Friday, December 14, 2007

Republicans pass Christmas Resolution, but Joe votes against children's health care and for torture

I have to admit to being a little confused this morning. As Christmas approaches, it makes me wonder what the Christmas spirit really means and how Christian Republicans translate their faith into their political life. I wonder what Jesus would say about how the U.S. Congress voted yesterday. Congress approved a non-binding resolution recognizing the importance of Christmas in America. Yet the same people, Joe Knollenberg among them, twice voted against expanding health care to more of America's children, and he's for allowing torture by America's armed forces, CIA and contractors on behalf of the U.S. military and all Americans, for more war, threatening war with Iran, for more spying on Americans and countless other measures that go against the historical moral position of America, not to mention the President continuing to diminish the power of Congress in general and disrespecting the checks and balances the founding fathers wrote into the Constitution that Joe Knollenberg swore to uphold when took his oath of office while his right hand was on a bible.

But Republicans still try to claim the moral high ground based on their "pro-life" position on abortion, but justify their pro-capital punishment position somehow. "Faith" whatever that means in America today, has been a topic of much discussion in our presidential debates, even though the Republican party only has one candidate that is on his first marriage, and he's a Mormon. Rudy Giuliani's shortcomings (a polite word for corruption) are now coming to light. First it was the fact that his mistress had a security detail paid for with public funds. Yesterday it came to light that one of his clients was a company that provided data mining services to U.S. intelligence agencies and Rudy's company, Giuliani Partners was paid a commission by the company he helped and that that help consisted of setting up meetings with Vice President Cheney with the data mining company.

The most religious of the Republican candidates, Mike Huckabee, thinks women in this country should be subservient to their husbands and HIV patients should be put in quarantine.

How in the world did we get to this point in American politics?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Joe Votes to Allow Torture

Joe Knollenberg voted against banning waterboarding to interrogate detainees. Joe wants America to continue to break international law and against the Constitution of the United States.

This morning the House Republicans once again affirmed that they want the CIA to disobey international law AND use interrogation techniques proven to result in false or inaccurate intelligence. In short, the Republicans love torture.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to bar CIA agents from using waterboarding during the questioning of suspected terrorists...

The House, in a 222-199 vote, passed annual policy legislation for intelligence agencies that included the ban on the use of simulated drowning in interrogations.

``This would mean no more torture and no more questions about what the CIA is allowed to do behind closed doors,'' said Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat...

The legislation approved by the House today would require that all U.S. spy agencies follow the Army Field Manual's interrogation standard, which doesn't authorize waterboarding or other harsh techniques.

To become law, the legislation approved today would have to be approved by the Senate, which hasn't scheduled a vote, and be signed by Bush, who has stated his opposition.

Gary Peters Receives SEIU Michigan Endorsement

Joe Knollenberg got a 0% rating last year on the AFSCME scorecard.

Today the SEIU Michigan Council has endorsed Gary Peters, in his congressional campaign for Michigan's 9th district.

"Our members firmly believe that Gary Peters is the best candidate to represent the citizens of Michigan's 9th District," said Phil Thompson, SEIU Michigan State Council president and executive vice president of SEIU Local 517M. "He has a proven record of standing by working families, particularly when it comes to providing access to quality and affordable health care."

Gary has also received the earliest Congressional endorsement from the AFL-CIO, been endorsed by the Michigan Building Trades, American Federation of Teachers, and the local Operating Engineers, Communication Workers, and Pipefitters.

Peters was proud to accept the endorsement, saying "I'm extremely pleased and honored to get the support of the SEIU Michigan State Council. The SEIU believes, as I believe, that working families deserve a voice in Washington and that it is time for a change."

Michigan's 9th District is currently represented by Joe Knollenberg. Last year Knollenberg received a dismal 0% rating on labor issues in the AFSCME House Scorecard.

Getting the endorsement was a very thorough and unique process. Gary Peters and other candidates in Michigan's 9th filled out a questionnaire, met with SEIU members who filled out assessment forms, and took part in a "Walk a Day in My Shoes" event where the candidates worked side by side with an SEIU member.

Marge Faville, the secretary-treasurer of SEIU Healthcare Michigan and the Michigan State Council treasurer, said Peters understands the struggles that SEIU members face.

"Gary Peters understands our values and our concerns," Faville said. "He spent a day side-by-side with a home care worker as part of our endorsement process, and we were very impressed with Gary's passion and his grasp of the issues SEIU workers face."

Faville went on to highlight two of Gary Peters key beliefs that impressed SEIU members:
Ending the war in Iraq, and supporting children's health care.

"Gary Peters wants to end the war, bring our troops home and make sure their children get the health care they need through an expansion of the S-CHIP program. Those two issues are extremely important to SEIU members, as they are to Michiganders as a whole. Our members are excited to support a candidate who shares their vision for a better Michigan and a stronger America." SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Marge Faville

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Joe Knollenberg, fool him once, you can fool him again

It's unbelievable. The National Intelligence Estimate, which is the best assessment of 16 intelligence agencies now concludes that Iran discontinued its nuclear weapons program 4 years ago. I haven't hear a word from Joe Knollenberg about this dramatic finding, but recently Congressman Knollenberg has been beating the drums of war against Iran.

On October 15 he gave a speech at the Holocaust Memorial and here is part of what he said, which I obtained from his own web site. CLICK HERE for the link to Joe's web site.

I don’t want to get political this evening. We are here to support the Holocaust Memorial Center. But I am increasingly worried about the situation in Iran. The current dictator in Tehran is a menace to the state of Israel. He’s a menace to the United States. And he’s a menace to people around the world who want to live in freedom.

The Iranian president has said on many occasions that he wants to destroy the state of Israel. I believe him, and I think we have to do everything in our power to prevent him from obtaining nuclear weapons. I know the war in Iraq is not popular. But what happens if we lose in Iraq.

The Iranian dictator, who is supporting the insurgency in Iraq, will move quickly to establish a Hegemonic presence in the Middle East. Moderate Arab nations like Egypt and Jordan will be at risk of falling victim to the scourge of radical Islam.

Now we know, from the most recent NIE, which Vice President Cheney tried to withhold from the public for a year, that Iran is not the threat that the neocons and Joe Knollenberg, have been making it out to be. In fact, it was all a lie and Congress must now hold George W. Bush to account for his lies. Joe Knollenberg needs to be held to account too.

Here is another quote from Joe's web site on a "Hegemonic Iran." CLICK HERE to read the entire page.

The Iranian president continues to march forward with his nuclear ambitions in defiance of the international community. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons because he wants to dominate the Middle East. If the United States withdraws from Iraq before the country is secure, Ahmadinejad and his desire to construct a hegemonic state will be empowered. Iraq will become a haven for radical Islamic fundamentalists who want to destroy Israel and the United States.
You would think with the recent release of the NIE that Joe Knollenberg would reassess his position. But not Joe. He's as stubborn as George W. Bush and takes his marching orders from George W. Bush.