The Nattering Nabob <$BlogRSDUrl$>
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Friday, March 31, 2006

When the history of this period is written...
 
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Thursday, March 30, 2006

ITMFA
 
Sex columnist Dan Savage has a new campaign, called "ITMFA."

It stands for "Impeach the Motherfucker Already."

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006


 

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The Religious Left is Right
 
Here's something to get behind, and I intend to in a large way.

The mainstream media - you know, those wild liberals - have consistently REFUSED to run ads made by groups of the religious left, like the United Church of Christ.

The details are here, from Street Prophets.

You probably remember when the UCC tried to air an ad showing that they refuse nobody admittance to church. CBS refused to run it, despite having NO problem running garbage by religious right hate groups like James Dobson and Focus on the Family. And the UCC has a new ad, and ABC refuses to run it.

This is blatant discrimination.

The UCC is teaming up with Media Matters. They are starting a letter-writing campaign (here), demanding that ABC start including mainline religious leaders on the Sunday Talk Shows, and not just clowns like Pat Robertson.

They also have a (great) new commercial that they are trying to air and more information here.

Frankly, I have had this sort of crap up to here. This is blatant religious discrimination, and the forcable silencing of mainstream Christianity. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of so many people getting the impression that the only Christians in this country are right-wing loonies. It's time it stopped, and, as of now, I'm DEMANDING that it stop.

I'm calling ABC, I'm writing ABC, and if I have to scream my fool head off to get them to listen, I will.

If they keep refusing to air legitimate ads of some groups while running the ads of other groups, the UCC should sue them into oblivion, and I hope they do. This is a REAL war on Christians.

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Halliburton is stealing from America
 
As usual, the question isn't "Is this happening?" but "Why doesn't the press seem to think it's a big deal?"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Halliburton Co., the world's second largest oil services company, repeatedly overcharged taxpayers and provided substandard cost reports under a $1.2 billion contract to restore Iraq's southern oil fields, according to a new report by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman.

Waxman, a California Democrat, said Democratic staff members of the House Committee on Government Reform examined a series of previously undisclosed government audits and correspondence that criticized Halliburton's performance under the "Restore Iraqi Oil 2" (RIO2) contract.

The documents, which cover the period from January 2004 to July 2005, painted "an absolutely abysmal picture of Halliburton's RIO2 work" and cited profound systemic problems, misleading and distorted cost reports, he said.


I love this:

Halliburton, a Texas-based company formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney, dismissed the committee report as partisan and said it focused on old issues with the two-year contract that have been resolved.


Halliburton says that criticizing their company is partisan? I didn't know that they were a political organization. Here I thought they were a private business. And how the hell is a claim of OVERCHARGING political?

"2+2=4" is now regarded as a partisan sentiment. Good god.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006


 
Ted W sent this in the comments, and I figured I would move it here.

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is reporting to the cabinet and indicates that 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed yesterday in Iraq.

Our president buries his head in his hands, and weeps: "Oh my God"....

The Cabinet is stunned, because Georgie really kinda 'doesn't react' to casualty reports like this...

Just then the President looks up and asks, "How many zeros are there in a brazilion?"

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Family Values.
 
Mach 27th, 2006. A day that will live in parody.

The day that "moral values" conservative and "devout Roman Catholic" Antonin Scalia flipped the bird in church.


BOSTON, March 27 (UPI) -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia startled reporters in Boston just minutes after attending a mass, by flipping a middle finger to his critics.

A Boston Herald reporter asked the 70-year-old conservative Roman Catholic if he faces much questioning over impartiality when it comes to issues separating church and state.

"You know what I say to those people?" Scalia replied, making the obscene gesture and explaining "That's Sicilian."

The 20-year veteran of the high court was caught making the gesture by a photographer with The Pilot, the Archdiocese of Boston's newspaper.

"Don't publish that," Scalia told the photographer, the Herald said.

He was attending a special mass for lawyers and politicians at Cathedral of the Holy Cross, and afterward was the keynote speaker at the Catholic Lawyers' Guild luncheon.


"Don't publish that." That's just great, Tony. Not only do you make an obscene gesture in a consecrated house of God, you offend every Sicilian on the planet by claiming that it's a Sicilian practice. And then order the press to keep a lid on it.

Can you IMAGINE if some liberal judge - say Stephen Breyer - had done this?

The right-wingers would be screaming like insane banshees.

How much would like to bet that all you will hear them is stone silence?

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Insult to injury
 
In Texas, indicted felons aren't allowed to carry concealed handguns.

So a judge revoked Tom DeLay's right to do so.


Heh.

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One more damning memo.
 
You know it. I know it. One more memo proves it.

This one says that if Hussein failed to find WMDs, Bush was going to try and PROVOKE a confrontation, so he could have his war whether there were WMDs or not.

Now when is this going to be treated like a big deal by the idiots in the "liberal" press?

Bush Was Set on Path to War, Memo by British Adviser Says

LONDON — In the weeks before the United States-led invasion of Iraq, as the United States and Britain pressed for a second United Nations resolution condemning Iraq, President Bush's public ultimatum to Saddam Hussein was blunt: Disarm or face war.

But behind closed doors, the president was certain that war was inevitable. During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times....

"The start date for the military campaign was now penciled in for 10 March," Mr. Manning wrote, paraphrasing the president. "This was when the bombing would begin."

The memo indicates the two leaders envisioned a quick victory and a transition to a new Iraqi government that would be complicated, but manageable. Mr. Bush predicted that it was "unlikely there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups." Mr. Blair agreed with that assessment.

The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein.


The scary thing is that 34% still support this insane clown.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Case Dropped Against Afghan Christian
 
The very, very good news is that this gentlemen is no longer subject to execution for his religion.

An Afghan court has dismissed case against a man who converted from Islam to Christianity for lack of evidence, an official said Sunday.

I'm not sure exactly what they mean by "lack of evidence" since Rahman freely admitted to his conversion, but I'll let that go.

However, the bad news is that either the press, the Muslim clerics, or both, are now completely and totally insane:

Some Islamic clerics had called for his execution, saying Rahman would face danger from his countrymen if he were released.

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Friday, March 24, 2006


 

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The "successful" war.
 
This is the result of the military action in a place where we have been told we WON.

KABUL (Reuters) - Growing international pressure on Afghanistan to respect the religious freedom of a Christian convert was met in Afghanistan on Friday by a clamor of calls for the man to be executed for denying Islam.

Rahman was detained last week for converting to Christianity and could face the death penalty if he refuses to become a Muslim again, judicial officials say.

Death is the punishment stipulated by sharia, or Islamic law, for apostasy. The Afghan legal system is based on a mix of civil and sharia law.


Gee, last I looked we were claiming to have FREED the Afghanis from Moslem extremists.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006


 
In the dark

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Left-wing idiot
 
Yes, there are some. This is one.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Easter Bunny has been sent packing at St. Paul City Hall.

A toy rabbit, pastel-colored eggs and a sign with the words "Happy Easter" were removed from the lobby of the City Council offices, because of concerns they might offend non-Christians.

A council secretary had put up the decorations. They were not bought with city money.

St. Paul's human rights director, Tyrone Terrill, asked that the decorations be removed, saying they could be offensive to non-Christians.


Somebody should tell this imbecile that the EASTER BUNNY isn't a religious symbol.

Thanks for handing the right-wingers a club. They will, of course, use this stupidity to try and tar everyone who favors the separation of church and state.

Idiot.

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The Dixie Chicks new album hits the stores on May 23rd.

Listen to the song.


NOTE: I made a mistake before and said today - March 23rd. Ted W was kind enough to provide the correction.

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Not a civil war II
 
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Gunmen in Baghdad killed at least 15 Shi'ite pilgrims and wounded dozens on Wednesday, raking vehicles with machinegun fire in the latest outbreak of sectarian violence that threatens Iraq with civil war.

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Not a civil war.
 
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least 15 people, most of them policemen, were killed when a suicide car bomber blew himself up outside the headquarters of the Iraqi police's major crimes unit in Baghdad, the Interior Ministry said.

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It's about time
 
America may actually join the civilized world and disallow the use of evidence obtained by torture.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In what would be a key change in U.S. policy, the Pentagon may formally require military prosecutors to observe a U.N. convention against torture in their use of evidence during tribunals at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp....

Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said on Wednesday the administration up to now has relied on prosecutors to ensure that their cases before tribunals, known as military commissions, reflect President George W. Bush's stated policy that the United States not condone torture.


George Bush has STATED that the United States does not condone torture, but has fought every attempt to declare it illegal. And Bush would NEVER say one thing and do another - WOULD he?

So they've relied on prosecutors to not use torture-obtained evidence? On the honor system? Oh, yeah, THAT'll work.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006


 

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ass-kicked by an old lady
 
Helen Thomas actually asked Bush the question that most Americans want answered - an astounding profile in courage from the usually supine press corps. (Full transcript here.)

And Bush failed to answer her question. He tried to sidestep it by talking about Afghanistan. When he didn't get away with that, he lied about Iraq.

"HELEN: I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true."
She's right. Every reason given HAS turned out not to be true.

"HELEN: My question is, why did you really want to go to war?"
DAMNED good question.

"HELEN: From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet -- your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth -- what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil -- quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?"
"BUSH: I think your premise -- in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- is that -- I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect --"

Here Bush conveniently forgets that he's on film, pumping his fists and saying "feels good" about the war starting. He conveniently forgets that the Project for the New American Century talked about wanting to invade Iraq back in 2000.

HELEN: Everything --

BUSH: Hold on for a second, please.

HELEN: -- everything I've heard --

BUSH: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We -- when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq -- hold on for a second --

HELEN: They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.


BUSH: Look -- excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained --

This is one of the clearest examples of Bush just mushing Iraq and Al Qaeda together. If he's serious, he's nuts. He says that Iraq did do something to our country - the Taliban provided safe haven for Al Qaeda. Well, Iraq isn't the Taliban, you sad, pathetic creature. Either you know that - in which case, you are lying - or you think they ARE the Taliban - in which case you should be under 24-hour psychiatric supervision.

HELEN: I'm talking about Iraq --

BUSH: Helen, excuse me. That's where -- Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where they trained. That's where they plotted. That's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.

I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences --

Disarm WHAT? THEY HAD NO WMDs. And you STILL haven't explain how the hell Al Qaeda being in Afghanistan had something to do with invading Iraq.

Holy crap, it really has gotten like listening to a babbling lunatic.

HELEN: -- go to war --

BUSH: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.

And this is a plain lie. Hussein did NOT deny the inspectors, he allowed them in. In fact, Bush ordered them to leave so he could invade. And, in fact, those weapons inspectors told him that the claims of WMDs didn't seem to be panning out. Bush's response was to try and discredit them and order them to leave Iraq, because he was going to invade, whether they had been allowed in or not.

And Helen Thomas' excellent question remains unanswered: Why did Bush REALLY start this war?

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“If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is.” - Iraqi former Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

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Home for Christmas sometime in the next century.
 
REPORTER: Will there come a day, and I’m not asking you when — I’m not asking for a timetable — will there come a day when there will be no more American forces in Iraq?

BUSH: That, of course, is an objective, and that will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq.


So George says that he has bo intention of bringing the troops home before he leaves office, and concedes that whatever the hell it is he was trying to do, it won't be done by 2008.

What a horrible, disgusting disaster.

What a horrible, disgusting man.

"“It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.” - Donald Rumsfeld, three years ago.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

The war isn't so bad if you just ignore all the dead people.
 
CLEVELAND - Beginning the fourth year of an unpopular war, President Bush defended his Iraq record on Monday against skeptical questioning. He said he could "understand people being disheartened" but appealed to Americans to look beyond the bloodshed and see signs of progress.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Newsflash
 
Major Media Outlet Displays Critical Thinking Ability

Bush Using Straw-Man Arguments in Speeches

WASHINGTON - "Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day,"
President Bush said recently.

Another time he said, "Some say that if you're Muslim you can't be free."

"There are some really decent people," the president said earlier this year, "who believe that the federal government ought to be the decider of health care ... for all people."

Of course, hardly anyone in mainstream political debate has made such assertions.


Wingnuts will be all over this, claiming that it shows "media bias."

"Media bias" is REFUSING to point out such obvious demagoguery.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Letter from Russ Feingold to the New York Times
 
To the Editor:

Re "Time for Facts, Not Resolutions" (editorial, March 17):

The president broke the law, and Congress must hold the president accountable.

You are right that the nation deserves to know more details about the National Security Agency's spying program, but there's nothing we could learn that would change the fact that by authorizing the program, the president broke the law.

Member of both parties who have concerns about the legality of the N.S.A.'s program, and there are quite a few, should not try to avoid that central issue while offering proposals to legalize the president's conduct.

I strongly support wiretapping terrorists to protect our national security, which current law allows.

The president needs to follow that law, or inform Congress of any reasons he thinks that law should be changed. He has a responsibility to obey the laws that Congress passes.

There must be no equivocation on that central tenet of our system of government.

I applauded Senator Harry Reid's effort to take the Senate into closed session to get answers on the intelligence and policy failures leading up to the Iraq war. But to suggest that such a maneuver is our only recourse now ignores the role the founders expected Congress to play when a president commits such a flagrant abuse of power.

We don't need a closed session to highlight the president's lawbreaking; we need an open debate and an expression of the Senate's judgment.

Members of Congress do need to "fulfill their sworn duty," as you suggest, and that means censuring a president who so plainly broke the law and violated the trust of the American people.

Russell Feingold
U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
Washington, March 17, 2006

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Pierce Bush
 
Dubya's nephew.

Thew apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

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It's been three years since Bush started the Disaster in Iraq.

The good news is that America has realized how stupid it is.

The bad news is that the people in charge still refuse to admit it.

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Crazy things Democratic Politicians believe
 
Here.

Excerpt:

1. My base is the loony left. The Republican base is the mainstream.

The only thing crazy the Democratic base has done is vote for the spineless representatives they have now. Other than that, they thought it was a bad idea to go into Iraq -- they were 100% right. They thought the Bush administration was lying about Iraq's connection to 9/11 -- they were 100% right.
They thought the Bush administration was exaggerating Iraq's WMD program to justify an unwarranted pre-emptive strike against a country that did not attack us -- they were 100% right.

They think that Bush clearly broke the law by ignoring FISA's unequivocal language to get a court order before spying on Americans -- they are 100% right.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Republican Spendthrifts
 
Say it loud: Republicans are completely irresponsible. They spend like drunken sailors. All the talk about "Cut Government Spending" is so much transparent bullshit.

And do NOT let them claim that Bush and the Congressional Republicans aren't behaving according to genuine Republican principles. These ARE genuine Republican principles. They can do anything they want to, so this must be what they want to do. Piling up debt IS a conservative policy. It's what conservatives DO, so it MUST be their policy.

A nugget, buried ay down in the article:

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, said Thursday that given Mr. Bush's record, "I really do believe this man will go down as the worst president this country has ever had."


Thank you, Senator Reid. You are absolutely right.

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Too true.
 
"At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies." - PG Wodehouse

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The Purity of Unicorn Farts.
 
It isn't just a great name, it's a great essay, over on Kos.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Headlines you never thought you'd see
 
Fewer Mourners Than Expected for Milosevic


What were they expecting - a worldwide outpouring of grief or something?

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It's official: Bush is certifiable
 
Iraq turned out so well, that now he's making serious noises about attacking Iran:

President George W. Bush said Thursday Iran may pose the greatest challenge to the United States and diplomacy to thwart the Islamic nation's nuclear program must prevail to avoid confrontation.

"If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self-defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur - even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack," Bush wrote.


The guy who wears the title of "President" is obviously flat bonkers, and it's damned scary to have crazy man as the most powerful person on earth.

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A Democrat with balls
 
Tom Harkin: Why I Fully Support Bush Censure

We have a President who likes to break things. He has broken the federal budget, running up $3 trillion in new debt. He has broken the Geneva Conventions, giving the green light to torture. He has repeatedly broken promises – and broken faith – with the American people. And now, worst of all, he has broken the law.

In brazen violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), he ordered the National Security Agency to conduct warrantless wiretaps of American citizens. And, despite getting caught red-handed, he refuses to stop.

Let's be clear: No American – and that must include the President – is above the law. And if we fail to hold Bush to account, then he will be confirmed in his conviction that he can pick and choose among the laws he wants to obey. This is profoundly dangerous to our democracy.

So it is time for Congress to stand up and say enough! That's why, this week, Senator Russ Feingold proposed a resolution to censure George W. Bush for breaking the FISA law. And that's why I fully support this resolution of censure.

Nothing is more important to me than the security of our country. Of course, we need to be listening to the terrorists' conversations. And sometimes there is not time to get a warrant. That's why the FISA law allows the President, when necessary, to wiretap first, and obtain a warrant afterward. But that's not acceptable to this above-the-law President. He rejects the idea that he should have to obtain a warrant before or after wiretapping.

We have an out-of-control President whose arrogant and, now, illegal behavior is running our country into the ditch. It's time to rein him in. And a fine place to start is by passing this resolution of censure. I hope that Senator Feingold's measure will be brought to the floor. And when it is, I will proudly vote yes.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Making the email rounds...
 
Things you have to believe to be a Republican today.

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

Supporting "Executive Privilege" for every Republican ever born, who will be born or who might be born (in perpetuity.)

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

Support for hunters who shoot their friends and blame them for wearing orange vests similar to those worn by the quail.

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FIGHT BACK, Dammit.
 
Re: Russ Feingold. The completely spineless Democratic Party ran and hid when the time came to stand up and be counted. I am so sick of these worthless people in Washington pretending to imitate Democrats. I don't know what the hell it takes. How many times does George W. Bush have to spit in their faces and laugh before they FIGHT BACK?

firedoglake points out that Senator Feinstein proposed a censure resolution. Of BILL CLINTON because of his blowjob. But apparently this so-called Democrat doesn't think Bush's breaking the law is NEARLY as big of a deal.

Either these clowns should fight back, or they should get the hell out of Washington and give their job to someone who will actually DO it.

Also courtesy of firedoglake, here's a list of the phone number of every Senator. Call them and scream.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sheeesh
 
The White House knew that aide Claude Allen has been arrested, and they didn't care. Kept him on anyway.

Unbelievable.

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Extra
 
George W. Bush keeps old ladies in lockdown.

As usual (sigh) I'm NOT KIDDING.

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If reporters were honest
 
"Yesterday, in response to growing criticism of the war in Iraq, the President delivered the same damned speech that he's been delivering for the last three years."

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Hole.
 
Bush: "We will not lose our nerve" in Iraq.

We will lose our money, our lives, our reputation and our self-respect. But "we" (who, exactly, George?) won't lose "our" (who, exactly, George?) NERVE.

Of course, HE isn't the one getting shot at for phony reasons.

He's real brave about putting other people's asses on the line.

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Co-Sponsor Feingold's Petition
 
Kathleen Callon has left a comment below pointing out that you can sign Russ Feingold's petition right here.

Thank you, Kathleen.

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"Earlier today, Bush flew to New Orleans. There was an awkward moment when he looked around and said 'Oh my god, what the hell happened here?' " - Conan O'Brien

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This is harrowing
 
Remember the picture of the hooded person standing on a box, hooked up to wires in Abu Ghraibe?

Here he is.

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Support Feingold
 
I'm copying this whole from firedoglake. It's important.

Action Steps for the Feingold "Censure Bush" Proposal

I have a request: Russ Feingold really stuck his neck out today, and it would be great if he -- and every other Senator -- knew that we had his back. It's a gutsy move, not without risk in the polarized environment that is Washington these days and with the hatchet squad that Rove and his ilk generally deploy when their actions are questioned, so you have to hand it to Sen. Feingold for having the guts to raise the censure issue -- not just in the privacy of his office or at home, but right there on national television for all the world to hear.

So, what am I asking you to do? Something small by comparison, but if enough of us do this, it could start a little snowball rolling down the hill. By the time it reaches bottom, who knows how big it will have gotten -- but I sure like the sound of the word avalanche, so I say we get it going.

Your action steps: call both your Senators first thing in the morning and ask if they support Russ Feingold's censure proposal. If they don't, ask what their position is on the issue -- and why.

The more people we have calling, the more staffers in the offices start to realize that Feingold struck a political chord with a bunch of us in America. And then the more we continue to call, the more that message starts to sink in...and then some. Plus, it forces Senators to go on the record one way or the other, which is useful information for all of us to have.

We're going to keep track of it here on Firedoglake, so once you've called, please report back to us -- either through e-mail or in the comments -- and we'll put up a tracking list of yes, no and no comment. That's it. It's pretty much pain free and you can help us get an idea of which Senators are dodging and weaving. And, frankly, you can help us nudge them again to do their jobs. Thanks in advance for your assistance!

You can contact the US Senate via the switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and they will connect you with any Senator's office. Or you can find your particular Senator's direct dial here.

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Quiz
 
Ok, boys and girls, what do YOU think our President was referring to when he said this:

"I'm concerned about a broader message this issue could send to our friends and allies around the world, particularly in the Middle East." - George W. Bush.

1) American soldiers torturing people in Saddam Hussein's old prison at Abu Ghraibe.

2) The tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians who have been maimed and killed during our occupation.

3) The American Government holding people from the Middle East indefinitely, in secret and without charges.

4) The failure of a business deal.


Since the statement was uttered by George W. Bush, you know it MUST be number 4.

Some priorities and sense of morals the man has, eh?

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Why did Bush destroy Iraq?
 
by Paul Craig Roberts

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Feingold for President
 
Seriously - I would LOVE for this guy to run.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A liberal Democrat and potential White House contender is proposing censuring President Bush for authorizing domestic eavesdropping, saying the White House misled Americans about its legality.

"The president has broken the law and, in some way, he must be held accountable," Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., told The Associated Press in an interview.

A censure resolution, which simply would scold the president, has been used just once in U.S. history - against Andrew Jackson in 1834.


No impeachment? Ok - let's get these sons of bitches on record. Either the Republicans are willing to uphold the Constitution, or they should be forced go on record saying that they won't. Publicly.

Ohhhh...what's that I hear? The sound of pathetic whining in the distance? What could it be?

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., called the proposal "a crazy political move" that would weaken the U.S. during wartime.

Ah. Yeah, okay. You pathetic bastard.

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Milosevic Dead
 
BELGRADE, March 11 (Reuters) - Belgrade's B-92 radio said former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic had been found dead on Saturday in his cell at The Hague, where he has been on trial for war crimes since 2002.


Remember: when Clinton was President we got rid of a brutal dictator without an endless war, an endless occupation and without the loss of a single American life.

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Liberal media
 
Let's see: Republicans are under indictment, bribery and cronyism are running rampart, there is a leaker in the White House with access to national security.

But you know what? Hillary Clinton once worked for Wal-Mart.

Twenty years ago.

Did she do anything wrong while there? Ummm...well, no.

But SURELY there must be some innuendo that the liberal media can run with and take some heat off of the criminals.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Reuters has a message for Cheney
 
Actual News Photo


Listen, Dick, Listen.

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Telling the truth works
 
You know what I just realized?

Do you remember all that crap about how the Abramoff thing was a "bipartisan scandal"? Do you remember how the Republicans tried to spread that lie and the media seemed ready to go along with it?

Well, you don't hear them saying that anymore. You know why? Here's why:

From the January 26 edition of NBC's Today:

COURIC: Democrats took money from Jack Abramoff, too, Mr. Dean.

DEAN: That is absolutely false. That did not happen. Not one dime of money from Jack Abramoff went to any Democrat at any time.

COURIC: According -- let me just tell you. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Abramoff and his associates gave $3 million to Republican and one -- Republicans -- and $1.5 million to Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid [R-NV]. So, this --

DEAN: Katie, not one -- not one dime. Not one dime of Jack Abramoff money ever went to any Democrat. We can show you the FEC [Federal Election Commission] reports, we'd be very happy to do it. There is a lot of stuff in the press that the Republican National Committee has been spinning that this is a bipartisan scandal. It is a Republican-financed scandal. Not one dime of money from Jack Abramoff ever went to any Democrat. Not one dime.

COURIC: Well, we will obviously have to look into that and clarify that for our viewers at a -- at a later date.
And the next day, Matt Lauer said this:
LAUER: We did some research. We went to the Center for Responsive Politics and we found out that, technically speaking, Howard Dean may be correct.

Obviously, NBC was really reluctant to admit that (Howard Dean "MAY" be "TECHNICALLY" correct) - but, whether they were reluctant to admit it or not, they stopped saying it.

Howard Dean has figured that out. The rest of the Democrats have yet to. Everytime they lie, they must be contradicted with the truth. Every time. Every time. Every time. Because that's the ONLY WAY IT STOPS.

Some of the right-wingers and media mavens criticized Dean for his pointed contradiction. ("Ooooooh! He's unhinged!") But if he HADN'T contradicted Couric, they would STILL be calling it a "bipartisan scandal." They would STILL be lying.

Dean stood up, told the truth in plain, clear, blunt terms, and stopped that train before it picked up speed.

Let's do more of that.

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Bush: Americans running American ports sends a "bad message"
 
Yes, he said that:

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Friday he was troubled by the political storm that forced the reversal of a deal allowing a company in Dubai to take over take over operations of six American ports, saying it sent a bad message to U.S. allies in the Middle East.

Bush said the United States needs moderate allies in the Arab world, like the United Arab Emirates, to win the global war on terrorism.

The president said he had been satisfied that security would be sound at the ports if the Dubai deal had taken effect.


But I thought the President said that he HADN'T KNOWN ABOUT IT AT ALL.

He can't even keep track of his lies, and the damned "liberal media" doesn't keep track of his lies, either.

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WASHINGTON - More and more people, particularly Republicans, disapprove of
President Bush's performance, question his character and no longer consider him a strong leader against terrorism, according to an AP-Ipsos poll documenting one of the bleakest points of his presidency....

Republican Party leaders said the survey explains why GOP lawmakers are rushing to distance themselves from Bush on a range of issues — port security, immigration, spending, warrantless eavesdropping and trade, for example.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'm a little bit country
 
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill criticized Bush for not doing squat to help the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. McGraw sounds like he has a much better understanding of what a President's job is than Bush does:
"There's no reason why someone can't go down there who's supposed to be the leader of the free world … and say, 'I'm giving you a job to do and I'm not leaving here until it's done. And you're held accountable, and you're held accountable, and you're held accountable.

"'This is what I've given you to do, and if it's not done by the time I get back on my plane, then you're fired and someone else will be in your place. '"

Man. Things are really bad when someone saying someone that basic and obvious makes me want to applaud from sheer relief.

It will be fun watching the Bushites now declare that they are "liberal" - since, after all, the definition of "liberal" is now "anyone who criticizes Bush." Even if it's, say, George Will or William Buckley.

The "liberal media" of course, has to spin this. Here's AOL's Welcome Screen:



"Have they gone Dixie Chicks?" Got that? The "liberal media" is implying that there must be something wrong with them. There must be something wrong with them to criticize Bush's response to Katrina, which only the totally insane still DEFEND.

How screwed up is that?

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“The administration used Pat. They tried to attach themselves to his virtue and then they wiped their feet with him.” - Mary Tillman

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Furry lobster found
 


I'm not sure if this is incredibly neat or incredibly creepy.

Marine biologists have discovered a crustacean in the South Pacific that resembles a lobster or crab covered in what looks like silky fur.

Kiwa hirsuta is so distinct from other species that scientists have created a new taxonomic family for it.

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Remember...
 
It's NOT a civil war. It's just two groups fighting each other for supremacy of a country.

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The UAE will retaliate
 
Dubai is threatening retaliation against American strategic and commercial interests if Washington blocks its $6.8 billion takeover of operations at several U.S. ports. - The Hill


So, the people that Bush claims are great allies will try and punish us if we don't let them run our ports?

I guess that settles the question of just how staunch they are as allies, eh?

"Let us run your ports, even though we will become your enemies as soon as you don't do everything we want."

Good idea, George.

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Bush attacks Congress
 
Bush: Congress 'Shortchanged' New Orleans

Whatcha think? IS Bush retaliating for Congress not letting him sell the running of our ports to his buddies, the Middle Eastern dictators?

Is he so arrogant and stupid that he doesn't realize that a sycophantic Congress is the only thing standing between him and the law?

Is the man such a fool that he is setting his own party up to lose Congress by calling them incompetent?

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"Bush speaks to the audience as if they're idiots. I think the reason he does that is because that's the way these issues were explained to him." – Graydon Carter

"Bush didn't really win on his popularity last time. He won on scaring people that Kerry might do something stupid like, I don't know, sell the ports to the Arabs." – Bill Maher
Attribution

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Poison for sale
 
When do Republicans stop believing in the sovereignty of States? When it affects the bottom line of giant corporations, that's when:

House Moves to Strip Food Warning Labels

The House voted Wednesday to strip many warnings from food labels, potentially affecting alerts about arsenic in bottled water, lead in candy and allergy-causing sulfites, among others.

Pushed by food companies seeking uniform labels across state lines, the bill would prevent states from adding food warnings that go beyond federal law. States could petition the Food and Drug Administration to add extra warnings, under the bill.

This bill is going to overturn 200 state laws that protect our food supply," said Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif. "Why are we doing that? What's wrong with our system of federalism?"


Aside from the sheer reprehensiblity of stripping warning labels from food products (what, exactly, is gained by doing so?), and aside from the fact that it is a graphic demonstration of how totally in thrall elected official are to big money corporations - what could be the LOGICAL justification of not allowing states to place warning labels on their own food?

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Gee, George, your cheek must sting.
 
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In an election-year repudiation of President Bush, a House panel dominated by Republicans voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to block a Dubai-owned firm from taking control of some U.S port operations.

By 62-2, the Appropriations Committee voted to bar DP World, run by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from holding leases or contracts at U.S. ports. Bush has promised to veto any such measure passed by Congress, but there is widespread public opposition to the deal and the GOP fears losing its advantage on the issue of national security in this fall's elections.

As the panel acted, Democrats on the other side of the Capitol were clamoring for a vote on the same issue in the GOP-led Senate.

"We believe an overwhelming majority will vote to end the deal," said Democrat Charles Schumer of New York, whose attempt to force the issue to the floor brought the Senate to a late-afternoon standstill.


62 to 2.

Let's see if Bush makes good on using his veto pen for the first time EVER.

Those Republicans should be forewarned. Bush is an extremely vindictive, petty little boy who throws tantrums when he doesn't get his way.

So he may do the stupidest thing ever: try and get them back.

He may not realize that Congress can do pretty much anything they want to, and they have been the only thing allowing the clown to get away with crimes and impeachable offenses.

Technically, they have him by the balls. And he's probably too damned egotistical and stubborn to realize it.

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Bodies found garroted in Baghdad
 
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The bodies of 18 men, bound, blindfolded and strangled, were found in a Sunni Arab district of Baghdad, apparent victims of sectarian turmoil gripping Iraq and threatening the formation of a coalition government.


That damn liberal media! Why don't they focus on all the Iraqis who WEREN'T strangled to death yesterday? And the Vice-President has gone two weeks without shooting somebody in the face, and they don't even MENTION it!

UPDATE:

And what about all the people who weren't taken hostage by gunmen in camouflage uniforms? How come the media doesn't talk about THAT?

Uniformed Gunmen Take 50 Hostages In Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Gunmen in camouflage uniforms stormed the offices of a private security company Wednesday and kidnapped as many as 50 employees, police reported.

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"What are you benching, buff guy?"
 
Matt Drudge (whom I really have no choice about linking to, in this instance) has excerpts of a Vanity Fair interview with disgraced lobbyist and future whistleblower Jack Abramoff.

Some excerpts:

"You're really no one in this town unless you haven't met me. This is not an age when you can run away from facts. I had to deal with my records, and others will have to deal with theirs."

"In a different era I'd be killed on the street or have poison poured into my coffee."

On President Bush, who claims not to remember having his picture taken with Abramoff. According to Abramoff, at one time, the president joked with Abramoff about his weight lifting past: "What are you benching, buff guy?"

Newt Gingrich, whose spokesman Rick Tyler tells Margolick that "Before [Abramoff's] picture appeared on TV and in the newspapers, Newt wouldn't have known him if he fell across him. He hadn't seen him in 10 years." A rankled Abramoff says "I have more pictures of [Newt] than I have of my wife." Abramoff shows Margolick numerous photographs: "Here's Newt. Newt. Newt. Newt. More Newt. Newt with Grover [Norquist, the Washington conservative Republican Über-strategist and longtime Abramoff friend] this time. But Newt never met me. Ollie North. Newt. Can't be Newt ... he never met me. Oh, Newt! What's he doing there? Must be a Newt look-alike.... Newt again! It's sick! I thought he never met me!"

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Desertion
 
I would compare the Republicans to rats deserting a sinking ship, but that would be unfair to the rats.

Mind you, I think that for once in their misbegotten lives, the Republicans actually did the right thing. But for the wrong reasons. If Bush's approval was 51% instead of 34%, they'd sell America in a heartbeat.

Efforts by the White House to hold off legislation challenging a Dubai-owned company's acquisition of operations at six major U.S. ports collapsed yesterday when House Republican leaders agreed to allow a vote next week that could kill the deal.

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0-for-life
 
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Tuesday there has always been a risk Iraq could plunge into civil war but he accused the news media of exaggerating the gravity of the current situation. - Reuters

Gee, I've looked and I can't find Rumsfeld ever before MENTIONING this "risk" that he now says has "always" been there.

There's stuff like this, though:

Rumsfeld doesn't expect civil war in Iraq
7:35 p.m. October 4, 2004

NEW YORK – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday he does not expect civil war in Iraq and pointed to the recent retaking of the former insurgent stronghold of Samarra as evidence of progress in stabilizing the country before elections in January.

There's also THIS little blast from the past:

[I]t is not knowable if force will be used, but if it is to be used, it is not knowable how long that conflict would last. It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.

The scary thing isn't that these clowns are 0-for-life when it comes to accurately predicting the outcome of their own actions.

The scary thing is that they STILL think that they never make mistakes.

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Ok - so MESS with Texas
 
"Texas - where men are men and DeLay is nervous."

There is a primary in Texas today. It will be interesting to see the result, and see if disgust with Bush has even reached the epicenter of Bushiness.

Everybody's favorite crooked politician, Tom DeLay, is being primaried by three challengers. He is expected to get the most votes, but NOT 50%, which means he has to have a runoff against one person where he is very likely to lose. One can always hope.

So, what is DeLay doing on election night, as a way to dispel the stench of corruption of lobbyists' money?

He's going to a fundraiser for himself, given by two Washington lobbyists.

You decide: Clueless, or brazen, or both?

Well, what can you expect from a guy who flies to his own arraignment on a corporate jet owned by R.J. Reynolds?

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Not a Civil War.
 
It's not. It's just two sides killing each other over who gets to rule the country. But it's not a civil war.

TIM RUSSERT: Knight-Ridder reported this week that U.S. intelligence [agencies] more than two years ago said that the insurgency “had deep local roots, was likely to worsen, and could lead to civil war.”

And that was just ignored by political and military leadership because they wanted to believe their own rosy scenario.

Gen. PETER PACE: I do not believe it has deep roots. I do not believe that they’re on the verge of civil war. - Press the Meat


Uhhh...yeah.

But you also thought that the whole thing would be a cakewalk, remember?

Can anybody name ANY prediction about Iraq made by this administration that has actually turned out to be accurate?

These idiots just assume that things will turn out the way that they want them to, and they take NO steps to prepare for anything but rosy best-case scenarios. Again and again and again.

And they HAVEN'T LEARNED.

Disaster after disaster after disaster and mistake after mistake after mistake and they STILL HAVEN'T LEARNED.

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Even Indiana
 
Indiana voted twice to elect George W. Bush to the White House, but an Indianapolis Star poll indicates more than half of Hoosiers now disapprove of the job he's doing as president.

Only 37 percent of those surveyed last week think Bush is doing a good job as president, while 56 percent disapprove. - Indystar


Wow.

I'd like to see his numbers in places where he's never BEEN popular, like New York. I mean, what must it be? 10% or something?

"If George W. Bush was running against Vlad the Impaler, who would you vote for?"

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Halliburton, Welfare and Reagan
 
Here

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Sue the Bastards
 
The most frightening thing about the eavesdropping thing isn't that Bush broke the law. It's that the man ADMITTED it, and admitted to an impeachable offense, and essentially said, "So what you gonna do about it?" - and nobody did anything about it.

The Republican Party is willing to turn the United States into a dictatorship, as long as a Republican gets to be dictator.

Well, some citizens are trying to do something about it, and may actually succeed:

Of all the lawsuits seeking to halt the National Security Agency's program to eavesdrop on certain Americans' electronic communications, a new one filed last week in Oregon may provide the federal courts with the most detailed glimpse yet into the clandestine counterterrorism effort.

The biggest challenge for such cases - which have also been filed in New York, Michigan, and California - is that plaintiffs don't have access to records of highly classified government surveillance activities and therefore can't be sure they were personally subjected to covert phone- tapping or e-mail reading by the US government.

The Oregon suit may manage to leap over that imposing legal hurdle. Lawyers and their clients apparently have seen phone logs and other top-secret records inadvertently provided, and then hastily recovered, by government officials.

"In the [court] motion there is material under seal, which we will rely on in our case," says lawyer Tom Nelson...."We can't get into what's there, but we have very specific information on what happened, when it happened, and what was intercepted. We obviously think it will be helpful in court in proving our contention."


Don't you love "imposing legal hurdle" for "government-created Catch-22"?

"We won't tell you who we're spying on!"

"Well, then, we'll sue you find out!"

"You CAN'T sue us if you don't know who we're spying on!"

Scarily, 35% of the country is still willing to put up with that crap.

But the number is getting smaller every day.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Both ice caps are melting
 
ABC News- For the first time, scientists have confirmed Earth is melting at both ends, which could have disastrous effects for coastal cities and villages.

Antarctica has been called "a slumbering giant" by a climate scientist who predicts that if all the ice melted, sea levels would rise by 200 feet. Other scientists believe that such a thing won't happen, but new studies show that the slumbering giant has started to stir.

Recent studies have confirmed that the North Pole and the South Pole have started melting....

"The warming ocean comes underneath the ice shelves and melts them from the bottom, and warmer air from the top melts them from the top," said NASA glaciologist Jay Zwally. "So they're thinning and eventually they get to a point where they go poof!"

Zwally explains that the ice shelves, which the Antarctic ice cap pushes out into the ocean, are responding more than they expected to Earth's warming air and water. If the melting speeds up to a rapid runaway process called a "collapse," coastal cities and villages could be in danger...

James Hansen, director of NASA's Earth Science Research, said that disaster could probably be avoided, but that it would require dramatically cutting emission outputs. If the proper actions aren't taken, Hansen said, the sea level could rise as much as 80 feet by the time today's children reach middle age.

"We now must choose between a serious problem that we can probably handle and, if we don't act soon, unmitigated disaster down the road," Hansen said.
Unfortunately, as we have all noticed, the clown in the White House ALWAYS opts for unmitigated disaster down the road, when offered that choice.

You know what bothers me most about the global warming debate? That there IS a political debate. It's a SCIENTIFIC question. It should have nothing to do with politics at ALL. But it's treated like a political one. As though what matters isn't whether or not it is occurring - a purely factual question - but spinning it and minimizing it. And for what? So a handful of people - whom most of us have no use at all for - won't have to slightly cut back on their obscene profits? Let the cities drown, just don't affect my bottom line? Is that it?

One way you know which "side" (and what a thing for their to be sides to, eh?) is telling you the truth is by the old Watergate testL "Follow the money." Those who claim that global warming is occurring have no vested financial interest in saying so. They have nothing to gain by taking the stance they take. But those who claim it ISN'T have a very STRONG financial stake in denying it. So you know which of those two is most likely to be lying to you.

Remember - the tobacco companies found scientists who were willing to deny that cigarettes were bad for you, too.

Well, at least if it happens, Bush will be out of office, so we won't have to hear him say, "Nobody anticipated the ice caps melting."

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Human Disaster
 
Ok, so now we have it. Bush was warned, in very clear terms, that Katrina looked like it was going to be a gigantic disaster. He was warned that there was the possibility of the levees being topped, and that it posed a "grave danger." He was told by Michael Brown that this might be the "big one."


And his response was to STAY ON VACATION. His response was to do THIS:



And THIS:



And make sure he got a PHOTO-OP of himself watching it from a PLANE:



And WHEN did he FINALLY realize that it was a SERIOUS problem? According to his own words, it was when he was WATCHING TV, and saw the people SCREAMING:

VARGAS: When you look back on those days immediately following when Katrina struck, what moment do you think was the moment that you realized that the government was failing, especially the people of New Orleans?

BUSH: When I saw TV reporters interviewing people who were screaming for help. It looked — the scenes looked chaotic and desperate. And I realized that our government was — could have done a better job of comforting people.

They "could have done a better job of comforting people."

They didn't need a HUG, you clown.

The caption says it all:


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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Liar
 
Bush was warned - in plain, unequivocal terms - about what Katrina would do, and they have him being warned on video.

The man is not just incompetent and clueless - he is filthy liar. And he lies about stuff that causes people to DIE. By the THOUSANDS.

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