Tuesday edition - January 29, 2007
Kucinich postpones Bush impeachment effort
Bush to Press Congress to Limit Earmarks
Bush Speech Focuses on War and Taxes
What does it take to get anyone impeached in this country? Maybe introducing Monica to Bush might be a good start, it worked last time.
"This week marked the one-year-left point in the Bush presidency. Folks, I'm with you, but stop cheering. He is still allowed to touch things. I pray he doesn't have one more giant f--- up in him, because, you know, he does keep trying. He tried to screw up Social Security, right? He tried to appoint his cleaning lady to the Supreme Court. He tried to get a war cry going to attack Iran. It's not like he's going to quit. He's going to be the worst president ever to the very last minute of the very last day. ... So I'm still nervous about this last year. I have the same feeling about this last year of his in office as I have when I'm on the highway and I have to go to the bathroom and I just passed a sign that says 'Next Rest Stop: 28 miles.'" --Bill Maher
“The president tonight will say, as he has for the past years, that the state of the union is strong. But I say, with all due respect, Mr. President, come out on the road with me.” - Sen. Hillary Clinton
many saw the Republican debate last night? Wow! Mitt Romney last night in
Florida played the p---- card against the Clintons. It's only January and he's
not even the candidate. He said the idea of Bill Clinton back in the White House
with nothing to do. Now that is a man who wants to be president. He is telling
the Republican base, 'You know what? These other posers up here with me, they
may have forgotten about the sauce on the blue dress, but I, Ward Cleaver, have
not. I am Mitt Romney, Mormon android and I will say whatever you program me to
say. I will run on a platform of stopping illegal immigrants from having sex
with Bill Clinton until the surge has succeeded.'" --Bill Maher
Republican Shenanigans News
More on McCain and Alito Baltimore Sun
Jeb Bush: Casino operators prey on the poor Baltimore Sun
GOP Unable to Force Vote on Bush Surveillance Bill Washington Post
At Least They Laughed
The president, speaking
about one of his signature programs, urged Congress to continue the No Child
Left Behind Act, saying, "no one can deny its results."
Republicans enthusiastically applauded. Several Democrats, who disagree, could be heard laughing at Bush's conclusion.
Groundhog Day and the State of the Union address: One involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication; the other involves a groundhog.
"Have you heard this story? They're trying to pass a bill now that allows politicians to insist that they be addressed by gender- neutral titles. Is that really necessary? I mean, don't we already have gender neutral titles for politicians? 'Crook,' 'liar,' 'adulterer,' 'pinhead,' 'moron,' these are all gender-neutral." --Jay Leno
Edwards to stay in race until convention, campaign says Los Angeles Times, CA
Electile Dysfunction 2008: A BallWitness News Special Report
FEMA: Still F-ing Up After All These Years
The Federal Emergency Management Agency manipulated scientific research in order to play down the danger posed by formaldehyde in trailers issued to hurricane victims, according to an investigation by congressional Democrats released Monday.
Search All Hat No Cattle or the Web!
Oil Prices The Associated Press
France says SocGen in crisis Washington Post
"The government is thinking of considering charging every person who enters the United States a dollar to raise more money for border control agents. You know, we can't catch people sneaking across the border now. How are you gonna charge them a dollar? ... I got a better idea, why don't we charge American companies a buck for every job they send overseas?" --Jay Leno
"Today is the 171st birthday of the flush toilet. Or, as Senator Larry Craig calls it, 'the love seat'" --David Letterman
Brattleboro gets Internet buzz over Bush/Cheney petition Barre Montpelier Times Argus, VT
I wonder who got Katherine Harris' endorsement?- Zing!
Subject: Tom Paine's Birthday
Lisa - the
essay below is in response to Tom Paine's forthcoming birthday. He is, as you
know one of the best and brightest of our American founders, and the one I
really relate to - see Rights of Man and Age of Reason. This is a bit long, so
of course freely excerpt, but maybe just do a shout out for Tom Paine on January
29? He sure deserves it. I wish our current pols would take a page from him.
Best to you, keep on keepin' on, and don't forget to salute the man in the moon!
Approximately 1,000 words
Tom Paine's Birthday
On January 29th people working for reform and free thought will celebrate Tom Paine's birthday around the world. He deserves to be nationally honored in the post-911 United States.
Tom Paine is a great American who fought for freedom, equality, direct democracy, and human rights. The Revolution might have failed without him, or perhaps not even started. He wrote America's first bestseller Common Sense, taking backroom revolutionary discussion public, and leading directly to the signing of the Declaration of Independence six months later. He spent two years in the Colonial Army with Washington, including the brutal winter at Valley Forge where he wrote The Crisis to talk the starving, freezing army out of deserting the cause. "These are the times that try men's souls," are among the most famous words in the American revolutionary liturgy.
"The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of all men and women."
Paine's words saved the army and the infant nation. Sent to France by Congress at his own expense to find aid to save America from bankruptcy, he not only got the aid, but bankrupted himself buying a desperately needed ship and cargo of muskets, powder and shot, quite literally saving the army and the nascent nation a second time.
Paine may be the only true revolutionary in our Revolution. His ideals bring common people together as a community. No one is above the law. Justice and fairness shall prevail. Everyone gets to vote. He argued for social security, childcare reform, universal health care, animal cruelty penalties and animal shelters 225 years ago.
He warned us to watch, guide, and stop the powerful elite if we want humanity in general to succeed. He proposed the idea that any bill that enriches a corporation or grants a corporate charter should be enacted in one session of the legislature, and confirmed in a second, after a vote of the people, to stop corporate raids on the public treasury. No Bush tax cuts for the filthy rich need apply.
Paine was made an honorary citizen of France after our Revolution so he could be elected to the French National Convention and help form their new republic. He wrote much of the first French constitution and his masterwork The Rights of Man, both of which still inform the world. He was certain that democracy was spreading and would soon free all of humanity from tyranny. He was jailed, instead, by the Terror as too moderate (!) and his health was wrecked. He asked his old friend Washington for help to get home, but George ignored him to protect treaty negotiations with England for access to rich West Indies trade. Tom wrote a bitter letter: Washington was a monarch who ignored honor to friends, and to allies who helped set America free, instead helping the filthy barbarians who kept her enslaved for the sake of ungodly profit.
Washington's political party the Federalists was outraged. Tom languished in prison for Washington's eight-year presidency, and four more because John Adams carried an old grudge for Paine calling him a would-be king (which he was). Jefferson finally welcomed Tom home after fifteen years, but trouble was waiting.
Paine wrote The Age of Reason while in exile to "avoid politics and controversy," but rejected religion in it: we can just stare at a tree, he says, and believe in God. Who needs revealed religion? Religionists branded him an atheist, Federalists recalled his insult to their great hero general president, and both went "a-howl in the newspapers over the drunken, atheist, radical Jefferson has let back into the country."
Tom couldn't get a job or a pension. All he wanted was repayment for the money he gave to the Cause - dollar for dollar - without other reward, but he was given a small farm in New Rochelle, New York as a poor sop. He retreated to it in poverty to write letters to the editor and Jefferson, and articles on controversial topics. When Louisiana petitioned for statehood with the right to keep slaves, he wrote that admitting slaves to a free and equal society is unthinkable. Jefferson must send "Pennsylvanians" to teach Louisiana about democracy; and don't call the state "Louisiana" because it honors a king, and that insults the republic just won by the people's blood!
He tried to vote for his friend Thomas Jefferson in 1804, but the New Rochelle election board wouldn't allow it: he was a "French citizen" because of the honorary citizenship permitting him to serve in the Convention. He spent his last days in the courts trying to redress this ultimate indignity, but it was not the final disrespect.
He was refused burial in Quaker ground despite his request because the Quakers feared someone might immodestly raise a monument to him. He was buried on a remote corner of his New Rochelle farm, and a visiting Englishman later dug up his bones, took them to England, stashed them under his bed, and forgot about them. Upon rediscovery years later, they were sold and parted out all over England as souvenirs, and the whereabouts of Tom Paine's bones are now unknown. It begs the question: How frightened of a man do you have to be to want to hide his very bones?
The township of New Rochelle belatedly reversed itself on the issue of his citizenship after Tom began to grow in popularity and accreditation during the threatened nationally self-conscious democracy of the 1930's and '40's. His full American citizenship was belatedly admitted in 1945. In truth, he's a citizen of the world. Tom Paine's fierce principled call for human rights and, yes, loving hearts, still echoes and is still needed. As much now as then, "These are the times."
If we don't remember Citizen Tom Paine among our founding heroes, we miss the essence of our great democratic republican experiment: we are rebels as well as patriots. So on January 29th, please, lift your cup, wherever you are, and toast a great American, friend to the world, and champion of humanity. Sing out.
"Hurrah!" for Tom Paine.
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Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan was among the VIP guests that played the new
Las Vegas style slot machines at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood,
Fla. Monday, Jan. 28,2008. The tribe reached an agreement with the State of
Florida that allows the machines.
Photo/J. Pat Carter