Thursday, June 02, 2005
Parents refuse to send their kids to Walter Reed via Iraq
What? You think your kids are as valuable as the Bushes? Shut
your piehole and send your kid to Iraq.
Growing Problem for Military Recruiters: Parents
[The News Blog]
By DAMIEN CAVE
Rachel Rogers, a single mother of four in upstate New York, did not
worry about the presence of National Guard recruiters at her son's high
school until she learned that they taught students how to throw hand
grenades, using baseballs as stand-ins. For the last month she has been
insisting that administrators limit recruiters' access to children.
A Department of Defense survey last November, the latest, shows that
only 25 percent of parents would recommend military service to their
children, down from 42 percent in August 2003.
"Parents," said one recruiter in Ohio who
insisted on anonymity because the Army ordered all recruiters not to
talk to reporters, "are the biggest hurdle we face."
Recruiters, in interviews over the past six months, said that
opposition can be fierce. Three years ago, perhaps 1 or 2 of 10 parents
would hang up immediately on a cold call to a potential recruit's home,
said a recruiter in New York who, like most others interviewed,
insisted on anonymity to protect his career. "Now," he said, "in the
past year or two, people hang up all the time. "
Several recruiters said they had even been threatened with violence.
"I had one father say if he saw me on his doorstep I better have some
protection on me," said a recruiter in Ohio. "We see a lot of
But Col. David Slotwinski, a former chief of staff for Army recruiting,
said that the Army faced an uphill battle because many baby boomer
parents are inclined to view military service negatively, especially
during a controversial war.
"They don't realize that they
have a role in helping make the all-volunteer force successful," said
Colonel Slotwinski, who retired in 2004. "If you don't, you're faced
with the alternative, and the alternative is what they were opposed to
the most, mandatory service."
Unlike Mr. Terrazas, Ms. Rogers, 37, of High Falls in the upper Hudson
Valley, had not thought much about the war before she began speaking
out in her school district. She had been "politically apathetic," she
said. She did not know about No Child Left Behind's reporting
requirements, nor did she opt out.
On May 24, at the first school board meeting since the gym class, she
read aloud from a recruiting handbook that advised recruiters on ways
to gain maximum access to schools, including offering doughnuts. A high
school senior, Katie Coalla, 18, stood up at one point and tearfully
defended the recruiters, receiving applause from the crowd of about 70,
but Ms. Rogers persisted.
"Pulling in this need for heartstrings
patriotic support is clouding the issue," she said. "The point is not
whether I support the troops. It's about whether a well-organized
propaganda machine should be targeted at children and enforced by the
Gee, maybe seeing all those parents at gravesides and shuttling around
Landsthul and Walter Reed has had something to do with this. So I guess
Katie Coalla is planning to enlist. Because if she isn't, she should
Col. Slotwinski is basically saying offer up
your kids or we will take them. If they think they have problems now,
start talking about a draft.
This is the anti-war movement. Individuals
opposing the military on a one to one basis. And it is far more
effective than a hundred marches. Army recruiting is down by half at least
Hollow Army: Parents kill recruitment.
Nobody wants their kids killed. Not for a war without a purpose.
upon a time, my wife and I sparred over military service for our son.
Yeah yeah, he's 19 months old, but I fantasized about a military stint
for him. I wouldn't be half the man I am today without my three years
service. The Army gave me much of the self-confidence I carry to this
day, that feeling that no matter how bad things may seem, I've been
through worse and survived.
years into the war in Iraq, as the Army and Marines struggle to refill
their ranks, parents have become boulders of opposition that recruiters
Mothers and fathers around the country said they were
terrified that their children would have to be killed - or kill - in a
war that many see as unnecessary and without end.
Around the dinner table, many parents said, they are discouraging their children from serving.
At schools, they are insisting that recruiters be kept away, incensed
at the access that they have to adolescents easily dazzled by incentive
packages and flashy equipment.
A Department of Defense survey
last November, the latest, shows that only 25 percent of parents would
recommend military service to their children, down from 42 percent in
My wife and I no longer have that
argument. The Army I served in is not the same Army we have today.
Despite having Bush in office, there was a sense that we wouldn't be
used and abused for dubious causes. We liberated Kuwait, sure, but
Bush, Powell, and yes -- Cheney -- knew better than to push forward to
Baghdad. They knew that in that path lay quagmire.
written before, it breaks my heart that the military is no longer a
viable option to many people who could benefit from its pluses. I owe
the Army my education. Without it, I don't know how I would've been
able to afford college. Many others from the lower rungs of the
socio-economic ladder have used the military to escape their ghettos,
trailer parks, or barrios.
But that was when we trusted our
leaders to take the lives of our men and women in uniform seriously.
That's clearly no longer the case.
And parents are fighitng back, taking military service off the table for their children.
So the Pentagon is now resorting to gimmicks to try and spur enlistments (like bullshit 15-month enlistments), all the while refusing to release the latest recruitment numbers until a week from tomorrow -- conveniently a Friday.
The Pentagon thinks that recruitment will surge in the summer months as
highschoolers graduate. And the numbers will rise relatively, but not
at levels they hope to see. Without the parents, the recruiter's job
gets much, much tougher.
So what's left? The war cheerleaders
won't enlist nor encourage others to enlist. They want their painless
war, sans sacrifice. They can't even pay for the damn thing, deferring
the bill to our grandchildren.
So it'll come down to getting the hell out, or instituting a draft.
The choice will have to be made eventually.
Kelly Preston: Fighting for Kids
a parent, I am deeply concerned over the escalating number of American
children who have been placed on mind-altering psychiatric drugs over
the last decade because of being labeled with subjective, non-medical
mental disorders, like Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). All too often, parents are told that
their child has a mental disorder and that this is a medical condition
requiring that they be put on drugs. This is fraudulent. There are no
blood tests, brain scans or “chemical imbalance” tests that can prove
that any of these so called mental disorders are a disease, illness or
medical condition. No such tests exist. These “tests” are simply a
checklist of behaviors -- subjective questionnaires -- to determine if
these children have so-called mental illnesses. Some of these questions
are: does the child fidget, squirm in his seat, or stare out the
window? Does he sometimes lose his homework, pencils or toys?
Where in all of medicine is a diagnosis of disease made strictly by
talking to someone? Would a parents subject their child to chemotherapy
if there were no evidence of cancer cells? Would they take a doctor’s
word for it that he could diagnose their child with cancer simply by
asking the child some questions or observing his behavior? Yet parents
are being told that their child has a mental “disease” and that they
need to take dangerous and unproven drugs -- when there is no medical
proof that anything is wrong with the child.
I have spoken out for parent's rights for the last seven years. Two
years ago I worked to garner national support for the federal Child
Medication Safety Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives
by a landslide vote of 425 to 1, and was signed into federal law by
President George Bush in December 2004, as the Prohibition Mandatory Medication Amendment.
The federal bill required that federal funding be withheld from any
school that coerced parents to drug their children with controlled
substances. That is also why I supported Florida House Bill 209
which took the federal amendment several steps further by preventing
any student from being coerced onto any psychotropic drug in schools
and requiring parents be informed that their child’s problematic
behavior may have physical causes that could be treated with actual
medical care -- as opposed to potentially damaging mind control drugs.
Both SB 1090 and HB 209, a similar bill, were passed unanimously by
both the Florida House and the Florida Senate. However, Governor Bush
chose to veto HB 209 and sign only SB 1090, which did not include
informing parents that their child’s behavior could be the result of an
undiagnosed physical condition. While Governor Bush vetoed HB 209, the
passage of SB 1090, as recognized by the Governor in his statement,
does mark forward progress in addressing this serious problem. Governor
Bush said: “I share the concerns of many of the proponents of this bill
(HB 209) who draw attention to the all too frequent use of
pharmaceuticals for children whose health and behavioral problems may
benefit from other forms of intervention. Further, I am a firm
supporter of parental notification in all types of medical care
provided to children.” Now that Senate Bill 1090 is law, safeguards
have been created for parents in Florida that prevent them from being
coerced to put their children on dangerous psychotropic drugs or from
being psychologically evaluated -- simply, parents now have the right
to refuse psychiatric testing with invasive questionnaires that could
easily result in any child being diagnosed mentally “ill” and
subsequently drugged. I want to thank Florida Senators Skip Campbell
and Victor Crist, and Representative Gus Barreiro, for their courageous
efforts in bringing the urgent problem of psychiatric drugging of
children to the forefront of the Florida Legislature. Through their
efforts, the problem was also spotlighted onto the national scene.
I will continue to work with other concerned groups and legislators
to find legislative measures that will not just prevent parents being
forced to put their children on psychotropic drugs, as this new law now
does, but to ensure that parents are fully informed of the dangers of
psychotropic drugging and alternative solutions, including actual
medical examination and non-harmful treatments to resolve underlying
conditions for the child’s behavior (an important section of HB 209).
Parents are the ones who have the right, the duty and the
responsibility to nurture, care and protect their children. They should
not be coerced in any manner to place their children on psychiatric
drugs. They should also be given all the relevant information so they
can make their own informed decision, not just the information coming
from the industry that benefits from the drugging of children. Child
drugging is over a one billion dollar a year industry, and growing.
Parents need to know that there are alternatives to drugging. It is
ridiculous that here in America, citizens have to fight for laws that
protect a parent’s fundamental right to informed consent so they can
fully protect their children and ensure their safety in schools. But
fight we must.
Today we have 10 million children on psychiatric drugs. Side effects
of these drugs include mania, psychosis, hostility, suicide and drug
dependence. The administration of these mind-altering and dangerous
drugs to children has become a national disgrace. If we keep drugging
our children at this rate, in ten years we will have 40 million
children on psychiatric drugs -- that’s almost 4/5ths of our nations
school children. Parents are risking their child’s life with drugs that
can cause future drug addiction, mania, suicide, psychosis and
violence. Medical studies show that children can suffer not only from
allergies, but from chemical toxicities or exposure to heavy metals
(i.e. lead and mercury) or even poor diet. In 2002, the President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education
found an astounding 2.4 million children who had been labeled with
"learning disorders" when they had never been taught to read. Another
study showed that 50% of the students labeled with a “learning
disability” were just not getting enough sleep. The point is that there
are many solutions to handling a child’s academic difficulties or
behaviors. Parents have the right to know their options -- to consult a
medical doctor to discover if there are real physical causes, and to be
informed that that these labels of mental disorders are created by
questionnaires and not medical tests. I know that there are concerned
parents out there who are concerned about this issue. I have heard from
many of them. I encourage all concerned with protecting parental rights
to join me in letting our legislators know that they must not just
notice that there is a problem, they must do something effective to
The number of children on psychotropic drugs has increased by 500% since 1999.
8 of the last 13 school shootings in America were committed by
children under the influence of psychiatric drugs linked to hostility
Many children have committed suicide as a result of psychiatric
drugs. One study shows that 81% of the child suicides in Pinellas
County, Florida were committed by children who were either on these
psychotropic drugs or under psychiatric treatment. It was 100% in Pasco
County. Last year, the FDA ordered that antidepressants include a
warning that they can cause suicidal tendencies in children and
adolescents. British and European Medical Regulatory Agencies banned
the use of many of these drugs for most purposes with children under
the age of 18.
According to an IMS Health survey, between 1995 and 1999, the use of
antidepressants increased 580 percent in children under the age of six.
It is undisputed that actual physical, medical problems are
routinely misdiagnosed as ADHD, ADD, and other “behavioral disorders.”
Parents and teachers are not being informed that the reason for their
child’s behavior may just lay in an actual, diagnosable, physical
medical problem that could be solved through normal medical treatment.
Consider the case of Austin Harris from Florida who was hailed as “the
poster child for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD). He
was the child no one wanted to be around and was kicked out of 11
preschools in three years for doing everything from shouting
obscenities and hitting other children to poking a teacher in the eye
with a pencil. He was prescribed stimulants with no dramatic change in
his behavior. But something unexpected happened after Austin went to
the hospital to have a blockage removed from his colon. The child no
one wanted to be around was no longer terrorizing his teachers and
classmates. Instead, Austin, who is now 12, was able to sit quietly and
was a joy to be around. He gave up the psychotropic medication.
According to leading medical experts, the connection between behavior
and chronic constipation in children is not uncommon. “The bad
behaviors disappear as soon as the impaction is removed,” said Dr. Paul
Hyman, chief of pediatric gastroenterology at the University of Kansas
Medical Center in Kansas City.
There is a world of difference between the art of identifying
symptoms and the science of finding and treating causes. Psychiatrists
specialize in cataloguing symptoms and then try to convince people that
the symptoms are causes and that their treatments “work,” merely
because the symptoms appear to have dissipated or changed. But these
are not causes, they are just symptoms, and their treatments often
bring about a worsening of the person’s condition. Any medical doctor
who takes the time to conduct a thorough physical examination of a
child exhibiting signs of what psychiatrists say are “mental
disorders,” can very often find undiagnosed, untreated physical
conditions. Medical doctors have established that mercury poisoning,
environmental toxins and allergies can affect behavior and academic
performance and can create symptoms, which have been labeled as
childhood behavioral and attention “disorders.” Gases, cleaning fluids,
scents and other chemicals can make a child “irritable, inattentive,
spacey, aggressive, depressed or hyperactive.” Physical conditions such
as thyroid malfunction can produce symptoms of various “mental
disorders.” It is well known that abnormal thyroid conditions can
dramatically effect mood and cause severe depression, fatigue and
memory loss. Dr. Sydney Walker III, a psychiatrist and neurologist
wrote that thousands of children put on psychiatric drugs are simply
“smart.” “They're hyper, not because their brains don’t work right, but
because they spend most of the day waiting for slower students to catch
up with them. These students are bored to tears, and people who are
bored fidget, wiggle, scratch, stretch, and (especially if they are
boys) start looking for ways to get into trouble.” Dr. Samuel
Blumenfeld, educator and author, says that psychotropic drugs for any
reading or comprehension problem is very wrong. Often, he says, the
problem is the child has never been taught phonics and doesn’t
understand what he or she is reading, causing disruptive behavior.
Again, I encourage all parents and concerned citizens to get educated
on this very important issue and to support state and federal
protections for parents’ and children’s rights. For more information,
go to www.fightforkids.org - Kelly Preston
[The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
Syria test-fires three Scud missiles, Israeli military officials tell
the New York Times. But why is the Ha'aretz report a summary of the NYT
report if the sourcing is domestic?...Little was especially startling
about the tests, Israeli officials said, except...
[War and Piece]
Stem Cells: The Democrats 2006 holy Grail.
Democrats need an issue that puts the religious right on the defensive,
attracts swing-voters and helps the country. Here is the answer: stem cell research.
This is the holy grail of the 2006 election, the issue that will bring
voters to the Democratic party, successfully court business, and break
the religious right. How can this one simple issue accomplish all that?
Here’s the answer. [BOPnews]
White House Personnel.
Priorities | Liberals Against Terrorism:
I don't usually go in for cheap shots these days, as they're so easy
... but what's up with the Bush administration rushing to name the
pro-Enron Chris Cox as the new SEC Chair when AFAIK there's been no
similar rush to fill long-vacant counterterrorism slots and top
Treasury jobs, the State Department is still waiting for Karen Hughes
to do whatever she's doing, and there's been no US ambassador in Iraq
for some months now?...
[Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal]
The Virtues of Genocide
Read Eugene Oregon on whether or not the situation in Darfur has "improved" over the last few months. Also, read Eric Reeves.
It comes down to this, really: the gangsters running Khartoum are
attacking aid workers, arresting members of Doctors Without Borders,
arresting a translator for the UN Secretary General, and conducting
massacres while Kofi Annan is in the goddamn country, all for one good reason—because they can.
And that's sort of a problem. Besides the bloody fact of genocide in
Darfur, which is a monstrosity in its own right and a latent security
threat, didn't we establish in the run-up to the war in Iraq—on both
sides of the debate—that letting regimes flout international law was a
terrible thing that undermined the credibility of the international
order? Yes? No? Yes? Well, consider it undermined.
If I were a
budding dictator in the year 2005, contemplating genocide as a means of
putting down an insurgency within my own borders, I'd be learning some
very interesting lessons here.
UPDATE: Eh, I'm becoming less impressed with the "we'd have to invade if we wanted to stop the genocide" school of thought. Not because it's not true—heck, I wrote a whole article
on the subject—but because the intermediate battles here really are
crucial and tend to get obscured by talking too much about "perfect"
possible solutions. The ICG recently put out, for a change, a realistic
of peacekeeping needs in Darfur. It's still probably a lowball on troop
needs, but as Reeves points out, it's the first time an organization
has been willing to think "realistically about the essential features
of true civilian protection in Darfur." The next step is to convince
the African Union to think in these terms as well.
Cox v. Lay.
Chris Cox, 3/7/95: The threat of lawsuits over so-called forward
looking information, how is this company going to do in the future, is
so serious that many if not most CEO’s these days refuse to talk to the
press at all about their company’s performance and yet that is exactly
Matt Cooper: Protecting sources
was delighted to see that a bipartisan group attorneys general from the
states and the District of Columbia have filed a brief to the Supreme
Court asking them to take the case that I’ve brought to the high court.
Right now, I’m fighting a subpoena from the special prosecutor in the
Valerie Plame case who would like me to reveal confidential sources for
a piece I coauthored in 2003. My piece didn’t out Valerie Plame, a CIA
operative. Robert Novak, the columnist, had done that some days
earlier. But my piece took note of the leaking, which may have
constituted a crime, and suggested it was widespread. As you’ll recall,
Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson, had written an op-ed for the New York
Times questioning one of the administration’s rationales for going to
war in Iraq--namely, that Saddam Huessein had sought to acquire a kind
of uranium ore in Africa. For over a year, with the exceptionally
generous backing of my employer, Time, Inc, I’ve been fighting this
subpoena in court and now we’ve asked the Supreme Court to take the
case. The attorneys general didn’t weigh the merits of my case but they
did agree that the court should take it.
A lot of people were surprised when the Attorneys General stepped
in. But if you look at the legal landscape, it’s less surprising.
Forty-nine states offer some form of legal protection for journalists
who are protecting confidential sources--giving them a privilege akin
to that afforded doctors and patients, clergymen and parishoners, and
groups as disparate as licensed social workers. As the chief law
enforcement officer in their states, the attorneys general know that
these protections work well and are totally compatible with law
enforcement. But my case is in FEDERAL court and the courts have been
divided about whether there’s protection under federal law. The
attorneys general argued that in the absence of a federal privilege,
the state laws essentially could be rendered moot. My hope is that the
Supreme Court will take my case and sort out the confusion.
The bipartisan consesus extends to Congress. Right now, Congress is
considering adopting a federal shield law that would allow journalists
a degree of protection in keeping their confidences to sources. It,
too, is bipartisan, sponsored by Sen. Richard Lugar and Rep. Mike
Pence, both Indiana Republicans with many Democratic and Republican
cosponsors. This is not a left-right issue. It’s about whether citizens
can get the information they need in order to be able to rule
themselves. - Matt Cooper
[The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
A Cox in the Henhouse.
Bush on Thursday named Rep. Christopher Cox -- a champion of curbing
investor lawsuits -- as the White House's choice to head the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, prompting academics to predict a
major shift in the market-regulating agency's focus.
Bush picks Cox to head SEC
June 2, 2005
Contributions to Rep. Christopher Cox by the financial services industry 1993-2004: $988,763
Financial services sector’s rank among Cox’s contributors 1993-2004: 1st
Share of Cox’s total 1993-2004 contributions received from financial services industry: 21%
Total brokerage and investment industry contributions to Cox 1993-2004: $214,995
Total accounting industry contributions to Cox 1993-2004: $188,284
Cox’s largest single donor ($19,825) in the 2004 election cycle: Latham & Watkins
(Contribution data courtesy of Open Secrets)
With teams of lawyers working together seamlessly from
our network of offices in Europe, North America and Asia, we are able
to deliver support for a wide range of M&A, corporate finance,
private equity and venture capital transactions . . . From major
investment banks and Fortune 500 companies to the emerging company, our
clients turn to us for active and dedicated representation and our
broad collective expertise.
Latham & Watkins
Corporate web site
From 1978 to 1986, [Cox] specialized in venture capital and
corporate finance with the international law firm of Latham &
Watkins, where he was the partner in charge of the Corporate Department
in Orange County and a member of the firm's national management.
Rep. Cox’s congressional web site
Cox . . . wrote the 1995 Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act, aimed at stopping what corporate interests — especially
Silicon Valley — said was a flood of abusive securities-fraud lawsuits
aimed at shaking down companies.
Los Angeles Times
Bush Names Orange County's Cox to Head SEC
June 2, 2005
To sell his reforms to colleagues in early ’95, Cox claimed
there had been an explosion in tort cases, citing 100 million filed
annually. Nader accused Cox of being 98 million cases off; the figure
the congressman was spouting represented all cases filed—including
traffic tickets—not just torts. Even the conservative-leaning U.S. News & World Report agreed that statistics showed there had been no explosion of abusive litigation.
Made in Newport Beach: How Chris Cox
helped produce the Enron scandal
While the Enron culprits, whoever they are, embraced greed
with particular enthusiasm, their greed was given a huge assist by . .
.the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. The PSLRA rolled back
investor protections as part of the Republicans' "Contract With
America." Heavy lobbying and even heavier campaign contributions won
the bill support from many Democrats as well. Lawmakers acted despite
warnings that the PSLRA would lead to another savings-and-loan type
scandal. Now the warnings are coming true.
When Congress Eased Restraints, Investors
Lost Protection from Enron, Others
April 9, 2002
More recently, in 2000, Cox and Representative Cal Dooley
(D-Fresno) introduced a bill that would have delayed the implementation
of accounting standards established by the Financial Accounting
Standards Board (FASB) so investors could know the true cost of company
Made in Newport Beach: How Chris Cox
helped produce the Enron scandal
The potential legislation must be seen for what it is --
legislative interference with the FASB's ability to do its job. The
proposed bill would directly hamper the FASB's independence by
legislating the timing of the FASB's proposed improvements to the
transparency of the accounting and reporting for business combinations.
The bill, if passed, would have a serious and negative impact upon
consumers of financial information.
FASB Chairman Edmund L. Jenkins
Statement on the Cox-Dooley Bill
October 4, 2000
Before he was elected to Congress in 1988, [Cox] was a
corporate lawyer for the failed Irvine securities firm First Pension
Corp . . . First Pension collapsed in 1994 after stealing $136 million
from 8,500 investors, many of whom were senior citizens who lost their
life savings . . . An investor suit accused Cox of knowing of the
securities fraud and helping to conceal it.
Made in Newport Beach: How Chris Cox
helped produce the Enron scandal
[First Pension CEO William} Cooper used part of his
ill-gotten money to make campaign contributions to California
Republican leaders, including former Gov. Pete Wilson and Rep.
Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach). Wilson later refunded $8,000 in
contributions Cooper made to his gubernatorial campaign. Cox returned
$2,000 donated to one of his congressional elections.
Los Angeles Times
Investors settle with accountants
August 29, 2000
Civil lawsuits ensnared Cox, who helped prepare a
securities offering for a First Pension entity in the mid-1980s when he
was in private practice at Latham & Watkins. He has said the work
was unrelated to the First Pension scam. He also worked in 1984 on
Cooper's attempts to acquire a California bank . . . As he fought the
claims against him in the First Pension lawsuits, Cox carried a
controversial bill in Congress to make it harder for investors to prove
securities fraud in federal court.
Los Angeles Times
O.C. jury finds accounting firm liable for fraud
Robb Evans of Los Angeles, the court-appointed receiver for
First Pension's parent company, said Friday that he would not pursue
the Orange County Superior Court complaint against [Cox] and his former
law partner at Latham & Watkins, John R. Stahr . . . "We dropped
Stahr and Cox to streamline the case," Evans said.
Los Angeles Times
Cox is dropped as defendant in First Pension suit
June 15, 1996
Congress and your administration, Mr. President, have both
done their part to strengthen the laws that protect investors and our
financial markets. And if confirmed, I look forward to carrying out
that mandate in the special role occupied by the Securities and
Rep. Christopher Cox
Remarks to the Press
June 2, 2005
Gene Sperling on Social Security.
He writes, at Bloomberg: Bloomberg.com:
Gene Sperling: June 1 (Bloomberg) -- Yesterday, President George W.
Bush promised that his strategy for selling his now sinking Social
Security private accounts proposal will eventually cut through
opposition ``like water through a rock.'' Perhaps a more fitting
water-related metaphor for Bush's proposal could be found at the end of
the movie ``Annie Hall''.... I think what we've got on our hands is a
dead shark.''.... When that moment of realization comes, the White
House will certainly blame Democrats for being unwilling to negotiate
on private accounts for purely partisan reasons.... Conservatives claim
they simply want Democrats to come forward with their own positive
ideas on Social Security. I drew a couple of pats on the back from them
for proposing a three-part framework calling for no debt increases, a 3
percent surtax on any income exceeding $200,000, and a Universal 401(k)
with matching credits to low- and middle-income savers.... What
non-political reason, I am often asked, could there be for someone like
myself who supports Universal 401(k)s outside of Social Security to so
stubbornly refuse to even consider private accounts within Social
Security? The answer is twofold. First, Social Security is simply the...
[Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal]
DeLay investigation delayed.
Some of you may be wondering what the status is of the House ethics
investigation into Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Now that the rigged rules
have been repealed and the Ethics Committee can operate, the
investigation is finally on track, right? Wrong.
Despite an apparent breakthrough when Republican congressional leaders reversed ethics committee rule changes opposed [...]
[The Carpetbagger Report]
William Donaldson, we hardly knew ye.
In a sense, we can consider William Donaldson's tenure at the Security
and Exchange Commission a rare example of Bush admitting a mistake. The
White House tapped Donaldson to replace Harvey Pitt over two years ago,
and expected Donaldson to follow the conservative line on corporate
regulation. Which is to say, ignore and disregard all [...]
[The Carpetbagger Report]
Bush Refers to Butcher Karimov as a “Friend”.
On Tuesday, President Bush was finally asked to explain his silence
about the brutal massacres ordered by Uzbek dictator – and White House
ally – Islam Karimov. His response was remarkable: VAN DE HEI: Two
questions about the consistency of a U.S. foreign policy that’s built
on the foundation of spreading ...
Publishing May's Recruitment Data
This will be delayed. Specifically, until June 10, 2005,
which is, can you guess it? A Friday. The day when the administration
releases all bad news hoping that we don't read anything on Fridays and
that we will have forgotten all about the bad news by Monday morning.
So I'm doing them a favor and giving the summary of past findings now when you are all still around. May is probably even worse:
recruiters have said potential recruits and their parents were
expressing wariness about enlisting during the Iraq war. They said
improving civilian job opportunities also were affecting recruiting.
regular Army missed its recruiting goals for three straight months
entering May, falling short by a whopping 42 percent in April. The Army
was 16 percent behind its year-to-date target entering May, with a goal
of signing up 80,000 recruits in fiscal 2005, which ends Sept. 30.
Marine Corps missed its goal for signing up new recruits for four
straight months entering May and was 2 percent behind its year-to-date
goal. It hopes to sign up 38,195 recruits in fiscal 2005.
Check the May numbers on Friday or on Monday morning.
[ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES]
While I am sure that Americans would express a great deal of confidence
in Democracy as an abstract concept, when it comes to actual
institutions that are, at least ostensibly, Democratic, they tend to
express very little confidence....
Cabbage logic . The conservative movement is fighting to eliminate all the positive changes of at least
the last 60 years, and their argument is that we need change. They've
hijacked the language of progress in order to support their program of
regress. And this morning we have an example of this from David Brooks, who says:
Europeans seem to be suffering a crisis of confidence. Election
results, whether in North Rhine-Westphalia or across France and the
Netherlands, reveal electorates who have lost faith in their leaders,
who are anxious about declining quality of life, who feel
extraordinarily vulnerable to foreign competition - from the Chinese,
the Americans, the Turks, even the Polish plumbers.The
wingers have been having fun all week talking about the vote for the
European constitution that failed in France and seems to be going nowhere
whenever it comes up for referendum. They have different explanations
(and different reasons) for this, but I think it's just that they
desperately need to believe that Europe is a failure, and they'll take
any "evidence" of this that they can get.
who has lived in Europe knows how delicious European life can be. But
it is not the absolute standard of living that determines a people's
morale, but the momentum. It is happier to live in a poor country that
is moving forward - where expectations are high - than it is to live in
an affluent country that is looking back.
I'm sure it is better for David Brooks to be living in a country where a lot of people who are not op-ed columnists for The New York Times
are seeing their futures being frittered away by a parasitic leadership
that thinks only the rich have a right to accumulate wealth. But I
doubt you'd find many people here in Welfare-state-land who'd trade
their peaceful existence for the "forward momentum" of Iraq. And,
frankly, fewer and fewer Europeans are looking at America as the land
of opportunity these days, either.
BenP at MyDD has written a letter
to the NYT to take issue with the disingenuous Mr. Brooks in more
detail. But I'll tell you for free that it's actually pretty nice
living in a country where what Americans think of as "poverty" doesn't
No More Accountability "Moments".
Shakespeare's Sister has put together the Big Brass Alliance,
dedicated to directing the attention of the corporate media to the
Downing Street Minutes. I was happy to join. Our story so far: On May
1, 2005, one month ago today, the Times of London reprinted the
contemporaneous minutes of a meeting among the British Prime Minister's
top security advisers concerning the imminent invasion of Iraq. Those
minutes strongly suggest the following: The Bush Administration was
intent on invading Iraq as early as the first half of 2002. This is of
course correlated by Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke. And who...
[Paperwight's Fair Shot]
Snowflakes in June
A veritable cavalcade of
weirdness this morning, and one need look no further than the NYTimes
to find it. First to smack one in the eye like the proverbial cream pie
is the heartwarming tale of discarded cells rescued from the sink by
nice white people in search of nice, perfect white children of a
suitably malleable age:
"...to protest a bill supporting the use of embryos for stem cell... - Riggsveda
Scarier than you think .
The trouble with waking up in time for Rachel Maddow's show is that I actually have to think about this stuff before I've had time to erect my emotional barricades. Stuff like this:
complete elimination of laws that affect corporate pirates proceeds
apace, but when you can't change the law, you just get rid of the
Donaldson Announces Resignation as S.E.C. Chairman:
H. Donaldson, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission,
abruptly announced his resignation today, following repeated criticism
from the two other Republican members of the agency and from some
business groups and administration officials that his enforcement and
policy decisions had been too aggressive.At
a time of corporate fraud and abuse unprecedented in my lifetime, that
was no overreaction. Despite being a Republican and a friend of the
Bush family, Donaldson has actually been trying to do his job.
Obviously, this must be stopped. But not everyone is happy that he's
His decision gives
the White House a major opportunity to sharply alter the direction of
the agency and cede controlling power to the deregulatory-minded two
remaining Republicans on the five-person commission.
doing, the agency could become more responsive to some of the
administration's most important supporters in the business community,
including the Business Roundtable, an organization of chief executives
from the nation's largest companies, and the United States Chamber of
Commerce. They have complained that the agency, blowing with the
political winds of the times, overreacted to the wave of corporate
frauds by imposing rules that have been more burdensome than beneficial.
But they have also been opposed by investor
groups such as the Council of Institutional Investors and the Consumer
Federation of America, which often found an unusual ally in Mr.
Donaldson and which have raised concerns about a retrenchment at the
agency.The SEC was a sensible reaction to the Great
Depression. It worked. The Republicans haven't liked that, and have
been gradually stripping the SEC rules for the last twenty years. Bush
to appoint Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach) to replace Donaldson.
Cox is definitely not expected to enforce strict rules on business.
Meanwhile, the permanent campaign is in full swing, of course. Rachel's weblog says:
sharpening our sticks of metaphor for today's particularly fatuous
Underbelly. Patriot Pastors are religious leaders willing to defy law,
tradition, good will and God in order to preach from the pulpit. Right
Wingers are those willing to take them up on the offer. Ohio Restoration Project
is how they are doing it. In the Great-Rewriting-of-2004, an election
lost on 9/11 became an election lost on morality, so don't think this
is a "religion story." It's not. It's a political story, one about
organization and building communities of strict conservatives. It's
about coddling your base in hushed tones. It's about taking a swing
state and making sure 3 years out you are already working on 2008.Kay O'Connor,
of course, thinks women should stay home and take care of their
families. I bet you can guess what party she'll be working for.
out our A1, a woman who thinks women should not have been granted
suffrage is running for Secretary of State in Kansas... You know, so
she can be in charge of elections.
In other news, Amnesty
responds to the attack on them from the Bushistas and notes the irony
of having the same Saddam apologists who dismissed their complaints
about Iraq 20 years ago now dismissing their complaints about Iraq and
Meanwhile, we continue to win in Iraq, with three suicide bombers taking 17 lives so far today. I need more coffee.
Hoover and Deep Throat.
A very small observation about the revelation that Deep Throat was Mark
Felt: I hate entrenched, unaccountable power. And there's probably
never been anyone in the U.S. political system whose power was so
deeply entrenched, so unaccountable, and for so...
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7/1/2005; 6:37:24 AM.