Monday, December 31, 2007

"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power." - Franklin Roosevelt

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Admit it: you woke up this morning and went, "Huh? Pakistan? Bhutto? Ummm....I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies, Miss Scarlet."

Well, here's a handy-dandy primer, courtesy of Juan Cole.

The NYT reported that US Secretary of State Condi Rice tried to fix Musharraf's subsequent dwindling legitimacy by arranging for Benazir to return to Pakistan to run for prime minister, with Musharraf agreeing to resign from the military and become a civilian president. When the supreme court seemed likely to interfere with his remaining president, he arrested the justices, dismissed them, and replaced them with more pliant jurists. This move threatened to scuttle the Rice Plan, since Benazir now faced the prospect of serving a dictator as his grand vizier, rather than being a proper prime minister.

With Benazir's assassination, the Rice Plan is in tatters and Bush administration policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan is tottering

This is pretty much a disaster for both Bush and Musharraf. And probably for everyone else.

The last thing Musharraf wants is for Bhutto to be a martyr.

And Bhutto was touted by the Bush administration as the one who would deliver democracy, despite the fact that she didn't have popular support. The saviour. That now looks like a really bad move, and another foreign policy blunder.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What a man.

What is it with Republicans that they have to go through these weird macho rituals to prove themselves to Republican voters? Republican voters must be godawful insecure to need a daddy so badly.

Huckabee Aims To Show He's A Real Hunter

You know, I'm not against hunting at ALL - I'm far too carnivorous, and it would make me a raging hypocrite. But this guy killed three pheasants just to show how MANLY he was?

That's really sickening.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

This could be fun

Jose Rodriguez, the CIA chief who ordered the destruction of the torture tapes is seeking immunity in exchange for testimony.

Guess he doesn't want to be the White House fall guy.

CBS - A former CIA official is expected to seek immunity when testifying before a House committee investigating the destruction of videotapes recording CIA interrogation sessions, reportedly to implicate the White House in the tapes' destruction, according to intelligence sources quoted in a London newspaper.

Same old stuff

They ignore everybody's warning.

Bad shit happens.

They pretend that it was impossible to foresee, when they were the only ones who failed to.

WASHINGTON POST - The U.S. government disregarded numerous warnings over the past two years about the risks of using Blackwater Worldwide and other private security firms in Iraq, expanding their presence even after a series of shooting incidents showed that the firms were operating with little regulation or oversight, according to government officials, private security firms and documents.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Right-wingers heads explode

Moveon - pack of America-hating commies that they are - raised 275,000 in the last 24 hours to get American soldiers calling cards.

"A lot of our members are veterans or military families, so the war affects them personally," Pariser said in a phone interview with Politico. "We wanted to do something that was very direct in terms of helping those in harms way. It's very clear for our members that you can support the troops and be against the war."

Links for 12/22/2007

9/11 Panel Study Finds That C.I.A. Withheld Tapes
Senate stays in session over holiday to thwart Bush
The Politics Of Delusional Pundits
Romney backpedals on statements - again
Iraq Today

Friday, December 21, 2007

From the Onion

Sent my way by Iggy Jr.

Rove Resigns To Spend More Time In Shadows

Remember the Bankruptcy Bill?

Remember 2 years ago, when they passed that bill that stopped people from declaring bankruptcy?

They didn't count on a housing recession.

Bankruptcy Law Backfires as Foreclosures Offset Gains

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Washington Mutual Inc. got what it wanted in 2005: A revised bankruptcy code that no longer lets people walk away from credit card bills.

The largest U.S. savings and loan didn't count on a housing recession. The new bankruptcy laws are helping drive foreclosures to a record as homeowners default on mortgages and struggle to pay credit card debts that might have been wiped out under the old code, said Jay Westbrook, a professor of business law at the University of Texas Law School in Austin and a former adviser to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

``Be careful what you wish for,'' Westbrook said. ``They wanted to make sure that people kept paying their credit cards, and what they're getting is more foreclosures.''

Basically, people can't declare bankruptcy anymore. So rather than letting the credit cards go so they can pay off the house, they're letting the HOUSE go so they can pay off the credit cards.. And the housing lenders are taking it in the ass.

"Whosoever diggeth a pit shall fall in it."

I just came across this

"Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause... for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country."

-- George Washington, charge to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Rudy's new ad.

What a sad, pathetic clown.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bye, Rudy

Rudy Giuliani has decided to stop campaigning in New Hampshire, and focus on Florida instead.

Monday, December 17, 2007

From my email:

Victory! FISA Bill Pulled from Senate

Majority Leader Harry Reid just pulled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act from the floor of the Senate, only moments ago.

What does this mean?

Well, first, it will come back up again in January after the recess. We'll continue the fight against ANY bill that includes retroactive immunity.

As Chris Dodd just said on the floor, "If it's not [stripped], I'll be back here engaging in this very same effort."

Second, this is what leadership that delivers results look like. It's been a while, but you saw it on display all day on the floor of the Senate.

A leader who stands on principle. And a leader who can turn that principle into results.

Finally, this is evidence of what grassroots advocacy along with real leadership can accomplish.

We'll keep up the fight in the White House, and I'm sure you'll be there right by Chris Dodd's side the entire way.

We'll have updates all night at if you want to drop by and share your thoughts or send a message to Senator Dodd.

They can hear us now,

Tim Tagaris
Proud to work for Chris Dodd for President

If you want to donate to Senator Dodd, it's here. Even a little sends a message.

FISA pulled

The FISA bill that granted telecomm companies immunity has just been pulled from the Senate floor.

Senator Dodd threatened to filibuster. Harry Reid whined about how unfair that was, and rolled over for it. Good.

You know, Senator Dodd IS running for President. He has been dubbed as one of the marginal candidates by the press, of course. So why is the one of the only Democrats who is actually doing what he citizens want a marginal candidate? And the ones who keep rolling over for one of the most unpopular Presidents in history the mainstream ones?

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's OK for Iran to Waterboard American POWs.

Do you need proof of the utter bankruptcy of Bush's position on torture?

His minions can't even say that it would be wrong for Iran to do it American Soldiers.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “The Legal Rights of Guantanamo Detainees” this morning, Brigadier General Thomas W. Hartmann, the legal adviser at Guantanamo Bay, repeatedly refused to call the hypothetical waterboarding of an American pilot by the Iranian military torture. “I’m not equipped to answer that question,” said Hartmann.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who asked the hypothetical, pushed Hartmann on his answer, asking him directly if it would be a “violation of the Geneva Convention”:

GRAHAM: You mean you’re not equipped to give a legal opinion as to whether or not Iranian military waterboarding, secret security agents waterboarding downed airmen is a violation of the Geneva Convention?

HARTMANN: I am not prepared to answer that question, Senator.

After Hartmann twice refused to answer, Graham dismissed him in disgust, saying he had “no further questions.”

The Bush Administration has given America's enemies the green light to torture American POWs.

How sickening.

What a guy

President Again Vetoes Children's Insurance Bill

For the second time in three months, President Bush yesterday vetoed legislation that would have expanded the State Children's Health Insurance program by $35 billion over five years and would have boosted its enrollment to about 10 million children. Bush cited the same reasons that led him to veto a version of the bill on Oct. 3 -- that it raised cigarette taxes and provided coverage for children of middle-class families instead of focusing on the working poor.

No comment necessary. Middle Class kids can't get health coverage because it would raise cigarette taxes. Highlights the man's priorities nicely, doesn't it?

Can they do ANYTHING right?

MIAMI — In a stinging defeat for the Bush administration, one of seven Miami men accused of plotting to join forces with Al Qaeda to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower was acquitted Thursday, and the case against the rest ended in a hung jury.

This was trumpeted by Bush as his huge success - proof that we all should BE TERRIFIED and let him do anything he damned well please to keep all us poor, little, scared mice safe.

So they entrapped a bunch of scumbags who were NO REAL THREAT - no weapons, no organization, and little brains.

A question: if there are REAL threats (and I believe there are) why is the FBI uses it's resources to go after morons like THIS, instead?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Latter-Day Taint


In an article to be published Sunday in The New York Times, Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asks, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

Good Lord, that is just so frigging low that it takes your breath away.

It's also smart on Huckabee's part. It may backfire? From whom? The 2% of the voters that are Mormons? Who are voting for Romney anyway? I don't think so.

The reason it's so nasty is that Mormons DO believe that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers, although they usually don't put it that way - lots of Mormon beliefs sound very, very strange to non-Mormons. Here's the scoop from the LDS webpage. Check out the second question.

And Romney KNOWS that the statement sounds bonkers. So instead of giving a straight "yes" or "no" to what seems like a straightforward theological question, he talks all over the lot without actually answering it, and winds up looking weaselly.

Well, Romney's big weaknesses to the Republican voters are two basic facts about the man: He really is a Mormon and he really is a weasel. And Huckabee highlighted them both with a single question.

But isn't it AMAZING how completely bonkers the GOP has become? I mean, THIS is one of our two major political parties? Fielding as leading candidates Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani? Men who manage to be ideological extremists AND have no principles at the same time? I mean, that's hard to do.

Seriously, for this country to get back on its feet, these people have to lose and lose BADLY. We can't go on with only two political parties, and one of them completely off their collective rocker. (Not to mention the other having neither principles, nor spine. Some combination.)

Off topic

Is the FCC going to allow sportscasters to say this man's name on the air?

Cubs sign Fukudome

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

This is what the right-wing wants in a President

This is bouncing around the blogosphere and may well undo Huckabee's efforts to get the nomination:

Little Rock, Ark -- As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee aggressively pushed for the early release of a convicted rapist despite being warned by numerous women that the convict had sexually assaulted them or their family members, and would likely strike again. The convict went on to rape and murder at least one other woman.

The kicker to me is WHY the right-wingers pushed so hard to get rapist Wayne Dumond out of prison in the first place: his victim was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton. The Clinton Derangement Squad - led by right-wing New York Post lunatic Steve Dunleavy - convinced themselves that he was only IN prison because Clinton wanted to get him, and lobbied HARD to get him released.

Huckabee listened to them. And Huckabee got the guy paroled. And the guy killed somebody.

You will hear some people call this "Huckabee's Willie Horton." It's not. Dukakis never personally pushed for Horton to get released.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

"Either the President of the United States is lying to the American people about what happened during that meeting, or the President of the United States is stupid." - Conservative Joe Scarborough on Bush's claim that he didn't know that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Poooooooooooooor George.

He's not getting HIS WAY.

“In a political maneuver designed to block my ability to make recess appointments, congressional leaders arranged for a senator to come in every three days or so, bang a gavel, wait for about 30 seconds, bang a gavel again, and then leave,” Bush said. “Under the Senate rules, this counts as a full day. If 30 seconds is a full day, no wonder Congress has got a lot of work to do.”

Senate Democrats had held pro forma sessions throughout the Thanksgiving break to keep the Senate “in session” and block Bush from making recess appointments.

That's right: the Democrats are using the rules - just like the Republicans did for years. And just like Bush does all the time.

And he's complaining that he is being stopped from doing it NOW - by making a recess appointment when it's NOT an emergency. Which is what recess appointments are actually FOR. He makes recess appointments so he just doesn't have to bothered with compromise. If THAT isn't playing games with the rules - what IS?

"Ok - if you won't do what I say, I'll just wait till your back is turned. There's nothing in the rules that actually says I CAN'T. " And he thinks OTHER people are playing political games?

All he DOES is play political games.
Missing: A Million Iraqi Christians

Rudy "sickens" decent people

Rudy's trying to pretend that charging his girlfriend's expenses to little-known city agencies was purely on the up-and-up.

That's news to the heads of the agencies in question.

A former Giuliani administration official says he's "sick" over reports that his little-known agency was used to hide taxpayer money that funded police escorts during the ex-mayor's romantic rendezvous in the Hamptons.

"The cover-up of this and the explanations for it have been so disingenuous," said Brendan Sexton, who chaired the Procurement Policy Board in 2000. The panel was charged $29,757 for travel bills racked up by then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani's security detail as he hung out with then-girlfriend Judith Nathan on Long Island.

"He didn't want anybody to know what he was doing. That's the truth. I don't care about his personal life - it's not shocking to me that he wanted to visit his girlfriend," added Sexton, a Democrat who served as sanitation commissioner under Ed Koch.

"The part that's disturbing to me is that my organization or any government organization could be used to conceal from the public how their money was being spent."
Sid Caesar and Nanette Fabray meet Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Watching Rudy Implode

At this point, I don't know if I WANT him to implode. It might be great to watch the Republicans actually nominate this albatross, and THEN watch him implode.

Rudy is claiming that they are going after his "personal life." These Republicans don't seem to get that spending public money on your gumada is a public issue. It's also a form of embezzlement.

And it looks like he's determined to pour a little gasoline onto the fire.

OKATIE, SC -- Giuliani refused to take questions here today about allegations that travel expenses were picked up by obscure city offices when he was mayor of New York City.

“We’ve already explained it,” he said, walking past reporters after a town hall meeting.

Giuliani, who is normally friendly to reporters, bristled past them, and campaign staffers were unusually physical in keeping the press away. Several campaign aides told campaign reporters to return to the press area, and some of his security detail manhandled reporters.

They manhandled reporters?

Pardon me for asking, but isn't that assault, and a crime?

Thursday, November 29, 2007


What an asshole.

Well before it was publicly known he was seeing her, then-married New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani provided a police driver and city car for his mistress Judith Nathan, former senior city officials tell the Blotter on

"She used the PD as her personal taxi service," said one former city official who worked for Giuliani.

But 9/11 changed his mind I suppose.

The sense of entitlement always gets them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Permanent Iraq Occupation

Gee, remember when people who said that the plan for Iraq was permanent occupation were called kind of nuts?

Well, they were right.

Exit Helmet-Head

But fear not: there are no shortage of racist assholes waiting to take his place.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thoughts on the Flat Tax

With the election a year away, I am hearing once again folks on the right calling for the flat tax. And what could be fairer, right? Rich people pay X%, and poor people pay X%. How nice. The claim is that it would be simpler and fairer.

But as a matter of fact, a flat tax would no simpler and LESS fair.

The idea that taxes are complex because they are progressive is a transparent load of dingo's kidneys. Taxes aren't complicated because they're progressive. That's obviously a fake argument. It is VERY EASY to figure out what you owe on your income: you just look it up on a chart. The hard part is figuring out what your income IS in the first place. That's what makes taxes complicated.

And almost every single complexity in the tax code was placed there at the behest of the same people who are calling for a flat tax - wealthy folks who wanted this piece of income or that piece of income declared deductible so they could pay lower taxes. That's WHY it's complex - for the sake of people who are COMPLAINING that it's complex.

And you can GUARANTEE that if a flat tax is passed, the NEXT DAY the same people will start lobbying and paying off politicians to get a large portion of their income declared deductible - but now on a FLAT tax rate. And they will almost certainly succeed. And you will wind up with INSANELY regressive taxes. The middle class paying 15% on ALL of their income, and the wealthy paying 15% on HALF their income.

The fact is taxes ARE pretty flat NOW, if what you mean is the percentage of GROSS income.

And I'm sorry - wealthy people DON'T have a terribly complex time doing taxes. They have a less complex time than anyone. They hire somebody. That's all. They pay someone 200 bucks to do the taxes FOR them, whereupon they save thousands. How HARD that is, eh?

And hey, if they want to do the taxes themselves and keep it simple, that's easy: just forego all the fat deductions that FAVOR them, and just take the Standard Deduction, like the working class does.

Any takers for that handy-dandy, easy way for the wealthy to simplify their taxes?

I thought not.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Brazen Liars

That's the problem. It isn't that they just lie. It's that they lie brazenly, and they must KNOW that everyone knows they are lying, and they don't care.

Karl Rove is now claiming that Bush was OPPOSED to the Democrats voting on the Iraq war before the 2002 election, and Bush wanted them to wait a while, and it was the DEMOCRATS who rushed to war in Iraq.

Rove: "Why did the United States Senate vote on the war resolution in the fall of 2002? This administration was opposed to it. The Administration was opposed to voting on it in the fall of 2002, because we didn't think it belonged within the confines of the election. There was an election coming up in a matter of weeks. We thought it made it too political. We wanted it outside the confines of it. It seemed to make things move too fast. Things that needed to be done to bring along allies and potential allies abroad."

I don't even know what to say. It's INSANE that this person would actually get on television and say something like that, and it's MORE insane that Charlie Rose wouldn't call him on it.

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

UPDATE: Just in case you have any doubt, here
is one of the many article proving that Rove is a liar.

Washington Post, September 11, 2002 - Congressional Democrats said yesterday that classified briefings by President Bush's top advisers have failed to make a compelling case for quick military action against Iraq, and several leaders said Congress should wait until after the November elections before voting to authorize a strike against Saddam Hussein's regime.

"I know of no information that the threat is so imminent from Iraq" that Congress cannot wait until January to vote on a resolution, said Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee...

The White House, after originally suggesting it might act against Iraq without congressional approval, has called on Congress to pass a resolution of support before adjourning in October.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A prediction

Between now and Thursday, the lead story in the newspapers and television news media will be how a whole lot of people are traveling.

How can I predict this with such uncanny accuracy? Because they run the SAME DAMNED STORY EVERY YEAR.

And Friday, the leading news item will be "Holy CRAP, there's a lot of folks shopping."

I'm actually working on the theory that it's LITERALLY the same story. That they just take the same one from last year whole and reprint it.

If they did, would anybody actually know?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Spanky spanks his old boss.

Dear old Scotty McClellan, extremely bad Presidential mouthpiece, is coming out with a book. Here's an excerpt:

The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself.

Oh, dear.

Watch for the usual suspects to declare that no one can believe a word Scott McLellan says anymore, on the grounds that he's no longer working for the White House, and the only people you believe about the White House are people who are on their payroll.

I wonder if they actually BELIEVE that?

Anyway, they'll SAY it, whether they believe it or not.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A positive you may not have thought of...

If Hillary Clinton should become the President of the United States some of the most totally insane and thoroughly destructive lunatics now infesting the country might actually LEAVE.

How good would THAT be, eh?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I believe in God and Senator Dodd

An email from the good Senator (and explain to me, again, why the press has decreed that he isn't a "real" candidate, even though no votes have been cast yet?) The Retroactive Immunity clause has been removed from the FISA bill.

As they say ... Breaking News from the Senate.

Forgive me if some of this is in the weeds, I'll try and make the parliamentary process as painless as possible.

1. Within the last hour, the Senate Judiciary Committee just reported out a FISA bill that DOES NOT include retroactive immunity for the telecom companies that helped the Bush Administration spy on Americans.

2. This means the Judiciary bill moves to the full Senate WITHOUT the dangerous language included.

3. Retroactive immunity will, however, surely be introduced as an amendment to the FISA bill.

4. If needed Senator Dodd will filibuster any amendment seeking to add retroactive immunity to the underlying bill. By filibustering, he will force the opposition to find 60 votes to pass the provision.

It will be a lot more difficult for those who would enable the erosion of our constitution to find the 60 votes necessary to stop immunity on its own than it would be for us to find the 40 needed to sustain a filibuster of the bill as a whole if it included immunity.
With this quality of advertising, Hillary will actually do it.

Bill Clinton is a funny man.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Did Congressman Issa just bribe the Inspector General on television, or is it just a reward from favorable treatment?

From todays' testimony about Blackwater:

Thank you for your service. And I’ll end by saying that the first week of December the president’s having a Christmas party. I have an extra guest ticket. After today, I know that you’ve earned it. I would be happy to have you use my guest ticket and then you’ll get your picture with the president and you’ll get to meet him as well you should.

The Big Dog on the demonizing dogs

Do you believe that the Republicans apparently think that it's smart to run against BILL Clinton - whose Presidency is viewed positively by 2/3rds of America?

"And I think we saw in 2006 that the Republicans have run that little demonizing dog out of the pen about one time too many. There's a lot of mange on that dog now. I don't think it's going to work anymore. So I feel good about that." - Bill Clinton

The last good Republican President

At a news conference on August 11, 1954, the following exchange occurred between NBC news correspondent Ray Scherer and President Dwight Eisenhower:

Scherer: Mr. President, there seems to be increasing suggestions that we should embark on a preventive war with the Communist world, some of these suggestions by people in high places.

Ike: All of us have heard this term "preventive war" since the earliest days of Hitler.... A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities lying in ruins, several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn't preventive war; that is war. I don't believe there is such a thing [as preventive war]; and frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing.

Oh, my.

Bernard Kerik's old girlfriend says that executives from Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation told her to lie to federal investigators about her relationship with Kerik in order to protect Giuliani.
"I have to take away rights and freedoms for your safety."

No, not Bush. His buddy, Musharraf.

Old Blackwater, keep on sliming

I wonder why they don't love us?

"I wouldn’t call it a massacre, but to say it was unwarranted is an understatement.”

Occupying a foreign country with hired thugs who are answerable to no law and who start killing the populace is a SURE way to get them all to cheer and throw flowers, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rudy. Law and Order. 9/11.

Hated by cops and firemen.

MANHATTAN. Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who has built his run for the White House on cutting city crime and his handling of 9/11, won’t receive an endorsement from the union representing the city’s 30,000 police officers, its president [Patrick Lynch] said yesterday.

“Giuliani’s ‘zeroes for heroes’ contracts held police pay stagnant while all the other local departments in the metro area were getting modest but steady raises,” Lynch’s statement continued. “Today, there are simply not enough NYPD police officers to keep this city safe and it is his fault.”

“Giuliani has wrapped himself firmly in the cloak of 9/11 for his own political purposes,” Lynch said. “But the real heroes of 9/11, those who helped to evacuate those towers and lived to tell the tale and all those who participated in the recovery and cleanup, know the truth. ... The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association could never support Rudy Giuliani for any elected office.”

Gee, Rudy, how come the REAL heroes of 9/11 think that you're just full of hot gas?

Monday, November 12, 2007

This just in:

Over the summer, Hillary Clinton's campaign raised 32 million dollars; Barack Obama raised 28 million; and Dennis Kucinich saved 300 dollars by switching to Geico.

The law is an ass

WASHINGTON - A federal judge Monday ordered the White House to preserve copies of all its e-mails, a move that Bush administration lawyers had argued strongly against.

1) How the hell can the White House seriously argue that they - a public organization - don't have to preserve records of their communications?

2) If THAT doesn't make the alarm go off in some people's heads - what the hell WILL?

When Pigs Fly

Off topic.

Here is an online article outlining the whole story about digital music distribution and the record industry. Long, but well worth reading.

When Pigs Fly: The Death of Oink, the Birth of Dissent, and a Brief History of REcord Industry Suicide.

The Writer's Strike

I saw this on jordan bailey.

Planet IKEA

David Byrne of the Talking Heads went to IKEA for the first time - and realized that it was actually a videogame. I think anyone who has ever visited the place can identify:

Walk-in Videogame
IKEA is huge. We went up to the second floor where the shelves, sofas, tables and lamps are all arrayed into tasteful little room settings — rooms, but with mysterious tags hanging everywhere. Immediately I thought it was like entering a videogame world. Who lives here? What do they do? Why is that book on the table? Is that significant? Could it be some kind of clue to the occupant’s identity?

Why does everything have weird names? Every container, shelf, cabinet or appliance had some odd name, as if people from Planet Sweden anthropomorphized these objects, naming each one they encountered as best they could**:


One soon realizes that one of the goals of this “game” is to decide which cabinets, in which wood or wood-like material, would, could or should be combined with which counter materials, and then to match them to a particular style sofa and upholstery, and finally, to select the color and texture of floor material that would coordinate best with all the above....

Once one gets some of this figured out — scratch pads might help — moving on to the next level of game play is a possibility. One goes through the restaurant wormhole (the food was good) and emerges at the next universe: picking out the flat-packed cabinet and furniture bits stacked in a world of endless towering shelves. As far as the eye can see there are shelves, tall shelves, much, much higher than a person can reach. The weird language is used here too.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A question:

Why is the wealthiest country in the world among the WORST in the world for something as major as infant mortality?

Because those in power think that obscene profits for a few is more important than the lives of millions of kids, maybe?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Of course Mama's gonna help build the wall

Some time ago, I wrote a short post about building was wall between us and Mexico, pointing that it wasn't that simple and there were real problems with actually doing it.

Congress doesn't read this blog.

A map obtained by The Associated Press shows that the double- or triple-layer fence may be built as much as two miles from the river on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande, leaving parts of Granjeno and other nearby communities in a potential no-man's-land between the barrier and the water's edge.

Based on the map and what the residents have been told, the fence could run straight through houses and backyards. Some fear it could also cut farmers off from prime farmland close to the water.

When you have people running the Government who believe that Government can't do anything right, you GET a Government that can't do anything right.


The Worthless Democrats voted to confirm Mukasey, even though he refused to call waterboarding torture.

It gets worse.

They decided to overlook his failure to call waterboarding torture because if the poor boy HAD called waterboarding torture, he might have to prosecute somebody. I'm not making that up.

"He felt that he could not make that pronouncement without placing people at risk to be sued or perhaps even criminally prosecuted." - Arlen Specter

They voted to make him Attorney General because he wanted to AVOID prosecuting criminals.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

More Hiding

As you probably know, the White House deleted details from Congressional Testimony on Global Warming - the part where the President of the CDC said things about global warming that they didn't want her to say.

According to Barbara Boxer, the White House is citing "executive privilege" to stonewall an inquiry into it.

Think Progress has the details.

And HERE'S a challenge: trying finding this information anywhere EXCEPT Think Progress. The news seems to be as thoroughly "eviscerated" as the testimony.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

How come right-wing authors can't compete in a free market?

Regnery Books - the right-wing publishing house - is being sued by some of their best-selling authors, because the authors haven't made any money. The authors haven't made any money because Regnery GAVE THE BOOKS AWAY in order to get them on the best-seller list.


Pat Robertson: Only Democrats have to be social conservatives

Pat Robertson Endorses Giuliani

Is there ANY group more hypocritical than modern Republicans? I mean, in the whole world?

Don't do Ron Ron

Ron Paul just generated tons of buzz for himself by raising a carload of cash. It isn't all that surprising, though: his supporters are extremely enthusiastic and cohesive. When there is something to be done, like vote in an online poll or send some money, they ALL do it. Probably half his support comes from 9/11 "truthers" - and nothing gets the old blood pumping like a good conspiracy theory.

But despite the fuss, I think he's likely to be like Howard Dean - get lots of excitement, but not do well in the actual primary. If you'll recall, Dean set all kinds of money-raising records, and generated massive excitement, too.

That said, some people like Paul because he's against the Iraqi war. Many, many Republicans are, but he's the only Republican candidate who is, and all those Republicans need someone who is sane about the most pressing issue of the day. And he's basically honest - which, in the current crop of GOP candidates is actually unique. His ideas might be nutty, but at least he doesn't bullshit about what they are.

But I don't know if people are aware of HOW right-wing he is. His stance on the Iraq War makes people think he's sort of centrist, and BOY, he isn't centrist: We are talking about someone who never outgrew Ayn Rand. Paul's economic ideas went out with the Gilded Age, and he is as extreme right-wing economically as it's possible to be. If elected, he would end the war (good), but royally screw up everything else. Gut the Government, destroy any safety net, sell America to the corporations, and devil take the hindmost.

Somebody should ask him if he thinks Yellowstone should be privatized, because I'll bet his answer is "yes."

And can't you just hear it? "But...but...Yellowstone is a national treasure! And it's beautiful! And a private corporation will ruin it and pave it over so they can put up hotels!"

"Yeah and? Who needs bears in Yellowstone? We'll drive out the bears and build a shopping mall - and that shopping mall will have STATUES of bears! GOOD statues, too!"

I swear, that's Ron Paul.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The future is now

Because of the falling value of the dollar, the world's richest model is refusing to take her pay in American dollars, and insists on Euros.

This is the sort of thing that can draw attention to the weakness of the dollar, cause others to reject its use, and further weaken it. Snowball.

Election Day

On this off-year Election Day, where you may not have any important offices up for election (I know I don't), let me remind you that the Republicans' consolidation of power in the '90s began with them electing their own to School Boards, City Councils and State Senates. Our dear friend with the Dickensian name, Newt Gingrinch, pointed out to his cohorts that State Senators draw the Congressional districts, and have the power to gerrymander in favor of party, and produce a Congressional majority.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that today's City Councilman is tomorrow's Governor; today's State Senator is tomorrow's United States Senator. So vote.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Dead Certain

There is no one more dangerous than a man with power who is dead certain - and WRONG.

“We have great information. They’re going to welcome us. It’ll be like the American Army going through the streets of Paris. They’re sitting there ready to form a new government. The people will be so happy with their freedoms that we’ll probably back ourselves out of there within a month or two.” - Dick Cheney in 2002

I almost forgot

Happy Guy Fawkes Day. Remember, remember the fifth of November.

Mr. Orwell is still with us.

War, fear and truth.

Did Giuliani Torture?

Is Giuliani claiming to have tortured people? I'm talking about criminals, not the 8 million residents of the City of New York.

Or is this guy such a total asshole that he thinks the game of Good Cop/Bad Cop is similar to waterboarding?

Friday, November 02, 2007


"You know about this latest FEMA controversy? This is just unbelievable. In response to the fires out here in California, FEMA had a phony press conference and they had FEMA members posing as reporters asking them easy questions. They had no reporters there, just FEMA members. As opposed to a disaster where it's all reporters and no FEMA members." -Jay Leno

Will Bush get bitch-slapped?

The petulant little boy, who didn't veto ANY spending when Republicans are in charge, is now vetoing spending that's actually fiscally responsible.

He HATES spending money to help America. If this was for water projects in Iraq, he'd want twice as much.

But it looks like this veto may get overridden.

If it does - do you think Bush will throw a public temper tantrum?

WASHINGTON (AP) — An increasingly confrontational President Bush on Friday vetoed a bill authorizing hundreds of popular water projects even though lawmakers can count enough votes to override him.

Bush brushed aside significant objections from Capitol Hill, even from Republicans, in thwarting legislation that provides money for projects like repairing hurricane damage, restoring wetlands and preventing flooding in communities across the nation.

This level of opposition virtually assured that Bush would have a veto overridden for the first time in his presidency.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Rudy Giuliani is probably the most underqualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency. There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb and 9/11." - Joe Biden

Nutjobs lose suit

The Westboro Baptist Church - the "God Hates Fags" folks - have lost a lawsuit for 11 million dollars.

One thing that struck me - the article says that have 75 members. I've heard of them. You heard of them. Everybody in the country has heard of them. And they have 75 members.

It shows that in this country an organization can get enormous publicity just by being completely disgusting - and it doesn't require any real following or influence at all.

There's something very wrong with that.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


WASHINGTON - The State Department promised Blackwater USA bodyguards immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month's deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians, The Associated Press has learned.

The immunity deal has delayed a criminal inquiry into the Sept. 16 killings and could undermine any effort to prosecute security contractors for their role in the incident that has infuriated the Iraqi government.

This seems to make little sense. If someone if granted immunity, don't there have to be written statements? How the hell is it possible to be unsure whether the State Department granted someone immunity or not?

In the second place, the press and the Democrats are so damned disgraceful that if Bush made an announcement this afternoon that he was unilaterally granting immunity to every member of his administration for anything they ever did or shall do, there would be hardly a peep.
Rudy the serial exaggerator.

Rumsfeld Charged With Torture

Hey, Democrats: Do you have any idea how pathetic it looks for the French to have more balls than you do?

NEW YORK - Donald Rumsfeld, the former U.S. secretary of defense, is facing criminal charges in France for ordering the torture of prisoners in Iraq and at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Last week, some of the world’s leading human rights law groups filed a complaint before a French court charging Rumsfeld with authorizing and ordering torture.

This is not going away, even if the Democrats run away from it; the whole damned world is furious.

Could imagine seeing an ex-President of the United States formally charged with war crimes?

I'm starting to think that it will happen.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I believe in God and Senator Dodd

Firedoglake has the transcript of remarks by Chris Dodd on the floor of the Senate.

I think everybody who reads this blog should go read that.

Bush rebukes FEMA for behaving like him

The White House has rebuked FEMA for trying to manipulate the news.

Are they kidding?

What FEMA did is EXACTLY the sort of thing the Bush Administration has been doing since day one, and everybody knows it. Jeff Gannon anyone?

The administration says they didn't know about it? Maybe, maybe not. But FEMA had every reason to believe that they would have no problem with it, because it's Standard Operating Procedure.

And the only reason that they DO claim to have a problem with it is because they were CAUGHT.

FEMA fakes news conference

Before Bush got a hold of it and "reformed" it, FEMA was one federal agency that did its job professionally and well.

But if you start with the assumption that the Government CAN'T do a good job, then the government you run WON'T. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and be UNABLE to do a good job. And the Bush administration is proof of that.

FEMA Meets the Press, Which Happens to Be . . . FEMA

FEMA has truly learned the lessons of Katrina. Even its handling of the media has improved dramatically. For example, as the California wildfires raged Tuesday, Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the deputy administrator, had a 1 p.m. news briefing...

He was apparently quite familiar with the reporters -- in one case, he appears to say "Mike" and points to a reporter -- and was asked an oddly in-house question about "what it means to have an emergency declaration as opposed to a major disaster declaration" signed by the president. He once again explained smoothly.

Of course, that could be because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Message from Chris Dodd

This was in my email:

Dear Iggy:

Let's get right to it and talk about how we stop retroactive telecommunications immunity from becoming law.

The way I see it, there are three ways to get this provision stripped from the final bill:

1.) The first step would be to make sure the idea doesn't make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee -- where it will be considered shortly.

If we can get it stripped there, it will have to be offered as an amendment to the overall bill where it will be a lot easier to get 41 votes against retroactive immunity than 41 to sustain my filibuster if necessary.

Take a moment and call up members of the committee, let me know what they said, and join others in tracking our progress in stopping the provision right there.

The other two ways:

2.) If retroactive immunity does make it out of committee, Senate leadership can honor the hold I've placed on any legislation that includes retroactive immunity.

3.) If leadership does not honor my hold, I remain committed to filibustering, and working to get the 41 votes necessary to maintain it.

This has the potential to be a long fight -- so let's build a solid foundation for our effort today by asking members of the Judiciary Committee to vote against any FISA bill that includes retroactive amnesty.

I'd like to see a little more spine, frankly, on these issues. People tell us they want to lead, but a little leadership right now would certainly be welcomed on these questions.

I don't want to, but I'm not afraid to do this alone.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Adios, you nutjobs.

The entire all-Republican governing body of Lyndhurst, NJ is switching to Democrat.

Hey, THAT'S a good sign for the GOPs future.

Maybe MORE money will actually fill this hole

Bush wants ANOTHER 42 billion dollars for the war.

That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that we actually have a Democratic Congress that can say, "NO."

I'll give you odds that they won't. Any takers? Didn't think so.

Here's Reid:

"In the coming weeks, we will hold it up to the light of day and fight for the change of strategy and redeployment of troops that is long overdue."

"The entire war in Iraq is being paid for with borrowed money."

"It's no wonder the American people are frustrated. We've been fighting for America's priorities, while the president continues investing only in his failed war strategy. He wants us to come up with another $200 billion and just sign off on it -- that's what he said today."

Yes, Harry, that's what he said today. So are you going talk tough, complain and then - just sign off on it?

I bet you will.

For God's sake, prove me wrong.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bang, Bang, Mona's Silver Hammer

Good job, lady. Watch how fast they get their asses there next time.

Mona Shaw, 75, and her husband, Don, say they had an appointment in August for a Comcast technician to come to their Bristow home to install the company's heavily advertised Triple Play phone, Internet and cable service.

The Shaws say no one came all day, and the technician who showed up two days later left without finishing the setup. Two days after that, Comcast cut off all their service.

At the Comcast office in Manassas later that day, they waited for a manager for two hours before being told the manager had left for the day, the Shaws say.

Shaw, a churchgoing secretary of the local AARP branch, returned the next Monday — with a hammer.

"I smashed a keyboard, knocked over a monitor ... and I went to hit the telephone," Shaw said. "I figured, 'Hey, my telephone is screwed up, so is yours.'"


Rep. Stark - whose statement below has made the Republicans clutch their pearls and reach for the smelling salts - has refused to retract his statement. In fact, he kept pushing.

When asked if he would take back any of his statements, Stark told KCBS “Absolutely not. I may have dishonored the commander in chief, but I think he’s done pretty well to dishonor himself without any help from me.”

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rep. Pete Stark on SChip

First of all - I'm just amazed they can't figure out - the Republicans are worried we can't pay for insuring an additional 10 million children. They sure don't care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where ya gonna get that money? You going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war?

You don't have money to fund the health of children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement. This bill would provide healthcare for 10 million children and unlike the President's own kids, these children can't see a doctor or receive necessary care...

But President Bush's statements about children's health shouldn't be taken any more seriously than his lies about the war in Iraq. The truth is that Bush just likes to blow things up. In Iraq, in the United States and in Congress.

Holy crap.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Old Blackwater, get your ass out of the country.

An Iraqi probe has found that Blackwater committed "unprovoked and random killing, and they are demanding that the mercenaries leave.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki asked the U.S. State Department to "pull Blackwater out of Iraq," after an Iraqi probe concluded that the private contractors committed unprovoked and random killings in a September 16 shooting, an adviser to al-Maliki told CNN.

Since they'e suppose to be self-government and all that, do you think Bush will honor this request?

We'll see.
During his townhall meeting in Arkansas yesterday, “not a single questioner criticized” President Bush. With polls showing Bush’s disapproval at record highs, the White House is staging “let-Bush-be-Bush events” in front of “friendly audiences” with “increasing frequency.” - ThinkProgress

Isn't it pathetic that the President of the United States is afraid of being criticized to his face?

And afraid of the citizens who employ him?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hokey Pokey, my ass. THIS is what it's all about.

So saith Retired General Abizaid.

“Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that,” Abizaid said of the Iraq campaign early on in the talk.

“We’ve treated the Arab world as a collection of big gas stations,” the retired general said. “Our message to them is: Guys, keep your pumps open, prices low, be nice to the Israelis and you can do whatever you want out back. Osama and 9/11 is the distilled essence that represents everything going on out back.”


The Real Rudy

The story of the radios.

A good reason to vote for Rudy.

Campaigning in Exeter, New Hampshire Sunday, the New York Republican [Rudy] was asked by a young questioner what he would do if aliens attacked the United States, according to the Associated Press.

"Of all the things that can happen in this world, we'll be prepared for that. Yes we will," Giuliani said, noting that he had never fielded a question about potential attacks from outer space before.

I'm willing to bet that nobody else running would stand there and claim to be ready for an attack from outer space.

NOBODY else could possibly be that full of themselves.

=sigh= Too Bad He Doesn't Stand A Chance

"Now the people in the Administration of George Bush better remember their Miranda rights, because when I'm elected President I'm going to see that they are arrested. I'm not kidding here! I want to let you to know something; how I feel about what's happened to our country. We have been led into a war based upon lies -- an unjust a war. We've seen our civil liberties taken away because of lies. The President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense are all part of this. They're going to be held accountable under the law. If someone runs a traffic light, they'll get a ticket here. There are a million dead Iraqis and almost 4,000 dead American soldiers as a result of this war. Where is the accountability? What's happened is that our constitution is being torn up. And in this toxic environment, the Administration, in its never-ending quest for more scapegoats, focuses on immigrants. You know it and I know it. And we see, unfortunately, the failure of the Democratic Party to stand up to this Administration." - -DENNIS KUCINICH

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Good Germans"

"Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those “good Germans” who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo."

Frank Rich's column must be read.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bush was spying illegally before 9/11

Well, well, well. The former head of Qwest Communications claims that the Bush administration pressured him to help them spy on Americans without a warrant. Six months before 9/11. Apparently, Nacchio declined because he thought it might be illegal, and the Bushies retaliated by bringing insider trading charges against him.

And lest you think that this is just an accusation being made by a guy trying to beat the rap, the same sort of accusation was made regarding Verizon, which started building a spying facility just days after Bush's inauguration.

This basically means that Bush's claim that 9/11 made him think it was necessary to spy on Americans was bullshit. Bush began spying on Americans almost immediately after being inaugurated. 9/11 wasn't the cause. Like so many other things, it was the EXCUSE used to justify was Bush wanted to do anyway.

In addition, Kagro X makes this terrific point:

But it's not just that. If Qwest's competitors were already abetting this bloodless(?) coup before 9/11, then the "administration's" domestic spying not only has little if anything to do with response to terrorism, but it also objectively failed to prevent 9/11.

You think this little tidbit might slow Congress down and make them hesitate a bit about giving retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies? And decide that maybe letting Bush spy on Americans in the name of protecting us is really, really stupid?

More here, here, and here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blackwater drew guns on US soldiers

This crap should be ALL OVER the news. The first sentence speaks for me as well as the colonel. And these shits are not answerable to US or Iraqi law. They are answerable to NO law.

The colonel was furious. "Can you believe it? They actually drew their weapons on U.S. soldiers." He was describing a 2006 car accident, in which an SUV full of Blackwater operatives had crashed into a U.S. Army Humvee on a street in Baghdad's Green Zone. The colonel, who was involved in a follow-up investigation and spoke on the condition he not be named, said the Blackwater guards disarmed the U.S. Army soldiers and made them lie on the ground at gunpoint until they could disentangle the SUV. His account was confirmed by the head of another private security company.

Responsible for guarding top U.S. officials in Iraq, Blackwater operatives are often accused of playing by their own rules. Unlike nearly everyone else who enters the Green Zone, said an American soldier who guards a gate, Blackwater gunmen refuse to stop and clear their weapons of live ammunition once inside. One military contractor, who spoke anonymously for fear of retribution in his industry, recounted the story of a Blackwater operative who answered a Marine officer's order to put his pistol on safety when entering a base post office by saying, "This is my safety," and wiggling his trigger finger in the air. "Their attitude was, 'We're f---ing security; we don't have to answer to anybody'."

Breaking: Right-Wingers' Heads Explode

Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Thursday, October 11, 2007

From BoingBoing reader Mark Malamud.


Part of the problem with America is that morons like THIS are on television, instead of babbling on street corners where they belong:

John Gibson, Fox News.

On the October 10 broadcast of his nationally syndicated Fox News Radio show, while discussing 14-year-old Asa H. Coon, who earlier that day shot four people at his Cleveland high school before killing himself, Fox News host John Gibson asserted that "because the school is very heavily African-American, I did leap to a conclusion" that "the shooter might have been African-American." Gibson went on to say that he "knew this was not a classic hip-hop shooting" once he learned Coon killed himself. Gibson continued: "Hip-hoppers do not kill themselves. They walk away. Now, I didn't need to hear the kid was white with blond hair. Once he'd shot himself in the head, no hip-hopper." Gibson later stated, "I know the shooter was white. I knew it as soon as he shot himself. Hip-hoppers don't do that. They shoot and move on to shoot again." Gibson added: "I know there's a few of you who want to call me racist. But when you do, remind -- let me remind you, African-Americans are dying in major cities because people won't face this problem."

After a commercial break, Gibson repeated his assertion: "All right, it turns out, though, the kid in Cleveland who did the shooting today -- three teachers, three students -- white." Gibson added: "And I could tell right away 'cause he killed himself. Black shooters don't do that; they shoot and move on."

Bush has broken the army

Just like he's broken everything else.

Army needs three to four years to recover from Iraq

Three to four years. And we're still there.

Hope nothing happens BEFORE then, eh?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The front runner for the GOP Presidential nomination:

You CAN'T make this up.

I have a good Congressman

Jerry Nadler. Who is an extremely rare thing: a Congressman who actually knows and believes in the Constitution.

Didja notice?

That when it comes to helping sick kids, the Republicans claim that someone making $60,000 a year is rich?

But when it came to who should get a tax cut, they SWORE that someone making $200,000 a year was struggling just to get by?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Real Americans

WWII interrogators all got together yesterday for the first time in decades.

THOSE guys - who fought in a war that was actually necessary, under a REAL Commander-In-Chief, and who SUCCEEDED - apparently don't think much of the crap that's going on now.

"We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture," said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.

Several of the veterans, all men in their 80s and 90s, denounced the controversial techniques. And when the time came for them to accept honors from the Army's Freedom Team Salute, one veteran refused, citing his opposition to the war in Iraq and procedures that have been used at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

"I feel like the military is using us to say, 'We did spooky stuff then, so it's okay to do it now,' " said Arno Mayer, 81, a professor of European history at Princeton University.

When Peter Weiss, 82, went up to receive his award, he commandeered the microphone and gave his piece.

"I am deeply honored to be here, but I want to make it clear that my presence here is not in support of the current war," said Weiss, chairman of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy and a human rights and trademark lawyer in New York City.

Nearly 4,000 prisoners of war, most of them German scientists and submariners, were brought in for questioning for days, even weeks, before their presence was reported to the Red Cross, a process that did not comply with the Geneva Conventions. Many of the interrogators were refugees from the Third Reich.

"We did it with a certain amount of respect and justice," said John Gunther Dean, 81, who became a career Foreign Service officer and ambassador to Denmark.

The interrogators had standards that remain a source of pride and honor.

"During the many interrogations, I never laid hands on anyone," said George Frenkel, 87, of Kensington. "We extracted information in a battle of the wits. I'm proud to say I never compromised my humanity."

"I never compromised my humanity."

Why are people now so hesitant to speak of something as evil as torture in such clear, blunt terms?

The White House Leaked Spy Info

Can you imagine the SCREAMING from the right-wing if this had been done by a Democrat?

The Bin Laden video from a month ago was provided by the intelligence company to the Bush Administration on the condition that it not be revealed for security reasons.

They released it to the press IMMEDIATELY.

"The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network."

That video was released for political reasons. As USUAL with this administration, politics is the most imporant thing that there is - FAR more important than national security.

I think Congress should subpoena everyone in sight and find out who the hell did this.

And if the Democrats possessed a single ball among them, they'd be demanding some answers.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Here's Jon Stewart on the SCHIP veto.

Child Health Day, 2007

Declared by Bush two days before vetoing the coverage of SCHIP.

It's hard to find words to describe just what a totally empty person he is.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Blackwater faulted by U.S. military

As you probably know, right-wingers decide whether an action is right or wrong on the basis of who does it, not what they do.

This gives them problems. Perhaps their heads will explode.

Blackwater faulted by U.S. military

Fri Oct 5, 5:24 AM ET

U.S. military reports from the scene of a shooting incident in Baghdad involving security contractor Blackwater indicates its guards opened fire without provocation and used excessive force, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

At least 11 Iraqis were killed in the September 16 incident, which has outraged Iraqis who see the firm as a private army which acts with impunity.

Citing a senior U.S. military official, the Post said the military reports appear to corroborate the Iraqi government's contention that Blackwater was at fault.

"It was obviously excessive. It was obviously wrong," a U.S. military official speaking on condition of anonymity told the newspaper.

"The civilians that were fired upon, they didn't have any weapons to fire back at them. And none of the IP (Iraqi police) or any of the local security forces fired back at them," the official was quoted as saying.

The Blackwater guards appeared to have fired grenade launchers in addition to machine guns, the official told the Post. He said U.S. soldiers had reviewed statements from eyewitnesses and video footage recorded at the scene.

An Iraqi Interior Ministry official and five eyewitnesses described a second deadly shooting involving the same Blackwater guards minutes after the incident in Nisoor Square, the Post reported.

The FBI is leading a State Department investigation of the incident, which occurred as Blackwater escorted a diplomatic convoy in western Baghdad. The Pentagon and a joint U.S.-Iraqi team are also looking into the incident.

North Carolina-based Blackwater has said its guards reacted lawfully to an attack on the convoy they were protecting.

In previously unpublished remarks prepared for delivery at a congressional hearing, Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince said the Blackwater guards "came under small-arms fire" and "returned fire at threatening targets," the Post reported.

Portions of the remarks dealing with the incident were left out of his testimony after the Justice Department warned Blackwater the incident was under investigation, it reported.

The Post did not say how they obtained these remarks.

Blackwater is also under scrutiny over other shooting incidents involving Iraqis.


I don't like to use the word "whipped" (as in "pussy-whipped"). It's such a sexist, misogynistic, shallow term.

Occasionally, though, it fits.

Rudy answers his calling - and his wife's, too
Dan Janison

When Rudy Giuliani reached into his jacket, pulled out a cell phone and took a call from his wife during his speech to the National Rifle Association, skeptics suspected a setup. They even questioned whether Judith Giuliani was really on the other end of the line.

A backer and former aide of Giuliani was asked if this was indeed just political stagecraft.

"No," the source chuckled convincingly. "The truth is worse than that.

"When she calls he must answer, or else it will be, 'I called you, why didn't you pick up?'" insisted the supporter, who spoke only if unidentified. "He must pick up that phone no matter what. That's her line to call on. If you recall, when the phone rang, he knew it was her. She calls all the time."

"For Rudy, this buys peace," the source added. If he didn't answer, "there would be hell to pay. I think she'll call him during his first State of the Union."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Torture Boy Rises Again

So our resigned and disgraced ex-Attorney General secretly approved torture while pretending not to.

Maybe Gonzales should get his ass thrown into Guantanamo.

Here's something from the American Freedom Campaign. And yes, I'm signing it in the truly insane and delusional hope that it might do some good:

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) signed the American Freedom Pledge yesterday, expressing his commitment to protecting and defending the Constitution. With Senator Obama's pledge, all of the Democratic presidential candidates except Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) have now either signed the pledge or have provided the American Freedom Campaign Action Fund with a detailed statement addressing the issues described in the American Freedom Campaign Agenda. (The full agenda is included at the bottom of this release.)

The American Freedom Campaign (AFC) Action Fund is encouraging all candidates to sign this pledge, the text of which is as follows:

"We are Americans, and in our America we do not torture, we do not imprison people without charge or legal remedy, we do not tap people's phones and emails without a court order, and above all we do not give any President unchecked power.

"I pledge to fight to protect and defend the Constitution from attack by any President."

The Campaign also sent letters in August to the announced Republican presidential candidates. None of the Republican candidates have provided AFC with a response. Earlier this year, however, Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) signed a similar pledge circulated by the American Freedom Agenda, an organization formed by conservative leaders, including former Reagan official Bruce Fein and former congressman Bob Barr.

For more details about the American Freedom Campaign Action Fund's presidential pledge campaign, including the written responses from two of the candidates, please visit this page.

The mission of the American Freedom Campaign is to preserve the vision of the nation's Founders -- that no President shall be above the law. As part of this mission, it seeks to make the issue of defending the Constitution a prominent part of the 2008 presidential campaign. Later this fall, with a grassroots army to call on, the Campaign intends to turn up the heat on candidates who have not made their commitment to defending the Constitution clear.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Nothing to see here; move on.

Former Bush administration officials are peppered throughout Blackwater’s highest executive positions. Erik Prince, the former Navy Seal who founded the company, was a White House intern under President George H. W. Bush and has been a Republican financier since, with more than $225,000 in political contributions.

Mr. Prince’s sister, Betsy DeVos, is a former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and a “pioneer” who raised $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004. Her husband, the former Amway chief executive Richard DeVos Jr., was the Republican nominee for governor of Michigan in 2006.

Remember: every decision Bush makes, no matter how foolish it seems, ALWAYS makes him and his cronies money. Coincidence, I'm sure.

Free Market Killing

WASHINGTON - Most of the more than 100 private security companies in Iraq open fire far more frequently than has been publicly acknowledged and rarely report such incidents to U.S. or Iraqi authorities, according to U.S. officials and current and former private security company employees.

Isn't it wonderful to know that the United States of America is using mercenaries to fight our wars?

Of COURSE they don't report most incidents. Why WOULD they? What law governs mercenaries? Are they answerable to United States law?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"What do we love about America? The Bill of Rights...IMPEACHMENT...Motorcycles!" - Bruce
Most Americans oppose fully funding President Bush's $190 billion request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a sizable majority support an expansion of a children's health insurance bill he has promised to veto, putting Bush and many congressional Republicans on the wrong side of public opinion on upcoming foreign and domestic policy battles.

So why the hell are the Democrats so scared to do what people want them to do?

Why in the hell does NO ONE in Washington actually interested in doing what Americans WANT?

Fred Thompson is insane

Which means he might wind up being the nominee, since the whole Republican Party is insane.

He's still thinks there were WMDs in Iraq.

How bonkers is that?

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Prototypical Fan

This isn't political - it relates to sports, if anything - but I think it's an interesting demonstration of how manufactured the news is.

If you follow sports at ALL, you probably know that the New York Mets just had a historic collapse, and lost the division title to the Phillies.

Anyway, here's the cover of the New York Daily News, showing a dejected fan:

The photo is by Ron Antonelli of the Daily News.

New York Newsday, meanwhile, ran THIS picture of a dejected fan on page 3:

Ummmm....that's the same guy. In a different pose. How could THAT have happened? 50,000 people at the stadium. What an amazing coincidence. THIS photo is by Kathy Kmonicek of Newsday.

But the Associated Press was jealous, and got in on the fun. They ran THIS photo by Kathy Willens:

My GOD! That THREE major news organizations all just happening to pick the same guy to take a picture of.

So Reuters went along for the ride. Here is theirs:

Photographed by Shannon Stapleton.

Four different news organizations; four different photographers. All taking a picture of the same guy (his name is Seth Fleischauer, by the way).

Obviously, they didn't look around the stadium for candid shots of fans. They all found the same guy, and had him POSE for them, so they could PRETEND that it was a candid shot of a fan.

How much of the NON-sports news is manufactured in the same manner?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Moustache Wakes.

Good job, Tom. But does this mean we won't have to listen to you asking to give Iraq just another 6 months anymore?

9/11 is over
Thomas Friedman
September 30, 2007

Not long ago, the satirical newspaper The Onion ran a fake news story that began like this:

“At a well-attended rally in front of his new ground zero headquarters Monday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani officially announced his plan to run for president of 9/11. ‘My fellow citizens of 9/11, today I will make you a promise,’ said Giuliani during his 18-minute announcement speech in front of a charred and torn American flag. ‘As president of 9/11, I will usher in a bold new 9/11 for all.’ If elected, Giuliani would inherit the duties of current 9/11 President George W. Bush, including making grim facial expressions, seeing the world’s conflicts in terms of good and evil, and carrying a bullhorn at all state functions.”

Like all good satire, the story made me both laugh and cry, because it reflected something so true — how much, since 9/11, we’ve become “The United States of Fighting Terrorism.” Times columnists are not allowed to endorse candidates, but there’s no rule against saying who will not get my vote: I will not vote for any candidate running on 9/11. We don’t need another president of 9/11. We need a president for 9/12. I will only vote for the 9/12 candidate.

What does that mean? This: 9/11 has made us stupid. I honor, and weep for, all those murdered on that day. But our reaction to 9/11 — mine included — has knocked America completely out of balance, and it is time to get things right again.

It is not that I thought we had new enemies that day and now I don’t. Yes, in the wake of 9/11, we need new precautions, new barriers. But we also need our old habits and sense of openness. For me, the candidate of 9/12 is the one who will not only understand who our enemies are, but who we are.

Before 9/11, the world thought America’s slogan was: “Where anything is possible for anybody.” But that is not our global brand anymore. Our government has been exporting fear, not hope: “Give me your tired, your poor and your fingerprints.”

You may think Guantánamo Bay is a prison camp in Cuba for Al Qaeda terrorists. A lot of the world thinks it’s a place we send visitors who don’t give the right answers at immigration. I will not vote for any candidate who is not committed to dismantling Guantánamo Bay and replacing it with a free field hospital for poor Cubans. Guantánamo Bay is the anti-Statue of Liberty.

Roger Dow, president of the Travel Industry Association, told me that the United States has lost millions of overseas visitors since 9/11 — even though the dollar is weak and America is on sale. “Only the U.S. is losing traveler volume among major countries, which is unheard of in today’s world,” Mr. Dow said.

Total business arrivals to the United States fell by 10 percent over the 2004-5 period alone, while the number of business visitors to Europe grew by 8 percent in that time. The travel industry’s recent Discover America Partnership study concluded that “the U.S. entry process has created a climate of fear and frustration that is turning away foreign business and leisure travelers and hurting America’s image abroad.” Those who don’t visit us, don’t know us.

I’d love to see us salvage something decent in Iraq that might help tilt the Middle East onto a more progressive pathway. That was and is necessary to improve our security. But sometimes the necessary is impossible — and we just can’t keep chasing that rainbow this way.

Look at our infrastructure. It’s not just the bridge that fell in my hometown, Minneapolis. Fly from Zurich’s ultramodern airport to La Guardia’s dump. It is like flying from the Jetsons to the Flintstones. I still can’t get uninterrupted cellphone service between my home in Bethesda and my office in D.C. But I recently bought a pocket cellphone at the Beijing airport and immediately called my wife in Bethesda — crystal clear.

I just attended the China clean car conference, where Chinese automakers were boasting that their 2008 cars will meet “Euro 4” — European Union — emissions standards. We used to be the gold standard. We aren’t anymore. Last July, Microsoft, fed up with American restrictions on importing brain talent, opened its newest software development center in Vancouver. That’s in Canada, folks. If Disney World can remain an open, welcoming place, with increased but invisible security, why can’t America?

We can’t afford to keep being this stupid! We have got to get our groove back. We need a president who will unite us around a common purpose, not a common enemy. Al Qaeda is about 9/11. We are about 9/12, we are about the Fourth of July — which is why I hope that anyone who runs on the 9/11 platform gets trounced.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thank you, Bruce

Watch the video. It's well worth sitting through the damned commercial.

And to think think Reagan tried to co-opt him as a supporter.

The Socialists are Coming

Sometimes, The Gray-and-Completely-Out-Of-Touch Lady (a.k.a. The New York Times) gets it right.

No one has the nerve to brand this country’s purest systems of “socialized medicine” — the military and veterans hospitals — for what they are. In both systems, care is not only paid for by the government but delivered in government facilities by doctors who are government employees. Even so, a parade of Washington’s political dignitaries, including President Bush, has turned to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for checkups and treatment, without ideological complaint. Politicians who deplore government-run health care for average Americans are only too happy to use it themselves.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Republicans are still angry about this ad. You know, 'the General Petraeus, he betrayed us,' and the Senate actually voted to condemn the ad. That's what your government did yesterday - they held a vote to pass a resolution to condemn an ad with a pun in it. And then they had Oreos and braided each other's hair." - Bill Maher
Live by the Gotcha, Die By The Gotcha.

"A Coup Has Occurred"

Daniel Ellsberg, the guy who leaked the Pentagon Papers and was a big enough threat to Nixon for them to burglarize his psychiatrist's office, gave a rather frightening speech at a University Symposium.

This Executive Branch, under specifically Bush and Cheney, despite opposition from most of the rest of the branch, even of the cabinet, clearly intends a war against Iran which even by imperialist standards, standards in other words which were accepted not only by nearly everyone in the Executive Branch but most of the leaders in Congress. The interests of the empire, the need for hegemony, our right to control and our need to control the oil of the Middle East and many other places. That is consensual in our establishment. …

But even by those standards, an attack on Iran is insane. And I say that quietly, I don’t mean it to be heard as rhetoric. Of course it’s not only aggression and a violation of international law, a supreme international crime, but it is by imperial standards, insane in terms of the consequences.
"Funding for the war in Iraq will exceed 600 billion -- billion! billion! -- dollars!"

"All of this for a war -- a war! a war! -- that General Petraeus, two weeks ago, could not say had made Americans safer!"

"A long-term presence could cost well in excess of 2 trillion -- 2 trillion! Yes, you heard me -- 2 trillion! - Senator Robert Byrd to Defense Secretary Bob Gates.

Bush s destroying the army.

Do you think THIS will slow the lunatics down on Iran?

Not a chance - that would require sanity.

WASHINGTON - The Army's top officer, General George Casey, told Congress yesterday that his branch of the military has been stretched so thin by the war in Iraq that it can not adequately respond to another conflict - one of the strongest warnings yet from a military leader that repeated deployments to war zones in the Middle East have hamstrung the military's ability to deter future aggression.

Ok, Republicans, let's see you smear the General for saying what you don't want to hear.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

National Security, my liberal ass.

From TPM

Henry Waxman sought internal assessments about corruption in the Iraqi Government. When he did so, Condi Rice classified them, citing "national security."

She didn't know that it had already been posted on the web, a week before she classified it. (Here it is.)

It doesn't have a damned thing in it that affects national security.


You knew this

but now it's official. According to a transcript provided by the Spanish Prime Minister, Bush said he was going to invade Iraq whether there was compliance with the UN or not.

The conversation took place on the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The confidential transcript was prepared by Spain's ambassador to the United States, Javier Ruperez, the paper said.

Bush purportedly said he planned to invade Iraq inf March "if there was a United Nations Security Council resolution or not....We have to get rid of Saddam. We will be in Baghdad at the end of March."

He said the U.S. takeover would happen without widespread destruction. He observed that he was willing to play bad cop to British Prime Minister Tony Blair's good cop.

Classy guy

Rudy supporters, showing how classy they are, are holding a fundraiser for Rudy charging $9.11 per person.

This, coupled with his going before the NRA to tell them that he now loves guns.

I think Herr Combover has now officially jumped the shark.

No credibility

And everybody knows it.

Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, the president called for renewed efforts to enforce the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a striking point of emphasis for a leader who's widely accused of violating human rights in waging war against terrorism.

Bush didn't mention the U.S. prisons in Afghanistan or at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. practice of holding detainees for years without legal charges or access to lawyers, or the CIA's "rendition" kidnappings of suspects abroad, all issues of concern to human rights activists around the world.

"At first read, it's little more than an exercise in hypocrisy. His words about human rights ring hollow because his credibility is nonexistent," said Curt Goering, the deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA. "The gap between the rhetoric and the actual record is stunning. I can't help but believe many people in the audience were thinking, 'What was this man thinking?' "