Friday, June 15, 2007
Well I don't know about you, but I'm wondering about this good 'ol boy. Personally, I prefer to have a beer with someone who doesn't get it all over the table cloth. Heh. That's just me. I'm sure the world leaders assembled at this little happy hour didn't notice our country boy's lack of manners. Again.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Think back to his state of the union address in January 2006, when he made the bold statement, "Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil ...." Then he told us his plan:
"Tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative -- a 22 percent increase in clean energy research at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission, coal-fired plants; revolutionary solar and wind technologies; and clean, safe nuclear energy.How's that grass thing going, Mr. President? It's a year and a half later, and we're still headed down a dangerous path of relying on foreign oil and polluting the environment. In Maryland, consumers are being hit with a massive rate increase in our utility bills. Gas prices hover around $3 for regular unleaded. And when states such as California try to be proactive and require stricter automobile emissions standards, this administration tries to block them.
"We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips, stalks,or switch grass."
Clearly, it's up to us to change the course of this nation. The war in Iraq is based on our voracious appetite for oil. If you doubt that, then please tell me why have we not stepped in to help all of the other nations around the world with tyrannical, demonic leaders? It is simple, dear readers. It's because they don't have anything we want. Guess what? Sudan does have oil! So maybe the U.S. should start getting involved in ending the suffering in Darfur. Guess what? Rwanda doesn't have anything! So we'll let them work things out among themselves.
What can you do to change this situation? Each one of us can, and does, make a difference. Reducing your car trips even slightly does help. Using compact fluorescent light bulbs does help. Writing to your elected officials — both local and national — does help. Tell them to increase funding for renewable and green energy sources. Tell them to stop funding this war for oil. The Bush dynasty and the rest of this administration have their fingers in the oil profits pot. They won't change unless we insist on it.
This planet and all of its citizens are asking, "What have you done for me lately?"
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
In last fall's Democratic primary, I voted for Kweisi Mfume, and I sure do miss him now. I had so hoped Mfume would be a strong voice on issues such as the war. I feared Cardin would not stand firm, would not be vocal. I am so sorry that my suspicions of him were true. From his message, Cardin clearly thinks that over time, the president can be persuaded to change course. I wonder what our soldiers in Iraq, as well as the citizens there, think about future "opportunities" to "push the administration." I'm sure they don't mind waiting.
Thank you for contacting me with regards to U.S. involvement in Iraq .
In 2002, as a member of the House of Representatives, I voted against the Congressional resolution that gave President George Bush the authority to invade Iraq . Since that time, I have been an ardent critic of the war and the manner in which the Administration has conducted it.
The bipartisan Iraq Study Group concluded that the solution to Iraqi unrest is political rather than military. The President should pursue a strategy that will decrease the Iraqi government's reliance on American forces and bring our brave troops home. I encourage increased diplomatic efforts in talking with Iraq 's neighboring countries to help stabilize the region.
Since my election to the U.S. Senate, my top priority has been working with Majority Leader Reid and other colleagues to change direction in Iraq . We have shaped a position calling for a total troop withdrawal beginning October 1, 2007 with a goal of completion by April 1, 2008. I supported such amendments and was disappointed that the provisions were not included in the final version of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill for FY 2007. There will continue to be good opportunities to push the administration on this issue, including the Defense Authorization bill and the FY 2008 Defense Appropriations bill, among others. I have enclosed a copy of my first statement on the Senate floor, in which a large portion was devoted to my Iraq policy and the need for change . Please be assured that as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I will be fully engaged in working for a political and diplomatic resolution of the Iraqi conflict, and pushing for a drawdown of American forces.
I appreciate your taking the time to contact me about this important matter. Please do not hesitate to do so again about this or any other issue of importance to you. Email.BeginHide.merge
Benjamin L. Cardin
United States Senator
Please indulge me and give this classic another try. I'll bet it's been 25 years since you last read it, and you might find some relevance today that you could not fathom at 17.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
— Robert Frost
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Except, it turns out that a good quarter of the time that jet is actually used by the FBI Director Robert Mueller to get to his speaking engagements and public appearances. I encourage you to read the entire article. And become outraged.
Monday, June 11, 2007
O.k. I understand that it's "non-alcoholic" beer (supposedly Buckler Beer from Germany.) (Thanks to Shakesville for the keen eye above.) But all non-alcoholic beer does actually contain some alcohol, about .5%. So, despite all of the stories of salvation, and quitting drinking after his 40th birthday, I do wonder if he's off the self-imposed wagon. Could it explain the forgetfulness mentioned in the previous story? And the "stomach ailment"? Well, he recovered awfully quickly for the stomach flu. But actually right on schedule for a little bender. I bet if you drank enough non-alcoholic beer to get a buzz, you would indeed have a "stomach ailment."
Some background from Wikipedia:
Bush has said he gave up drinking after waking up with a hangover after his 40th birthday celebration: "I quit drinking in 1986 and haven't had a drop since then." He ascribed the change in part to a 1985 meeting with Reverend Billy Graham, after which he began serious Bible study, as well as to gentle but firm pressure from his wife, Laura. Friends recall that Bush said nothing of his decision, even to Laura, until many weeks later when they realized that he had not had so much as a single beer in the interim. Despite his claims of having no alcohol since 1986, video of Bush at a wedding in 1992 has surfaced in which the president appears intoxicated, slurring his speech and saying odd things. A photo was also taken on June 7, 2007 of Bush drinking what appears to be a beer at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany.
Then there was the dancing Bush. At an event marking Malaria Awareness Day, the president's behavior was anything but presidential, first dancing some sort of variation of the funky chicken, then banging on one of the drums himself. Don't believe me? Watch the video, and you'll see how painful it was for all involved.
Responding to a reporter's question in Rome on Saturday, Bush had said a deadline should be set for a U.N. resolution on Kosovo's independence. "In terms of the deadline, there needs to be one," he said. "This needs to come -- this needs to happen."Emphasis mine, but ... Sigh.
Asked Sunday about when he would like that deadline set, Bush seemed flummoxed. "I don't think I called for a deadline," he said. Told that he had, Bush responded: "I did? What exactly did I say? I said, 'Deadline'? Okay, yes, then I meant what I said."
Or his wonderful table manners Prime Minister Blair:
Sigh and sigh, again.