Granny Rant
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
::: Bush's Latest Pee Pee Dance :::

Well folks, it was the same ole Dubya, spouting the same ole BS.


I kept imagining him with a red clown nose and that kept my
attention for at least 5 more minutes ... through all the .....

"these guys are bad and we are good and we are going to save
the Iraqis just as soon as we shut down those gangsters and thugs
stirring up trouble on the streets and crispy crittering out brave guys
and blowing up convoys of supplies and kidnapping every westerner
in sight ... but hey, they are bad and we are good and right ... cause
the Bible told me so."

I mean ... geeze folks, this guy is the President of the United
States of America.
It could almost be funny if it weren't so

Soooo ... I just went to feed the cat.

Next subject!!!

::: Up To Our Neck In Alligators :::

Since I have been watching the 9-11 Commission for the pleasure
of watching public officials squirm, I have achieved some
measure of satisfaction this week.

Here is a really interesting Timeline Thingie I snitched from a friend's
site last September. It is a bit unusual as you will see if you take the

This CakeGate Scam FlowChart is Fun:
NeoCon flowchart

CakeGate and the Neocons: A Timeline

May the VTGP Party On!!
::: Welcome Back To Ashcroft ~~ He Knew Too :::

Don't let them fool you, folks: They knew.

Bush knew something was going to happen involving airplanes. He just didn't know what or exactly when. His attorney general, John Ashcroft, knew. His national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, knew. They all knew.

And, in spite of its apparent ineptness, the FBI knew, too.

Harley Sorensen, S.F. Chronicle isn't guessing ...
he says it is published fact.

On July 26, 2001, reported that John Ashcroft had stopped flying on commercial airlines.

Ashcroft used to fly commercial, just as Janet Reno did. So why, two months before Sept. 11, did he start taking chartered government planes?

CBS News correspondent Jim Stewart asked the Justice Department.

Because of a "threat assessment" by the FBI, he was told. But "neither the FBI nor the Justice Department ... would identify what the threat was, when it was detected or who made it," CBS News reported.

When reporters asked Ashcroft why he was not flying commercial, he replied,
"Frankly, I don't know." Granny finds this an astonishing reply from the nation's
leading law enforcement official. What, he just did not wonder why he was
spending $1,600-plus per hour G-3 Gulfstream instead of flying commercial?

Note that it was the FBI that warned Ashcroft before Sept. 11. That's the same FBI now claiming it didn't "connect the dots" before Sept. 11.

And ... there was Clarke in July, 2001 ...

According to a recent Washington Post article, the White House called together officials from a dozen federal agencies to give them a warning.

"Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon," the officials were told by the government's top counterterrorism official, Richard Clarke.

Clarke considered the threat sufficiently important to direct every counterintelligence office to cancel vacations and get ready for immediate action, the Post reported.

Granny hopes Americans will finally rouse from slumber and
demand the answers to the question of "Who knew
what and when?"

Saturday, March 27, 2004
::: Just Another "Bush Knew" Revelation :::

A disgraceful tale of abuse in the Executive, the findings from the Congressional
hearing below turns the stomach of the American people ... including many
Republicans. Taken together with unprecedented, arrogant acts of the Bush
administration ... in violation of the trust we expect to be vested in our leaders,
and in view of credibility issues ... too many to detail ... surrounding the
administration, this presidential candidate looks un-electable.

During testimony this week in Congress, a very nervous Richard S. Foster,
chief Medicare actuary, provided information regarding a 25% to 50% discrepancy
in the cost of the proposed Medicare prescription drug benefit. Foster said the
information was given to the White House last June, but it was not revealed to
Congress for six more months.

Some of the highlights of the House Ways & Means Committee ....
hearing as presented by Robert Pear in The New York Times:

Mr. Foster said he had shared his cost estimates with Doug Badger, the president's special assistant for health policy, and with James C. Capretta, associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. But he said that Thomas A. Scully, who was then administrator of the Medicare program, directed him to withhold the information from Congress, citing orders from the White House in one instance.

In testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Foster said he had struggled to preserve the independence and integrity of his office. It was his first public appearance since a furor erupted over his assertions that Mr. Scully threatened to fire him if he disclosed his cost estimates to Congress during debate on the Medicare bill.

Mr. Foster said he had been told to withhold information from lawmakers of both parties. Moreover, he said, Mr. Scully stated that he was "acting under direct White House orders" in telling the actuary not to respond to a request from the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Bill Thomas, Republican of California. Mr. Thomas was a principal architect of the Medicare bill.

An aide to Mr. Scully sent an e-mail message to Mr. Foster on June 20 saying that the actuary would suffer "extremely severe" consequences if he provided Congress with information requested by Mr. Thomas and other lawmakers. [..]

"There's evidence regarding Mr. Scully's comments about acting on direct White House orders," Mr. Foster said. He refused to give details, but said he would provide them to the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, who is conducting an independent investigation. [..]

Mr. Scully denies threatening Mr. Foster, but confirms having told him to withhold certain information from Congress. [..]

Instead of the $400 billion Bush claimed as the cost of the
Medicare bill, Foster's figures ran $500 billion to $600 billion.

Democrats complained that they had been misled. Representative John Tanner, Democrat of Tennessee, said, "Every Republican and Democrat on this committee ought to be outraged at the willful, deliberate, sinister withholding" of information. [..]

Foster's testimony also included an expectation of a 25%
increase in Medicare costs in 2006.

Granny is suitably outraged.
Thursday, March 25, 2004
::: Bush = Environmental Disaster :::

It just boggles the mind ...

The Four Threats

Forest Service Will Self-Certify Compliance Under New "Streamline" Plan

Washington, DC — The U.S. Forest Service is moving to eliminate any reviews of its actions by outside agencies for compliance with endangered species, clean water, and historical preservation laws, according to a planning memo released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Citing what Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth has identified as "the Four Threats" (fire risk, invasive species, un-managed recreation and loss of open space), the agency plans to jettison any consultation or other "process" it deems unrelated to "the Four Threats." Consequently, the Forest Service will end —

"The Forest Service fails to grasp the difference between streamlining and steamrolling," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, arguing that ending inter-agency consultation eliminates checks on Forest Service abuses and leads to more litigation because lawsuits would become the only avenue for securing agency compliance with resource protection laws. "The Forest Service's track record makes a powerful case for more outside review not less."

Why are we NOT surprised!

Other really tacky Environmental Policies ala BUSH & Co.
GOP Memo on how to counter charges the
Republicans anti-environment stance and policies.

WASHINGTON -- Republican House leaders are warning their members that "Democrats will hit us hard on the environment" this election year.

Their advice? Tell voters that global warming has not been proved, that there are no clear links between air pollution and childhood asthma and that America’s rivers and lakes aren’t nearly as polluted as the Environmental Protection Agency says they are.

Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords, who left the Republican Party in 2001 to become an independent partly because he didn’t think the GOP was pro-environment, called the memo "outlandish" and an attempt to deceive voters. He said he hopes moderate Republicans will help thwart the conservatives’ strategy.

Among the memo’s assertions: "Global warming is not a fact," "links between air quality and asthma in children remain cloudy" and the EPA is exaggerating when it says at least 40 percent of U.S. streams, rivers and lakes are too polluted for drinking, fishing or swimming.

But Jeffords -- the ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee -- said the memo distorts reality.

"It’s so incredible that they have this denial of any responsibility for the serious situation we have in this country as far as the environment goes," Jeffords said. "They have a head-in-the-sand approach to it. They’re just sloughing off the human health impacts -- the premature deaths and asthma attacks caused by power plant pollution."

Also included in this article from Gannett News Service are
counterpoint excerpts excerpts from The Memo. Here is
one on Global Warming.


Memo: Global warming is not a fact. "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate." (Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen)

EPA: According to the National Academy of Sciences, the Earth’s surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades. There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.

(Over the next 50 to 100 years), evaporation will increase as the climate warms, which will increase average global precipitation. Soil moisture is likely to decline in many regions, and intense rainstorms are likely to become more frequent. Sea level is likely to rise two feet along most of the U.S. coast.

Other subjects address are:
Air Quality and Asthma
and Water Quality.

Peering into Oil's Future

Mounting evidence suggests that an important turning point may be close. According to several studies, oil production is expected to begin a permanent decline within a few years, prompting social and economic upheaval across the globe.

Or maybe not. A rival school of thought says that oil's imminent demise is exaggerated and that crude will be plentiful into the near future.

The ebb and flow of oil production is known as the "Hubbert's Peak," after M. King Hubbert, a Shell geologist. He gained fame for correctly predicting in 1956 that U.S. production would peak in the early 1970s and then decline.

Hubbert's theory is that oil production, when plotted on a chart, is a bell curve. Production rises quickly as big, cheap-to-operate fields open. It flattens out as those fields become depleted. New, smaller, more costly fields can't offset the loss, leading to the curve's inevitable decline.

Today's generation of oil researchers is applying Hubbert's principles to global production. They agree that pumping will eventually peak worldwide, but they differ widely on exactly when.

Colin Campbell, a retired geologist in Ireland who has worked throughout the oil industry, including Texaco, BP and Amoco, says the peak will come before 2010. It may be already happening, he said, given that global oil production has declined slightly since 2000.

Some researchers say the drop is a temporary and deliberate response by oil producers to cut back because of the bad economy and lower demand. Campbell, however, believes that virtually all nations are pumping at full capacity.

"I think we may live to see that 2000 may have been the peak," Campbell said. "We're hitting capacity again now -- oil prices are surging. It's reasonable to think that by 2010, you will have a volatile period of recession, oil spikes and price shocks."

The U.S. Energy Information Administration paints a different picture. The agency, part of the Department of Energy, pegged the peak at anywhere between 2021 and 2112.

The above is the proverbial TIP of the iceberg ....
which is what the Earth may become if we do not
stop blocking scientific discovery for new energy
technologies. The destruction of this Earth's climate
is being hidden for the corporate dollar.

Shame on us for not noticing.
For a real eye-opener goto:
TruthOut's Environmental Section

Monday, March 15, 2004
:::: Is It Real, Or Is It Actors? ::::
::: Paid To Pose As Journalists :::

U.S. Videos, for TV News, Come Under Scrutiny
By Robert Pear, The New York Times
Monday 15 March 2004

"In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting."

Yes, that is what the actress says at the end of two commercials produced for the
Bush Administration by the Department of Health and Human Services to promote
his Medicare law, including the new prescription drug benefit. DHHS calls these
"video news releases."

The videos are intended for use in local television news programs. Several include pictures of President Bush receiving a standing ovation from a crowd cheering as he signed the Medicare law on Dec. 8.

Alberto Garcia, another hired actor, takes the role of a Spanish reporter to help sway
Hispanic audiences, says the production company, Home Front Communications.

Other actors provide the dialogue for a pharmacist and an elderly customer, curious
about what benefits to expect from the newly adopted program.

Don't ask Granny, but this sounds a bit over the top .....
In one script, the administration suggests that anchors use this language: "In December, President Bush signed into law the first-ever prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare. Since then, there have been a lot of questions about how the law will help older Americans and people with disabilities. Reporter Karen Ryan helps sort through the details."

The "reporter" then explains the benefits of the new law.

Lawyers from the General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, discovered the materials last month when they were looking into the use of federal money to pay for certain fliers and advertisements that publicize the Medicare law.

In a report to Congress last week, the lawyers said those fliers and advertisements were legal, despite "notable omissions and other weaknesses." Administration officials said the television news segments were also a legal, effective way to educate beneficiaries.

Hmmm .... sounds kinda fishy to me ... also ...

Kevin W. Keane, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said there was nothing nefarious about the television materials, which he said had been distributed to stations nationwide. Under federal law, he said, the government is required to inform beneficiaries about changes in Medicare.

Some had problems with the practice ... guess who ...

But Democrats disagreed. "These materials are even more disturbing than the Medicare flier and advertisements," said Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey. "The distribution of these videos is a covert attempt to manipulate the press."

Mr. Lautenberg, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and seven other members of Congress requested the original review by the accounting office.

In Tennessee, where Granny resides, the administration has been running ads promoting
the Medicare legislation. Unless there have been some changes made in the program, the
ads running here are a gnat's eyelash from being false advertising.

If you listen to every word uttered, the statements in the ads are not false, but they are
certainly misleading, especially to hopeful seniors who are now beginning to realize the
severe drawbacks and flaws contained in the law. (See article in Newsday below)

Bill Kovach, chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, expressed disbelief that any television stations would present the Medicare videos as real news segments, considering the current debate about the merits of the new law.

"Those to me are just the next thing to fraud," Mr. Kovach said. "It's running a paid advertisement in the heart of a news program."

*** Others Join In ... Register Opposition to Bush Ads ***

Groups counter Bush ads on new law


WASHINGTON -- In sharp contrast to the Bush administration's ad campaign touting the new Medicare law, a national health care advocacy group and other senior organizations have launched their own efforts to educate seniors about provisions in the controversial landmark measure.

Just another bait and switch ...

Michael Burgess of the New York Senior Action Council, an advocacy group, has found many seniors confused. "The bad thing is the confusion is turned into anger, because when people finally get the details explained to them, they don't like it," he said.

Could all this hype have anything to do with November? Granny wonders if the Bush
administration, having touted a thoroughly bogus bill, will not only be greeted at the
Republican Convention in New York City by thousands who plan to set up "Bushville,
A Tent City
, but also will have massive hoards of angry seniors pacing in front ot the
White House with torches and pitch forks.

Interested readers can find further outrages regarding the Medicare Sham, Greenspan
advising us to continue giving tax cuts to the rich ... BUT to avoid further increases to
the deficits, we should cut Social Security benefits
plus ... for your reading pleasure
... an angry Granny holding forth embedded in ::: Greenspan Completes The Betrayal :::

That's All Folks ... Gran
Saturday, March 13, 2004
::: Why Didn't Rummy Just Hire Howard Dean? :::
::: He's Out Of Work and Has the Qualifications :::

Holy Cats and Yee Ha!

Recent news reported by William M. Arkin in the L. A. Times is the worst (or best)
case I have heard for charging the U. S. with violations of human rights.

The Pentagon's Secret Scream

According to the report, Marines going to Iraq during a massive troop rotation
are bringing a weapon capable of inflicting "instant migraines," as well as pain
so intense "it will knock some people to their knees."

This new "megaphone," the size of a satellite dish, is a sonic device that can
emit a piercing tone so excruciating to humans, it can disperse crowds, clear
buildings and repel intruders.

American Technology says its new product "is designed to determine intent, change behavior and support various rules of engagement." The company is careful in its public relations not to refer to the megaphone as a weapon, or to dwell on the debilitating pain American forces will be able to deliver with it. The military has been equally reticent on the subject.

It is the "determine intent" portion as well as the pain inflicted that worries me.
Just exactly what does "determine intent" mean? ... use in interrogation or what?

But the more exotic weapons ... including acoustic, laser, and high-powered microwave devices ... have not until now been fielded, held up by legal and ethical questions. Despite intense lobbying, over the years the Pentagon leadership has been skeptical of such "wonder weapons." In 1995, then-Secretary of Defense William Perry decided to ban Pentagon development of nonlethal laser weapons intended to permanently blind. His decision led to a subsequent international ban.

So shouldn't we have a similar discussion about high-intensity sound, which can cause permanent hearing loss or even cellular damage? The new megaphone being deployed to Iraq can operate at 145 decibels at 300 yards, according to American Technology, well above the normal threshold for pain. The company posits a scenario in which Al Qaeda terrorists would run screaming from caves after being subjected to a blast of high-decibel sound from the devices, their hands covering their ears. But in Baghdad or other Iraqi towns, where there are crowds and buildings, the sick and elderly, as well as children, are likely to be in the weapon's range.

I sure hope ALL those weapons are deployed to a landfill, but if not possible,
please ... don't bring 'em 'round here.

Granny. who is a scaredy cat.
::: Rummy And The Plane Pieces/Part :::

Rumsfeld Has Piece of 9/11 Plane in Office

Amazing!! These guys will stop at absolutely nothing to bolster their claims.

WASHINGTON (March 12) - The Justice Department investigation that criticized FBI agents for taking souvenirs from the World Trade Center site also found that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and a high-ranking FBI official kept items from the Sept. 11 attack scenes.

The final investigatory report said the Justice Department inspector general confirmed Rumsfeld "has a piece of the airplane that flew into the Pentagon."

But .... it is really and truly a plane part from *** THE *** plane?????
Which, by the way (TinFoil Hats On) I could not reasonably find in the Pentagon
Hunt the Boeing! And test your perceptions!
site. Check it out for yourself.

Be sure to click to enlarge the pics ... either on the picture or some have numbers that
will enlarge the pictures ... very interesting site for The TinFoil Hat Girl of the RTB.

The following information is quite reassuring ...

Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said Friday night that Rumsfeld has a shard of metal from the jetliner that struck the Pentagon on a table in his office and shows it to people as a reminder of the tragedy Pentagon workers shared on Sept. 11, 2001.

"He doesn't consider it his own," Di Rita said, adding the piece is on display for the Pentagon. "We are mindful of the fact that if somebody has an evidentiary requirement to have this shard of metal, we will provide it to them."

Oh, I see, the FBI Director thought the following was appropriate ...

The Justice Department investigation also collected testimony that Pasquale D'Amuro, FBI Director Robert Mueller's executive assistant director for terrorism until last summer, asked a supervisory agent to "obtain a half dozen items from the WTC debris so the items could be given to dignitaries."

Six items - none needed as evidence - were gathered and sent to D'Amuro, the report said.

Hmmm ... this could prove to be a really sticky wicket!

Now someone will call for an independent investigation into the criminality
of possessing the plane part, oh, and whether it really is a plane part, where
this alleged plane part came from? Is it indeed, from THE plane?

Is Rumsfeld psychologically impaired due to possession of this plane part?
Are we psychologically impaired for wasting time thinking about it?
Is he obsessing over 9-11 and does he have PTSD? Is his ability to carry out
his duties affected by the disorder (assuming he has it)?

And the burning question of our time: Are we surprised by this disclosure and
do we really care in light of the disastrous policies of the current administration?

Inquiring minds, heh?
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
**** Granny Fesses Up ****

Skb is helping Granny see the error of her
ways in the *** Bolding Catastrophe ***
It is beginning to look like it is Granny's fault.

Oh No, Mr. Bill

Gran (sheepish grin)
Sunday, March 07, 2004
::: Cannot Say It Better Than Robert Kennedy, Jr. :::

The Junk Science of George W. Bush

These are just some of the copious notes I penned on the
printed article ... Granny calls this free-range note taking.

... suppression of science by Bush Admin

... sometimes they just order up their own science

... more than 60 scientists released a statement Feb 18, accusing Bush of distorting science

... W. H. is purging, censoring and blacklisting scientists and engineers whose work threatens his corporate paymasters or challenges his ideological policy of racial anti-environmental agenda.

... flat-earthers in the Bush admin distort science for political ends

... rescue workers have respiratory problems one year later after Bush had EPA give the OK on NY air at ground zero

... UC Davis study found asbestos particulates higher levels than ever seen before

... report on bacteria found in air surrounding industrial style hog farms ... was making people sick

... James Zahn, microbiologist (he should count himself lucky ... most microbiologist have been found dead) slated to speak Apr 2002 conf ... family farm advocates + environ and civic leaders in Clear Lake ... he is the one who discovered the bacteria at hog farms listed above.

... super-bugs (billions) traveling across property lines endangering health of neighbors and their herds

... Zahn called and cancelled his appearance on day of conf under orders from Ag dept in DC

... Kennedy later uncovered fax trail proving order was prompted by lobbyists from Nat Pork Producers

... Zahn said his supervisor at USDA under pressure from Hog Industry and supervisor ordered him not to make public appearances

... bush's best known case of suppression is in global warming

... bush admin ... first instinct ... suppress, discredit or alter facts it does not like.

... done to a dozen major gov studies ... most well known is report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

... Halliburton = one of worst offenders - uses hydraulic fracturing to extract gas and oil

... gee ... yuck = injecting benzene into underground formations ... could contaminate ground water

... Waxman on their case ... said EPA changed based industry feedback ... BAD

... EPA changed report after talking to Congress to say benzene levels ok

... WOW, bush and EPA = evildooers ... sat on report on mercury study for nine months exposing catastrophic impact on children's health finally released in Feb, 2003.

... causes IQ loss = permanent ... neruro damage and grim inventory of other diseases in unborns

This is only on page 2 ... this report is horrifying ... PLEASE read it for yourselves.

Links to more evidence:
More Junk Science
NIH Stem Cell Director: Fewer Viable Lines Than Stated by Administration
Distorting Health Care
Letter to HHS
The State of Science at the National Institutes of Health
Letter to HHS re Hit List at NIH
Sender of List Revealed in Letter to HHS
HHS Responds to First Letter
Waxman back to HHS
Experts React to the Administration's Interference with Science
Scientific Organization Defend Peer-Reviewed Research

EPA - Under Political Pressure

This is a process that could go on all the rest of the evening ...
except for one of the two things that usually shuts me down.
The need for FOOD or attention to my neglected CATS.

Granny = support of beef industry tonight.
::: Weapons Of Mass Distraction and The Hornet's Nest :::

From Molly Ivins ...We're talking Haiti

The Bush administration wanted this to happen -- it held up $500 million worth of humanitarian aid from the United States, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and International Monetary Fund. Without U.S. or multilateral help, the country spiraled downward.

And David Corn, Nation Mag, provide us with the Hornet's Nest metaphor.

Two kids are playing, and one says, "I'm gonna take this stick and whack that hornets' nest."

Second kid says, "Don't hit the hornets' nest."

"I will."

"Don't hit the hornets' nest."

"Will so."

"Don't hit the hornets' nest."

Kid hits the hornets' nest, all the hornets fly out and starting stinging, kid turns and says: "Now you have to help me deal with all these hornets. It would be irresponsible and disloyal if you didn't."

Sound familiar?

::: GOP Aides Implicated In Theft Of Dems Computer Files :::

Democrats' Files Accessed and Leaked In Security Breach

Helen Dewar, in her March 5th article in, "The Washington Post" details the results
of a 3 month investigation by the Senate's top cop investigator. The report reveals
a serious flaw in the chambers computer security system.

Pickle and his investigators said forensics analyses indicated that 4,670 files had been downloaded between November 2001 and spring 2003 by one of the aides ... "the majority of which appeared to be from folders belonging to Democratic staff" on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) said at least 100 of his computer files were also accessed by the GOP aides.

The report identified the two former staffers as Jason Lundell, a nominations clerk who originally accessed the files, and Manuel Miranda, a more senior staff member and later the top aide to Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) on judicial nominations. Miranda, the report said, advised Lundell and was said by other aides to have been implicated in leaking the documents to friendly journalists or other parties outside the Senate. Miranda had previously denied leaking the materials.

Both men left their Senate jobs during the investigation.

The probe was prompted late last year after 14 memos written by staffers working for Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) turned up in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times and a conservative Web site.

The subject of the memos? ... Democrats tactics in blocking the most conservative of
Bush's nominations to the federal appeals bench.

Republicans called for the disclosure of the content of the memos to be made public
to show collusion between Democrats and liberal advocacy groups.

Democrats called for a special counsel to look into the possibility of violations of
federal law.

Hatch, expressing outrage at the GOP staffers' infiltration of Democratic files, conducted an inquiry of his own and then triggered the sergeant-at-arms probe, for which Pickle used Secret Service agents and General Dynamics Corp. computer experts to trace the Democratic documents. Pickle conducted about 160 interviews and seized the hard drives and backup tapes of several Senate computers, officials said.

Hmmm... would not be surprised to find one of those old geezers bent over their
computer screen, painting out mistakes with white out.

Saturday, March 06, 2004
*** Another Granny Note Re Publishing ***

In some instances, Blogspot keeps bolding the entire
post. I have tried republishing ... no cigar.

Just wanted to mention that again.

What is up .... anyone know?


::: Baby Boomers Slimed By Conservatives :::
::: We Don't Want Something For Nothing :::

Ok, Granny is very weary of hearing Rebuplican conservatives refer to Social
Security as an "entitlement" program ... where the word entitlement is used
in the context of shiftless people expecting something for nothing.

Correct me if I am wrong, but do we not PAY for it with our payroll taxes
each and every week. I know they must be doing something with that
money ... cause I am sure not getting it.

Plus, it angers me mightily to hear conservatives claim Social Security is going
broke when they know that is a LIE. I have worked all my life and
paid all the required payroll taxes and resent the implication that I am a
deadbeat ... and that is always the tone used.

Utterances From the Right

"Oh ... those ... the entitlement programs."

"Yes wer are in deficit, but it is not because of the tax cuts, it is all the
entitlement programs the Democrats love so much."

"We have to fix Social Security or it will bankrupt this country."

"These entitlement programs are a vicious circle. With one generation
working and paying for the last generation, there simply won't be
enough to support the hoards, millions of 'Baby Boomers.' due to
retire in the very near future."

Even the phrase Baby Boomers has begun to take on a sinister note,
as though we somehow hatched ourselves as well as a plan to bankrupt this
country. Yes, of course, it is all our fault. The fact that some of the
very people in office today were the parents of the heathern hoard of Boomers,
seems to escape their notice. At the least, if they intend to mark us as the
destruction of America, they should accept responsibility for making us arrive
on this planet.

Then there is this: Krugman vs Greenspan on Social Security

Krugman speaks plain on Social Security. He says due to the system taking in far
more than it pays out, it is currently funded through 2042. Is this a lie? For some
strange reason, I tend to believe Paul Krugman over Alan Greenspan and Bush's,
roundtable of thieves, masters of deceit, the most secretive administration we
have seen in America.

Last week Mr. Greenspan warned of the dangers posed by budget deficits. But even though the main cause of deficits is plunging revenue ... the federal government's tax take is now at its lowest level as a share of the economy since 1950 ... he opposes any effort to restore recent revenue losses. Instead, he supports the Bush administration's plan to make its tax cuts permanent, and calls for cuts in Social Security benefits.

Yet three years ago Mr. Greenspan urged Congress to cut taxes, warning that otherwise the federal government would run excessive surpluses. He assured Congress that those tax cuts would not endanger future Social Security benefits. And last year he declined to stand in the way of another round of deficit-creating tax cuts.

But wait ... it gets worse.

You see, although the rest of the government is running huge deficits ... and never did run much of a surplus ... the Social Security system is currently taking in much more money than it spends. Thanks to those surpluses, the program is fully financed at least through 2042. The cost of securing the program's future for many decades after that would be modest — a small fraction of the revenue that will be lost if the Bush tax cuts are made permanent.

So, in the 1980s Greenspan decided we would have to raise payroll taxes
to pay for Social Security ... and we the people said ... ok, we will pay it.

As Krugman says, if anyone detailed the agenda honestly to the people ...

"Let's raise taxes and cut benefits for working families so we can give big tax cuts to the rich!"

... voters would have been outraged. Nope, the ole bait-and-switch works better.

There are three lessons in this tale.

First, "starving the beast" is no longer a hypothetical scenario ... it's happening as we speak. For decades, conservatives have sought tax cuts, not because they're affordable, but because they aren't. Tax cuts lead to budget deficits, and deficits offer an excuse to squeeze government spending.

Second, squeezing spending doesn't mean cutting back on wasteful programs nobody wants. Social Security and Medicare are the targets because that's where the money is. We might add that ideologues on the right have never given up on their hope of doing away with Social Security altogether. If Mr. Bush wins in November, we can be sure that they will move forward on privatization ... the creation of personal retirement accounts. These will be sold as a way to "save" Social Security (from a nonexistent crisis), but will, in fact, undermine its finances. And that, of course, is the point.

Finally, the right-wing corruption of our government system ... the partisan takeover of institutions that are supposed to be nonpolitical ... continues, and even extends to the Federal Reserve.

So, there you have it ... Granny holding forth on the sleaze oozing from Washington.

Knock it off, guys, we are not only tired, but are sick and tired and you
know what that leads to non-existent health care benefits.


Friday, March 05, 2004
::: VTGP Is Up So ... Granny Stole SKB's Post :::

Too confounded lazy and tired from a hard days work selling pills ...
I just snatched this right off Bubba's site:

Friday March 05, 2004

Volunteer Tailgate Party

Teresa at Hatamaran hosts the latest edition (the Hairball Edition?) of the Volunteer Tailgate Party.

Check it out.

[Link] Fri Mar 05 10:31 by SK Bubba

GrannyThief ... aka LazyWitch

Wednesday, March 03, 2004
::: Could This Be The Result Of Cheney's Secret Energy Meetings? :::

Well, the Bush Administration has once again proven it will go for the
special interest $money$ every time, as economic concerns trump
environmental concerns ... Especially in energy plans.

Note: Found new reports on the seriousness of the global warming/ice age
problem on The Talking Dog

America's New Coal Rush
by Mark Clayton
The Christian Science Monitor

Even a cynical old ranting granny such as myself was shocked to read this piece by Clayton.

At least 94 coal-fired electric power plants - with the capacity to power 62 million American homes - are now planned across 36 states.

The plants, slated to start coming on line as early as next year, would add significantly to the United States' generating power, help keep electricity prices low, and boost energy security by offering an alternative to foreign oil and gas. But they would also pump more airborne mercury and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide into the air.

Does anyone else find that shocking? I mean in view of the dire warnings
unearthed recently, some even by the Pentagon, about the fragility of our
planet, the fact that we are certain to cross the threshold of population
capacity (if we have not already) just any minute.

In view of scientific reports concerning climatic shifts, once thought to be
a very slow process, one that could take hundreds if not thousands of
years, now being shown to possibly "flip" within a matter of 2-3 years.

I can not pretend to know what the answers to our environmental problems
and energy problems are, but that is not my job. I am a pharmacy technician.

We as Americans have hired ourselves experts in Washington D.C. to take
care of those tricky problems for us. We have elected officials who work
night and day to solve these nitty little problems.

According the Clayton's piece, the National Energy Technology Laboratory
(NETL), an arm of the US Dept. of Energy, a report buried on the agency's
website states the jump in coal-generating plants will add considerable
capacity ... 62 gigawatts or another 20% to current capacity.

The general public, state officials and the environmentalists are amazed ....
yes amazed. Now that can only mean this was done in secret ... a policy
for which the Bush administration is famous.

Oh, and I forgot, I don't think the media has found out yet!

"I certainly wasn't aware it was 62 gigawatts. That's an awful lot more coal to burn," says Dan Becker, director of global warming and energy program at the Sierra Club. "I think most Americans would be shocked that utilities are dragging the 19th century into the 21st century."

The shift is understandable in light of costs for natural gas tripling in
recent years ... BUT ...

the move back to coal raises environmental concerns. Mr. McIlvaine estimates that if 50 of the 94 planned projects are built, they would add roughly 30 gigawatts or 10 percent of base load generating capacity nationwide. Using industry rules of thumb, he estimates coal consumption would rise about 10 million tons, or 1 percent, from today's 1 billion tons annually. That, in turn, would add 120 million cubic feet of exhaust gases from the stacks every minute of every day for decades to what is currently vented.

"It was a total shock to everyone," he says. "It was done in a way to keep it secret, to make sure it was a done deal when it became public."

Back to the global warming thing and climate change ...
now this information is truly shocking and scary.

Pentagon Tells Bush: Climate Change Will Destroy Us.

Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..
A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'

The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades. He was the man behind a sweeping recent review aimed at transforming the American military under Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Climate change 'should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern', say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.

An imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change is 'plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately', they conclude. As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions.

Oh boy, as early as next year. Gee, could this news have been a surprise to the Pentagon?

Last week the Bush administration came under heavy fire from a large body of respected scientists who claimed that it cherry-picked science to suit its policy agenda and suppressed studies that it did not like. Jeremy Symons, a former whistleblower at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said that suppression of the report for four months was a further example of the White House trying to bury the threat of climate change.

A group of eminent UK scientists recently visited the White House to voice their fears over global warming, part of an intensifying drive to get the US to treat the issue seriously. Sources have told The Observer that American officials appeared extremely sensitive about the issue when faced with complaints that America's public stance appeared increasingly out of touch.

One even alleged that the White House had written to complain about some of the comments attributed to Professor Sir David King, Tony Blair's chief scientific adviser, after he branded the President's position on the issue as indefensible.

Among those scientists present at the White House talks were Professor John Schellnhuber, former chief environmental adviser to the German government and head of the UK's leading group of climate scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. He said that the Pentagon's internal fears should prove the 'tipping point' in persuading Bush to accept climatic change.

Now don't we all hope the administration will find a "tipping point" instead of waiting for the
climatic "breakover point" referenced in the next article:

Global Warming & The Coming Ice Age

In quick summary, if enough cold, fresh water coming from the melting polar ice caps and the melting glaciers of Greenland flows into the northern Atlantic, it will shut down the Gulf Stream, which keeps Europe and northeastern North America warm. The worst-case scenario would be a full-blown return of the last ice age - in a period as short as 2 to 3 years from its onset - and the mid-case scenario would be a period like the "little ice age" of a few centuries ago that disrupted worldwide weather patterns leading to extremely harsh winters, droughts, worldwide desertification, crop failures, and wars around the world.

There is a fascinating description of how this "Great Conveyor Belt" works
and the entire article will scare the beejesus out of you. Much of this
science was unknown 20 years ago ... until a group of scientists went to
Greenland to perform newly developed drilling into some of the world's
most ancient glaciers. They found the results shocking:

Looking at the ice cores, however, scientists were shocked to discover that the transitions from ice age-like weather to contemporary-type weather usually took only two or three years. Something was flipping the weather of the planet back and forth with a rapidity that was startling.

Most scientists figured the transition time from icy to warm was gradual, lasting dozens to hundreds of years, and nobody was sure exactly what had caused it. (Variations in solar radiation were suspected, as were volcanic activity, along with early theories about the Great Conveyor Belt, which, until recently, was a poorly understood phenomenon.)

Looking at the ice cores, however, scientists were shocked to discover that the transitions from ice age-like weather to contemporary-type weather usually took only two or three years. Something was flipping the weather of the planet back and forth with a rapidity that was startling.

It turns out that the ice age versus temperate weather patterns weren't part of a smooth and linear process, like a dimmer slider for an overhead light bulb. They are part of a delicately balanced teeter-totter, which can exist in one state or the other, but transits through the middle stage almost overnight. They more resemble a light switch, which is off as you gradually and slowly lift it, until it hits a mid-point threshold or "breakover point" where suddenly the state is flipped from off to on and the light comes on.

These reports, coming on the heals of the Bush administration ignoring global
warming for the most part, and their insistence (to benefit special interests)
that Co2 not be labeled a pollutant, are disheartening indeed.

And now ... and added 94 coal fired plants to come online? It make one think
long and hard about running off screaming into the glacial night.

Granny will let the reader absorb the stories presented ... that is if interested,
and after the impact of the information therein wears off. I am actually hoping
someone will choose to comment and pooh pooh the reports, cause folks ...

Granny is worried.

Here are a few links to reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
Links to Reports on Climate Change

Online Reports
::: Party!! Bringing A Friend :::

Ok, RTB'ers ... I recently asked SKB & Barry if it would be ok to bring
a friend to the VTGP. Both replied it was up to the other ... so I took
that to mean YES!

Super post from The Talking Dog re: Bush Admin. Passes On:

"several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps
kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger."

Granny is positive RTB members would like to
communicate with The Talking Dog
on his great site.

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