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.