidential election, showing where it stands on key issues. (Here's the Democratic Party platform from 2004.)

Here's an interesting piece I found on Democratic Underground.

Honest Government

“Trust, pride, and respect: we pledge to restore these qualities to the way Americans view their government.”

Keeping Intelligence Free of Politics

"Nor should the intelligence community be made the scapegoat for political misjudgments. A Republican administration working with the Congress will respect the needs and quiet sacrifices of these public servants as it strengthens America's intelligence and counter-intelligence capabilities…”

Diplomacy and Maintaining Allies

“The arrogance, inconsistency, and unreliability of the administration's diplomacy have undermined American alliances, alienated friends, and emboldened our adversaries."

Endless Military Missions, Exit Strategies and Troop Readiness

"The current administration has casually sent American armed forces on dozens of missions without clear goals, realizable objectives, favorable rules of engagement, or defined exit strategies.” (Emphasis added.)

"Sending our military on vague, aimless, and endless missions rapidly saps morale. Even the highest morale is eventually undermined by back-to-back deployments, poor pay, shortages of spare parts and equipment, inadequate training, and rapidly declining readiness. When it comes to military health, the administration is not providing an adequate military health care system…"

Restoring the Rule of Law and the Justice Department

The rule of law, the very foundation for a free society, has been under assault, not only by criminals from the ground up, but also from the top down. An administration that lives by evasion, coverup, stonewalling, and duplicity has given us a totally discredited Department of Justice. The credibility of those who now manage the nation’s top law enforcement agency is tragically eroded. We are fortunate to have its dedicated career workforce, especially its criminal prosecutors, who have faced the unprecedented politicization of decisions regarding both personnel and investigations.”

Gas Prices (then $1.55 per gallon)

“Today, gas prices have skyrocketed, and oil imports are at all-time highs....By any reasonable standard, the Department of Energy has utterly failed in its mission to safeguard America’s energy security."
Other than a sole appearance by the word Republican, It looks like a compilation of excerpts from the Democratic platform... but no, these excerpts are indeed from the 2000 Republican Party platform.

Fast-forward seven years. Few people trust the government; our intelligence systems have been compromised by what appears to be politics; our stature in the world is dwindling; Iraq is obviously a mess; the rule of law has been neglected; and don't get me started on gas prices.

As Republican President Dwight Eisenhower once said, "How I wish the Republican Party was still the GOP, the "Grand Ol' Party."


Hillary: Respect for Rutgers

You have probably heard of Don Imus's insult of the Rutgers women's basketball team. (If not, here's part of the story.) Hillary Clinton has spoken out on the situation, and asks us to send a message of support to the team.

When our children are young, we teach them to dream big and reach for the stars, and that if they work hard enough they can accomplish anything.

This year the Rutgers women's basketball team defied the odds and lived up to their dreams, providing inspiration to every little boy and girl beginning to pick up a ball or open a book. These remarkable young women reached the pinnacle of success and won the hearts of basketball fans everywhere with their grace, skill, and poise. They are role models deserving our praise -- and our support.

Don Imus's comments about them were nothing more than small-minded bigotry and coarse sexism. They showed a disregard for basic decency and were disrespectful and degrading to African Americans and women everywhere.

Please join me in sending the young women of Rutgers a message of respect and support. Show them that we are proud to stand with them and for them.

I don't exactly consider Hillary my #1 pick for president, but kudos to her for standing up for the right thing. I hope other candidates follow her lead.


Take Action: A few things you can do

Have a few minutes?


Hilarious Bush pictures

This is my Facebook picture.

Look closely.





He Is Risen!

For you non-Christians, I hope this doesn't bother you.

This video is awesome.


Gary Peters named new Griffin Endowed Chair at CMU

Peters will replace Bill Ballenger.

Michigan Bureau of State Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters will bring years of political and business experience to his new role as the third Griffin Endowed Chair in American Government at Central Michigan University.

As chairman, Peters will teach two political science seminars and organize two forums each year that address public policy and political issues throughout Michigan. Peters also plans to implement an electronic journal that will bring students, academics and practitioners together on public policy issues facing Michigan and the country.

"As a former state senator, city councilman and candidate for Michigan attorney general, I look forward to sharing my nuts-and-bolts knowledge of public service with students at Central Michigan," Peters said. "I am also looking forward to hosting forums that will explore some of the public policy challenges we face in Michigan."

Peters' public service experience includes serving as a member of the Michigan Senate and the Rochester Hills City Council. His business experience includes positions as vice president of investments for UBS PaineWebber Inc. and assistant vice president at Merrill Lynch Inc., both in Rochester Hills. Peters also has served on arbitration panels for the National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York Stock Exchange. Peters served as a lieutenant commander and Seabee combat warfare specialist in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Ehlers: Gonzales needs to go

I can't say I saw this one coming.

Republican Congressman Vern Ehlers of Grand Rapids says he thinks U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should step down.

Ehlers made the remarks before giving an update on the Congress and current events at a noon event at Calvin College.

Gonzales is under fire from the Democratically-controlled Congress for the recent firing of eight U.S. attorneys, including one from West Michigan.

Ehlers won't comment on the merits of the firings but says he disapproves of the way Gonzales carried them out.
If you ask me, the fact that Ehlers and another Republican congressman have called on Gonzales to step down, seems to weaken the argument that this is just a witch-hunt.

Thanks to Nazgul at Michigan Liberal for pointing this out.

Good Friday

For those of you who are Christian, here are a couple YouTube videos to get you in the Good Friday mood.

This video features scenes (I imagine from The Passion of the Christ) of Jesus carrying the cross, being crucified, and dying. To the tune of "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross."

This one features Johnny Cash and his family singing their rendition of "Were You There?"


NY Times: Early '08 Fund-raising Has A Clear Blue Tint

Given the GOP's historic success in fundraising compared to Democrats, this was great to hear:

With the $25 million reported by Senator Barack Obama’s campaign, closing in on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s $26 million, the Democratic presidential candidates collectively outperformed the Republicans, and by a substantial amount: Democrats raised a total of about $78 million, compared with just over $51 million by their rivals, according to preliminary first-quarter figures provided by the campaigns.

That is remarkable because Republicans have historically proved better at collecting contributions. In every presidential primary season since 1976, the top fund-raiser was a Republican.

The new numbers offered what even Republicans described as measurable evidence that Democrats today are more confident about their prospects of winning back the White House, and — not typically for their party — satisfied with their candidates. That enthusiasm gap is emerging as one of the early dynamics of the 2008 campaign.

“The Democrats seem to have a lot more hunger for the White House right now than we do,” said Scott Reed, who managed the presidential campaign of Bob Dole, a Kansas Republican, in 1996. “Part of it on the Republican side may be Bush fatigue. But clearly, the Republicans are going to need to get it together on finances if we are going to compete with the likes of Obama or Hillary Clinton. It’s a concern.”
"It's a concern." Words I like hearing from Republicans about their electoral prospects.


GOP congressman visits Syria while his party criticizes Pelosi for doing the same

As you know, Nancy Pelosi is now the #3 person in US Government, behind Bush and Cheney. As such, she has announced that she will meet with the President of Syria, Bashar Al-Assad. Republicans have complained about Pelosi's planned visit.

And guess what? They're being hypocritical.

While U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's upcoming visit to Syria has caused the White House to bristle, a little-publicized rendezvous took place Sunday between Syria's president and Lancaster County's congressman.

And though Bush administration officials have been criticizing Pelosi, it's not clear what role the White House and the U.S. Department of State played when U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts and two other Republican congressmen met with Syrian President Bassar Assad.


The House Speaker's office criticized the Bush administration for focusing their criticisms — until Monday — on Pelosi, the top House Democrat, for leading a congressional delegation to meet with Assad later this week.

"There's a Republican trip going before her, and no one is criticizing that," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said. "So clearly the White House's motives here are in question."

Oh quit whining, Republicans. If Americans wanted another do-nothing Congress, they would've voted Republican. Pelosi's doing her job. Don't like it? Tough.

Bits of Tid from The Onion: April 3, 2007

Bush Refuses to Set Timetable for the Withdrawal of His Head from White House Banister

Though critics have argued that he does not understand the futility of his current situation, President Bush announced today that he has no plans to remove his head from its current position: wedged painfully between two balusters on a White House staircase.

"Setting a timetable for withdrawal of my head would send mixed messages about why I put my head here in the first place," Bush said at a press conference on the Grand Staircase. "I am going to finish what I set out to accomplish here, no matter how unpopular my decision may be, or how much my head hurts while stuck between these immovable stairway posts."

Democrats, emboldened by electoral victories that gave them control of both houses of Congress, are calling for Bush to begin withdrawing his head from the banister immediately.

"Why does the president refuse to pull his head out of that banister?" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a speech yesterday. "Hasn't he had his head in there long enough? We'd all like to know just how the American people are being served by him keeping his head in that banister."
Senator forms Subcommittee for the Watching of ‘Lost’

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) announced the formation of a new Senate Subcommittee for the Watching of Lost and appointed himself its chair Monday.

"This subcommittee's mission is to promote viewing and discussion of this riveting ABC series every Wednesday night at my house," said Nelson, who lives alone, adding that membership on the subcommittee is open to both parties, requires no seniority, and is "fun." "In addition, I have been able to secure funding for two large pizzas and one two-liter bottle of Pepsi, and have every confidence that I can acquire more."

Sen. Nelson has asked all attendees to arrive on time, do their best to remain quiet during the show's airing, and stick around to discuss the plot and backstory for "as long as you want afterward."


NY Times: Ex-aide loses faith in Bush (Matthew Dowd)

Those of you who know who Matthew Dowd was will know that this is huge.

A top strategist for the Texas Democrats who was disappointed by the Bill Clinton years, Mr. Dowd was impressed by the pledge of Mr. Bush, then governor of Texas, to bring a spirit of cooperation to Washington. He switched parties, joined Mr. Bush’s political brain trust and dedicated the next six years to getting him to the Oval Office and keeping him there. In 2004, he was appointed the president’s chief campaign strategist.

Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced.

In a wide-ranging interview here, Mr. Dowd called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s leadership.

He criticized the president as failing to call the nation to a shared sense of sacrifice at a time of war, failing to reach across the political divide to build consensus and ignoring the will of the people on Iraq. He said he believed the president had not moved aggressively enough to hold anyone accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and that Mr. Bush still approached governing with a “my way or the highway” mentality reinforced by a shrinking circle of trusted aides.

On becoming a Republican

There come monumental times in everyone’s life when we make decisions that profoundly affect the way we live, act, and are treated by others. I have come to one such decision.

After much thought and careful examination of my life and my priorities, I have come to the difficult decision that I must join the Republican Party.

WHAT?! You might say. Especially those who know me from my involvement in politics, through Michigan Liberal or what-have-you. Let me tell you how I came to this decision.

Just under a year ago, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist had the US Senate vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. It failed by a significant margin. But that got me thinking about the institution of marriage. I mean, yes my parents have been happily married for more than three decades, but what if gay marriage is allowed? Then people will have to ask each other if they are married to a man or a woman. Families will crumble, and our civilization will be reduced to relics and stories in history books.

Oh, and I’m pro-life. Pro-lifers just don’t have a place in today’s Democrat Party – excuse me, “Democratic” Party. I support life. I mean, sure, I support the death penalty, this war (which HAS liberated Iraq), and policies that have led to increased poverty levels… but being pro-life (until the baby is actually born) is the only thing that matters.

So to all you Democrats out there: how about opening your eyes like I have? Only then can you realize that conservatism is the way, the only true way, to peace and happiness.

And only by opening your eyes can you see that this is just an April Fool’s joke I’m trying to pull on you.

Well, did I have you?