Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schaivo Dies

Grant her eternal rest, and let light perpetual shine upon her.



This really, really saddens me.

Clerics of 3 Faiths Protest Gay Festival Planned for Jerusalem.

International gay leaders are planning a 10-day WorldPride festival and parade in Jerusalem in August, saying they want to make a statement about tolerance and diversity in the Holy City, home to three great religious traditions.

Now major leaders of the three faiths - Christianity, Judaism and Islam - are making a rare show of unity to try to stop the festival. They say the event would desecrate the city and convey the erroneous impression that homosexuality is acceptable.

"They are creating a deep and terrible sorrow that is unbearable," Shlomo Amar, Israel's Sephardic chief rabbi, said yesterday at a news conference in Jerusalem attended by Israel's two chief rabbis, the patriarchs of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches, and three senior Muslim prayer leaders. "It hurts all of the religions. We are all against it."

Abdel Aziz Bukhari, a Sufi sheik, added: "We can't permit anybody to come and make the Holy City dirty. This is very ugly and very nasty to have these people come to Jerusalem."
You stupid idiots. Violence, hatred and bloodshed make the Holy City dirty. Not a parade.
Out of all the CRAP you fight about, THIS is the one thing you agree on?

When will they ever learn? Dear God, when will they ever learn?


Ms. Dowd refuses to let them off the hook.

"The Times reported yesterday that administration officials were relieved that the new report by a presidential commission had "found no evidence that political pressure from the White House or Pentagon contributed to the mistaken intelligence."

That's hilarious.

As necessity is the mother of invention, political pressure was the father of conveniently botched intelligence.

Dick Cheney and the neocons at the Pentagon started with the conclusion they wanted, then massaged and manipulated the intelligence to back up their wishful thinking."

Dead Wrong

"In a scathing report, a presidential commission said Thursday that America's spy agencies were "dead wrong" in most of their judgments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction before the war and that the United States knows "disturbingly little" about the weapons programs and threats posed by many of the nation's most dangerous adversaries." - AP

"It is wisest to always err on the side of life." - George W. Bush
You erred on the side of death, monkey-boy. Bigtime.

It's 3 1/2 years after 9/11. And we STILL know "disturbingly little" about REAL threats. How come we've spent the last 3 years occupying Iraq, but not learning about actual threats?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The whore as journalist

To my absolute astonishment, Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert (the phony jounalist planted by the White House who turned out to be a REAL prostitute) has been invited to a rather prestigious National Press Club panel discussion on blogging.

I guess the National Press Club has decided that since journalists are all whores anyway, a real one in the ranks doesn't make much difference.

Anywho, what's really rotten is that John Aravosis was NOT invited. John is the blogger who does AMERICAblog. He actually BROKE the story, and his blog is THE central cyberspace repository of all the information regarding the Gannon scandal. Any public forum about blogging and Gannon and doesn't refer to Aravosis is a phony one, in my opinion.

So The Agonist has fashioned a letter to the National Press Club insisting that Aravosis be included. I just asked him to add me to the signatories, and he includes a numbers for you to call, and email address for you to write to. I think calling is preferable, so please call if you can.

"This panel portends to discuss the meanings of the words "journalist" and "blogger" and whether the two are different things or one and the same. We note that this topic has once again been raised in light of the Gannon case, although the debate on blogs as journalism has been going on for years here in the so-called "blogosphere." As Gannon is not a blogger, we feel his inclusion means that the panel is largely about Gannon himself and what his specific case means in context of the discussion. We also note, as you must have, that Gannon's presence on the panel will allow him to once again air his side of the story. Who will air the other side?"

The mainstream press has completely missed the point of the Gannon story, and somebody should be on that panel who can actually explain it to them. The slimy Gannon really shouldn't have a forum on this subject unchallenged.


The new official catch phrase that sends spasms through the tiny brains of our pathetic press corp is "feeding tube."

Pope Getting Nutrition From Feeding Tube

Sun Myung Moon: Down with Democracy

"The United States is proud of its democratic system, which carries the idea of brotherhood. She has to adopt the ideas of Parents and Godism. We have to discard relationships that resulted from the Fall.

"It is time to have a new organization in a new era; then we can start with a strong mind. All of us have to have positive, active minds. As was done in Korea, you have to provide Divine Principle education to senators, congressmen, high national officials and those on the local level." - Sun Myung Moon, Owner of the Washington Times, owner of United Press International (UPI), founder of the Unification Church and Republican benefactor.

This was recent.

Keep in mind: this is the guy who owns one of the premier propaganda "newspapers" of the right-wing. The Washington Times. George W. Bush's favorite newspaper.

This is the lunatic has had a coronation ceremony in a Senate Office Building and was physically crowned by a Congressman.(I'm not making that up.)
"I want to salute Reverend Moon who is the founder of the Washington Times and of the newspaper here.

"A lot of my friends in South America don't know about the Washington Times but it is an independent voice. The editors of the Washington Times tell me that never once has the man with the vision interfered with the running of the paper, a paper that in my view brings sanity to Washington DC." - George W. Bush

As atrios accurately points out, when some left-winger you've never heard of says something stupid, his idiotic statement gets trumpeted all over the press with loud declamations. But THIS guy, who has enormous power, money and influence, who own a major newspaper and wire service, not to mention owning few Congressmen and Senators, flies completely under the radar, and his insane statements are almost totally ignored by the so-called liberal media.
From the New York Times:

Bob Herbert asks, "Is No One Accountable?" for the abuse, torture and murder of prisoners in United States custody in Afghanistan, Iraq and at Guantánamo. The short answer is no, nobody is accountable. The reason is that Congress is supposed to be the enforcement mechanism, and this Congress has shown time and again that it has neither the political will nor the ethical fortitude to stand up for the prisoners.

Political considerations trump all, especially when those being murdered have no constituency. Compare this with the attention given the Terri Schiavo case; the hypocrisy is astounding. As a people we should be mortified at the quality of our representation.

John Farrish
North Las Vegas, Nev.
March 28, 2005

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Posting the Ten Commandments

NPR has a dynamite short commentary by an evangelical minister named Ian Wrisley on the posting of the Ten Commandments on government buildings. There is no transcript, but it's definitely worth a listen.

Pataki not running

According to New York 1, George Pataki will not seek re-election as governor of New York State. He thinks he has national-level stuff.

It must be sad to be so thoroughly self-deluded.

Wall Street Journal criticizes Delay.

Fish swim in sand. Chickens grow lips.

"Mr. DeLay does have odor issues. Increasingly, he smells just like the Beltway itself.

"Here is the abbreviated rap sheet against Mr. DeLay. First, we have the imbroglio with the House Ethics Committee, which last year rebuked him on three occasions. Among his sins: He offered to endorse outgoing Representative Nick Smith’s son in a GOP primary if Mr. Smith would vote “yes” on the Medicare prescription-drug bill. (Mr. Smith declined the offer; his son lost the primary.) Mr. DeLay has since changed Committee rules so that it can no longer launch investigations on a party-line basis, and by packing the Committee with loyalists."

Monday, March 28, 2005

Impishly fun

Remember when the New York Times was a newspaper?

President Bush's New Public Face: Confident and 'Impishly Fun'
At an event in Denver last Monday, President Bush had some impish fun with a speech on Social Security.

That's Bush: just a fun little imp. Really. One of his own aides says so, and Elisabeth Bumiller - the New York Times own stenographer-pretending-to-be-a-reporter - dutifully writes down anything the White House tells her to write down, of course. That's what reporters do now..

Bombs. Poverty. Cynicism. Cruelty. Lies. What a cute little imp. The New York Times says so.

The Torture is still going on.

The American press (and more than a few bloggers, like yours truly) have allowed Terri Sciavo and Michael Jackson to completely distract all attention away from criminality in Iraq and corruption in Washington.

Thank God Bob Herbert isn't one of them.

"The Bush administration is desperately trying to keep the full story from emerging. But there is no longer any doubt that prisoners seized by the U.S. in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have been killed, tortured, sexually humiliated and otherwise grotesquely abused.

These atrocities have been carried out in an atmosphere in which administration officials have routinely behaved as though they were above the law, and thus accountable to no one. People have been rounded up, stripped, shackled, beaten, incarcerated and in some cases killed, without being offered even the semblance of due process. No charges. No lawyers. No appeals."

Beneath contempt

Has any of these clowns who claim to be Christians given an ounce of thought to all the OTHER people inside the hospice? The people in their are all DYING. The fact that Terri Schiavo is there is, in itself, proof that her condition was determined to be unrecoverable. The hospice is a place set up specifically so they can die in comfort and peace.

And they AREN'T dying in comfort and peace; they are dying with a pack of maniacs screaming outside of their windows. Their relatives are forced to walk a gauntlet and pass through harrassment and chaos in order to be with their loved one in their dying moments.

Staging loud protests outside of a hospice. These folks are genuinely beneath contempt.


The Congressional Republicans, who often seem to think that they are God's Own Party, seem hellbent on doing unto others precisely as they would NOT want done to them.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who has helped lead a congressional effort to keep Terri Schiavo alive, joined members of his own family nearly 17 years ago in allowing doctors not to take extraordinary measures to extend his father's life, a newspaper reported Sunday.

DeLay had just been re-elected to his third term in Congress in 1988 when his father, Charles DeLay, was severely injured in an accident. As the elder DeLay's vital organs began failing, the family chose not to connect him to a dialysis machine or take other measures to prolong his life, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday, citing court documents, medical records and interviews with family members.

I don't think the Delay family should have been allowed to do that. I think that a pack of faceless Washington bureaucrats should have made that decision for them.

Tom Delay would have wanted that, I'm sure. After all, it's one of his principles.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


I'll be taking a break for a few days, and I will see you all on Monday.
"Not even the Book of Revelation threatens a plague of vengeful yahoos." - Hunter S. Thompson

Go Mo.

DeLay, Deny and Demagogue by Maureen Dowd

"Republicans easily abandon their cherished principles of individual privacy and states rights when their personal ambitions come into play."


These people are totally fucking nuts. How nuts? They want the Bushes to use the police to kidnap Terri Schiavo.

Are Americans actually beginning realizing that Congress is under the control of people who are either totally nuts, or dedicated to pleasing people who are totally nuts?

I hope so.

Open Letter from 11th Hour Coalition to save Terri Schiavo's life to President Bush and Gov. Bush

..In the wake of the failure of the courts and legislatures to save Terri Schiavo from a national experiment with Euthanasia, we are here at the White House and at the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee because there are yet two men in this country that can save Terri Schiavo's life; President George W. Bush and Governor Jeb Bush.

As citizens and people of faith-we implore, beg, nay... insist, that you brothers, so distinguished by their singular accomplishments and political leadership-use the Constitutional powers of their respective offices to interpose yourselves and deploy the police services at your disposal and take Terri Schiavo into your protective custody, direct that her food and water be restored to her, and save her alive while the lawyers debate arcane matters of jurisdiction and jurisprudence. For God's sake, take pity, have mercy, and please do not delay in saving Terri Schiavo's life...

Actually, things are better that I had thought. As I mentioned below, the Republicans have seriously overreached; as I mentioned here, Americans are starting to seriously wonder about these people; and , in addition, Tom Delay has long operated by flying under the radar, and he can't anymore: most people have been barely aware that he existed, and he has allowed Hastert to be the face of the Congressional Republicans, despite largely being the guy who was actually running things. But now, people are suddenly aware that a total loonie extremist is the guy the Republicans have chosen to be their leader.

"Yes, I know war is hell and ugliness abounds in every corner. I also understand that in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, we are up against a vicious enemy, which, if it had the power, would do great harm to our country. You do not deal with such people with kid gloves. But killing prisoners of war, presumably in the act of torture, is an inexcusable outrage. The fact that Congress has just shrugged this off, and no senior official or officer has been fired, is a travesty. This administration is for "ownership" of everything except responsibility." - Tom Friedman

82 per cent

Why is Bush claiming that there is nothing more that he do?

This is why:

Congressional leaders have insisted their only motivation in getting involved in the Terri Schiavo case was saving a life. But Americans aren’t buying that argument, a CBS News poll finds.

An overwhelming 82 percent of the public believes the Congress and President should stay out of the matter.

Just 13 percent of those polled think Congress intervened in the case out of concern for Schiavo, while 74 percent think it was all about politics. Of those polled, 66 percent said the tube should not be inserted compared to 27 percent who want it restored. The issue has generated strong feelings, with 78 percent of those polled -- wheter for either side of the issue -- saying they have strong feelings.

Public approval of Congress has suffered as a result; at 34 percent, it is the lowest it has been since 1997, dropping from 41 percent last month. Now at 43 percent, President Bush’s approval rating is also lower than it was a month ago.

These clowns overreached, and they overreached badly.

Now, if the Democrats had an ounce of sense, they'd use this debacle and the Social Security debacle - and any other debacles the extremist Republicans want to hand them - and use them to define the Republicans as what they actually are: Maniacs who think that they speak for God and who think "Thou Shalt Be Greedy" is His First Commandment.

Not that I'm holding my breath. The Democrats are afraid that if they do stuff like that, the Republicans may not LIKE them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Bush bails

President Bush suggested Wednesday that he and Congress had done their best to help Terri Schiavo's parents prolong her life, and the White House said it has no further legal options.

"We felt like the actions taken with Congress was the best course of action," Bush said.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan later said, "There really are not other legal options available to us." - AP
Translation: "First we tried ignoring it, but the fundamentialists started screaming at us. So we stuck our noses into it, and the non-fundamentalist conservatives started beating us up for practicing Big Goverment intervention into a state case. And then, to top it all off, the press actually had the nerve to tell the truth about how unpopular it was with just about everybody. And then they actually pointed mentioned that we were for it in Texas - well, when the sick person had no money, anyway. So, until Karl Rove tells us what our opinion should be, we'll just pretend that we have nothing to do with it, and hope that nobody notices."
If you feel so inclined, drop me a note and let me know how you came to this site. The number of hits on this site is flat exploding today, and I have no idea why.

GOP is splintered

And the Schiavo thing is backfiring, bigtime.

"My party is demonstrating that they are for states' rights unless they don't like what states are doing. This couldn't be a more classic case of a state responsibility.

"This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy. There are going to be repercussions from this vote. There are a number of people who feel that the government is getting involved in their personal lives in a way that scares them." - Christopher Shays, Republican Congressman.

Todays' House Agenda

From The Poor Man

152 executions. Endless war.

"It is wisest to always err on the side of life." - George W. Bush

Pardon me. Irony overload.

Bush let Bin Laden escape.

John Kerry pointed out during the campaign that Bin Laden was at Tora Bora when the US attacked the place, and was allowed to escape by a very, very stupid decision: the decision to turn the hunt for him over to Afghan warlords just when we might have actually had him. Bush and Cheney pooh-poohed the idea.

Turns out that Kerry was right.

A commander for Osama bin Laden during Afghanistan's war with the Soviet Union who helped the Al Qaeda leader escape American forces at Tora Bora is being held by US authorities, a government document says.

The document represents the first definitive statement from the Pentagon that bin Laden, the mastermind of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was at Tora Bora and evaded his pursuers.

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney asserted during the presidential election that commanders did not know whether bin Laden was at Tora Bora when US and allied Afghan forces attacked there in December 2001. They dismissed assertions by Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, that the military had missed a chance to capture or kill bin Laden while Al Qaeda made a last stand in the mountainous area along the Pakistan border.

I'd like to know if Bush and Cheney knew this when they swore that they didn't.

The man who staged the most successful attack on America in history is still free, and, no doubt, plotting another attack.

Because Bush went after him half-heartedly, and wanted to occupy Iraq instead.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Newest Poll from ABC news re Schaivo case:

70% of Americans say it is inappropriate for Congress to involve itself in the Schaivo case.

67% of Americans "think the elected officials trying to keep Schaivo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles allowed."

58% of Republicans, 61% of Independents, 63% of Democrats oppose the federal government's intervention in the case.

Believe it or not, 50% of evangelicals oppose federal government intervention, 46% support removing feeding tube.

Even 63% of Catholics believe Schaivo's feeding tube should be removed, 56% oppose federal intervention.

57% of Conservatives oppose federal intervention, 54% believe feeding tube should be removed.

Looks like Frist and Delay may have just succeeded in pissing off lots and lots of people, including many of their supporters. Not to mention the vast majority of Americans.

Will this lead to abject backtracking? We shall see.

Mrs. Ignatz says:

"I guess Bush only thinks people should die if they don't want to."



Majikthise is calling for a blogswarm regarding the Schaivo case. She's right. I'm producing it here to give it as much exposure as my tiny megaphone can get, but go to the site anyway, and give Majik more hits.

Enough is enough. The New York Times reports that the House [is] to Begin Debate on Schiavo Bill This Evening. Update: Oliver Willis is live-blogging the hearing.

The Democracy Cell Project is calling for a Schiavo blogswarm. They're absolutely right:

It’s time for a blogswarm. No one in Congress is answering their phones.

We must contact the media to put pressure on Congress to butt out of the Schiavo case. There is a real threat to the separation of powers going on, not to mention Congress making medical decisions and person decisions and the disgusting aspects of playing politics with real peoples’ lives.

The Plan: Here is a media list of the majors and the news organizations that are working this weekend:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Email all of them please. Tell them from your heart what you think of what’s happening and tell them they need to represent the “other” side of this story, that Tom Delay is slandering Michael Schiavo, that Congress is butting into people’s personal lives, that you are disgusted by what they are doing. Tell them what you think.
Just copy and paste the email addresses into the address line of your email. There were a few "dud" email addresses in the initial list, but I think I've fixed them all.

If you're still making up your mind, or if you need inspiration for your emails, here's a reading list. I encourage readers to post their letters to the editors in the comments thread.


Extra! Bush interrupts vacation!

From AMERICAblog.
I don't think the NY Times gets it:

Justice Scalia may believe that by repeating his radical views enough times, the nation will grow accustomed to them. But his approach would mean throwing out much of the nation's existing constitutional law, and depriving Americans of basic rights. Justice Scalia's campaign to be the next chief justice, if it is that, is a timely reminder of why he would be a disastrous choice for the job.

This is no doubt. But doesn't the Times realize? The fact that Scalia is an extremist and holds views that are unpalatable to normal people is why Bush would WANT to nominate him. Bush LOVES to yell "fuck you and your opinions" at everybody that way. That's why he's a "uniter."

Midnight Coup

LA Times editorial:

Conservatives are the historical defenders of states' rights, and the supposed proponents of keeping big government out of people's lives, but this case once again shows that some social conservatives are happy to see the federal government acquire Stalinist proportions when imposing their morality on the rest of the country.

Collective bargaining

Forgive me for pointing out that a lot of blue-collar folks were stupid enough to vote Republican:

Republican governors in a few spots across the country are angering state employees by removing one of organized labor's strongest tools — the right to collective bargaining. - AP

But the blue collar folks can rest easy: their vote helped make the already wealthy a whole lot more money at their expense.

Funny how Republican policies always seem to do that.

And it's funny how some people are fooled again and again.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Republican Talking Points

Republican Talking Points: Play politics with Terri Schiavo.

"ABC News obtained talking points circulated among Senate Republicans explaining why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case. Among them, that it is an important moral issue and the "pro-life base will be excited," and that it is a "great political issue — this is a tough issue Democrats."

Well, THAT certainly lends creedence to what I what I wrote just below, doesn't it?

Incidentally, Delay says that he never saw those talking points and he thinks they're disgusting.

But we know what an honest man HE is.


"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." - Matt 7:12

It's bizarre how the news works. I didn't mention the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube because I assumed that it wasn't an important story. And suddenly, it's the cause celebre of the moment.

Also because when I first read about it, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I don't believe in extraordinary measures to keep someone alive, but a feeding tube?

But the more I've read about it, the more I have come to one inescapable conclusion:

The Republican Party is a stinking disgrace to humanity.

For anybody who reads this, I have one question:

Would you want your broken, emaciated, brain-dead body publicly displayed to the entire nation so one political party could score brownie points with their extremists that way?

Would you want YOUR 17-year-long death used for political gain?

The Republicans don't give an actual CRAP about that woman or her family. They are using a family tragedy as a political football.

It is one of the most morally reprehensible actions I have ever seen.

I'm not talking about the profound questions of life or death - those should be decided by the woman's family, not by some stinking Congressman. And I'm not going to point out that the Republicans' action contradict what they claim are their own principles - that's too obvious to require pointing out.

But somebody should say it: the actions and behavior of the Republican Party are a filthy national disgrace.

Grandstanding on the dead and the dying. Grandstanding on a family tragedy.

At long last, have they no decency? At long last, have they no shame?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Iraqi Veterans Against the War


"We, the veterans of the war, now know all of these reasons for invading the sovereign country of Iraq were false, and we have paid a heavy price for these lies."

Go ye and read.

What's wrong with having Wolfowitz head the World Bank?


From Salon.

Wingnuts on parade

Right-wing logic

In an article in the LA Times, GOP Pollster and consultant Frank Luntz actually defends his Orwellian use of language. I think the article is a graphic demonstration of how totally illogical and given over to the worst kind of sophistry these folks are:

"For example, why not use the term "death tax" for the taxes paid on an estate? What is the event that triggers it? I pay a sales tax when I am involved with a sale, and I pay income tax when I earn income. And when I die, if I'm successful and forget to hire smart accountants, I may pay a tax. What else would you call that other than a death tax — a "permanent sleep tax"?"

To wit:

For example, why not use the term "death tax" for the taxes paid on an estate?

Because they are paid on an estate, not on a death. As you just said.

What is the event that triggers it?

Inheritance. Not death. If it was a death tax, it would apply to everyone who dies. It doesn't. It applies only to those who inherit.

What else would you call that other than a death tax — a "permanent sleep tax"?

An estate tax or an inheritance tax. Which is what it's called. Because that's what's being taxed. Duh.

Keep in mind that this transparent codswollop was written by one of their intellectuals. And a 12-year-old would recognize how poor these points are after 5 minutes of serious thought.

Imagine that.

Perhaps we can institute an Orwellian Language Tax.

Luntz would go broke.

Judge: Protester's Rights Violated

Poor Dick and George. It seems that they may occasionally have to deal with the fact that some people disagree with them. I don't know how they'll bear it.

Police violated a protester's rights when they arrested him for leaving a designated protest area during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) to Evansville, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

The restrictions police placed on protesters' movements went beyond what was needed for security even in the post-9/11 climate, U.S. District Judge Larry J. McKinney wrote.

McKinney noted that protesters were restricted "to an area 500 feet away from the only entrance used by attendees, and on the opposite end of the building from where Vice President Cheney would enter the facility and from where the majority of people attending the event would park."

You know, it is just possible that Bush's lame-duck status is causing people to be less likely to give him any damned thing he asks for, no matter how ludicrous and/or reprehensible.

From my fingers to God's ears. Umm...God's eyes. Or something.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Michael, at the ReadingA1 blog, has an article of his own about Dale Stoffel and Iraqi kickbacks. He mentioned it in a comment below, and I decided to mention it here. I think it's worth reading. Michael thinks the goings-on over there are even filthier than I do, and I think that they are very filthy, indeed.


"The White House isn't backing off its plan to replace real news with faux news. The Bushies created their own reality to convince the country that Iraq was a threat to U.S. security. So even though the war has given birth to some of the very evils it was supposed to fix - like more recruits for Osama, and Saddam's formerly sealed weapons' falling into terrorists' hands - Bushies like the results of their war.

"Now the White House has its own gulag: C.I.A. agents snatch suspects and fly them to places like Egypt and Syria to be strung up in chains and tortured. And The Times reported yesterday that at least 26 deaths of prisoners in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan may be criminal homicides. So it also has its own Soviet-style propaganda campaign." - Maureen Dowd

Surprise , surprise

Those prisoners that we send to other countries that practice torture? Do you know how we know that they aren't torturing prisoners? They TELL us so.

Holy crap.

"The system the CIA relies on to ensure that the suspected terrorists it transfers to other countries will not be tortured has been ineffective and virtually impossible to monitor, according to current and former intelligence officers and lawyers, as well as counterterrorism officials who have participated in or reviewed the practice."

To comply with anti-torture laws that bar sending people to countries where they are likely to be tortured, the CIA's office of general counsel requires a verbal assurance from each nation that detainees will be treated humanely, according to several recently retired CIA officials familiar with such transfers, known as renditions.

One CIA officer involved with renditions, however, called the assurances from other countries "a farce."

Verbal assurance.

"Oh, yeah - you aren 't gonna torture this guy, right?" (wink, wink)

" Would WE do that?" (wink, wink)

I guess the winks aren't considered "verbal."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Rewarding failure

Bush Picks Wolfowitz for New World Bank President

President Bush on Wednesday selected Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a magnet for controversy as one of the leading architects of the Iraq war, as his choice for World Bank (news - web sites) president.

Well, what did you THINK would happen to the guy whose idiotic ideas about Iraq have proven to be not only false but downright delusional?

What do you THINK would happen to a guy who was so blinded by raw extremist ideology that he thought that people would throw flowers at soldiers who were invading their country?

Heck, why WOULDN'T you want a guy who lost 9 billion dollars in Iraq to head a bank?

Bush has failed at everything he's ever done, and been rewarded with scads of money and power.

So he must think it's NORMAL to have failure rewarded.

At a White House news conference Bush described Wolfowitz as "a compassionate, decent man."

That says everything you need to know about Bush's "values."

Reid on ending the Filibuster

I was disappointed when Harry Reid was appointed Minority Leader, but the man has succeeded in changing my mind.

Speech of Harry Reid delivered on the steps of the U.S Capitol, March 15, 2005.

..Our Constitution provides for checks and balances so that no one person in power -- so that no one political party -- can hold total control over the course of our nation.

But now, in order to break down the separation of powers and ram through their appointees to the judicial branch, President Bush and the Republican leadership want to eliminate a two-hundred-year-old American rule saying that every member of the Senate can rise to say their piece and speak on behalf of the people that sent them here.

The fact is that this President has a better record of having his judicial nominees approved than any President in the past twenty-five years. Only ten of 214 nominations have been turned down.

So it is clear that this attempt to strip away these important checks and balances is not about judges. It is about the desire for absolute power.

But our nation's basic rules are there for the moments when the eyes of the powerful grow large and hungry; when their willfulness makes them determined to do whatever it takes to win, and prevail at whatever the cost...

There's more.

Drilling in Alaska

Tragically, the Republicans are probably going to succeed in opening up the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to drilling for oil. And, as usual, they are showing that any claims of "bipartisanship" are so much rancid bullshit, by attaching the proposal to a budget bill so the Democrat don't have the option of filibustering.

And, also as usual, the question is: do the Democrats get it? The Republicans control the House, the Senate, the Judiciary and the Presidency, and, as far as they are concerned, that isn't enough power. They won't be satisfied until ALL dissenting voices are quelled completely. Even if those dissenting voices represent half the country.

And, as usual, the Democrats strategy has got to be the same as always: if they can't stop what the Republicans want to do, make them own it. Make it politically costly for them to stuff this unpalatable crap down the throat of America. And to do that, the Democrats have to be united and refuse to vote for the bill themselves, they have to offer alternatives to the bill for the sole purpose of forcing the Republicans to go on record as opposing the alternatives, and they have tie the Republicans' greed tightly around their collective necks like a millstone.

"President Bush has made access to the refuge's oil a key part of his energy agenda. Last week, Bush declared that 10 billion barrels of oil are waiting to be pumped from the refuge and that it could be tapped "with almost no impact on land or wildlife."

Dude? Spare us. You promised your friends, in exchange for campaign contributions, that they would make lots of money by wrecking Alaska, and you're paying back the bribe.

"Almost no impact," my ass.
From Nicholas Kristof, one of the so-called left-wing columnists at the so-called liberal New York Times"

"Democrats are usually more comfortable talking about sex than God."

Mr. Kristof? Piss off.

Liberal Media


Note: the headline trumpets the meeting (calls it "HISTORIC," in fact) with no mention of the fact that occurred amid massive bombing. And the bottom line - "Public doubt over war lingers" - has a tone of inexplicability at the fact that there is "doubt". It lingers. As though it's just hanging on for a while before disappearing. That silly public. Don't they know it's historic? Why do Americans hate America?

When people tell me the media is liberal, I say, "No it isn't. You know how I know? Because I'M liberal. And I am telling you that there isn't a damned thing in the mainstream media reflecting MY views. And if it was liberal, it WOULD be reflecting my views. So it isn't."

Iraq war becoming unpopular again

Poll: Two Years After War's Start, Deeper Doubts About Costs and Benefits

I guess these folks are more "nuanced" than I am: I have very LITTLE doubt: it's a disastrous boondoggle.

If I was a Republican, they'd be praising my "moral clarity" instead of questioning my patriotism.

This is part of a pattern: the news media trumpets something - like the January election - that makes people forget how bad this is. But then reality sets in, because nothing really changes in Iraq, favorable press coverage can't turn shit into shinola.

Some stuff from the poll:

Has the war made the US stronger or weaker in the world?

Stronger Weaker
4/9/03 52% 12
3/13/05 28 41

Was the war worth fighting?

Yes No No Opinion
3/13/05 45% 53 2

The only question is: why did these clowns vote for it?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Kos is down

Anyone reading this blog who is trying to access dailykos: kos is having some problem with its DNS provider, and that means the domain name "" is screwed up. You can bypass the domain name and access kos by typing the IP address directly into your browser:

Here's a link that should work. The domain name should be operable tomorrow, according to those who are running the site.

Italy pulling out.

Italy will start to withdraw its soldiers from Iraq this September, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Tuesday, adding to the list of U.S. allies looking to cut their troop levels.

Those garlic-eating surrender monkeys! I think Congress should pass a law prohibiting people from calling it spaghetti! From now on, they're FREEDOM NOODLES!

Important Story

Just below, I link to a story in the LA Times about a potential scandal regarding a contractor in Iraq. Reading that article, I realized that it was 5 pages of density, and incredibly hard and complex to follow, as written. So I thought I would boil it down, since the details really aren't complex at all, and it's important, and if it's explained simply, it's more likely to be attended to.

Simply put: a contractor for the Iraqi Government (Dale Stoffel) was forced to work through a middleman (Raymond Zayna) by an Iraqi Defense Minister (Mashal Sarraf). And he wound up believing, with good reason, that this middleman was routing kickbacks to the Iraqi Defense Ministry, which organization, of course, included the Defense Minister who placed him in the job in the first place.

But, when the contractor tried to tell officials what a potential scandal this could be - he contacted the Army, the Pentagon, and Senators - he was killed in an ambush by a previously unknown group of insurgents.


And to top it all off, the Army has continued to work with the guy who is suspected of routing the kickbacks, even giving him part of Stoffel's remaining contract.

And when questioned, everybody claims it's somebody else's responsibility. The Iraqi Government says the Army was in charge. The Army says the Iraqi Government was in charge. But the thing was actually overseen by a U.S. Army Lieutenant General (David H. Petraeus).

And, lending creedence to Stoffel's allegations, a whole lot of money is missing, and they have no idea where it is.

This is potentially a HUGE scandal. And, as usual, the worthless press is asleep, and far more interested in reporting about Michael Jackson and the adding of the word "wedgie" to the dictionary.

But this one is worth pursuing, and I hope that it gets pursued. It may be up to the blogosphere to treat this as the important story that it is.

Bin Forgotten


Pakistani and American officials said Tuesday the hunt for top al-Qaida and Taliban leaders would continue, but acknowledged the trail was cold.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said his forces believed they had nearly hunted down Osama bin Laden about 10 months ago, but had since lost track of him.

IF we had 130,000 people looking for him instead of spending all of their time in Iraq making Bush's buddies wealthy, maybe the trail wouldn't be cold.

Corruption Cubed

I am beginning to think that the WHOLE purpose of invading Iraq was so that Bush's cronies could make tons of money. This whole operation absolutely wreaks of corruption.

"The U.S. contractor working on the project repeatedly warned the task force headed by Army Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus that a Lebanese middleman involved in the deal might be routing kickbacks to Iraqi Defense Ministry officials. But senior U.S. military officials did not act on the contractor's pleas for tighter financial controls, according to documents and interviews.

"If we proceed down the road we are currently on, there will be serious legal issues that will land us all in jail," the contractor, Dale Stoffel, wrote in a Nov. 30 e-mail to a senior assistant to Petraeus.

Eight days later, Stoffel was shot dead in an ambush near Baghdad. The killing is being investigated by the FBI, according to people who have been interviewed by the bureau."

At the risk of wearing the tinfoil hat: The occupation of Iraq is making people billions of dollars every DAY.

What would unscrupulous people do for that kind of money?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt

The Republicans prove, once again, that they will wink at a criminal if the criminal helps them get power.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has dismissed questions about his ethics as partisan attacks, but revelations last week about his overseas travel and ties to lobbyists under investigation have emboldened Democrats and provoked worry among Republicans.

With some members increasingly concerned that DeLay had left himself vulnerable to attack, several Republican aides and lobbyists said for the first time that they are worried about whether he will survive and what the consequences could be for the party's image

"While he is far from a nationally recognized figure, Republicans worry that all it takes is more national news coverage to change that, and there seems to be a new episode every week or two," Mann said. "We've seen throughout congressional history that a series of seemingly small ethical missteps can snowball."

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said DeLay "has always had, and continues to have, the strong support" of the party.

Which makes the entire party culpable in the enabling of his corruption.

Remember - this isn't some exception-to-the-rule-one-bad-apple-in-the-barrel. This is the Majority Whip. the second most powerful Republican in Congress, and the entire Republican Congress CHOSE to make him Majority Whip and CHOSE to make him one of their leaders.

When Democratic Speaker Jim Wright ran into far more minor ethical problems in the early 1990s, Newt Gingrich turned the title of this post ("Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt") into a constant litany, and eventually forced Wright out largely due to the din of bad publicity. Wright was replaced by Tom Foley, and then by Newt Gingrich himself when the Republicans gained control of Congress shortly thereafter.

But the Democrats won't do that; they keep playing touch football while the Republicans play tackle. They keep worrying about manners while the Republicans gorge themselves at the public trough, steal from the public treasury, and line their pockets with the fruits of corruption and bribery.

If the Democrats can't figure out a way to use a piece of scum like Delay to beat the Republicans over the head with, they don't deserve to call themselves an opposition party.

They get letters

From the Chicago Tribune

De Pere, Wis. -- No matter what hollow pronouncements President Bush makes about his march of democracy in the Middle East, one unfailing sign of democracy is that democratic governments respect the wishes of the governed. Almost none of the European countries in a free and fair plebiscite would approve of America's military adventure in Iraq. It is about time that the Italian "democracy" comes to its senses like Spain did and remove its troops from the military quagmire in Iraq.

A country like the U.S, which is jailing people (even its own citizens) for months and years at a time without charges and outsourcing these same prisoners to extraterritorial sites where torture and abuse of prisoners is practiced, need not be taken too seriously for its loud-mouthed crusade for democracy and human rights.

In their world of fantasy and Orwellian double talk, the neo-con jingoists and their political lackeys in the coalition of the willing just do not get it. Thinking people across the world have justly reminded President Bush of his empty rhetoric and non-democratic behaviors.

Incidentally, if it's Syria's duty to remove its military from Lebanon because of local assassinations and political chaos, so much more is it the duty of the coalition of the willing to get its military out of the incredibly worse chaotic situation that it has created in Iraq. - Terrence Lauerman

Those nasty Democrats

Bush actually has the gall to claim that the DEMOCRATS are using "scare tactics."

President Bush and Democrats took their differences over Social Security to the airwaves on Saturday, with Bush complaining about "scare ads" against his plan and Democrats denouncing his proposal as a "risky privatization scheme."

This from the guy who called something that might become a problem 34 years from now a "crisis."

When Bush says crap like this, I'm never sure if it's projection or political strategy. Does Bush actually believe that others are guilty of exactly what he is guilty of, or is it just more brazen bullshit?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Saturday, March 12, 2005

"CBS News has learned three high-ranking officers at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo have been relieved of duty for reportedly committing adultery." - CBS News

How debased is our news reporting? CBS News thinks adultery at Guantanamo is more important than torture at Guantanamo.

Standard Operating Procedure

Two Afghan prisoners who died in American custody in Afghanistan in December 2002 were chained to the ceiling, kicked and beaten by American soldiers in sustained assaults that caused their deaths, according to Army criminal investigative reports that have not yet been made public. - New York Times

Just a normal day in the United States of Bush.

I remember when it was the United States of America, and only OTHER nations did stuff like that.

Iran pursues nukes

TEHRAN, Iran - Neither threats nor incentives will alter Iran 's pursuit of its nuclear program, the Iranian foreign ministry said Saturday, defying new moves by the European Union and the United States to ensure Tehran never develops a nuclear bomb.

Of COURSE they won't. Would you? Would we?

Especially if some madman has declared you part of the "axis of evil" and has graphically demonstrated that NOT having WMDs will get you attacked.

It says they were offered "economic incentives." Economic incentives? Who in his right mind would trust an offer of economic incentives from George W. Bush? Hell, he's offered economic incentives to cities in his own country, and then reneged and screwed them. Does anybody actually believe him anymore?

"We will offer you economic incentives, and then, when you agree, we will attack you."

I can't imagine why they don't find that an attractive offer.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Cat blogging


"I applaud the strong bipartisan vote in the Senate to curb abuses of the bankruptcy system." - Bush

When the hell will the Democrats get it? This bankruptcy bill is already grossly unpopular, and it will become MORE unpopular as working Americans fall deeper and deeper into debt. And instead of fighting it effectively, the Democrats gave them cover. They have effectively prevented themselves from criticizing this Bankrupt Bill in the future. As soon as they try, "Democrats voted for it, too" will be the stock reply. And they have done this "bipartisan" thing for the most totally partisan administration of my lifetime.


Pardon me while I change into my tinfoil hat.

I'm not one who goes for conspiracy theories, but Liberal Oasis - also not usually given over to conspiracy theories - has an interesting and provocative one regarding possible coordination between Bush's Neocons and Libya's own babbling madman, Moammar Qadaffi.

Go read.

Sue the bastards

A judge has just issued a restraining order to USANext ordering them to cease and desist from showing ad that featured a gay couple without the gay couples' consent (here)

Markos comments:

This is a big deal because it means the judge has found that the guys have a very good chance of winning their case, and he also said he could see how they could get damages.

Once upon a time, like last week, USA Next chairman claimed he ran the ad illegally using images of a couple's most cherished day to smear them to "test to see how liberals would react."

Well, now he knows.

(Lest anyone thinks Democrats in the netroots will roll over like Democrats in congress or on Hannity and Colmes.)


The war in Iraq is forcing top Pentagon planners to rethink several key assumptions about the use of military power and has called into question the vision set out nearly four years ago that the armed forces can win wars and keep the peace with small numbers of fast-moving, lightly armed troops.

As the Pentagon begins a comprehensive review that will map the future of America's armed forces, many Defense Department officials are acknowledging that an intractable Iraqi insurgency they didn't foresee has undermined the military strategy. - LA Times

How come you didn't foresee it when the whole damned world told you it would happen?

Muslims issue Fatwa against Bin Laden

"Muslim clerics in Spain issued what they called the world's first fatwa, or Islamic edict, against Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) on Thursday, the first anniversary of the Madrid train bombings, calling him an apostate and urging others of their faith to denounce the al-Qaida leader...

The fatwa said that according to the Quran "the terrorist acts of Osama bin Laden and his organization al-Qaida ... are totally banned and must be roundly condemned as part of Islam."

It added: "Inasmuch as Osama bin Laden and his organization defend terrorism as legal and try to base it on the Quran ... they are committing the crime of 'istihlal' and thus become apostates that should not be considered Muslims or treated as such." The Arabic term 'istihlal' refers to the act of making up one's own laws."

A year ago, in the wake of the Madrid train bombings, the Spanish kicked out the governmnet that supported Bush and failed to protect the populace. The right-wingers in the United States screamed that they were "appeasing terrorists." You can read what Yours Truly said about it back then right here.7

But it looks like getting the Iraqi Monkey off of their back has caused them to FOCUS on terrorism, because the war in Iraq is a DISTRACTION from terrorism.

The Spanish are focus on Osama Bin Laden. We are ignoring him.


"A suicide attacker set off a bomb that tore through a funeral tent jammed with Shi'ite mourners yesterday, killing 47 people and wounding more than 100." - AP

Kill me now.

One big problem with some Democrats is that too damned many of them WANT to behave like some Republican parody of a Democrat.

Florida Lawmaker Seeks Toilet Paper Tax

Florida's Legislature is flush with good ideas. Sen. Al Lawson's involves a 2 cent-per-roll tax on toilet paper to pay for wastewater treatment and help small towns upgrade their sewer systems.

The Democratic lawmaker's pay-as-you-go bill has been the source of many jokes — bathroom humor you might say — but he says the issue is a serious one, especially in some of the fast-growing Panhandle coastal counties in his district.

Al Lawson is an asswipe.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

How to stifle a right-winger

Via Digby.

This is a great article pointing out that those who claim that the Democrats were worse than the Republicans when they were in control of Congress are full of it.

"This report documents how, ten years after their "revolution," House Republicans have completely abandoned this standard of deliberative democracy they set for themselves. Furthermore, they have abandoned any other principle of procedural fairness or democratic accountability. In the opinion of many non-partisan observers of Congress, the 108th Congress not only matched the worst abuses of earlier Congresses; it set a whole new benchmark."

It's extensively sourced, and very well done. Good job, and well worth reading if you have the overwhelming desire to shut up a wingnut when he says something ludicrous.

Quick hit

From the Village Voice:

The Bush regime steamed ahead yesterday in its economic assault on the U.S., capturing a key bankruptcy bill...

As Stephen Labaton of the New York Times reported this morning:

The Senate assured final passage of the first major overhaul of the nation's bankruptcy laws in 27 years on Tuesday, when it took two votes that cleared the remaining political obstacles to a measure that the nation's credit and retail industries have sought for years.

The bill would disqualify many families from taking advantage of the more generous provisions of the current bankruptcy code that permit them to extinguish their debts for a "fresh start." It would also impose significant new costs on those seeking bankruptcy protection and give lenders and businesses new legal tools for recovering debts.

This was an especially sweet victory for the U.S. CEO, Dick Cheney. Halliburton, which Cheney burdened with billions of dollars of asbestos lawsuits by acquiring Dresser Industries when he was the oil firm's CEO, recently concluded its escape from that thunderous debt by using corporate-friendly bankruptcy laws.

Despite being flush with billions of dollars from Iraq contracts and other government work, Halliburton units were able to plead bankruptcy to shift that debt and reach an insurance settlement that netted more than $1 billion.

With the passage of the historic bankruptcy legislation almost complete, ordinary Americans will find it much more difficult to use bankruptcy maneuvers to escape from their own crushing debts.

No Crisis

If you look a the sidebar on the left, at the very top, you will see a cute little baby and the words "There Is No Crisis."

The Government Accounting Office has gone on record as agreeing with that statement.

Social Security "does not face an immediate crisis," the head of the Government Accountability Office said Wednesday, but it does face a long-term financing problem "and it would be prudent to address it sooner rather than later."

David M. Walker, who heads the nonpartisan Office of Comptroller General, also criticized President Bush for undertaking an aggressive two-month tour to try to sell his plan for allowing younger workers to divert a portion of their Social Security payroll taxes into private investment accounts. Walker suggested that Bush and members of Congress focus on improving financing for the program, which would not be significantly affected by establishment of personal accounts.

Does this make it OFFICIAL that Bush uses scare tactics and bullshits?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

By way of Josh Marshall:

Interesting Headlines (or, these people need a reality check):


Bush Turns to Cheney to Sell Private Social Security Accounts

From the KC Star:

Bush has mandate for Social Security plan, Cheney says

And add this:

Personal Accounts Tank in Polls, GOP Says

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Making the email rounds

Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its condition is improving every day.

Any reports of its lack of incandescence are illusional spin from the liberal media. Illuminating rooms is hard work.

That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effort.

Why do you hate freedom?


But being PO'd at Democrats is nothing new. The thing is, I EXPECT Republicans to behave like greedy corporate whores. When a Democrat does, it bothers me even more. And let's face it: they aren't exactly strangers to whoredom themselves.

Anywho, shortly after writing the thing below asking people to join the email campaign to filibuster the bankruptcy bill, they voted for cloture, and they did it with a fair number of Democratic votes.

Wall of the bought and paid for: (i.e., Democrats who voted for this disgrace.)
Biden-Delaware; Byrd-West Virginia; Carper-Delaware; Conrad-North Dakota; Johnson-South Dakota; Kohl-Wisconsin; Landrieu-Louisiana; Lieberman-Connecticut; Lincoln-Arkansas; Nelson-Florida; Nelson-Nebraska; Pryor-Arkansas; Salazr-Colorado; Stabenow-Michigan

Republicans who have a reputation of being somewhat moderate on our insanely skewed political compass:

Allen-Virginia; Chafee-Rhode Island; Collins-Maine; Hagel-Nebraska; McCain-Arizona; Snowe-Maine; Specter-Pennsylvania; Voinovich-Ohio

If one of these is your Senator, telephone his office and call him names.

Filibuster it. is running an email campaign demanding a filibuster of the bankrupty bill. I just participated. I think you should, too.

Thanks, Sharon.

Criticizing others is easy.

I hate to admit it, but Howard Kurtz is right this time in pointing out that the fault WITH the press is the fault OF the press:

"Why do we need the administration to be nice to us, or to somehow validate our existence? Journalists need to do their jobs regardless of the roadblocks and land mines placed by the White House. And the real reporting doesn't take place in the briefing room, regardless of who's accredited, or in the televised news conferences, which have become theater. It takes place behind the scenes, where journalists cultivate sources not just in the administration but on the Hill and among interest groups, to break news the White House doesn't want broken. (Watergate, you may recall, was not broken by White House beat reporters.) And it takes place when reporters have the courage to say that what the president said yesterday is at odds with reality or with his own record."

Your right, Howard. So how about using your media column to point when the press DOESN'T point out that "what the president said yesterday is at odds with reality or with his own record"? He does that all the time, and the press doesn't call him on it all the time. Yes, it's their job to be a watchdog on the White House - but it's YOUR job, Howard, to be a watchdog on the press.

What's wrong with the bankrupcy bill?

Thanks to Left End of the Dial for drawing this to my attention.

What's wrong with the bankrupcy bill?


Thank God I'm a country boy.

“We don’t do Lincoln Day Dinners in South Carolina,” Senator Lindsey Graham told a Lincoln Day gathering in Tennessee Saturday. “It’s nothing personal, but it takes awhile to get over things.” Attribution

The UN? We don't need no a-stinking UN.

George W. Bush, showing his usual pathological need to look at any situation a do the worst thing possible, has decided to appoint an ambassador to the U.N. who hates the U.N.

There is no such thing as the United Nations," Bolton said a decade ago on a panel of the World Federalist Association. "If the U.N. Secretariat Building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

He has also declared, "It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so—because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrain the United States."

Bolton has been appointed to be ambassador to an organization that he claims does not exist.

This, I'm sure you know, is part of pattern. Bush appoints someone with a history of hostility to the environment to head the EPA. He appoints someone who has advocated torture to be the nation's highest law enforcement authority. Bush appoints people to head agencies who hate what the agency stands for all the time. This is so much easier than gutting the agencies, because you actually have to persuade people and pass bills and do messy stuff like compromise in order to do that.

Perhaps this goes along with the basic Republican practice of hating the government, but wanting to run it.

"Uniter, not a divider," my ass.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Campaigning with tax dollars. Don't you love how fiscally responsible Republicans are with public money?

Nothing like spending the taxpayer's money for the purpose of screwing the taxpayer:

A new Social Security war room inside the Treasury Department is pumping out information to sell President Bush's plan, much like any political campaign might do. It's part of a coordinated effort by the Bush administration.

The internal, taxpayer-funded campaigning is backed up by television advertisements, grass-roots organizing and lobbying from business and other groups that support the Bush plan. The president's opponents are organized too, though they do not enjoy the resources of the White House or Treasury to sell their message.

Bush has a WAR ROOM to push a political issue.

And they said that CLINTON was all politics.

Extra, extra. Democrats show spine.

Not even the obsequious press is rolling over this time.

But several prominent Democrats stuck to their position that there is no sense in talking until Bush backs off the personal accounts.

"If the president's committed to destroying Social Security, which is privatization, then it doesn't make much sense to get into a negotiation," Massachusetts Democrat Edward Kennedy told ABC. "He drops the privatization, then you have an entirely different kind of circumstance."

California Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer said the Bush plan would add trillions to the national debt.

"Right now, we have a debt of $7.7 trillion. ... This scheme of privatization would add over 20 years another $5 trillion," she told CBS's "Face the Nation."

"This scheme of privatization." Senator Boxer actually understands the power of using the right vocabulary. The GOP has known that for years. The Democrats are finally starting to get it.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


As you probably know, the Republicans are about to pay back the credit card companies for their bribe by passing a bankruptcy bill that screws the middle class and let's the corporations off scot-free. Unlike Social Security, this one will probably pass unless the Dems filibuster, and they may not even have enough to filibuster.

So if it's going to pass, use it to add to the narrative. There is no question in my mind that this bill would be EXTREMELY unpopular with the public, if only the press would focus on it and if the public was even aware that it was happening. So write to Congresspeople (especially the bought-and-paid-for Democrats who are voting for it), write to newspapers, and make sure that it is used to make the public aware that Republicans voted "yes" to corporate rape and predatory business practices.

Here's a well-researched article on kos that's a very good primer on the whole thing.

Full-throated liberalism

Digby. Must read.

I am including from there a quote from FDR, because I want it here. This is how liberals SHOULD talk:

For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent.

For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

We had to struggle with the old enemies of and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me --- and I welcome their hatred.


But they are guilty of more than deceit. When they imply that the reserves thus created against both these policies will be stolen by some future Congress, diverted to some wholly foreign purpose, they attack the integrity and honor of American Government itself. Those who suggest that, are already aliens to the spirit of American democracy. Let them emigrate and try their lot under some foreign flag in which they have more confidence.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

And now, hot on the heels of Social Security

Comes the Great Exploding Deficit.

The Democrats have done a decent job on Bush's idiotic scheme to privatize Social Security - but not nearly as good a job as they should have done. It was a present with a "Kick Me" sign, and the Democrats should have done a better job kicking.

Don't get me wrong: it was good that they loudly and solidly pointed out what was wrong with Bush's stupid idea, and they did that well. But what they failed to do was use Bush's stupid idea to develop an overarching theme and tie it to their core principles. They failed to use Social Securtiy to explain how their values and principles are better than Republican values and principles in every other way, not just Social Security. The result was that they seem to have managed to defeat Bush's attempt at derailing Social Security, but they didn't do much damage to the Republican Party itself. And that has to change.

But now we get ANOTHER Bush failure: the deficit.

A report Friday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said under Bush's budget, federal deficits over the next 10 years would get no lower than a projected $229 billion in 2010. It excluded the potential costs of Bush's plan to revamp Social Security, any costs for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after this year, and other possible expenses.

Basically, the first report from the CBO on Bush's proposed budget says that it fails. It fails to do what he promised it would do: cut the deficit in half. And that's without including a few minor, unimportant costs like fighting two wars and borrowing two trillion dollars for the privilege of gutting a popular program.

From a political point of view, this is a no-brainer: Bush's Exploding Deficit is unpopular with EVERYBODY, including those conservatives who love him so much. Bush is handing the Democrats a giant gift: he is shredding the Republican Party's reputation as the party of fiscal responsibility, and handing the mantle to the Democrats.

And the Democrats should grab that mantle and wear it like a rapper wears bling.

I want to see "borrow-and-spend" turned into a slogan.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Maureen Dowd

"The president loves democracy - as long as democracy means he's always right."

I think she's outdone herself.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Seen on MyDd

From the forthcoming book "Dem Strategy for Dummies":

If Repubs say we're making a mistake, we're on the right track.

If repubs say we're being reasonable, we're making a mistake.

If repubs snicker at a candidate (think Dean) they are afraid of him.

If repubs praise a candidate (think Lieberman) he's a loser and/or a spineless wimp.

Now if only the actual PARTY would figure that out.

It's hard work. Did you know it was hard work?

President Bush made rare mention of Osama bin Laden on Thursday, calling efforts to block the terrorist leader's hope of attacking America again "the greatest challenge of our day."

One that you have failed spectactularly at.


This is absolutely chilling:

Afghan's Death Took Two Years to Come to Light

In November 2002, a newly minted CIA case officer in charge of a secret prison just north of Kabul allegedly ordered guards to strip naked an uncooperative young Afghan detainee, chain him to the concrete floor and leave him there overnight without blankets, according to four U.S. government officials aware of the case.

The Afghan guards -- paid by the CIA and working under CIA supervision in an abandoned warehouse code-named the Salt Pit -- dragged their captive around on the concrete floor, bruising and scraping his skin, before putting him in his cell, two of the officials said. As night fell, so, predictably, did the temperature.
By morning, the Afghan man had frozen to death.

After a quick autopsy by a CIA medic -- "hypothermia" was listed as the cause of death -- the guards buried the Afghan, who was in his twenties, in an unmarked, unacknowledged cemetery used by Afghan forces, officials said. The captive's family has never been notified; his remains have never been returned for burial. He is on no one's registry of captives, not even as a "ghost detainee," the term for CIA captives held in military prisons but not registered on the books, they said.
"He just disappeared from the face of the earth," said one U.S. government official with knowledge of the case.

Think about that. Under our supervision, a man is tortured to death and killed - in secret.

When did this become the face of the United States?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

GOP attacks AARP

I know what would be a great idea - let's attack and demonize an organization made up of 35 million people over the age of 50.

Republicans attacked the AARP as well as congressional Democrats on Wednesday as they struggled to build momentum behind President Bush's call for personal investment accounts under Social Security.

The AARP, which claims 35 million members age 50 and over, is "against a solution that hasn't been written yet," said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay after a closed-door meeting with the GOP rank and file.

Thanks, we've heard enough about it - we don't WANT it to be written. That's the whole point.

DeLay and Speaker Dennis Hastert also criticized congressional Democrats, who are virtually united in opposition to Bush's plans. "The party of no," Hastert called them.

That;s right - "NO." No, you can't raid Social Security. No, you can't gut one of the most popular programs in American History. No, you can't run up two trillion dollars in debt and make everyone's future insecure at the same time.

NO. N-O. You don't get your own way all the time.

Live with it, you whining babies.

"The Crackers" 2005

Go to the crackers page


Your fellow citizens have not yet gone completely bonkers.

At least not most of them. 27% are completely bonkers.

Gallup asked Americans whether they would be willing or not willing “to have the U.S. government do each of the following” and then listed an array of options....

[T]he option of using “nuclear weapons to attack terrorist facilities” drew the support of 27% of adults, with 72% opposing, which would shatter the taboo on using these weapons militarily since the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Experts agree that the power of today’s weapons, their range of damage and the peril of drifting radioactive fallout far exceeds the bombs used against Japan. That support has declined 7% since 2001, however.

Privatization dying.

But don't let up until it's actually dead.

Social Security Vote May Be Delayed

The Senate's top Republican [Bill Frist, (R-Cat Killer)] said yesterday that President Bush's bid to restructure Social Security may have to wait until next year and might not involve the individual accounts the White House has been pushing hard.

Frist's comments came as lawmakers returned from a week-long break during which many held town meetings to discuss the president's Social Security plan. Some Republicans were shocked by the intensity of opposition expressed, while many Democrats seemed emboldened by the reaction.

Gee, why would people be opposed to piling up two trillion dollars in debt for the purpose of giving them less retirement money?

Can't imagine.

"Once you get the facts out and get through all the misleading comments by the opposition, then people realize that there is a problem," [Tom] DeLay said.

Actually, Tommy, you tight-assed, hypocritical bug-killer, the more people learn about your idiotic scheme, the more they hate it.

Judge for Hussein's trial killed

A judge and a lawyer with the special tribunal that will try Saddam Hussein and former members of his government were shot and killed Tuesday by gunmen outside their home here, Iraqi officials said.

In other violence, at least 12 people were killed today in separate suicide car bomb attacks in Baghdad, the Interior Ministry said. - New York Times

The Pandora's Box that we opened in Iraq will still be spitting out demons ten years from now.

If this keeps up,t Bush will have no choice but to give a speech saying that everything over there is just great.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

SOS: Students for an Orwellian Society

via Left End of the Dial.

Charge him or free him

"A federal judge on Monday ordered the Bush administration to either charge or release an American suspected of plotting terrorist attacks with Al Qaeda, saying that his continued confinement after nearly three years would "only offend the rule of law."

Government lawyers, who had no immediate reaction to the order, are likely to appeal the ruling quickly and forestall any immediate release of the man they have portrayed as a grave threat to American security. - LA Times

DUH. You can't imprison a man unless you actually charge him with a crime. What a concept. Imagine that.

Well, pardon me for pointing this out, butI thought that went without saying. I thought that was one of those things we all learned in elementary school when the teacher explained to us what made America America.

What I want to know is - when the hell did that even become a QUESTION? When did we decide that such a rock-bottom, foundational Constitutional principle was open to DEBATE?

When Bush found the Constitution inconvenient, that's when.

Osama and Zarqawi

"Osama bin Laden is enlisting his top operative in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, to plan potential attacks on the United States, U.S. intelligence indicates." - AP

So now, Bush has given Osama bin Laden a foothold in Iraq when he didn't have one before.

Gee, George - you ignored the FIRST intelligence report (August 6, 2001) that was titled "Bin Laden determined to to strike in the United States."

Then, when he ATTACKED the United States, you claimed that you would not stop until he was caught - but made a half-assed attempt at capturing him and THEN ignored him.

Are you going to ignore THIS one, too?

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority. I am truly not that concerned about him."— George W. Bush, 3/13/02