The Nattering Nabob <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Shows where his heart is at.
With McCain at his side, Giuliani called the Arizona senator "the most qualified candidate to be the next Commander in Chief of the United States." - AP

The United States doesn't have a Commander-In-Chief, Rudy, you moron. The President is the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, not of the United States.

That's the language of military dictatorships, and I somehow doubt that that's a coincidence.





So long, John
Remarks Of John Edwards Today In New Orleans

...We don't turn away from a neighbor in their time of need. Because every one of us knows that what -- but for the grace of God, there goes us. The American people have never stopped doing this, even when their government walked away, and walked away it has from hardworking people, and, yes, from the poor, those who live in poverty in this country.

For decades, we stopped focusing on those struggles. They didn't register in political polls, they didn't get us votes and so we stopped talking about it. I don't know how it started. I don't know when our party began to turn away from the cause of working people, from the fathers who were working three jobs literally just to pay the rent, mothers sending their kids to bed wrapped up in their clothes and in coats because they couldn't afford to pay for heat.

We know that our brothers and sisters have been bullied into believing that they can't organize and can't put a union in the workplace. Well, in this campaign, we didn't turn our heads. We looked them square in the eye and we said, "We see you, we hear you, and we are with you. And we will never forget you." And I have a feeling that if the leaders of our great Democratic Party continue to hear the voices of working people, a proud progressive will occupy the White House.

Now, I've spoken to both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. They have both pledged to me and more importantly through me to America, that they will make ending poverty central to their campaign for the presidency.

And more importantly, they have pledged to me that as President of the United States they will make ending poverty and economic inequality central to their Presidency. This is the cause of my life and I now have their commitment to engage in this cause.



Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blast from the (very recent) past


Look at the dead cat bounce

God, that looks like a dying man briefly having a seizure, and then going back to dying.

The Fed made its second interest rate cut in 8 days - 1/2 point - in an effort to stimulate things. The market responded by suddenly shooting up, and just as quickly shooting back down.

On a day when the interest rate was cut by half a point, the market actually had a slight LOSS.

That's not good.


John Edwards is dropping out
I'm very surprised. I thought he'd go clear to the convention come hell or high water. There isn't a hint of it yet on his official page.

Now who is going to keep the other two honest?


A doubly good day for New Yorkers who are Mets fans
Santana's in.

Rudy's out.


Smoke on Yangtze
Courtesy of Jordan Bailey



Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida, which everyone thought was so important, suddenly seems fairly meaningless. Oh, except for the fact that it buried Rudy Giuliani under giant mounds of crap. So that was good. Other than that, I found this one to be appallingly boring.

McCain won by a little bit.

Hillary won, but it didn't mean anything because the DNC is made up of morons.

On to Super Tuesday. That one counts.


The State of the Union

"My fellow Americans, I am pleased to report that after 7 years of making decisions on the basis of my wishes instead of reality, both foreign AND domestic affairs look like hell.

"Mission accomplished."


Bush admits global warming is real
"Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride. The United States is committed to strengthening our energy security and confronting global climate change. And the best way to meet these goals is for America to continue leading the way toward the development of cleaner and more efficient technology." - SOTU

Doesn't this sort of put a serious crimp into his apologists attempts to deny it?



Monday, January 28, 2008

Democrats act like real Democrats
And it's ABOUT TIME.

Senators Clinton and Obama will both be in Washington today doing their job as Senators, and voting "No" on cloture re: extended FISA. Edwards was always going to be there, and will also.

Have they actually started to figure it out?





Tonight Bush will give his last (thank God) State of the Union address.

He will try to blame the fact that everything sucks on the Democrats.

Does anybody in the whole country care what this jerk has to say anymore?



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just think...
In South Carolina, possibly the most conservative state in the union, only 443,000 Republicans showed up to vote, whereas 520,000 Democrats showed up.

In South Carolina, the first state to secede from the union, a black man just got a quarter of the white vote in a three-person field, running against two white people.

"Come gather round, people, wherever you roam...."


I was expecting Obama to win SC, but not like THAT.

Hillary getting 27%. I do not want to see what that looks like behind the scenes, because it must be remarkably ugly. Americablog has pointed out that Hillary started to lose major support in SC in late November/early December. I've looked and I have no idea why. She was hardly in the news at all at the time.

And, at the same time, Obama gets an incredibly glowing endorsement from Caroline Kennedy.

A President Like My Father.



Friday, January 25, 2008

Are the Democrats actually getting a clue?
Reid Issues Ultimatum: More Time Or No Wiretaps

At a State of the Union preview speech today at the National Press Club, Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a dramatic ultimatum to President Bush: either sign an extension of the Protect America Act (which sets conditions for the administration's warrantless surveillance) or "there will be no wiretapping."

"It's up to the president," Reid announced during a question and answer session. "Does he want the law? It's up to him." Reid said Bush needs to sign the extension to give more time for the Senate to reach a compromise on a new bill. Senate Republicans this week obstructed every effort for amendments to be made to the pending FISA legislation.

"If it fails, he can give all the speeches he wants, including the State of the Union, about how we've stopped things," Reid said. "If he does that, it's disingenuous, and it's not true."


Food Stamp Challenge
Did you know that there was one, and some Congresspeople have taken it?




Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oh, that's brilliant
The solution to the fact that the whole economy is quickly turning to shit?

They'll give you a few hundred more dollars.

Bush doing this at the beginning of his term is what turned surplus into deficit and caused 7 years of stagnation.

This is all they know how to do and IT DOESN'T WORK.

This is the sort of fiscal irresponsibility that created this mess. We don't need a few hundred dollars - -we need a HEALTHY ECONOMY, and that means America STOP RUNNING UP DEBT.

But these idiots think the solution is to create MORE debt.

Gee - I'll get me a stereo, and America will become BANKRUPT.

What idiots.


Just in case you care
The New York Times is endorsing Senator Clinton.

Yes, I know. Neither do I, but I sort of have to mention it.


Everything is broken
When you place the Government in the hands of people who believe that Government can't do anything right, you GET a Government that can't do anything right.

Immigration officials detaining, deporting American citizens

FLORENCE, Ariz. — Thomas Warziniack was born in Minnesota and grew up in Georgia, but immigration authorities pronounced him an illegal immigrant from Russia.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement had held Warziniack for weeks in an Arizona detention facility with the aim of deporting him to a country he's never seen. His jailers shrugged off Warziniack's claims that he was an American citizen, even though they could have retrieved his Minnesota birth certificate in minutes and even though a Colorado court had concluded that he was a U.S. citizen a year before it shipped him to Arizona.

On Thursday, Warziniack was told he would be released. Immigration authorities were finally able to verify his citizenship.



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Telecom immunity

In Washington today, telecom lobbyists have launched a full-court press to win retroactive immunity for their illegal eavesdropping on American citizens. Granting retroactive immunity will let corporate law-breakers off the hook and hamstring efforts to learn the truth about Bush's illegal spying program.

"It's time for Senate Democrats to show a little backbone and stand up to George W. Bush and the corporate lobbyists. They should do everything in their power -- including joining Senator Dodd's efforts to filibuster this legislation -- to stop retroactive immunity. The Constitution should not be for sale at any price."


New Bush Coins
Change for the better.


Go Dennis. Illegitimi non carborundum.
Dennis Kucinich is intending to introduce articles of impeachment from the House Floor on the same day that Bush gives his State of the Union Speech.

Will he succeed? Of course not. Will he embarrass the hell out of a Democratic Congress that has abrogated its Constitutional duty by taking impeachment "off the table"?

You bet.


Bush lied
You know that. I know that. There is now an official study proving it.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."

Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration during the period studied: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.

Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq's links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell's 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.

Don't expect the liberal media to pay much attention, though.



Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



Mr. Excitement pulls out early
"Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people." - Fred Thompson

It's a shame. I can't make fun of his face anymore. I enjoyed saying that Romney looked like plastic and Thompson looked like plastic that had been microwaved too long. Now I can't.

Ah, well. C'est la vie.



Monday, January 21, 2008

Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words Dept.
Bush today at the MLK Memorial Library in DC.



Sunday, January 20, 2008

God I wish this was their REAL ad.



Saturday, January 19, 2008

There is such a thing as a free lunch.
And here is Bill Moyers interviewing David Cay Johnston to prove it. A terrific, short and brutal expose.



BILL MOYERS: But some of your critics have said you've gone beyond investigative reporting in this book to become a crusader against the rich. do you object to people getting rich?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Oh, no. I-- good grief. I have no objection to that whatsoever. But get rich by working hard, working smarter, coming up with a better mousetrap. Don't get rich by getting the government to pass a law that sticks the government's hand into my pocket, takes money out of it, and gives it to you. That's not right. That's not a fair playing field. And Adam Smith, you know, warned again and again that it is the nature and tendency of business people to want to put their thumb on the scale, and even better, to get the government to put the thumb on the scale for their benefit. And that's what we've seen going on now in our society for some time.



Friday, January 18, 2008

473 days of no email, including 16 from the Office of the Vice President. But:

MR. FRATTO: I think our review of this...I think to the best of what all the analysis we've been able to do, we have absolutely no reason to believe that any emails are missing...we have no reason to believe that any email at all are missing.

Q So where are they?

MR. FRATTO: Where are what? - Source


Osama Bin Laden's son...
...looks amazingly like an Oompa Loompa.

Just thought I'd point that out.


More of this
This is the sort of thing that no one else is saying, and it's nice to see some Democrat reject the Republicans' anti-Government frame with a little reality.

Obama. Via Liberal Oasis.

[W]e've had a federal government that I think has gotten worn down and ineffective during the course of the Bush Administration -- partly because philosophically this administration did not necessarily believe in government as an agent of change.

But it precedes the Bush administration.

I think that one of the missions I have as president is to, not create a bigger government, but to restore some luster to the federal government. To recruit the best and the brightest, and to say that service in federal government is something that is critically important to the well-being of the American people, and by the way, to the well-being of the marketplace.

We're now seeing the consequences, on the home foreclosure situation here in Nevada, of a lack of oversight. That's not to excuse the responsibility of speculators or financial markets.

But the fact of the matter is we weren't paying attention at the federal level, the agencies in charge, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Fed, others could have foreseen this happening. There had been warnings about it. But because either of a lack of a capacity, or lack of political will, it didn't happen.

That's something that I want to change. I want to make government cool again.


Emails? What emails?
Law? What Law?

White House Study Found 473 Days of E-Mail Gone

The White House possesses no archived e-mail messages for many of its component offices, including the Executive Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President, for hundreds of days between 2003 and 2005, according to the summary of an internal White House study that was disclosed yesterday by a congressional Democrat.

The internal study found that for Bush's executive office, no e-mails were archived on 12 separate days between December 2003 and February 2004, Waxman said. Vice President Cheney's office showed no electronic messages on 16 occasions from September 2003 to May 2005.

Archived e-mails were missing from even more days in other parts of the White House, the analysis found. The Council on Environmental Quality and the Council of Economic Advisers, for example, showed no stored e-mails for 2 1/2 months beginning in November 2003. The Office of Management and Budget showed no messages for 59 days -- including the period from Nov. 1, 2003, to Dec. 9, 2003 -- and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative showed no e-mail for 73 days.

The administration has so far refused to release the study and a number of documents related to it, including a large summary chart used in a closed-door briefing conducted for Waxman and other lawmakers last September by Emmet T. Flood, special counsel to the president.


George of Arabia
Better Kiss Your Abe ‘Goodbye’


Bobby Fischer is dead.

It's interesting how we attach symbolic significance to things above and beyond their reality. Regarding the Fischer/Spassky World Championship match, the article linked above says, accurately:

The event had tremendous symbolic importance, pitting the intensely individualistic young American against a product of the grim and soulless Soviet Union.

Which is EXACTLY how it was covered at the time. But what wasn't mentioned in the American Press at the time was that Boris Spassky, the "product of the grim and soulless Soviet Union" was (and is) a lovely, warm, kind and decent fellow who was liked or loved by just about everybody he ever met. Fischer - our "product of American individualism" - was rude, demanding, egotistical, impossible to get along with, and actually crazy. And he was pretty much hated - or at least very, very disliked - by just about everybody he ever met. And he appeared to be intent on making a total mockery out of that match with Spassky, inventing new and completely unreasonable demands daily. If you recall, for one game, he actually just didn't even bother to show up. Stayed locked in his hotel room with his phone pulled out of the wall while Spassky sat there for four hours and waited. The Soviets saw it as a clear-cut case of good vs. evil, and it had nothing to do with our respective economic systems.

Fischer, of course, got worse and worse with age, becoming a total recluse, and finally emerging from seclusion as ravingly anti-American and anti-Semitic, despite having a Jewish mother.

Mr. Spassky offered his condolences - something that I am certain Mr. Fischer would not have done if the shoe had been on the other foot.

He was an awesome genius as a chess player - probably the greatest ever - but he was a horrible human being, and I've often found it somewhat wrong that we, as a society, were all willing to overlook the fact that he was a horrible human being, simply because he was an American, and his opponent was Russian.


Fair & Balanced
The home page of the FOX News website:

Bush to Lay Out Plan
To Put $$ in Your Wallet

No bias there. No, sir.



Thursday, January 17, 2008

I've noticed this. What the hell is wrong with right-wingers that they take things PERSONALLY? If you don't like NASCAR, they're insulted. If you don't like action movies, there's something wrong with you. And if you like foreign food, it's proof of subversion.

They are really the thinnest skinned people ever to walk the face of the earth.



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Investigate all the Reagan appointees.
Former GOP Congressman charged in terrorism case

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al Qaeda and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

The former Republican congressman from Michigan, Mark Deli Siljander, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

A 42-count indictment, unsealed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Missouri, accuses the Islamic American Relief Agency of paying Siljander $50,000 for the lobbying -- money that turned out to be stolen from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Siljander, who served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, was appointed by President Reagan to serve as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations for one year in 1987.

He could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

The charges are part of a long-running case against the charity, which was formerly based in Columbia, Missouri, and was designated by the Treasury Department in 2004 as a suspected fundraiser for terrorists.

In the indictment, the government alleges that IARA employed a man who had served as a fundraising aide to Osama bin Laden.

The indictment charges IARA with sending approximately $130,000 to help Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whom the United States has designated as a global terrorist. The money, sent to bank accounts in Peshawar, Pakistan in 2003 and 2004, was masked as donations to an orphanage located in buildings that Hekmatyar owned.

I say we waterboard him until he admits that Bush was involved.


As an example of the press deciding who they want to win, and writing the story they want to write, here's the front screen of AOL:

"Michigan's Other Winner."

Giuliani's "strategy" came from the fact that he was tanking in New Hampshire - the more they saw of him, the less they liked him. It wasn't some "strategy" - he basically had no choice. He WAS campaigning in NH. He was forced to stop because it wasn't working.

And in Michigan, he got 3% of the vote.

He came in sixth - only beating "Uncommitted" and somebody named "Hunter" whom no one ever heard of. He came in behind EVERYBODY.

He got 24,700 votes in the entire State of Michigan.

And he's "Michigan's Other Winner."

Obviously, they are determined to spin ALL news as "good" for Rudy.



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Right now, he has 3% of the vote in Michigan.


Romney wins Michigan

He'll be posing for publicity pictures in the Mall window, right next to the mannikin.



"I can press when there needs to be pressed;
I can hold hands when there needs to be -- hold hands."
- George W. Bush



Monday, January 14, 2008

Aw, what does he know?
He's just the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I'm sure that a spoiled frat boy who prances around in a flight suit knows MUCH better.

Joint Chiefs Chairman: Close Guantanamo

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) -- The chief of the U.S. military said he favors closing the prison here as soon as possible because he believes negative publicity worldwide about treatment of terrorist suspects has been "pretty damaging" to the image of the United States.

"I'd like to see it shut down," Adm. Mike Mullen said Sunday in an interview with three reporters who toured the detention center with him on his first visit since becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last October.


Squeegeeing for Rudy Giuliani

Monday, January 14th 2008, 12:44 AM

While other candidates are promising change, the cash-strapped Giuliani campaign is all but begging contributors for whatever change they can spare.

Rudy Giuliani himself is still rich enough to keep his Judi happy, but his campaign is becoming as broke as the panhandlers he once sought to vanquish from the city's streets.

So I figured I would do my part to help out the man America knows as the hero of 9/11.

I arrived at the Watts St. entrance to the Holland Tunnel yesterday with a hand-lettered cardboard sign hanging by twine from my neck:


With a squeegee in one hand and a bucket in the other, I stepped into traffic. More than a few of the drivers looked as if they were beholding a dread apparition from the dirty old past.

We here in New York also know Giuliani as the mayor who heroically rid us of the three or maybe even four dozen squeegee men who worked our streets.



Sunday, January 13, 2008

Your President

Holy crap, this man is a total embarrassment.

"US President George W. Bush, left, sits with Bahrain's king, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, right, during the arrival ceremony in the courtyard of Sakhir Palace, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008, in Manama, Bahrain.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)"

You will note that the offical AP caption does not say "President Bush with his hand in his crotch, apparently trying to hold in diarrhea."



Saturday, January 12, 2008

Just got this from a reader in Canada
"If you want to witness the most corrupt democracy of all you have to look no farther then the United States. Presidential candidates are determined not by support from people but how much they are able to fund raise! The American media determines the top tier candidates based on how much they earn each quarter and then suggest who is the top tier candidates. And that is the biggest corruption of what I think democracy should be. "

And I hate to say it, but he has a point.


How convenient
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Blackwater Worldwide repaired and repainted its trucks immediately after a deadly September shooting in Baghdad, making it difficult to determine whether enemy gunfire provoked the attack, according to people familiar with the government's investigation of the incident.

Damage to the vehicles in the convoy has been held up by Blackwater as proof that its security guards were defending themselves against an insurgent ambush when they fired into a busy intersection, leaving 17 Iraqi civilians dead.

The repairs essentially destroyed evidence that Justice Department investigators hoped to examine in a criminal case that has drawn worldwide attention.


Chris Matthews will not stop being a raving asshole
"The reason [Hillary Clinton is] a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around." - Chris the Screamer

Chris? You wouldn't have a show if Bill Clinton hadn't messed around.


Note to Democrats:

Friday, January 11, 2008

"No woman is illegal"
While campaigning in Nevada Friday, the next state in the caucus process for Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton declared "no woman" was an illegal immigrant.

Mrs. Clinton was shaking hands and meeting people one-on-one in a Las Vegas neighborhood when she made the comment.

During a conversation with one woman who spoke broken English, a man shouted from an opening in a nearby wall that his wife was illegal.

"No woman is illegal," Mrs. Clinton answered back to cheers, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper.

Leaving aside the gender question - one person who heard it said he thought she said "No ONE is illegal" - this statement (which is going to be very attacked, I'm sure) drew me up short, because I never thought of it before, and she's right.

I don't know if she even intended to do so - she may have just been blathering, after all - but she actually made a very valid and profound point, one that had never occurred to me before: People aren't illegal. Actions are illegal. It's impossible for people to be illegal. People aren't crimes.

Of course, we call undocumented immigrants "illegal" all the time. But the fact that we unthinkingly call people "illegal" is an example of how we accept a false anti-immigration frame that is placed around the immigration issue, and like all frames, it affects how we think about it.

So when those immigrants took to the streets and protested a couple of years ago, a common sentiment was "They have some nerve protesting. They're illegal." Which almost sounds like it makes sense.

But if those same people were to say, more accurately, "They have some nerve protesting. They did something that was illegal" - well, the sentiment suddenly makes almost NO sense.

Hillary was right: man or woman, no person is illegal. What they DO may be illegal. THEY aren't. And that isn't just semantics. As is often the case with language, the words you use affect how you think.



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bush urges end to Israeli 'occupation'

US President George W Bush is urging an end to "the occupation" of the West Bank and wants a treaty to be signed within a year to create a Palestinian state.

The United States rarely uses the politically charged word "occupation" to describe Israel's hold on lands captured in a 1967 war. It is a term Palestinians seeking a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip employ frequently to describe their plight.

"The establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue. The Palestinian people deserve it," Bush said in a statement he read to reporters in a Jerusalem hotel.

Bush's language, after he travelled to the West Bank city of Ramallah past Israeli checkpoints and settlements, could cause political pain to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whose right-wing coalition partners usually bridle at such remarks.

"There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967," Bush said. He had earlier met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and visited Bethlehem, also in the West Bank.


These people could F up a wet dream.
It's horrifying that people this totally incompetent are in charge of fighting terrorism.

FBI Wiretaps Dropped Due to Unpaid Bills

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.

A Justice Department audit released Thursday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. Poor supervision of the program also allowed one agent to steal $25,000, the audit said.

Gee, it's nice to know how important the FBI actually thinks those wiretaps are to national security.

Not important enough to pay the phone bill, apparently.


You may be hearing some folks claiming that the NH primary was rigged. Ignore the nonsense. Read this excellent kos diary instead.

Enough with the "Diebold Hacked the NH Primary" Lunacy


Headlines of our time

Republicans Descend on South Carolina

Oooooooooh Noooooooooooooooo!



Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Just a thought...
Everytime I hear a candidate call himself an "agent of change" I think it sounds like he's claiming to have worked as a toll collector.


Romney gives up in SC and Florida
Well, that's not a good sign.

Romney Decides to Pull Ads in S.C., Fla.

By JIM KUHNHENN and GLEN JOHNSON – 2 hours ago

BOSTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has decided to pull his advertising from South Carolina and Florida, in a sign of trouble for a campaign that badly needs a win. Romney had been hoping to challenge John McCain and Mike Huckabee in South Carolina, and Rudy Giuliani in Florida, where the former New York mayor has been spending time and money.

"We feel the best strategy is to focus our paid messaging in Michigan," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said Wednesday.

Sir Mitt Of The Hair And Shoulders probably thinks it has something to with figuring out the demographics and crafting a message.

Actually, his basic problem is that he looks too much like this guy:






Comment from my friend Dorothy:

"God forbid Hillary should sneeze in public; they'd claim she was dying of pneumonia."


New York Post, Yesterday Morning



The Hillary attacks backfire.
Ok, so Hillary won New Hampshire. What kind of surprise is that, eh? Comeback Kid II, the Sequel.

But I don't think it was because she cried. I think it was because of the reaction to her crying. I mean, all these maniacs jumped all over her like a pack of rabid dogs. And why? Because she teared up for a quarter of a second. HORRORS.

The pompous windbags instantly declared it her "Dean Scream Moment." "It proves that she can't handle pressure!" they yelled. How could she ever recover from the sheer shame and horror of getting a little choked up? She can't cry - even a LITTLE - it shows that she's just a silly woman.

Well, when I saw the clip of Hillary "crying" (which was actually just choking up a bit), for one thing I was amazed as how minor it was, considering all the noise; and for another, I thought she actually looked GOOD, not bad. But she was characterized by the right-wing as "bawling," "weeping," "blubbering"; "Hillary goes boo-hoo!"; "Stick a fork in her!" And anybody watching it with their own eyes could see that that was crap. A thoroughly insane over-reaction.

I think all that nonsense really pissed a lot of people off. The undercurrent of misogyny was blatant and disgusting. The punditry were jumping all over themselves, demonstrating their biases blatantly, and telling us how we were to react and what we were to think.

And the unspoken assumption was that the voters were all a pack of morons.

I think the excessive levels of attack backfired badly, and drove people to the polls. Independent voters got angry and gave the right-wing haters two fingers.

The Hillary haters tried to raise the roof of phony indignation for the umpteenth time - and people are just sick of it.

If any right-wingers actually read this blog, I have a question: have you ever considered NOT acting like a bunch of jerks? I mean, just once?



Tuesday, January 08, 2008

NBC has just projected Hillary the winner.

And I AM surprised.


New Hampshire
McCain won the Republican race. As of this posting, Hillary is in the lead - surprisingly. But that one is close and still unknown.

McCain and Huckabee. They will have to be locked in a room and fight in out amongst themselves for the title of Bull Goose Loony.

Romney the Plastic and Rudy the Repulsive may be in trouble.


Just an observation
None of the Republican candidates are asking the Republican President to stump for them.

I can't imagine why not.


Absolutely Huge
The turnout in New Hampshire, that is.

They are looking for more ballots.

According to Scanlan, the ballot strain seems to be on Democratic ballots, which suggests that the undeclared voters are breaking for the Democratic primary. New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner predicted that 90,000 undeclared voters would vote in the Democratic primary compared to 60,000 voting in the Republican primary.



New Hampshire going Democrat
I hate using "blue" and "red" to designate the parties. What are they - football teams?

I also hate counting chickens - whoever wins the primary will be smeared like nobody's business.

But it looks like New Hampshire is changing parties.

It would be seet if Rive's and Bush's legacy was the crumbling of the party.


Hillary Clinton teared up for about a quarter of a second. In related news, Ragnarok begins.

Is it just me, or did she look terrific? Everybody is screaming about it, and when I saw the video, I was astonished at a) how minor it was and b) how moving her little talk was.

If the thing is allowed to stand on its own, I think it helps her. Of course, after it gets through the media meat grinder, and they all tell us what we're supposed to think of it, it probably won't.

Here it is:

And here is her response to the national freakout:

(Let me know if you can see these videos. I can't. I'm cut off from youtube at work, and I'm taking it on faith that the html I've pasted will show the video.)



Monday, January 07, 2008



I can't take the stress
Some Brand-Name Bloggers Say Stress of Posting Is a Hazard to Their Health


Sitting around in your pajamas all day and getting cranky is pure hell.



When you're in a hole, keep digging
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (CNN) -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination was her own fault, the country's president, Pervez Musharraf, said in an interview on U.S. television.

"For standing up outside the car, I think it was she to blame alone -- nobody else. Responsibility is hers," the former general told CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday.



Sunday, January 06, 2008

No real surprise
What do you expect when the dollar keeps falling, the deficit keeps climbing, loan companies go bankrupt, and your pouring every cent into a foreign country?

In fact, it's just LIKE the housing bubble - they think it can just go on forever, now matter how foolish and irresponsible they are.

But remember - according to Bush, the economy is doing just great.

UK standard of living rises above that in America for the first time in a century

DAILY MAIL - For the first time in more than 100 years, British living standards have risen above those of Americans, a report has declared.

Increasing incomes, longer holidays and "free" healthcare have all contributed to making Britons better off than our friends across the Atlantic, according to the respected Oxford Economics consultancy.


GOP Candidates: Compare and contrast
Mitt Romney: Plastic.

Fred Thompson: Plastic that's been microwaved too long.



Saturday, January 05, 2008

Huck the hillbilly
Here's Keith Olbermann and E.J. Dionne on Huckabee, and his opposition in his own party.



Friday, January 04, 2008

What a clown
Rudy Giuliani, when asked about his poor performance in Iowa:

"None of this worries me - Sept. 11, there were times I was worried."

Rudy is so out of touch that he doesn't realize that it's reached the point of pure parody.


Repeat the script. Rinse. Repeat.
From CBS:

Blog: Huckabee Win Helps Giuliani

A perfect example of a cardinal principle: WHATEVER the news is, it always reinforces the Media Villager's pre-conceived script. The Washington Press likes Giuliani: Therefore, a win for Huckabee is good news for Giuliani.

You won't see a thing on CBS claiming that a win for Huckabee is - well - good new for Huckabee.


Chris Dodd for Majority Leader
Now that he's withdrawn from the race.

From Senator Dodd:

I count the past year of campaigning for the presidency as one of the most rewarding in a career of public service.

Unfortunately, I am withdrawing from that campaign tonight.

But there is no reason to hang our heads this evening -- only the opportunity to look towards a continuation of the work we started last January: ending the Iraq War, restoring the Constitution, and putting a Democrat in the White House.

I know a lot of you came to this email list through a shared desire to return our nation to one that respects the rule of law, and I want to make one thing clear to all of you:

The fight to restore the Constitution and stop retroactive immunity does not end with my Presidential campaign. FISA will come back in a few weeks and my pledge to filibuster ANY bill that includes retroactive immunity remains operative.

You've been an invaluable ally in the battle, and I'll need you to stick by my side despite tonight's caucus results.

So, one more time, thank you for all of your efforts throughout the course of this entire Presidential campaign.

We made a real difference in shaping the debate, and we'll continue to do so in the coming days, weeks and years.

I'll never forget you, and what we've fought for, together, over the past year.

Chris Dodd



Thursday, January 03, 2008

Obama and Huckabee
Ok - so Chris Dodd didn't win the Democratic primary. But the Republican primary was won by Some Nutjob, so that makes me 1 for 2.

Edwards came in third, which disappointed me. I thought he might pull it out in the last few days.

None of it is really a surprise. Unfortunately, I think Obama is the weakest national candidate - not because he's black, but because he's green - and he has really turned me off with his hard rightward veer in the closing days of the campaign.

Huckabee, of course, is a thoroughly insane clown, who (I hope) has no chance in a national election. I'm not all upset about it, because the Republican voters had no one BUT thoroughly insane clowns, and chose the one who speaks well. But the Beltway Villagers really hate Huckabee's guts - yes, he's repulsive, but he's not their sort of repulsive. I do expect them to jump all over him like rats on Willard's evil boss.

On to New Hampshire, and may the least repulsive win.

UPDATE: Edwards appears to have come in second, not third. The Mighty Hillary is third.




Mellencamp rallies 'God's Country' to Edwards' side

Rock star John Mellencamp performs during the last stop of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards 36-hour bus tour around Iowa on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008 in West Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

by John Chase

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa—Presidential hopeful John Edwards capped a 36-hour, 16-stop tour of Iowa on Wednesday by declaring at a rock concert that he was the only candidate who could fight corporate greed and represent the common American worker.


"Is this heaven?" "No - it's Iowa."
I herewith make an official prediction: either Obama, Hillary or Edwards will win Iowa.

Or not.

As for the Republican Primary, I can predict with confidence that it will be won by Some Nutjob.

Iowa has never been regarded as being as important as New Hampshire. Possibly because it's a thoroughly Byzantine system of choosing candidates; possibly just because it's Iowa.

Below is a listing of past winners of the Iowa Caucus (the first one was in 1972). You will note that Iowa doesn't seem to predict much in an open field. The winner of Iowa went on to win the primary when the primary was nearly a formality: an incumbent or a sitting Vice-President. The only exception is John Kerry's win just four years ago.

January 24, 1972 - "Uncommitted" (36%) and Edmund Muskie (36%). George McGovern was the nominee.
January 19, 1976 - "Uncommitted" (37%). Jimmy Carter - who was second behind the uncommitted vote (28%) - was the nominee
January 21, 1980 - Jimmy Carter (59%). Carter was the incumbent.
February 20, 1984 - Walter Mondale (49%). Mondale was veep.
February 8, 1988 - Richard Gephardt (31%). Who? Mike Dukakis (Who? again) was the nominee. He came in third.
February 10, 1992 - Tom Harkin (76%). Harkin is from Iowa, which explains it. But Clinton - the nominee, of course - came in fourth, with only 3% of the vote.
February 12, 1996 - Bill Clinton (unopposed).
January 24, 2000 - Al Gore (63%). Gore was veep.
January 19, 2004 - John Kerry (38%). Kerry won Iowa, and was indeed the nominee. Edwards was 2nd, with 32%.

I don't see much evidence that Iowa means much in a wide-open field, although I fear that that may have changed with the hyper-acceleration of the media cycle and that Kerry is evidence of that. I hope not. I hate the idea that Presidential candidates are pretty much chosen by two of the smallest states in the union.

Ok - I changed my mind. I predict that Chris Dodd will win Iowa.

Some Nutjob is still front-runner for the Republicans, though.



Wednesday, January 02, 2008



Criminal probe begun
The Justice Depatment is beginning a criminal inquiry into the destruction of the CIA tapes.

And the New York Times has an Op-Ed by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the 9/11 Commission charging that the CIA obstructed their investigation. And their very clear concise timeline (at the link) leaves little doubt of it.

MORE than five years ago, Congress and President Bush created the 9/11 commission. The goal was to provide the American people with the fullest possible account of the “facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001” — and to offer recommendations to prevent future attacks. Soon after its creation, the president’s chief of staff directed all executive branch agencies to cooperate with the commission.

The commission’s mandate was sweeping and it explicitly included the intelligence agencies. But the recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation....

What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the president, to investigate one the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.

Obstructing an investigation into a terrorist attack? An investigation whose purpose is to prevent future attacks?

Do they still have hanging offenses? Because if anything still constitutes a hanging offense, that's got to be ONE, doesn't it?



Kucinich backs Obama
Kucinich says that if he doesn't meet the 15% threshold, Iowans second vote should go to Obama.

That's a fairly huge thing, since Kucinich is almost certain not to meet the 15% threshold.

Personally, I would have thought that Kucinich was more of an Edwards kind of guy. Especially with Obama veering pretty damned far to the right in an attempt to win.



Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Breaking News: Romney flip flops. Water is wet.
JOHNSTON, Iowa (Reuters) - Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Tuesday the Bush administration mismanaged the Iraq war, distancing himself from his party's unpopular president two days before Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential contest.

Wasn't it just a a couple of weeks ago that Romney attacked Huckabee for criticizing Bush on Iraq.

"Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others."


Good God.
Mike Huckabee is defending the fact that he was stone ignorant about the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran (which was all over the papers at the time) by comparing it to news about Britney Spears.

DES MOINES — Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee defended his failure to read the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran in early December, joking in an interview Monday that President Bush didn’t read intelligence reports for four years.

“The point I’m trying to make is that, on the campaign trail, nobody’s going to be able, if they’ve been campaigning as hard as we have been, to keep up with every single thing, from what happened to Britney last night to who won ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ ”

How can even a bare-footed hillbilly at a revival meeting vote for this clown?





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