Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Teacher Accused of Liberal Quizzing

"> - Teacher accused of giving 'liberal' quiz - Nov 25, 2005: "Teacher accused of giving 'liberal' quiz Friday, November 25, 2005; Posted: 1:38 p.m. EST (18:38 GMT)  

BENNINGTON, Vermont (AP) -- A high school teacher is facing questions from administrators after giving a vocabulary quiz that included digs at President Bush and the extreme right. Bret Chenkin, a social studies and English teacher at Mount Anthony Union High School, said he gave the quiz to his students several months ago.

The quiz asked students to pick the proper words to complete sentences. One example: 'I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes.' 'Coherent' is the right answer. Principal Sue Maguire said she hoped to speak to whomever complained about the quiz and any students who might be concerned. She said she also would talk with Chenkin. School Superintendent"    

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Flying Fetus Fiasco

From The Guardian via The Smirking Chimp:

"The Guardian:
An anti-abortion group has gone to court to argue its right to fly pictures of aborted foetuses over tourist beaches on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, as aerial advertisements.

The Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, based in California, already displays pictures of first-term aborted foetuses on billboards on the sides of trucks, as well as pictures of what it claims are aborted limbs on its website home page. Now it wants to take its message to the skies.

Robert Muise, a lawyer for the centre, told three judges from the San Francisco-based ninth US circuit court of appeals that flying the pictures over sunbathing holidaymakers was the only way his clients could make their point effectively. 'That's the essence of their message,' said Mr Muise. 'Those pictures convey messages that are rhetorically inexpressible.'

Claiming the ban violated freedom of speech, the organisation said it also effectively thwarted their ability to engage in public debate and influence opinion. They are seeking protection under the first amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech.
More at the link"

State of the Day: This Is How They Do It: Lie, Rinse, Repeat

"Despite official retractions, strategy reversals, and policy changes, the Right Wing hatemongers repeat and embellish the lie.

Even two and a half years later, the lie is front and center for the likes of Ann Coulter:

In the Iraq war so far, the U.S. military has deposed a dictator who had already used weapons of mass destruction and would have used them again. As we now know, Saddam Hussein was working with al-Qaida and was trying to acquire long-range missiles from North Korea and enriched uranium from Niger.
Exactly which WMD would Saddam have used again, Ann? The ones that we are no longer even searching for? Or the ones that Rumsfeld's military is shamefully using 'over there so we don't have to fight them over here?'

Read more of Ann's latest bile-fueled, falsehood-laden, hate-mongering opinion piece.

This type of bald-faced lying is a hallmark of Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and others on the Raving Right. This strategy is doubly effective because it solidifies the lie with those who missed the retraction and it gets the mainstream media to focus on the lie again, instead of on the rebunking of the lie. This obscures the real story, sometimes completely. This works to the advantage of the side that is lying. Often instead of arguing about the point in question, the Right will cry, 'The Democrats are doing this for political gain,' which takes the attention away from the issue, whatever it is, and turns it to partisan politics. If the story now shifts to Democrats vs. Republicans, or Liberals vs. Conservatives, or 'he said, she said,' the liars win because the public has been distracted by what the lie was designed to obscure."

Monday, November 28, 2005

Quotes from Duke Cunningham

I can't vouch for the accuracy of these comments, so if you want to check-out their veracity, back-track the sources. (The source is usually accurate.) - Comments: "Referring to President Clinton's anti-war activities during the Vietnam War, Cunningham once said Clinton 'would be tried as a traitor and even shot' if he lived in another nation. [San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/9/1998, pp. B-1,8]'[The leadership of Congress] ought to be lined up and shot. I'm talking bout the liberal leadership.' (to a Washington Post reporter)

[Washington Post 'Reliable Source' column, 10/6/1992, Blade-Citizen, 10/10/1992]Mr. Cunningham, who underwent prostate surgery, compared prostate cancer treatment to gay anal sex before the same group of elderly cancer patients at Alvarado Hospital. Cunningham said no man would enjoy prostate cancer treatment 'unless he's Barney Frank.'Mr. Cunningham then made an obscene gesture in reference to prostate examinations. The reference is to fellow Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), an openly gay Congressman.Rep. Frank replied Cunningham's 'not a guy who's taken all that seriously. He does not have a high reputation for the thoughtful, analytical content of his remarks.' Rep. Frank also said 'He seems to be more interested in discussing homosexuality than most homosexuals.' [S.D. Union-Tribune, 9/9/1998 B8, editorial, 9/10/1998 B10]

On the floor of the house, during debate of the Clean Water Act, Cunningham said backers of a defeated amendment to make the military comply with water pollution rules are 'the same people who would vote to cut defense $177 billion, the same ones that would put homos in the military, the same ones that would not fund BRAC, the same ones that would not clear up . . . No, I will not sit down, you socialist [Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-CO)].' [audio] [Congressional Record, 104th Congre"

How do these people get elected?

CapitolBuzz: Santorums Park In A Handicapped Spot?

CapitolBuzz: Santorums Park In A Handicapped Spot?: "Santorums Park In A Handicapped Spot?
A Buzz reader reports seeing one of Rick Santorum's cars parked in a handicapped parking spot at the Tyson's Corner mall in Virginia over the Thanksgiving weekend and then saw Mrs Santorum carrying bags of stuff to her handicapped parking spot.

1) This guy is never in PA.

2) He doesn't just cut programs to help the disabled. He also takes their parking spots.

3) His little shopping spree did more to help the VA economy than his Senate career has done to help the PA economy.

# posted by The Buzz @ 3:31 AM "

DeLay defends Cunningham's home sale

A golden oldie from the dusty stacks of moldy wax:
DeLay defends Cunningham's home sale: "DeLay defends Cunningham's home sale
By Patrick O'Connor

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) yesterday defended Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) after calls from congressional Democrats to investigate the Republican appropriator for selling his San Diego home to a defense contractor whose firm had received $65 million in federal funds in 2004.

'Duke Cunningham is a hero,'DeLay said during a press briefing Tuesday. 'He is an honorable man of high integrity.'

Cunningham sold his home in 2003 to Mitchell Wade, president of MZM Inc., a Nevada-based defense contractor that specializes in security and intelligence-gathering technology. The company lost $700,000 after it resold the property eight months later, the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported Sunday."

Cunningham resigned from Congress Monday afternoon.

Birds of a feather...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Once Upon a Time...: When Honor Is No Longer Possible: A Nation Beyond Forgiveness

Once Upon a Time...: When Honor Is No Longer Possible: A Nation Beyond Forgiveness: "When Honor Is No Longer Possible: A Nation Beyond Forgiveness
Some stories are almost impossible to contemplate. This is one of them.

In June, Col. Ted Westhusing was found dead near the Baghdad airport. His death was most likely a suicide, a single gunshot wound to the head. His wife, who probably understood her husband better than anyone else, had no trouble identifying the cause:
In the military report, the unidentified colonel told investigators that he had turned to Michelle, Westhusing's wife, and asked what happened.

She answered:


Read the entire story. It is disturbing.

Hanging Chads Connect To Spirit Water Through the Ether

The Smirking Chimp: "Sketpical Inquirer: Katherine Harris ordered study of 'supernatural' water to protect citrus treesPosted on Tuesday, November 15 @ 16:20:13 EST This article has been read 573 times.

Excerpt:Florida's citrus crop contributes billions of dollars to the state's economy, so when that industry is threatened, anything that might help is considered. Back in 2001, when citrus canker was blighting the crop and threatening to reduce that vital source of revenue, an interesting�if not quite scientific alternative was considered.

Katherine Harris, then Florida's Secretary of State�and now a member of the U.S. House of Representatives�ordered a study in which, according to an article by Jim Stratton in the Orlando Sentinel, 'Researchers worked with a rabbi and a cardiologist to test �Celestial Drops,' promoted as a canker inhibitor because of its improved fractal design,' �infinite levels of order,' and �high energy and low entropy.''

The study determined that the product tested was, basically, water that had apparently been blessed according to the principles of Kabbalic mysticism, 'chang[ing] its molecular structure and imbu[ing] it with supernatural healing powers.'

More at the link.
MSNBC has picked up the story as well"

Will Fish Hook Tourists on Atlanta? - Will fish lure tourists to Atlanta? - Nov 21, 2005

"ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The Georgia Aquarium points to the Atlanta skyline like the prow of a giant ship -- an ark filled with more than 100,000 exotic creatures.

It's the largest aquarium in the world, with five 'galleries' that are home to fish that can be seen off the coast of Georgia, as well as some that have never been displayed on this continent.
City tourism officials hope visitors will come for the aquarium and stay to see other nearby attractions, such as Zoo Atlanta, the King Center and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site."

More Revisionist History Attempts by Bushie Spin Artists

Fox News Host Chris Wallace Claims Bush Never Linked Saddam and al-Qaeda.

"In a stunning display of historical revisionism, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace argued this morning that President Bush never tried to link al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein:

[T]hat specific quote there where you say he couldn't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, he wasn't saying that they were linked at all. He was saying one was as bad as the other, and when he said in that same answer something about that Saddam Hussein would like to use a terrorist network, he wasn't saying that they would like to use al Qaeda. So you're making a link there that the President never made.

Wallace focused on a single statement President Bush made on September 25, 2002. ('[Y]ou can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror.') But that statement was part of a series of statements that intentionally and explicitly linked Saddam and al Qaeda in the lead up to war. For example, this statement by Bush on February 8, 2003:"

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

George Will and the ideology of punctuation ... [Media Matters]

George Will and the ideology of punctuation ... [Media Matters]: "Will and the ideology of punctuation

Washington Post columnist George F. Will, in his November 20 Post column, pointed to proper punctuation as a way of distinguishing 'liberal' and 'conservative' sensibilities. Will lauded author Lynne Truss, whose book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (Gotham, 2004) brought her international recognition. Truss, a self-described 'punctuation vigilante,' wrote in Eats, Shoots & Leaves that her book 'gives you permission to love punctuation.' According to Will, Truss's book 'established her as -- depending on your sensibility -- a comma and apostrophe fascist (the liberal sensibility) or a plucky constable combating anarchy (the conservative sensibility).' Will offered no explanation for how he concluded that liberals oppose proper punctuation or that punctuation breaks down along ideological lines. Media Matters for America, however, was able to identify at least two writers -- one conservative and one liberal -- who do not fit into Will's punctuation paradigm, as evidenced by their views on the semicolon."

Limbaugh: Murtha "just the useful idiot of the ... [Media Matters]

Limbaugh: Murtha "just the useful idiot of the ... [Media Matters]: "Limbaugh: Murtha 'just the useful idiot of the moment'

Click Play to listen to this audio clip
Problems? Download this clip hereOn the November 21 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh asserted that Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA) -- who on November 17 called for the immediate redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq -- is 'just the useful idiot of the moment.'
Limbaugh added that people 'portray [Murtha] as a former hawk,' and asked: 'What kind of serious hawk calls for withdrawals like this?' Limbaugh then added: 'I don't think he ever has been a hawk ... in his career ... as a congressman.'
Limbaugh further asserted that Murtha is 'just getting his 15 minutes of fame like [anti-war protester] Cindy Sheehan got,' and characterized Murtha as 'just the latest member of the endless parade of personalities around whom the Democrats can circle and support.'"

Russert Twisting in the Wind?

Crooks and Liars: "Tim Russert Stonewalls again
Today on the Imus show, Don prodded Tim to tell his audience why Scooter Libby called him in the first place to complain about something he saw on MSNBC. Part of Scooter's defense to Fitzgerald has been that Tim Russert told him Valerie Plame's name during a phone call. Russert has denied that categorically and by using Libby's own notes we know Tim is correct. Isn't 'little Russ,' being a self important hypocrite by refusing to tell us exactly what Scooter had to say to him while he analyses everyone else in the Plame case including Booby?"

Monday, November 21, 2005

How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of 'Curveball' - Los Angeles Times

How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of 'Curveball' - Los Angeles Times: "How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of 'Curveball'
The Iraqi informant's German handlers say they had told U.S. officials that his information was 'not proven,' and were shocked when President Bush and Colin L. Powell used it in key prewar speeches.

By Bob Drogin and John Goetz, Special to The Times

BERLIN � The German intelligence officials responsible for one of the most important informants on Saddam Hussein's suspected weapons of mass destruction say that the Bush administration and the CIA repeatedly exaggerated his claims during the run-up to the war in Iraq.

Five senior officials from Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, or BND, said in interviews with The Times that they warned U.S. intelligence authorities that the source, an Iraqi defector code-named Curveball, never claimed to produce germ weapons and never saw anyone else do so.


According to the Germans, President Bush mischaracterized Curveball's information when he warned before the war that Iraq had at least seven mobile factories brewing biological poisons. Then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell also misstated Curveball's accounts in his prewar presentation to the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, the Germans said.

Curveball's German handlers for the last six years said his information was often vague, mostly secondhand and impossible to confirm. "

Rocky Mountain News: Local

Rocky Mountain News: Local: "ACLU suing over ouster from event
Action taken on part of 2 people booted from Bush speech
Email this story | Print By Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News
November 21, 2005
The American Civil Liberties Union is taking up the case of two of the three people ejected from a presidential appearance in Denver over a bumper sticker and has named a federal bureaucrat in Denver as the mystery man who ousted them.
The ACLU filed suit today in federal court in Denver, alleging violation of the pair's civil rights.
The suit identifies the man who ejected them as Michael Casper, a building manager in the General Services Administration in Denver. Casper has worked as a volunteer at several White House events since 1996. "

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Daily Kos: Who is Col. Danny Bubp?

Following is a short blip on the marine Rep. Schmidt quoted:

Daily Kos: Who is Col. Danny Bubp?: "Nearly thirty years in the Marines, and Col. Bubp missed every single military engagement? Southeast Asia? Beirut? Grenada? Panama? Gulf War? The Balkans? Somolia? He even missed embassy service in Paris!
But that hasn't stopped Col. Bubp from attacking the character of decorated veterans in the past. Col. Budp campaigned for Schmidt in her race against Iraq veteran Paul Hackett in the special election:"

There's quite a bit more if you back track the link.

Reporters and Sources

The Sideshow November 2005 Archive: "What are reporters for?
Looking at WaPo Ombud Deborah Howell's piece on anonymous sourcing, I have to wonder whether this is some special spin cooked up to paint over what's going on, or do the leading voices at one of the leading newspapers really not understand what's wrong with the fact that more and more, the paper looks like a gossip column rather than, well, a serious newspaper.
The thought of reporters testifying as prosecution witnesses in the Libby case frightened many at the conference. Lucy Dalglish, a lawyer and former reporter who is executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said, 'The public must have access to truth as much as possible, but reporters can't become agents of government prosecutions or civil litigants.' Most participants felt there should be a federal law to shield reporters from having to identify their sources; most states have laws offering some protection.
We've already noticed that Ms. Dalglish and her organization seem to be in thrall to the conservative spin machine, but let's face it, this statement is laughable in light of current events. Let's look at that again:
'The public must have access to truth as much as possible, but reporters can't become agents of government prosecutions or civil litigants.'
No, instead they should be agents of government criminality, eh?"

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Dean to Fitzgerald
The Smirking Chimp:"With all due respect, Mr. Fitzgerald, I believe you are being had. I believe that you were selected with the expectation that you would conduct the narrowest of investigations, and it seems you have done just that.

The leak of Valerie Wilson's status did not occur in a vacuum. Republicans in Congress do not want to know what truly happened. You are the last, best hope of the American people in this regard.

I can tell you, as someone who travels about the country, that Americans -- regardless of their political disposition -- are deeply troubled by this case. And, increasingly so, by the limits you have apparently placed on your investigation.

To right-minded Americans, the idea that Administration officials have betrayed their national security obligations, yet remain in their jobs, is nothing short of appalling. Beyond politics is patriotism: Patriotic Americans want to see you not only prosecute those who compromised and endangered Valerie Plame Wilson, but also force the Administration to clean house with respect to those who did this, which you can accomplish through appropriate civil action.

As one who does know something about the way Washington works, I hope you will actually use the plenary powers you have been granted to implement what I understood to be the announced policy of the Department of Justice for which you work -- a zero tolerance policy for leaks.

John W. Dean, a FindLaw columnist, is a former counsel to the president.

Copyright � 2005 FindLaw

Source: FindLaw "

Friday, November 18, 2005

Eyewitness Muse

Eyewitness Muse: "Society of Co-opted Journalists Presents Inaugural Judy Miller Award to Bob Woodward
EWM- (November 17, 2005) In recognition of �outstanding duplicity and journalistic sycophancy while promoting an agenda on behalf of the subject of his reportage,� the Society of Co-opted Journalists will present its inaugural Judy Miller Award to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.
The award is named for New York Times reporter Judy Miller whose pioneering work in co-opted journalism assisted the Bush Administration in whipping up a war. Miller was recently shamed into resigning her position, but her legacy lives on through the daily carnival of carnage in Iraq and this new award.
�Bob Woodward�s recognition as the first Judy Miller Award winner is wonderfully symmetrical,� said SCJ President Toady Flackmaster."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Blast From the Past

From Crooks and Liars comment thread:

from when Clinton sent troops to Bosnia - the one from W just kills me):

"You can support the troops but not the president."
---Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
---Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
---Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
---Sen Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
---Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain the y have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
---Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
---Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
-Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
-Governor George W Bush (R-TX)
sunny | 11.17.05 - 10:41 pm | #

Gee, the world sure changed after 9-11...

Chickenhawk List

Crooks and Liars comment thread:

"For all that are interested...

Here is a partial list of those who DID NOT SERVE but speak out strongly for sending others to war: Cheney (5 deferrments), Hastert, DeLay, Blunt, Frist, Mitch McConnell, Santorum, Lott, Ashcroft (7 deferrments to teach business), Jeb Bush, Rove, Saxby Chambliss (bad knee), Richard Perle, Doug Feith, Eliot Abrams, Richard Shelby, Gingrich, Jack Kemp (who, however, played an additional 8 years of pro football with a "knee problem," Guliani, Schwartzenegger (was AWOL from Austrian army base), Sean Hannity, Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, George Will, Pat Buchanan, Bill Kristol, Kenneth Starr, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Ralph Reed, Charlie Daniels, Ted Nugent, John Wayne.

Can you say CHICKENHAWK?

Those that did serve? Gephardt, Daschle, Gore, Kerrey, Kerry, Rangel, Cleland, Ted Kennedy, Harkin, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, John Glenn among many other Democrats."

Reagan, if I remember correctly, was in the Hollywood movie-making brigade, a position similar to so many of our keyboard warriors today.

Murtha Speaks

From Crooks and Liars comment rhread:

REP. MURTHA: "I like guys who've never been there to criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there, and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what need(s) to be done.

I resent the fact on Veterans Day he criticized Democrats for criticizing them. This is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion! The American public knows it. And lashing out at critics doesn't help a bit. You got to change the policy. That's what's going to help with the American people. We need to change direction. The troops -- what hurts the troops are the things that I listed before."

Amen, brother.

A Blogger on Murtha

Yep, another * blog: Those who do not heed the lessons of history: "I don't know why this hadn't occurred to me earlier but it's just struck me that the most vocal congressional opponents of the Iraq war and the torture of detainees are exactly the same ones who'd fought in Vietnam.

I think this is more than just a casual coincidence and that there's more to this than meets the eye. I do not think that Senators Kerry, McCain and Hagel and Congressman Murtha are so outspoken simply because they all served in Vietnam: I believe that their outspokenness stems from the fact that they'd fought in that other wrong-headed war to which Iraq is being compared. And even if I'm wrong about this, it's still a glaring common denominator well worth considering."

pork has much more to say. Check it out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

More Media Evil

"All The President's Stooges
by digby

I can't tell you how impressed I continue to be with the elite journalists in this country. After finding out that top reporters from The NY Times, The Washington Post and NBC all withheld information from the public about their leaders, I can only wonder what else they may be keeping back because of their cozy relationships, book deals, or political sympathies. This is a crisis in journalism.

Woodward and Miller have been willing tools of this administration from the get. Bob Novak was an open partisan on television, so everybody knew that they funneled information to him and he printed it for political purposes. These two (and their supporting players in television news) were the most important journalists in Washington working for the two most important papers in the country and the national news outlets. Among all the journalistic players in this, the only one who wrote the real story, in real time, was Matt Cooper. He's the one who should be getting the journalism awards, not Judy Miller. He's the only one who fulfilled his duty as a journalist and told his readers what their leaders were doing."

We definitely need reform in the media. Perhaps, all the bloggers will fuel this needed reform until we finally get accurate and fair reporting again.

Senate Strips Earmarks from 'Bridges to Nowhere'

From Press Room:

"Statement by Sierra Club Executive Director, Carl Pope

The Senate Appropriations Committee removed earmarks for two controversial 'bridges to nowhere' in Alaska: the Gravina bridge, which would connect Ketchikan to an island of 50 people, and the Knik Arm bridge, which would link Anchorage to a sparsely populated area.

The projects have been the subject of strong criticism because of the general backlog of existing roads and bridges in desperate need of repair, especially those affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. According to the National Association of Civil Engineers, one in four bridges nationwide is structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, not including the damage from Katrina and Rita.

The issue has been particularly controversial for Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) who has served as a strong advocate for the Gravina bridge despite the fact that her family owns 33-acres of undeveloped land 3/4 of a mile from the point where the bridge would touch down. Since the State would now decide how the money would be spent, her father, Governor Frank Murkowski, would now face the same ethical scrutiny."

The end of federally funded real estate development?

White House Tried to Salt Iraq with WMD's?

A Liberal Dose: Some Really Good Shit....: "According to U.S. intelligence sources, the White House exposure of Valerie Plame and her Brewster Jennings & Associates was intended to retaliate against the CIA's work in limiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. WMR has reported in the past on this aspect of the scandal. In addition to identifying the involvement of individuals in the White House who were close to key players in nuclear proliferation, the CIA Counter-Proliferation Division prevented the shipment of binary VX nerve gas from Turkey into Iraq in November 2002. The Brewster Jennings network in Turkey was able to intercept this shipment which was intended to be hidden in Iraq and later used as evidence that Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. U.S. intelligence sources revealed that this was a major reason the Bush White House targeted Plame and her network.

Brewster Jennings
CIA counter-proliferation network prevented a WMD 'salting' operation by Bush White House in Iraq.

In fact, U.S. intelligence sources report that the first shipment of VX nerve gas to Saddam Hussein was carried out between 1988 and 1989. The gas was shipped to Iraq by a U.S. company that was established in 1987 -- The Carlyle Group."

Read back on this story. Remember that camel and a straw? This could be an anvil.

N.Y. to Lose $125 Million in 9/11 Aid

N.Y. to Lose $125 Million in 9/11 Aid - Yahoo! News: "
WASHINGTON - Congressional budget negotiators have decided to take back $125 million in Sept. 11 aid from New York, which had fought to keep the money to treat sick and injured ground zero workers, lawmakers said Tuesday.

New York officials had sought for months to hold onto the funding, originally meant to cover increased worker compensation costs stemming from the 2001 terror attacks.
But a massive labor and health spending bill moving fitfully through House-Senate negotiations would take back that funding, lawmakers said.
'It seems that despite our efforts the rescission will stand, very sadly, and that is something of a promise broken,' said Rep. Vito Fossella (news, bio, voting record), R-N.Y. 'We will try hard in the coming weeks, but ultimately Congress will have something of a black eye over this"

Katrina: Time's Man of the Year?

Yellow Dog Blog: CNN�s Most Popular Stories Reveal Much About Us: " Katrina proposed as Time's Person of the Year. Time magazine's 2005 Person of the Year may not be a person after all. A panel of notables has made a strong case for awarding the distinction this year to Hurricane Katrina."

Amen. Future scholars may well recognize Katrina as the most important storm in American history, if not world history. To my knowledge, no other storm has been responsible for bringing down a national government. Epidemics, yes. Storms, no. And the pandemic is yet to come-- not we hope!

MediaCitizen: CPB Report Tells Only Part of the Story

MediaCitizen: CPB Report Tells Only Part of the Story: "CPB Report Tells Only Part of the Story

An Inspector General report released Tuesday by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting exposes a politically-motivated scheme by former chairman Kenneth Tomlinson to meddle with programming on PBS and NPR. But the report stops short of implicating the remaining leadership at the agency, and fails to reveal the extent to which the White House orchestrated Tomlinson's moves.

Missing from the report is email traffic between Tomlinson and White House political advisor Karl Rove, reportedly provided to Inspector General Kenneth Konz by investigators at the State Department. This evidence, which reveals the White House's hand in manipulations of public broadcasting programming, is still under lock and key at the heavily partisan CPB."

Another very good reason for some political turnover.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

GOP senator hits Bush for attacking war critics; Hints Congress endorsing another Vietnam by staying silent

The Raw Story | GOP senator hits Bush for attacking war critics; Hints Congress endorsing another Vietnam by staying silent: "Republican Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a Vietnam veteran and critic of Bush policy on Iraq, excoriated the Administration Tuesday in a speech to Council on Foreign Relations Tuesday, RAW STORY has learned.
Hagel blasted the Administration for going after Iraq war critics and turning the war into a political cause"

Once Upon a Time...: Bill Kristol's War, and the Hearst Journalism Awards

Once Upon a Time...: Bill Kristol's War, and the Hearst Journalism Awards: "Bill Kristol's War, and the Hearst Journalism Awards
Now that snapped you out of your slumber with a very nasty shock, didn't it? Can you imagine anything more sickening or horrifying than the idea that Bush's catastrophe in Iraq is in large part the rancid, lethal product of the mind (I use the term imprecisely) of one William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, now celebrating its tenth year as the leading propaganda organ of the neofascists and current holder of the William Randolph Hearst Award for Journalists Who Can Supply Any War You Want, You Just Send the Pictures. On their current record, Kristol and the Standard will hold that award for many years to come."

Rush's Money Making Scheme

Limbaugh Exploits Our Troops Rush Adopt a Soldier Program Limbaugh:
'Rush Limbaugh's Adopt a Solider Program and Exploitation Rush Announced his Adopt a Soldier Program But is it Really Generous and Patriotic? On Friday, Limbaugh announced his 'Adopt a Soldier Program'. This involves soliciting money from listeners to pay for subscriptions to the Limbaugh letter and Rush 24/7 that will be 'given' to the soldiers.

Each listener can 'adopt' as many soldiers as they wish who will each get a subscription. The donor pays the discounted price of $49.95 for each soldier. The description is on Rush's web site here... Adopt a Soldier Program Clearly this is a tasteless marketing ploy. Rush and Premiere Radio Networks are fattening their coffers by exploiting the generosity of listeners with the use of our military troops as props. There is not one thing stopping Limbaugh and Premiere from simply giving the subscriptions away. Rush 24/7 amounts to accessing content on This content is produced and costs Premiere the same no matter how many people are consuming it.

The Limbaugh Letter amounts to a handful of printed pages. If Rush and Premiere Radio Networks wished the troops to experience the generous and supportive spirit of the show, they would simply provide this to the troops instead of making it a function of how many Rush listeners are willing to pony up $49.95 per soldier. '

Why not just do what I do-- send a troop an extra $50 per month. They will like that a lot more than crap from this windbag. And by-the-damn-way-- I'm not adopting him, I am thanking him. posted by Bob @ 1:10 PM 0 comm"

Monday, November 14, 2005

Some One Body Needs Talkin' To - President's ratings hit new low in poll: "Fewer than one in 10 adults say they would prefer a congressional candidate who is a Republican and who agrees with Bush on most major issues, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday. Even among Republicans, seven of 10 are most likely to back a candidate who has at least some disagreements with the president."

Uh, who is this person? See the article for more wowsers.

Jersey Wannabe Gov Blown Away By Katrina?

Forrester says Bush's troubles tilted the vote: "Forrester says Bush's troubles tilted the vote
Republican took 'pounding' but thought he'd be governor
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff
It's all George W. Bush's fault.

Doug Forrester, in his first postelection interview, laid the blame for his loss in the governor's race last week directly at the feet of President Bush. He said the public's growing disaffection with Bush, especially after Hurricane Katrina, made it impossible for his campaign to overcome the built-in advantage Democrats have in a blue state like New Jersey.

'If Bush's numbers were where they were a year ago, or even six months ago, I think we would have won on Tuesday,' Forrester said. 'Katrina was the tipping point.' "

...perhaps for everything.

Bird Flu Meets The Three Stooges

The Smirking Chimp: "Meet Stewart Simonson. He's the official charged by Bush with 'the protection of the civilian population from acts of bioterrorism and other public health emergencies' -- a well-connected, ideological, ambitious Republican with zero public health management or medical expertise, whose previous job was as a corporate lawyer for Amtrak.

When Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, recently speculated, 'If something comes along that is truly serious�like a major pandemic, you are going to see the ineptitude of this government in a way that will take you back to the Declaration of Independence,' many of those professionally concerned with such scenarios couldn't help thinking of Simonson.

They recalled his own unsettling words at a recent Homeland Security subcommittee hearing on government response to a chemical or biological attack: 'We're learning as we go.'

'Great. What we need in the middle of a crisis is somebody learning on the job at that high level of government,' says Jerry Hauer, Simonson's immediate predecessor at the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness (OPHEP) and a veteran public health expert who served as Rudy Giuliani's director of emergency management from 1996 to 2000."

Thou Shalt Not Torture

TPMCafe || Man on Fire--Not!: "I think Dick Cheney has been watching too many Hollywood flicks that glorify torture. He needs, instead, to get on the ground and talk to the folks he is ostensibly trying to empower to torture. Unlike Dick I have spoken with three CIA operations officers in the last three months--all who have worked on terrorism at the highest levels--and not one endorses torture or believes it will help us. In fact, they believe it will hurt us on many levels.
Two of my friends served in Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. If the suicide bombing of the World Trade Centers was not enough justification for hooking Haji up to battery cables, I don't know what is. My friends recognized correctly that their mission was to gather intelligence not create new enemies. If you inflict enough pain on someone they will give you information, but, unless you kill them, they will hold a grudge. As far as the information goes there is no guarantee it will be correct. "

Colleges Make Presidents Millionaires

"Nov 14, 2005 — Curious where those extra tuition dollars are going? One place to look would be the pockets of college presidents.

Five presidents have cracked the $1 million compensation barrier, including John R. Silber, the now-retired president of Boston University, according to an annual survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education to be released Monday, and more are sure to follow. Nine earned more than $900,000 a figure none broke in last year's report.

All were at private universities, and the figures are for fiscal 2004, the most recent information available for private schools. More recent data on public universities, for the current academic year, shows salaries are rising there, too. Leaders of 23 public institutions are being paid $500,000 or more this year, up from 17 a year ago..."

How many faculty could be hired on these salaries? How would that impact class size? How many part-time faculty are abused with minimum wage positions with no benefits to support these obese porkers?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Lying Liars and Imminent Threats

Crooks and Liars

In Their Own Words: Iraq's 'Imminent' Threat

January 29, 2004
Download: DOC, PDF, RTF

The Bush Administration is now saying it never told the public that Iraq was an "imminent" threat, and therefore it should be absolved for overstating the case for war and misleading the American people about Iraq's WMD. Just this week, White House spokesman Scott McClellan lashed out at critics saying "Some in the media have chosen to use the word 'imminent'. Those were not words we used."

But a closer look at the record shows that McClellan himself and others did use the phrase "imminent threat" – while also using the synonymous phrases "mortal threat," "urgent threat," "immediate threat", "serious and mounting threat", "unique threat," and claiming that Iraq was actively seeking to "strike the United States with weapons of mass destruction" – all just months after Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted that Iraq was "contained" and "threatens not the United States." While Iraq was certainly a dangerous country, the Administration's efforts to claim it never hyped the threat in the lead-up to war is belied by its statements.

"There's no question that Iraq was a threat to the people of the United States."
• White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan, 8/26/03

"We ended the threat from Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction."
• President Bush, 7/17/03

The above was lifted from the "Senators Roberts and Rockefeller Debate" comment thread. There is much, much more.

More Ralph Reed Nastiness In e-mails, consultant claims link to Cornyn: "Christian Coalition leader says he influenced effort to shut casinos.

By Suzanne Gamboa
Saturday, November 12, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed claimed in a 2001 e-mail to a lobbyist that he choreographed John Cornyn's efforts as Texas attorney general to shut down an East Texas Indian tribe's casino.

The lobbyist was Jack Abramoff, who is under federal investigation, along with his partner Michael Scanlon, on allegations of defrauding six Indian tribes of about $80 million from 2001 to 2004. The e-mail, along with about a dozen others, was released last week as part of the investigation. "

Apparently, casino fraud pays better than God's work.

A Question for the Decade

The Smirking Chimp: "It has been 25 years since Ronald Reagan declared war on the federal government, and five since President Bush and the extremist neo-conservatives took power intending to finish the job.

Is America better off? Are you?

The ranks of the poor are growing. Good jobs are fleeing overseas. Real wages have stagnated, personal debt is climbing and bankruptcies are soaring. Millions more Americans -- children in particular -- are without health coverage. Public schools are gasping for air. The rich are vastly richer -- but sharply higher fuel, tuition, insurance, health care and housing costs, to name just a few, have crippled middle-class progress.

The federal budget -- finally balanced just a few years ago -- is hemorrhaging red ink by the trillions, a burden we've callously dumped on our grandchildren."

Edwards Says He Was Wrong on Iraq

The Right Way in Iraq:
By John Edwards
Sunday, November 13, 2005; B07

I was wrong.

Almost three years ago we went into Iraq to remove what we were told -- and what many of us believed and argued -- was a threat to America. But in fact we now know that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction when our forces invaded Iraq in 2003. The intelligence was deeply flawed and, in some cases, manipulated to fit a political agenda.

It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake -- the men and women of our armed forces and their families -- have performed heroically and paid a dear price.

The world desperately needs moral leadership from America, and the foundation for moral leadership is telling the truth."

Follow the link for the entire article.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

FEMA Not In Charge: Engineers Work to Repair Levees by 2006

ABC News: Engineers Work to Repair Levees by 2006: "NEW ORLEANS Nov 12, 2005 � Engineers may not have time to rebuild all 350 miles of battered levees in the New Orleans area before the next hurricane season, but they plan to shore up the structures enough to withstand another storm.
The Army Corps of Engineers expects to stabilize any weak areas in the levee system before the 2006 hurricane season begins in June.
'Construction might continue past June ... but it will be capable of protecting from a hurricane,' said Walter Baumy, chief engineer for the agency's New Orleans district."

The Divine Miss A Scores Another Point

The Blog | Arianna Huffington: Chalabi on Misleading America to War: Dude, It's An Urban Myth, Totally! | The Huffington Post: "We were all struck by his command of political buzzwords and American slang -- at one point declaring that the idea he had used faulty intelligence to lead the U.S. into invading Iraq was 'an urban myth.' (For some urban reality, read David Corn's takedown on Chalabi's use of this term in relation to another charge against him.)
I've seen this response before. People are always impressed when a foreigner can string 3 sentences together (it's a reaction that's served me well over the years)."

...ahhmen, to that. But at least people are starting to dissect the message rather than worship the messanger. A con man is a con man in any language.

Pat Serves God's Foot

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth: "Pat Robertson says 'Intelligent Design' is really about the Christian God
by John in DC - 11/11/2005 07:05:00 PM

Well, at AMERICAblog reader Russ points out, Pat Robertson pretty much just destroyed any possible chance the intelligent design folks had, anywhere. Robertson said yesterday that since a Pennsylvania school district voted out all 8 of its school board members who support intelligent design, they can expect God's wrath to come down on them.

Now, call me crazy, but if intelligent design doesn't necessarily have anything to do with God, then why will God's wrath come down on a town that voted that ridiculous theory down?

Anybody out there fighting the intelligent design folks, please use this. Pat Robertson just admitted that intelligent design is about teaching our kids all about the Christian God in school.

Thanks Pat. You're the gift that keeps on giving."

I'm sure he had a few chimps fooled.

Shocking Accusation of Truth Shading by White House

Asterisks Dot White House's Iraq Argument: "Asterisks Dot White House's Iraq Argument
By Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, November 12, 2005; Page A01
President Bush and his national security adviser have answered critics of the Iraq war in recent days with a two-pronged argument: that Congress saw the same intelligence the administration did before the war, and that independent commissions have determined that the administration did not misrepresent the intelligence.
Neither assertion is wholly accurate."

I am stunned. Bush was inaccurate? Tell me, no. The sky is falling...

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Smirking Chimp

The Smirking Chimp: "If the Left wants to duplicate these results in 2006 and take back the Hill, it must respond to this victory not with conciliatory gee-whiz shuffling of feet, but with a full-out charge against the neoconservative agenda. So what if most Americans believe in angels? That doesn't mean they believe in a vengeful Old Testament god out to punish women and gays for being born, or that the world is 6,000 years old. Wake up, Democrats. There is a secular majority waiting to hear you take a stand. "

Point To Ponder

The Smirking Chimp: "If the Left wants to duplicate these results in 2006 and take back the Hill, it must respond to this victory not with conciliatory gee-whiz shuffling of feet, but with a full-out charge against the neoconservative agenda. So what if most Americans believe in angels? That doesn't mean they believe in a vengeful Old Testament god out to punish women and gays for being born, or that the world is 6,000 years old. Wake up, Democrats. There is a secular majority waiting to hear you take a stand. "

An Amateur Review of Al Franken's The Truth (with jokes)

Al Franken’s The Truth (with jokes) was the first hard-cover book I’ve bought in 20 years. Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9-11 was the first full-price DVD I’ve ever bought. Do you see a common thread? I’m going to put a few bucks in the pocket of anyone willing to the poke the Beast with a stick.

And Al Franken has a darn sharp stick. "…with jokes" is clearly an understatement since there is at least one razor-edge witticism on every page—if not every paragraph of Franken prose. The book contains a considerable amount of quoted material, presented in reasonably small snippets, that is, most assuredly not funny.

While nothing in the book had me guffawing on the floor with tears streaming down my face, that could be because the jokes are like the structure of tragedy. You gotta give the audience a laugh-line or it will explode with tension.

Here are a few teasers: "I blame the commander in chief, who was serving the military even less as president than he had as an Alabama Air National Guard pilot in 1972 (252)."

On American war dead: "If Paul Wolfowitz didn't care enough about U.S. troops to know how many died in his war, you can just imagine how little he cared about the number of dead Iraqis (282)."

Speaking of the Baptist Democratic expulsion in my old hometown, Franken remarked, "…Reverend Chandler was forced to resign and now manages a Republican-only Tastee-Freeze in nearby Hazelwood (120)."

The jokes are often transitional devices to get from one mind-numbing, testicle-squeezing, stomach-churning tale of bestial corruption to another tale of callous, causal, raging incompetence to another tale of privileged, pompous, smirking stupidity. He is not repeating specious, unfounded allegations (those get blacked out by censors—you will have to read it for that nifty gimmick). In fact, the book could well be sub-subtitled "…with footnotes." It lacks, however, an index. (Writers, please, please make indices. In MS Word it is such a simple thing to do. There is really no excuse, Al. Unless you're trying to make me read the book multiple times. Hmm…)

Franken and his crack team of caped-crusading fact-checking gnomes apparently penetrated every nook and cranny of the Byzantine maze that is the corporate political pig feeding so earnestly at the public trough. Franken even debunks Colin Powell's Pottery Barn analogy.

The research is well-documented. Facts are nice like that. It is going to be interesting to see how the over-pressurized right-wing volumetric mustard gas pundits attempt to pile onto this particular lump of 336 pages of facts. Many a deer will be caught in this book's headlights. (Ralph Reed pay heed.)

Finally, here a few chapter titles: "Bush's Little Black Dress," "The Tom Delay Saipan Sex Tour and Jack Abramoff Casino Getaway," and "Werewolves of Washington." If you are a political junkie, I doubt that there's anything here you haven't already heard about, though I did get surprised a time or two with the inevitable "how'd that get by me?" For those people who need to be introduced to what is really going on, you know, The Truth, The Truth (with jokes) provides an entertaining and thorough public service. Buy it for a political fence-sitter if not for yourself.

Wanted: Terror Attack?

Backtracking this item leads to several disclaimers and doubts about its veracity. So take it with a pinch of salt.

The Smirking Chimp: "GOP memo touts new terror attack as way to reverse party's decline

By DOUG THOMPSON Publisher, Capitol Hill Blue | Nov 10, 2005, 06:19

A confidential memo circulating among senior Republican leaders suggests that a new attack by terrorists on U.S. soil could reverse the sagging fortunes of President George W. Bush as well as the GOP and 'restore his image as a leader of the American people.'

The closely-guarded memo lays out a list of scenarios to bring the Republican party back from the political brink, including a devastating attack by terrorists that could 'validate' the President's war on terror and allow Bush to 'unite the country' in a 'time of national shock and sorrow.'

[zombienoter: If it's so closely guarded, why is it posted on 3 different internet sites?]

The memo says such a reversal in the President's fortunes could keep the party from losing control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections.

GOP insiders who have seen the memo admit it's a risky strategy and point out that such scenarios are 'blue sky thinking'that often occurs in political planning sessions.

'The President's popularity was at an all-time high following the 9/11 attacks,� admits one aide. 'Americans band together at a time of crisis.'

Other Republicans, however, worry that such a scenario carries high risk, pointing out that an attack might suggest the President has not done enough to protect the country.

'We also have to face the fact that many Americans no longer trust the President,' says a longtime GOP strategist. 'That makes it harder for him to become a rallying point.'

The memo outlines other scenarios, including:


There's more if you want to back track.

Vets Shafted Again

Veterans Day Outrage: Conservatives End 55-Year-Old Practice of Hearings for Vet Groups

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

Remember that Buyer was handpicked by criminally-indicted Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) to replace former veterans committee chairman Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who had been extremely vocal about the consistent underfunding of veterans causes.

The Disabled American Veterans, the “official voice of America’s service-connected disabled veterans,” just issued a scathing release calling the move “an insult to all who have fought, sacrificed and died to defend the Constitution.” The timing, they said, “could not have been worse.”

Read the full release here. (More from The Hill.)
Filed under: ,
Posted by Nico at 1:47 pm

I'll say more about this as soon my exploding head reassembles.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Darwin ReHolyEndorsed

Evolution in the bible, says Vatican - The Other Side - Breaking News 24/7 - "Evolution in the bible, says VaticanFrom: By Martin PennerNovember 07, 2005 THE Vatican has issued a stout defence of Charles Darwin, voicing strong criticism of Christian fundamentalists who reject his theory of evolution and interpret the biblical account of creation literally.Cardinal Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the Genesis description of how God created the universe and Darwin's theory of evolution were 'perfectly compatible' if the Bible were read correctly.

His statement was a clear attack on creationist campaigners in the US, who see evolution and the Genesis account as mutually exclusive. 'The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim,' he said at a Vatican press conference. He said the real message in Genesis was that 'the universe didn't make itself and had a creator'. This idea was part of theology, Cardinal Poupard emphasised, while the precise details of how creation and the development of the species came about belonged to a different realm - science.

Cardinal Poupard said that it was important for Catholic believers to know how science saw things so as to 'understand things better'. Advertisement:His statements were interpreted in Italy as a rejection of the 'intelligent design' view, which says the universe is so complex that some higher being must have designed every detail. "
posted by Bob @ 6:38 PM


Pat Warns GOP

HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE - Conservative News, Views & Books: "Bush Leaves GOP in Crisis
by Patrick J. Buchanan
Posted Nov 10, 2005

With the rout of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's initiatives, Democratic victories in New Jersey and Virginia, and President Bush's free fall in national polls on job performance, credibility and character, the Republican Party is in imminent peril of losing the country.

Indeed, since 9/11, the party has indulged in a willful self-delusion that it has become America's Party. The Bush triumph in 2004, talking heads brayed, settled the matter: Red State America has triumphed over Blue State America. The future belongs to us."

...and one might add that dumping on America's veterans is not going to help.

God Will Foresake City Because of School Board

People For the American Way - Right-Wing Outrage: "Robertson tells Dover, PA citizens, after the election: �Don�t turn to God if you need help�

"If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin...'
:Pat Robertson

On today's 700 Club, Rev. Pat Robertson took the opportunity to strongly rebuke voters in Dover, PA who removed from office school board members who supported teaching faith-based 'intelligent design" and instead elected Democrats who opposed bringing up the possibility of a Creator in the school system's science curriculum.

Rev. Robertson warned the people of Dover that God might forsake the town because of the vote.

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover. If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why He hasn�t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there."

Won't God forgive those who make a mistake?

Eh? What? Huh?

Crooks and Liars: "ANWAR Drilling Stopped
'House leaders late Wednesday abandoned an attempt to push through a hotly contested plan to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling, fearing it would jeopardize approval of a sweeping budget bill Thursday---The actions were a stunning setback for those who have tried for years to open a coastal strip of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, to oil development, and a victory for environmentalists, who have lobbied hard against the drilling provisions. "

What's next Scalito affirms Roe v. Wade? Bush resigns? Darth explodes?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Limbo to Limbo

Bush, GOP mired in political quicksand - Politics - "The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released Wednesday night, finds that all five of Bush�s job approval ratings � on overall job performance, the economy, foreign policy, terrorism and Iraq � are at all-time lows in the survey. In addition, the CIA leak scandal seems to be taking a toll on the administration, with nearly 80 percent believing the indictment of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis �Scooter� Libby, is a serious matter, and with Bush experiencing a 17-point drop since January in those who see him as honest and straightforward."

A Blip on the French Riots

The Smirking Chimp: "Stephen Pizzo: 'French fires'
Posted on Wednesday, November 09 @ 09:55:32 EST (994 reads)

In the French riots, it's poor immigrants making all the noise. Here, it will be American workers who had a taste of middle-class life, only to have it snatched away.

Stephen Pizzo, AlterNet

How do you explain the rioting that is happening in France? Two words: cheap labor. France, like most other mature Western economies, has embraced cheap labor from underdeveloped countries. That flood of cheap labor has, at least until now, served both corporations and consumers. Corporate earnings are up across the board, for example."

See the article for a more thorough, and enlightening, explanation.

Darth Cheney and the Marquis

: "The Washington Post titled its devastating editorial 'Vice President for Torture.' I would say that the deceptive man from sunny Wyoming has become the Marquis de Sade of America. Think about it -- he is insistent upon making torturers of many of our young soldiers -- your children."

Torture is unacceptable for America.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Testy Torture Tiff

War and Piece:: "Heard there was a shouting match between Scott McClellan and Helen Thomas at today's press gaggle, with McClellan getting upset that she was the umpteenth reporter to ask him about the White House's position on torture.
Posted by Laura at November 8, 2005 04:54 PM "

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Breath of Hope

Usually, longer articles and essays from the left side of the body politic are gloomy forecasts of doom. But here's a snippet of an article that is ray of sunshine.

From Naomi Wolf: 'We Americans are like recovering addicts after a four-year bender'

The Smirking Chimp: "...I do feel hopeful: everywhere I go, I hear disgust at our long drunken lurch through recent history give way to a renewed interest among ordinary people in activism, in justice, in what we used to understand as citizenship. I am less concerned about whether this results in a Democratic or Republican victory at mid-term elections than I am in whether we get to be a democracy again..."

Media Incest Defined

The Smirking Chimp: "Claudia Long: 'Why we are where we are'
Posted on Monday, November 07 @ 10:04:18 EST (914 reads)

Claudia Long, The Great Divide

It's not only President Boy in a Bubble who lives in one. He's surrounded by the Beltway Bubble, a small, incestuous community of insiders [among the most prominent being, of course, the DC press cabal] who live, eat and sleep together 24/7-- a syncophantic clique who echo and regurgitate each other's every half-baked opinion and superficial 'analyses' into what they call 'conventional wisdom'. It is certainly conventional, at least in the sense that it is very tired, but it is rather less than 'wise'."

Another darn good article.

IRS Cracking Down On War Opponents

Seeing the Forest: IRS Cracking Down On War Opponents: "IRS Cracking Down On War Opponents

Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning,

The Internal Revenue Service has warned one of Southern California's largest and most liberal churches that it is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of an antiwar sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election."

Wonder what happened to the East Waynesville Baptist Church? (That's the one that expelled the Democrats.)

BlondeSense: NRA Head Closeted Liberal?

BlondeSense: I don't care where: "I don't care where
a person's compass may point them. But, it does bother me when someone is a hypocrite in the political arena.

The executive officer of the National Rifle Association, Wayne Lapierre, is currently endorsing Jerry Kilgore for governor of Virginia in media ads saying Kilgore stands for the same family values that Wayne had as a child growing up in Roanoke.

Well, while Wayne Lapierre was in high school in Roanoke (Patrick Henry High School class of '67) he was my brother's lover. Their affair lasted past graduation and on during the anti Vietnam war protest marches they attended in 1969.

Not only is Wayne Lapierre gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) but he marched in protest to the Vietnam war.

Now he's touting his high ground morality and family values. That I have a problem with.

Archie Gordon
Roanoke, VA

write to me at blondesense(@) for the contact information"

Hey! Don't shoot the messenger.

Remember the Italian Connection?

I know I've been harping on this, but I think this is the real story. Did the White House manufacture the yellowcake intelligence? A small blip of Peter Lee's article may whet your appetite for the entire article over at Smirking Chimp.

The Smirking Chimp: "The Bush administration knowingly and intentionally recruited Berlusconi's help to generate fraudulent intelligence in Italy about Iraq's nuclear activities that could be laundered through British intelligence, thereby rendering it untraceable and unexaminable - and legitimized by MI6. Then it was stovepiped to the White House national security apparatus, and cynically purveyed to the American public by Bush and his foreign policy team as high quality, actionable intelligence justifying pre-emptive attack on Iraq."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Majikthise : Hunter wants to seal off US with fence

Majikthise : Hunter wants to seal off US with fence: "Hunter wants to seal off US with fence
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R), the Chair of the House Armed Services Committee wants to spend 8 billion dollars to build a 2000-mile fence between the United States and Mexico:
Mr Hunter's plan for the fence envisages a dual-layer construction equipped with electric sensors stretching from the Pacific Ocean across to the Gulf of Mexico. [BBC]
Hunter says that 9/11 convinced him that his plan was necessary:
He said that the lessons of 11 September 2001 taught Americans that immigration was a national issue that required national solutions. [ibid]

It's a brilliant GOP plan: We may not have healthcare, jobs, or rights, but at least we'll all be able to say we live in a gated community. "

Hmmm, at least the money will percolate through the economy. Sorry, guys, doesn't sound too bad to me.

From the Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch Department

The Smirking Chimp: "Tom Gilroy : ''White House in chaos' & other utter horseshit'
Posted on Sunday, November 06 @ 09:32:19 EST (24 reads)

Tom Gilroy, The Huffington Post

Nothing could be more damaging for the bridge club of armchair politicians known as the Democratic Leadership than the recent spate of sound bytes like 'Bush's worst week in Office,' 'A White House Demoralized,' and 'Bushies on the Brink of Collapse'.

You can already feel Schumer, Dean, Hillary, and their media addicted minions being taken over by that familiar self-satisfied stupor, validating their inaction and cowardice, even repositioning it as though it was part of a grand plan, an agenda, even an ideology.

It's like a bunch of fat people on a couch learning about the obesity epidemic from 60 Minutes and concluding they must be skinny.

The problem with these snappy doomsday pronouncements--collective wishes really--is that they bear no relationship to reality. You really have to wonder what kind of bloated house-bound moron could think slumping polls and plummeting approval ratings would worry a gang of fanatics who stole two elections in a row, invaded a country they knew couldn't defend itself, and gave a male hustler White House security clearance."

Pay attention, everyone.

The Left Is Not Always Right

A Letter to Crooks and Liars:

"Wayne from Akron writes:
I felt compelled to write after reading your 'Akron Getting Big Housing Help' news story describing how Akron is receiving 20 million dollars from the Federal Government. This money is earmarked to raze and rebuild '230 rental units and 50 - 65 houses.' This HUD Hope VI Program shows that the remnants of FDR's socialist agenda is alive and well, abetted by the Republican Right doling out our money and glad-handing to secure votes, and the Democrats freely spending the rest of our money in order to fuel a Leftist Utopian vision with a wink and a nudge to Chairman Mao and Lenin.

This is a microcosm of a larger woe afflicting American society, the pandering to the lowest common denominator rather than investing in the best and the brightest. Can you imagine what $40 million dollars in the form of grants and loans to Akron U graduates to start small businesses would do? That could be used to plant the seeds that the market would then decide to germinate or terminate, not the politicians. As the population of the area dwindles and brain drain continues, how much better to have spent this money on those who would contribute most to the area in the forms of jobs, taxes, families and a trickle down economy that would benefit far more people than new housing projects will."

Wayne from Akron has more at C&L.

Remember $1 Gas?

The Smirking Chimp: "Evelyn J. Pringle: 'Bush-Cheney and Big Oil's big summer'
Posted on Sunday, November 06 @ 09:31:23 EST (1 reads)

The Results Are In

Evelyn J. Pringle, CounterPunch

For those with short memories, during campaign 2000, the Bush-Cheney team promised voters an energy plan that would lower gasoline prices and here we are 5 years later, paying the highest prices at the pumps in the nation's history.

With soaring energy prices putting our economy at risk, and dependence on oil from the Middle East putting our national security at risk, Americans are still being held hostage to price fixing schemes and Bush has not made a single move to remedy the situation.

In campaign 2000, he lead voters to believe that he knew how to deal with OPEC. In fact, the little twirp told President Clinton to get on the phone and 'jawbone' OPEC."

But they are so near bankruptcy that they need tax breaks...

"We're All Larry Flynt Now"


"Bobo Brooks was spewing this crap on the Newshour last night, too. Does PBS care that they employ a liar? Does the New York Times? Sure, people just get things wrong sometimes but when winger central sends out the talking points and they all obligingly repeat them, that's not just getting things wrong that's being deliberately full of ****. It's never just been the right wing media, it's long been the mainstream media providing a microphone for these dishonest hacks.For shame.
-Atrios 8:02 PM...

"Some of us remember a few years back when Monica Madness hit that stories came out about Republican adultery. Salon was universally pilloried for daring to publish the fact that Henry Hyde had an affair. We were told that it wasn't about the sex, it was about the lying, and that politicians, Republican ones at least, deserved their privacy. People pointing out Republican hypocrisy on this subject were labelled McCarthyites (much as David Brooks called Mark Shields's suggestion that Bush lied to take us into war McCarthyism), and media outlets were scared off publishing any stories that might have been dumped in their laps.

-Atrios 4:46 PM"

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Former Christian Coalition Head Gets Gambling Money

Traitors and Treason: "Reed's fees all paid by casino
Reed's fees all paid by casino 'Reed's fees all paid by casino

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/03/05

WASHINGTON ? Ralph Reed's anti-gambling work in Texas and Louisiana was funded by an Indian tribe that derives all of its income from a single casino, according to U.S. Senate testimony Wednesday.

Reed, the former Christian Coalition leader who is running for lieutenant governor of Georgia, is an avowed opponent of legalized gambling. He has said he never knowingly accepted gambling money.'"

Didn't Jesus say something about hypocrites? Rich men and camels?

Carter Says America Mislead on Iraq

From The Smirking Chimp: 'ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Former President Jimmy Carter said Friday that there isn't 'any doubt' the American people were misled about the war in Iraq and that President George Bush's policy on the war is a 'radical departure from the policies of any president.'

In an interview with CNN, Carter addressed some of the comments made in his new book, 'Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis.' In the book he says the Bush administration was determined to attack Iraq using 'false and distorted claims after 9/11.'

Carter said the Bush administration spoke of mushroom clouds, weapons of mass destruction and the threat of thousands of Americans dying to garner support for the war. No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq'

I wonder what the world would be like if Reagan hadn't cut the deal with the Iranians to hold the hostages? Jimmy Carter's second term would have consisted of a continued bashing from the Northeast liberal corner and a ferocious attack from the far right. The moderates would probably have been fat, dumb and happy. One thing, for sure, we be less dependent on Middle Eastern oil now.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Suck It Up, New Orleans

Facing South: FEMA not spending billions in relief money: "FEMA not spending billions in relief money

This is astounding:

Congress has appropriated $62.3 billion in emergency relief for stricken areas still struggling to meet citizens' basic needs, with most of the money moving through the beleaguered Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). But agency records from late October show nearly $40 billion still sitting in FEMA's disaster-relief fund, including $2 billion in unassigned money intended for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

'Not to underestimate the good intentions of many FEMA employees, but the agency was dysfunctional eight weeks ago and it's dysfunctional today,' said Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)."

To add insult to injury, salt to the wound, rip the scab off, etc. , ABC news is reporting that FEMA has just presented a $3 billion+ bill to Louisiana for Katrina clean-up, which works out to $8,000 for every citizen of Louisiana.

ABC News: Poll: Bush Approval Sagging to New Lows

ABC News: Poll: Bush Approval Sagging to New Lows 40% say he's "honest and trustworthy." Someone needs to talk to them. On eithics, 67% say he is not living up to expectations.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Cheney Approval Nearing Rock Bottom at 19%

From Think Progress:
Cheney Approval Nearing Rock Bottom at 19%

"Vice President Cheney seems to have brushed off the felony charges against his most senior aide:

The criminal indictment of the vice president’s chief of staff, a rare moment in White House history, does not appear to have derailed Dick Cheney’s career — or even his routine.

The vice president has replaced the aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, with two other longtime assistants and seems prepared to continue his role as a central player in the Bush presidency, particularly on foreign policy and the Iraq war.

But the American people haven’t:

Vice President Cheney has never been as popular as the president, but his favorable rating is down nine points this year to just 19 percent."

Gee. That's awful.

Christians Led Astray by Anti-Christ(s)

Traitors and Treason: "Christians Led Astray by Anti-Christ(s)
Years ago one of my relatives was ripped-off by a preacher. Later I was also screwed by a couple of 'Christians.' I've spent my life in church and nothing makes me angrier than believers getting misled by their 'peers.' Good grief, people. If you are a believer, then how can it be any clearer what's been done to you than the following (Salon has much more.): News Abramoff-Scanlon School of Sleaze: 'Consider one memo highlighted in a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday that Scanlon, a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Tx., sent the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana to describe his strategy for protecting the tribe's gambling business. In plain terms, Scanlon confessed the source code of recent Republican electoral victories: target religious conservatives, distract everyone else, and then railroad through complex initiatives.

'The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees,' Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

'Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them.''

For all our sakes, wise-up."

More Media Bias: Los Angeles Protests

Traitors and Treason: "More Media Bias: Los Angeles Protests
Crooks and Liars: 'Thursday, November 03, 2005

Los Angeles Protests

In LA's local news-Anti war protests shut down most of Wilshire Blvd. near the Federal Building yesterday.

Brad Friedman writes: '...did you notice how the guy interviewed from the 'handful of Bush Supporters' was given the same amount of airtime as the hundreds of Anti-Bush supporters, including Karen Meredith who lost her only son? Most troubling, perhaps: The Bush Supporter interviewed was labelled on the screen as 'Supports U.S. Troops', implying, of course, subliminally or otherwise, that the Anti-Bush folks do not. Sigh...''"

NBC Sock Puppet Parlez-Vous El Latino

Traitors and Treason: "Et Tu, Tim?

In a fearless puff piece dissected by Huffington, Scooter and Dick's favorite talking head is portrayed as the Clark Kent of D.C. Gotham. Huffington says

'We also learn that Russert is 'a big, bluff lawyer-turned-journalist' with 'sharp-eyed instincts for covering the political world,' who 'moves easily in the worlds of official and social Washington' (despite those homebound Saturday nights). And we also learn of Russert the Scholar who took 'four years of Latin.''

Golly-ee. I took four years of Latin, too. (In all fairness, three years was Latin II.) Can I be a White House shill for NBC?

Huffington goes on to point out the bottom line about the treacherous pundits in peacock land:
'And it's not just Purdum. Why is no one in the mainstream media talking about the most troubling aspect of the latest Russert revelations -- the fact that Libby had called him to bitch about Chris Matthews -- and what it reveals about the cozy, symbiotic relationship between the those in power and those in the media? Over the last decade, far too many reporters have forgotten that their mission is to uncover the truth, not to do the bidding of the powers-that-be.'

Treasonous incest in viperville."

Republican Boo-Hoo In The Senate

The Smirking Chimp: "At that point, you're looking at a total of 109 amendments sponsored by Senate Democrats and an astounding 86 percent of those shot down by the Republicans. And this only takes into account those measures that were even allowed to make it to the floor for a vote.

It takes a lot of chutzpah for them to whine so much now about a lack of graciousness and cooperation � either that, or they really, truly are the biggest hypocrites East of the Mississippi."

Goals for the Future

From The Smirking Chimp:

"The Party of Lincoln has become a gang of thieves given to cutting taxes for the wealthy and willing to 'do whatever it takes' to stay in power as Karl Rove once put it. ..

"Most important, however, we will need to be summoned back to greatness and away from fear, division, culture wars, and greed. We need a renewed sense of an inclusive America and what it means to be an American. At our best we are a democratic people governed by law. We are a pragmatic people, adept at solving problems. And if wisely led, we can be a compassionate people capable of acting on behalf of the less fortunate and for posterity. It was once said that America is the last best hope of humankind, and perhaps one day we will live up to that standard. "

David Orr is a Paul Sears Distinguished Professor at Oberlin College and author of The Last Refuge: Politics, and the Environment in an Age of Terror (Island Press, 2005).

Source: Common Dreams

Thomas, Sowell misleadingly portrayed Libby ind ... [Media Matters]

Thomas, Sowell misleadingly portrayed Libby ind ... [Media Matters]: "Thomas, Sowell misleadingly portrayed Libby indictment as case of bad 'recollection'

In recent articles, syndicated columnists Cal Thomas and Thomas Sowell both misleadingly dismissed the indictment of I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, as a simple matter of differing recollections. In fact, the indictment on two counts of perjury, one count of obstruction of justice, and two counts of making false statements alleges that Libby falsely told a federal grand jury and FBI investigators that he learned from reporters that Valerie Plame (the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV) worked for the CIA. Contrary to Libby's assertion, the indictment alleges that Libby had nine separate discussions with various government officials about Plame, many taking place before his first conversation with reporters on the subject"

Gee, I bet he remembers the digits for his Swiss accounts. Oopps, forgot that little treason thing...

What Judy forgot: Your right to know - Los Angeles Times

What Judy forgot: Your right to know - Los Angeles Times: "What Judy forgot: Your right to know
THE MOST intriguing revelation of Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald's news conference last week was his assertion that he would have presented his indictment of I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby a year ago if not for the intransigence of reporters who refused to testify before the grand jury. He said that without that delay, 'we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005.'

Had that been the case, John Kerry probably would be president of the United States today."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Buckley Hits The Nail Squarely

William F. Buckley on Patrick Fitzgerald's Investigation on National Review Online: "The importance of the law against revealing the true professional identity of an agent is advertised by the draconian punishment, under the federal code, for violating it. In the swirl of the Libby affair, one loses sight of the real offense, and it becomes almost inapprehensible what it is that Cheney/Libby/Rove got themselves into. But the sacredness of the law against betraying a clandestine soldier of the republic cannot be slighted"

More Media Corruuption?

Here's a small sample:
Presstitutes: Pre$$titutes & Plame: "Next, Susan at Booman Tribune: 'As Tom Oliphant notes in today's Boston Globe, the CIA leak coverup 'worked' by stalling any outcome until well past the November 2004 presidential election. And that coverup was actively abetted by insider journalists, among them Bob Woodward, Cokie Roberts, Chris Matthews, and William Safire.'
Posted by JD on November 02, 2005 at 12:00 AM in General Pre$$titution | Permalink "

Media incompetence is a never-ending story.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Give 'Em Hell, Harry!

Crooks and Liars: "Harry Reid shuts down the SenateYou can see Harry Reid ask to shut down the Senate. Bill Frist becomes unglued. "

Is it the good old days? Has Harry Truman stepped up to the plate? Is the kitchen heating up? About time.

President Truman speaking in Bolivar, Missouri.

From a speech given by Truman in the 1948 campaign in Butte:

"...where he didn't have to give reassurances to a civic elite, and where there would be no praising of Wall Street and the bankers. With Butte yelling 'give em hell,' Truman could say he was only telling the truth and the Republicans thought it was hell.

So in Butte he called the Republican Congress, with it's (sic) hatred of working class America, the 'worst congress in history.'

And he talked about housing, about how so many people lacked a decent place to live and that something should be done about it. And Harry Truman said 'we need a housing bill in the interest of the whole country and not just the real estate lobby.' The crowd roared.

And he talked about price controls, about real regulation and the public good as opposed to deregulation and the corrupt congress. In Truman's view prices controls had been released too quickly and ' we now had prices so arranged that the people who have a lot of money can get anything they want and those who are denouncing government controls (regulation) are the people who control the things we buy and the everyday man an woman can go hang.'

And in Butte he made a prediction, that sad to say, has mostly come true. The president brought up the subject of what he called the 'notorious Taft-Hartley Act and how the Republican Congress had almost abolished the Labor Department.' He warned the crowd that 'there is going to come a time when there are no labor unions unless we do something about it.'"

Tall Tales In Italy

The Smirking Chimp: "Bill Gallagher: 'Libby's lies are just the tip of the iceberg'
Posted on Tuesday, November 01 @ 10:18:27 EST (332 reads)

Ok, so I mention the missing American reporting on the forged Niger documents yesterday on the Internet and promptly get flamed for being uninformed and stupid. Well, why hasn't the average person heard that Bush et. al. used knowingly forged documents to justify the Iraqui mushroom cloud story? Bill Gallagher's story, excerpted below, is comprehensive. Read it. Then ask yourself if this is something we need to have a certain Fitz dig into? This is the the big treasonous story. While Scooter's treachery destroyed careers, harmed the CIA, and his country, someone's lies helped propel this country into a wholly unnecessary war. Shouldn't that be carefully investigated?

"Bill Gallagher, Niagara Falls Reporter

DETROIT -- The Italians know the truth and what's really important. Risotto, not Rizzuto, is the big story...

Libby and other White House operatives -- most notably Karl Rove -- sought to discredit her husband, Joseph Wilson, who debunked the hoax that Iraq bought enriched uranium from Niger. Risotto-loving Italian journalists have found the complicated grains of evidence linking the propagation of the Niger hoax to the White House and the office of Condoleezza Rice. Her dirty deeds are far more serious than Libby's lies...

Rice welcomed the great Nigergate lie into the White House. Libby lied trying to cover up the caper. Risotto is the major league criminal. Rizzuto is just a bush leaguer...

Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is

Source: Niagara Falls Reporter