Friday, March 02, 2007

Call to Expand Union Rights Could Derail Antiterror Bill
White House officials made clear on Tuesday that President Bush was prepared to veto a bill that enacted recommendations of the Sept. 11 Commission if the provision granting Transportation Security Administration workers collective bargaining rights was not removed.


Statement of U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao Regarding Today's Vote on H.R. 800
U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao issued the following statement regarding today's vote on H.R. 800: "It is a sad day for our country when the U.S. House of Representatives votes to deprive workers of their basic right to a private ballot election."


Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)
To amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes.

The Bubble Boy administration: nakedly hostile to the working man, and totally willing to lie about it.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

When I read this
Our study yields one resounding finding: The rate of terrorist attacks around the world by jihadist groups and the rate of fatalities in those attacks increased dramatically after the invasion of Iraq. Globally there was a 607 percent rise in the average yearly incidence of attacks (28.3 attacks per year before and 199.8 after) and a 237 percent rise in the average fatality rate (from 501 to 1,689 deaths per year). A large part of this rise occurred in Iraq, which accounts for fully half of the global total of jihadist terrorist attacks in the post-Iraq War period. But even excluding Iraq, the average yearly number of jihadist terrorist attacks and resulting fatalities still rose sharply around the world by 265 percent and 58 percent respectively.


Since the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan has suffered 219 jihadist terrorist attacks that can be attributed to a particular group, resulting in the deaths of 802 civilians. The fact that the Taliban only conducted its first terrorist attacks in September 2003, a few months after the invasion of Iraq, is significant. International forces had already been stationed in the country for two years before the Taliban began to specifically target the U.S.-backed Karzai government and civilians sympathetic to it.

and this
Martin Indyk, a senior State Department official in the Clinton Administration who also served as Ambassador to Israel, said that “the Middle East is heading into a serious Sunni-Shiite Cold War.” Indyk, who is the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, added that, in his opinion, it was not clear whether the White House was fully aware of the strategic implications of its new policy. “The White House is not just doubling the bet in Iraq,” he said. “It’s doubling the bet across the region. This could get very complicated. Everything is upside down.”

it occurs to me that every time that I think that Bubble Boy and Puppy Eater have done their worst, I am always, always, always wrong. With this crew, things are always worse than they appear, worse than you can imagine.

(Excerpt 1 via here, which was via here. Excerpt 2 via here.)
Group Reaches Settlement With F.E.C. Over 2004 Campaign Advertising
[The Progress for America Voter Fund] agreed to pay a $750,000 penalty as part of a settlement with the Federal Election Commission, which found that the group violated campaign finance laws by spending more than $30 million on advertisements and mailings supporting President Bush’s re-election.


It spent $26.4 million alone on advertising in battleground states in 2004 for the purpose of retaining Mr. Bush as president.

Its actions violated campaign laws because it was not registered as a political action committee that would be subject to strict limits on donations. The agency said it circumvented a ban on corporate money and accepted contributions that well exceeded the caps on individual donations.

Too little, too freaking late. I'm not going to claim to know how much of an effect this group's actions had on the vote. Hell, I'm not going to claim any special knowledge of campaign finance rules. But a fine in March, 2007 sure as hell can't affect this group's actions in 2004. And, frankly, I don't see how it will affect any group's action in 2008, 2010, etc., etc. This will just get figured in to the cost of doing business.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Child Health Care Splits White House and States
Governors clashed with the White House on Monday over the future of the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program [...]

Having successfully expanded the health insurance programs in their states, some governors now suggest that the Bush administration is pulling the safety net out from under many children.


States would need substantially more to continue their programs with current eligibility rules and benefits. New estimates from the Congressional Budget Office show that the states face shortfalls of $700 million this year and a total shortage of $13.4 billion from 2008 to 2012.

Screw those CHIP kids. Bombs away.
U.S. Displays Bomb Parts Said to Be Made in Iran

For the second day in a row, the NYT quotes this guy:
[...] Maj. Marty Weber, a master explosives ordnance technician [...]

I'm not questioning Maj. Weber's qualifications.

But I find it very odd that the NYT is not mentioning that Maj. Weber is an aide to the head flack for the U.S. military in Iraq. He is on the PR team.

Shouldn't the NYT, to fully report this story, point out that this whole "look! Iran!" effort is a big PR push? And hey, how about asking some questions about where the PR push is coming from? Pentagon, White House? Cheney?

Or are we all supposed to slip into that 2003 mindset of "war is inevitable, only dirty hippies don't like war." Man. You know what, those hippies are dirty. Forget I said anything. Bombs away.