Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Getting Tuff on Terror...

...actually means "seeming tough on terror." Skippy details a billion dollar boondoggle that was supposed to sift electronic communication, suposedly looking for adjunt key phrases like "nooclear," "bum," and "houston." Bottom line:

skippy the bush kangaroo: "that means the government has been standing by while the agency has been gradually 'going deaf' as unimportant communications drown out key pieces of information, a government official with extensive knowledge of trailblazer told the sun."

Wouldn't it be a heckuva lot more efficient to listen in on, say, people who just flew in from Iran, rather than on Quaker peace groups? Or, is that just too rational? Guess it's better to listen in on everyone and hear nothing.

Drug Wars

Shrillblog: Meyerson Fhtagn!! Meyerson Fhtagn!!:
"Financially beholden to both the drug and insurance industries, the Bush administration and the Repsublican Congress mandated that millions of Americans have their coverage shifted to these most byzantine of bureaucracies. This is, remember, the president's signature domestic initiative, just as the Iraq war is his signature foreign initiative. How could a president get these things so wrong? Incompetence may describe this presidency, but it doesn't explain it. For that, historians may need to turn to the seven deadly sins: to greed... sloth... Incurious George.... [T]he key question for this administration is that of the great American sage, Casey Stengel: Can't anybody here play this game?"


The Ostrich Rears

Think Progress Media Finally Reports That Gonzales Misled Congress:
"Media Finally Reports That Gonzales Misled Congress
This morning, prompted by a letter from Sen. Russ Feingold, the Washington Post reports that Alberto Gonzales misled the Senate Judiciary Committee during his January 2005 confirmation hearing:

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) charged yesterday that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales misled the Senate during his confirmation hearing a year ago when he appeared to try to avoid answering a question about whether the president could authorize warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens.

Think Progress reported this story on December 18. Gonzales said 'it is not the policy or the agenda of this president to authorize actions that would be in contravention of our criminal statutes.' In fact, he personally approved Bush's warrantless domestic spying program, in contravention of a criminal statute.

We have the full transcript of the Feingold/Gonzales exchange posted.

In addition to Gonzales, former NSA director Michael Hayden and President Bush also made false statements relating to warrantless domestic surveillance."

Isn't that a crime?

Once More Unto The Duh Zone

NO QUARTER: A New Intelligence Failure?: "A New Intelligence Failure?
Larry C. Johnson
There she goes again. Miss 'Who Could Have Imagined an Al Qaeda Attack' Rice has struck again. Are you kidding me? Secretary of State Rice was 'surprised' by the election results in Palestine? According to the New York Times:

Ms. Rice pointed out that the election results surprised just about everyone. 'I don't know anyone who wasn't caught off guard by Hamas's strong showing,' she said on her way to London for meetings on the Middle East, Iran and other matters. 'Some say that Hamas itself was caught off guard by its strong showing.'

If she is saying that the no one at the CIA, the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, or the Defense Intelligence Agency had a clue that something like this could happen, we should immediately dismantle the intelligence community and start over. I find it difficult to believe the system is that broken. We should learn in the coming days whether or not the intelligence analysts really did miss this."

[expletive], even I knew Hamas was going to win. How? I read the [expletive] newspapers. I read Google news. [expletive] I even do searches on the Internets! Folks, the lunatics are not only in charge of the nut house, but the morons are in charge of the school. (You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie, Rummy, Condie...)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Kerry on Supreme Vote

The Smirking Chimp: "John Kerry: 'The vote of a lifetime'
Date: Monday, January 30 @ 10:01:45 EST
Topic: Supreme Court

John Kerry

Many people seem curious or even skeptical why United States Senators believe it's so important to take a stand against the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court -- why we're willing to take on a fight that conventional wisdom suggests we will lose.

The reality is simple. We care about the future of our country. We care about the millions of Americans who expect Congress to stand up and fight for their rights and their freedoms, and we also know that the Supreme Court, again and again, is the battlefield on which those rights and freedoms are decided."

Making George king seems to be more on Ailto's mind...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Congress Flipped-Off

From The Smirking Chimp:
"Herbert, The Day

We should be used to it by now. There are a couple of congressional committees trying to investigate the tragic Hurricane Katrina debacle, but the Bush administration is refusing to turn over certain documents or allow certain senior White House officials to testify before the committees under oath.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat who is by no means unfriendly to the Bush crowd, said this week, 'There has been a near-total lack of cooperation that has made it impossible, in my opinion, for us to do the thorough investigation that we have a responsibility to do.'

Once again the president has, in effect, flipped the bird at Congress. He's amazing. Forget such fine points as the Constitution and the separation of powers. George W. Bush does what he wants to do. He won fewer votes than Al Gore in 2000 and then governed as if he'd been elected by acclamation. He dispensed with John Kerry in 2004 by portraying himself -- a man who ran and hid from the draft during Vietnam -- as more of a warrior than Kerry, a decorated combat veteran of that war."

He flips the bird to Congress just like his mine safety bureaucrats, FEMA directors, etc. Congress really has made itself irrelevant.

Guard Wife Comments

From the comments:

The Smirking Chimp: "The last few years my husband was in the Guard, he was gone so much that he ended up qualifying for an 'overseas short tour' ribbon. He hadn't been on a genuine short tour (traditionally, a twelve or eighteen month assignment); it's just that he had been on so many two and three month assignments that it added up to more than 18 months away from home.

This way of running things is so tough for servicemembers' families. A dear friend of mine got a divorce, not because she was mad at her husband over anything he did, but because she could no longer stand the stress of his military life. Generally, divorces are so common on military bases.

Yet Rumsfeld continues to swear that the military is NOT stretched too thin... "

Enlist! Help out! Our Army is in trouble. Recruits are needed. (Of course, you might also try get our soldiers brought home...)

Volunteered For Lifetime Warring

The Smirking Chimp:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army has forced about 50,000 soldiers to continue serving after their voluntary stints ended under a policy called 'stop-loss,' but while some dispute its fairness, court challenges have fallen flat.

The policy applies to soldiers in units due to deploy for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The Army said stop-loss is vital to maintain units that are cohesive and ready to fight. But some experts said it shows how badly the Army is stretched and could further complicate efforts to attract new recruits.

'As the war in Iraq drags on, the Army is accumulating a collection of problems that cumulatively could call into question the viability of an all-volunteer force,' said defense analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute think tank.

'When a service has to repeatedly resort to compelling the retention of people who want to leave, you're edging away from the whole notion of volunteerism.' "

Encourage everyone to enlist. These guys needs some relief. (Oh, that's a bit tougher than sticking a yellow ribbon on your SUV or manning that keyboard in support of the toops.)

Raven's View: Arizona's Language Issues

Raven's View: Arizona's Language Issues: "Arizona's Language Issues

A bill to make English the official state language for all official government actions is moving closer to a vote by citizens (who are expected to pass the measure). A similar law was overturned in 1988 by the state Supreme Court, which ruled it unconstitutional because it denied access for non-English speaking citizens to their government. The new law would deny voting rights to anyone who does not speak English because all ballots would be required to be in English only. Backers are counting on our illustrious Republican Congress not to renew the Voting Rights Act in 2007. Yeah, voters don't need no stinkin' rights in this great democracy. "

...but on the other hand, multilingual conuntries do tend to end up in lingusiticly driven revolutions.

Lest We Forget

The Smirking Chimp:

"President Bush used the opening of his 2003 State of the Union to praise the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. This year our nation, and the world, saw the result of the failure of this massive reorganization of our government. As Katrina rolled ashore, destroying large cities and small towns in four states, it was FEMA, once an independent cabinet level agency--but now rolled into Department of Homeland Security--that failed to react. The searing image of thousands of Americans stranded without food and water dying on American streets will be the lasting legacy of the Department of Homeland Security, not a reorganized government 'mobilizing against the threats of a new era' as the President described in his speech."

Cancer Spreading

Welcome to MichaelMoore.com!:

"Ky. Governor's Ex-Chief of Staff Charged

By Mark R. Chellgren / Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. - A special grand jury examining alleged political hiring by Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration on Friday indicted his former chief of staff and a representative of his local outreach office.

Daniel Groves, who resigned as chief of staff in the past month, and Vince Fields were each charged with three counts of violating state personnel laws to fill state jobs with Republicans.

The grand jury previously charged nine current and former members of Fletcher's administration, including high-ranking officials and the chairman of the state Republican Party."

Nude Bush Thrills Right Wing


Anyone who now suggests Emperor Bush has no clothes can expect character assassination:

"When Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) dared question President Bush’s leadership by calling for immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the hawkish Vietnam veteran seemed an unlikely target for another swift boat-style attack.

But smear the messenger is a reflex among fringe activists unable to stomach questioning of their leaders, much less debate “responsibly” (the president’s word) how best to destroy al-Qaida or accomplish the mission in Iraq.

On Jan. 13, Cybercast News Service retaliated by insinuating that Murtha’s combat decorations are undeserved. The “swift boating” of Murtha had begun. We’ve gone from questioning fitness to lead to questioning fitness to question.

Reagan administration Secretary of the Navy James Webb responded in the New York Times, “To no one’s surprise, surrogates carry out the attacks, leaving President Bush and other Republican leaders to benefit from the results while publicly distancing themselves from the actual remarks.”"

That's why the hired-help shovels out the poop. He's too prissy to get his hands dirty.

Image Making

From The Smirking Chimp: "Are we to believe that when White House Correspondent Susan Malveaux stands in front of that ramshackle barn in Crawford, it is actually on the Bush property? If that's the location, certainly, the outbuilding must have been constructed as part of the staging of this presidency--to make George Bush appeal to the masses of impoverished in this country. What a great use of psychology to fool some of the people most of the time.
As I've said before, I'm not a member of Mensa, but I can recognize a structure that needs to be condemned. Ms. Malveaux is positioned so that viewers of this hard-knock edifice see it as a backdrop when she announces pronouncements and goings on from the Bush compound. And we, the dumb, are expected to accept the possibility that George and Laura, the twins, and Ma and Pa are in there eking out a living and occasionally entertaining the Saudi Royals. These are the Bush roots that Scott would have us believe tie George to the land and to the working and under classes of America. How stupid.

George Bush may sound like a cowpoke, but he's an up-East educated snob. When he isn't vacationing at his vast ranch, he fishes in Kennebunkport, Maine off the shore of Mommy Dearest and Daddy's seaside home. The boat from which they cast their bait probably had a larger price tag than your dream home. In fact, George may have paid more for his bike helmet than you paid for your automobile. "

Remember the image effort during Katrina?

The Plan Works: Defund Education

Paul Craig Roberts: Blind Ignorance:

"Polls Show Many Americans are Simply Dumber Than Bush
Blind Ignorance


Two recent polls, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll and a New York Times/CBS News poll, indicate why Bush is getting away with impeachable offenses. Half of the US population is incapable of acquiring, processing and understanding information.

Much of the problem is the media itself, which serves as a disinformation agency for the Bush administration. Fox 'News' and right-wing talk radio are the worst, but with propagandistic outlets setting the standard for truth and patriotism, all of the media is affected to some degree."

Sometimes the dullest tool will cut...

Matthews Loves Delay

Yep, another Goddamned blog: Assclowns of the Week: Civil Disobedience Edition: "Chris “Tweety” Matthews did a spot on the sarcastically-named Hardball with Tom DeLay last Tuesday in which he praised the disgraced, Olympic-class crook and former House Majority leader for living the simple life (like Paris Hilton also did for the cameras).

Tom, of course, followed the lead and took the infinitely-charmed Tweety on a magical fictional journey describing his humility and dedication to America. Somehow, the truth didn’t make it to the final edit, such as these examples of Humble Tom’s humble lifestyle. What drives Tom every day?, Matthews asked. Either a bulletproof limousine or a jet owned by big tobacco. "

Why own a palatial estate and all its trappings and attendant headaches when you can live in one rent-free at everybody else's expense? (That's what I call traveling to and fro constantly and staying in the five star hovels Delay frequents. Bet it wouldn't be nearly as fun to stay in a Motel 6 like the rest of us smucks.)

Let's all pose in front of Bush's run-down barn.

Congress Is Not A Tuff Audience

Bush to Face His Toughest Audience for State of the Union:

"Americans' overall assessment of the country today is fairly negative. Only 35% are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States; 65% are dissatisfied. This is consistent with Americans' generally dour mood on this measure for the past year."

Tough audience, com'on he's not giving this speech down in Ward Nine. The audience is out there in tvLand and a good many of us will be watching something else. Watching Bush speak is rather like watching the worst of American Idol-- which I don't watch either.

Friday, January 27, 2006

HaloScan.com - Comments

On Coulter recommending the muder of Justice Stevens:
HaloScan.com - Comments: "Somebody should charge this woman as a terrorist: she is inciting/advocating murder of a federal official- conspiracy to assassinate or assault a Supreme Court Justice, 18 USC sec. 351.
laughingboy | 01.27.06 - 2:09 pm | #"

Russert Watch(ed Too Closely?)

The Blog Arianna Huffington: NBC News PR Department Gets Down and Dirty... The Huffington Post: "READ MORE: NBC, Tim Russert, 2006, Scooter Libby, Patrick Fitzgerald, Valerie Plame

Somebody's feeling the heat...

How else to explain the widely-off-the-mark responses from NBC's PR department in Lloyd Grove's column to our reporting on Russert's multitude of journalistic ethical conflicts.

Instead of dealing with the charges head on, the media giant and its Washington bureau chief Tim Russert have astonishingly decided to get down and dirty, dredging up and faxing to at least one reporter a 12-year-old false claim that I hired a private detective to snoop on Russert's wife Maureen Orth while she was preparing a hit piece on me for Vanity Fair in 1994.

Well, so what if she did? It's a free country. Anybody can hire anybody to follow anybody doing anything. Again, so what? Or, or, or does Tim have something to hide? Is there a big, deep, dark double-undercover secret hiding somewhere in his private life? If you have nothing to hide, why do you care if I, perhaps, wiretap you? Is ok for Bush to have you followed but not Huffington? Sounds like somebody might be a terrorist... (that's a Coulterism [joke]-- heh, heh)

Primo Primer on Russert Ethics

firedoglake: 01/22/2006 - 01/28/2006: "It's hard to imagine, but I don't think Father Tim thought twice about accepting a gig for which he normally charges $50,000 to $60,000 to give a speech on ethics in the media. We can assume his supporting cast has grown accustomed over the years to stifling their guffaws at his disproportional self-image and didn't tip him off to the absurdity factor. So he was no doubt surprised when Arianna pointed out the obvious: that the man who has done more than anyone to normalize wingnut eliminationist rhetoric in mainstream political discourse, who equipped himself with an inviolable set of principles when it meant covering for pedophilia fantasist Scooter Libby but whipped them off quicker than a pair of whore's panties when it came to Richard Clarke and who still has not explained his extremely dubious role in the whole CIA leak case but feels free to limbo around this awkward fact as he covers the story from week to week, might be a bit challenged giving a lecture on the ethics of anything but most especially the media."

Wonderful prose!

News Power From The Last Network

Phillybits: You Say Tomato, I say Tomatoe. You Say Katie Couric, I say Ann Coulter: "Recently, however, there is one show I will not watch anymore. I specifically mean 'anymore,' too, since the Today Show was a much better source of news before Katie Couric became lead anchor, anchorwoman, puke bucket, Republican shill, or whatever other honest description any of you can come up with to throw in here.

I have seen her recently interview (and if I had 'net access at home, you can bet I would've started a series on the problems with Katie Couric and her interview biases) many people, from both political spectrums, and you know what? She often gives a free pass to conservatives yet when a liberal is on the set for interview, she grills them with pointless, rhetorical questions, often basing her questions on the latest RNC talking points that have been debunked so many times, that her current interview ends up being a recap of yesterday's news."

Jay Leno keeps complaining about NBC being the number four network... hmm... is there a connection between conservative leanings and ratings? Or is it just God's punishment for hating America?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Kiss-off, Congress

Think Progress: "On Monday, the Bush administration’s top mine safety official, David Dye, appeared before a Senate subcommittee to explain the administration’s response to the Sago mining disaster. Specifically, senators wanted to know why mine safety has been consistently underfunded under President Bush, and why regulations have been rolled back or weakly enforced.

Unfortunately, David Dye has a busy schedule. After an hour of questioning, Dye announced he had “some really pressing matters” to attend to, and asked to leave the hearing. Committee chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) urged him not to: “Your presence will be required here for at least one more hour.”"

He left.

So if you're a Republican bureaucrat, you don't have to answer to Congress. Business as usual. Nobody is responsible for anything in Washington. It was the miners' fault they got killed, it was the poor's fault they drowned, and it was the soldiers...

More Mean Liberal Whining

Hullabaloo: "Please, please spare me the crocodile tears about leftist incivility. We are living in a political world formed by rightwing commentators who have made a fetish of harsh eliminationist rhetoric hammered over and over again into the ether until it sounds like normal discourse. And we've been waiting for more than a decade for the mainstream media to notice that rightwing celebrity pundits, who reach millions upon millions of listeners and viewers a day, routinely accuse liberals of treason and celebrate our deaths. It's made us a little bit testy. When important news outlets like the Washington Post see 'leftist incivility' as a topic worthy of the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth it makes us wonder if they are even living in the same universe we do.

Famous and wealthy toxic political commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly are routinely lauded as normal mainstream partisans while ordinary readers of the Washington Post are excoriated for incivility when they complain about inaccurate coverage that benefits Republicans. This is bizarro world. It is insane. It is a sign of a very sick political culture. "

So the Post worries about this? Why not spend some energy on some real news? Like what's actually going with Happy Jack and Plamegate? Or maybe Iraq.

Brits Do It Better

Operation Yellow Elephant: "The British Royal Family Sets An Example II

Following his older brother, Prince William's, entry to Sandhurst, Britain's Prince Harry completes his military training in April and could be sent to Iraq. Money quote:

'There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country. That may sound very patriotic, but it's true. It's not the way anyone should really work.'

The last British royal to see military action was Harry's uncle Prince Andrew, who flew as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War in 1982. How about you, Henry Hager? Pussy."

In the Old World, it was called "the obligation of the noble" ; in the New World, it is not practiced anymore, having been replaced with "the entitlement of the rich." So when are those Bush girls hitting Basic Training?

Swiftboating Murtha

Salon.com - Daou Report: "Daou Report
by Peter Daou

New THE TRIANGLE: Matthews, Moore, Murtha, and the Media: What's the common thread running through the past half-decade of Bush's presidency? What's the nexus between the Swift-boating of Kerry, the Swift-boating of Murtha, and the guilt-by-association between Democrats and terrorists? Why has a seemingly endless string of administration scandals faded into oblivion? Why do Democrats keep losing elections? It's this: the traditional media, the trusted media, the 'neutral' media, have become the chief delivery mechanism of potent anti-Democratic and pro-Bush storylines. And the Democratic establishment appears to be either ignorant of this political quandary or unwilling to fight it.

There's a critical distinction to be made here: individual reporters may lean left, isolated news stories may be slanted against the administration. What I'm describing is the wholesale peddling by the 'neutral' press of deep-seated narratives, memes, and soundbites: simple, targeted talking points that paint a picture of reality for the American public that favors the right and tarnishes the left.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bush Accuser Dead

In different times, with a different President, the media might actually pay attention to this:

HaloScan.com - Comments: "Woman who filed sexual assault lawsuit against bush confirmed dead, cause of death listed as 'gunshot wound to head'...

I finally got some confirmation from an obit in the Houston Chronicle that Margie Schoedinger, the woman who filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Bush last year, died in September.I called the Harris County Medical Examiner's office, which lists her cause of death as a 'gunshot wound to the head' and 'suicide.' Anyone versed in CIA/Mafia lingo knows that 'suicide' sometimes means 'murder' or at least carries with it some pressure to commit suicide by outside parties, such as those against whom that person has filed a lawsuit. I'm not yet saying this is a murder - you draw your own conclusion.

When I talked to Schoedinger in July she sounded in good health. She was only 38. It's another weird tragedy surrounding the Bush administration - and this one has received NO mention from the media.

Here is the info and link from the paper:

http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/i...php?q=node/ 3402
The Angry Hobbit Homepage 01.23.06 - 11:15 pm #"

Monday, January 23, 2006

Rove vs. Kerry

Crooks and Liars:

"Rove: President Bush believes if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why. Some important Democrats clearly disagree.

KERRY: You know, Osama bin Laden is going to die of kidney failure before he’s killed by Karl Rove and his crowd. And all he does is divide America over this issue and exploit it. And what he’s trying to pretend is somehow Democrats don’t want to eavesdrop appropriately to protect the country. That’s a lie.

We’re prepared to eavesdrop wherever and whenever necessary in order to make America safer. But we put a procedure in place to protect the constitutional rights of Americans. And what I believe, George, and I believe it deeply, is you can protect the United States of America without devoiding, without ignoring the Constitution of the country."

Who's Got The Pix?

AllAroundPhilly: "Since Abramoff pleaded guilty two weeks ago to conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion charges in an influence-peddling scandal, McClellan has told reporters he was checking into Abramoff's meetings. 'I'm making sure that I have a thorough report back to you on that,' he said in his press briefing Jan. 5. 'And I'll get that to you, hopefully very soon.'

McClellan said Tuesday that he checked on it at reporters' requests, but wouldn't discuss the private staff-level meetings. 'We are not going to engage in a fishing expedition,' he said."

Think you could fish-out those photos of the Prez and Jack?

An Oldie on FemoNazis and Such and Stay At Home Boys

The Carpetbagger Report / Blog Archive: 'Why Johnny isn't going to college':

"Phyllis Schlafly, president of the Eagle Forum, can be a little odd. Just a month ago, she published an item arguing against evolution by explaining that modern biology is literally unconstitutional because it suggests that 'the Constitution was written by animals and for animals.' She did not appear to be kidding.

This week, Schlafly managed to push the envelope a little further with a column, run by Townhall.com, with her explanation for declining male enrollment rates in American colleges.

You won't believe her conclusion. The lack of college sports teams and camaraderie makes many high school boys wonder, 'Why bother going to college?'

The Rose Bowl proved that public demand is for all-male sports, not female contests. Boys do not want to go to a college that eliminates the macho sports, and that is true even if the boy does not expect to compete himself.

The effects of the feminists' attack on men's sports are now coming home to roost. By the time this year's college freshmen are seniors, the ratio will be 60 percent women to 40 percent men, and women are now crying that there are not enough college-educated men to marry.

The 'argument,' if you can call it that, goes as follows: feminists hate male-dominated sports like football and wrestling, which leads colleges to drop the athletic programs, which leads young men to avoid college, which hurts families because women have more trouble finding a husband."

Think Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Racist Queries from Russert?

Salon.com - Daou Report: "Daou Report
by Peter Daou

Disturbing Racial Overtones in Tim Russert's Obama Interview (cross-posted on HuffPo): In light of the still-burning Chris Matthews scandal, I watched Sunday's political shows with keener interest than usual. And something very strange happened on Meet The Press: Tim Russert asked Senator Barack Obama to respond to Harry Belafonte's remarks about George W. Bush being the 'greatest terrorist in the world.'

My question is, why? Why did Russert ask Obama in particular about the statements of someone who isn't an elected official, who doesn't speak for Democrats, who doesn't represent Obama, who doesn't represent the Democratic Party, who is entitled to his own opinion.


Since when does an elected Democrat have to answer for the words of a citizen, however outrageous, even if that citizen has a public profile? And what's the real motive behind bringing the Belafonte quote into a discussion with Obama? The guilt-by-association game between terrorists and Democrats has been in hyper-drive this past week, with Matthews and MSNBC, the Bush cheerleaders at FOX, Bob Schieffer and others ramming this RNC-driven talking point down our collective throats. Was this just more of the same?

Not to mention the painfully obvious racial angle..."

Gomer Sez "Surprise! Surprise!"

MSN Money - CEOs cut pensions, pad their own:

"Company Focus
CEOs cut pensions, pad their own

Some executives who slash workers' pensions are keeping or even padding their own fat retirement packages. And some even reap bigger bonuses as pension cuts boost profits.

By Michael Brush

When International Business Machines froze its pension plan in early January, thousands of its employees suddenly felt a lot less certain about their retirement security.

Samuel Palmisano, IBM chief executive, has no such worries. Palmisano, according to IBM's (IBM, news, msgs) regulatory filings, will receive an annual pension of $4 million when he retires at age 65. That works out to $75,000 a week -- or more than $10,000 a day, including weekends.

It's becoming a familiar theme, as witnessed by this week's announcement by Alcoa (AA, news, msgs) that it will not offer pensions to new hires. And as traditional pension plans disappear and are replaced by less-generous 401(k) plans, the very executives who cut those pensions are keeping their guarantees of retirement luxury.Start investing with $100."

Another whack on the Outrage Meter.

Another Victory in the War on Terror

MoxieGrrrl.com: OMG! We Caught Bin Laden!: "Friday, January 20, 2006
OMG! We Caught Bin Laden!
Well, that's what you would have thought if you happened to watch Gonzales yap about the garden-variety eco-extremists they hauled in.

Yes, the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front have been accused of arson, attempted arson, vandalism and illegal releases of animals. Ooooooooo, don't frighten me so!

Yes, absolutely, do not let people who burn down buildings or harass and threaten people get away with that behavior. The law is the law, and must be followed - BY EVERYONE. But when Gonzales describes the group as a 'cell' (twice), 'terrorists', and 'terrorist movements,' the average citizen would have no trouble assuming that these people are on par with muslim extremists willing to kill scores of people, including themselves, to cause chaos and mayhem."

I understand that they are allied with the PLF (Possum Liberation Front).

Go, Feds! (Let's not worry too much about cargo containers with nukes in them slipping into...)

Brownie George

HaloScan.com - Comments: "You're doing a heck of a job, Georgie.

The sum of 'international' and 'domestic' terrorist attacks in 2005 was 3991, up 51% from the previous year's figure of 2639. The number of deaths that resulted from those attacks was 6872, which is 36% higher than the 5066 that occurred in 2004.

A heck of a job.

In contrast, in the last year of the Clinton presidency (2000), there were 1138 attacks and 776 deaths. Since then, after five years of Bush's macho 84 billion-dollar-a-year War on Terror®, attacks have increased by 250% and deaths by a whopping 550%.
Tad | 01.21.06 - 10:22 pm | #"

The AntiChrist Speaks

Media Matters - Acknowledging Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" designation, Beck said Sheehan is "pimping out the tragedy of her own son's death": "Acknowledging Olbermann's 'Worst Person in the World' designation, Beck said Sheehan is 'pimping out the tragedy of her own son's death'

Summary: Reacting to the recent designation of 'Worst Person in the World' by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann for saying that anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan is 'pimping out the tragedy of her own son's death for her own agenda,' Glenn Beck expounded further: 'It's almost so horrible, it seems true.'

In a discussion on the reaction from several media outlets and organizations to his recent hiring by CNN Headline News, nationally syndicated radio host Glenn Beck attributed his notoriety to 'socialist organs that are just whipped up into a frenzy.' Beck said, 'I mean, nobody cared about who I was for so long. ... [N]ow, all of a sudden, I'm the Antichrist.'"

You said it, cool dude.

Bloggers Are Bad..

...because we don't get paid? The Washington Post incident has provoked the ire of the (over)paid media. About that First Amendment..

Sirotablog: Joe Klein is "all opinion and very little information": "Joe Klein is 'all opinion and very little information'
Time Magazine's Joe Klein appeared on CNN last night and said 'I bow to nobody in, in my disdain for bloggers. They're all opinions and very little information.' What a truly incredible statement from person like Klein - one of America's foremost fact-averse pundits.

Consider just a few glaring examples of Klein's love of the sound of his own opinions, and hatred for actual concrete information. This past summer, for instance, Klein ignored concrete public opinion and demographic data and went off on a factless tangent about how Democrats should continue to pursue Republican-lite policies as a way to win elections."

Fear and the GOP

Glenn Greenwald at Crooks and Liars notes: "More GOP fear-mongering

What lies at the center of so many of our current political controversies is fear. Fear-mongering is the one and only weapon which Bush followers use time and again to solidify their support. When Karl Rove says, as he did yesterday, that 'national security' is going to be the centerpiece of the GOP pitch leading into the 2006 elections, what he means is that they are going to spend the next 10 months doing everything possible to scare Americans as much as possible so that they once again dispense with all other issues and throw themselves into the arms of the party which promises to be their Protector.

One often-overlooked fact in all of these discussions about the Bush-worshiping biases of national journalists is that most of them live in New York or Washington, DC -- the two cities attacked on 9/11 and two of the most likely cities to be a target of future attacks -- and, consequently, they are frightened out of their minds by The Terrorists. These are people who are largely coddled, effete, and isolated, and so many of them are still so clearly plagued by the post-traumatic stress of 9/11 and are driven into Bush’s protective arms because they are petrified...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Email Medicare Assistance

Subject: FW: Bush Explains Medicare Drug Bill

WOMAN IN AUDIENCE: 'I don't really understand. How is the new plan going to fix the problem?'

Verbatim response: PRESIDENT BUSH:

'Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to that has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, supposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.'"

Right. Ok. I gottit. Where's my hemlock?

Circulation Commentary

From the openlettertochrismatthews blog:

Blogger: Post a Comment: "When someone says 'just' blogs, they must mean CONSERVATIVE blogs are 'just' blogs, as in 'blogs which nobody reads' -- after all, conservative blogs are so tiny that the top 50 conservative blogs have less circulation than DailyKos alone -- even with the MILLIONS of dollars of payola being funneled to failed conservative blog outfits like Assclown Media and the phony journalists who stay in business via corporate largesse and government handouts rather than actual advertisers and readers. DailyKos is now next in line in circulation after USA Today, the NY Times, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune, as the link above explains. The 'mainstream' media isn't mainstream any more -- the blogs are -- and it's the LIBERAL blogs that have all the readers. As usual, conservatives have to lie -- saying nobody reads blogs, ..."

Now that's interesting...


Operation Yellow Elephant: "Progressive Americans Support Military Recruitment of College and Young Republicans!

Attention Anti-War Leftists:

It's time to reach out to all Americans. On January 30, the College Republicans will sponsor 'Finish the Job: Support Our Troops' Rallies in Washington DC and All Over America to support President Bush's January 31 State of the Union address. All of you can support every American's First Amendment rights and make a patriotic impression on our great country. Red States and Blue States together, we're all Americans."

Yellow Elephant offers more encouragement here.

Paul Craig Roberts: Was the 2004 Election Fixed?

Paul Craig Roberts: Was the 2004 Election Fixed?: "Political Machines
Was the 2004 Election Fixed?


As coincidence would have it, Mark Crispin Miller's new book, 'Fooled Again' (Basic Books), documenting the Republican theft of the 2004 presidential election, arrived in the same mail delivery with the January 12 edition of the Defuniak Springs Herald, the locally owned weekly newspaper in a Florida panhandle county seat.

The Florida panhandle is thorough-going Republican. Even Democrats run as Republicans. Nevertheless, the newspaper's editor, Ron Kelley, believes that American political life is measured by something larger than party affiliation. In his editorial, 'The shepherds and the sheep,' Kelley reports that two Florida counties have banned any further use of Diebold voting machines after witnessing a professional demonstration that the machines, contrary to Diebold's claim, are easily hacked to record votes differently from the way in which they are cast by voters.

The pre-election statement by Diebold's CEO that he would work to deliver the election to Bush was apparently no idle boast. In five states where the new 'foolproof' electronic voting machines were used, the vote tallies differed substantially from the exit polls. Such a disparity is unusual. The chances of exit polls in five states being wrong are no more than one in one million."

I've been harping on this as much as who forged the yellow-cake Niger documents, and I am glad, some light is shining in but does anyone have a plan? If your voting machines gives you a receipt, do either of the political parties have a plan on how to use those receipts to challenge crooked elections? Can the receipts be counterfeited? Or, are we stuck with exit polls and whining?

Nobody Knows Jack

The Republican system Sidney Blumenthal - openDemocracy: "The Republican system
Sidney Blumenthal
20 - 1 - 2006
The career of disgraced super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff is a lesson in the debasement of the Republican political machine and the culmination of the post-1994 'revolution' it proclaimed, says Sidney Blumenthal.

Hardly anyone in the Republican Party, in Congress or at the White House, seems to recall ever having met Jack Abramoff. Collective amnesia has suddenly descended upon the capital. The super-lobbyist, whose plea bargain with prosecutors requires the extensive naming of members of Congress, staffers, ex-staffers, lobbyists, friends, colleagues and his own personal assistants, is spending his days racking his memory for details of their relationships that may become the basis for bills of indictment."

Gee, what a surprise.

Kerry Gets Hard

Daily Kos: Real Hardball: "Real Hardball
by John Kerry
Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 03:52:31 PM PDT

There's something that doesn't sit right with me when, on the day Osama Bin Laden resurfaced in a disturbing audio tape, cable television ends up in a game of name calling as a war protester is compared to Osama Bin Laden.

That's reason to be outraged - but even more outrageous is the fact that in a flurry of sound bites what was lost was a real discussion of the fact that more than four years after the devastating attacks of 9/11, more than four years after George Bush boasted we wanted Osama 'dead or alive,' more than a year after Osama Bin Laden showed his hateful face in yet another video, this barbarian is still very much alive and boasting of additional attacks against the United States."

There's more...

SF Vet Hating Explained

When I first heard Hyman spewing this story, I knew there had to be more to it. Basically, Hyman said San Francisco hates veterans because it didn't fight to get the Iowa berthed there and that the city council gave more money for a parade to gay groups and others than to the verterans groups. explains what's going with those two so crackback and read it via the following link. The Counterpoint's post ends with the following observation:

The Counterpoint: "He also ignores the fact that thousands of vets have organized and identified themselves as both veterans and anti-war (if not explicitly liberal), including Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

And of course, Hyman doesn’t admit that he doesn’t like veterans either, at least if they are running for president against a candidate whose politics he likes. He’s more than happy to dishonor their service and lie about them in that case.

Hyman also doesn’t like members of the military who’ve died in combat in Iraq, at least when he believes that there’s a choice between honoring their service and supporting a favorite politician. He’ll happily blackout any recognition of the fallen if he thinks it politically unwise.

He also doesn’t like veterans who died in the line of duty if their mother does something to embarrass Hyman’s political heroes. He’s happy to personally attack a veteran’s mom to score political points.

And obviously, Hyman literally doesn’t have a minute to spare to honor a fallen soldier who marched and fought in a different kind of war—the war for equality, harmony, and justice.

And that’s The Counterpoint."

Hint for Hyman


Apologies for this being slightly off topic, but given Mark Hyman's continual harrangues about 'radicals' in academia, I thought it worth noting that an organization of UCLA alumni have taken the chilling step (one, I'm afraid, that will be encouraged more broadly by right wingers) of paying UCLA students to record lectures by faculty that are too left wing for their taste."

Hmmm... how does the Fair Use Doctrine apply here?

Medicare Mess Musing

Thou Shall Not Suck » Senior Moment: "How anyone thought that a group of people who have trouble operating a Buick’s gas pedal or a television remote control would be able to understand the plan’s colossal complexities is beyond me. It’s not that the senior set is too stupid to figure it out—it’s that signing up for the program required a firm knowledge of technology most over the age of 60 simply don’t understand.

This is more than yet another botched response by the federal government—it’s further proof that our rapidly aging population is nothing more than a mere afterthought.


22 Retired Military Officers Ask Bush to Ban Torture - TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime

22 Retired Military Officers Ask Bush to Ban Torture - TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime: "

The ruckus over Bush's signing statement attached to the McCain anti-torture amendment continues. 22 high-ranking former military officers have written a letter to President Bush asking him to enforce the amendment."

As well Bush and they should...

The Raw Story | Democrats want ethics committee to probe 'day trading' allegations

The Raw Story | Democrats want ethics committee to probe 'day trading' allegations: "Democrats want ethics committee to probe 'day trading' allegations

John Byrne
Published: January 19, 2006

Print This | Email This

After a comment by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) on Air America's Majority Report Wednesday evening, RAW STORY has learned that House Democrats are pushing the ethics committee to investigate allegations of congressional offices providing privleged information to Wall Street investors.

On Air America, Slaughter alleged that 'day traders' in the offices of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) had aided such investors. She mentioned as a specific example that individuals got advance notice that an asbestos bill was not going to emerge from the Senate (Audio here).

An article that ran below the radar in November revealed the 'day trading' practice, in which little-known firms use sources in Congress to glean information relevant to publicly-traded stocks. As Washington turns its eyes to fallen conservative superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, new focus has come to other allegations of congressional wrongdoing."

Uh-oh. Is something else getting ready to hit the fan? If Martha went down for lying about it, will politicos also fall?

Crooks and Liars

Crooks and Liars: "Why the Chris Matthews smear matters

The anger over Chris Matthews’ comment that Osama bin Laden in his new video sounds like Michael Moore, and the resulting campaign demanding that Matthews apologize, arises from much more than a single comment, and has little to do with Moore himself. The Matthews smear illustrates the fact that it has become routine in our national political dialogue, and among our nation's journalists, to equate opposition to George Bush with subversiveness, treason, and support for Al Qaeda.

The national media has truly adopted this dissent-quashing dichotomy created by the Bush White House: one is either a follower of George Bush who praises his war and terrorism policies, or one is an enemy of the United States who is on the side of Al Qaeda. That is not hyperbole. This is the manipulative and decidedly un-American view that is re-enforced again and again

. In the lead-up to the 2004 Presidential elections, it became the conventional wisdom of prominent 'journalists' like Matthews that the bin Laden was rooting for Kerry to win. The bin Laden video which emerged in the days before the election was described by these journalists as proof that bin Laden was endorsing, and even campaigning for, John Kerry. Every cable news show, including Matthews', featured commentary equating bin Laden’s video with the Democratic Party’s foreign policy views.


ABC Loves Gay Bashing?

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth: "ABC/Disney may have killed new TV show because gay couple won and they didn't want to anger religious right
by John in DC - 1/21/2006 10:02:00 AM

This is bad. The NYT article below provides a lot of evidence that the religious right got 'Welcome to the Neighborhood,' a reality TV show, killed before it even aired a single episode because ABC/Disney thought the religious right would pull its support for the movie Narnia if the gays were shown to win the reality show (the gay couple did win).

What's worse, a bit part of the religious right's problem with the reality show is that many of the neighbors of the gay couple in the show were quite homophobic Christians and by the end of the show they ended up loving their gay neighbors. The religious right objected especially to the fact that real Christians embraced their gay neighbors."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bring it On! � Blog Archive � A Soldier For Truth Has Fallen:

Bring it On! � Blog Archive � A Soldier For Truth Has Fallen::

"Doug may have taken his own life, but the blame should rest squarely on the shoulders of the VA. They stonewalled his claim and prevented him from getting treatment at every step of the way. He struggled for two years to get any type counseling for his problems.

Last year he turned himself in for emergency crisis treatment through the VA. Their response was to give him a counseling appointment every three months and give him medication without any real supervision or follow-up."

Another sad... later...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Right Imbalance

Media Matters - Hewitt accused CNN of ignoring criticism of Dems in Alito coverage -- but CNN guest lineup and coverage say otherwise:

"Hewitt accused CNN of ignoring criticism of Dems in Alito coverage -- but CNN guest lineup and coverage say otherwise

Summary: On CNN's On the Story, conservative blogger and radio host Hugh Hewitt accused CNN of ignoring conservative criticism of Democratic senators' performance during the nomination hearing for Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. In fact, CNN featured six solo appearances by non-senators who criticized Senate Democrats over their questioning of Alito, and no solo appearances by non-elected progressive critics of Alito. Moreover, CNN offered no opposing viewpoint to counter Hewitt's baseless accusation."

That Liberal Media again...

"Leading Conservatives Call for Extensive Hearings on NSA Surveillance..."

U.S. Newswire : Releases : "Leading Conservatives Call for Extensive Hearings on NSA Surveillance...":

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances (PRCB) today called upon Congress to hold open, substantive oversight hearings examining the President's authorization of the National Security Agency (NSA) to violate domestic surveillance requirements outlined in the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, chairman of PRCB, was joined by fellow conservatives Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR); David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in urging lawmakers to use NSA hearings to establish a solid foundation for restoring much needed constitutional checks and balances to intelligence law.

'When the Patriot Act was passed shortly after 9-11, the federal government was granted expanded access to Americans' private information,' said Barr. 'However, federal law still clearly states that intelligence agents must have a court order to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans on these shores. Yet the federal government overstepped the protections of the Constitution and the plain language of FISA to eavesdrop on Americans' private communication without any judicial checks and without proof that they are involved in terrorism.'"

Strange bedfellows indeed.

When Is A Lie Not A Lie?

TomDispatch - Tomgram: De la Vega, Does the President Really Know Best?:

"This charade was not merely for the benefit of the public and congress but also for the benefit of the thousands of administration employees who are charged with enforcing the rule of law. When Bush announced famously on April 20, 2004, '[T]here are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way...' "

When Is A Lie Not A Lie? ...when George says so!

Delay Slip-Sliding Away

WorkingForChange-Time to go long: "Talk about not getting it: Tom DeLay is losing in his own district, 36 percent to 49 percent for 'any Democrat.' Wouldn't you think Texas congressmen would sit up and take notice of something like that? "

A Little DeLay

WorkingForChange-Time to go long:

"Texas Republicans are now being led Rep. Joe Barton of Ennis, chair of the critical Energy and Commerce Committee. DeLay sits in on their meetings by speakerphone. Barton, just the man for the job in these ethically sensitive times. He's going to spend next weekend aboard a private train with lobbyists who pay $2,000 for the privilege. After a seven-hour run from Fort Worth to San Antonio, there will be cocktails, an evening tour of the Alamo, dinner and breakfast on Sunday.

The Dallas Morning News reports the invitation reads, 'During the ride, we'll have lots of time to talk, play some Texas Hold 'Em, and enjoy some great down home Texas food. This is about as good as it gets.'

It's the delicatessen of the invite that I appreciate, and I think the price is right, too -- only $2K for hours of uninterrupted access to the chairman whose committee has jurisdiction over about half of what Congress does -- including oil policy, pro baseball, Medicare and environmental regulation. "

Earth Rotation To Reverse

Google News: "
Washington -- Republican congressional leaders, stung by charges of corruption and worried that influence-peddling scandals could hurt the party in November's elections, announced proposals they say will rein in lobbyists and check unscrupulous lawmakers. ... "

...and the sun will rise in the West.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Requoting Gore

Crooks and Liars: "That George Bush broke the law is crystal clear and easy to explain. Gore just did so with perfect clarity. That Bush has vowed to continue breaking the law based on his belief that the Constitution gives him the power of law-breaking is something which most Americans will instinctively and viscerally reject – provided that this is explained to them clearly and unapologetically.

There was a previous President who claimed the right to break the law and the last image everyone remembers of him was waiving good-bye as he flew away from the White House in disgrace. These are not esoteric or abstract issues. There is no reason for Democrats to be afraid of standing up to George Bush on this issue. Bush got caught breaking the law and our country can’t tolerate that. It is that simple, and that was what Gore just expressed so powerfully"

No News For Gore

Salon.com - Daou Report:
"Daou Report
by Peter Daou

GORE V. BUSH: If a tree falls in a forest... A former Vice-President of the United States delivers a major speech accusing George W. Bush of breaking the law. What do all three cable news nets cover under the 'Breaking News' banner? An overturned tanker truck on a New York highway. THIS is the problem for the left. And as I've said a hundred times: if the Dem establishment doesn't go after the media institutionally, things simply will not change. It's astonishing to me that they haven't gotten it yet. The only other option is for the progressive netroots to organize and fight the media on its own, an uphill struggle, to say the least.."

The Howell Question

"firedoglake: 01/15/2006 - 01/21/2006: 'It is obvious that on a day-in, day-out basis [Deborah] Howell [Washington Post] is being bombarded by representatives of GOP think tanks to complain about any deviation from the official GOP slant on any story, a job which she clearly relishes. She is most certainly happy to print obvious distortions on a daily basis, like this one in today's column about Jack Abramoff:

Schmidt quickly found that Abramoff was getting 10 to 20 times as much from Indian tribes as they had paid other lobbyists. And he had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties.

That is just an out-and-out, boldfaced lie. It's hard to tell whether Howell is a hack or just an idiot and I suspect a bit of both, and I'm not going to waste any more time beating that one into the ground. I've already been there, as has anyone else paying even the littlest bit of attention.'"

Forgotten Posts

Somehow all these posts went to the wrong blog! So I'm catching up. The links died while stored in Blogger. Go figure. (Do a search if you absolutely have to know...)

Et tu, Georgie?

Capitol Hill Blue:
"Bush on the Constitution: "It's just a goddamned piece of paper."

Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.
Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

"I don"t give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I"m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."

"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!""

Every time I think of this exchange my blood pressure goes up. So where are all those right-wing defenders of the Constitution? Did all the blood of American patriots spilled red and often so our Chief Executive can dismiss what they bled for? Where, indeed, is the outrage? It's been over a month now and nary a peep from Fox News.

Modern Slavery

From CNN.com (December 9, 2005):

"MONMOUTH, Oregon (AP) -- Time off? What's that? Melinda Marie Jette, an adjunct professor at Western Oregon University, is teaching four courses this semester, and on the three days a week she has no classes, she grades papers, works on her own research and applies for tenure-track jobs.

Jette, who teaches early American history, is a member of a growing army of part-time professors at the nation's universities. Like her counterparts across the nation, she makes far less than her tenured colleagues and is kept guessing as to whether she will still be employed a few months down the line.

'All I do is work. That's all I do. It's not stable, professionally, or financially,' said Jette, who got her Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in 2004.

The number of adjuncts is on the rise nearly everywhere, as state universities search for ways to keep tuition and costs down and deal with falling state support. Lower-paid adjuncts like Jette free up their tenured colleagues for upper-level courses and research.

The American Federation of Teachers, which represents more than 50,000 adjuncts around the country, says that 43 percent of college faculty members around the country are part-time, non-tenure-track professors, up from 33 percent a decade ago."

And it is getting worse…

Media for Sale

"AIM Press Release - Saudi Billionaire Boasts of Manipulating Fox News Coverage - December 7, 2005: "Saudi Billionaire Boasts of Manipulating Fox News Coverage
December 7, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Accuracy in Media (AIM) is urging a full inquiry into a report that a Saudi billionaire caused the Fox News Channel (FNC) to dramatically alter its coverage of the Muslim riots in France after he called the network to complain. The Saudi billionaire, Al-waleed bin Talal, is a friend of News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch and controls an influential number of voting shares in the company.

'This report underscores the danger of giving foreign interests a significant financial stake in U.S. media companies,' declared Cliff Kincaid, editor of Accuracy in Media.

The controversial comments came at an Arab media conference featuring representatives of Time magazine, USA Today, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, and other news organizations. The conference and the Saudi Prince's growing influence in News Corporation are among the subjects of a new December-A AIM Report that has just been posted at the AIM website (www.aim.org). The report raises the specter of Arab money influencing News Corporation and other U.S. media companies.

Liberal journalist Danny Schechter, a participant in the conference, reports that Al-waleed, who is a member of the Saudi Royal Family and investor in the Fox News parent company News Corporation, gave an interview boasting that he had called Fox to complain about coverage of the 'Muslim riots' in France. He said he 'called as a viewer' and 'convinced them to change' the coverage because 'they were not Muslim riots but riots against poverty and inequality.' And 'they changed' the coverage, the Saudi reportedly said. "

So the facts change if you have money, now that is news.

Of War and Traffic

From Informed Comment:

"Rumsfeld complained at SAIS a week ago that there are 14,500 murders a year in the United States and 42,000 driving fatalities, and the US press isn't covering that, whereas, he implies, 43 people getting blown up on a bus in Baghdad is front page news.

Rumsfeld is committing a logical fallacy here. He is comparing apples and oranges. Does Rumsfeld think that there is not also a murder rate in Iraq beyond the guerrilla violence? The likelihood from the information that has leaked out from the Baghdad morgue is that Iraq is among the more murderous societies in the world at the moment. (As you would expect, since where there is no law and order, criminal elements act with impunity. "

Don't expect logic from a man whose boss thinks the Constitution is just a scrap of paper.

You Are Not My King

The perils of unchecked power - Los Angeles Times:

"All this is ancient history, but it has relevancy today. There is a growing movement to remove Hoover's name from the FBI building in Washington, D.C.. I do not think that is the lesson to be learned. Hoover built the FBI and served for almost 50 years as its leader. His positive achievements should endure and be recognized. He served with distinction, but he served too long. Perhaps because of age accompanied by virtually unchecked power, he lost any sense of proportion in law enforcement, using his authority in what he thought was a righteous cause. To my mind, that is the lesson to be learned from Hoover's vendetta.

Today we are again engaged in a debate over wiretapping for reasons of national security — the same kind of justification Hoover offered when he wanted to spy on King. The problem, then as now, is not the invasion of privacy, although that can be a difficulty. But it fades in significance to the claim of unfettered authority in the name of 'national security.' There may be good and sufficient reasons for invasions of privacy. But those reasons cannot and should not be kept secret by those charged with enforcing the law. No one should have such power, and in our constitutional system of checks and balances, no one legitimately does.

Forcing the executive to explain its reasons for intrusive law enforcement is essential to maintaining not just privacy but freedom itself. A congressional committee must exercise oversight. So too must an independent court because Congress is also subject to possible political pressure.

Our freedom is too precious, and too much blood has been shed to preserve it, to entrust it to a single person, however sincere and however well intentioned. "

About Spending Tax Dollars Wisely...

IRS abuses offer insight into dangers of wiretap program | ajc.com:
"Under this program, computer programs and data-mining techniques are used to sift through millions of tax refund requests and financial records, using the same basic approaches employed by the National Security Agency to analyze billions of phone calls, e-mails and other data. But while the security agency is looking for clues to potential terrorists, the IRS is mining its data for fraudulent tax-refund requests.

It's a useful technology, but according to a new government study, almost two-thirds of the refund requests identified as fraudulent through IRS data-mining are actually honest and clean. Of those returns categorized by the IRS as 'conclusively fraudulent,' 46 percent weren't fraudulent at all. In other words, IRS data-mining falsely identifies hundreds of thousands of American taxpayers as tax frauds every year."

Slip-Sliding Away

Zogby International: " Released: January 15, 2006

Bush job approval dips again to 39%

New Zogby Survey shows Iraq a Partisan War

In the face of rising gas prices, partisan sniping over Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, and a resumption of insurgent violence in Iraq, President Bush’s job approval rating has slipped into a post-holiday funk, again dipping below 40%, a new telephone poll by Zogby International shows.

His approval rating almost mirrors the percentage of respondents (40%) who said the nation overall is headed in the right direction.

The deterioration in the President’s numbers appears to be the result of eroding support among the investor class and others who supported him in his 2004 re-election bid, said Pollster John Zogby, President and CEO of Zogby International. And the problem is the Iraq war – just 34% of respondents said Mr. Bush was doing a good or excellent job managing the war, down from 38% approval in a Zogby poll taken in mid-October.

Bush’s overall job approval rating in that poll was at 46%."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

They Can Say "Impeachment"

From Crooks and Liars:

"It looks like Arlen has joined the ranks of some Americans when he said today on This Week:

George: You know if the President did break the law or circumvent the law, what's the remedy?

Specter: Well, the remedy could be a variety of things. A president - and I'm not suggesting remotely that there's any basis, but you're asking, really, theory, what's the remedy? Impeachment is a remedy. After impeachment, you could have a criminal prosecution, but the principal remedy, George, under our society is to pay a political price."

Dems Get No Dirty Dough

Bloomberg.com: U.S.:

"Between 2001 and 2004, Abramoff gave more than $127,000 to Republican candidates and committees and nothing to Democrats, federal records show. At the same time, his Indian clients were the only ones among the top 10 tribal donors in the U.S. to donate more money to Republicans than Democrats. "

It is not a bi-partisan scandal.

Global Warming Will Not Affect Conservatives

Scorched Earth

"NASA has quietly terminated the Deep Space Climate Observatory, citing "competing priorities." The news media took little notice. Few Americans, after all, had even heard of the program. But the entire world may come to mourn its passing.

Earth is growing warmer. Even the most strident global-warming deniers have taken to saying that a little warming is a good thing. If the trend continues, however, it will have catastrophic consequences for life on this planet. Correctly identifying the cause could be the most important problem facing humanity. "

Delay Dragging Rear

Poll shows embattled DeLay trailing in Texas race

HOUSTON, Jan. 14 — "Embattled Republican Tom Delay trails a Democratic challenger for his seat in the House and is viewed favorably by only 28 percent of people questioned in a poll of his Houston area district, the Houston Chronicle said in its online edition Saturday.
The survey of 560 registered voters conducted Tuesday through Thursday found 30 percent favored former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, a Democrat, compared with 22 percent for DeLay, who has represented the district for 22 years. "

Clinton Bombs

Clinton Did It!

From Firedoglake:
"While both the traditional media and the warbloggers like Cap'n Ed are quick to dismiss the lives of 17 innocent people we accidentally bombed this morning ("This is war, and unfortunately war results in collateral deaths by mistaken targeting"), Phoenix Woman, from the comments, takes us back to yesteryear:

Note how a few years back, the GOP/Media Axis went into Froth-At-The-Mouth over "Bill Clinton bombing an innocent aspirin factory!"

They did so, even though:

a) the factory was indeed part-owned by Osama bin Laden (who Clinton was chasing down, even as the GOP/Media Axis was mocking him over it and hampering him with their "wag the dog!" crap)

b) the factory wasn't just making aspirin, but other, less charming substances, and

c) the attack took place at night to ensure civilians weren't harmed.

No similar mitigating circumstances exist for this bombing. None. Yet the GOP/Media Axis is still frantically trying to spin the murder of innocent men, women and children as a Good Thing.

One day I fully intend to finish Richard Clarke's book, I really do. Trouble is I read a couple pages and then hurl it against the wall."

GOP Smear Machine At It Again

From Whatever Already!

The Washington Post this morning gives major play this morning to an attack of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) on the website of the (until now) obscure Cybercast News Service. It accuses Murtha-- who had won eight military awards, including a Bronze star, and a Distinguished Service Medal of the United States Marine Corps, for his 37 years of military service-- of purportedly saying that he had not deserved to win two Purple Hearts also awarded him for his service during the Vietnam war…

But the article tells us very little about Thibault himself. Had the reporters done a simple Internet search, they would have discovered this biography of Thibault posted online which describes him as a "senior producer for a televised news magazine" broadcast and sponsored by the Republican National Committee. I dunno, but I for one, would have wanted to know that…Thibault's background and those engaging in the Swiftboating of Murtha would be relevant to any news story on this issue, I would think…

What the Post leaves out of its story is that Saylor is deceased, and well, has been for some time now. (Saylor died way back in 1973, something that the Cybercast "News" Service, noted in their news story-- not to impugn their reporting practices.) In short, the Washington Post is relying on something said by a person with an axe to grind (Fox), who is quoting someone who is deceased (but who the newspaper forgot to tell you is deceased.) But it is even somewhat worse than that: the Post is quoting the ever-so-reliable and unbiased Cybercast News Service, which is quoting a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, which includes an allegation by Fox... who is citing someone now deceased…"

Guys! It's America. We disagree. That doesn't mean you kill every messenger that doesn't tell you what you want to hear.

Newt The Reformer, Part II

Newt's New Con

David Sirota

The Nation -- "Of all the voices berating the Republican Party for its culture of corruption, none rings more hollow than Newt Gingrich's. According to the Associated Press, the former House Speaker has said he is considering running for President in 2008. Now, in preparation, he is leading a stampede of corrupt Republicans desperate to distance themselves from the money-for-votes scandal plaguing the nation's capital.

Gingrich isn't stupid. He knows that in today's era of establishment-worshiping journalism, all he had to do was give one speech pretending to be outraged at the scandals and the media would largely ignore that Gingrich was the happy midwife of the out-of-control corruption America is now living through..."

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Matthew 24:51

All hypocrites will end up in hell (Matthew 24:51). Keep this in mind all of you actors who purport to follow the Prince of Peace while killing, maiming, and stealing from the less able around you. You are a hypocrite.

Counterbias: Hypocrisy and the Christian Right: "

Who's perverting and promoting what?

January 12 2006

The leaders of the evangelical Christian Right are constantly attacking gay and lesbian Americans. One of their favorite stereotypes, championed by America's premier homophobe, Rev. Lou Sheldon and his Traditional Values Coalition, is that gays recruit people into homosexuality. Lou and the rest of the sanctimonious leaders of the Christian Right are also notorious for their claim that religion, specifically their dogmatic Protestant fundamentalism, will prevent or, cure, homosexuality.

Pastor Lonnie Latham, a member of the executive committee of the Southern Baptist connvention, has spoken out vehemently against same-sex marriage and urged gays to reject their sinful, destructive lifestyle.

On January 3, 2005, Pastor Latham was booked into Oklahoma County Jail after being arrested for soliciting an undercover male police officer to join him in his hotel room for oral sex. (Latham's 2005 Mercedes was also impounded. Apparently the business of religious deceit and bigotry is quite profitable.)

According to a September 12, 2004 LA Times story, Paul Crouch, the president of Trinity Broadcasting Network, paid Enoch Lonnie Ford $425,000 in 1998 in exchange for his silence about an alleged homosexual affair they had had in 1996 at a TBN-owned cabin near Lake Arrowhead, California. Trinity Broadcasting Network claims to be the world's largest Christian media empire with 24-hour programming via 47 satellites and 12,500 affiliates reaching a total of 92,540,954 U.S. households. In true duplicitous fashion, a statement released on September 22, 2004 by TBN denied Crouch had had a homosexual affair, but confirmed the hush money..."

I wonder if that Mercedes will melt in Hell?

Cell Phones and Terrorists

Preceding this quote is a digest of right-wing ranting about the cell phone plot:

From Crooks and Liars:

"This was all brilliant reporting on Michelle's part, except for the fact that the whole thing was untrue, nothing more than the rancid fantasies of people who have listened late at night to one too many Dick Cheney speeches about the evildoers lurking among us.

According to Bill Vanderland, agent in charge of Midland's FBI office, no laws were broken when a group of men attempted to purchase a large number of cell phones from the Wal-Mart in the 200 block of Interstate 20 Dec. 18. . . .

Vanderland said Thursday after the ABC report aired that assertions of a connection between a terror cell and the men who attempted to purchase cell phones from a Midland Wal-Mart were invalid.

'There is no known link or demonstrated link or any other kind of link at this point between the people here and any terror cell,' he said.'

The hysteria unleashed here is as stupid as it is disturbing. What does it even mean to say that the plotting cell phone buyers were linked to 'suspected terrorist cells stationed within the Metroplex.' Is the Midland Police Department really aware of 'terrorist cells stationed within the Metoplex?' If so, wouldn't they be arresting them?"

Friday, January 13, 2006

God and Politics

Chicago Sun-Times - Andrew Greeley:

"Andrew Greeley
Friday, January 13, 2006
Bush defenders use tortured logic

I receive a lot of nasty hate mail from Republicans. When I filter out the venomous obscenity and scatology, I find a theory not unlike that of the liberal left on separation of church and state. Stick with religion, these irate folk tell me, and get out of politics. Clergy have no business expressing political opinions. I wonder what they think of the great political movements that have swept the country -- Abolition, Populism, Prohibition, Civil Rights, Reclaiming America -- all of which have had powerful and articulate clerical support. There was also, as best as I can remember, considerable clerical agitation for the impeachment of President Clinton, a sinner as opposed to our present God-fearing president."

...another posting from the "Having It Both Ways" Department

Thursday, January 12, 2006

More On Hypocrisy

from Crooks and Liars:

"These Paragons of Civility who are oozing sermons today about how such attacks prevent "good people" from entering public service are the same political lowlifes who spent the 1990s screaming that Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster murdered in order to cover up their affair (even though she’s a lesbian) and that Bill Clinton is a serial rapist who oversaw a drug-running operation from an Arkansas airstrip.

They spent many years and tens of millions of dollars investigating Bill Clinton’s penis, semen stains on dresses, and Henry Cisneros’ mistress.

They routinely depict political opponents (such as Al Gore and Howard Dean) as being mentally unstable lunatics, and insinuate that war heroes like John Kerry and Jack Murtha are cowards who shot themselves on purpose in order to get their medals.

Those who criticize the war policies of the Commander-in-Chief are traitors and subversives, and are deemed to be "on the other side." Rush Limbaugh has spent the last 20 years pumping into the heads of 20 million followers overtly eliminationist rhetoric directed at anyone who deviates from their ideology.

He has been joined by a cadre of hate-mongers who do the same. And as for the grave offense which Republicans suffered from the mere reference to racism or bigotry as part of the dignified judicial confirmation hearings, why is it even necessary to point out that for the past several years, these same distinguished Senators have been expressly accusing Democrats on the Judiciary Committee of being racist, anti-Hispanic, anti-Catholic and anti-women whenever they don’t get their way on every judicial nomination?

posted by Glenn Greenwald

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dean Tells It Like It Is

Crooks and Liars has a video of this exchange. It is, well, uh, funny!The following is a rather paraphrased transcript:

NWAnews.com :: Northwest Arkansas' News Source:

Gene Lyons:"Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean shocked poor Wolf Blitzer almost speechless during a recent appearance on CNN's 'The Situation Room.'

'Should Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, who has now pleaded guilty to bribery charges... give that money to charity or give it back ?' Blitzer wanted to know.

'There are no Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff,' Dean answered. 'Not one, not one single Democrat. Every person named in this scandal is a Republican. Every person under investigation is a Republican. Every person indicted is a Republican. This is a Republican finance scandal. There is no evidence that Jack Abramoff ever gave any Democrat any money.... I know the Republican National Committee would like to get the Democrats involved in this. They're scared. They should be scared. They haven't told the truth.'

But, but, but, Blitzer sputtered, what about Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota ? Indeed, Dorgan did accept legal campaign donations from American Indian tribes that Abramoff represented while privately referring to their leaders as 'morons' and 'troglodytes' and swindling them for lobbying services he never performed.

It's for putting things so bluntly that Dean is often derided as a wild man. In this instance, however, he's right. See, Abramoff wasn't just any GOP lobbyist. 'Casino Jack,' as he was widely known, was the king of the K Street lobbyists and the principal financier of the 'Republican revolution' 'an insider's insider"

Link: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Editorial/142264/

Are there any crooked Democrats? Sure. (In fact, expect one from the Gulf Coast to get indicted any time now.) But the Happy Jack problem is Republican made, Republican bred, and, apparently, Christian blessed. And it'll be a Republican scandal when we are all dead.

A Reagan Scorecard

In the comments at
Truthdig - Reports - Betraying the Reagan Revolution:

"Robert, the Reagan Revolution devolved under Reagan.
Increased Spending by 80%--Debt by 187%--Deficits by 110% and a CONSERVATIVE!!
Plus increased California Spending by 112%.
245 investigated
137 charged or resigned under threat of indictment.
75 guilty of felony or misdemeanor(this is debatable-I had detailed list but repairman destroyed my hard drive years ago. I have recreated many but golf too much for me.
I let Joe Conason down for I promised him the list several years ago).
Too busy reading your terrific articles.
clarence swinney
political historian
burlington nc
cwswinney@netzero.net "

Most interesting set of numbers. Anybody got anything else along these lines?

Reform Requires Constant Pressure

From The Smirking Chimp:

Molly Ivins says:

"On the general subject of political corruption, do not fall into the fatal error of cynicism. You do your country a great disservice by saying things like: 'Eh, they're all crooks. Nothing anyone can do about it. Money will always find a way.'

The answer is perpetual reform. Fix it, and if corruption comes back again, you just whack back at it again. The system as it is encourages corruption and must be changed. Public campaign financing is the best answer in the long-term -- all this 'lobby reform' talk is hopelessly inadequate. Hang in, and raise hell -- this is a heaven-sent opportunity to clean it up. Don't blow the chance with cheap cynicism."

Don't bitch if you don't vote. Don't vote unless you vote with your head. Never shut-up. Never lay down. Get loud. Stay loud. Right is right. Wrong is wrong and deserves the deep black somber silence of the tomb. The only thing everybody in this country deserves is the one thing many are not getting: a fair chance.

Big Boys To Take Cut?

USATODAY.com - Kerkorian aide urges ailing GM to cut salaries:

"Ask board members to work for less than the $200,000 a year they are currently paid. The company's top five executives should take a big pay cut, too. Drastic reductions would serve as a 'very important tone setter that everyone is in this together.'"

$200k per year to meet, what, four times and suck down caviar and champagne? Gee, I wonder if health care and pensions are really GM's biggest problem? I seem to remember a former Chrysler exec working for $1 a year until he turned a profit. That might be a good plan here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pouty Bob Fibs Anew

Think Progress ' Novak Lies: 'The CIA Never Told Me It Would Cause Any Damage':

"Actually, he was warned. Washington Post, 7/27/05:

Harlow, the former CIA spokesman, said in an interview yesterday that he testified last year before a grand jury about conversations he had with Novak at least three days before the column was published. He said he warned Novak, in the strongest terms he was permitted to use without revealing classified information, that Wilson's wife had not authorized the mission and that if he did write about it, her name should not be revealed.

Harlow said that after Novak's call, he checked Plame's status and confirmed that she was an undercover operative. He said he called Novak back to repeat that the story Novak had related to him was wrong and that Plame's name should not be used.

Now, Novak wants to pretend like the warnings never happened. (In a subsequent column, Novak didn't dispute Harlow on the facts but argued his warnings weren't important.) Even moving to Fox News doesn't insulate you completely from the truth. "

Is there any right-wing journalist/pundit Bush employee out there that can tell the truth on a consistent basis? Or does pathological liar have a check-box on the employment application?

(Go ahead and bring-up long ago tales of Ted K. and bridges. And Clinton defining "is." Then, ask yourself: is that all I have?)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy Jack Has A Fan

CNN.com - Congressman: Abramoff a 'good person' - Jan 9, 2006:
"Congressman: Abramoff a 'good person'
Lobbyist is a friend who made mistakes, Rohrabacher says
Monday, January 9, 2006; Posted: 8:12 p.m. EST (01:12 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher came to the defense of disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff on Monday, saying he's a good person who has been unjustly criticized.
'They're portraying Jack as a monster. I see him more as a good person who's done bad things and has to be punished for doing bad things,' Rohrabacher, a California Republican and longtime friend of Abramoff, said in a phone interview"

I do hope the voters keep Dana in mind in the upcoming years.

Rack'em, Dano

From The Smirking Chimp: "
Posted: 2006-01-09 22:26

Bush Advisor Says President Has Legal Power to Torture Children

By Philip Watts

01/08/06 'revcom.us' -- -- John Yoo publicly argued there is no law that could prevent the President from ordering the torture of a child of a suspect in custody , including by crushing that child's testicles.

This came out in response to a question in a December 1st debate in Chicago with Notre Dame professor and international human rights scholar Doug Cassel. What is particularly chilling and revealing about this is that John Yoo was a key architect post-9/11 Bush Administration legal policy.

As a deputy assistant to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, John Yoo authored a number of legal memos arguing for unlimited presidential powers to order torture of captive suspects, and to declare war anytime, any where, and on anyone the President deemed a threat"

That blur you see is my head shaking. I never envisioned the day when the torture of children would even be considered by MY government.

Class Warfare Redux

Someone other than me is saying it:

The Blog Bob Burnett: Bush Resolution for 2006 - More Class Warfare The Huffington Post:

"Bush Resolution for 2006 - More Class Warfare (99 comments )
READ MORE: 2006, New York Times, Karl Rove, George W. Bush

A classic blues lyric is, 'Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself.'
Whenever Democrats argue that Bush Administration policies favor the rich at the expense of the poor, Republicans accuse Dems of waging class warfare . It's a classic defensive ploy -- accuse when you're the guilty party.

President Bush attributes the growth of the U.S. economy to his economic policies.
As a consequence, he's asking for a new round of tax cuts for the rich. The Republican-controlled Congress is ready to pass these, and reduce benefits for the poor, when the House and Senate reconvene. It's GOP class warfare."

Uh-huh, and they are winning the war because the poor are definitely getting poorer...

Delay Faces Money Laundering Charges

From Crooks and Liars:

"The state's highest criminal court on Monday denied Rep.Tom DeLay's request that the money laundering charges against him be dismissed or sent back to a lower court for an immediate trial...read on"


The evil, liberal plot continues against Delay. Tom will have to include The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to be in on the conspiracy. I wonder what his emails to Abramoff would be right about now?"

Right Wing Bias Rears Its Timmy Head At NBC

Huffington says:

"And, sure enough, Tim opened the show with the Abramoff scandal. So what did he choose to focus on? What, in his estimation, was the salient point to zero in on? This: will Harry Reid return the contributions he's received -- not from Jack Abramoff himself, mind you, but from three Indian tribes and from members of Abramoff's former lobbying firm? Go get em, Tim! Some might look at the events of this week and decide that the story lay somewhere in the intersection between the Republican party and the culture of corruption. But not Tim. He knows the real story is whether Harry Reid will return the loot. (Video at C&L.)"

As Gomer used to say, "Surprise, surprise."

More Commentary on the Morality Wars

Doesn't the Good Book have something rather hard to say about hypocrites and Hell? (And the people who support them?)

[ How about Isaiah 9:17 Therefore the LORD shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.]

By Cynthia Tucker
Sat Jan 7, 8:12 PM ET

Back when he was House majority leader -- before he lost that post to indictment in a Texas political scandal --

Tom DeLay was among the chief moralizers of American politics. He was a grand high potentate of the "culture of life" crowd that championed intervening in the tragic case of Terri Schiavo. He vigorously opposed abortion. He could be counted on to whip up a frenzy against gay marriage.

Yet DeLay's sense of morality was never troubled by the business practices of one of his "closest and dearest friends," Jack Abramoff, who bilked Indian tribes, set up sham enterprises and bought the votes of powerful congressmen. Indeed, DeLay was among those on whom Abramoff, a highly paid Capitol Hill lobbyist, lavished expensive gifts.

As just one example, Abramoff paid for a pricey golf excursion for DeLay and his wife to Scotland. Nor was morality any brake for political consultant Ralph Reed, former cherub-in-chief for the Christian Coalition, now a candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia. Reed has a longstanding public record of onservative religious views, and he used that record to promote his consulting practice to conservative religious groups. But that didn't stop him from working with Abramoff to promote gambling interests, including pushing for an online gaming company.