The Gypsy's Caravan

Saturday, June 30, 2007

End of GITMO?

WASHINGTON - Democrats want to cut President Bush's budget for Guantanamo Bay prison in half, beating the administration to the punch in shutting down the facility for terror detainees.

Read the rest here

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Vice President's New Residence?

A group of Democrats made their case Thursday afternoon to cut all funding for the executive branch office of Vice President Dick Cheney on the floor of the House of Representatives. The move prompted a Republican Congressman to ask whether Cheney would get a 'Katrina trailer' in place of his official residence.

"I offer a simple amendment that bars the executive branch from being used to fund an office that does not exist in the executive branch, the Office of the Vice President," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, who introduced the amendment. "There have been 46 vice presidents in US history, and not one of them...ever claimed [that the vice president was not part of the executive branch]."

Pointing to a four-part series that ran in this week's Washington Post on Cheney's role in the presidency of George W. Bush, Emanuel assailed the vice president for having too much power.

"Rather than claiming that he wasn't part of the executive sounds like he is the executive branch," the Illinois Democrat said. "There is no Cheney branch of government...He been held unaccountable for six years, and now he wants to be held unaccountable in the historical record."

Emanuel's amendment moved to cut all funding to the Vice President's executive office, as well as the funds for his residence.

The latter half of the amendment prompted Rep. Ralph Regula (R-OH), the ranking Republican on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services which funds the White House, to ask where Cheney would live.

"Of course you're going to abolish the residence, and I assume you're going to get a Katrina trailer to provide for the vice president since we historically have provided housing, and you don't offer any substitute for the existing residence," Regula said.

Hey, what a great Idea! He could actually find out how some of the rest of us live...

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) also responded to Regula's warning.

"The gentleman from Ohio said be careful what you wish for. Well, here's what I wish for - a vice president of the United States who will not show contempt for the norms of democracy," the chairman of the Financial Services Committee said.

Right On.

"I don't come to this amendment had said 'we may have a [Dem]vice president[..someday who oversteps his bounds..]'....Vice President Cheney is all of our vice president, he's not[just] yours," the Democratic Caucus chairman argued. "For every step of the way, he has chosen secrecy over sunshine, obstruction over accountability."

With limited members in the chamber, Rep. Emanuel's amendment appeared to be defeated by a voice vote. However, the bill is set to receive a recorded vote later in the day.

Read the full story here

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Open Letter to Chris Matthews

Dear Chris Matthews,

The Bush Administration's decision to bomb and then invade Iraq was not "gutsy", it was the pivotal decision that led to him being named the "Worst President Ever". It allowed him and all his cronies to empty our treasury and alienate the rest of the world. Further, it led directly to 3500 american soldiers' deaths, and countless innocent Iraqi civilians' deaths.

"Gutsy" does not begin to describe it.

Thank You

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Glenn Greenwald's New Book: Must Have

I read his blog every day(wait for the commercial, you get a day pass at salon), and the quality of writing and analysis is superb. I ordered mine the other day - I have a definate someone in mind that needs to read this after me... You can review/order it here

Monday, June 25, 2007

Judge rules in favor of Cleaners in "Pants Suit"

...(Judge)Bartnoff ordered Pearson(plaintiff) to pay the court costs of defendants Soo Chung, Jin Nam Chung and Ki Y. Chung.

Pearson, an administrative law judge, originally sought $67 million from the Chungs, claiming they lost a pair of suit trousers and later tried to give him a pair that he said was not his. He arrived at the amount by adding up years of alleged law violations and almost $2 million in common law claims.

I'm so glad that lawsuit abuse by the rich and powerful was not allowed to triumph.

read the whole thing here .

Pretty Flower

Friday, June 22, 2007

Only Three Points Above Nixon! Bushco drops to 26 percent

73 percent of Americans disapprove of Bush's handling of the war he started with Iraq.

But the White House cannot pin his rating on the war alone. Bush scores record or near record lows on every major issue: from the economy (34 percent approve, 60 percent disapprove) to health care (28 percent approve, 61 percent disapprove) to immigration (23 percent approve, 63 percent disapprove). And—in the worst news, perhaps, for the crowded field of Republicans hoping to succeed Bush in 2008—50 percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of terrorism and homeland security. Only 43 percent approve, on an issue that has been the GOP’s trump card in national elections since 9/11.

Tell me we can get rid of the Wanker - Please!

the whole story's at
Hattip to Vanity Press

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

They've got my number~

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • death (4x)
  • torture (3x)
  • pain (2x)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bill Moyers weighs in on Pardoning Libby

Bill Moyers Journal: Begging His Pardon


“In a government of laws, existence of government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it invites everyman to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”
~Justice Louis D. Brandeis in Olmstead v. United States (1928)

The crime rate is up in all our major cities, isn't it?

thanks for the quote, firedoglake

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Deconstructing Joe Klein

In this week's issue of Time Magazine, Joe Klein calls for courage and vision from any candidate who's hoping to move into the White House shortly after new years 2009. Nothing short of big ideas will turn our boat around. He says the candidates need a plan, and he offers the following as an example of something that could be put forward. I think the world needs more than a gestures and half measures if we're to survive the next 100 years.

In his March congressional testimony, Gore laid out a comprehensive series of proposals to combat global warming. With the help of Robert Socolow, a Princeton professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering who is a carbon-emissions expert, I've made Gore's general policy prescriptions specific:

— A $30-per-ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions (which comes to 25 cents per gal. of gasoline and 2 cents per kW-h of electricity), with the proceeds going to payroll-tax relief.

Ok, seriously, we are supposed to put a regressive tax on ourselves, then pay government workers to give the money back to us. Seems like a circle jerk to me, something that will cost what little money is generated in order to give it back. Might teach some to conserve, will teach the middle class to expect more taxes, and more tax rebates. Not very constructive. Kinda manipulative if ya ask me.

— Higher fuel-efficiency standards for auto manufacturers. Socolow's goal is 60 m.p.g. by 2056.

I totally agree that we need higher fuel efficiency, but we have cars being made right now in the world that get between 40 and 50 mpg already. We have prototypes that get 100mpg. 2056 is total horseshit, we could do 60mpg in new cars by 2015 easy, and 80 to 100 by 2056. No problem, let's get on it!!

— A $45-per-bbl. floor on petroleum, in order to ensure alternative-energy providers with a stable market.

We haven't seen $45/barrel oil in months. This will do nothing. If we make the law, and by some miracle the price of oil comes down, it won't go below $45, since it would then be a pain in the neck to do the paperwork and move the money.

— A moratorium on new coal-fired power plants, at least until new carbon-scrubbing techniques are perfected.

Not only that, we need to put the teeth back in the Clean Air Act, and force the Coal plants to clean up their emmissions, toot sweet! This would have been very near done, if Bushco hadn't rolled back the rules.

— A cap-and-trade system of controlling carbon emissions, in which major carbon producers—oil companies, public utilities—would have to pay for the right to pollute above a certain level. Those that reduced their pollution below their quota would be able to sell their excess capacity to companies that exceeded their quotas. The amount of pollution permitted would gradually be reduced over time.

Of this wish list, the cap-and-trade idea and the $45-per-bbl. price for oil are the most likely to succeed politically.

Yup, because the former is too complex to make any difference any time soon, and the latter is just silly.

All Democrats running for President, several Republicans and even some major industries, including Duke Energy and General Motors, favor a serious cap-and-trade program. The days of $45-per-bbl. oil are probably over, in any case. But buyer beware: the higher energy prices likely to result from these programs will be passed along to you, with alacrity, by the energy companies.

So, not only will we tax ourselves in order to give the money back to us, the oil companies will jack up the price of gas as soon as we do.

Easter Island used to be a mystery.

Crossposted at The Fat Lady Sings

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Our Latest Project

We decided to make this section of our yard - adjacent to the pond and stream, into a little garden.

Here's what I started with. A stump left from the tree we took out last fall with a half barrel on top, some yellow iris and yellow primrose from the bed under the mailbox, a hanging basket full of orange impatience, ferns from the woods, trillium and a pink hybrid ladyslipper (Cypripedium 'Gisela') from our trip to The Garden In The Woods in May, and a great big pot of Meadow Rue, purchased here in CT.

Hubby brought in the big blower, and knocked back the leaves, clearing a space all around to work in. We mixed up a whole lot of planting mix on the tarp - incl leaf mold dug from under the trees, vermiculite, moo dirt, and organic potting mix. Then hubby rigged up a crude sled with a piece of plywood and a chain to the back of the tractor and dragged three large rocks over to the stump.

We positioned the rocks to hold some dirt in near the stump, and roughed out the bed.

For the ladyslipper, which needs both good drainage and damp lightweight soil: its own little area with a layer of small chipped stone lining it.

The orchid in its new home.

Our next door neighbor came over to ask if we wanted some bleeding hearts that have taken over her patio! We went right over and pulled them out.

A little varigated hosta and orange daylillies from the front garden rounds it all out.

The new view from the deck.

Critters In The Yard

Fishes, silvery shining fishes! (well, actually orange)

I have no idea what kind of bird this is, but we have a few around our yard, and they love to bathe in the stream.

This chipmunk has taken up residence in our yard, and has holes all over the place.

*as always, click any pic to enlarge it

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Day at the Shore

I was looking for a good place to get photos of birds in flight, and our trip to the shore this weekend was the perfect chance! We stopped at our favorite seafood restaurant, situated on a finger of Long Island Sound right off a marina. The restaurant has a dock so that seafarers can tie up and eat.

A seagull fixes me with his gimlet stare.

I love to feed the birds when I eat there, but alas, my dinner didn't contain anything suitable(hard to throw pasta! ha :), so the ducks and gulls had to wait for someone else.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dear Mr Lieberman,

I hope I'm talking to Mr Joseph Lieberman, not Mr Avigdor Lieberman!

Your recent call for war with Iran is radical, decietful and corrupt.

I do not live in Israel. You do not represent Israel. We have no business dropping bombs on civilians in Iran. If you actually think we can afford another war (and with exactly what army??) you are sadly mistaken.

Retire! It's what you need to do.

Thank You

Glen Greenwald has an analysis of Lieberman's latest.

Friday, June 01, 2007


So now the basis for our actions, the bottom line in our interrogations - is what Terrorists in IRAQ do????

I thought that "American Exceptionalism" was based on the fact that, since the revolutionary war fer cryin' out loud, WE DO NOT TORTURE PEOPLE.... PERIOD.

Read Glen Greenwald's take on how :

Just yesterday, Democratic Senators Feinstein and Whitehouse introduced a proposal before the Senate Intelligence Committee "barring spending on interrogation techniques that go beyond the Army Field Manual, which bans physical pressure or pain," except where the President certifies "that an individual has information about a specific and imminent threat." Every Republican on the Committee voted against it, and it failed when Democrat Bill Nelson joined the Republicans.

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