Joe Biden From 2007

24 08 2008

Let’s take a walk back in time from March of 2007 when Joe Biden kicked some ass. My time machine is up and running this morning.

Kids And The War

21 07 2008

Homer and I hung out yesterday afternoon and it was lovely. There is nothing like having a sister. Seriously, I recommend it highly.

We heard over the weekend that some of the people who inhabit our world are headed back to the Middle East. We quietly spoke about it as not to disturb the kids. They know about the war but they are also kids. Having children and trying to explain war and that some of their friends’ parents are going away is not an easy task to do.

Later in the evening, the oldest niece was rambling on about her new Johnny Depp obsession and said off the top of her head “Are we occupying Iraq?”

I stopped. Where did this 12-year-old get that? I said I thought we probably were and she nodded.

She then talked about Helena Bonham Carter and when she grew up she wanted to try Coors Light because the bottle goes blue. (I will talk to her about this abomination when she gets older.)

Kids pick up a lot from television and from hearing the hushed voices of the adults in the house. You can’t protect them from certain things.

But if I could, I would protect them from the ugliness. I would give my life for these kids.

This morning, I read this story about Joseph Dwyer. It’s hard to read.

Waxing philosophical this morning.

Watching John Tanner

8 05 2008

Just watching. Always watching.

“Some of us oppose creating a new entitlement program in an emergency spending bill, whether it’s butchers, bakers or candlestick-makers,” said Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), a founding member of the Blue Dog Coalition who serves on the House leadership team as a deputy whip.

The so-called GI Bill of Rights, authored by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), would give veterans money for college and cost $720 million in its first two years. But critics say that could grow to billions in future years.

House Democratic leaders attached it to the supplemental spending bill figuring Bush wouldn’t dare veto veterans’ benefits. If he did, Republicans would pay a steep political cost.

But that calculation is now causing heartburn for Blue Dogs, the same members who have generally supported war funding. The fiscally conservative coalition is split. Some members are willing to block the bill because “pay-as-you-go” budgetary rules — offsetting new spending with spending cuts or increased taxes — have been ignored one too many times. Others, like Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), don’t want to oppose benefits for veterans.

“It’s a cost of the war,” Barrow said.

Just call me a political voyeur.


National Priorities Project Calculates Local Costs

8 05 2008

Mike has this:

According to the National Priorities Project, the Iraq War has cost the State of Tennessee over $8 billion ($1 billion = $1000 million). President Bush’s new funding request for 08-09 will cost the Volunteer State over $2 billion, which according to NPP would buy Tennessee 21,714 afforable housing units, 41,906 elementary school teachers, or health care coverage for 435,808 adults.

I shake my head and sigh deeply. Here’s the calculator

So I ran District 8 ( Congressman John Tanner) and this is what I found:

Taxpayers in Congressional District 8 (Tanner) will pay $805.7 million for total Iraq war spending approved to date. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:

  • 168,170 People with Health Care for One Year
  • 596,557 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year
    22,381 Public Safety Officers for One year
  • 15,078 Music and Arts Teachers for One Year
  • 143,314 Scholarships for University Students for One Year
  • 62 New Elementary Schools
  • 8,379 Affordable Housing Units
  • 281,606 Children with Health Care for One Year
  • 111,920 Head Start Places for Children for One Year
  • 16,171 Elementary School Teachers for One Year

In Tennessee, Gov. Phil Bredesen spoke yesterday about the elimination of a little more than 2000 jobs.


Women In War

5 05 2008

Because Aunt B. always breaks it down:

In other words, even though we tend to think of the military as a very conservative institution, it has, in many ways, been the catalyst for a lot of progressive change. That, I think, is one reason the fight over gays in the military has been so fierce, because both sides know that, if gay people are allowed to serve openly, it will mean shifting a lot of people’s fundimental attitudes. They won’t have to like serving next to gay people, but they will have to get used to it. And once they’re used to it, many of them are going to find it damn foolish to worry about working and living next to gay people when they get home.

All this brings me to women in combat. The arguments against letting women serve in combat have ranged from the criminally stupid (”Once a month, women are more prone to infections!”) to the old tried-and-true “It’ll ruin unit cohesion” to whatever else folks can think of at any given moment so that a fog of “women can’t/shouldn’t be in combat” shrouds the land and prevents us from looking at the truth:

Women are, right now, in combat zones–civilian women and female troops. There they are. Fighting and dying and living and going about their jobs, just like the men.

Yup. She’s right.

Your Daily Meaningless Sex Scandal

29 04 2008


NEW YORK – Roger Clemens had a decade-long relationship with country star Mindy McCready that began when she was a 15-year-old aspiring singer and the pitcher was a Boston Red Sox ace, the Daily News reported.

“I cannot refute anything in the story,” McCready told the newspaper in a story posted on its Web site Monday night.

“I have known Roger Clemens for a long time,” she said, without detailing the nature of their relationship.

Clemens’ lawyer, Rusty Hardin, confirmed the pitcher and singer had known each other for a long time but told the newspaper there was no sex.

There is never any sex in sex scandals these days is there? (*snark*)

I don’t like Clemens by a mile and I don’t know Mindy McCready although I admit I remember when she was in jail and all.

But, yup, it’s dominating the news.

Don’t we have a war going on or something?

Salem’s Lot Says This:

27 03 2008

4,004 30,000 100,000

Random numbers? Hardly. These are the latest counts of American dead, American wounded and estimates of the Iraqi casualties of the current war in Iraq.

Sobering to say the least. As politicians fight over things that don’t effect the average citizen, these numbers remind of us what has been lost.

Bear Knows Only War

25 03 2008

My eight-year-old niece, who has the flu, only remembers us being at war in her life.

It’s been five years.


I find that significant and so sad.

Dick Cheney

24 03 2008

Our vice-president has the compassion of a Q-Tip.


Amazing, Utterly Amazing

20 11 2007


The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.

Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.

My granddad lost a great deal of his hearing in WWII after a shell went off near him.

I have no words.

H/T to KnoxViews

An Update over at Aunt B’s from Bob Krumm. It looks like this might be getting fixed. Thank God, ’cause I was pissed about it last night.

Westboro Church Ordered To Pay Father Millions

31 10 2007

BALTIMORE, Maryland (AP) — A grieving father won a nearly $11 million verdict Wednesday against a fundamentalist Kansas church that pickets military funerals in the belief that the war in Iraq is a punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

I’ve dealt with these folks personally. And good that they have to pay but it will still never be enough.

The church and three of its leaders — the Rev. Fred Phelps and his two daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebecca Phelps-Davis, 46 — were found liable for invasion of privacy and intent to inflict emotional distress.

This will be caught up in litigation for awhile. I’m sure the Phelps will appeal, but still, a jury made this decision.

And, the Phelps are all about suing folks so now they know what it feels like.

Karma is a bitch.