Friday, December 16, 2005

News Round Up:

When Clinton Lied – Nobody Died …
So, it comes out that Congressional Democrats weren’t lying when they shouted about not having all of the information that Bushie had before we went to war. Turns out the Prez and company gets more information on how intelligence data is gathered, who gathers it etc. In other words, some pretty important information needed to place in context the information presented. So by withholding information, the prez could skew the perceptions of the Congress … lying! The new revealation lends legitimacy to dems who supported the war but are now saying they wouldn’t have if they had all the information. The common criticism of these dems was that they did have all the information. Lies, all LIES! Meanwhile, Bush & Co, must have known that Congress does not get all the same information as the Pres. So when his people said that Congress had all the info, he was lying.

Makes you believe conspiracy theorists…
Some time ago there was a German citizen vacationing in Macedonia…the CIA confusing him for a wanted terrorist, picked him up and shipped him off to Afghanistan where he was held for five months and tortured. When the CIA realized their mistake they dropped the poor guy back off in the countryside with warnings not to talk about his time in US custody. Then the US ambassador asked a German minister to keep it quiet. They didn’t and the case has caused an uproar in German politics. Futhermore, the US allegedly paid the abductee to keep quiet. He didn’t and now with the help of the ACLU, he is suing the CIA, in the first legal challenge of “extraordinary rendition.” Does this bother anyone else? The CIA makes a mistake, you get shipped off to a random country and then tortured. Tell me this doesn’t make you believe the conspiracy theories just a little bit?

Impeach NOW!
More on conspiracy theories…for three years the President has authorized the NSA to eavesdrop in US citizens without the benefit of court oversight in violation of US law. Are we living in a police state? This latest news helps me believe it. How is it that Clinton (who did so much for the country) get impeached for some personal matter, that yes, was an abuse of power, but didn’t get anyone killed. He didn’t withhold national security information from Congress. He did not allow extraordinary rendition. He did not authorize the spying on of American citizens. And yet, he was impeached. How is it that the calls for the impeachment of bush junior are not resounding and widespread. He broke the law. It wasn’t an ethics violation, it wasn’t perjury in the 8th degree. He authorized the NSA to break US law. He authorized the military and the CIA to break international law. Who does he think he is? Without the law, without due process and oversight, we are no better than the terrorists he tries to thwart. And they wonder why there is such opposition to renewing certain articles of the Patriot Act. It’s like this: we don’t want to legally give you any more power to run rough-shod over civil liberties because you have demonstrated that you cannot respect the rights of Americans. And btw, just because you happen to be the president (even though you are grossly under qualified and incompetent), you do not get to authorize your cronies to break the law. You can tell them to, but they damn well better not follow your orders. They and everyone else in the government must be loyal to a higher authority and that, is the rule of law.

Speaking of human rights ….
Bushie finally caved (after a long arduous fight) and agreed to support the Torture ban…was this a no brainer or what? Decent people don’t support torture. This seems so easy. And the Administration has been playing games with the American people for weeks … “The US does not torture” “The US follows international law” and yet the US definition of torture has been so narrowly construed as to only mean that which would cause death or organ failure, or bring your within 10 seconds of either of those. Cruel and inhumane treatment, in this definition does not constitute torture, though it is banned by the Third Geneva Convention. Funny that. So bushie has finally said ok ok, we’ll ban cruel, inhumane and degrading practices too….however Alberto Gonzales dodged the question of whether or not the odious practice termed “waterboarding” would be including. Waterboarding is the process of strapping a detained down and dunking them in water to make them believe that they might be drowned. Article 1 of the UN Convention on Torture defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession.” I think that “waterboarding” qualifies as causing severe mental suffering. Correct me if I’m wrong. THIS IS NOT HARD! Let’s run a thought experiment, you are the detainee, you may have information, or you might have been mistakenly been picked up, let’s go with you were mistakenly picked up – would you prefer that your captors abide by the Geneva III and the UN Convention on Torture, or would you rather that they had the opportunity to cause you pain and suffering as long as it didn’t threaten organ failure or death? Hmmm…

NUCLEAR OPTION
Anyone else concerned that Iran has a nuclear program and North Korea has nuclear weapons and both are led by leaders that are just a little bit crazy? I mean, it’s not really different from our own country, I mean, having nuclear weapons and being a little looney. But, I rarely hear anyone say anything about invading either of these countries or working for regime change or spreading democracy, when arguably, they are a much bigger threat than Iraq ever was. Could it be, that these countries would actually put up a fight? We’re like the bully on the playground that beats the shit out of relatively minor players, but leaves the real dangers to run amok, because we don’t want to take a beat down of our own…

Thursday, December 15, 2005

You'll all recall that I called on the Republican Party to make some changes and restore some honor to the Grand Old Party, well looks like they've taken some advice from lowly old me. They could wise up and do the other things as well, but baby steps right?

Here's the original 11 point plan. To date, the GOP has addressed two:

1) Support the torture ban. No explanation needed. Decent people don't torture.
5) Take responsibility for bad pre-war intelligence. Say we were wrong about going to war, but we have to finish what we started for our troops and the Iraqi people.

so kudos to the GOP, but get on those other 9 before this country is ripped apart.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Barack Again

11:45am
So after the article in The New Republic, the blogosphere is ablaze with talk of Mr. Obama. There does seem to be somewhat of a consensus, that he cannot beat Hillary in the primary and that he should run in '12. Personally, I think that is being both optimisit and pessimistic, if he ran in '12, that would have to mean that we lost in '08. I'm not ready to concede the '08 election, no matter how weak Hillary is. a) she's not our candidate yet, b) the gop doesn't really have anyone better.

Barack Obama

10:14am
I've seen it again, first at the New Republic, now at MyDD, good reasons why Mr. Obama should run in '08. I'll summarize:

1) By 2008, he'll have a longer political resume than John Edwards
2) for a total of 12 years in elected office
3) He's been improving his national security credentials
4) and spearheading the avian flu response
5) If he doesn't run this year, he'd have to wait until '12 to challenge an incumbant, or wait until '16 to have another go at it, this means 8 more years in the Senate. Eight more years of votes on the floor that the Republicans can twist until Mr. Obama looks like a flip flopper.

I have my reservations about Mr. Obama running, but he may not get another chance. I think that I still support Hillary, but I don't think that she can reach out to independents and repubs. On top of that, she is a huge lightning rod, people love her or hate her, she might drive the GOTV on the repub side, not just to vote for their people, but to simply vote against her. Given these problems, I'm not convinced that any other democrat primary candidate can beat her in the primary...except Mr. Obama, the subject of many a facebook group (see: Barak Obama 08... the only silver lining). Mr. Obama is a powerfully persuasive speaker, engaging, likeable ... everything Hillary is not? He is adored by legions of young dems and I think he can reach out to moderates and independents while maintaining credibility with his own party. I'm not casting my vote for Mr. Obama just yet... but look for him to run, and if he doesn't, maybe he should.

Good Lord this man is moving, selections from his keynote speech at the DNC:

And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream, born of two continents. My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or "blessed," believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren't rich, because in a generous America you don't have to be rich to achieve your potential. They are both passed away now. Yet, I know that, on this night, they look down on me with pride.

I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dreams live on in my precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible. Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation, not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago, "We hold these truths to he self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody's son. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will he counted - or at least, most of the time.

Don't get me wrong. The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks, they don't expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead and they want to. Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don't want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or the Pentagon. Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

A while back, I met a young man named Shamus at the VFW Hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, six-two or six-three, clear-eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he'd joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq (news - web sites) the following week. As I listened to him explain why he'd enlisted, his absolute faith in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all any of us might hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Shamus as well as he was serving us? I thought of more than 900 service men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who will not be returning to their hometowns. I thought of families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or with nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were reservists. When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief - I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper - that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one.

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America - there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards (news - web sites) calls on us to hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism here - the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. No, I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope!

In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation; the belief in things not seen; the belief that there are better days ahead. I believe we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. I believe that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us. America!

Tonight, if you feel the same energy I do, the same urgency I do, the same passion I do, the same hopefulness I do - if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president, and John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you and God bless you. (emphasis mine)

Never have I been so repeatedly, choked up, and moved to tears.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Here's the news roundup:

Bushie's speech at Annapolis
We've discussed this one already, basically he explained to a picked military crowd about his newly declassified Plan for Victory in Iraq. The plan seems to be, stay the course. Why this is newly declassified, or was ever classified remains beyond me. He argued that several battalions of Iraq soldiers were up and trained and would increasingly be able to "stand up" on their own. However, there has been nothing done about supply and logistical support for the Iraqis by Iraqis. Sure, the soldiers are trained to carry out counter-terrorism/counter insurgency (rebel fighting) but there is no infrastructure to back up the fighting units. Also, with the recent story that some of the soldiers have been involved in wild scale torture operations, the whole "stay the course" argument doesn't seem particularly reasonable. Bushy also wildly misstates the dems position that we should think about getting out of Iraq. Most dems agreet that we should exit Iraq in a controlled fashion and are agitating for reasonable measures that would signal our time to go, aka, not occupying Iraq indefinitely. Futhermore a meeting of Arab leaders, including Iraq issued a resolution stating they want US troops out as soon as possible. I read somewhere (sorry, no link) that 50% of Iraqis think it's understandable for the rebels (oops, terrorists) to target and attack US troops, while they occupy Iraqi soil. And Bush thinks that the violence will not subside if we leave. I think there is violence because we have overstayed. Train the army, get them equipped as soon as possible, and then get the hell out of their country. You cannot force a democratic state, a carbon copy of our own (do we have a democratic state?) in the space of a few years. The democracy must develop, it must try and fail, and then try again until it succeeds, we must allow for some error.

Fake articles in Iraqi papers
Articles written by US soldiers placed by a contractor, hired by the US government, in Iraqi papers. This is a complete perversion of journalistic ethics and democracy itself. One of the pillars of democracy is a free and strong press. The press cannot be free and strong if they take money to place articles (propaganda) in their newspapers. While Bushie tries to force Iraq into a democracy, they undermine their efforts by filling the "free" press with propaganda and threatening to bomb "free" new outlets (see comments on Al-Jazeera). Bushie and Co already discredited themselves (countless times, but specifically) when they released video news to the press w/o informing them that it originated at the White House and paying journalists to say good things about the White House, or it's policies.

The Duke's resignation
Speaking of corruption, House Rep Randy Cunningham admitted to taking over $2 million in bribes from defense contractors. After watching video of the Duke denying the allegations when they originally surfaced back in July, I wondered to Dan if he was so delusional that he believed that he did nothing wrong, or if he was just a flat out liar. Dan commented that getting illegal donations is pretty easy during a campaign, but the candidate doesn't know anything about it, usually it is the campaign manager that is guilty of impropriety, so maybe cash, the Duke wouldn't know about. But he was flat out getting stuff. How do you not know you are in the wrong if you accept random stuff from defense contractors? So we either have a hugely corrupt politician or a hugely stupid politician, which is worse?

Non Political News

France performs the world first face transplant
Ok, before you think that we have entered into the world of that great movie with John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, Face/Off, realize that the performed transplant was only a partial one. Oh, ok. Yeah, that calms my fear that people are going to be running around with different faces. Ok ok, maybe that's a little alarmist. It's not going to be that easy to get a face transplant. It would most like ly be only offered as a completely necessary operation for people with severe disfigurement for whatever reason. But that doesn't meant that some unscrupulous surgeons won't perform the operation electively. And it doesn't mean that people won't clamor for the operation. Many people are unhappy with their bodies, many will readily tell you which body part they hate and the changes they would make if the could. Just look at the explosion of cosmetic surgery. Is it so hard to love the body you're in?

Bone Head Decisions

New TSA guidlines.
Apparently you are now going to be allowed to bring nail clippers and small scissors aboard planes. It seems that searching for these small (relatively non-lethal) devices took too much of the airport screeners time and they were missing things like large knives and other dangerous items. Personally, I think that the prohibition against scissors, nail clippers, nail files, small pocket knives and so on and so forth was completely ridiculous from the start. Sure, ban larger knives, razor sharp objects, like box cutters (not your standard diposible razor from your shaving kit), and guns, but leave the smaller crap alone. The truth is that almost any everyday item can become a weapon, your belt becomes a garrote, break a cd in half and you have two knife like objects, hit someone over the head with a book, or a heavy piece of luggage. Anyone remember the fly naked and safe airline (I don't remember if it every got off the ground...so to speak), you weren't even safe there, a fist is a weapon, a finger, a knee. There is no 100% safe way to fly, or do anything, it's a chance you take when you step out of your house. The only thing that you have to rely on is your own wits and the goodwill of the people around you.

Univeristy creationism class cancelled
Ok, the fact that a University was going to offer a class discussing creationism is admirable- discussing it in the context of modern mythology, not as a science class. good, ok all good. however, the professor is a bonehead and managed to get his class cancelled because he emailed the a student organization referring to the fundamentalist group as "fundies" and that the course depicting intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face." He said this. In an email. And now his class is cancelled. This reminds me of when the SWA sent an email to Faculty Senate Chair Linda Pike regarding their intentions to hunger strike and she sent a one word reply, "starve." Way to go boneheaded adults!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

More News

It's just a great day for news. Here's your continued round-up.

It's not just the Texans! In an earlier post, I reported that a town named Clark, Texas had recently allowed its name to be changed to DISH, as in DISH Network. I may have possibly berated the poor townspeople for allowing themselves to be bought out by corporate America, and I may have possibly made some disparaging comments about Texans. Well, it turns out that it's not just the Texans. It's also the Idahoians (?!). A little town in Idaho, went from Santa, to the town of secretsanta.com. The townspeople sold out for cash to replace aging waste and sanitation systems. A good cause I suppose, but but now, instead of being Santians (a ridiculous sounding name anyway) they are now secretsanta.comians. Congrats.

Politics. Our dear president may have actually called for the destruction of Al-Jazeera, that pesky Arabian news agency that keeps reporting things he doesn't want people to know about. Rumor has it that there is a classified transcript from when Bushie met Britain's Blair earlier this year. During that meeting, Bush allegedly expressed a desire to bomb Al-Jazeera and Blair talked him out of it. Talked him out of bombing a journalist enterprise in a country that we are not at war with. Does this sound slightly fascist to anyone else? But wait, there's more. Blair has now informed the UK press that anyone that releases the classified document will face arrest and prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. Sounds like the rumor might be true doesn't it? And as AMERICAblog points out, one of the UK press should just email the damn thing across the big drink because we (thankfully) don't have an Official Secrets Act (yet).

More Politics
A couple of weeks ago there was a big bruhaha over whether the US Military (USM) had used chemical weapons during the assault on Falluja, injuring civilians and rebel (Yes, rebel. I refuse to use the euphemism, "insurgents" or "insurgency." "Insurgent" refers to one who is rising in revolt against an established authority, especially a government. "Rebel" one who refuses allegiance to and opposes by force a ruling authority. )forces alike. The weapon in question is called white phosporous and is banned under Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (Unlike 80 other countries the United States is not a signatory of Protocol III), and some claim that it should be banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention because of its toxic nature.

First the USM denied using the weapon during the assault on Falluja, then it said that it had used it as a smoke screening type of device, then they said that had used it as an incendiary device against combatants (rebels). The USM always contended that white phosphorus was not a chemical weapon. However, as per , The Independent a declassified Department of Defense report states that "Iraqi forces loyal to President Saddam may have possibly used white phosphorous chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels and the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. The WP chemical was delivered by artillery rounds and helicopter gunships." So, basically, it's a chemical weapon when President Saddam used it, but when we use it, it's a conventional weapon....right.

News Roundup

As you all know, I consider it my duty to scour the internet everyday for new and interesting content. Here's the news roundup:

From CNN International, a bartender was convicted for serving a clearly intoxicated man more tequila, until he died. Apparently the bartender "tricked" the drinker, by taking water shots as the man took real shots, so the man, thinking he was in a drinking contest continued to down shots. Devious as this might be, it was still the drinker who drank 19, yes 19 shots of tequila in an hour and a half. Now, as a fan of tequila (even though it fucks me up), I can't blame him for partaking of the worm infused concoction. However, knowing that tequila fucks you up, I would never, ever drink 19 shots of the stuff. Granted, I did have six to conclude my 21st birthday celebrations in about a half hour. However, after being floored and yakking the up burger I had for dinner (in front of a girl, no less, a vegetarian), I will never have more than two shots of tequila at a time. And anyone who has ever had tequila knows that it is unwise to take more than 8 shots of the stuff, let alone 19! Ok, anyway...

From Google News, during a live presentation of a speech by VP Dick, a large black "X" graphic repeatedly flashed over the VP's head. Officials at CNN had no explanation for the problem, but eventually labeled it a accidental technical error. Rumor has it that some wily CNN technicians were having a little fun with the VP. Efforts to intentionally reproduce the "X" were unsuccessful. Personally I think it's a very clever editorial commenting on Cheney's speech about how it is dishonorable and subject to condemnation" to claim that Bushie mislead Americans about WMDs. Here's another fun editorial comment done in an extremely backhanded way.

From Bag News Notes, Bushie tries to exit through a locked door after a meeting with President Hu Jintao. I'll let the pics speak for themselves, here's the link. You should note that these ran on the front page of the NYT sparking cries of overt partisanism.

From the NYT, energy drinks are taking an increasing share of the market, surpassing sales for regular soda drinks. But that's not the interesting stuff. A standard can of energy drink has three times the caffeine in regular soda. Energy drinks are banned in four countries because of caffeine levels. (Including Red Bull, but I'm sure you already knew that Katie.) Critics warn that the popularity of the energy drinks stems from the physically addicting nature of the drinks. Apparently it takes 100 milligrams a day of caffeine to produce symptoms of dependency and withdrawal. (Dan knows this well.) A 12-oz coffee has 195 milligrams of caffeine, Red Bull has 80mg, and Coke has 34mg. Funny how no one seems to be banning coffee these days even though it has more than twice the caffeine as (arguably) the most potent energy drink. In defense of Red Bull, it does recommend not drinking more than two a day, and you see no such admonition from coffee makers or cola makers. Note, however, that you would have to drink 64 oz of Coke before you even begin to approach the caffeine levels of a cup of joe.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

More on Politics

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Republican Party

There really is nothing like sitting back and watching the Republican Party tear itself apart. No don't get me wrong, not all Republicans are bad. But as my dad said, "this Republican Party is not the party I've supported for my whole life." And it isn't. So, I don't feel at all bad sitting back, drinking my beer, watching the Bush-led theocracy tear itself to pieces over things that should be no brainers.

1) Support the torture ban. No explanation needed. Decent people don't torture.

2) Don't so obviously cater to the Religious Right, they are not your base, and while catering to them, you are losing people like my dad.

3) Shut the fuck up about Roe v. Wade -- 60% of America supports a woman's right to choose.

4) Fire Karl Rove- he has done more for the disuniting of America than any difference in ideology.

5) Take responsibility for bad pre-war intelligence. Say we were wrong about going to war, but we have to finish what we started for our troops and the Iraqi people.

6) Roll back the tax cuts. The nation cannot afford them right now, and the insanely wealthy can afford to help us out a little.

7) Support Katrina relief. You don't have to rebuild the city (the debate continues - though the US has never just abandoned a city, and arguably we cannot and should not, but the debate continues.), but you do have to take care of the people.

8) Stop getting involved in the Intelligent Design debate, especially when you're on the wrong side - Intelligent Design is not a theory, it has no place in the science class room. If something cannot be disproved, it is NOT SCIENCE.

9) Don't drill in ANWR - it's true that maybe people don't go to visit, but that's not the point. We must preserve the beauty of this world, not for us, but for our children - even if they never visit, they must have the option. And if you're so for ID, then why don't you get this? The majesty of heaven in the beauty of earth, and you want to cover it in oil rigs.

10) Wise up about energy - as Lauren pointed out, we have hand-held video viewers, but we can't come up with economical solar cells, wind mills, mass produced hybrid cars, clean energy.

11) Reach out to Dems. Encourage bipartisan cooperation, not polarized alienation.

And there you have it. Clean up the Grand Old Party. Create meaningful dialogue. Unite the nation. Restore our place in the global community.