Archive for September, 2007

WE’VE MOVED: SoonerThought Migrating to Blogger

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Time for an easier blogging program!

Check out the latest on SoonerThought at http://soonerthought.blogspot.com/

This site will serve as an archive for a while…but will eventually come down. So come on over to the new site!

Actor Duvall Endorses Rudy

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Hmm. I hope I can forget that while I enjoy his acting. It will be tough. Then again, Frasier is a favorite of ours here at SoonerThought–and Kelsey Grammer is a huge Repub. That’s America.

Republican Debate Primer - The Fix
Seeking to blunt the star power of soon-to-be presidential candidate Fred Thompson, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is set to announce that actor Robert Duvall has endorsed him in the 2008 presidential race.

Duvall, an Academy Award winner perhaps best known for his portrayal of Tom Hagen in the “Godfather” movies, is not only endorsing Giuliani but will also host a fundraiser later this month at his Virginia home for the former mayor.

“I don’t normally get involved in politics, but I think the stakes are too high this election,” Duvall said. “Rudy has consistently proven he’s ready to confront tough challenges.”

The Duvall endorsement comes just hours before Thompson is set to enter the race in an appearance on “The Tonight Show.” Thompson has used his celebrity status — and the name identification that goes with it — to catapult himself into the top tier of candidates, which is led by Giuliani. Within Thompson will be a formally announced candidate and will have to prove whether there is any steak behind the sizzle.

All of the other Republican candidates, except for Thompson, are gathered in New Hampshire tonight for another debate hosted by Fox News Channel.

Why is this Man Smiling?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Excerpted from Truthdig:

Meanwhile, the Democrats are totally cynical about this continuing waste of taxpayer dollars and of American and Iraqi lives, and, wanting Bush to hang himself with his own rope, they will deny him nothing.

In the effort to retaliate against terrorists who hijacked planes six years ago with an arsenal of $3 knives, this year’s overall defense budget has been pushed to $657 billion.  We are now spending $3 billion a week in Iraq alone, occupying a country that had nothing to do with the tragedy that sparked this orgy of militarism.  The waste is so enormous and irrelevant to our national security that a rational person might embrace the libertarian creed if only for the sake of sanity.  Clearly, the federal government no longer cares much about providing for health, education, hurricane reconstruction or even bridge safety, as the military budget now dwarfs all other discretionary spending, despite the lack of a sophisticated enemy in sight.

Numbers are boring, and the media act as if there is no difference between a million and a billion dollars thrown at the military—let alone the trillion-dollar projected cost of the Iraq war.  That last figure is well documented in a solid study out of Harvard co-authored by Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz but ignored by the mass media So too a recent authoritative report from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office that, despite the $44.5 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars already poured into reconstruction, little detectable progress has been made in Iraq’s crucial oil and electricity systems.

Remember when Paul Wolfowitz, then the Pentagon’s resident neocon genius, assured Congress that Iraqi oil money would easily bear the entire cost of America’s Iraqi adventure?  Now the GAO tells us that, even after spending an additional $57 billion on the Iraqi oil and electricity infrastructure, and assuming peace is restored, Iraq would still not produce enough oil and electricity to meet local demand until the year 2015.

Aside from corruption and the lack of security, the biggest problem in supplying Iraq with electricity is that the national electrical grid has broken down, and different factions, divided largely along ethnic and religious lines, are grabbing what they can.  This kind of anarchy is emblematic of the new, emerging Iraq, in which the central government has declining sway over the nation’s decisions.

That latter point was underscored this week by Bush’s happy-faced visit to a highly fortified and isolated American outpost in Anbar province.  After posing gamely with the troops at the Al-Asad base, Bush celebrated the return of Sunni areas to the control of U.S.-armed militias—composed largely of former insurgents who have at least temporarily decided that their Shiite rivals, currently in control of the central government, are a more pressing enemy than the American occupiers.  Speaking of one such group of Sunnis trained by the Americans and dubbed the “Volunteers” by their instructors, a U.S. soldier told The Washington Post, “I think there is some risk of them being Volunteers by day and terrorists by night.”

Bush’s great ambition: wealthy boredom

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

From the Guardian: 

Jimmy Carter has dedicated his life after the White House to conflict resolution around the world. Presidents George Bush the elder and Bill Clinton have campaigned together on behalf of communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. So how does President George Bush junior imagine spending his retirement years?

“I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch,” he says. He also has big plans for making money. “I’ll give some speeches, to replenish the ol’ coffers,” says Mr Bush, who is already estimated to be worth $20m. “I don’t know what my dad gets - it’s more than 50-75 [thousand dollars a speech], and “Clinton’s making a lot of money”.

[…]

During the course of six one-hour interviews, Mr Bush, feet up on his desk, munching on low-fat hotdogs, tells Draper of the loneliness of the US commander-in-chief. “Self-pity is the worst thing that can happen to a presidency. This is a job where you can have a lot of self-pity,” Mr Bush says.

When it all gets too much for the president, his wife Laura storms to the rescue. “She reminds me that I decided to do this,” he tells Draper.

[…]

There is at least one point on which the president and his detractors will agree. In a moment of breathtaking candour, Mr Bush laments the fact that the media no longer listens to him. “I’ve been here too long,” he says.

GOP Faces Growing Peril In 2008 Races

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

GOP Faces Growing Peril In 2008 Races - washingtonpost.com
excerpt:

Republican campaign operatives are privately fretting about a political environment that could remain deadly for their party.

“About the only safe Republican Senate seats in ‘08 are the ones that aren’t on the ballot,” a GOP operative with extensive experience in Senate races said. “I don’t see even the rosiest scenario where we don’t end up losing more seats.”

“Try to go into your home and we’ll arrest you.”

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Greg Palast
excerpt:

It wasn’t a pretty statement. But I wasn’t looking for pretty. I’d taken my investigative team to New Orleans to meet with Malik Rahim. Pretty isn’t Malik’s concern.

We needed an answer to a weird, puzzling and horrific discovery. Among the miles and miles of devastated houses, rubble still there today in New Orleans, we found dry, beautiful homes. But their residents were told by guys dressed like Ninjas wearing “Blackwater” badges: “Try to go into your home and we’ll arrest you.”

From a Firefighter Friend…Rudy Giuliani Urban Legend

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Check out the link below about Rudy the Urban Legend… sent to us by a genuine American hero…a firefighter.

Rudy Giuliani Urban Legend

“Rudy has used the horrible events of September 11 to create a persona that is an elaborate fabrication,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “He is nothing more than a shameless self-promoter.”

HHS Toned Down Breast-Feeding Ads

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Brain says:

It appears, as suspected, that the Bush administration cares more about their PAC cronies than they do American children…Not a big surprise with the school system a shambles, the health care system an embarrassment, and American children dying in Iraq every day…

Editor Says:

Agreed, Brain. Ridiculous and transparently mendacious. 

HHS Toned Down Breast-Feeding Ads - washingtonpost.com
excerpt:

In an attempt to raise the nation’s historically low rate of breast-feeding, federal health officials commissioned an attention-grabbing advertising campaign a few years ago to convince mothers that their babies faced real health risks if they did not breast-feed. It featured striking photos of insulin syringes and asthma inhalers topped with rubber nipples.

Plans to run these blunt ads infuriated the politically powerful infant formula industry, which hired a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a former top regulatory official to lobby the Health and Human Services Department. Not long afterward, department political appointees toned down the campaign.