Sunday, March 20, 2005


Take Action on ANWR

Barbara Boxer has this message about not giving up the fight and wants you to Tell the big oil companies to stay out of ANWR!
Today, my heart is heavy. By just two votes, we came up short in our effort to prevent oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to over 150 wildlife species. In the end, over 90% of Senate Democrats voted to stop this madness -- we just didn't have the votes to overcome the Republican majority in the Senate.

But I want you to know that I won't give up in our fight to stop the drilling. And neither should you. I'm going to use every legislative tool at my disposal to reverse this vote and prevent this terrible policy from going into effect. But we can do more -- today.

I'm planning to organize a consumer boycott of any oil company that decides to drill in this pristine Alaskan wilderness area. If, through our pocketbooks, we can convince these companies to do the right thing, we can still save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the destruction that would be wrought by the oil drilling rigs.

Send an email to the CEOs of ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch/Shell, and ChevronTexaco now and tell them to stay out of ANWR!

This battle is not over -- not by a long shot.

Click through to send an email to these people:

-Mr. David O'Reilly, ChevronTexaco CEO
-Mr. James Mulva, ConocoPhillips CEO
-Mr. Jeroen van der Veer, Shell CEO
-Mr. John Browne, BP CEO
-Mr. Lee Raymond, ExxonMobil CEO


The Courage of Michael Schiavo

Considering all the political pandering surrounding the Terri Schiavo spectacle, her husband makes a courageous demand when he says,"Come down, President Bush"
Angered by the latest political developments in Washington, Michael Schiavo said Saturday that it isn't just the Florida governor who should visit his wife to learn about the case.

Jeb Bush's brother, President Bush, should visit Terri Schiavo, too, he said.

"Come down, President Bush," Schiavo said in a telephone interview. "Come talk to me. Meet my wife. Talk to my wife and see if you get an answer. Ask her to lift her arm to shake your hand. She won't do it."

She won't, Schiavo said, because she can't.

He made a similar offer to the governor last week, saying lawmakers interferring in his wife's life know nothing about the case. So far, Gov. Bush hasn't responded to the offer.

President Bush has indicated he will sign any federal legislation to keep Terri Schiavo alive.

Weary after an emotional visit with his wife, Schiavo said he is astonished that politicians want to interfere in such a private matter.

"Instead of worrying about my wife, who was granted her wishes by the state courts the past seven years, they should worry about the pedophiles killing young girls," Schiavo said, referring to a local case. "Why doesn't Congress worry about people not having health insurance? Or the budget? Let's talk about all the children who don't have homes."

He said U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is leading a charge to extend Terri Schiavo's life, is a "little slithering snake" pandering for votes.

"To make comments that Terri would want to live, how do they know?" Schiavo said of the members of Congress who want to keep his wife alive.

"Have they ever met her?" Schiavo said. "What color are her eyes? What's her middle name? What's her favorite color? They don't have any clue who Terri is. They should all be ashamed of themselves." (More)

It is tragic really. For Michael Schiavo his wife died 15 years ago and he has been trying to fulfill her wishes of a death with dignity. Instead it has become a political issue which extremists are using to bludgeon their opponents and score political points.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Senator Boxer Takes Action Against Government-Packaged News Reports

According to the Raw Story, Sen. Boxer is introducing a budget amendment that bars funds for federal agencies that produce prepackaged news without a continuously running disclaimer indicating that the story was paid for by the U.S. government. (The Raw Story has the text of the proposed amendment.)

The Justice Department has essentially told Bush & Co that they're free to ignore the GAO's anti-propaganda ruling. So we need to keep the focus on this issue, and Boxer's amendment is one creative way to do it.

Our citizens our being brainwashed by fake news, and it's got to stop.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Are Akaka, Inouye, and Landrieu still Democrats?

Are Akaka, Inouye, and Landrieu still Democrats? Just wondering. Because when they start drilling in the ANWR, you can thank those three Dems-In-Name-Only Senators.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Senator Boxer Says ANWR Must Remain A Priority

Here's Senator Boxer's latest email on ANWR:
Subj: Senator Boxer: ANWR Must Remain A Priority
Date: 3/12/2005 4:06:51 AM Eastern Standard Time

I thought you would be interested in the following message.


Dear Friend:

I would like to believe that, once you have won a fight, you
would not have to fight it again -- and again. Clearly, that
is not the case with the fight over drilling in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). We will again have to fight
the battle to save this wonderful, pristine place again this

I have joined Senator Joe Lieberman and almost two dozen of our
Senate colleagues in introducing a bill to amend the National
Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 to designate
more than 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation
System under the Wilderness Act. This legislation could end
the fight about drilling by giving ANWR the level of protection
it deserves.

Those of us who have fought this battle before know that ANWR
does not offer a solution to our energy shortage. It would
produce only enough energy for six months of domestic use. The
answer to our problems is increasing energy efficiency. If we
instituted the same efficiency standards for light trucks and
SUVs as regular cars, in seven years we could save the same
amount of oil that is available in ANWR. Think of the savings
if we also raised the efficiency standards for cars with the
technology that is available today.

ANWR is unique. Its beauty and its wildlife should not be
risked for a small amount of oil. You can count on me to
continue to work for its protection.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

And while we're talking about Arctic drilling, Sen. Boxer "joined Oil on Ice filmmaker Dale Djerassi, Alaska natives, and experts on the Arctic Refuge to field questions about the film and the battle over the fate of America’s natural treasure" in Washington, DC. last week. Sen. Boxer said:

Oil on Ice brings to life the beauty of this god-given environment and gives voice to the native Alaskans who know the impact of drilling in a wildlife refuge better than anyone in Washington. The majority of Americans support preserving the Arctic Refuge and the surge in grassroots support of protecting this precious area has been truly impressive.
Unfortunately, "Democrats are not sure they can muster enough votes to kill" the Republican plan "to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling." The full Senate will be debating the issue this week, and according to Sen. Boxer:
We're a few votes short of what we need. We're hanging by a thread here.

Friday, March 11, 2005


BushWatch Watches & Rates Senate Democrats: Senator Boxer Tops Its List

Jerry Politex, founder and editor of the excellent Bush monitoring site, recently started scoring Senate Democrats based on their votes on key issues. The issues he has included in his ratings so far are the Ohio vote rejection, the Rice and Gonzales nominations, and the consumer protections and bankruptcy votes. (He posts new commentary and recalculates the scores each time a vote he considers major takes place.)

Thus far, Senator Boxer is the only Democrat with a perfect (100%) score.

As for Boxer's fellow Senate Democrats, many of their scores took a nosedive as a result of the latest bankruptcy vote.

To date, only 7 other Democrats have gotten passing grades from Politex. Those 7, with scores of 80%, are Edward M. Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts, Carl Levin of Michigan, Richard Durbin of Illinois, Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Tom Harkin of Iowa.

To find out which 12 Dems currently have failing grades of 60%, who have scored 40%, and who have scores of 20%, you'll have to visit BushWatch.

However, I'll tell you who the "3 Fake Democrats with grades of zero are: Ken Salazar, Colorado, Ben Nelson, Nebraska, and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana."

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Sen. Boxer News: Ocean Policy Panel Appointment; Hazardous Waste Report

Senator Boxer has been named Ranking Member of the Commerce Committee's Oceans Policy Panel, whose jurisdiction is ocean health, coastal conservation, marine sanctuaries, ocean exploration and oil pollution as it affects oceans.

Two recent reports from the Pew Ocean Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy have concluded that the "world's oceans are in severe distress." Says Sen. Boxer:
I look forward to continuing my work toward protecting our oceans and working with Chairman Sununu to implement the recommendations of the Pew Ocean Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy.
Sen. Boxer has also been active on the issue of hazardous waste exposure. On March 8, Senators Boxer and Jeffords released a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which concludes that the EPA:
... needs to establish more effective mechanisms to protect communities from exposure to toxic contamination. At the vast majority of hazardous waste sites, according to the report, the EPA failed to adequately implement, monitor or enforce remedies necessary to minimize exposure to contamination left on-site after the cleanup was completed.
Senator Boxer says that she is "very concerned that the EPA is not doing its job of cleaning up these sites in the first place and is relying more and more on land use restrictions," and that "the Agency is not even following up to see that the public is protected by enforcing these restrictions."

The report, titled Hazardous Waste: Improved Effectiveness of Controls at Sites Could Better Protect the Public, can be found here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Bush's Monstrosity of a "Clear" Skies Bill Is Stalled

Sen. Boxer certainly has a way with words. This is what she had to say about Bush's stalled monstrosity of a "Clear" Skies Bill:
Democrat Barbara Boxer of California criticized the bill for delaying human health protection at the behest of utility lobbyists. Naming the plan "Clear Skies," Boxer said, is "akin to calling Frankenstein Tom Cruise."
The good news is that the bill was blocked by the Senate Environment Committee today, deadlocking 9-9, with Democrats, Rhode Island Republican Lincoln Chafee and independent Jim Jeffords of Vermont voting against it.

But while it's a setback for Bush's gift to the utility industry, the battle's far from over. Why? Because the EPA is expected to issue rules that mirror the bill's provisions by March 15th.


Say Bye-bye Biden

The "Two Joes" -- Biden and Lieberman -- can forget about ever being President.

Why? Because they, along with way too many other Democrats, are responsible for letting that infernal Bankruptcy Bill come to the floor for a vote, where it will certainly pass.

MaxSpeak has the list of the responsible ... I mean irresponsible ... Democrats. And as Atrios has noted, all of them should have read this.

For more more gory details click here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


The Revoltin' John Bolton

In a odd move (even for Bush), Dubya has nominated John Bolton to be ambassador of something that doesn't exist.

Confused? Join the crowd.

Bolton, a "blunt long-time critic of the United Nations" who doesn't believe in international law, and who once said, "There is no such thing as the United Nations," is Bush's choice for U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.

Then again, perhaps Bolton's nomination isn't so surprising. After all, Bush often nominates people to run things they despise. (Think Labor Dept. and EPA.) Looked at that way, it's a short leap to running something that doesn't exist at all.

Here's some more vintage Bolton:
"The (UN) Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference," Bolton said in a 1994 panel discussion sponsored by the World Federalist Association.
Hmmm, lucky he didn't say that about a different New York edifice. At least, I'm assuming he didn't say it. The World Trade Center did, after all, house its share of those dreaded furiners.

You won't be surprised to hear that Senator Boxer's no Bolton fan. Back in 2001, she cited Bolton's charming "lost 10 stories" quote during the hearings that culminated in Bolton's confirmation as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.

Let's hope that Senator Boxer will lead the charge against Bolton's promotion to U.N. Ambassador ... and that Democratic opposition will be more successful this time around.

Update: I've written a song parody about Bolton's nomination called "Nothin's More Revoltin' Than Dub's Nominee John Bolton," which can be sung to "Carolina In The Morning." It begins
Nothin's more insultin' than a nominee named Bolton to the U....N.
Nothin's more revoltin' than that hawkish man named Bolton at the U....N.
The United Nations ought to be ignored.
That is John's U.N. viewpoint.
He'd shove it out the door...
The rest of my Bolton song parody is here.

Monday, March 07, 2005


Senators Boxer, Hagel, and Lieberman Talk Social Security on Sunday TV

Senator Boxer appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” yesterday, as did Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, of Nebraska.

Sen. Hagel, whose Social Security legislation proposal includes Bushie style individual investment accounts, also wants to raise the retirement age by one year, and claims to be interested in "more ideas."

More ideas are always nice, I suppose. Then again, we all know what Republicans do with ideas that don't come from other Republicans.

On the same show, Senator Boxer said:
If privatization stays on the table and Social Security is turned into a gamble, I don’t see us getting anywhere, because none of us in the Democratic Party, at least none that I know, is willing to do that.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. also did the Sunday talk show circuit yesterday, appearing on CNN's "Late Edition." Fortunately, he wasn't as bad as I expected, saying:
I don’t see how you make the problem better by diverting payroll tax revenue that otherwise goes into the Social Security trust fund.
I just hope he's sincere and not playing hard (for Bush) to get.

Hey, a gal can fantasize, can't she?

Sen. Hagel's bill is called the Saving Social Security Act. The Screwing Social Security Act would be more accurate, don't you think?

Update: For an excellent deconstruction of Sen. Lieberman's political positioning, check out this New York Times article.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Dems Keep The Pressure Up On Social Security

Reporting back after constituency meetings in San Francisco and Sacramento, Sen. Boxer says the "privatization plan is sinking like a rock". She adds:
This is the message I have for the president: "You don't have any credibility whatsoever. You're going to have to do quite a selling job to the American people."
And speaking of Social Security, according to this Boston Globe article:
On Friday, six high-powered Democratic senators will take part in a two-day, four-city tour designed to stoke public skepticism of Bush's plan to partially privatize the retirement program for younger workers. The senators will hit the big media markets of New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, and the New York event will include three of the party's heavyweights: John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, and minority leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
The Boston Globe article also includes Sen. Boxer's "sinking like a rock" quote plus this Boxer comment:
It creates a terrible problem, a deficit problem that's fairly immediate.
I just hope reports that Republicans will "delay action for some months on the Bush administration's plan for private Social Security accounts - and possibly not act this year - because the public has yet to be won over to it" won't lure Democrats into a false sense of ... uh ... security, causing them to reduce their pressure on this issue.

As W. David Jenkins III observes in his The New Boxer Rebellion: Democrats, Take A Lesson From Barbara Boxer and Howard Dean,
There’s a new rebellion emerging slowly and not so quietly. Republicans had better take notice — and the business as usual Democrats better take notes. They have nothing left to lose and everything to gain.


Another Democrat Deliciously Mouths Off

I'm starting a new feature here called Democrats Deliciously Mouth Off. I'm hoping there will be enough Dems mouthing off to merit frequent updates. (Yesterday's post about Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer could have had the same title, but I hadn't thought of it yet.)

Today's mouthing off Dem, is U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, because of his delicious reaction to Dick Cheney's top secret hunting trip in Willacy County, Texas:
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, said Cheney should pay less attention to hunting and instead look at the region’s residents battling with Social Security, health insurance costs and freezes on student financial assistance. He said neither Bush nor Cheney have visited the Valley in an official capacity since they were first elected to lead the nation in 2000. Doggett was in McAllen and Pharr on Friday but was not with Cheney.

"I’m pleased he’s coming, but I want him (Cheney) to stop declaring open season on our families," Doggett said.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Dubya Out-Dubya-ed by Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer

I don't know much about Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, but I like him already, based on this Los Angeles Times story about Schweitzer's reaction to Dubya's Social Security piratization spiel. The article titled "Montana Governor Isn't Cowed by Bush" and subtitled "Democrat likens pitch for Social Security plan to livestock auction that fails to tempt buyers," is packed with juicy Schweitzer quotes:
President Bush often quips that the aura of the White House intimidates visitors, leaving would-be critics to express only niceties.

But the presidential mansion — and its current occupant — apparently did not have that effect Monday on Montana's new governor, who made some sharp comments after Bush tried to promote his Social Security overhaul to a group of governors consumed by other matters.

A no-nonsense rancher and wheat farmer who took office six weeks ago in a Republican state, Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer likened the president's pitch to a magic show trick featuring a rabbit in a hat.

He also compared it to a bull auction hawking lousy studs.
Commenting on Bush's audience of governors, Schweitzer said, "I didn't see a lot of buyers in the room." Not enough Bush digs for you? Schweitzer also:
... compared Bush's promotion of Social Security changes to a magician with a hat in his right hand that he is waving around with "wide gestures" to distract his audience.

Today we're talking about Social Security, something that might happen 20, 30, 40 years from now," Schweitzer said. "But guess what's really happening, over in the left hand? We're cutting Medicaid. We're cutting programs in the heartland.
Perhaps it takes a real rancher like Governor Schweitzer to call Bush on his bullcrapola.

(Many thanks to my good pal and fellow Big Bush Lies contributor Lisa Kadonaga for sending me this link.)

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