Dicky's Doodles &Scribbles

Cartoons,editorials and comment about current events and more.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I Am Moving!

I am moving for the next few days!
I have lived in this general area for the last 26 years. I have been within a half block or closer to the waters of the Laguna Madre all this time.
I have become a victim of "progress."
The townhouses where I live have been sold to an ambitious developer and he is kicking the tenants out and converting the place into condos, for sale.
One bedrooms such as mine will be going for $89,000. Two bedrooms and the units on the water will be much higher.
This is the third time I have had to move because my place has been sold out from under me!
I will be moving about 4 miles inland, still in the same general area, but in a, how should I put it, a "more affordable" area. I have not looked for a place to live in a long time and I have been shocked at the cost of housing, and "application" fees, the price of deposits, etc. I am living on Social Security disability and I have found out how little affordable housing is available and that most of it is extremely sub-standard.
My new place will be more convenient to access the local supermarket, the bank, the Walmart, and my clinic where I go to the doctor, physical therapy and the gym.
It will be one hundred dollars less per month and I expect my electric bill will be much less.
It also has great acoustics! I think I should be able to do some recording there.
So it wont be bad at all, just a hassle. And the construction crews have invaded this place and made life here at present extremely untenable!
So I will probaly not be tending much to my blogs till I get moved in and set up. My phone wont be on until Tuesday. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Media Circus In My Hometown!

Austin Attorney Harry Whittington

For the past two days I have had to go to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital to drop off my prescriptions and then to pick up my medications. This is the same hospital that is treating Austin attorney Harry Whittington, the victim of the shooting by Vice President Dick Cheney over the weekend.
Yesterday I saw the media circus camping out in front of the entrance to the hospital. They were then encroaching on the hospital grounds. Today the hospital staff asked them to exit the hospital property and set up partly on and partly off the side of the street.
It is quite a scene to see the satellite hookups and a gaggle of journalists, tech crews and who knows what else camped out there.
They are a bit in the way, interfering somewhat with the flow of traffic and making it difficult to see oncoming traffic when you exit the hospital grounds.
Oh well, I guess that is the price you pay for a little excitement and media frenzy around here!
Today there was an added wrinkle. PETA protestors were gathered a short distance away, some wearing animal costumes and others carrying signs protesting Cheney's cruelty as he and his friends blaze away at little birds. They aren't too worried about them shooting each other I don't think!

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Shootist!

A big thanks for the
Picture from JC'S Designs!


Sunday, February 12, 2006

VP Cheney Shoots Fellow Hunter!

Further Proof This Is The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight!
Things have been pretty exciting here in my neck of the woods!
Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend
quail hunting trip in South Texas, not far from my hometown of Corpus Christi. Wealthy Austin attorney Harry Whittington, was "alert and doing fine," in a Corpus Christi hospital Sunday.
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White House Warned About Katrina's Fury

Report Says White House Was Warned About Effects of Katrina

The White House was warned ahead of time that Hurricane Katrina would likely flood New Orleans and that thousands would have to flee the city and might not be able to return.
A Congressional report has revealed that hours before the storm hit the White House was told that any severe storm, force 4 or up, might cause breaches in the levee system and extreme flooding.
Both President Bush and Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff have stated many times that no one expected the levees in New Orleans to be breached.
However documents show that the weekend before Hurricane Katrina struck, Homeland Security Department officials predicted that the effects from Katrina could be worse than a tremendous disaster scenario predicted in an emergency planning exercise conducted in Louisiana in July 2004.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

New York Times Picture Shows Abramoff At Meeting With Bush

President Bush Has Said He
Never Met Jack Abramoff

President Bush and his spinners have said he doesn't know super lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Yet there he is, a smiling, bearded Jack Abramoff(circled, in back) in this photo (from the N.Y. Times) of President Bush at a meeting schmoozing with supporters. Karl Rove is at the extreme right of the picture.
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

"If The President Does It it's Not Illegal!"

All The President's Men...

In the wake of the revelation of the domestic-foreign surveillance program President Bush's spinners and bobbers have been doing their best to turn this controversey into a political gain for the President.
Some of their arguments have been reminiscent of another President who ran afoul of the law and eventually Congress, resulting in impeachment and resignation.
Not everyone, including, some prominent Republicans, are buying these arguments.
"The president does not have a blank check," said Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., speaking to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in a committee hearing concerning wiretapping without a warrant.
Gonzales didn't respond directly to Specter's comment, instead he said "We are continually looking at ways that we can work with the FISA court in being more efficient and more effective."
Gonzales asserted that the president's authority was strongest in a time of war. " He claimed there was no need for any new legislation to authorize the program and that it should continue as is.
"To end the program now would be to afford our enemy dangerous and potential deadly new room for operation within our own borders," he said.
The president and the Justice Department have a constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws," said Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the committee's top Democrat. "Nobody is above the law, not even the president of the United States."
"We're only focused on international communications where one part of the communication is al-Qaida," responded Gonzales.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wondered if "any other secret order or directive" would be prohibited by law.
Said Gonzales : "The president has not authorized any conduct that I'm aware of that is in contravention of law."
Some Republicans expressed doubts. Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, said that the President needed "statutory authorization" to ensure the program, and national security would be stronger.
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said changes may be needed in the law to permit this type of monitoring.
Gonzales, Vice President Cheney and the others continue their deception. No one is trying to stop the surveillance. Those in opposition merely want the President to follow the law.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Kickback Mountain

A friend sent this in the email! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Addicted To Oil!

Addicted To Oil
( apologies to the late Robert Palmer )
Your lights are on, but you're not home
Burning energy while you're gone
You might sweat, you might shake
Adjust the thermostat is all it takes
You can't sleep, you can't eat
Without electric power you're in it deep
Your throat is tight, you can't breathe
The power grid is all you need
Whoa, you like to think that you're
Immune to the stuff, Oh yeah!
It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
You know you're gonna have
To face it, you're addicted to oil!
Big cars and SUV's. You drive all you please
You don't worry, you've been spoiled
You've been raised on cheap oil Oh yeah!
It's closer to the truth to say you can't have it all
You might as well face it, you're addicted to oil!
You see the signs, but you can't read
You're runnin' at a different speed
Your heart beats in double time
Three dollar gasoline is on your mind
You can't be saved
Cheap oil is all you crave
If there's some left for you
You don't mind.
Whoa, you like to think that you're immune
To the stuff, Oh yeah!
It's closer to the truth to say you can't have it all
You know you're gonna have to face it,
You're addicted to oil!
Might as well face it, you're addicted to oil
Might as well face it, you're addicted to oil
Might as well face it, you're addicted to oil
Might as well face it, you're addicted to oil
Might as well face it, you're addicted to oil

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Dreaded Animal-Human Hybrid!

Bush warns of the
dreaded "human-animal hybrid" in SOTU

Following is an excerpt from the recent SOTU speech by President Bush.
. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms, creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human-animal hybrids, and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our Creator -- and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale. (Applause.)


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bush, The Oil Companies And The Oil Cartels, Not Our Friends!

Posted by Picasa
Thanks to Mark Weisbrot for permission to post this important piece.

Taxing the Oil Companies’
Hot Air
By Mark Weisbrot and Dean Baker

This column was distributed to newspapers by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services on January 26, 2006.

Last October twelve U.S. Senators sent a letter to nine major oil
companies, asking them to donate part of their record profits to help poor Americans faced with large increases in their heating oil costs this winter.
Only one oil company – CITGO, which is owned by the government of Venezuela -- responded. CITGO has now established programs to supply heating oil to low-income communities in Boston, New York City, Maine, and Rhode Island at discounts of up to 40 percent.
Given the record oil profits taken in by U.S. companies – Exxon-Mobil, the largest, raked in nearly $10 billion in profits in just the third quarter -- it is amazing that they did not have enough sense of public relations to spend just a small fraction of one percent of their profits for something like this.
But Americans do not have to rely on voluntary contributions by the oil companies. Our government has the power to tax U.S. corporations, and a “windfall profits tax” has been used before in situations where this industry is drowning is a sea of cash.
Such a tax would be temporary – maintained only while high oil prices permit unusually high profits – but it could generate substantial revenue. The latest (third quarter) numbers show our oil industry profits running at $70.8 billion at an annual rate. The average over the last five years was just $24.3 billion, leaving a windfall profit of $46.5 billion.
If we were to tax just 40 percent of that excess profit, it would generate $23 billion in tax revenue. This is about 1 percent of our federal budget and could do quite a bit more than provide discounted heating oil to those who are hard-hit by price increases this winter.
The main economic argument put forth against such a tax is that it would discourage oil companies from further exploration and development. But a tax on current windfall profits would be unlikely to have such an impact. Oil was less than $25 a barrel in 2002, and less than $15 a barrel as recently as 1998 – as compared to $62 today. Yet oil companies found it profitable to invest in the production that we see today when they expected prices well under half of what they have turned out to be. So a temporary excess profits tax would still leave them much richer than if there had not been this unexpected surge in oil prices.
Even if oil prices were to remain at current levels or rise further, there would be little effect on incentives. As oil became more expensive to obtain, profits and the windfall tax revenue would both decline, limiting its impact on incentives. Of course, we will eventually have to switch away from oil anyway, due to the threat from global climate change. Given this situation, it makes more sense to provide incentives for alternative energy sources, rather than the maximum possible incentive for exploiting the most costly petroleum resources.
Furthermore, we need the tax revenues. The reconstruction costs from hurricane Katrina are now about $85 billion. This would push estimates of the federal budget deficit up to more than $400 billion, as commonly reported – or closer to $600 billion (5 percent of GDP) if we include, as we should, borrowing from Social Security.
Of course there are bigger structural problems that have been pushing our gross federal debt to more than 67 percent of GDP, the highest in half a century. These are the war in Iraq (which has cost over $250 billion so far) and tax cuts directed toward high income groups. But a tax on excess oil industry profits would still be a significant step in the right direction.

Mark Weisbrot and Dean Baker are co-directors of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Center for Economic and Policy Research, 1611 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 293-5380, Fax: (202) 588-1356, Home: www.cepr.net


Frist's Final Phase

(Click on pic for larger image) Posted by Picasa