Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The ANWAR Oil Nonsolution

Once again today in a press conference, Mr. Bush pushed for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as some sort of solution to the nation's appetite for oil. Yet, Mr. Bush failed to mention the serious public safety concerns why this Alaskan oil is totally unsuitable for use with the present level of refining technology available. Compared to the oil from any part of the world, this Alaskan oil is contaminated with far higher levels of poisonous benzene than oil from anywhere in the world.

The problem with benzene is that it is highly toxic and can collect in the blood and decrease the production of red blood cells and ruin the immune system and can lead to a series of serious health problems including death. Benzene can even endanger unborn children as well, resulting in low birth weight or other problems. And the current technology of refining of oil does little to filter out this serious toxin, which is also not filtered out by automobile air pollution systems either. Benzene unfortunately is still contained in high levels in automobile exhaust gases, and any car burning Alaskan oil is pouring out this dangerous toxin in high levels and causing potentially serious and deadly consequences to anyone breathing these benzene contaminated exhaust gases. In fact benzene is so difficult to filter out with current refining technology, that the Bush Administration controlled EPA has given the oil industry a special pass until 2014 before they have to deal with the problem. Currently, only the British owned, British Petroleum Compamy has had a high level of success dealing with the filtering out of benzene from Alaskan oil thanks to a very expenxive and complex high tech refining plant that other American owned oil companies have so far failed to match due to the extreme investment cost to prevent this serious toxic pollution danger.

Environmentalists have only attacked further exploration of oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge on some narrow ecological grounds, while the medical science community can write volumes about the huge dangers of the continued benzene poisoning to the public. Until all oil companies are able to effectively deal with the benzene poisoning issue through better oil refining technology, the benzene contaminated oil should be considered absolutely unsuitable for use. The Bush Administration controlled EPA had no business allowing the oil industry to endanger the public health through benzene poisoning until 2014 just because the U.S. needed oil. That's only trading one problem for a far worse public health danger. That's no solution.

Mr. Bush has a real penchant to attempt to make complex issues simple. In fact, too simple.

Who's More Clueless, That Miss South Carolina "As Such" Girl, Or John McCain?

The Miss South Carolina girl was famous for her outrageous clueless "As Such" speech to describe her understanding of important foreign policy issues. With his clueless views on the economy, John McCain could easily be her grandfather. The latest DNC ad proves that John McCain has little real understanding of the foreclosure mess, rampant inflation, falling home prices in a collapsing real estate market, $4.00 gas, job losses or other vital issues. Yet this guy believes that it's his "turn" to be president.

His "turn", that's an excellent basis for wanting to be the next president. The presidency is perhaps the most important job in the world, where a broad undestanding of complex issues including the economy, foreign policy. domestic issues, military matters, etc. is required, and John McCain believes that his "turn" is his most important qualification. Mr. McCain is quick to volunteer that he has little understanding of economics, and the latest DNC ad seems to indicate that he's never picked up a copy of the Wall STREET JOURNAL or any economy based publication ever in his lifetime.

Mr. McCain, you do Miss South Carolina proud.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Millions Go Without Heating Oil Because Of Failed Bush War For Oil

Many Americans including the elderly and the working poor are now having to do without heating oil as a price of a barrel of oil has quadrupled from just $28 a barrel when Bush was elected in November 2000 to over $117 a barrel today. All of this has only gone to make the cost of heating oil around $4.00 a gallon, which is unaffordable for millions of Americans who cannot afford to spend $500-700 a month to heat an older home with oil. Many Americans find themselves wearing layers of clothing shivering in cold homes as a result of big oil buying the Bush Administration into power in Washington.

The result of this oil plutocracy government in Washington has been over 4,000 American servicepersons killed and over 20,000 wounded, many seriously as the result of the Bush Oil Administration's attempt to grab on to the oil assets of Iraq. Instead of securing lower oil prices, oil supplies became more uncertain as a result of the war, and worldwide oil speculation of the tightening world supllies only helped to fuel a balistic upward surge of oil prices on the world commodity markets. The resulting huge inflation of oil prices has only driven up food prices as well as inflation in so many other areas and helped to ruin the American economy driving it into a recession.

For the first time in American history, many of the members of the Bush Administration represented only one industry group, oil. In fact, 43 members of the Bush Administration were from the oil industry including Bush himself with familiy oil ties, Vice President Dick Cheney with his Halliburton Oil Company background as the former CEO, Secretary Of State, Condoleezza Rice, a former Chevron Oil board of directors member, and Don Evans was the former CEO of Tom Brown Oil Company, among other Bush Administration members who held positions who were former oil company lobbyists, executives or stockholders. In addition, another 33 members of the Bush Administration had defense industry ties or like convicted felon "Scooter" Libby Lewis, were strong advocates of "preemptive warfare". Other disgraced militarists included Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld, both part of the militarist organization, The Project For The New American Century.

The oil industry is not about to lose power in Washington and has already made big contributions to the three senators running for president. Republican John McCain has received $291,658 in big oil contributions so far. Hillary Clinton has received $289,950. And Barack Obama has received $163,480 in contributions from the oil industry. This industry is hedging it's bet by making contributions to all the remaining candidates.

During 2007, Exxonmobil spent around $17 million to lobby Congress. Chevron spent around $9 milion on lobby efforts. And BP, ConnocoPhillips, Shell and others around $5 million or less dollars on lobby efforts to kill legislation on renewable energy bills or other profit hurting legislation that would cut oil industry profits. While millions of Americans struggle to affort heating oil, oil company profits among just the "Big Five" companies total around $230,000 a minute. In 2007, the "Big Five" oil companies earned $123 billion in profits, and continue to enjoy $1.8 billion in tax breaks. Most recently, Republicans in Congress fought to stop an attempt by the Democrats to remove some tax advantages of oil, only proving the great power of the oil industry in Washington to control legislation relating to the industry.

In many ways it seems like the oil industry engages in a form of "pay for play", by spending money on lobby efforts to gain big tax breaks. For every $1 the oil industry spends on lobby efforts, the oil industry earns $264 in tax breaks currently. During 2007, big oil's efforts to kill renewable energy legislation could have killed an estimated 116,000 jobs for those working in solar, wind, and other alternative energy research and production. Big oil has constantly fought a battle to strip away tax credits from alternative energy purposes while fighting to retain it's own big tax credits.

Meanwhile the failed war for oil in Iraq has cost Americans over half a trillion dollars in taxes, and has only acted as yet another factor driving up more oil speculation and significantly boosting oil prices. On April 15, when most Americans paid their taxes, few knew that an average family pays around $2,700 a year in taxes for the military, including funding for the Iraq War for oil. So far the failed war for oil has cost the average household $4,681 in taxes since 2003, while the federal government only spends just 29cents a year on consumer protection by comparison.

If anything the big oil industry involvement in Washington has only proven that whatever you invest in you get more of. Big oil's involvement in Washington has only resulted in a MidEast war for oil, record gas and home heating oil prices, huge food and other inflation, a recession, and big profits and tax breaks for the industry. Meanwhile oil is at $117.58 at the time of this writing, and $4.00+ a gallon gas is coming reality.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bush's Iraq War Costs Up To $511,046,890,000+ Dollars

The war in Iraq and the national reconstruction costs that Bush promised would be paid for by Iraqi oil revenues to renew the country have instead cost American taxpayers $511,046,890,000+ dollars at the time of this writing and are increasing in cost by the second. And while Iraq oil production has slowly increased closer to the levels before the 2003 war, a GAO report just last week claimed that the Iraqi government has spent just 4.4% of the oil revenues on reconstruction in the nation or efforts to build schools, hospitals, provide clean water projects, etc. In fact it is an open secret that billions of dollars has instead been put into Swiss bank accounts or other world bank accounts by Iraqi government officials.

This corrupt situation where funds do not advance the welfare of the nation is unfortunately very similiar to the problems when massive American financial aid was given to the Yasser Arafat Palestinian Authority Fatah government in the hopes of advancing peace with Israel, but instead much of the money ended up in Swiss bank accounts rather than helping the Palestinian people. In fact Yasser Arafat's widow had well over $100 million in funds in Swiss bank accounts at the time of the death of her husband, much of it coming from the American reconstruction aid funds.

And even worse, the American military is paying around $3.35 a gallon for gasoline in Iraq, which has become one of the biggest costs of this war, while the Iraqi government offers gasoline to the Iraqi people for about $1.35 a gallon. The Bush Administration has completely failed to work out some sort reduced fuel cost deal with Iraqi government officials, who instead are profiting handsomely from the continued American presense in their country and either embezzling much of the oil revenues from rampant government corruption or else tucking funds away in world bank accounts.

And while Republican candidates are once again running for office this year on some sort of a nonsensical antitax platform as they usually do, the Republican Bush White House and most Republicans in Congress including John McCain only continue to vote for more and more tax dollars for Iraqi reconstruction projects that the Iraqi government fails to repay the United States for. Another fact is that many of the highest paid reconstruction contractors are not even American firms, so huge payments are flowing out of the U.S. to many European firms who are profiting handsomely from this war.

Some of the highest paid private contractors for the Iraq War and the reconstruction include: AMEC, as much as $600 million in Centcom contracts for water reconstruction projects. Aegis, who have been awarded $430 by the Pentagon to pay for private security. Erinys, a London based petroleum exploration company who has been paid in excess of $86 million British pounds. Petrel Resources, a London and Dublin, Ireland based oil well construction firm has been paid $56.6 million British pounds. HSBC, the third largest banking institution in the world, earned over $36.8 million British pounds. In addition many former British, Welsh and Scots Guard mlitary commanders are profiting handsomely to the tune of millions of British pounds for companies they head that are providing reconstruction to Iraq, much of it paid entirely by the American taxpayer while Iraqi oil revenues could top $100 billion dollars this year, and the corrupt Iraqi government offers no fuel tax breaks to the American military.

Way to go Mr. Bush. Meanwhile Americans are paying record prices for oil products. Oil was only $28 a barrel when Mr. Bush was elected in November 2000, but has topped over $110 a barrel today. You would hardly know that Mr. Bush has an MBA in business management skills or ever took an accounting class in college.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

SNL's Political Charactures Probably Only Mirrors What The Voting Public Feels

Last night's new Saturday Night Live offered up yet another classic opening segment with keen satire on the hearings in the Senate last week where presidential candidates Senators John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were allowed to ask questions about the Iraq war to General Daid Petraeus. If anything, the charactures of the candidates probably only really mirrored what the voting public feels about the candidates.

It certainly seemed as though Barack Obama came out the least scathed in last night's SNL satire, although there are some signs that his latest controversial comments during a San Francisco fundraiser may be hurting somewhat according to some early analysis over at Rasmussen Reports. However, Rasmussen finds that among Democrats Obama's statements seem to have less impact than they do among Republicans or Independent voters. Likely the SNL satire was written earlier in the week before these comments. But Obama has always proven to have a rubber-band like quality to bounce back and the Pennsylvania primary is still nine days away, allowing more time to recover.

John McCain was largely characterized as simply being a Bush Administration and Iraq War "yes man" type politician, who simply looks for any opportunity to ignore all the problems in Iraq and attempt to declare victory over and over.

But the characterization of Hillary Clinton had to indeed be the most troublesome of the three candidates. She was painted as someone who misrepresents her record when it comes to her short term political advantage. If the public really feels anything like this, then this is indeed very troubling, if not in the remaining primaries, then for certainly for the general election. Clinton is low on cash and without much real hope of really capturing the nomination, and it is only really any missteps by Obama that vClinton can hope to bank on to some extent. But in politics nine days is a near eternity, and Clinton has managed to generate more than her own fair share of political missteps on her account of her Bosnia trip and other matters recently. Overall, the impression of Clinton as a pandering politician, only all too willing to say anything for her short term political advantage seems to be sticking.

In the end, Obama probably can recover and rely on his freshness with voters to still have a better than decent chance to become president, although McCain often leads either Obama or Clinton in most current polls. But SNL probably mirrored the current public perception of the three candidates fairly well and should really give the three campaigns a serious insight into their public images. From the standpoint of political analysis, SNL may well be right on the money compared to some serious pundits. Sometimes it seems like the comics can encapsule more truth in their humor than those who are considered to be more serious.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mail Might Be Re-Routed Around Critical Anthrax Safeguards

Several postal workers of the Portland, Oregon Postal Workers Union Local 128 have filed official complaints to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) and to the USPS Postal Inspector that some managers of the local mail service have been re-routing mail around the anthrax-sniffing safeguards and equipment that Congress appropriated $1.4 billion for to prevent terrorism or other biological attacks through the mail system. In possible efforts to speed up production through the Portland, Oregon mail system, such a cutting of corners with safety could endanger both the postal workers as well as the public.

Congress quickly responded with the $1.4 billion dollar anthrax sniffing equipment funds after two Washington, D.C. postal workers were killed six years ago with anthrax that some terrorist or other individual sent through the mail system. The equipment installed by the postal service takes an air sample of all letters collected from postal boxes and from home mailboxes, and if some biohazard is detected, then an alarm warns the postal workers to evaculate the workplace and to call in agents trained to handle such a biohazard danger. Any bypassing of this critical antiterrorism safeguard endangers both the postal employees and the public both, and gives terrorists or other elements an opening to create public mayhem.

The local labor union's own safety representative, Roseanna Foster-Mikhail, is a 22 year veteran employee of the local Portland, Oregon postal service, and has personally trained other employees in biohazard detection and handling. It defeats the important role of a dedicated union safety inspector like this if mail is indeed being re-routed around anthrax and biohazard safeguards. It becomes an unnecessary risk for the postal workers to work in such an environment where the high tech equipment which was developed by Northrop Grumman is not used to prevent a potential deadly danger. Even if a false positive is somehow detected, in the case of serious biohazards such as anthrax, you cannot be too careful around such serious threats that almost certainly result in death.

After 9/11 and the later anthrax threats, Washington responded with massive funding to plug-up some very serious security holes that allowed terrorists to wage attacks on American citizens. These critical safeguards have proven effective since 9/11 in preventing further attacks. It is only through the continued work of trained employees to maintain these safeguards that the American public has enjoyed safety since 9/11. When some involved in these critical public safety inspections fail to do their duty, then the public finds itself in needless danger and terrorists are only given an opening to do their dirty work. No doubt, both OSHA and the USPS Postal Inpectors office will take the complaints'filed by these local postal workers in Portland very seriously and will take steps to be sure that the mail isn't also being re-routed in other local postal systems.

Labor unions not only protect the safety of their members, but also provide an important measure of safety for the consumer public as well. If the postal services were not unionized, likely this critical anthrax safety issue would have never have become an issue. In nonunion workplaces there is a far higher incidence of worker injury and death than in unionized workplaces.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The American Taliban Hard At Work

Just like their extremist counterparts in Afghanistan who seek to repress and stomp on anything that is culturally liberated or progressive, the American Taliban is hard at work here. These cultural fascists seek to use government, law and any other means available to impose their own strict religious views on society as whole and don't respect the rights of others to choose what they consider to be free choices based on their own moral world views and opinions.

The Elliot Spitzer story was just one good recent example. Certainly the man brought a lot of embarrassment and disgrace to both his wife and family on one hand, and jokes for the late night comics as well. But if he had not been the Governor of New York, the question really remains whether the public destruction of this man really served any worthy purpose for society as whole. Would American society really crumble down and collapse if the private actions of Elliot Spitzer were simply ignored by government? Morally, his choice to frequent the high end call girl business might have well been a very poor one. But was it any business of the govenment to get involved in this? It was Spitzer's very own money. No evidence exists that he embezzled it. Why is it any business of government if this man made a poor choice that many, if not most would consider immoral as a way to spend his own money? And the application of some laws meant to stop illegal financial transactions by drug dealers by the feds was only the latest outrageous example of the far fetched abuse of some laws meant to collar-in serious crime such as dangerous narcotics. Adultry was once considered a sin to be judged by God alone. But some in government think they need to be doing "God's work".

But the American Taliban isn't satisfied to just stop there. Self-righteous religious and cultural extremist, Bob Peters, President of Morality In Media, has gone on the attack against store displays of this years' SPORTS ILLUSTRATED swimsuit issue. Peters manages to ignore all the other conduct by WalMart regarding poor wages or lack of health care by many employees, and instead is outraged that the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED swimsuit issue is displayed and available for sale at their stores. Cultural extremist Peters has had a long history of crackpot crusades, some of the most absurd being defending guns during campus shooting massacres but blaming the entertainment industry instead. Who even knew that directors like Spielberg or Lucus were somehow responsible for these bizarre actions by violent mentally ill persons if persons like Peters did not make a major effort to point that out?

And over at the FCC, some socially and culturally retarded bureacrats are still running after FOX and a number of FOX local stations that ran a heavily-pixelated batchelor party scene during one moment of MARRIED IN AMERICA several years ago. Leave it up to some religious and cultural regressives to stew in anger for several years because some heavily pixelated scene with absolutely no nudity or even bad language was aired many years ago on TV and attempt to extort FOX stations out of $1.18 million dollars in fines. While the short scene on the long cancelled TV show has been long forgotten by all normal and rational persons, all the years of threats and extortion schemes coming out of the FCC offices by some cultural screwballs lives on forever it seems. It seems that some persons at the FCC simply lack the intelligence and discretion to drop this stupid matter.

And yesterday, out of Washington, DC, came the indictment of a major California adult website operator and DVD distributor on obscenity charges that could potentially have a very sweeping and chilling impact on freedom of expression on the Internet as a whole. One portion of the multiple count indictment dealt with a new application of the Communication Act Of 1934, by bringing a new charge against a website by claiming that it offered material that could be considered offensive to persons under 18. If the federal government should win such a case, then a heavy blanket of censorship could fall all over the Internet, greatly restricting content of all types, including words and other editorial content. Every website of all types would have to greatly restrict language and content down to a level which would not be considered to be morally objectionable for viewing by a child.

Right now the Internet acts as an information "Superhighway" for all types of thoughts and communication, some very G rated, and some not very G rated at all. But the chilling impact of any such ruling in favor of this new application of this old 1934 law which originally regulated indecent telephone messages to modern communications like the Internet cannot be understated. This is highly likely to become a major Supreme Court case and will definately impact what the Internet looks like after such a ruling. Further, the old 1934 law even refers to controls over foreign communications as well, and raises some serious questions of American law enforcement imposing their will on foreign Website operators who are not even U.S. citizens or operating in many European nations with little or no regulations dealing with indecent or even obscene content or editorial material. The freedom with which one can establish a Website and pretty much say or post what one desires may be coming to an end. The cultural extremists may have just found a new way to use children as human shields in a new attempt to justify their efforts to control the thoughts of others.

American soldiers are risking their lives fighting cultural fascists overseas, meanwhile cultural fascists just as dangerous lurk around over here.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The McCain DoubleTalk Express

John McCain has just wound up his latest "Straight Talk Express" tour and his efforts to "reintroduce" himself once again to voters. In fact, if anything, McCain has probably been the most expert at "reinventing" who he really is everytime he finds himself in some difficult political position. In fact, McCain has been on so many sides of so many issues that he could probably even debate himself if he really wanted to generate some publicity to the voters.

From 1982-1987, when McCain received political contributions from the corrupt Charles Keating who was responsible for Lincoln Savings & Loan Scandal, McCain attempted to change his image into some sort of campaign finance "reformer" to shake off his image as one of the "Keating Five" in Congress. This was probably McCain's first attempt to create a new image for himself when scandal threatened his political career.

McCain still plays up his reformer image, and complains about about special interest influence to voters, although he has 59 lobbyists involved in his campaign raising funds or providing political advice to his presidential campaign.

McCain offered an apology for only his vote against a 1983 bill to establish an MLK holiday, and never mentioned to voters that he also opposed establishing an MLK holiday in not only 1983, but 1987 and 1989 as well. McCain also has one of the worst records in the Senate on any issue involving civil rights legislation, and even had an advisor, Richard Quinn, who was a South Carolina political advisor in 2000 that was a supporter of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke on his campaign. McCain's record on civil rights legislation is anything but moderate, but on the extreme side of most Republican legislators. Even Ronald reagan and George Bush condemned David Duke, while McCain put one of Duke's strongest supporters in a key campaign position by comparison.

McCain would like voters believe that he can manage the serious problems with the economy such as the problem with so many home foreclosures. Yet McCain offers no real answers to these people who were often victimized by scam loan artists. McCain and his wife own eight homes and McCain is one of the wealthiest men in the Senate, and is far out of touch with the problems that many working people have with trying to buy a home.

McCain also wants voters to believe that he is somehow "proenvironment". Yet the League Of Conservation voters gave McCain a 0% voting record on issues dealing with the environment last year. All of McCain's doubletalk about supporting the environment just doesn't square with his record.

Privately many of McCain's Republican friends in the Senate are worried about his erratic and wild personality, and fits of temper. McCain attempts to portray himself as some sort of level headed "moderate" or mainstream "conservative", but his goofy fits of anger and rage make even many military suppliers wary of contributing campaign funds to his presidential campaign. He's simply viewed as being too unpredictable, even though he's the most hawkish of any Republican candidate who ran for president this year. McCain was even rated by one conservative organization as the second most conservative Senator during one year.

McCain has long attempted to portray himself as something of a "moderate" or "maverick" within his party. However the extent of his bipartisanship is hardly any stronger than other Republican member of the Senate. In fact while McCain long attempted to question the Bush Administration's support of torture, Mccain was quick to voice support for Bush when Bush vetoed a ban on torture of political prisoners. McCain wants it both ways on this and many other issues.

McCain's latest ads only focus on his past such as his POW background, and really offer no real vision for the future. Even conservative commentator George Will termed McCain's views on economics as "adolescent" compared to what is really expected of someone who is a serious presidential contender.

McCain may hope that voters will be taken in by all the myths about him. But at some point all of the doubletalk, rather than "straight talk" will only catch up with the McCain campaign. You simply can't keep up fooling some of the people forever who you really are.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Hillary Gives A Good Speech, But....

It seemed like it was only a few short days ago that Hillary Clinton was so critical of Barack Obama as only having to offer a "good speech", while she claimed to offer more specifics. Indeed, at a rally in Hillsboro, Oregon on Saturday morning at a local high school, Clinton did also offer a very good speech as well as some solid ideological goals of any possible Clinton presidency to a cheering crowd of around 3,000 supporters. Compared to the massive rally of Obama to a crowd of 12,000 only a week ago, this Clinton speech was a decidedly smaller event. In fact, in every important regard, Clinton is on the shorter side of every important aspect of her race with Obama. Less cash, less delegates, smaller crowds, less popular votes, etc.

For the former "Goldwater girl" Republican, Clinton, has totally transformed herself into strong enough of a modern Democrat that under normal circumstances should certainly be electable as president. But at this point, even though her speeches may be now honed to a fine point, and her message solid enough to convince any mainstream Democrats, her continued bid for the presidency is simply a case of just too little, too late.

Clinton often seems to be at her very best whenever her back is up against the wall. However, with some calls for her to quit the race, many cash donors are wary to contribute to the Clinton campaign, and this is starting to dry up cash. It seems that just too many donors don't want to give cash to a candidate who may quit the race very soon. It just doesn't make sense.

And fresh polls from Rasmussen have Obama with 8-10point national leads over Clinton the last two days, and with a huge donor advantage, Obama is spending big money in Pennsylvania aiming for a knock-out blow to the Clinton campaign. In other states such as North Carolina, Oregon and Montana, Obama is likely to score more big wins in the coming weeks as well. In fact, Obama is now only 395 delegates short of capturing the nomination. Clinton is much farther back at 538 delegates. If Obama even comes close in Pennsylvania, let alone wins there, Clinton's drive for the presidency will be all but over, if it isn't now.

Clinton's campaign officials really let her down. No one had a decent plan for a continued effort after Super Tuesday, while the Obama campaign managed to line up massive donations for huge numbers of small donors usually giving under $100 each, which funded efforts in every state, and the Clinton campaign sat back and only allowed the Obama forces to score 11 straight wins in a row in primary and caucus states, yet failed to effectively compete in these states and instead concentrated on some absurd strategy of only targeting the bigger industrial states.

All of these internal problems for the Clinton campaign have only left her on the short end of her race with Obama, and almost nearly certain to lose her race. Clinton may be in top campaign form right now, delivering some of her best 11th hour campaign speeches so far. But it's really just simply too late at this point. She's too far behind in delegates and cash is quickly drying up to buy critical ads, and the superdelegates are rapidly moving more in the direction of Obama each week. In fact, Clinton hasn't gained a single delegate in days, while Obama has had a steady pick up of superdelegate in the last few days. Pennsylvania may be Clinton's last stand, especially with her numbers slipping there. After that, Clinton may just have to finally face reality and realize that she's only hurting the Democratic Party, and needs to gracefully bow out. If Clinton really wanted to win the nomination, then someone in her campaign really needed some ideas after Super Tuesday, but no one did. That's when Clinton lost this nomination race.

Friday, April 04, 2008

McCain Plans MLK Speech In Memphis After Voting Against MLK Holiday

In an ultimate act of political cynicism, John McCain is planning an address in Memphis today to supposedly commerate the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. The only problem is that McCain had once voted against making MLK day an official federal holiday, and now that it's an election year John McCain would sure like to have the votes of African Americans as well as any supporters of civil rights. It seems that McCain has had a sudden election year political conversion on race issues.

It is such cynical acts of political phoniness that really turn off many voters. Pandering politicians have terrible voting records on important issues while in office, but then work hard the deceive voters about their actual records when they seek higher offices. McCain would sure like voters to forget that he also was a strong political defender of outrageous racist Arizona Governor Evan Mecham who made his first act in office rescinding the state MLK holiday that was approved in the state. McCain made a real effort to defend this racism by Mecham.

And McCain's record of racist votes didn't just stop with the federal MLK holiday vote. McCain voted against the 1990 Civil Rights Act. And McCain even voted against an antidiscrimination bill intended to protect employees based on race four times in 1990 as well.

McCain has even surrounded himself with outrageous racist advisors as well such as Richard Quinn, who acted as McCain's South Carolina advisor during his failed 2000 presidential campaign. Quinn has also advocated for the election of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke to federal office. Quinn has even sold outrageous and offensive t-shirts that celebrated the assassination of Abraham Lincoln through a website that he operates, but even this wasn't enough for McCain to disassociate himself with this absurd racist. During the 2000 presidential campaign, McCain refused calls from outraged voters to fire Quinn as an advisor to the McCain presidential campaign and instead defended his hard core racist friend by calling him a "fine man".

And McCain's rotten instincts haven't just stopped with his mere votes against the civil rights of minorities, but have extended over to opposition to Gay rights as well. McCain has consistently opposed antidiscrimination and crime bills intended to protect Gay Americans from hate crimes and job discrimination both. During this latest campaign for president, McCain has attracted the support of antiGay radical Pastor John Hagee of San Antonio who denounces Gay Americans from the pulpit calling them "degenerates". Hagee has also attacked the Roman Catholic faith as well. McCain also has attracted support from extremist evangelist Rod Parsley of Ohio as well who is also another outspoken critic of the Gay community.

McCain's best hope is that voters are simply too stupid to look at his rotten record of support for racism and racists, and wrongfully believe that he's some sort of political moderate, which is hardly the case. McCain's views on race have been way out of mainstream of most Republicans for years. Most Republican legislators have far more moderate records on civil rights issues and have had kind words for Dr. Martin Luther King compared to McCain. Today, McCain will show up in Memphis and offer some phony politically moltivated praise for Dr. Martin Luther King, but it's only because McCain is running for president and now wants votes.

Perhaps the discussion of race this election year will now turn to John McCain, who almost makes Rev. Wright look good by comparison. McCain's views on race issues could even prove to be his political undoing when more voters examine his terrible record on this important social issue.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

British Troops Stop Withdrawal To Bolster Embattled Iraqi Government

Britain stopped the withdrawal of it's last 1,500 troops in the last few days when the Iraqi government looked likely to lose control in the Basra conflict with powerful proIranian cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr. Mahdi Army militia fighters associated with al-Sadr as well as other fighters armed by Iran were able to battle the Iraqi government to a stalemate earlier this week, and still control much of this third largest city in Iraq. American and British forces were unable to effectively back up the Iraqi government forces enough to take control from the more powerful militia elements. Like Hezbollah and other radical milita fighters in the MidEast, Mahdi fighters were able to gain a ceasefire agreement, which keeps them in control and allows them time to rearm and live to fight another day. Basra is also responsible for 80% of the economy of Iraq as the main oil shipping port. Loss of this important area will almost certainly collapse the Iraqi government with economic strangulation.

The Iraqi government's real weakness was really proven by all of these recent events. In five years the American and British forces simply haven't established a strong enough Iraqi military or central government that is even able to successfully confront serious challenges from the strongest Iraqi militia elements. All of this only proves that without a strong continued American role in Iraq, the flimsy Iraqi government probably would collapse within a few days to weeks. Mr. Bush has certainly failed to establish a real government in Iraq strong enough to be able to survive any serious power struggles that would almost certainly develop in the absense of the continued strong American role propping up the current regime in Iraq. In five years, the U.S. has really achieved far less in Iraq than most Americans really comprehend. Compared to other real governments in control of the other nations in the MidEast, Iraq's government is merely a flimsy neopuppet regime of the American effort.

Images very similiar to the 1975 fall of Saigon will almost certainly result if the government in Iraq would have to defend itself from internal threats by far better armed and moltivated militias still operating in Iraq. So far none of the efforts to disarm these organizations has really proven very successful. Mr. Bush has often used "switch and bait" language to mislead the American public that the small al Qaeda bands of terrorists operating in Iraq are somehow the biggest threat to the government there. This is hardly the case. Militia elements are far more powerful than any small bands of terrorists, and are only likely to grasp control of the troubled Iraqi government at any time when American or British support is weak. For the $500 billion dollar cost of this war in Iraq, the U.S. really hasn't achieved very much so far. The weak central government only survives from day to day with strong U.S. support. That's the honest truth.