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Inhofe Stays The Course, Puts Banks Above Oklahoma Students

Image of Jim Inhofe

(Are you sick and tired of U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe's bizarre comments on global warming and the Iraq occupation? Then click here to elect State Sen. Andrew Rice, a progressive Democrat who is running against Inhofe in the 2008 election.  Let's send Inhofe into retirement and take this state back for the people.)

Even Oklahoma's corporate power structure believes the state needs more college graduates, but do not count on U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe to help out.

Inhofe was one of just twelve U.S. Senators who recently voted against a bill to expand federal aid for college students.  President George Bush has said he will sign the bill, which passed the Senate 79-12 and the House 292-97.  The extra funding will be financed by cutting fees to banks on loans provided to students.

Oklahoma lags behind the nation in the number of college graduates.  The state's corporate media outlets often bemoan the fact the state's two major metropolitan areas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, do not have enough educated, highly-skilled workers to attract or sustain businesses. This bill provides better access to loans for students and will increase the state's business viability.

So why did Inhofe vote against the bill, even though many Republicans supported the measure?

Inhofe is a shill for big corporations, including major banks and oil companies.  He has completely lost touch with ordinary Oklahomans, who have faced skyrocketing college tuition in recent years.  He has "gone Washington."  He rewards big corporations as he denigrates ordinary Oklahomans trying to go to college.

A highly partisan extremist, Inhofe fails to take into account Oklahoma's particular needs and issues.

According to Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairperson Ivan Holmes in a recent statement, "Inhofe continues to paint himself as a 'true' conservative and deficit hawk, but his rhetoric doesn't match his actions and this vote once again proves it.  Inhofe could have voted to reduce the deficit and help average families, but instead he sided with the banking industry. The latest Federal Election Commission report indicates that Inhofe received $10,000 from the American Bankers Association PAC so far in 2007."

Vote For Your Favorite Oklahoma Blog

Blogs Reshaping Culture

Okie Blogs Award logo

The intrepid Mike Hermes over at Okiedoke.com is once again putting together the annual Oklahoma blog awards contest.

The 2007 Okie Blog Awards, according to its site, “… celebrates its third year in recognizing and honoring the excellence of diversity by bloggers within Oklahoma through popular nominating and voting. The awards were established by, and are decided by and for, Oklahoma bloggers exclusively.”

I encourage all Oklahoma bloggers to participate by voting for their favorite blog. (Simply click on the image to the right.) Awards are given in several categories, from Best Overall Blog to Best Unusual Blog. Okie Funk has been nominated for Best Political Blog and Best Overall Blog. Okie Funk won Best Political Blog last year.

Take some time as well to click through all the nominated blogs. Oklahoma has some extraordinarily talented bloggers who are reshaping how people get their information and entertainment these days.

Hermes is a true forerunner in local blogging, and he deserves a big shout-out for all his hard work and his own excellent blog.

Willa Wins!

The Democrats continue to show they can win important elections in Oklahoma despite the state’s reputation as one of the reddest of red states in America.

Democrat Willa Johnson won the District 1 seat in the recent Oklahoma County Commissioner election last Tuesday. Johnson received 5,967 votes. Her opponent, Republican Forrest Claunch, received 5,083 votes.

Johnson will continue in the reform tradition of former Commissioner Jim Roth, who was recently appointed to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. She should hit the ground running in her new job because of her recent service as an Oklahoma City Councilwoman. She knows this area well, and she knows how to work with diverse groups of people.

The Lies and Dishonor of David Petraeus

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("I think that both of you gentlemen are doing the absolute best that you can given an extraordinarily difficult situation"-Barack Obama to Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker.)

Democrats have once again been outmaneuvered by Imperial President George Bush and the immoral toadies and robots who lie for him to keep the Baghdad streets running with blood.

(Click on the image to the right for the truthful facts about the Bush-Republican Iraq occupation.)

The Democrats have fallen all over themselves to proclaim, in the words of fraidycrat U.S. Sen. Joe Biden (D-Delaware), how they “really respect” the liar Gen. David Petraeus. For sure, there has been some criticism from leading Democrats, including Biden, about Petraeus’s distortions, but nothing that will register emotionally with the broader American public. The nation's leading Democrats simply respect and admire the general too much to really make salient points. The Democrats are obviously playing right into the Bush-Republican narrative and, incredibly, they once again do not get it.

Are these Democratic leaders simply fools? Why did they build-up and compliment Petraeus, who is so obviously not on the side of the American people? Do they know nothing about basic rhetorical rules? Once you commit to a celebratory position about a person’s integrity, you cannot logically dispute his/her arguments when they are lies.

But the record is clear that Petraeus, who oversees all U.S. military forces in Iraq, is a political puppet, a tool, perhaps one of the most political and overrated generals in American history. He is merely reporting the spin of Bush and the neoconservative ideologues. The record is clear, too, that Petraeus has cherry picked so many facts and omitted so many others about the Iraq occupation that his recent testimony before Congress should be considered perjury. That is not hyperbole. How can anyone respect a U.S. military general who politicizes a war and lies about it? Why do Democratic leaders want us to respect him? How much does this respect given him, perfunctory or not, inhibit those who do want to criticize Petraeus on his lack of basic human values and his dishonorable service to his country and the world.

But the national Democratic bigwigs—Biden, Clinton, Kerry, Obama, Kennedy, Edwards, et. al.—just will not fight. Maybe they do not have the guts to really challenge Petraeus face-to-face. Maybe they are too comfortable in their phony Washington habitat. Maybe they just pretend to care about ending the occupation and taking this country back for ordinary people. It is so incredibly disheartening and so tragic for all the innocent people who have suffered because of this botched and senseless military occupation. These innocent people include ordinary Americans—remember them, you bigwig Dems?—whose tax dollars are going to support a military occupation while they go without health insurance and drive their cars over bridges that might collapse any minute. These Democratic leaders have no fight in them, no emotion, no humanity, nothing real. If this Washington GOP-sponsored spectacle, this Petraeus lovefest, does not show you that Republicans could easily sweep the 2008 elections on a national level, then you are not paying attention.

Let us begin with “the Big Lie” in Petraeus’s testimony. This lie is that the Bush escalation has been successful, yet even the general’s most optimistic prediction is that we will only be back to pre-escalation troop levels in a year. How can anyone think of that as successful? We add 30,000 troops for a year or so and then we take them out and we call that success? No, see, we are just back where we started before the escalation. By Petraeus’s own admission, we will still need 130,000 troops this time next year.

Would you call it a success if you invested $30,000 to improve your home and increase its value but found afterwards that, in fact, the property value remained stagnant or actually dropped in value?

Then there is the fact Petraeus spoke so very little about the millions of displaced Iraqis and the country’s dilapidated infrastructure. (Does this man have no soul, no sense of responsibility to basic humanity in his powerful position of military leadership in an occupied county?) Millions of Iraqis have fled the country or have been displaced in the country. Most ordinary Iraqis only enjoy a couple of hours of electricity a day and this is during 110-degree days, but the general we should all respect, according to Biden and the rest of the Democratic leadership, obviously does not see this as something about which we should be concerned.

The fictional numbers and pseudo-scientific charts Petraeus used to describe the escalation's alleged success on television are reminiscent of the fictional numbers and pseudo-scientific charts used by the morally-challenged Colin Powell, the country’s former Secretary of State, who lied us into this huge mess to begin with. In short, they are fake props to support lies. There is plenty of evidence that shows Petraeus, just like Powell, is cooking the books to support Bush and the neconservatives. These two men will go down in history as incorrigible liars. Read here and here. Iraq officials, for example, report a lot more civilian deaths than Petraeus during the occupation’s recent escalation, and so does the Associated Press. Why would anyone believe the military numbers?

On Thursday, Bush will speak to the American people about how great the five-year occupation is now going, and that maybe, just maybe, we can get back to pre-escalation troop levels by next summer. Bush and Petraeus are working together, using “the Big Lie,” omission of facts, cherry-picked numbers and the corporate media to ensure this country remains mired in a gruesome occupation for years to come. Yet leading Democrats respect Petraeus? When will Democrats get it? You cannot win by playing nice when the other side has no morality, no scruples. Here is how you fight and win.

Biden and Obama celebrate Petraeus even as real soldiers-two of them war critics-are killed in Iraq.

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