Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


By Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
U.S. House of Representatives

Mr. Speaker, the American people want a new direction in Iraq and they expect Congress to act accordingly.

It has been almost four years since this Administration declared the end of major combat in Iraq. Since this declaration we have seen more than 3-thousand soldiers killed in combat, and more than 22-thousand injured. We can’t forget that these aren't just numbers. These are our sons and daughters.

There are now more than 3-thousand men and women who will never return home to their families. Many are children, 18, 19 or 20 years old. Their lives have ended before they ever really began.

I started my career as a psychiatric nurse at the Dallas VA Hospital. I know first hand the physical and psychological trauma these young people will face. It is a long-term battle for them and their families as they learn to live with these disabilities.

We are in a war with no end in sight. And now we are talking about troop escalation. How many more young lives are we going to lose? How many more soldiers will face life long disabilities?

The experts have weighed in on this issue, and they say that troop escalation is a mistake. The President assembled a group of experts to design a new course for Iraq. The President’s experts did not recommend additional troops. In fact, they recommended the opposite.

Mr. Speaker, it's time to listen to the experts and the commanders on the ground. Our troops are faced with the impossible task of policing a civil war. Each day we hear of sectarian attacks and bombing. Our soldiers are caught in the middle with no real strategy to end the violence.

A great American military cannot be a substitute for a weak Iraqi government. We need to focus on diplomatic solutions and training Iraqi security forces so that they can take control of their own country. With this escalation we are just adding to the chaos.

Mr. Speaker, my constituents in North Texas continue to grieve the loss of their sons and daughters in Iraq. They are concerned for our troop's safety, and they are demanding answers. This war is costing us 100 lives and $2 billion a week. At an overall cost of $500 billion, we will be paying the cost of this war for decades to come.

In my Congressional District in Dallas, Texas, our share of the cost is almost $1 billion. In Dallas, this would have provided 400-thousand children with health care, or paid for 23-thousand additional police officers. For our nation’s 300 million Americans, their share is $13-hundred a piece.

Accountability of Iraq war spending has been appalling. Last week we began Congressional hearings regarding contracting fraud. Apparently, there are $12 billion unaccounted for. Contractors were being paid with large bags of cash. This is truly an embarrassment and the height of irresponsibility. And now we are talking about spending more money and adding more troops. We need to end this. Redeployment needs to start now.

Mr. Speaker, we have before us a bipartisan resolution opposing the escalation of troops in Iraq. However, this debate is only the first step. The ultimate goal is to bring our troops home safely and swiftly. It is time for the President to listen to the American people. The best way to support our troops serving in Iraq is to say 'NO' to the President's escalation of the war. I strongly urge my colleagues to support this resolution.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Burn vouchers, not coal: "So my solution is that we gather up all the vouchers and use them to generate the electricity that TXU wants to build coal-burning plants for."

Study: Feds Chase Dems More than GOPers: "The chance of such a heavy Democratic-Republican imbalance occurring at random is 1 in 10,000," according to the study's authors.

Home-Grown Gitmo: "These thousands of people held in detention under the aegis of the US Department of Homeland Security - increasingly in privately-owned jails - are failing to receive timely medical treatment and adequate food, being subjected to frequent sexual harassment, and having their access to lawyers, relatives and immigration authorities improperly limited."

Thirty-Six Sure-Fire Signs That Your Empire Is Crumbling: "You know your empire's crumbling when the folks who are gearing up their empire to replace yours start blowing up satellites in space. And then they don't bother to return your phone calls when you ring up to ask why."

NYT Falls for Bogus Iran Weapons Charges: "So the unnamed sources at the Pentagon are reduced to implying that Iran is giving sophisticated bombs to its sworn enemies and the very groups that are killing its Shiite Iraqi allies every day. Get real!"

The NY Times returns to pre-Iraq-war "journalism": " -- it has published a lengthy, prominent front-page article by Michael Gordon that does nothing, literally, but mindlessly recite administration claims about Iran's weapons-supplying activities without the slightest questioning, investigation, or presentation of ample counter-evidence."

New York Times Reveals "Reporter" Michael Gordon Actually Voice-Activated Tape Recorder

Target Iran: US able to strike in the spring: "All the moves being made over the last few weeks are consistent with what you would do if you were going to do an air strike. We have to throw away the notion the US could not do it because it is too tied up in Iraq. It is an air operation."

Rumors of War: "At least one former White House official contends that some Bush advisers secretly want an excuse to attack Iran. "They intend to be as provocative as possible and make the Iranians do something [America] would be forced to retaliate for," says Hillary Mann, the administration's former National Security Council director for Iran and Persian Gulf Affairs."

Theaters of the absurd: "Mr. President, I simply want to say one U.S. bomb on Iran and the regime will remain in power for another 20 or 30 years and 70 million Iranians will become radicalized."
"I know," President Bush answered.
"But does Vice President Cheney know?" asked Soroush.
The president chuckled and walked away.

Monday, February 05, 2007


The Dallas County Democratic Party Executive Committee (which consists of the County Chair, County Secretary, and all of the Precinct Chairs) will meet on Saturday, February 17, from 10 AM to Noon, at the Frank Crowley Courthouse's Central Jury Room, at 133 N. Industrial, Dallas 75207. That's out by the county jail. Parking is $2 The meeting is open to attendance and observation by all.


Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins dies
Molly Ivins — Columnist, Wit, Institution — Dies At 62 (links to obits)
Tributes (a large collection)
A Sad Farewell to an American Great
Missing Molly Ivins (Paul Krugman)
"We've lost one of our defenders."
Writings of Molly Ivins (a huge collection)
Two recent columns:
Iraq Exit is Up to Us
Stand Up Against the Surge
Molly Ivins Quotes
(including: "Just when you thought there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you're wrong.")
Mary Tyler Ivins, 1944-2007
(more quotes, including: "Having being properly reared by a right-wing family in East Texas, how'd I turn out this peculiar? I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point-- race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.")


Democratic judges do make a difference, reports Judge Don Adams. Prior to the newly elected criminal court judges taking the bench on Jan. 1, 2007 a plan to set uniform standards to determine indigence had been languishing. Now there is movement on a plan. All courts will use the same objective standards to determine if a defendant who wants a court appointed attorney is indigent under a proposed plan. The goal is to insure legal representation for those individuals who can not afford to hire their own attorney such as the working poor, the disabled and those on government assistance and are charged with criminal offenses, while protecting the interests of the tax payers. "All the new judges want to deal with this issue" said Judge Adams.


Last week Jim S. Sale died in Dallas, aged 74. His obit says he "was a proud member of the Democratic Party. He was especially proud of his work with the Small Business Administration during the 1980s, as well as his fundraising campaigns for Dick Gephardt, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and many others." He also "served on various boards and commissions, including The Veterans' Land Board of Texas, The Texas Industrial Commission, The Texas Criminal Justice Board, The Board of the National Space Institute, and The Board of Texas A & M University's College of Science. He also formerly served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee's Small Business Council and as a director of the Democratic Finance Council. ... A Memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6, 2007 at Highland Park Methodist Church in the Main Sanctuary, 3300 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas."


Should Texas have an early Presidential Primary?
Bill Moyers: The Secret Government - The Constitution in Crisis (long video)
Jon Stewart Explains the Scooter Libby Trial (video)
Olbermann: Fact Checking the President (video)
Daily Show: Cheney’s Poetry & “Emboldening the Enemy” (video)
Why Dick Cheney Cracked Up (by Frank Rich)
Soldiers in Iraq view troop surge as a lost cause
A Budget for the Middle Class (by Senator Bernie Sanders)


Concerns over Iran bombing grow
Olbermann: Iraq War! Part Deux (video)
The Edge of The Abyss
Fight against Iran too familiar
Iran Clock Is Ticking
Iran: A War Is Coming
Next on Bush's 'Hit List'
America 'poised to strike at Iran's nuclear sites' from bases in Bulgaria and Romania