Saturday, September 29, 2007


When I started this blog I did not really think it would have much impact on national politics. But I was wrong. My first success was getting Republican Senator George Allen defeated (see my post 9/25). Of course, his idiocy did not help him nor did the fact that Jim Webb, his opponent, turned out to be a decent guy with something worthwhile to say. But it was my blog post that made the difference, and resulted in the Democrats taking control of the Senate.

I was pretty happy about that, but still underestimated the power of the (my) pen, or keyboard. Since Allen's defeat, a bunch of Republicans have announced they would not run for reelection, lots of other Republicans have revealed themselves to be true hypocrites (Senator Craig comes to mind), and the probability of further Republican losses in Congress in 2008 has soared.  The Republican party is in shambles. The crumbling Republican juggernaut has given new meaning to the word fissiparous.

People don't even talk much anymore about how bad Bush is. They are just waiting for him to go away.

So a word of advice to all you aspiring bloggers out there who lament the lack of readers and your failure to make an impact: don't give up. You too can be someone special with a lot of clout!

Just write brilliant stuff, like I do, and eventually people will notice and you will become very influential. It happened to me; it could can happen to you.

I'm taking on consumerism next.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Fidelity Out of Sudan

I just sent the letter below to Fidelity in support of the Fidelity Out of Sudan campaign. See for more details


Fidelity Investments
P.O. Box 770001
Cincinnati, OH 45277-0035

Dear Fidelity,

Please sell all shares of Fidelity Contrafund in account #xxxxx and invest the proceeds in Fidelity Cash Reserves.

Although I am pleased with the performance of Contrafund, I cannot continue to invest in a fund holding securities of companies such as PetroChina and China Petroleum that enable the genocidal policies of the government of Sudan.

I have contacted Fidelity previously to express my concern over your failure to divest from such companies. I plan to continue to work for the Fidelity Out of Sudan campaign by urging my friends, co-workers, employer, and family to learn about Fidelity’s position. I am also considering moving all my Fidelity investments to another company, such as Calvert, that does support the divestment goals.

Sincerely yours,

Daniel Burke


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Watch Darfur Burn

This is a criticism of the Republicans and a warning to the Democrats with their new Congressional power. The Republicans have done virtually nothing to stop the genocide in Darfur: the Democrats are showing few signs of doing better. This blog is dedicated to pointing out the failures and shortcomings of the Republicans. That does not prevent me from criticizing Dems as well, or anyone for that matter. Jim, you are an idiot!

Call your Democratic Representative and Senator, and ask for quick, meaningful action on Darfur.

In the meantime, to do something useful, visit Join with hundreds (soon to be thousands) of others.

the darfur wall

Everyone must do something about Darfur: it is not acceptable to decide to do nothing.

The Darfur Wall provides everyone with the option of doing something. You don't want to look back 10 years from now and say "I should have done something about genocide in Darfur." So do it now!

Do something or do nothing - your choice.

the darfur wall

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Republican Leaders Give Tacit OK to Congressman's Sordid Activity

September 29, 2006

Well, which is worse?

1) Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley's sordid, sleazy emails and instant messages, for which he was forced to quit, or

2) The fact that the Republican leadership, including Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, knew about Foley's activities and did nothing to stop him.

Foley, who served in the House leadership as a deputy whip, sent sexually explicit Internet messages to teenage pages. In one message Foley asked, “What ya wearing?” The teenager replied, “Tshirt and shorts,” to which Foley replied, “Love to slip them off of you.” Other messages to teenage boys were more sexually explicit.

Foley also sent emails, using his personal email account - not his Congressional, work account - to a 16 year old boy who had returned home to Louisiana after working as a page for another Congressman. Foley asked the boy to send him a picture.

Foley has refused to say if he is gay and that is his right, as is his sexual orientation. But it is an abuse of power of the worst sort to make unwanted advances toward young men working for the institution of which Foley was a member and a leader.

As for the rest of the Republican leadership, they just looked the other way. Mr. Foley reportedly sent the messages to the first page in August 2005. The boy's family contacted their congressman, Republican Rodney Alexander for whom the boy had worked. Alexander discussed the problem with Representative Thomas Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Reynolds said he told Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert about the scandal months ago. Hastert's office passed the issue along to the Clerk of the House who informed Republican Representative John Shimkus, chairman of the House Page Board. Shimkus said that he had known of the first e-mail messages in late 2005 - about one year ago, but he just accepted Foley's assurance that Foley was simply acting as a mentor. Shimkus told Foley to “be especially mindful of his conduct” with pages. Hastert says he doesn't even remember talking to Reynolds about the issue. Guess he couldn't have considered it too important.

So here you have all these Republican leaders ignoring this blatantly inappropriate activity by Foley, passing the buck, doing virtually nothing to stop him, and then making excuses when the whole thing blows up. There still has been no announcement about whether there will be an investigation or whether the Republican leadership will just continue to do nothing.

I guess I'd say Foley's activities were despicable and the Republican leadership's lack of action is appalling. You decide which is worse.

For more detail see

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bush Spins Terror Report

Tuesday September 27, 2006

A National Intelligence Estimate states that terrorists "are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion." And that one of the primary causes of the increased terrorist threat is the war in Iraq which "has become a cause célèbre for jihadists". The war is a recruiting tool and training ground for new radicals. But rather than address this somber news, Bush claims the report says something far different. That his policies are successful (What??!!) The administration releases 3 pages of the 30 page report to attempt to bolster its claim that the current strategy is working. What is the current strategy? "Stay the course". That's terrific and makes me feel really good about the future. Stay the course and continue to create more, and more dispersed, terrorists - great plan. Very clever and well thought out.

I wonder what the other 27 pages say.

Bush says "Here we are, coming down the stretch in an election campaign, and it's on the front page of your newspapers. Isn't that interesting? Somebody has taken it upon themselves to leak classified information for political purposes." He does not address the problems discussed in the report and offers no solutions or leadership. Just attempts to turn it into a political dirty trick.

Is that leadership? Responsibility? Strategic thinking? No, no, no. This intelligence report provides futher proof that the ill conceived policy and the incredibly incompetent execution of that policy have been disasterous. Bush, a prisoner of his own stubbornness, ignorance, and arrogance offers no hope for anything better.

This is the leader the Republican party has given us. Let's remember that the next time we head to the voting booth.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Another Racist Republican Senator

Monday September 25, 2006

George Allen is a Republican U.S. Senator from Virginia. He was govenor of Virginia and is (was) a leading candidate for the Republican nomimation for President in 2008. But it looks like he is a racist - a problem endemic to the Republican Party (remember Strom Thurmond and Senator Trent Lott?) In the last few days these items have been reported:

* At a campaign rally Allen referred to a young Democratic operative of Indian-American descent as macaca and welcomed him to America. Macaca is a racist slur derived from the name of a species of monkey. Mr. Allen apologized for any offense and said he had just made the word up. Question: How do you just make up a word that is exactly like an existing word, both in meaning and pronunciation? Just a bizarre coincidence or a lie?

* During a debate with his opponent, Jim Webb, Allen denied that his mother had been raised Jewish, saying "my mother is French-Italian with a little Spanish blood in her. And I've been raised as she was, as far as I know, raised as a Christian." This despite the fact that his mother had publicly stated the week before that she had been raised Jewish in her native Tunisia. Just a memory lapse or a lie? Allen also said "I still had a ham sandwich for lunch. And my mother made great pork chops." Just grossly insensitive or anti-semetic?

* As governor of Virginia, Allen signed a 'Confederate Heritage Month' proclamation while dubbing the NAACP an 'extremist group.'

* In his law office he displayed a noose hanging from a tree. No more needed on this one.

* Christopher Taylor, an anthropology professor at Alabama University, claimed that in the early 1980s he heard Mr. Allen use an inflammatory epithet for African Americans.

* Dr. Ken Shelton, a former football teammate of Allen at the University of Virginia who is white, said that in college in the early 1970s Allen had used the same term often. Dr. Shelton said Allen had told him that he moved to Virginia ''because the blacks know their place."

Why vote for a racist favorite of the Republican party when you have an alternative - a decent, smart, experienced, serious Democrat, Jim Webb?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Republicans indicted, convicted, and under investigation.

The Republicans make such a big deal about their supposed 'moral values' and their claim that they restored íntegrity' to the White House. Yet every day brings more news of Republican corruption, criminality, greed, and arrogance. A few examples:

Tom Noe, an Ohio coin dealer. He allegedly laundered money into President Bush’s re-election campaign and was indicted on October 27, 2005. The three-count indictment states that beginning in October 2003, Mr. Noe contributed to President Bush’s election campaign “over and above the limits established by the Federal Election Campaign Act." He did so in order to fulfill his pledge to raise $50,000 for a Bush-Cheney fund-raiser. Noe, a Bush "pioneer," is also being investigated for stealing millions from the state.

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby - Chief of Staff for Dick Cheney. A federal grand jury indicted him on October 27, 2005 on five charges related to the investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's name (Valerie Palme) to the media.: one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements. The crimes charged in the indictment carry the following maximum penalties:
Obstruction of justice -- 10 years in prison;
Making false statements and perjury -- each 5 years.
Each count carries a maximum fine of $250,000."

Tom DeLay House Majority Leader (forced to give up his leadership post after indictment). A Texas grand jury indicted DeLay on September 28, 2005 on a charge of criminally conspiring with two political associates to inject illegal corporate contributions into 2002 state elections. (This charge has been dropped for technical reasons). On October 3, 2005 a Texas grand jury brought a charge of money laundering against DeLay. This crime is punishible by a maximum life prison term and a $10,000 fine. On December 16 Bush said that Delay is innocent, a comment some consider close to jury tampering. On December 5 Cheney flew to Texas to headline a fund raiser for DeLay, showing his support in spite of the indictments.

You may be saying, "Yeah, sure. All politicians are alike. The Democrats are no better." or something like that. I'll respond:
1) The Democrats are better. If you take the time to look into it you'll see that corruption permeates the Republican party. Republican corruption makes Democrat corruption look like a tea party.
2) This blog is about Republicans and why not to vote for or support them.

John Colyandro - executive director of the Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee. He was indicted in 2004 for accepting illegal corporate donations and for illegally laundering $190,000 in corporate funds through the Republican National State Elections Committee that later wound up in the hands of Texas Republican candidates.

Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee. On September 8, 2005 a grand jury in Texas indicted the state political action committee organized by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for accepting $120,000 in allegedly illegal corporate campaign contributions shortly before and after the 2002 elections.

Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California was convicted of conspiracy and tax evasion. He resigned from Congress November 28, 2005 after pleading guilty to evading taxes and conspiring to pocket $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors, including a Rolls-Royce, a yacht and a 19th-century Louis-Philippe commode.

Michael Scanlon, an associate of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, pleaded guilty Nov. 21 to conspiring to bribe a congressman and other public officials. Scanlon agreed to pay back more than $19 million he fraudulently charged Indian tribes.

Jack Abramoff, a major Republican fundraiser, is being investigated by the Justice Department. An inquiry into Abramoff's activities has been broadened to include at least half a dozen lawmakers. Scanlon and Cunningham have agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

Shaun Hansen headed a telemarketing company that placed hundreds of hang-up calls in New Hampshire during the 2002 election to Democratic and labor union get-out-the-vote phone banks. Hansen's company was hired by Republican operatives to place the calls, violating a federal law that forbids placing anonymous telephone calls to annoy or harass someone. He was indicted on April 4, 2005. Chuck McGee, the former executive director of the Republican state committee, has pleaded guilty in the scheme and been sentenced to seven months in federal prison. Allen Raymond, a GOP consultant from Virginia, also has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to five months in prison. James Tobin, who was regional director of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee and New England director of Bush's reelection campaign, was indicted in federal court on four felonies accusing him of conspiring to jam Democratic and labor union get-out-the-vote phone banks in November 2002. U.S. Senator Bill Frist, now majority leader of the Senate, was Tobin's boss at the time nad may have known about the phone-jamming plan.

Bob Taft, Republican govenor of Ohio, was charged on August 17, 2005 with four criminal misdemeanor counts for failing to report 52 gifts including golf games, meals, and professional sports tickets. He pleaded no contest and was fined $4000. He refused to resign.

A few more names:
Lawrence Novak: Former Vice-Chairman of the Massachusetts Republic Party. Arrested
Ernie Fletcher: Governor of Kentucky. Scandal.
Darrell Brock: Chairman of the Kentucky GOP. Indicted
George Ryan: Former Governor of Illinois. On trial
Scott Fawell: Aide to Gov. George Ryan. Pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud
John Rowland: Former governor of Connecticut. Pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy
Edmund Matricardi: Former Republican Party of Virginia Executive Director. Pleaded guilty to one count of felony wire intercept
Gary Russell Thomson: Former Chairman, Republican Party of Virginia. Pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of aiding and abetting the unauthorized publication of a wire communication
Adam Taff: Two-time Republican Congressional candidate from Kansas. Indicted
Todd Riffle: Former aide to Governor Christie Todd Whitman (R-NJ). Indicted
David Safavian:

More to come...

George Bush and the Iraqi dead

On Monday December 12, 2005 George Bush gave a speech on Iraq to the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia . After the speech, much to everyone's surprise, he agreed to accept five questions from the audience. The first question:

Q: Since the inception of the Iraqi war, I'd like to know the approximate total of Iraqis who have been killed. And by Iraqis I include civilians, military, police, insurgents, translators.

THE PRESIDENT: How many Iraqi citizens have died in this war? I would say 30,000, more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis. We've lost about 2,140 of our own troops in Iraq.

The number 30,000 is wildly inaccurate. The real number is probably 100,000 to 300,000. Last year (2005), the prominent British medical journal, Lancet (, published a study estimating that over 100,000 Iraqi civilians had died because of the war. The study determined that the risk of death by violence for civilians in Iraq is now 58 times higher than before the U.S. invasion.

Bush does not know, and he does not seem to care how many Iraqis have died as a result of the war. Once again he reveals his ignorance, his hypocrisy, and his warped values.