Dr. (Ha!) Bill Frist uses the tsumani as a photo op for his 2008 presidential aspirations:
Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a medical doctor and Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, visited tsunami-stricken southern Sri Lanka on Thursday, tying up two of the five U.S. Military helicopters presently available, reports CBS News Correspondent Allen Pizzey.Even a proctologist has never witnessed such impacted fecal matter as Bill Frist sees looking in the mirror every morning.
Relief efforts in Sri Lanka are focused on areas still cut off by both the tsunami and monsoon rains. The anticipated arrival of more U.S. helicopters and the Marines will do much to help get much need aid where it is needed the most, reports Pizzey.
A group of homeless men at the camp expressed frustration with government-led relief efforts, complaining that the local Red Cross had only set up their clinic, complete with flags and banners, a few hours before the U.S. senators visited. Red Cross officials said their mobile clinics were treating patients at hundreds of camps.
Just before his helicopter lifted off, Frist and aides took snapshots of each other near a pile of tsunami debris.
"Get some devastation in the back," Frist told a photographer.
Posted by Kate at 1/08/2005 01:00:00 AM
Just 60 days after the election and SUDDENLY:
- * Social Security benefits must be cut
* We need a LOT more troops in Iraq for a much longer time
* Bush tells you that the government money is his, not yours
* That he has a mandate to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants
Posted by Kate at 1/06/2005 11:08:00 PM
Apparently they watched some of the testimony today, too.
It was amazing to hear mainsteam media make it sound sooooo mean to give hard questions to a man who basically has signed off on torture and executions and whatever else makes W. feel like more of a man.
Posted by Kate at 1/06/2005 11:04:00 PM
Well, it is the Epiphany.
Will this stop Bush? Hell no. Once again, the vote was stolen. But I'd sure like it to lead to serious examination of how we've handed over the tallying of the votes to partisan corporations like Diebold.
Posted by Kate at 1/06/2005 04:46:00 PM
I watched some of his confirmation hearings today and the more I watched, the less I wanted this man anywhere near the Attorney General's spot. I think he would represent the American people even less than John Ashcroft and would be even more dangerous than Ashcroft.
And you know what? He'll be confirmed. Another very sad day for our country.
Gonzales is a despicable human being. One can only wish he someday suffers at the hands of his own legal handiwork. He's never met a poor person he wouldn't like to see executed or a prisoner he wouldn't happily agree to torture. To have him call himself a member of the Hispanic community is a lie and an insult to every person of Latin background.
Posted by Kate at 1/06/2005 04:41:00 PM
I'm not very clear on why she's getting a new trial. I'm afraid I'm also notoriously unsympathetic for people who make a series of decisions as she did, then kill their children "in the name of God". What bothered me about her first case - besides all those dead children, of course - is that our system is hell bent on punishment with little concern for mental illness' involvement in the crimes. But I don't find Andrea Yates more deserving of special treatment than men in similar situations, although people rally behind her because she's a female. If it had been Yates' husband rather than Yates herself, there would be no new trial.
Looking back at the case, it's easy to feel that someone should have intervened. Yates should never have continued having children with the severity of her illness and the development of post-partum depression. I don't really buy that her husband forced her. Unless Rusty Yates raped her after removing all possible forms of birth control from her grasp, Andrea participated in the decision to keep having children against medical advice.
But the problem is that you really can't have the state making decisions for who can have children and who can't. "The state" forcibly sterilized women in mental institutions at one point. I don't think we want to go back to that anymore than we want to go back to the time in the 40s-early 60s when we forcibly lobotomized or administered brutal electroshock therapy.
Posted by Kate at 1/06/2005 04:22:00 PM
From the Times Argus:
President Bush has succeeded in opening the checkbooks of five federal departments to religious organizations. Now he's setting his sights on money doled out by the states.
The goal is to persuade states to funnel more of the federal money for social service programs that they administer to "faith-based organizations."
Federal regulations now allow federal agencies to directly fund churches and other religious groups. Bush acted alone to rewrite these regulations after failing to persuade Congress to change the law.
Partly as a result, in 2003, groups dubbed "faith-based" received $1.17 billion in grants from federal agencies, according to documents provided by the White House to The Associated Press. That was about 8 percent of the $14.5 billion spent on social programs that qualify for faith-based grants in five federal departments.
That's not enough, said Jim Towey, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. An additional $40 billion in federal money is given out by state governments, he said, and many states do not realize that federal rules now allow them to fund these organizations."We're on the sunrise side of the mountain," he said.
Posted by Kate at 1/04/2005 11:53:00 PM
So says Skippy, who indicates Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) may stand with U.S. Congressman John Conyers in questioning the Ohio electoral votes IF she gets enough feedback indicating she should do so.
Skippy's got all the contact numbers. Go find. While I'm sure CA residents are most important for this, I called all the way from the Socialist Republic of Cow Patties. Please do it now.
Posted by Kate at 1/04/2005 11:19:00 PM
That's the conjecture today after the governor of Baghdad was assassinated. But Bush apparently told him no. Bush, of course, says this is important that the "will of the Iraqi people" be expressed. But this isn't about the Iraqi people at all. The only true candidates are the ones in Bush's back pocket. If someone got elected there who wasn't willing to be a shill for Washington, we'd get rid of him right fast.
This is the kind of "democracy" George Bush brings to Iraq. Not liberation of the people from a despot but liberating the country of its oil and other resources.
Posted by Kate at 1/04/2005 08:16:00 PM
We hate to start the New Year with bad news, but on Thursday, the Senate will consider Alberto Gonzales' nomination to become Attorney General, replacing John Ashcroft. Gonzales is the White House counsel notorious for opening the door to torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons. Senators should view the Gonzales nomination very skeptically, given this radical history. As part of the upcoming hearings, we're calling on Senators to ask Gonzales to unequivocally renounce torture as an instrument of American policy.
You can ask Gonzales and Senators to prohibit torture by clicking here.
Please. Take the right stand (not to be confused with the right's stand).
Posted by Kate at 1/04/2005 02:27:00 PM
CNN reports that the WH spokespeople admitted Mr. Bush has not tendered one thin dime to the disaster relief efforts. Then they backpedalled to say you know, it's a question of how much he should give and who to give it to - the questions we resolved last week.
This after he waited a week to tell Americans, who were already donating like crazy, to give, give, give.
"Do as I say, not as I do."
Posted by Kate at 1/04/2005 02:22:00 PM
Eight days after Americans began donating in record numbers, in record amounts, the president comes out today and asks each and every American to donate to the tsunami relief funds. In other words, we're supposed to pull his ass out of a sling. He even had the nerve to imply that we should give our money rather than the government's money. Last I checked, the government money is our money.
Now, I don't argue with Americans helping. I've even implored people myself and contributed myself.
What I have difficulty with is that:
- * the president's appeal is kind of late (but hey, you wouldn't want him to cut a moment off his three week vacation)
* I bet the twins haven't curtailed a cent of their nightly multi-thousand dollar bar bill to help anyone
* he clearly would rather keep the government money to spend himself on that assinine Star Wars program, tax cuts for the rich, and pretending he isn't bankrupting Social Security
* God forbid he admits he really fucked this one up
* he pulls out Clinton - who he detests - just to prevent getting in anymore trouble
* he waits until virtually everyone who wants to donate has already done so
Posted by Kate at 1/03/2005 11:43:00 PM
My God! From Reuters:
A reported U.S. plan to keep some suspected terrorists imprisoned for a lifetime even if the government lacks evidence to charge them in courts was swiftly condemned on Sunday as a "bad idea" by a leading Republican senator.Are we actually prepared to torture, imprison, and terrorize like this? Do we really think that will not create more "terrorists"?
The Pentagon and the CIA have asked the White House to decide on a more permanent approach for those it was unwilling to set free or turn over to U.S. or foreign courts, the Washington Post said in a report that cited intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials.
Posted by Kate at 1/02/2005 02:10:00 PM
Sitting up late last night pondering the tragedy in South Asia, I came to a strange and unfortunate theory.
Mr. Bush and his people have spent an enormous amount of time, money, and effort making Americans scared to death and using the image of some 3,000 dying on 9-11 to push through some horrific things that go against who we as America think we are.
How inconvenient it is that 150,000 (today's figure, expected to rise sharply) managed to die in an event that had nothing to do with al Qaeda, bin Laden, Saddam, or North Korea. No amount of money and supposed "homeland security" can protect against such a thing. How inconvenient, too, if Americans begin to realize that there are far more dangerous possibilities in the world than those we call terrorists.
Could Bush's response have to do with his desire not to let Americans think too much about this natural danger and then place 9-11 in some sort of more accurate perspective? After all, we have more die from the flu each year than died on 9-11.
Posted by Kate at 1/02/2005 01:52:00 PM
The American people themselves appear to be very generous in response to the horrific disaster in Southern Asia. But the response of our government has been far less than stellar and it's once again cast us in a very poor light throughout the world.
Once again, Mr. Bush has led us into a disastrous situation that points the world's finger at us. Yes, our offer of aid has increased from a paltry $15 million to $350 million (although Bush kept saying billion during one of his conferences) but only after much criticism. Even $350 million represents what we spend blasting the hell out of Iraq in 40 hours (or less than two full days); it's a trifle compared to what we spent in Florida ($14 billion) where few lives were lost so Mr. Bush could get re-elected.
Yesterday, in his weekly radio address, Mr. Bush said we're doing still more. But what we're doing is flying flags... a week after the disaster struck.. which won't rescue or feed a single child, let alone find thousands of Americans still unheard from whom Mr. Powell said today remain unaccounted for.
We've managed to divert attention from this tragedy to our poor response. People won't remember how many individual Americans ponied up their money to help; they'll remember that the U.S. was cheap. That's what our leader has done (besides cutting brush at his play ranch in Crawford and sending his fat brother who really doesn't have much knowledge of real disaster). Once again, he's tried to make the U.N. and international relief agencies the bad guy when the finger gets pointed at him (and us).
Contrary to American belief that we spend huge sums of money on foreign aid (polls show they believe we contribute some 10-30% of U.S. tax dollars to it), we actually only spend less than 1% in helping other countries each year. Per capita, we spend far less than most developed countries in helping others.
Posted by Kate at 1/02/2005 01:40:00 PM