A Mad Democrat

Straight talk from a Democrat who has had enough.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Lack of Posts

My apologies for not posting, particularly when there's plenty to discuss.

I am currently in the midst of changing jobs and conducting an out of state move. The Mad Democrat will retun in a couple of weeks.

Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Shocking and Imprtant

I've recently been reading Take It Back by James Carville and Paul Begala, after seeing the pair in an interview on television.

This book is very important for any Democrat who wants to make significant and meaningful change to read. It goes case by case, outlining lie after lie, smear after smear, smarmy tactic after smarmy tactic the Republicans have employed.

And, to give strength, it outlines ways to fight back - something the Dems haven't been doing.

The premise behind the book is giving Democrats a spinal transplant.

Be sure to read it....it is important stuff.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Head in the ground

Our president doesn't believe the premise that Iraq is heading toward a civil war.

Nor does our secretary of state.

Nor does our secretary of defense.

Joint Chief of Staff Gen. Pace actually said things are going really really well -- though he wouldn't put a smiley face on Iraq.

Someone needs to give these people a swift kick in the ass -- maybe that would cause them to yank their heads out of the ground and get a fucking dose of reality.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Iranian Sabre-rattling

The Iranian problem surfaces every few years...No doubt, they want nuclear weapons.

It was a problem a couple years ago when President Bush decided to commit significant financial and military resources to a war in which there were no weapons of mass destruction and no connection to terrorist organizations. Through his bull-headed insistence to invade Iraq, Bush has put the United States in a very difficult position -- having to deal with someone who wants to be a nuclear power and probably wants to harm us, but having to deal with them without the full might of the severely stretched U.S. military.

Some people try to portray Bush as being strong in foreign relations, but Iran is another case demonstrating how misguided and incompetent his foreign policies are.

Thanks to Bush, we've lost the support and respect of a goodly number of countries. Our military is stretched thin, thanks in large part to a war that probably didn't need to be fought -- and his lack of planning in Iraq is about to plunge the nation into civil war.

Meanwhile, the very top terrorists -- the ones who orchestrated an attack on the U.S. -- continue to walk free.

Thanks to Bush, our nation's safety is compromised and we now might have to face a nuclear Iran.

Monday, March 06, 2006

A dismal failure

Fred Barnes, editor of the Weekly Standard and contributor to Fox News wrote a book called Rebel In Chief. In his book, he argues that President Bush is, among other things, one of the greatest American presidents.

I can't say anything against the book, as I've not read it. However, a recent BookTV appearance got me to thinking about a few things -- namely, what have we seen from the federal government under Bush's leadership, which Barnes calls visionary, and refers to Bush as action-oriented and a president who leads.

Here are just a few of Bush's accomplishments.

• He went to war on faulty, cherry-picked intelligence, duping the Congress and the American people into thinking Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Now, his argument is the ruthless dictator is gone. If that is the criteria, when will we invade Burma? North Korea? Syria? And a host of other nations?

• Under the Bush leadership, our nation's budget surplus, handed to him by President Clinton, quickly became our largest debt in history and continues to grow at an amazing rate.

• With Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, earmarks have increased from 4,000 under Clinton to over 14,000.

• There was no plan for post-war Iraq. The result? There has been no post-war Iraq, and now the nation is on the verge of Civil War.

• Bush's approach to foreign policy has likely contributed to anti-American governments being VOTED into office, including in Palestine, Venezuala, Bolivia and elsewhere.

• The conservative, moral Republicans, under Bush's leadership, has become corrupt and embroiled in scandal at every turn.

• Wiretapping. Illegal. And our president doesn't even care.

• Ports. He didn't even know about this deal until he read it in the newspaper. May or may not be a bad deal, but the man should've been more involved. Besides, port security is a big joke.

• Katrina. He knew the levees were going to break before the storm hit. He was briefed on what was happening. Yet he did nothing but praise an unqualified joke of a director whom he appointed for bungling the entire operation.

• In the aftermath of Katrina, gas prices skyrocketed. We must all do our part! Except for Bush's butt-boys in big oil. Exxon posted record profits!!!!!

• This White House has attempted to operate in secret more than any other. However, this should be no surprise as it is the way Bush governed Texas. Not only in secret, but as governor, he ordered more documents sealed than any governor in U.S. history.

I could go on, but why bother?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

More Port Security

Hong Kong, one of the busiest ports on the planet, inspects 100% of all containers coming into its ports.

Surely the U.S. can do this! Currently only 5% of containers are inspected.

One good thing about the port security deal is that a very serious flaw in Homeland Security -- port security -- has been brought to the forefront. Maybe now, someone will do something to make the ports more secure.

More inadequate response

An AP story has revealed that the Bush administration, and in particular President Bush and Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff.

Video footage and transcripts from an August 29 briefing -- the afternoon before Katrina hit, shows a much different FEMA Director Michael Brown informing Bush and Chertoff that there weren't enough disaster teams. He also advised them of the severity of the storm, and told the pair the levees would not withstand the storm. He also expressed concerns about the Superdome's ability to withstand a Category 5 storm, and the ability to get help to those there if New Orleans did indeed flood.

The tapes show Bush and Chertoff to be disengaged and unconcerned. Bush asked no questions during the final briefing but said, "We are fully prepared."

Obviously he was wrong.

The tape shows a President who is further disconnected from reality. A president who doesn't listen to experts -- independent hurricane experts even told Bush New Orleans could not withstand Katrina -- and has his own skewed sense of reality.

Now, I'm wondering about the Brown crucifiction. Without a doubt, his background did not prepare him for the job Bush gave him -- FEMA director. However, video taped footage now reveals that he was trying to warn the President and the Homeland Security Director, that he was begging for the resources he felt would be needing, and that his warnings were not heeded.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Port concerns

An intelligence report by the United States Coast Guard -- one of the few Homeland Security agencies who seem to know what the hell they are doing -- raises security concerns about DP World's administration of six U.S. ports.

Considering that President Bush first learned of this deal through a newspaper article, one wonders about the effectiveness of our domestic security programs.

The deal may be OK. The company may be honorable and not create any security gaffs, but more study is needed before turning the administration of the commercial districts of these ports over. Particularly in light of Coast Guard concerns.

DP World is owned by United Arab Emrites, a staunch ally of the United States. However, concerns have been raised due to the fact that some of the 9/11 hijackers used the UAE as an operational and financial base. In addition, critics contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.

The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for port security.

From the AP:
Citing broad gaps in U.S. intelligence, the Coast Guard cautioned the Bush administration that it was unable to determine whether a United Arab Emirates-owned company might support terrorist operations, a Senate panel said Monday.

The surprise disclosure came during a hearing on Dubai-owned DP World's plans to take over significant operations at six leading U.S. ports. The port operations are now handled by London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company.

"There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW or P&O assets to support terrorist operations, that precludes an overall threat assessment of the potential" merger," an undated Coast Guard intelligence assessment says.

"The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities," the document says.

Sen. Susan Collins (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security committee, released an unclassified version of the document at a briefing Monday. With the deal under intense bipartisan criticism in Congress, the Bush administration agreed Sunday to DP World's request for a second review of the potential security risks related to its deal.

The document raised questions about the security of the companies' operations, the backgrounds of all personnel working for the companies, and whether other foreign countries influenced operations that affect security.

"This report suggests there were significant and troubling intelligence gaps," said Collins, R-Maine. "That language is very troubling to me."

Away

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days. I've been out of town and will now return to my usual level of frustration.