The Nattering Nabob <$BlogRSDUrl$>
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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gore
 
This interview is in GQ.

Let's hope it doesn't stay there.


Do you feel that we would be safer today if you had been president on that day?

Well, no one can say that the 9-11 attack wouldn’t have occurred whoever was president.

Really? How about all the warnings?

That’s a separate question. And it’s almost too easy to say, “I would have heeded the warnings.” In fact, I think I would have, I know I would have.

We had several instances when the CIA’s alarm bells went off, and what we did when that happened was, we had emergency meetings and called everybody together and made sure that all systems were go and every agency was hitting on all cylinders, and we made them bring more information, and go into the second and third and fourth level of detail. And made suggestions on how we could respond in a more coordinated, more effective way.

It is inconceivable to me that Bush would read a warning as stark and as clear [voice angry now] as the one he received on August 6th of 2001, and, according to some of the new histories, he turned to the briefer and said, “Well, you’ve covered your ass.” And never called a follow up meeting. Never made an inquiry. Never asked a single question.

To this day, I don’t understand it. And, I think it’s fair to say that he personally does in fact bear a measure of blame for not doing his job at a time when we really needed him to do his job.

And now the Woodward book has this episode that has been confirmed by the record that George Tenet, who was much abused by this administration, went over to the White House for the purpose of calling an emergency meeting and warning as clearly as possible about the extremely dangerous situation with Osama bin Laden, and was brushed off! And I don’t know why—honestly—I mean, I understand how horrible this Congressman Foley situation with the instant messaging is, okay? I understand that. But, why didn’t these kinds of things produce a similar outrage?

And you know, I’m even reluctant to talk about it in these terms because it’s so easy for people to hear this or read this as sort of cheap political game-playing. I understand how it could sound that way.

But dammit, whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure? This administration has been by far the most incompetent, inept, and with more moral cowardice, and obsequiousness to their wealthy contributors, and obliviousness to the public interest of any administration in modern history, and probably in the entire history of the country!

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Problems
 
America has two large problems.

One is terrorism. The other is the guy who is in the driver's seat charged with DEALING with terrorism

George W. Bush is a giant problem.

In times of crisis, George Bush is intent on creating MORE crises instead of solving the ones we already have.

And not only does he create crises over and over again - he pretends that everything is just FINE even while he is causing stuff to explode right and left.

He fails - and just keeps doing the same things that failed.

He has made EVERY decision for 6 years now. Every one. Look at the result. Disaster.

And the worst part is that after making EVERY decision, he thinks OTHER people should be responsible for the results.

How insane do you have to be - how stupid - to decide to START A WAR - and have NO PLAN WHATSOEVER for the occupation?

And then - surprised that starting a war, toppling a government and occupying a foreign country actually has major consequences - he stands there stupidly demanding that everybody ELSE figure out a way to clean up the mess he made.

When ALL of the decision that CREATED this horror - were HIS.

He's the "decider."

But he wants to be the "decider" - WITHOUT being responsible for the RESULTS.

That's not only nuts. It's dangerous.

And America can't afford to indulge that sort of shit. These REALLY ARE serious times, and we need a serious President - one who will actually THINK THINGS THROUGH, and one who actually has a sane understanding of the way things work.

Not one who just goes with his feelings and stands there befuddled when his feelings don't work out.

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Frist Won't Run

Kittens rejoice.

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Maliki decides that Bush can wait.
 
Bush, al-Maliki Talks in Jordan Postponed

Iranian-backed cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who leads the Mehdi Army militia, carried out his threat to boycott parliament and Maliki's coalition if the premier met the U.S. president.

Sadr's faction, which helped elect Maliki to his post, denounced his visit to see Bush as "a provocation to the Iraqi people." It was not clear how long the boycott would last.


This is such a total embarrassment to Bush that he probably wants to STAY out of the United States.

Our puppet in Iraq just decided that it was more important to listen to Al-Sadr than George W. Bush.

Bush isn't even liked by people that he installed himself.

It is not possible for Bush to look like more of an abject failure than he now looks.

Bush was going to go to Jordan to show how important he still was.

But the Prime Minister of Iraq decided that an Iranian cleric was more important than he was.

This duck isn't lame - it's paraplegic.

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You knew this, didn't you?
 
Well, I at least SUSPECTED it.

Lohse, a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University, says he has proven what many progressives have probably suspected for years: a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush.

Lohse says his study is no joke. The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse’s study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person’s psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush.

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I'm sorry, but some things are not political, and still must be shared.

How to Calculate Pi by Throwing Frozen Hot Dogs


Throwing a pie in someone's face is good. Throwing food at pi is better. Believe it or not, of all the countless ways to approximate the most prolific irrational number in the universe, there are none quite as interesting or as surprisingly satisfying as throwing perfectly good food around your kitchen. In fewer steps than it takes to circumscribe your house in a circle of baguettes, you, too, can easily add a slice of pi into your dinner menu tonight. The best part is...it really works!

Steps

  1. Select your food item to throw. There are a couple of qualifications. First, it must be long, thin, and straight, like a frozen hot dog, for example. There are lots of other items that fit this criterion including Otter Pops, celery sticks, and churros. (If you simply can't come to grips with throwing perfectly good food, see the Tips section for some additional ideas.) Second, it must be a reasonably stiff item. Third, it should be somewhere between six and eighteen inches long. The experiment can be performed otherwise, but read on, and you will see why this size is optimal.
  2. Select the spot from where you will throw your mathematical cuisine. You will probably need about 6-10 feet in front of you as you will be throwing straight ahead.
  3. Clear the area. The place at which you are throwing should be devoid of objects that your food item could possibly run in to. So, if you are throwing in your kitchen, consider moving the table into another room or at least throwing in such a way that your food won't hit the table during its flight.
  4. Measure the length of your projectile (i.e. your frozen hot dogs). A tape measure should do the trick. Be as accurate as you can, even down to the millimeter, for best results.
  5. Lay down masking tape in parallel strips across the floor as far apart as your projectile is long. The strips should be perpendicular to the direction you will be throwing (see picture below). Do about 6-10 strips if your item is 6-18 inches long; fewer, if longer; more, if shorter.
  6. The throwing set-up


    Get a piece of paper and across the top make a column for “Tosses” and another column for "Crosses." The "Tosses" column is to keep track of how many times you throw your food item. The "Crosses" column is to keep track of how many times your item, once it lands and stops moving, is laying across one of the lines.
  7. Now, get into position, and THROW YOUR FOOD! Throw just one item at a time. Once it is at rest, observe whether or not it is crossing one of the lines. If it is, put a tick under "Crosses" and a tick under "Tosses." If it isn't, just put a tick under "Tosses." Repeat this as many times as you like. You should start seeing some interesting results by around 100 to 200 throws (it doesn't take as long as it sounds, especially if you use a pack of 10 frozen hot dogs so you're not out retrieving the one hot dog after every throw).
  8. Once you are done throwing your food, multiply the number of tosses by two and divide by the number of crosses. For example, if I threw 500 times, and it crossed 320 times, I would calculate 500 x 2 / 320. And, as if a miracle has occurred, you will have an approximation for pi! Now, don't you feel less stressed?


Tips

  • For those who are troubled by throwing perfectly good food, consider throwing sticks, dowels, bats, or a very stiff person. In fact, any item will do so long as it is long, thin, straight, and stiff.
  • If room is a concern, consider just drawing lines on a piece of paper and dropping toothpicks onto the paper from about three feet up. This definitely is not as refreshing as throwing food across the room, but it works.
  • The more the merrier! If two or three throw food together, you will get a better approximation faster because you will be able to get more throws in a shorter amount of time.
  • As long as you have your calculator, you could just press the "pi" key.
  • For the mathematically-inclined, this experiment is actually real! The proof and other details can be found at mathworld.wolfram.com: Buffon Needle Problem


Warnings

  • Remember that this is an experiment, so the idea is not to TRY and get the food to land on one of the lines. Just throw it randomly towards the lines. It should still land amongst them, but don't jinx the experiment by encouraging your dinner to land onto the tape.
  • Resist the temptation to use bananas. Not only are they not really straight, but they really won't last more than 50 throws before creating a big mess. Really.

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Colin Powell says it's a civil war, and says Bush should call it that in order to "come to terms with the reality on the ground."

Think Progress has the video.

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Jim Webb may be my new hero.
 
Here's why.


At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.


OUCH.

If the exchange with Bush two weeks ago is any indication, Webb won't be a wallflower, especially when it comes to the war in Iraq. And he won't stick to a script drafted by top Democrats.

"I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall," Webb said in an interview yesterday in which he confirmed the exchange between him and Bush. "No offense to the institution of the presidency, and I'm certainly looking forward to working with him and his administration. [But] leaders do some symbolic things to try to convey who they are and what the message is."


From a former boxer, former military officer and former Republican.

I think we actually have a fighter in the Senate.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Now Bush wants to know Maliki's plan.
 
Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush said he will press Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on what is needed for success in Iraq and that increased sectarian violence there is part of a pattern than began nine months ago, downplaying concern the country is in civil war.

``I will ask him what is required and what is your strategy to be a country that can govern itself and sustain itself,'' Bush said today at a news conference in Tallinn, Estonia.


"What's the Democrats' plan?" "What's Maliki's plan?"

Hey, moron, what's YOUR plan?

Why did you invade a country WITHOUT one? And now you want everybody else to tell you what to do about your own damned mess.

IRAQ is supposed to tell YOU what the plan is? Pardon me for mentioning it, but you invaded THEM.

And you had no idea what you were doing THEN, and you have no idea NOW.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

If history is embarrassing, rewrite history.
 
Remember "Mission Accomplished"? They don't want you to. The official video of the event on the White House webpage has the video cropped so that the banner over Bush's head that says "Mission Accomplished" is no longer visible.

Check out the video:


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Friday, November 24, 2006

Good God Almighty, this stuff ain't real.
 
While we were stoking the fear of Saddam Hussein's WMDs, Hussein was investigating the idea of having the Iraqis stock up on crossbows, slingshots, and Molotov Cocktails.

I'm not kidding.

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From an old copy of the Onion, just discovered by me:

Ünited Stätes Toughens Image With Umlauts

April 30, 1997 | Issue 31•16

WASHINGTON, DC—In a move designed to make the United States seem more "bad-assed and scary in a quasi-heavy-metal manner," Congress officially changed the nation's name to the Ünited Stätes of Ämerica Monday. "Much like Mötley Crüe and Motörhead, the Ünited Stätes is not to be messed with," said Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). An upcoming redesign of the Ämerican flag will feature the new name in burnished silver wrought in a jagged, gothic font and bolted to a black background. A new national anthem is also in the works by composer Glenn Danzig, tentatively titled "Howl Of The She-Demon."


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Remember, just a few weeks ago, when Bush claimed that the increase in violence in Iraq was due to them trying to influence our election?

Well, those silly insurgents apparently haven't been told that our election is over. They're STILL trying to influence our election.

Sectarian Attack Is Worst in Baghdad Since Invasion

BAGHDAD, Nov. 23 — In the deadliest sectarian attack in Baghdad since the American-led invasion, explosions from five powerful car bombs and a mortar shell tore through crowded intersections and marketplaces in the teeming Shiite district of Sadr City on Thursday afternoon, killing at least 144 people and wounding 206, the police said.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006


 

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving
 
Rube Goldberg goes bowling.


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Bush won't go to Bagdhad
 
Bush is going to meet with the Prime Minister of Iraq. But in Jordan. For God's sake, not in Bagdhad. It's not safe there.

The meeting between Bush and Maliki in the Jordanian capital Amman, a much safer venue than Baghdad, will follow a weekend visit to Iran by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and this week's landmark visit to Iraq by Syria's foreign minister.


Bagdhad. Green Zone. Surrounded by his own frigging army. And it's too dangerous for him to go.

Keep telling us how well everything is gooing over there.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Syria
 
Report: Syria to demand Golan as price for aiding U.S. on Iraq

AP - As Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem arrived in Baghdad for a landmark visit to Iraq on Sunday, Damascus was reportedly set to demand that Washington press Israel over the issue of return of the Golan Heights,as the price of its cooperation with the Bush administration on Iraq,


Is there ANYTHING that could make the United States look more pathetic and defeated in the eyes of world than asking SYRIA for help in Iraq? And having Syria demand the Golan Heights as a concession?

Bush thought that destabilizing Iraq would have no unforseen conquences.

Which makes him a negligent moron.

And this is the price paid.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Sorry, Charlie
 
Don't try and understand 'em:
Just rope 'em, throw and draft 'em.

Rangel wants the draft reinstated.

Now, I LIKE Charlie Rangel. I really do. I've voted for him. He's been around forever, he wins with 80% of the vote all the time because his contituents love him. Heck, I once performed in a spoof of the stupidity of Congress when Charlie was sitting in the audience (really).

But I don't even know where to START with all that I think is wrong with THIS move.

1) The Democrats just took the House. How stupid is it to make reinstating the DRAFT the first order of business? Not investigating the lies that led to Iraq. Not protecting Social Security. Not health care. Not fiscal responsibility. No, let's put all of that off, and make the draft priority number 1.

That isn't why people voted for Democrats. They voted for Democrats in order to wind down the war. Conscription is what you do when you are stepping it up, not winding it down.

2) Rangel wants to reinstate the draft to make a point. Well, pardon me for mentioning it, but that's a damned stupid reason to have a draft.

You don't completely up-end the lives of tens of thousands of citizens to make a point.

The only possible reason to have a draft is a dire emergency where there is no choice.

Frankly, I wonder if the draft shouldn't be retired forever and permanently. It's kind of hard to claim that "it's a free country" - and that you have "freedom from Government intrusion" - when the Government can order you to leave your home and spend years in a foreign country whether you like it or not, shooting people and getting shot at, entirely for the crime of being young and healthy.

But whether a draft can sometimes be justified or not, one thing's for sure: you don't do something like THAT to people just because you want to make a point.

3) And if Rangel actually thinks that a draft would balance the scales and make the sons and daughters of politicians and the societal elite serve just like the poor kids, he's living in fantasyland. Of COURSE it won't. It didn't during Vietnam, and it won't now.

Sorry, Charlie. Real, real dumb, Charlie.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Katie, Bar the doors.
 
There is a REAL LIBERAL in the Senate.

And he's an EX-MARINE who WORKED FOR REAGAN.

And he wrote the following in the Wall Street Journal.

The world has turned upside down.

Class Struggle

American workers have a chance to be heard.

BY JIM WEBB
Wednesday, November 15, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

The most important--and unfortunately the least debated--issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes.

Incestuous corporate boards regularly approve compensation packages for chief executives and others that are out of logic's range. As this newspaper has reported, the average CEO of a sizeable corporation makes more than $10 million a year, while the minimum wage for workers amounts to about $10,000 a year, and has not been raised in nearly a decade. When I graduated from college in the 1960s, the average CEO made 20 times what the average worker made. Today, that CEO makes 400 times as much.

In the age of globalization and outsourcing, and with a vast underground labor pool from illegal immigration, the average American worker is seeing a different life and a troubling future. Trickle-down economics didn't happen. Despite the vaunted all-time highs of the stock market, wages and salaries are at all-time lows as a percentage of the national wealth. At the same time, medical costs have risen 73% in the last six years alone. Half of that increase comes from wage-earners' pockets rather than from insurance, and 47 million Americans have no medical insurance at all.

Manufacturing jobs are disappearing. Many earned pension programs have collapsed in the wake of corporate "reorganization." And workers' ability to negotiate their futures has been eviscerated by the twin threats of modern corporate America: If they complain too loudly, their jobs might either be outsourced overseas or given to illegal immigrants.

This ever-widening divide is too often ignored or downplayed by its beneficiaries. A sense of entitlement has set in among elites, bordering on hubris. When I raised this issue with corporate leaders during the recent political campaign, I was met repeatedly with denials, and, from some, an overt lack of concern for those who are falling behind. A troubling arrogance is in the air among the nation's most fortunate. Some shrug off large-scale economic and social dislocations as the inevitable byproducts of the "rough road of capitalism." Others claim that it's the fault of the worker or the public education system, that the average American is simply not up to the international challenge, that our education system fails us, or that our workers have become spoiled by old notions of corporate paternalism.

Still others have gone so far as to argue that these divisions are the natural results of a competitive society. Furthermore, an unspoken insinuation seems to be inundating our national debate: Certain immigrant groups have the "right genetics" and thus are natural entrants to the "overclass," while others, as well as those who come from stock that has been here for 200 years and have not made it to the top, simply don't possess the necessary attributes.

Most Americans reject such notions. But the true challenge is for everyone to understand that the current economic divisions in society are harmful to our future. It should be the first order of business for the new Congress to begin addressing these divisions, and to work to bring true fairness back to economic life. Workers already understand this, as they see stagnant wages and disappearing jobs.

America's elites need to understand this reality in terms of their own self-interest. A recent survey in the Economist warned that globalization was affecting the U.S. differently than other "First World" nations, and that white-collar jobs were in as much danger as the blue-collar positions which have thus far been ravaged by outsourcing and illegal immigration. That survey then warned that "unless a solution is found to sluggish real wages and rising inequality, there is a serious risk of a protectionist backlash" in America that would take us away from what they view to be the "biggest economic stimulus in world history."

More troubling is this: If it remains unchecked, this bifurcation of opportunities and advantages along class lines has the potential to bring a period of political unrest. Up to now, most American workers have simply been worried about their job prospects. Once they understand that there are (and were) clear alternatives to the policies that have dislocated careers and altered futures, they will demand more accountability from the leaders who have failed to protect their interests. The "Wal-Marting" of cheap consumer products brought in from places like China, and the easy money from low-interest home mortgage refinancing, have softened the blows in recent years. But the balance point is tipping in both cases, away from the consumer and away from our national interest.

The politics of the Karl Rove era were designed to distract and divide the very people who would ordinarily be rebelling against the deterioration of their way of life. Working Americans have been repeatedly seduced at the polls by emotional issues such as the predictable mantra of "God, guns, gays, abortion and the flag" while their way of life shifted ineluctably beneath their feet. But this election cycle showed an electorate that intends to hold government leaders accountable for allowing every American a fair opportunity to succeed.

With this new Congress, and heading into an important presidential election in 2008, American workers have a chance to be heard in ways that have eluded them for more than a decade. Nothing is more important for the health of our society than to grant them the validity of their concerns. And our government leaders have no greater duty than to confront the growing unfairness in this age of globalization.

Mr. Webb is the Democratic senator-elect from Virginia.


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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Moral issues.
 
"I told my colleagues yesterday that the biggest ethical issue facing our country for the past three and a half years is the war in Iraq." - Nancy Pelosi


"The Biggest Ethical Issue."

I like that. It would have been even better if she said "moral issue," but "ethical issue" is good, too.

The Democrats for years and years have allowed the Republicans to use "morals" and "ethics" to exclusively refer to the stances of their party, and to exclusively refer to matters like sex.

Greed is not a moral issue. Healing the sick is not a moral issue. Alleviating poverty is not a moral issue. WAR is not a moral issue. What you do with your wee-wee is the beginning and end of morality, according to the Republican Party.

And the mainstream media goes along with that nonsense.

The media frame given our political discourse is that health-care, poverty, and war are NOT actually moral issues, when, of course, they are. The result is that the Democrats have come across for years and years as astonishingly passionless. A bunch of weak bureaucrats, sitting in a panelled room playing all sorts of esoteric, wonkish games. The Republicans, on the other hand, have used passion and emotion and heart to whip up actual fervor.

This process has been aided and abetted by the mainstream media, of course, but the Democrats haven't helped. The result has been that an issue like healthcare is viewed as an abstract conundrum, instead of the focus of the question being where it belongs: on actual sick and dying human beings. That would be treating it as a moral issue.

And that is part of the reason why the media were so shocked when Howard Dean yelled "YEAAARGH!" He broke the rules. He was a Democrat, and he actually had the nerve to exhibit actual excitement and passion. Republicans get over-the-top emotionally all the time, and the media don't bat an eye. Because it's part of the accepted media frame that Republicans are expected to be passionate. Democrats aren't.

But they were all wrong. That passion of Dean's is exactly what led to the recent election victories. And Speaker Pelosi's understanding that war IS a moral issue, poverty IS a moral issue, health care IS a moral issue is exactly the frame needed to bring passion and focus back to the left side of the political spectrum, and resurrect the concept of actual morality from the dead ossified sexual rules and regulations and phony Pharisaism masquerading as morality so beloved by the Republican Party.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Bush is truly deranged now.
 
"One of the most poignant moments of the drive in," he said at the Sheraton Hanoi, "was passing the lake where John McCain got pulled out of the lake. And he's a friend of ours; he suffered a lot as a result of his imprisonment, and yet, we passed the place where he was, literally, saved, in one way, by the people pulling him out." - TIME

Those people who pulled him out of the lake were enemy soldiers who took him prisoner and brutally tortured him.

Bush just gave them a compliment for "saving" him.

Is there ANYTHING this moron can say that would piss off the Republicans? If a Democrat said anything that dumb and vile, they'd be screaming "treason."


UPDATE: The Washington Post points out what McCain's autobiography says abut how he was "saved.":

In fact, according to McCain, who broke both arms and his right knee while ejecting from his A-4 Skyhawk, he was hauled out of the lake on two bamboo poles and beaten on the shore by an angry mob.

In his autobiography, "Faith of My Fathers," McCain wrote that the crowd, shouting wildly, stripped his clothes off, "spitting on me, kicking and striking me repeatedly." A woman, possibly a nurse, intervened, and a Vietnamese army truck arrived "to take me away from this group of aggrieved citizens who seemed intent on killing me," McCain wrote.

Bush went to Vietnam, and tried to spin this into something to feel GOOD about.

Unbelievable.

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Reid: Stop campaign fraud
 
Reid and Schumer are drafting legislation to make it illegal to lie and commit blatant fraud to win an election. If you remember, the Republicans had machines do robo-calls to people that SEEMED like they came from Democrats, and were designed to irritate and anger voters. Also, attempts at voter intimidation, and lying.

Salon:

Remember those abusive Republican robo-calls and the sample ballots that suggested -- falsely -- that Michael Steele is a Democrat? The soon-to-be Senate majority leader does, and he's prepared to do something about them.

In a breakfast meeting sponsored by the American Prospect, Harry Reid told reporters today that the calls and the phony campaign literature were "absolutely wrong," and that one of the first 10 bills he introduces in the next Senate will deal with such abuses. "We need to make these criminal penalties," Reid said, saying that civil liability was apparently not enough to deter what happened in the run-up to last week's election.




But the way, the "liberal" New York Times, still carrying water for the Republicans, characterizes lying, fraud, dirty tricks and intimidation as "negative campaign tactics." And they are clearly trying to downplay the severity of the Republicans' disgraceful behavior. Why would the liberal media do that?

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Majority Leader
 
Steny Hoyer is the new Majority Leader.

I want you to notice what's important about that: He's the MAJORITY Leader. As in "more of us than of them."

The Republicans, of course, are trying to make it sound as though the disagreement over whether Murtha or Hoyer should get the post was the Fight of the Century. "The Democrat are in disarray!" they bleat excitedly, not two weeks after getting their heads handed to them.

Disarray, my ass. There was a difference of opinion, Hoyer was chosen, he's the majority leader, and now we move forward. That's how grown-ups do things. Maybe not Republicans, but grown-ups.

Remember: Republicans will spin ANYthing the Democrats do into an excuse to attack. If the Democrats disagree with each other, they are "in disarray." If they AGREE with each other, then they are accused of not thinkng for themselves.

The current Republican party doesn't care about helping America - to them, it's all a dumb political game. So you might as well just completely ignore their incessant whining.

Strange, though. The Republicans JUST LOST, and they didn't take a breath before returning to the same childish foolishness which got them rejected in the first place.

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Reputation is everything.
 
Found in my email:

I am a crack dealer in Bradenton who has recently been diagnosed with HIV. My parents live in a suburb of Tampa and one of my sisters, who lives in Sarasota, is married to a transvestite. My father and mother have recently been arrested for growing and selling marijuana and are currently dependent on my other two sisters who are prostitutes in Miami.

I have two brothers. One is currently serving a non-parole life sentence at Stark for murder of a teenage boy in 1994. The other brother is currently being held in the Manatee County Jail on charges of neglecting his three children.

I have recently become engaged to marry a former Thai prostitute who lives in Jacksonville and, indeed, is still a part-time "working girl" in a brothel.

My problem is this: I love my fiance and look forward to bringing her into the family and of course I want to be totally honest with her.

Should I tell her about my uncle who voted for Bush?


Signed,
Worried About My Reputation

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Is it Civil War yet?
 
Yes, according to everyone but the reality-deniers-in-charge.

Bush's folly has endangered the entire Middle East.

Sectarian Strife in Iraq Imperils Entire Region, Analysts Warn

By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, November 16, 2006; Page A01

BAGHDAD -- While American commanders have suggested that civil war is possible in Iraq, many leaders, experts and ordinary people in Baghdad and around the Middle East say it is already underway, and that the real worry ahead is that the conflict will destroy the flimsy Iraqi state and draw in surrounding countries.

Whether the U.S. military departs Iraq sooner or later, the United States will be hard-pressed to leave behind a country that does not threaten U.S. interests and regional peace, according to U.S. and Arab analysts and political observers.

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Bush attacks Americans on Foreign Soil
 
In Asia, Bush takes on Democrats at home

SINGAPORE - From across the world, President Bush took on anti-war and anti-free trade Democrats who won control of Congress, saying Thursday any drift toward isolationism would hinder America's security and economic vitality.

"We hear voices calling for us to retreat from the world and close our doors to its opportunities," he said in a speech at the National University of Singapore. "These are the old temptations of isolationism and protectionism, and America must reject them."


My, my. Aren't we told by the right-wingers - including Bush's father - that it's a the Crime of the Century to criticize America on Foreign Soil (said with appropriate music playing in the background, of course)?

And I love "isolationist." Apparently, Bush thinks not wanting to nation-build and start foreign wars for no good reason is the same thing as being an isolationist.

And when are this guy's supporters - who, unlike Democrats, often actually ARE isolationists - going to realize that George W. Bush is the biggest globalist and internationalist we've ever had as President? The man is only American as an accident of birth.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Helmet Head Returns
 
Heh.

Trent Lott Wins Back Leadership Slot

WASHINGTON -- Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, ousted from the top Senate Republican leadership job four years ago because of remarks considered racially insensitive, won election to the chamber's No. 2 GOP post Wednesday.


What a GREAT WAY to signal to America that you are changing direction: recycle your old leadership.

What did they do? Hold a caucus to determine what would be the single stupidest move?

It pisses off the base. It gives giant ammo to the Democrats. It cements their
image as a pack of racists. It pleases NOBODY, except (I guess) Trent Lott.

Mitch McConnell and Trent Lott. Nothing says "Stuck on Stupid" like it.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Don't forget the levees
 
Ashley Morris puts it VERY succintly.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

A Democrat's best friend
 
George W. Bush.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that President Bush may have been the deciding factor that killed the GOP's momentum in some key Senate races over the last week. One Republican consultant is convinced that Bush's last-minute visit to Missouri on behalf of ousted GOP Sen. Jim Talent did the incumbent in. According to the network exit polls, Democrat Claire McCaskill crushed Talent among those late-breaking voters who decided in the final three days (a full 11 percent of the electorate). Bush also made a last-minute trip to Montana, where anecdotal evidence indicates the president's rally for Republican Conrad Burns stopped the incumbent's momentum in Billings.

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Liberal Madia
 
Some clown send death threats and white powder to Nancy Pelosi, Jon Stewart, David Letterman, Chuck Schumer and Keith Olbermann.

The article doesn't mention that every single one of them - whether politician, pundit or entertainer - is known to be very critical of George W. Bush.

An oversight, I'm sure.

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Bush meets with Demcrats
 
The president, along with Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser chief Stephen Hadley, will meet Monday with a bipartisan panel studying the war in Iraq. - AP


But, wait a minute. I thought those Democrats were all traitors. Are you telling me that our President is meeting with traitors?

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

A tribute to 12 years of Republican Majority
 

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Armistice Day
 
May this one finally BE the War to End All Wars.


Porkypine: "Y'know, it seems to me this is all backwards... We, ever'body, ought to keep our big mouths shut all the whole year long so's we'd have time to think of two minutes' worth of somethin' to say on the eleventh day of November."

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Maureen Dowd
 
MoDo got the mojo.


Drapes of Wrath
By MAUREEN DOWD

The new Democratic sweep conjures up an ancient image: Furies swooping down to punish bullies.

Angry winged goddesses with dog heads, serpent hair and blood eyes, unmoved by tears, prayer, sacrifice or nasty campaign ads, avenging offenses by insolent transgressors.

This will be known as the year macho politics failed — mainly because it was macho politics by marshmallow men. Voters were sick of phony swaggering, blustering and bellicosity, absent competency and accountability. They were ready to trade in the deadbeat Daddy party for the sheltering Mommy party.

All the conservative sneering about a fem-lib from San Francisco who was measuring the drapes for the speaker’s office didn’t work. Americans wanted new drapes, and an Armani granny with a whip in charge.

A recent study found that the testosterone of American men has been dropping for 20 years, but in Republican Washington, it was running amok, and not in a good way. Men who had refused to go to an untenable war themselves were now refusing to find an end to another untenable war that they had recklessly started.

Republicans were oddly oblivious to the fact that they had turned into a Thomas Nast cartoon: an unappetizing tableau of bloated, corrupt, dissembling, feckless white hacks who were leaving kids unprotected. Tom DeLay and Bob Ney sneaking out of Congress with dollar bills flying out of their pockets. Denny Hastert playing Cardinal Bernard Law, shielding Mark Foley. Rummy, cocky and obtuse as he presided over an imploding Iraq, while failing to give young men and women in the military the armor, support and strategy they needed to come home safely. Dick Cheney, vowing bullheadedly to move “full speed ahead” on Iraq no matter what the voters decided. W. frantically yelling about how Democrats would let the terrorists win, when his lame-brained policies had spawned more terrorists.

After 9/11, Americans had responded to bellicosity, drawn to the image, as old as the Western frontier myth, of the strong father protecting the home from invaders. But this time, many voters, especially women, rejected the rough Rovian scare and divide tactics.

The macho poses and tough talk of the cowboy president were undercut when he seemed flaccid in the face of the vicious Katrina and the vicious Iraq insurgency.

Even former members of the administration conceded they were tired of the muscle-bound style, longing for a more maternal approach to the globe. “We were exporting our anger and our fear, hatred for what had happened,” Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, said in a speech in Australia, referring to the 9/11 attacks. He said America needed “to turn another face to the world and get back to more traditional things, such as the export of hope and opportunity and inspiration.”

Talking about hope and opportunity and inspiration has propelled Barack Obama into the presidential arena. His approach seems downright feminine when compared with the Bushies, or even Hillary Clinton. He languidly poses in fashion magazines, shares feelings with Oprah and dishes with the ladies on “The View.” After six years of chest-puffing, Senator Obama seems very soothing.

Because of the power of female consumers, some marketing experts predict we will end up a matriarchy. This year, women also flexed their muscle at the polls, transformed into electoral Furies by the administration’s stubborn course in Iraq.

On Tuesday, 51 percent of the voters were women, and 55 percent of women voted for the Democratic candidate. It was a revival of the style of Bill Clinton, dubbed our first female president, who knitted together a winning coalition of independents, moderates and suburbanites.

According to The Times’s exit polls, women were more likely than men to want some or all of the troops to be withdrawn from Iraq now, and 64 percent of women said that the war in Iraq has not improved U.S. security.

The Senate has a new high of 16 women and the House has a new high of at least 70, with a few races outstanding. Hillary’s big win will strengthen her presidential tentacles.

Nancy Pelosi, who will be the first female speaker, softened her voice and look as she cracked the whip on her undisciplined party, taking care not to sound shrill. When she needs to, though, she says she can use her “mother-of-five voice.”

At least for the moment, W. isn’t blustering and Cheney has lost his tubby swagger. The president is trying to ride the Mommy vibe. He even offered Madame Speaker help with those new drapes.

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"Donald Rumsfeld , the fellow once hailed as a matinee idol for older women who watch C-SPAN, bungled every major decision in the war: how many troops to send (not enough); whether or not to dissolve the Iraqi army (he did); whether or not to mount an extensive de-Baathification campaign (he did); how to respond to the looting and the incipient insurgency in the weeks and months after the invasion (not expeditiously). Of course, Rumsfeld was wrong on the WMD question, and he was wrong to declare before the invasion that the war would last less than six months. His Pentagon was a home to neoconservative war advocates who cherry-picked intelligence data and factoids to craft the false case that Saddam Hussein was in league with al Qaeda. In the years after the invasion, Rumsfeld routinely and falsely claimed the Pentagon was making significant progress in training Iraqi security forces. Looking at his management of the war, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that a local weatherman using a Magic Eight Ball could have done better."

David Corn

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If you think YOU'RE relieved...
 
Iraqis cheer Rumsfeld departure
09/11/2006 12:45 - (SA)

Baghdad - Iraqis on Thursday cheered the resignation of US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, blaming him for policy failures and scandals they say helped spawn the daily sectarian carnage wracking their nation.

"Rumsfeld's resignation shows the scale of the mess the US has made in Iraq," said Ibrahim Ali, 44, who works at the oil ministry. "The efforts by American politicians to hide their failure are no longer working."

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Friday, November 10, 2006

What were they thinking?
 
Ok, hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but when I think about the way things have been done by the Republicans in the last couple of years, I can't imagine what they were thinking, or WHY they thought it was a good idea.

For two years, they have been accusing everyone who was against the war, or didn't like Bush, of little things like treason.

Did they think that they could accuse people of treason, and still get their votes?

Did they think that it was a good idea to accuse New Yorkers of supporting the scum that flew jumbo jets into the World Trade Center, devastated their city and killed their friends? Didn't they realize that that would make the people so accused completely FURIOUS?

And when every single survey showed that Americans were sick of the Iraqi war, why didn't the Republicans actually try and figure out if maybe there was a REAL REASON for that? Instead, the response was to just call all of those people the filtheist names, and accuse them all of being TRAITORS and supporters of terrorists.

Did they not realize that in the last two years they were saying that about the majority of Americans?

And the idiots in Congress - what were they thinking?

Why would you rubberstamp every whim of a President with a 38% approval rating? Why would you think that that was a good idea? And why would you then expect the 60% who don't like him to vote for you?

"I don't like what Bush is trying to do."

"Well, as long as I'm in office, he can do anything he wants, traitor. Now vote for me."

Idiots.

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Bitch-slapped twice
 
Lame Duck Senate Won't Approve Bolton

(CBS/AP) John Bolton's prospects for staying on as U.N. ambassador essentially died Thursday as Democrats and a pivotal Republican said they would continue to oppose his nomination during this year's lame-duck session of Congress.

Lincoln Chafee, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters that he did not believe Bolton's nomination would move forward without his support.

"The American people have spoken out against the president's agenda on a number of fronts, and presumably one of those is on foreign policy," the Rhode Island moderate told The Associated Press.

"And at this late stage in my term, I'm not going to endorse something the American people have spoke out against."


It DOES tell you something about Bush, though, that the first thing he does after being bitch-slapped by the American People is play MORE games and try and ram through something ELSE that they don't like.

This is the sort of crap that caused the Republicans to lose Tuesday.

And Thursday, Bush tries more of the same.

Chafee gets it.

Bush, however, is apparently incapable of learning.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006


 

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Rummy to be charged with war crimes?
 
The president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, is heading to Germany today to file a new case charging outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with war crimes for authorizing torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Would Rumsfeld stepping down leave him open to prosecution? In 2004, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a criminal complaint in Germany on behalf of several Iraqi citizens who alleged that a group of U.S. officials committed war crimes in Iraq. Rumsfeld was among the officials named in the complaint. The Iraqis claimed they were victims of electric shock, severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation and sexual abuse.

Here's the interview with the guy who is filing the complaint.

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You KNEW Bush wouldn't stop
 
Bush is trying to ram Bolton's nomination through before the Republicans become the Minority in January.


White House resubmits Bolton nomination
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Congressional source says the White House has re-submitted the nomination of UN Ambassador John Bolton to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in an effort to get it considered during the lame duck session.
--CNN Correspondent Andrea Koppel


You didn't think the asshole would actually listen to America, did you?

Now is the time to filibuster. What can they do about it?

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Allen conceded. It's official. Democrats control the Senate.

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Memory Hole II
 

At 10 am this morning, the Stock Market started a little down. The AP said:


"Stocks Fall on Election Results ~ Stocks Fall After Democratic Congressional Wins"


With a little gloating copy, anti-Democrat copy:

Wall Street retreated Wednesday after Democrats scored a huge victory in congressional elections, raising questions about how sympathetic the federal government will be toward business.

Investors had largely expected Democrats to win control of the House of Representatives for the first time in a dozen years, but still undecided Senate races in Montana and Virginia that left the leadership of that house unclear created the type of uncertainty investors dislike.

Then, later in the morning, the thing turns around, and the SAME LINK says:


"Stocks rise after Democratic election wins ~ Wall Street welcomes big Democratic victory; Dow hits a new high"

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Fox News: Down the Memory Hole
 
The Ultra-Right-Wing-Loonie Forum, Free Republic, has an article posted from Fox News:

Rumsfeld Has No Plans to Step Down, Despite Democrat Gains, Official Says


But when you click the accompanying link, you get an article that says:

Donald Rumsfeld Resigning as Defense Secretary


Obviously, a Bush administration official lied to Fox News, and Fox covered up for them by simply scrubbing the original article when the lie became known.

Nice.

Did Pravda use "Fair and Balanced" as a slogan, too?

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The Associated Press just called Virginia for Webb.

That's 51 Senators, and a Democratic majority in both houses.

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From Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran of America
 

IAVA today released the following statement from Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff in response to the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:


"This is welcome news for our troops and veterans who have been paying the price for Secretary Rumsfeld's failures," said Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq War veteran and the executive director of IAVA.

"The replacement of Donald Rumsfeld is one step down the very long road to correct the mistakes made in Iraq over the past three years."

Click here to view the full statement on the IAVA website.


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Help! I'm lying and I can't shut up
 
REPORTER: Last week you told us Secretary Rumsfeld would be staying on. Why is the timing right now, and how much does it have to do with the election results?

BUSH: You and Hunt and Keil came into the Oval Office and asked me to question one week before the campaign. Basically, are you going to do something about Rumsfeld and the Vice President? The reason why is I did not want to make a major decision in the final days of the campaign. The only way to answer that question, and get it on to another question, was to give you that answer. The truth of the matter is as well, that is one reason I gave the answer. The other reason why is I had not had a chance to visit with Bob Gates yet. I had not had my final conversation with Don Rumsfeld yet at that point. I had been talking with Don Rumsfeld over a period of time about fresh perspectives. He likes to call it fresh eyes.


So, in other words, when Bush swore that Rumsfeld was staying, he was already planning to replace him.

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And they just called Montana for the Democrats. That's 50. Virginia looks Democratic, too. If so, that's 51, plus Leibermann.

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Rumsfeld Resigns
 
Here.

Gee, didn't Bush JUST SAY that Rummy was doing a fantastic job, and was going to stay until Bush left office? I wonder what HAPPENED to change that?

At the risk of sounding like a sore winner - GOOD FUCKING RIDDANCE.

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The spread of Democracy
 
The lame duck in the White House has talked a lot in the last few years of spreading Democracy in the Middle East.

He has tried to suppress it here while talking about spreading it over there. Unfortunately, what he's been spreading isn't Democracy.

But you know what just MIGHT actually help spread Democracy in the Middle East?

Last night's election.

Maybe - just MAYBE - Iraqis were taking note of how Americans can change the direction of the country, let their voice be heard, and stop a dictatorial wannabe in his tracks - without war, without suicide bombings, without gunfire, without killing.

Americans' most potent weapons have always been freedom of speech, press, assembly and religion. And a system of LAWS (the one thing that Bush hates more than anything) which guarantees those rights, which guarantees that our voice must be heard, our will obeyed, and which declares that WE are the PRESIDENT'S boss - not the other way around.

Maybe THIS time, that declaration was actually loud enough to hear.

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50-state Strategy
 
We won in Kansas. Indiana. New Hampshire. North Carolina. Iowa. Florida. Kentucky.

Now, can the DLC stop claiming that it's stupid for Democrats to actually campaign in all 50 states?

Howard Dean was right. Right, right, right.

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The day after Election Day, and my stinking boss wants me to work.

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One word for Howard Dean:
 
"YYYYEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Good job, dude. You were right, and now everyone knows it.

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Ken Mehlman: "I'm confident we're going to maintain our majorities in the House and the Senate."

Karl Rove: "I'm confident we're going to keep the Senate; I'm confident we're going to keep the House."

Dick Cheney: "We will retain control of both houses."

George W. Bush:
"If I thought we were going to lose, would I tell you. We're not going to lose, in my heart of hearts."

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006


 
O beautiful! for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful! for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful! for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful! for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

- Katherine Lee Bates


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Well!
 
I was VERY pessimistic this time. I really thought that all of the projections were going to be wrong, and I was going to be disappointed AGAIN.

LORD, it's nice to be wrong. As of this writing, the Democrats have taken the House, and the Senate is still an open question. But they have 3 Senate seats so far and need six.

Watch for the right-wingers to spin this as "not as much of a sweep as it should have been."

Just let Speaker Pelosi know when she measures for the drapes.

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Remember - this isn't an election, it's an intervention.

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Seven reasons to vote today
 

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This is a public service from Thinkprogress (although I found it on archy):


109 reasons to dump the 109th Congress

1. Congress set a record for the fewest number of days worked — 218 between the House and Senate combined. [Link]

2. The Senate voted down a measure that urged the administration to start a phased redeployment of U.S. forces out of Iraq by the end of 2006. [Link]

3. Congress failed to raise the minimum wage, leaving it at its lowest inflation-adjusted level since 1955. [Link]

4. Congress gave itself a two percent pay raise. [Link]

5. There were 15,832 earmarks totaling $71 billion in 2006. (In 1994, there were 4,155 earmarks totaling $29 billion.) [Link]

6. Congress turned the tragic Terri Schiavo affair into a national spectacle because, according to one memo, it was “a great political issue” that got “the pro-life base…excited.” [Link]

7. The chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works thinks global warming is the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” [Link]

8. The House leadership held open a vote for 50 minutes to twist arms and pass a bill that helped line the pockets of energy company executives. [Link]

9. Congress fired the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, the lone effective federal watchdog for Iraq spending, effective Oct. 1, 2007. [Link]

10. The Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee thinks the Internet is “a series of tubes.” [Link]

11. Congress established the pay-to-play K Street corruption system which rewarded lobbyists who made campaign contributions in return for political favors doled out by conservatives. [Link]

12. The lobbying reform bill Congress passed was a total sham. [Link]

13. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) shamefully attacked Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) on the House floor, telling him that “cowards cut and run, Marines never do.” [Link]

14. Congress passed budgets that resulted in deficits of $318 billion and $250 billion. [Link]

15. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said Donald Rumsfeld “is the best thing that’s happened to the Pentagon in 25 years.” [Link]

16. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) baselessly announced that “we have found the WMD in Iraq.” [Link]

17. Congress passed a special-interest, corporate-friendly Central American trade deal (CAFTA) after holding the vote open for one hour and 45 minutes to switch the vote of Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC). [Link]

18. Senate conservatives threatened to use the “nuclear option” to block members of the Senate from filibustering President Bush’s judicial nominees. [Link]

19. Congress stuck in $750 million in appropriations bills “for projects championed by lobbyists whose relatives were involved in writing the spending bills.” [Link]

20. The typical Congressional work week is late Tuesday to noon on Thursday. [Link]

21. Congress has issued zero subpoenas to the Bush administration. [Link]

22. Congress eliminated the Perkins college loan program and cut Pell Grants by $4.6 billion. [Link]

23. Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA) paid $500,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that he stranged his 29-year-old mistress. [Link]

24. Congress decreased the number of cops on the streets by cutting nearly $300 million in funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. [Link]

25. In a debate last year over the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee abruptly cut off the microphones when Democrats began discussing the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. [Link]

26. Just two out of 11 spending bills have made it out of Congress this year. [Link]

27. 1,502 U.S. troops have died in Iraq since Congress convened. [Link]

28. The House Ethics Committee is “broken,” according to the Justice Department. [Link]

29. The FBI continues to investigate Rep. Curt Weldon’s (R-PA) willingness to trade his political influence for lucrative lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter. [Link]

30. Congress failed to protect 58.5 million acres of roadless areas to logging and road building by repealing the Roadless Rule. [Link]

31. Congress spent weeks debating a repeal of the estate tax (aka the Paris Hilton Tax), which affects a miniscule fraction of the wealthiest Americans. [Link]

32. The percentage of Americans without health insurance hit a record-high, as Congress did nothing to address the health care crisis. [Link]

33. Both the House and Senate voted to open up our coasts to more oil drilling, “by far the slowest, dirtiest, most expensive way to meet our energy needs.” [Link]

34. Congress stripped detainees of the right of habeas corpus. [Link]

35. The House fell 51 votes short of overriding President Bush’s veto on expanding federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. [Link]

36. Only 16 percent of Americans think Congress is doing a good job. [Link]

37. Congress confirmed far-right activist Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. [Link]

38. Congress spent days debating a constitutional amendment that would criminalize desecration of the U.S. flag, the first time in 214 years that the Bill of Rights would have been restricted by a constitutional amendment. [Link]

39. Congress raised the debt limit by $800 billion, to $9 trillion. [Link]

40. Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC) earmarked $11.4 million for a highway to increase the property values in a rural area where he owned land. [Link]

41. Congress passed an energy bill that showered $6 billion in subsidies on polluting oil and gas firms while doing little to curb energy demand or invest in renewable energy industries. [Link]

42. Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) used his seat on the House Appropriations Committee to steer earmarks towards to one of his closest friends and major campaign contributor. [Link]

43. Congress passed a strict bankruptcy bill making it harder for average people to recover from financial misfortune by declaring bankruptcy, even if they are victims of identity theft, suffering from debilitating illness, or serving in the military. [Link]

44. The House passed a bill through committee that that would “essentially replace” the 1973 Endangered Species Act with something “far friendlier to mining, lumber and other big extraction interests that find the original act annoying.” [Link]

45. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) earmarked funds to increase the property value of lands that he later sold for a profit. [Link]

46. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) distributed a memo urging colleagues to exploit 9/11 to defend Bush’s Iraq policy. [Link]

47. Congress repeatedly failed to pass port security provisions that would require 100 percent scanning of containers bound for the United States. [Link]

48. Ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) declared an “ongoing victory” in his effort to cut spending, and said “there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.” [Link]

49. Congress allowed Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) stay in Congress for a month after pleading guilty in the Jack Abramoff investigation. [Link]

50. Congress didn’t investigate Tom DeLay and let him stay in Congress as long as he wanted. [Link]

51. The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the Senate Majority Leader’s sale of HCA stock a month before its value fell by nine percent. [Link]

52. Congressional conservatives pressured the Director of National Intelligence to make public documents found in Iraq that included instructions to build a nuclear bomb. [Link]

53. Conservatives repeatedly tried to privatize Social Security, a change that would lead to sharp cuts in guaranteed benefits. [Link]

54. Congress is trying to destroy net neutrality. [Link]

55. Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) accepted contributions from disgraced lobbyist Mitchell Wade and MZM, Inc., her largest campaign contributor, in return for a defense earmark. [Link]

56. Former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA) was sentenced to eight years federal prison for taking $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for lucrative defense contracts, among other crimes. [Link]

57. Congress passed a $286 billion highway bill in 2005 stuffed with 6,000 pork projects. [Link]

58. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) abused his power and suspended a Democratic staffer in an act of retribution. [Link]

59. Congress failed to offer legal protections to states that divest from the Sudan. [Link]

60. The Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) tried to earmark $223 million to build a bridge to nowhere. [Link]

61. Congress spent days debating an anti-gay constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. [Link]

62. Congress isn’t doing anything significant to reverse catastrophic climate change. [Link]

63. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) secured a federal earmark to increase the property value of his land and reap at least $1.5 million in profits. [Link]

64. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) used a video tape “diagnosis” to declare that Terri Schiavo, who was later found to be blind, “certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli.” [Link]

65. Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned in disgrace after ABC News revealed explicit instant messages exchanges between Foley and former congressional pages. [Link]

66. Half of all Americans believe most members of Congress are corrupt. [Link]

67. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) said that gay marriage “is the most important issue that we face today.” [Link]

68. The House voted against issuing a subpoena seeking all reconstruction contract communications between Cheney’s office and Halliburton. [Link]

69. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) told a Virginia-based volunteer firefighting team they had done a “piss-poor job” in fighting wildfires in Montana. [Link]

70. The House voted against amendments prohibiting monopoly contracts and requiring congressional notification for Department of Defense contracts worth more than $1 million. [Link]

71. Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform. [Link]

72. During a floor debate on embryonic stem cell research, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) held up a picture of an embryo drawn by a 7-year-old girl. Brownback explained that one of the embryos in the picture was asking, “Are you going to kill me?” [Link]

73. Sen. George Allen (R-VA) used the slur “macaca” to describe an opposing campaign staffer of Indian descent, and has been repeatedly accused by former associates of using racial epithets to refer to African-Americans. [Link]

74. Congress refused to swear in oil executives testifying about high prices. [Link]

75. Against congressional rules, ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) accepted expensive foreign trips funded by Jack Abramoff. [Link]

76. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) went on the House floor to unveil a fence that he “designed” for the southern border. King constructed a model of the fence as he said, “We do this with livestock all the time.” [Link]

77. Ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) threatened the judges who ruled in the Terri Schiavo case, saying the “time will come” for them “to answer for their behavior.” [Link]

78. Congressional conservatives wanted to investigate Sandy Berger, but not the Iraq war. [Link]

79. Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) engaged in crooked land deals with campaign donors. [Link]

80. Not a single non-appropriations bill was open to amendment in the second session of the Congress. [Link]

81. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) claimed that supporters of Bush’s Iraq policy “show the same steely resolve” as did the passengers on United 93. [Link]

82. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) appeared with prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying opponents of Bush’s judicial nominees as “against people of faith.” [Link]

83. Under the guise of “tort reform,” Congress passed legislation that would “undermine incentives for safety” and make it “harder for some patients with legitimate but difficult claims to find legal representation.” [Link]

84. Despite multiple accidents in West Virginia and elsewhere, Congress passed legislation that failed to adequately protect mine workers. [Link]

85. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) said “if you earn $40,000 a year and have a family of two children, you don’t pay any taxes,” even though it isn’t true. [Link]

86. Monthly Medicare Part B premiums have almost doubled since 2000, from $45.50 in 2000 to $88.50 in 2006. [Link]

87. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) inserted a provision in the Defense Appropriations bill that granted vaccine manufactures near-total immunity for injuries or deaths, even in cases of “gross negligence.” [Link]

88. Congress appropriated $700 million for a “railroad to nowhere, but just $173 million to stop the genocide in Darfur. [Link]

89. Congress included a $500 million giveaway to defense giant Northup Grumman in a bill that was supposed to provide “emergency” funding for Iraq, even though the Navy opposed the payment. [Link]

90. Ex-Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), who has since pled guilty to talking bribes, was put it charge briefing new lawmakers “on congressional ethics.” [Link]

91. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) can’t tell the difference between the Voting Rights Act and the Stamp Act. [Link]

92. Three days before Veterans Day — House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Steve Buyer (R-IN) announced that for the first time in at least 55 years, “veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees.” [Link]

93. Members were caught pimping out their offices with $5,700 plasma-screen televisions, $823 ionic air fresheners, $975 window blinds, and $623 popcorn machines. [Link]

94. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) skipped a vote on Katrina relief to attend a fundraiser. [Link]

95. Congress made toughening horse slaughtering rules the centerpiece of its agenda after returning from summer recess this year. [Link]

96. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wants to send 20,000 more troops into the middle of a civil war in Iraq. [Link]

97. Katrina victims were forced to take out ad space to “plead[] with Congress to pay for stronger levees.” [Link]

98. Congress passed the REAL ID Act, “a national ID law that will drive immigrants underground, while imposing massive new burdens on everyone else.” [Link]

99. Congress extended tax cuts that provided an average of $20 relief but an average of nearly $42,000 to those earning over $1 million a year. [Link]

100. Congress received a “dismal” report card from the 9/11 Commission — five F’s, 12 D’s, nine C’s, and only one A-minus — for failing to enact the commission’s recommendations. [Link]

101. Congress won’t let the government negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs for people on Medicare. [Link]

102. Congress has left America’s chemical plants vulnerable to terrorist attack. [Link]

103. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) “threw the senatorial version of a hissy fit” when he threatened to resign unless the Senate approved funding for his bridge to nowhere. [Link]

104. Congress didn’t simplify the tax code. [Link]

105. Seventy-five percent voters can’t name one thing Congress has accomplished. [Link]

106. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), has “raised campaign contributions at a rate of about $10,000 a day since February, surpassing the pace set by former Representative Tom DeLay.” [Link]

107. Congress failed to ensure Government Accountability Office oversight of Hurricane Katrina relief funds, resulting in high levels of waste, fraud, and abuse. [Link]

108. When a reporter asked Rep. Don Young (R-AK) if he would redirect spending on his bridge projects to Katrina victim housing, Young said, “They can kiss my ear!” [Link]

109. There were just 12 hours of hearings on Abu Ghraib. (There were more than 100 hours of hearings on alleged misuse of the Clinton Christmas card list.) [Link]


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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Daily Show: Final word on a botched joke.
 

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Neocons: It's BUSH'S fault
 
The idiotic right-wing academics who call themselves "neocons," and had all these dumbass theories for changing the world on paper, despite having no actual experience in the real world, being a pack of sheltered ivory-tower nerds, are now blaming Bush for the results of their moronic pipe-dreams.

Not that it ISN"T his fault. It's ALL of their faults.

Vanity Fair has an article (nicely titled "Neo Culpa" - wish I'd thought of that) about it.

Some nuggets:

Richard Perle: "The decisions did not get made that should have been. They didn't get made in a timely fashion, and the differences were argued out endlessly.… At the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible.… I don't think he realized the extent of the opposition within his own administration, and the disloyalty."

Kenneth Adelman, a lifelong neocon activist and Pentagon insider who served on the Defense Policy Board until 2005.: "I just presumed that what I considered to be the most competent national-security team since Truman was indeed going to be competent. They turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the post-war era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional." -

"The most dispiriting and awful moment of the whole administration was the day that Bush gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to [former C.I.A. director] George Tenet, General Tommy Franks, and [Coalition Provisional Authority chief] Jerry [Paul] Bremer—three of the most incompetent people who've ever served in such key spots. And they get the highest civilian honor a president can bestow on anyone! That was the day I checked out of this administration. It was then I thought, There's no seriousness here, these are not serious people. If he had been serious, the president would have realized that those three are each directly responsible for the disaster of Iraq."

David Frum, the speechwriter who wrote Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech: "I always believed as a speechwriter that if you could persuade the president to commit himself to certain words, he would feel himself committed to the ideas that underlay those words. And the big shock to me has been that although the president said the words, he just did not absorb the ideas. And that is the root of, maybe, everything."


And look at that last quote from the speechwriter and think of what it says about the Bush White House. David Frum is a speechwriter, and he apparently thought that he was supposed to be the source of Bush's IDEAS. Not the words, the actual IDEAS. A speechwriter.

And he could only have gotten that impression from the White House itself, which must have given him the impression that the ideas of governance were NOT to come from Bush, but from the P.R. men.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Military Times: Rumsfeld must GO
 
The Military Times, in all four of its newspapers (Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times), will have an editorial in all four Monday Editions demanding that Bush FIRE RUMSFELD.

Here is the text:

Time for Rumsfeld to go

"So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth."

That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.

But until recently, the "hard bruising" truth about the Iraq war has been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington. One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "mission accomplished," the insurgency is "in its last throes," and "back off," we know what we're doing, are a few choice examples.

Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines, inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.

Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war's planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.

Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee in September: "I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I've seen it ... and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war."

Last week, someone leaked to The New York Times a Central Command briefing slide showing an assessment that the civil conflict in Iraq now borders on "critical" and has been sliding toward "chaos" for most of the past year. The strategy in Iraq has been to train an Iraqi army and police force that could gradually take over for U.S. troops in providing for the security of their new government and their nation.

But despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a force for national unity has become a losing proposition.

For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don't show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves.

Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.

And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.

Now, the president says he'll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.

This is a mistake.

It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.

These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.

And although that tradition, and the officers' deep sense of honor, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.

Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.

This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:

Donald Rumsfeld must go.

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Haggard and all used up
 

Amazing how fast stuff just explodes, isn't it?

Yesterday, this story was only in the blogosphere. Today, it's all over television.

Of course, yesterday it seemed like it might well be just one more accusation, and Haggard was denying it.

<>Today, he admitted that some of it was true.

Thursday morning, Mike Jones went on a Denver radio talk show and said Pastor Haggard paid him for sex over the past 3 years. Jones also claims Haggard did drugs with him. Pastor Parsley says Haggard admitted that some of the allegations are true, but not all of them. The church is not saying what Haggard admitted to.

This guy is a huge figure in the evangelical world, and a major, virulent, gay-basher.

Here's the transcript of the recordings that Jones has released.

Here's a shot from digby:

I think we may be at a point at which it would be easier to assume that all the most virulent gay marriage opponents and staunch family values conservatives are in the closet. Then we can get past all this ridiculous posturing and deal with their true issues. As it is they are all playing them out in destructive, sublimated fashion in politics and it's hurting a lot of people.

Come out. Join the Log Cabin Republicans or dress in drag, we don't care. Really. You'll feel better and a grateful nation will appreciate it.



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