The Nattering Nabob <$BlogRSDUrl$>
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Monday, December 31, 2007


 

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"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

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pakistan
 
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
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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.

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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.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas
 

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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.

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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.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

So, HAS your head exploded?
 
If not, this should do it.

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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."

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Links for 12/22/2007
 
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Friday, December 21, 2007

From the Onion
 
Sent my way by Iggy Jr.


Rove Resigns To Spend More Time In Shadows

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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."

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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

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Heh.
 
Rudy's new ad.

What a sad, pathetic clown.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

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

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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 ChrisDodd.com 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.

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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?

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Friday, December 14, 2007


 

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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.

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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?

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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?

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Latter-Day Taint
 
heh.

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.)

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

Cubs sign Fukudome

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Saturday, December 08, 2007


 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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Sid Caesar and Nanette Fabray meet Ludwig Van Beethoven.


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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?

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