zed faction

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demand better leadership than that offered by the radical right-wing republican fundamentalists

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Ministry of Plenty Cares About YOU!

FDA halts expansion of network to monitor medical device safety
Agency backs off goal of linking 500 hospitals to system aimed at early detection of problems
By Ross Kerber, Globe Staff
The Boston Globe
July 14, 2005
Read the full article at boston.com.

Despite its plans to closely monitor deadly malfunctions and misuses of medical devices through a new computer reporting system, the Food and Drug Administration has frozen the project in place well short of its goal of connecting 500 hospitals.

The system, known as MedSun, allows doctors nationwide to directly report to the FDA problems with pacemakers, stents, and defibrillators. The FDA had aimed to connect 500 of the nation's 5,000 eligible hospitals, but is stuck at 350 and won't fund further expansion for the next several years.

That means more doctors are using an older system, through which they report problems to manufacturers, who then notify regulators. Some fear the process allows device makers to downplay bad news to the FDA.

The FDA estimates that problems with medical devices cause 300,000 deaths and injuries annually. The FDA, doctors, and hospital administrators hoped MedSun would alert them more quickly to problems and uncover patterns that might otherwise take years to discover.

Critics say the FDA's handling of MedSun contradicts its pledges to step up safety monitoring. The lack of additional funding is ''consistent with the pattern of the FDA under this administration, to act in a way that is complicit with the entities they're supposed to regulate," said US Representative Maurice Hinchey, Democrat of New York, who sits on a subcommittee that sets the FDA's budget.


Paul Krugman Speaks it True

In his Op-Ed column tomorrow:

Karl Rove's America
The New York Times
Published: July 15, 2005
Entire column

John Gibson of Fox News says that Karl Rove should be given a medal. I agree: Mr. Rove should receive a medal from the American Political Science Association for his pioneering discoveries about modern American politics. The medal can, if necessary, be delivered to his prison cell.

What Mr. Rove understood, long before the rest of us, is that we're not living in the America of the past, where even partisans sometimes changed their views when faced with the facts. Instead, we're living in a country in which there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth. In particular, there are now few, if any, limits to what conservative politicians can get away with: the faithful will follow the twists and turns of the party line with a loyalty that would have pleased the Comintern.


Good News Highlight of the Day

Four senators, two from each side of the aisle, think creatively. Thank you!

O'Connor Urged to Reconsider Retirement
The Associated Press
Thursday, July 14, 2005; 7:23 PM

WASHINGTON -- Four female senators called Thursday for retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to stay on the court and try for chief justice if the ailing William Rehnquist steps down.

In a letter to O'Connor, Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Democrats Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Barbara Boxer of California asked the nation's first female justice to consider staying on the high court if Chief Justice Rehnquist relinquishes the top spot.


Hillary: Pandering - Don't Do It!

Hillary Hillary dock
you can’t turn back the hip-hoppin’ clock
to remake yourself into one bitchin’ concerned mom
and have the wingnuts of the right to you flock.

Stop your pandering mash
take on the right-wing radicals with abash;
so, leave video games aside
and retain some semblance of our progressive pride.
The Ministry of Truth Reminds You: Karl Rove, American Hero; Joseph Wilson, Anti-American Evil-doer and Kerry Supporter

You will attend the ticker-tape parade to honor Our Brave American Hero upon the conclusion of today's Two Minutes Hate. He always tells the truth. He never tells a lie. We must honor him by allowing him to choose the next justice on the Supreme Court.

Karl Rove, Whistleblower
He told the truth about Joe Wilson.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
The opening lines of a Wall Street Journal editorial:

Democrats and most of the Beltway press corps are baying for Karl Rove's head over his role in exposing a case of CIA nepotism involving Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame. On the contrary, we'd say the White House political guru deserves a prize--perhaps the next iteration of the "Truth-Telling" award that The Nation magazine bestowed upon Mr. Wilson before the Senate Intelligence Committee exposed him as a fraud.

For Mr. Rove is turning out to be the real "whistleblower" in this whole sorry pseudo-scandal. He's the one who warned Time's Matthew Cooper and other reporters to be wary of Mr. Wilson's credibility. He's the one who told the press the truth that Mr. Wilson had been recommended for the CIA consulting gig by his wife, not by Vice President Dick Cheney as Mr. Wilson was asserting on the airwaves. In short, Mr. Rove provided important background so Americans could understand that Mr. Wilson wasn't a whistleblower but was a partisan trying to discredit the Iraq War in an election campaign. Thank you, Mr. Rove.

It is the right thing to do to "out" members of the CIA. It has always been the right thing to do. Public Servant Rove, we honor your bravery in the face of the enemies of the state.
The Ministry of Plenty Provides for Everybody!

From the Los Angeles Times:

Gov. to Be Paid $8 Million by Fitness Magazines
The publications rely heavily on advertising for dietary supplements. Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have regulated their use.
By Peter Nicholas and Robert Salladay, Times Staff Writers
July 14th, 2005
Read the full article at latimes.com.

SACRAMENTO — Two days before he was sworn into office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger accepted a consulting job paying an estimated $8 million over five years to "further the business objectives" of a national publisher of health and bodybuilding magazines.

The contract pays Schwarzenegger 1% of the magazines' advertising revenue, much of which comes from makers of nutritional supplements. Last year, the governor vetoed legislation that would have imposed government regulations on the supplement industry.

According to records filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Schwarzenegger entered into the agreement with a subsidiary of American Media Inc. on Nov. 15, 2003. The Boca Raton, Fla.-based company publishes Muscle & Fitness and Flex magazines, among others.

Watchdog groups and state lawmakers called the contract — which refers to Schwarzenegger as "Mr. S" — a conflict of interest.

Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C., said: "This is one of the most egregious apparent conflicts of interest that I have seen. This calls into question his judgment as to who he is working for, and it calls into question what he thinks he owes the public."

He added: "For a governor to have … contracted his decision-making and judgment to a company is a real conflict of interest."


Kennedy Speaks it True

Sen. Kennedy puts a radical fundamentalist nattering nabob right. Don't let the right-wing radicals taint you with their ugly hatred and intolerance. The great state of Pennsylvania, home to Benjamin Franklin and independence, deserves better representation in the United States Senate than Pipsqueak Ricky.

Kennedy rips Santorum comments
Says senator owes victims apology
By Susan Milligan, Globe Staff
July 14, 2005
Read the full article at boston.com

WASHINGTON -- In a rare personal rebuke of a colleague, Senator Edward M. Kennedy lambasted Senator Rick Santorum from the Senate floor yesterday, demanding an apology for the Pennsylvania Republican's online comments connecting Boston's ''liberalism" to the child sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

''Senator Santorum has shown a deep and callous insensitivity to the victims and their suffering, in an apparent attempt to score political points with some of the most extreme members of the fringe right wing of his party," said Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat and one of the most senior lawmakers in Washington. ''Boston-bashing might be in vogue with some Republicans, but Rick Santorum's statements are beyond the pale."

Kennedy said Santorum ''owes an immediate apology to the tragic, long-suffering victims of sexual abuse and their families in Boston, in Massachusetts, in Pennsylvania, and around this country."

Earlier this week, Santorum stood by comments he made on a Catholic website in 2002 when he said, ''It is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm" of the clergy sexual abuse scandal. In a brief interview with the Globe on Tuesday, Santorum reiterated his view that the ''basic liberal attitude" in Boston fostered an environment where sexual abuse of children could occur.

Clinton Speaks it True

Participate. Vote. Think and act progressively. Don't let the right-wing radicals deny you your American values.

Clinton and Other Democratic Leaders Urge Young Liberals to Get Involved
By Brian Faler
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, July 14, 2005; Page A04
Go to washingtonpost.com to read the full article.

Some of the biggest names in Democratic politics convened yesterday to focus on what they believe is the long-term remedy to their party's woes: cultivating a new generation of activists.

Former president Bill Clinton and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) were the headliners among a host of operatives, writers and artists who gathered at the Washington Convention Center for a day-long series of speeches and panel discussions designed to energize about 600 visiting students.

"You don't have to wait until your party is in power to have an impact on life at home and around the world," Clinton told a hushed crowd, urging them to embrace grass-roots organizing. "This ain't supposed to be easy, and you have to work at it. I promise you our adversaries work at it."

The suspicion that the right is working harder at it, in fact, is what led the liberal Center for American Progress to organize the event. David Halperin, a former speechwriter in the Clinton White House and the conference's coordinator, estimated that conservative groups spend more than $35 million a year on such efforts. By contrast, he said, the left has invested comparatively little effort or money in cultivating the next generation of activists and would-be leaders.

"We've been on the defensive for 25 years," Halperin said. "There's been a lot of focus on the day-to-day -- just getting through the day -- without having a rollback on civil rights or environmental protections. The idea that you could do that and, at the same time, invest in the future seems a little daunting. . . . We've learned some things from what conservatives have done better, particularly in developing and communicating ideas, in promoting news leaders and in trying to bring people together who are interested in different issues but who have the same general political orientation."

We [Heart] Senator Rockefeller

Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia. The quiet liberal. The committed progressive. The Rock of constant balance. A 'better angel' of the American spirit. Intelligent, committed, the prototypical public servant.

We are undecided whether we want some steely Rodham spine or silvery-tongued Biden fire-oratory to top the 2008 Presidential ticket to show these right-wing radical conservatives the door, but we want The Rock of the Mountain State in the VP slot.

Demand better leadership than that offered by the radical right-wing republican fundamentalists. Show them the door.

tag: ,
Live in a Brain-Based World: Thank You, HRC!
From The Village Voice:

Hillary's Plan B: Clinton calls Bush's bluff on science, women's rights, and the morning-after pill
by Kristen Lombardi
The Village Voice
July 12th, 2005 10:33 AM

These days, Hillary Clinton has found herself a signature phrase. New York's junior senator has taken to describing Washington, D.C., as a kind of "evidence-free zone"—a mantra she uses to slam the Bush administration for putting politics above science.

In May, she lamented those "who would like to turn Washington into an evidence-free zone," at a graduation upstate. By June, she was dishing out the expression to fans at a Manhattan fundraiser. On June 15, she offered the choice words again, this time as she hammered away at the "politicization of science by this administration" for the Senate record. "These days," she said in a submitted floor statement, "Washington often feels like an 'evidence-free zone,' where facts are only useful and necessary when they support your predetermined position."

If the idea has weighed on her mind lately, it was especially heavy that day. Clinton attended a June 15 hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, where she, as a member, debated an issue that has come to epitomize the way the Bush White House allows the right to roll over reality.

The agenda centered on confirmation of President Bush's nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration, Lester Crawford, now acting commissioner. The committee would end up sending the nomination to the Senate, but not before Clinton and fellow senator Patty Murray, of Washington, had their say. Joined by Senator Barbara Mikulski, of Maryland, the Democratic women opposed Crawford because of his refusal to deal with emergency contraception, or Plan B. The FDA has failed to issue a decision on over-the-counter sales of Plan B for months now, despite having set a January deadline.

"What we are witnessing is the FDA . . . being run not on the basis of science, but on ideology," Clinton said in her statement, explaining to her colleagues that she and Murray were putting a "hold" on the Crawford nomination until the FDA rules on Plan B. Though they lost in committee, they can still stop a full vote from happening anytime soon.

The article continues from this point and can be read in full.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Today's Two Minutes Hate

It's nearly eleven, so attend to the big screen in front of you. Grr grrrr grrr grrr

Bill Clinton
John Kerry
Hillary Rodham Clinton
MoveOn Wing



The Ministry of Truth Reminds You That Karl Rove is a Saint, a Patriot, and a Protector of the Truth and that Wilson is an Evil-Doer Deserving of a Two Minutes Hate

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman Statement On The Partisan Attack On Karl Rove

July 12, 2005
Contact: Tracey Schmitt

"It's disappointing that once again, so many Democrat leaders are taking their political cues from the far-left, Moveon wing of the party. The bottom line is Karl Rove was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise and the Democrats are engaging in blatant partisan political attacks."

-RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman

And MiniTrue reminds you that:
"Wilson Tied To The 2004 Kerry Campaign For President."
Need more be said? No. We are the Ministry of Truth. Believe Us ... or else.




The Ministry of Plenty Provides for Everybody!

Bush Adviser Helped Law Firm Land Job Lobbying for CNOOC
By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 12, 2005; Page D01

President Bush's top independent intelligence adviser met last winter with investment bankers in China to help secure his law firm's role in lobbying for a state-run Chinese energy firm and its bid for the U.S. oil company Unocal Corp., according to his law firm, Akin Gump.


Untie That Nixonian 'Enemies-List' Knot, Rover

"If ever you find yourself environed with difficulties and perplexing circumstances out of which you are at a loss how to extricate yourself, do what is right, and be assured that that will extricate you the best out of the worst situations. Though you cannot see when you take one step what will be the next, yet follow truth, justice and plain dealing, and never fear their leading you out of the labyrinth in the easiest manner possible. The knot which you thought a Gordian one will untie itself before you. Nothing is so mistaken as the supposition that a person is to extricate himself from a difficulty by intrigue, by chicanery, by dissimulation, by trimming, by an untruth, by an injustice. This increases the difficulties tenfold; and those who pursue these methods get themselves so involved at length that they can turn no way but their infamy becomes more exposed."

--Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785. ME 5:83, Papers 8:406

The Ministry of Truth Chimes In

Misrepresenting free speech, legitimate dissent, humor, and standard-fare politicking as "... being guilty of 'insulting the president' ...", the propaganda machine of the radicals is at it again.

From the Associated Press:
GOP blasts Clinton's 'Mad' jab at Bush
Party brass call her comparison to comic book kid an insult to president
Associated Press
July 12th, 2005

ALBANY, N.Y. - Republicans took aim at Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday for a speech comparing President Bush to Mad magazine's freckle-faced, "What, me worry?" kid, Alfred E. Neuman.

A Republican National Committee official said the former first lady was "part of today's angry and adrift Democrat Party," while a spokesman for one of her potential 2006 Senate rivals said she was guilty of "insulting the president."

"At a time when President Bush and most elected officials are focused on the security of our nation, Mrs. Clinton seems focused on taking partisan jabs and promoting her presidential campaign," said New York's GOP chairman, Stephen Minarik. "Her priorities are clearly out of whack."

Clinton's attack on the president came Sunday during a speech in Colorado.

"I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington," Clinton said during the inaugural Aspen Ideas Festival, organized by the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan think tank.

The former first lady drew a laugh when she described Bush's attitude toward tough issues with Neuman's catch phrase: "What, me worry?"

Don't let the right-wing radicals take away your American values. Shame on these radicals of the right. There is nothing "out of whack" with the Clinton representation. Humor is no crime to be guilty of. And, we have presidents, not royal kings and queens. The Ministry of Truth would seem to want to deny the existence of the words of our Founding Fathers. Tell them otherwise. Block those Memory Holes.

(Alas, MiniTrue's representation of an adrift democratic party is accurate, in my opinion. Get yourselves into shape, dems. For the most part, you embarrass those who would willingly give you their support.)

Scurvy Ken Rove

Dan Gillmor, eminent promoter of grassroots journalism, speaks it well:

Rove and Republican Hypocrisy clip:

"Today, the Republicans control the levers of power. And Democrats remain a pathetic shadow of an alternative. Consequently, even though it seems likely now that Rove will leave his White House post (but continue to ply his divisive trade in the lucrative "private" sector), I wonder if we'll ever find out precisely what Rove did or didn't do.

Today, the Republicans and their cheerleaders in the media and blogosphere are doing their best not to deal with any of this. Because if they did they'd have to acknowledge what bottomless hypocrisy they're demonstrating. Do not hold your breath."

On The Scurvy Backs of the Watergate Gang: Karl Rove

At White House, a Day of Silence on Rove's Role in C.I.A. Leak
The New York Times
July 12th, 2005

WASHINGTON, July 11 - Nearly two years after stating that any administration official found to have been involved in leaking the name of an undercover C.I.A. officer would be fired, and assuring that Karl Rove and other senior aides to President Bush had nothing to do with the disclosure, the White House refused on Monday to answer any questions about new evidence of Mr. Rove's role in the matter.

With the White House silent, Democrats rushed in, demanding that the administration provide a full account of any involvement by Mr. Rove, one of the president's closest advisers, turning up the political heat in the case and leaving some Republicans worried about the possible effects on Mr. Bush's second-term agenda.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, cited Mr. Bush's statements about firing anyone involved in the leak and said, "I trust they will follow through on this pledge."

Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said Mr. Rove, given his stature and the principles involved in the case, could not hide behind legal advice not to comment.

"The lesson of history for George Bush and Karl Rove is that the best way to help themselves is to bring out all the facts, on their own, quickly," Mr. Schumer said, citing the second-term scandals that have beset previous administrations.

In two contentious news briefings, the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, would not directly address any of a barrage of questions about Mr. Rove's involvement, a day after new evidence suggested that Mr. Rove had discussed the C.I.A. officer with a Time magazine reporter in July 2003 without identifying her by name.

Under often hostile questioning, Mr. McClellan repeatedly declined to say whether he stood behind his previous statements that Mr. Rove had played no role in the matter, saying he could not comment while a criminal investigation was under way. He brushed aside questions about whether the president would follow through on his pledge, repeated just over a year ago, to fire anyone in his administration found to have played a role in disclosing the officer's identity. And he declined to say when Mr. Bush learned that Mr. Rove had mentioned the C.I.A. officer in his conversation with the Time reporter.

When one reporter, David Gregory of NBC News, said that it was "ridiculous" for the White House to dodge all questions about the issue and pointed out that Mr. McClellan had addressed the same issues in detail in the past, Mr. McClellan replied, "I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said, and I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time."

A moment later, Terry Moran of ABC News prefaced his question by saying Mr. McClellan was "in a bad spot here" because he had spoken from the same podium on Oct. 10, 2003, after the Justice Department began its formal investigation into the leak, and specifically said that neither Mr. Rove nor two other officials - Elliot Abrams, a national security aide, and I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff - were involved.

Mr. McClellan disputed the characterization of the question but did not directly address why the White House had appeared now to have adopted a new policy of not commenting on the matter.

Mr. Rove made no public comment. A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House now says its official position is not to comment on the case while it is under investigation by a federal special prosecutor, said Mr. Rove had gone about his business as usual on Monday. The official said Mr. Rove had held his regular meetings with Mr. Bush and other top White House aides, and was deeply involved in preparations for the Supreme Court nomination and efforts to push several major pieces of legislation through Congress this month.


Monday, July 11, 2005

Live in a Brain-Based World

"Shake off all the fears and servile prejudices under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."

--Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1787. ME 6:258 Papers 12:15

Democrats: Be Donkeys, Not Asses

Democratic politicians and leaders: we need you. Just because your political symbol is a donkey, does not mean that you need to act like asses. The right-wing radicals have commanded the field of debate and the vocabulary of debate over and over again. Most of you do not seem able to compete. Level the playing field and learn, practice, and begin holding your own ground. They cow-tow you over and over again. Progressives need you. The country needs you.

Find a Roosevelt in your ranks. Find a Clinton. Find a Kennedy. Find a Lincoln (yes, I know what his later party was called). Find a Franklin. Find a Washington.

Liberalism is an American value

Liberalism is an American value ...
...don't let the right-wing radicals deny you that value.

Tolerance is an American value ...
...don't let the right-wing radicals deny you that value.

Choice is an American value ...
...don't let the right-wing radicals deny you that value.

Freedom from fear is an American value ...
...don't let the right-wing radicals deny you that value.

Debate is an American value ...
...don't let the right-wing radicals deny you that value.

Dissent is an American value ...
...don't let the right-wing radicals deny you that value.


Sunday, July 10, 2005

this is the zed faction