Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Seven Blunders

Eminently Quotable | BuzzFlash: "'Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle.'
-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)"

Truth Time Comes

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: Sanity on Iraq: "We may be approaching a moment a little similar to the moment when Barry Goldwater was tasked to go to Nixon in 1974 and tell him it was over and he should resign. No, I don't mean Bush will quit if the elections are a disaster for the Rove strategy of 'divide and terrify'. I mean that the reality-based members of the Republican establishment, represented by James Baker, will step in and tell Bush he cannot stay in denial any longer about Iraq. All the options are grim - but the grimmest of all is the prospect of Rumsfeld, Cheney and Rove continuing their deranged idea that their 'strategy' has been anything but a shambles. That's why it's so important that the GOP is given a drubbing next week. It will provide an opening for sanity. There are enough sane Republicans and patriotic Democrats to make the tough decisions now needed..."

You're Too Young

Attytood: No sex, please: You're 20-somethings: "As the GOP asked recently, what are the stakes in the Nov. 7 election? Well, one complaint you hear a lot about the current Republican regime is that they want to regulate what people do in the bedroom. Sometimes that sounds like political hyberbole, until you read something like this: The Bush administration is spending millions in an effort to stop unmarried people in their 20s from, well, doing the wild thing:

The federal government's 'no sex without marriage' message isn't just for kids anymore..."

Air America Dixie Chicked

Media Matters - ABC memo reveals Air America advertiser blacklist: "ABC memo reveals Air America advertiser blacklist

An internal ABC Radio Networks memo obtained by Media Matters for America, originally from a listener to The Peter B. Collins Show, indicates that nearly 100 ABC advertisers insist that their commercials be blacked out on Air America Radio affiliates. According to the memo, the adverstisers insist that 'NONE of their commercials air during AIR AMERICA programming.' Among the advertisers listed are Bank of America, Exxon Mobil, Federal Express, General Electric, McDonald's, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Navy."

You can see the memo here.

Stay On Point!

The Blog | Arianna Huffington: Memo to Dems: Stop Muddying the Messaging Waters | The Huffington Post

"Memo to Dems: Stop counting your chickens, stop trying to soft-pedal what a Democratic victory will mean -- and for god's sake, stop muddying the messaging waters.

As Chris Bowers points out at MyDD, as many as 60 House races are still "absolutely in flux" -- i.e. within single digits, and likely to be decided by a very slim margin.

Bowers rightly hammers home the importance of "unrelenting activism" and making sure that the Democratic lead isn't gobbled up by the GOP's always effective get-out-the-vote ground game over the next eight days. He provides a helpful list of the kinds of roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-busy things anyone who cares about the future of this country can and should do between today and next Tuesday to ensure that those razor slim margins tilt Democratic..."

A Problem?

Money trails lead to Bush judges | Salon News: "Oct. 31, 2006 | At least two dozen federal judges appointed by President Bush since 2001 made political contributions to key Republicans or to the president himself while under consideration for their judgeships, government records show. A four-month investigation of Bush-appointed judges by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that six appellate court judges and 18 district court judges contributed a total of more than $44,000 to politicians who were influential in their appointments. Some gave money directly to Bush after he officially nominated them. Other judges contributed to Republican campaign committees while they were under consideration for a judgeship..."

Trib Endorses Duckworth

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth: "Chicag Trib and Sun-Times both endorse Tammy Duckworth in suburban Chicago
by John in DC - 10/30/2006 08:09:00 PM

Wow. That's rather amazing that she got the endorsement of the Trib. Their editorial board is decidedly conservative, and let's not forget that this is/was Henry Hyde's district. Wow."

Intel Wars

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth: "Republicans on House intel get desperate
by AJ in DC - 10/31/2006 10:19:00 AM

There's a battle going on just beneath the pre-election radar that involves some of the issues you've read about recently on this blog, and it seems that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are trying to start a witch hunt against the Democratic staffers who have successfully fought back against some of the greatest idiocies of this past Congressional session.

After accusing a Democratic staffer of leaking the terrorism NIE that helped show the American public just how bad a strategic error Iraq continues to be, and revoking his clearance and smearing his name without a shred of evidence, House Republicans then announced a plan to investigate all Democratic intel staffers, including phone logs, email, and all other 'relevant' records. The staffer has signed a sworn affadavit that he had nothing to do with the leak, but in the face of such Republican perfidy, it's having little effect. These McCarthyist tactics -- and I don't use that description lightly, but this staffer was accused without any apparent evidence, on a political basis, and has been the target of physical threats and baseless vilification -- are yet another example of the shameful and harmful politicization of intelligence..."

Latest Polls

MyDD :: Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politics: "New Majority Watch Polls: Even More Democratic Pickups

by Chris Bowers, Mon Oct 30, 2006 at 07:48:46 PM EST" (click for the list)

Tonguing For The Troops

James Wolcott's Blog: Wolcott's Blog: vanityfair.com: "Wet Smackers

On Twin Peaks, Sherilyn Fenn suggested a pleasure trove of erotic possibilities by using her tongue to twist a cherry stem into a nifty knot. For the last week conservative pundits have been putting their tongues to similar agile use, sucking up to Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld as if wanting to get a few last gymnastic licks in before Speaker Pelosi is sworn in. Much has been made of the 'eerie' confidence of Bush and Rove going into the midterms, but this recent charm offensive intended to keep conservative pundits from wandering off the reservation isn't a sign of vigor; these aren't the people who would normally need wooing at this late date. Yet there Bush was in a roomful of conservative talkshow hosts, including such useless loads as Mike Gallagher and Michael Medved, their very presence an affront to anyone's dignity other than Bush's..."

Read the rest of this post. It'll get the old snickerer snuffling.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Honking Horns And Bush

Telegraph | News | The road to delusion: " The road to delusion

By Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph

In the aftermath of George W Bush's re-election as president two years ago, his campaign manager, Karl Rove, amused himself and his boss with a battery-powered 'Redneck Horn'. At the touch of a dashboard button, the device would yell insults in a raucous Southern accent, providing automated road rage for 'red state' Republicans.

George W Bush and Dick Cheney face the possibility of defeat in the mid-term elections

The toy's abusive messages ranged from the relatively mild 'Slow down, dumbass!' to 'Hey, hogneck, who taught you how to drive?'; 'What the hell was that manoeuvre?'; 'Are you freaking blind?' and 'You're a goddam moron!' How they all laughed in the White House, if the Bush administration's renegade court historian, Bob Woodward, is to be believed..."

Very interesting article. Check it out.

Riding The Moral High Ground

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth: "Remember how I wrote earlier about how the Republicans gladly and openly accepted a $5000 donation from porn superstar Mary Carey last year? Well Carey donated again this year, and again the Republican party was happy to accept her donation AND to give her the reward of a dinner and lunch with George Bush and Karl Rove. Carey had the following to say on her return to Washington:

'I'm always excited to learn more about what's going on in our nation's capital, since most people in the porn industry think an Iraqi pullout is a form of safe sex.'

And the best part, the Republican party invited her to come. Who exactly invited her? Why, none other than embattled Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) and his Nation Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)..."

Lame GOPer

Crooks and Liars: "On Face The Nation, Bob Schieffer wouldn't buy Ken Mehlman's 'lame' excuses for running a racist ad against Harold Ford when he paid for it. He called into question the notion that Republicans hold all the cards when we're talking about 'values' because actions speak LOUDER than slogans. Heading down the stretch to November 7th, this administration has shown America that 'winning' is their core value. If Bob calls you lame, well—you're just lame."

In Case You Missed It

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall October 28, 2006 11:41 PM: "RNC Chief Ken Mehlman accepted political contributions from gay porn king?

Last week, you'll remember, the RNC, headed by Ken Mehlman, was running that race-baiting 'bimbo' ad against Rep. Harold Ford (D) down in Tennessee. One of the barbs in that ad was the claim that Ford had taken political contributions from 'porn movie producers.'

But it seems there is plenty of porn movie producer money to go around..."

Threats Against Their Own

The Blog | Justin Frank: Politics of Intimidation | The Huffington Post: "We no longer have a two-party system. There is only one party - the Democratic Party. The other is a gang of bullies that has usurped the Republican Party's once-good name. It rules through intimidation. The list of victims includes not only Democrats like Max Cleland and Paul Wellstone, but Republicans as well.

John McCain was accused by Bush's henchmen of fathering an illegitimate black child. Soon McCain was back in the fold. Senators Warner, McCain (him again; he sure gets uppity sometimes) and Graham banded together to point out that torture is not an American value. They were told by their party bosses to leave it alone, and they shut up. Senator Olympia Snow was threatened that she'd lose her state's naval base should she oppose any Bush Supreme Court nominee, even if she strongly disagreed with his beliefs. She fell in line like all good Republicans do..."

The Smirking Bush

The Blog | Leonard Shlain: Why Bush Smirks | The Huffington Post: "In observing our president's expressions over the years, I became aware of a feature of George Bush's face that revealed more about his inner self than anything issuing forth from his mouth. President Bush has a disconnect between the right side and the left side of his face. While the right side of his mouth and the corner of his right eyes portray a smile, the left side of his mouth and the corners of his left eye convey a scowl.
The result is a twisted smirk that has become his trademark expression.

As a vascular surgeon who has operated on carotid arteries to the brain, I have long been interested in the opposing functions performed by the two hemispheres of the human brain. All vertebrates, from fish to fowl have a bi-lobed brain. Each half, with few exceptions, is a mirror image of the other both in appearance and function..."

We get the bad half.

GOP Religion Hold Weakens

Evangelical-GOP alliance weakens - Yahoo! News: "Of the many disturbing trends for Republicans this campaign season, one of the most troubling is the drop in support among white evangelicals.

The number of conservative Christians with a favorable view of the party has plummeted from 74 percent to 54 percent between 2004 and this year, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Evangelicals comprise more than one-third of GOP voters.

But analysts say it's far too soon to write off the powerful Republican-evangelical alliance that helped the party dominate in the 2004 election..."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Judging Greatness

Judging Greatness

Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH): “Rumsfeld is the best thing that’s happened to the Pentagon in 25 years.” He told Stephanopoulos the buck should stop nowhere. “Let’s not take the problems in Iraq, the tough fight that we’re in there and blame it on anyone.”

Glad this guy’s in Congress and not doing something important like fixing the brakes on my truck.

Scandal To Widen

NBC's Chip Reed: "The Mark Foley Scandal Investigation Is Going To Widen"

On Sunday's The Chris Matthews Show, NBC Congressional Correspondent Chip Reed dropped a bomb during Matthew's "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" segment. "I'm going to be a little cryptic here," Reed began, then added, ""the Mark Foley scandal investigation is going to widen a little bit." Reed is referring to the House Ethics Committee Investigation of sexually explicit messages sent from former Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) to teenage pages over the last several years.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Satisfaction in Mudville

Ex-White House official to be sentenced - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON - Lawyers sought leniency Friday for a former Bush administration official convicted in a lobbying scandal. But the judge suggested he would be moved only if David Safavian expressed remorse.

'Get up here and tell me, 'I agree I concealed. I agree I obstructed justice,'' U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman said during the sentencing hearing. 'I don't believe he's done that...'"

Racist Ad Fallout, Part I

EXCLUSIVE: WAL-MART TO FIRE CONSULTANT FOR HIS ROLE IN PRODUCING AD WITH ROVE PROTÉGÉ... | The Huffington Post: "Huffington Post has learned that Terry Nelson, a second producer of the racist Corker ad and a consultant to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Wal-Mart, is to be fired by Wal-Mart for his role in producing the ad. Developing..."

Blasting Rush

As both of regular readers know, I rarely post anything with profantiy in it and almost never write it myself; (I definitely am not beyond it-- I just don't do it here) but, then, some things happen that really do justify so good old-fashioned cussin'. Here's one sample that says it well:

Hughes for America: You should be ashamed of yourself, Matt [Lauer]:

"I've been of two minds on my fellow Ohio University alumnus and "Today" host Matt Lauer. I've called him a hack. I've patted him on the back...I read his statements surrounding Rush Limbaugh's shameful comments about Michael J. Fox's appearance in recent campaign commercials...Lauer can say things like: "Didn't Rush Limbaugh just say what a lot of people were privately thinking?"

Excuse me? So for being an ill-informed, insulting, prejudiced asshole, Limbaugh isn't instantly universally regarded as an ill-informed, insulting, prejudiced asshole, but instead as the voice of the silent majority? Apparently so, at least in Lauer's world, where making horrendously inappropriate statements that even the biggest assholes are scared to utter in public christens Limbaugh some sort of latter-day Thomas Paine. And that's just what people like Limbaugh and Lauer's "a lot of people" are: Assholes. You know, I've tried to refrain from the most inflammatory invective for some time, but I just can't let this stand, and neither can you. These are low people we're dealing with, folks. Lower than low. Lower than whale shit, in fact. People who call an opponents' staffer the equivalent of "nigger". People who play on people's prejudices to win elected office. People who cover for a child predator in order to maintain their majority. People who blame the pages, on the heels of their blaming the victims of Hurricane Katrina. And now people who accuse those suffering with terrible diseases of faking it. If those people aren't assholes, I don't know who is..."

Marines LIberal Free In Iraq

STOP ABUSING OUR MARINES! - Wonkette: "...Notice the other browser tabs. Two actual “personal pages” that rah-rah for Bush (What’s her name, the wannabe Coulter, and Hugh Hewitt) show up just fine, as our Marine Operative confirms. But “Talking Points Memo,” which is apparently one of the “left leaning” sites one hears so much about these days, is prohibited.

Writes the Corporal: “I think that this kind of censoring is a big deal. I can understand blocking porn, music and movies, and blatantly illegal sites, but blocking sites that some higher up just doesn’t agree with is disgusting. They are blocking a huge portion of voters from information that will help them determine which side to vote for. Because of this, the only news we get is from the big corporations or conservative based sites...”"

Brownie Again

Crooks and Liars: "

In yet another egregious executive-power grab, President Bush asserted his right last week via signing statement to ignore a Congressional mandate that the next FEMA Director have at least five years of disaster response experience. You would think after the Brownie debacle during Katrina last year the President would be eager to appoint someone with qualifications exceeding Arabian horse show judge to lead the nations emergency response efforts. Sadly, no. Because, after all, his unchallenged powers as Decider-In-Chief are far more important than competence and keeping Americans safe. I think the only thing worse that W's judgement is Bob's tie.

Video-WMP Video-QT


Thursday, October 26, 2006

WaterBoarding Not Torture

Democrat Taylor Marsh Blogs Politics: "...Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed that U.S. interrogators subjected captured senior al-Qaida suspects to a controversial interrogation technique called 'water-boarding,' which creates a sensation of drowning.

Cheney indicated that the Bush administration doesn't regard water-boarding as torture and allows the CIA to use it. 'It's a no-brainer for me,' Cheney said at one point in an interview..."

He would know a no-brainer.

Seniors Not Self-Obsessed

Reuters AlertNet - Iraq trumps traditional issues for older US voters: "MIAMI, Oct 26 (Reuters) - America's elderly enjoy outsized influence in elections because they vote in greater numbers, but this year they've focused their clout on the Iraq war more than traditional concerns such as health and retirement benefits.

Poll after poll shows the U.S. war is uppermost in the minds of the gray-haired legions as they help decide whether President George W. Bush's Republican Party will keep control of Congress in the Nov. 7 election.

'The war in Iraq; it upsets me terribly. I think we weren't told the truth,' said 85-year-old Florence Feinstein, who recently skipped her afternoon card game to discuss Medicare prescription drug benefits with Democratic congressional representatives at a retiree center in Sunrise, Florida..."

Robert Kennedy Burns

mediabistro.com: FishBowlNY: "Robert Kennedy Jr. blasted everyone from polluters to politicians to the press today during a speech today at the American Magazine Conference in Phoenix that was, by his own admission, a long, rambling, passionate digression.

'We have a negligent press in this country,' Kennedy Jr. said, one that has 'let the American people down' by not covering what he called the 'worst environmental White House we've ever had in history, bar none.'

Kennedy Jr. spoke without notes and, it seemed, without taking a breath — his voice often cracking during a spirituality-tinged monologue you might hear on a subway platform waiting for the F train..."

No. Don't take a breath. The truth must be forged in fire, so let the dragon roar.

Nice Dollars

Exxon Mobil posts $10.49B profit in 3Q - Yahoo! News: "DALLAS - Oil industry behemoth Exxon Mobil's earnings rose to $10.49 billion in the third quarter, the second-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company. Its shares briefly rose to a 52-week high.

The report Thursday comes as high crude prices this year have fueled record profits in the oil industry, triggering an outcry from consumers who were being asked to pay about $3 a gallon for gasoline in early August..."

So let's not raise the minimum wage.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More On The Ford Ad

The 2006 GOP Southern Strategy

Taylor Marsh says: "...Harold Ford, Jr. is up against it. The Republican Party's Southern Strategy of 2006, that is. A blonde and an African American, hinting of inter-racial dating in a conservative state. What will Tennessee do? Mehlman and the Republican Party intend to help voters figure it out.

Welcome to "Ken Mehlman's cesspool," as Matthews stated today. Russert interviewed Mehlman on it, too. Tony Snow joined Matthews later, saying the Harold Ford ad was just fine with him. He and Mehlman are wrong.

The ad is playing "the race card," said Bob Herbert. He went further stating that it's what Republicans do.

I'll make it even plainer. The Republican Party is revealing the racist vein that runs through their political soul. It's scraping the bottom of the barrel in a tight race Republicans feel they simply have to win. The Republican Party won't pull the ad and they won't disown it. So, it continues to play in Tennessee, which is the way they like it. It's race baiting, period..."

Church Hypocrisy

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: The Catholic Hierarchy vs Gay Couples:
"In Colorado, the Catholic bishops have urged their parishioners not only to ban marriage rights, but also to ban all domestic partnership rights for gay couples as well. For decades, the Catholic hierarchy has protected, enabled and covered up child rapists among their own clergy. But, hey, priorities matter, don't they?"

Urine Rules

The Blog | Bill Maher: New Rule: We Don't Need Drug Tests for Librarians | The Huffington Post: "...Last year, Florida's Levy County introduced drug testing for library volunteers. Whose average age is between 60 and 85. The volunteers were required to drive to another city - Gainesville - and urinate in a cup 'within hearing distance' of a laboratory monitor. That'll teach 'em for offering to work for free. 'Okay, grandma, now get pissing. And I'd better hear a nice even unbroken stream...'"

Get your hanging chad here...

Hunting The Algae Vote

A Contentious Campaign in a Battleground State - washingtonpost.com: "...White-haired and compact, with a rich twang, Corker has a friendly rapport with voters but has proven himself over the years to be a fierce competitor. When he ran against Frist in the 1994 GOP primary, Corker was called 'pond scum' by Frist campaign manager Tom Perdue for airing an ad that suggested Frist had dodged the draft..."

Well? (See "Rush Flogs Fox" more inspirational reading.)

Rush Flogs Fox

Rush Limbaugh On the Offensive Against Ad With Michael J. Fox - washingtonpost.com: "Rush Limbaugh On the Offensive Against Ad With Michael J. Fox

By David Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 25, 2006; C01

Possibly worse than making fun of someone's disability is saying that it's imaginary. That is not to mock someone's body, but to challenge a person's guts, integrity, sanity.

To Rush Limbaugh on Monday, Michael J. Fox looked like a faker. The actor, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, has done a series of political ads supporting candidates who favor stem cell research, including Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin, who is running against Republican Michael Steele for the Senate seat being vacated by Paul Sarbanes.

'He is exaggerating the effects of the disease,' Limbaugh told listeners. 'He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act. . . . This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting...

"Now people are telling me they have seen Michael J. Fox in interviews and he does appear the same way in the interviews as he does in this commercial," Limbaugh said, according to a transcript on his Web site. "All right then, I stand corrected. . . . So I will bigly, hugely admit that I was wrong, and I will apologize to Michael J. Fox, if I am wrong in characterizing his behavior on this commercial as an act."

Then Limbaugh pivoted to a different critique: "Michael J. Fox is allowing his illness to be exploited and in the process is shilling for a Democratic politician..."'

I am not speechless, but I choose not to publish my exact feelings for Mr. Limbaugh, other than to say you are ugly wrong again.

GI Grievances, Part II

219 Members Of US Military Call For "Prompt" Withdrawal From Iraq... | The Huffington Post: "219 members of the US military, at least 98 of them on active duty and others on active reserve, are calling for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

The statement, which members of the military are submitting via website, reads:

'As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home...'"

The Dems Might Get Mean!

Media Matters - The press frets about Pelosi: "..Stahl is hardly alone when it comes to current-day hand-wringing over how Democrats -- and Pelosi in particular -- will respond if they recapture control of the House after 12 years in the minority. Time magazine worried that some Democrats 'would undoubtedly try to use their majority power to exact revenge for Republican overreach' in recent years. And MSNBC host Norah O'Donnell went one better, demanding Democrats go 'on the record' and 'promise' that if they seize control of the House, they would not issue subpoenas to the White House and make 'the president's final two years in office a living hell..."

Well--boo-damn-hoo. Boo-hoo. Boo-hoo. Poor little President (note the respect- "the President") might have a rough two years (compared to the cake-walk, hands-off treatment Republicans and the MSM gave Bill Clinton). The treatment Iraq, and the world, has been given by Bush is nothing short of criminal, so we're supposed to care if things get a little testy? Methinks Norah's paid Bush cultist shill status is showing. Boo-hoo.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ticking Media Bomb

Daily Howler: Seven years later, Harris and Halperin start telling the truth--very slowly: "...How did George W. Bush reach the White House? In the following passage, Harris and Halperin refer to the “Gang of 500'—roughly speaking, to “the group of columnists, consultants, reporters and staff hands” (page 24) who constitute Insider Washington:

HARRIS/HALPERIN (page 129): A number of members of the Gang of 500 are convinced that the main reason George W. Bush won the White House and Al Gore lost was that Gore’s regular press pack included the trio of Katherine “Kit” Seelye (of the New York Times), Ceci Connolly (of the Washington Post), and Sandra Sobieraj (of the Associated Press).

Simply put, that’s an astonishing statement—but it appears as a minor aside, buried deep inside a very long book. In this passage, Harris and Halperin—major press corps insiders themselves—say that some of their well-placed colleagues believe that George Bush reached the White House because of the work of just three Gore reporters! Harris and Halperin have dropped a bomb here. And as they do so, they pretend they have not..."

Quite the post. Check it out.

GOP Racism In TN?

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth: "Former GOP Senator says Republicans are running racist ads in Tennessee against Harold Ford, Jr.
by John in DC - 10/24/2006 11:32:00 AM

Apparently the Republican National Committee strategy of going after the black vote has taken a back seat (in the bus) to winning at all costs. I guess black is the new gay (and in reality, gay was the new black for a while but now black is back as the bigotry du jour of the GOP)..."

Click to get to the transcript of Cohen and Blitzer discussing the issue. I remember the infamous "Gays For Gannt" campaign in North Carolina quite well. If I were Rep. Ford, I'd seek a kind word from Colin Powell. He might be surprised at what he hears.

Sen. Clinton's Appearance Debated

New York Daily News - Home - Face it, I was 'cute,' Hil sez
Senator laughs at foe's surgery claim

"Sen. Hillary Clinton doesn't really want to reduce her reelection campaign to a debate on her looks.

But if you must know, the former First Lady thinks she was a cutie in high school.

The odd discussion about her appearance came after her long-shot opponent, Republican John Spencer, suggested to the Daily News that Clinton had undergone "millions of dollars" in plastic surgery, and pointed out she used to be much less attractive..."

They Must Be Told

MotherJones.com | MoJo Blog - Social Issues and Political Commentary: GAO Says Abstinence-Only Education Curricula Must Include Info on STIs and Condoms

" The GAO released a legal opinion yesterday affirming that abstinence-only education materials must include accurate information on sexually transmitted infections and the effectiveness of condoms. To date, HHS had insisted that materials produced by abstinence grantees do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Public Health Service Act, which mandates as much..."

Monday, October 23, 2006

GI Grievances

Uh-oh. This could be bad. Very bad. (I'm having that VVAW feeling...)

Crooks and Liars: "MSNBC reports

65 ACTIVE DUTY soldiers are calling for an end to the war in Iraq. Three men will be making a statement on Wednesday. They are calling for redress under a military whistleblower's act…"

The Mark Foley Action Figure

Click above to get yours on Ebay!
(Pages are not included)

Scandal of the Day, Part (R)I & (D)II

TPMmuckraker October 23, 2006 08:20 AM: "The Daily Muck
By Jeff Hughes - October 23, 2006, 8:20 AM

Rep. Alexander's Office Sued for Harassment
'Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), already enmeshed in the ex-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) page scandal, now faces a new controversy as a former staffer has sued his office for sexual harassment...

Harman Subject of Federal Probe
"Did a Democratic member of Congress improperly enlist the support of a major pro-Israel lobbying group to try to win a top committee assignment?'"...

Bad Grades For Local GOPers

Vets Group Proves GOP Does Not Support Troops - The Smirking Chimp: "by Bob Geiger | Oct 23 2006 - 10:22am |

Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director and founder of Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the country's first and largest Iraq Veterans group, announced on Friday that IAVA has made available a web site giving the results of their analysis of who in Congress truly backs up their words on supporting the troops.

'Sure, politicians say they support the troops. But whose votes back up their rhetoric, and who's just wearing an American flag lapel pin?' asked Rieckhoff in a Huffington Post column last week. 'Now there's an easy way to know for sure. The nonprofit, nonpartisan Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America's Action Fund has tallied up every Congressional vote cast on troops' and veterans' issues for the last five years. We've crunched the numbers, and given every legislator a letter grade - the IAVA Congressional Rating...'

...No Senator in either party was given an A grade by IAVA. Thirteen Senators received a rating of A- and all of those were Democrats. A total of 23 Senators were given a B+ rating and 22 of those were Democrats as well. The other was Independent James Jeffords of Vermont, who caucuses with the Democrats.

Cutting to the chase -- and, perhaps more than anything I've seen in recent years, truly defining the difference between the two parties -- is that the worst grade received by a Senate Democrat was higher than the best grade granted a Republican. GOP-lite Ben Nelson (D-NE) received the lowest grade of any Democrat with a B- while Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) managed a C grade from IAVA..."

For North Carolina troops, Liddy Dole gets a D- and Richard Burr gets an F.

White House Election Spin

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth: "...They're not just unrealistic, they're delusional across the board at the White House. Bush, Rove and Mehlman really think they can spin their way out of everything. But even GOP insiders dismissed a recent insiders conference call by Mehlman as 'happy talk.'

I'm trying to understand their message on national security. They want to scare Americans by showing pictures of the terrorists who attacked America. But, those are the terrorists still on the loose because Bush never captured them. Instead, he went to war in Iraq. According to the National Intelligence Estimate, that war in Iraq has strengthened the terrorists. Every time the GOP focuses on Bin Laden, they are highlighting their failures."

I've wondered about that, too. If they go back to the wolves commercial, I'd still ask the same question: What are the wolves still howling at the door? The Republicans have been running all three rings of the government circus for six years but all we've seen are the clowns.

When Staying The Course Is Not

The Blog | Justin Frank: Born Again - Again | The Huffington Post: "On Sunday, October 22, 2006 George W. Bush was born again - again. His re-birth was pre-recorded, but the television audience saw it happen before their very eyes between 9 and 10 AM Eastern Standard Time on ABC. He told the interviewer, also called George, that 'we've never been 'stay-the-course'' in Iraq.
Had the interviewer been a psychiatrist (or a real reporter), he would have had Bush's record at hand, and would have found that Bush has regularly said we would 'stay the course' in Iraq.

What does this disclaimer mean? It means at least two things: Bush's words are meaningless to him, and that he utters them in interviews and press conferences solely because it is required of presidents and campaigners; second, it again reveals Bush's pattern of dismissing his past when events prove too uncomfortable for him. Normally he indignantly denies the past -'Kenny who?' or 'I never met with that lobbyist, Mr. Abramoff.' At other times he's sullenly indifferent, as when he said 'What's the difference?' when Diane Sawyer's probed him about not the finding the WMDs he had insisted were in Iraq..."

Bad Mine Vibes

Reuters AlertNet - Bush defies Senate, appoints mine agency head: "
By Lisa Lambert

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - President George W. Bush appointed former energy executive Richard Stickler to head the federal mine safety agency on Thursday, even though the U.S. Senate rejected Stickler's nomination twice in two months.

Bush made a 'recess appointment,' taking advantage of the congressional break to put Stickler temporarily in the position, a choice he made when he appointed John Bolton the ambassador to the United Nations..."

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Goldwater On Religion


Endorsement Retraction

'"Conservative Ohio paper takes back endorsement of GOP gubernatorial candidate, calls his conduct un-Christian
by John in DC - 10/21/2006 10:46:00 AM

We've been following Ken Blackwell's career for years. Our file on him is more than an inch thick. We've talked with him personally and come away impressed with his intelligence and commitment to change -- both of which are much needed in this state. But while Blackwell may still get some of our individual votes, he's lost our endorsement, for whatever it's worth. His total nastiness at the Monday debate with his opponent, Democrat Ted Strickland, has proven that he's really not the kind of man we need as our next governor. Personal attacks of dubious accuracy should have no place in a political campaign. As Strickland said, "Mr. Blackwell, you should be ashamed of yourself..."'

Foxing The Vote

Leave it to the National Bureau of Economic Research to confirm what we've suspected all along: Fox News affects how people vote.

Per a recent post: "The introduction of Fox News had a small but statistically significant effect on the vote share in Presidential elections between 1996 and 2000..."'

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rummy Channeling God

Top US general says Rumsfeld is inspired by God - Yahoo! News: "MIAMI (AFP) - The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.

'He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country,' said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Rumsfeld is 'a man whose patriotism focus, energy, drive, is exceeded by no one else I know ... quite simply, he works harder than anybody else in our building,' Pace said at a ceremony at the Southern Command (Southcom) in Miami..."

Hypocrisy Straight-Up

[My bold]:
Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall:
"Eh ... times change.

Rep. John Sweeney (R), 6/8/06: 'Zarqawi represents the insidious forces that we are fighting in the War on Terror. This is a critical example of why we must stay the course and finish this mission.'

Rep. John Sweeney (R), 10/18/06 : 'I think that the strategy of 'staying the course' is not a strategy at all. It doesn't work. There are going to have to be adjustments in any war if that is the case..."

Politics and Instant Karama

The Pinker Tones

Great tune for the political season.

The Surrender Act

The Blog | RJ Eskow: Support The REAL Contract With America | The Huffington Post: "...I may have my differences with some Democrats, but every single one of them will work to defend the Constitution against the depredations of the GOP. That's reason enough to vote for a new Congress and Senate.

Here are some suggestions for how a Democratic Congress can enforce this now-broken agreement. First, in keeping with the Republican practice of re-naming everything they don't like (e.g. 'death tax' for 'estate tax'), I suggest that from now on Democrats refer to the Military Commissions law as the 'Surrender to Terrorists Act of 2006.'

Hammer the message home as often as you can -- this bill sold out the Constitution our brave soldiers have died to protect. Why? Because our Republican leaders know they aren't competent enough to defend our country and our freedoms at the same time..."

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Major Endorsement For Webb

Washington Post Endorses James Webb:

"James Webb wears combat boots to honor his son who is serving in Iraq. A war he never believed was worth fighting. He told George Allen so, too. But when he wouldn't listen, Webb saddled up and got ready for the ride of his life, running against George Allen for Senate. Webb is finally getting the support he has earned.

We have a few things in common, the Irish and Scottish decent, as well as family members that have fought in wars.

In a stunning piece of great news, the Washington Post endorsed James Webb over incumbent Senator George Allen yesterday. It was fantastic to see.

I can relate to this: Over the course of his career, in books and more recently in screenplays, Webb, 60, has been writing about the dignity of his people -- the gun-loving, country-music-singing, working-class whites of Scotch-Irish descent who fight in wars, staff the nation's factories and shop its Wal-Marts. One caveat, we shop at CostCo, not Wal-Mart..."

Whapping Dick

Democrat Taylor Marsh Blogs Politics: "Judge Slaps Dick Around

Finally, now let's just hope it stands.

Dick Cheney has exercised extra-constitutional duties ever since George W. Bush road in to D.C. All the president does is sit idly by and cheerlead the efforts to dismantle our democracy one law and inalienable right at a time.

Now, U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina has ordered the Secret Service to cough up the secrets. It's about time.

A federal judge has ordered the Bush administration to release information about who visited Vice President Dick Cheney's office and personal residence, an order that could spark a late election season debate over lobbyists' White House access..."

Clever, Bad, Boogers

TPMmuckraker October 19, 2006 11:57 AM: "A California Republican House candidate is under investigation for attempting to suppress Latino turn out at the polls, The LA Times reports.

State investigators are trying to track down the source of a mailer that recently went out to approximately 14,000 Democratic voters:

The letter, which purports to be from a Huntington Beach-based group, warns that immigrants will not be permitted to vote in the election. It also warns that the state has developed a tracking system that will allow the names of Latino voters to be handed over to anti-immigrant groups.

'You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time,' the letter, written in Spanish, says.

Investigators are focusing on Republican challenger Tan Nguyen, according to the Times. He's been running a distant second to Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA). 35% of voters in the district are Latino..."

No Pity For The Poor Levitican

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: "...But have the Christianists gotten nothing from this deal? Kuo's case is that not enough federal money was shoveled into their coffers. He was expecting an $8 billion bonanza - and got one percent of what Bush promised. But we also have the following set of facts: a party platform committed to criminalizing all abortions (including rape and incest) and banning legal same-sex unions by federal constitutional amendment; unprecedented federal and presidential intervention in the Terri Schiavo case; advancement of Christianist activist judges at all federal and many state levels; 39 states where same-sex unions are banned or gutted; the promotion of religion as science in the classroom; a federal ban on funding for stem cell research; restrictions on Plan B contraception; explicitly religious appeals by political leaders like Tom DeLay; a stepped-up federal war on state medical marijuana decisions; a concerted effort to withdraw Catholic communion from many Democratic politicians; and sectarian worship within the Armed Forces. Have Christianists overhauled the entire country? Of course not. Have they had unprecedented access to power and influence? Ask James Dobson and Jerry Falwell who gets to vet Supreme Court Justice nominees. Have the Christianists been bamboozled? To some extent, yes. But the radicalism of their agenda is self-limiting in a diverse, liberal society. There was simply no way that their cherished constitutional amendments could leap the hurdles the founders set for such drastic changes in one presidential term. But in the long term, the foundations have been laid - in organization, structure and policy. The shift in the judiciary is palpable - and would become far more permanent with another presidential term..."

Good-bye, John

What even fericious North Vietnamese torture couldn't accomplish, Democratic voters might accomplish:

McCain jokes about suicide if Democrats win Senate - washingtonpost.com: "McCain jokes about suicide if Democrats win Senate

Wednesday, October 18, 2006; 5:22 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Arizona Sen. John McCain, a likely Republican presidential contender in 2008, joked on Wednesday he would 'commit suicide' if Democrats win the Senate in November.

McCain, on a visit to Iowa to campaign for Republican congressional candidates, was asked his reaction to a potential Democratic takeover of the Senate in the November 7 elections..."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Kerry On Fire!

The Blog | John Kerry: Will You Fight With Them? | The Huffington Post: "...That's pretty damn fundamental in itself to who we are. But there's a human face behind it. The fight is intensely personal to me. Veterans are running for office all over our country. A lot of them got interested in politics as part of my campaign, and some got involved in Wes Clark's race. Some of us had disagreements for thirty five years -- like me and Jim Webb, we didn't see eye to eye over the war we fought in. But no matter where we came from, something much bigger now brings us together -- we're all a band of brothers now. When I got off the phone with Patrick Murphy after the chickenshit attacks on his military record, something felt awfully familiar and it got me pissed off. I care about these men and women. They've got guts and they've got brains and they've got heart and I'm telling you they will change the character of this pathetic Congress, and I'm boiling mad watching people who didn't serve attack those who did because they can't win a debate on the merits..."

I haven't heard blunt language like this out of a national Democrat since-- well, like never. (Harry Truman was out of the picture when I became politically conscious.) Read this post. He is smoking.

Time Will Tell

Boise Weekly - Not Your Everyday Newspaper: News: News Shorts: UPDATE: Blogger "Outs" Craig: "...Update: Just as Boise Weekly went to press, a gay activist announced on a nationally-syndicated radio program that U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, a Republican, has engaged in same-sex relations for several years.

Mike Rogers, who contributes to www.blogactive.com, said after two years of research that he was '100 percent solid' with his information, and that he had spoken with men who had been sex partners with Craig.

The accusations, which were based on anonymous sources, were met with scorn and immediate denial by Craig spokesman Sid Smith in Boise.

'Mr. Rogers' claims are completely ridiculous and not based in fact,' Smith said. 'They're just ridiculous.'

Rogers made his claims on 'The Ed Schultz Show,' a liberal talk show that is not broadcast in the Treasure Valley but that can be heard online.

Rogers has made it his niche in the gay activist realm to 'out' conservative Republicans who, like Craig, have voted against gay rights issues. In June, Craig voted to approve a Constitutional ban on gay marriage. He is married to the former Suzanne Thompson. They have three children..."

Is it much ado about nothing or the beginning of the end of another career?

Reefer Madness

Hope for cannabis-based drug for Alzheimer's - health - 18 October 2006 - New Scientist: "A compound derived from marijuana might one day help fight the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.

Researchers have shown that a synthetic drug similar to cannabis can help older rats perform better on a spatial memory task.

Over a period of three weeks, Gary Wenk at Ohio State University in Columbus, US, and colleagues injected the brains of young and old rats with an inflammatory molecule that created an immune response in the animals’ brains which mimics that seen in Alzheimer’s patients..."

I could make some snotty comments about Ronald Reagan but I won't.

Swinging Undecideds

The Blog | Kathleen Reardon: Can Voters Change Like Arnold? | The Huffington Post:

"...To help this along, I have a persuasion tip for the Democrats. You need an Assisted-Voter-On-The-Threshold Program for those considering a change. Many Republicans, Independents and Democrats who believed the lies are now experiencing cognitive dissonance - a discomfort with their previous choices. They're standing on the threshold of change and need a hand across. Help them understand why they voted as they did last time, how many people like them were duped, and what they can say to people who criticize their new way of thinking. Otherwise, they're going to slip back into their comfort zones or not show up at all.

They need to hear from people like themselves who are deciding not to be lemmings. A good start -- people who love their country and would go to war in a heartbeat if the cause was just and the reasons honest, who are religious but don't want their love of God used to feed voracious corporate greed, who are sick of lobbyists silencing their voices to commandeer Senate and Congressional votes, pretense covering perversions in their own Capitol, and deprivation of the majority to feather the nests of the insatiable.

Change is difficult. A clear platform from the Democrats won't provide it. The world is too complex. But a moral political compass will. No more public relations sophistry of the types exposed in detail by Frank Rich in his new book. No more hijacking of our values for self-serving ends. Let's be stirred like we were by JFK, not by promising specific actions on problems we've yet to identify or completely understand, but by promising to represent Americans instead of resenting them.

Help people see that they were far from alone in not knowing they'd been deceived. Introduce us on television and radio to people who changed their minds, voters who are not putting the same people back in power and who are tough enough to take the heat for making a change, for learning, and for following their minds rather than the pack."

Folks, it does not help the cause of progress to call those people who are thinking about switching various kinds of insulting names, which is what some so-called progressive bloggers love to do. Getting caught-up in your own snark, completely immersed in your own breathless prose is one sure way to lose sight of the target: victory. Every person counts in this fight, be they short, bald, fat, veteran or Southerner. Don't push them the other way.

Not Much Congress Love

Congress Approval, U.S. Satisfaction Levels Still Low: "
by Joseph Carroll

With the congressional elections less than a month away, Americans' attitudes toward Congress and their overall satisfaction with the state of the nation continue to be quite sour. Only 23% of Americans say they approve of the way Congress is handling its job, and 30% say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country at the present time. Both figures are on the low end of what Gallup has measured historically."

A Separate Reality

Think Progress » Cheney: ‘General Overall Situation’ In Iraq Is Going ‘Remarkably Well’: "Rush Limbaugh interviewed Vice President Cheney on his show today. At one point, Limbaugh asked Cheney to respond to growing frustration over U.S. efforts in Iraq.

Cheney acknowledged there is a “natural level of concern out there” because fighting didn’t end “instantaneously.” (Next month, the war will have lasted longer than U.S. fighting in World War II.) Cheney then pointed to various news items to paint a positive picture of conditions in Iraq and concluded, “If you look at the general overall situation, they’re doing remarkably well...”"

Carlos Castaneda has nothing on Cheney.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bumper Sticker Blues

Nurse sues over ticket for anti-Bush bumper sticker - CNN.com: "ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- A woman who was ticketed for having an obscene anti-Bush bumper sticker filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday against a county in the state of Georgia and its officials.

Denise Grier, 47, of Athens, Georgia, got a $100 ticket in March after a DeKalb County police officer spotted the bumper sticker, which read 'I'm Tired Of All The BUSH**.'

A DeKalb judge threw out the ticket in April because the state's lewd decal law that formed the basis for the ticket was ruled unconstitutional in 1990..."

Mutating Humans

Sky News: Goblins And Giants: Humans To Split: "...Social division might split humans into two sub-species 100,000 years from now, an evolution expert has claimed.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative.

They would be a far cry from the 'underclass' humans, who will have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.

The forecast was made by Dr Oliver Curry, who spent two months investigating the ascent and descent of man over the next 100 millennia.

He said, within a thousand years, humans will evolve into coffee-coloured giants between 6 and 7ft tall..."

Dr. B.O. Intones

Media Matters - O'Reilly falsely claimed that a pregnant woman's life could "never" be "in danger" from pregnancy complication: "On the October 11 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that it 'is never the case' that a 'mother's life is in danger' during the course of a pregnancy. In fact, there are several potential pregnancy complications that can threaten the life of a pregnant woman. For instance, an ectopic pregnancy, which the Mayo Clinic estimates occurs in '[a]bout one in every 40 to 100 pregnancies,' is a condition in which the zygote, a fertilized egg, attaches itself outside of the uterus and 'may destroy important maternal structures' with the potential to cause 'life-threatening blood loss.' According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ectopic pregnancies 'are the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in the first trimester.' Additionally, other potential pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia, which can cause HELLP syndrome and eclampsia, can also threaten the life of a pregnant woman..."

Bush Upset...Again

Gee. That's too bad.

Bush in a Snit - washingtonpost.com: "Bush in a Snit

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Monday, October 16, 2006; 12:52 PM

The notion that President Bush is not just in denial -- but is petulantly in denial -- is taking on greater credence thanks to two recent Washington Post stories.

One describes Bush's seemingly inexplicable confidence that Republicans will maintain control of both houses of Congress in the upcoming elections. He doesn't even seem to have a backup plan..."

Treking For The Troops

Spock to U.S. Air Force: 'Set PHaSR to stun'

It may have taken 40 years, but the U.S. Air Force finally has developed what the crew of the Starship Enterprise had in their arsenal decades ago: a working stun gun. The Personal Halting and Stimulation Response, or PHaSR, stops people in their tracks when they fall down laughing at the name…. Check that. I mean when they get blasted by a dazzling nonlethal laser beam, creating an effect similar to walking out from a dark movie theater into the bright sunshine. The idea is that you could use the PHaSR for controlling hostile crowds or for perimeter defense at checkpoints, etc. I'm thinking out loud here, but wouldn't a nice pair of Ray Bans or Oakleys be an effective countermeasure? And who knows the havoc you could wreak with a pair of mirror shades.
— Michael Trei

Monday, October 16, 2006

Apple Remembered

Sci-Tech Today: "Apple CEO Steve Jobs dismissed Microsoft's upcoming Zune digital media device as a threat to iPod in an interview with Newsweek published Sunday. Asked if he was worried about Zune, Jobs replied, 'In a word, no...'"

...and who sits on Disney's Board? And who pushed the phony 9-11 docucrapfest? I remember you, Jobs. No Nano for me. Maybe I'll ditch my Mini and go Microsoft. Which arm of the Empire is less evil? Hmmmm...

Baby Killer

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish:
"...The North Korean regime's obsession with racial purity has led to the killing of disabled infants and forced abortions for women suspected of conceiving their babies by Chinese fathers, according to a growing body of testimony from defectors.

The latest description of Kim Jong-il's policy of state eugenics came from a North Korean doctor, Ri Kwang-chol, who escaped last year and told a forum in Seoul that babies with deformities were killed soon after birth.

'There are no people with physical defects in North Korea,' Ri said. Such babies were put to death by medical staff and buried quickly, he claimed. He denied ever committing the act himself..."

Here We Go Again

TPMmuckraker October 16, 2006 12:37 PM: "Feds Raid House of Weldon Daughter
By Paul Kiel - October 16, 2006, 12:37 PM

Just this weekend we learned that the FBI was investigating the relationships between Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) and his daughter's lobbying clients.

Today, federal agents have raided the home of Karen Weldon, who launched her successful lobbying career at 28, and whose clients reportedly enjoy remarkable attention from her father's office.

Weldon sought to cast doubt on the reports' veracity that there was an investigation. There can be no more doubt..."

If, For No Other Reason...

Why Republicans Should Vote Democratic in November - The Smirking Chimp:

"Science: If they agree with scientific studies, they embrace them. If they don't agree, or their big-business contributors don't like the findings, they dismiss and/or suppress such findings. Like Big Tobacco before them, the GOP fights back with their own 'science,' which, remarkably, produces results that support the political/social/religious beliefs of their conservative base. Global warming, the Morning After pill, stem cell research, evolution - all highly suspect as far as the GOP base - and their science-for-hire researchers -- are concerned. (If the Vatican had hired it's own astronomers rather than just jailing Galileo, we might still be teaching that the sun and all the planets orbit the earth...)"

Rapist President?

From the "You Thought Bill Clinton Had Troubles" Department:

Rape charge recommended for Israeli president - CNN.com: "Police in Israel are recommending that the country's president be charged with rape and other crimes against several women.

Police issued a statement Sunday announcing that authorities have asked Attorney General Menahem Mazuz to charge Israeli President Moshe Katsav with rape, indecent assault and sexual harassment of an undisclosed number of women."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fightin' Bill

Fight Back, Bill Clinton! Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow! - The Smirking Chimp: "His charisma is legendary. William Jefferson Clinton. America's boyishly brilliant bad boy President. Not since the days of Kennedy and the era of Camelot had America produced so globally enchanting a man. His Presidency charmed the world. And though his charm eluded half his own nation, beyond its boundaries he engaged the whole world.

Bill Clinton's story is more uplifting than those of his dynastic blue-blood predecessor and successor. Their achievements were spawned more from lineage than from labor, more from inheritance than from intelligence. One can only imagine the world's bemusement when Clinton, the gifted orator, was succeeded by W., the pathetic bumbler. How ridiculous we Americans must have seemed in January 2001, to have 'selected' so buffoonish a fool.

The differences between Clinton and Bush are palpable. What stark contrast the outside world perceived. Smart to dumb. Clever to clumsy. Open to closed. Canny to cocky. Bill Clinton epitomized rags to riches America. His life gave hope to boys and girls of humble means with giant dreams. Their mantra, 'If Clinton could do it, so could I' became a dominant theme..."

Bill Sez

Bill Clinton rallies activists in Iowa - Yahoo! News: "MIKE GLOVER, Associated Press Writer Sat Oct 14, 11:00 PM ET

DES MOINES, Iowa - Former President
Bill Clinton said Saturday that voters 'know something is wrong' in Washington and urged Democrats to create change in the November elections.

'I have never seen the American people so serious,' said Clinton. 'I think I know why. People know things are out of whack. The rhythm of our public life and our common life in America has been disturbed...'"

Saturday, October 14, 2006

KO Ratings Go Up

Crooks and Liars » Olbermann: Taking Names and Getting Ratings: "...Since that first commentary, Olbermann's nightly audience has increased 69 percent, (emph. added) according to Nielsen Media Research. This past Monday 834,000 people tuned in, virtually double his season average and more than CNN competitors Paula Zahn and Nancy Grace. Cable kingpin and Olbermann nemesis Bill O'Reilly (two million viewers that night) stands in his way..."

Computer Woes

After two solid days of torment trying to install Windows Service Pack 2, I am almost back. I hope to round up some anti-virus tomorrow and then maybe I can be a cyberperson again.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Taylor Dips His Beak

Daily Kos reports on our local boy (Rep. Charles Taylor (R)):
"New Report Shows Taylor's Earmarks Benefit Land he Owns. According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, Charles Taylor, a wealthy businessman and banker, was able to get millions of dollars in earmarks for his district to improve land where Taylor owns thousands of acres and where he has even developed. The report shows that Taylor owns at least 14,000 acres of prime land in his district, some of which is near the main highway in Maggie Valley which, last year, received $11.4 million in federal dollars. Taylor's companies own thousands of acres near the highway and had already developed a subdivision called Maggie Valley Leisure Estates. Another earmark last year sent $4.8 million to widen a highway through timber tracts that Taylor's companies own. He also got millions for a loan for long-time contributors and millions more for improvements to a park that sits directly in front of his flagship bank in the district..."

No GOP Errors

MyDD :: Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politics: "Republicans Are Not Losing Because of 'Mistakes'

by Chris Bowers, Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 01:34:08 AM EST
As a follow-up to my post Progressive Majority Rising, it needs to be made clear that Republicans have not blown this election through a series of mistakes. They simply have not done that. Their fundraising is as good as ever. Their ads are as good as ever. Their talking points are as good as ever, as is their message discipline. The machine is as far-reaching and well-oiled as it ever was, if not even better. Republicans are not making mistakes in this election. Even the big problems that have pushed Republican chances so low--Iraq, Social Security, Terry Schaivo, Katrina, and now Foley--are not Republican 'mistakes' as such. They are instead, inherent to Republican governance now that the modern conservative movement has taken over the Republican Party and are finally being exposed by a more capable progressive opposition..."

Say What? Dems Spend?

From the "This Would Be Funny If It Weren't So Pathetic" Department...

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth: "Bush points finger at Democrats on taxes and spending
by Chris in Paris - 10/11/2006 04:30:00 AM

Aaaahhhhhhhhh, did I miss something here? Bush, the man who 'discovered' billions that was non existent to fight his war of ego and convenience in Iraq, is telling people that it is the Democrats who are wild spenders? After six years of running roughshod over the budget and unloading billions onto future generations, this guy has the nerve to stand up in front of a crowd and complain about the spending of anyone else. If the GOP is looking for yet another example of why Americans believe that they are out of touch with reality, here it is.

Earth to planet George: you spend like a drunken sailor and we all know it. Time to come out of your bubble or fantasy world or wherever the hell it is that you are living. Please tell me how borrowing against the future and dumping a higher burden on the middle class, while cutting taxes for the wealthiest and giving corporate welfare is good for the total population? I see how is helps the Dick Cheney's and Bush family but most Americans are failing to see how it specifically helps them. Why does George Bush hate the American middle class?"

Clinton Korean Bomb?

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: "...The bomb that went off yesterday was made with plutonium, the same stuff that was off-limits from 1994-2002. In all likelihood some of the same stuff that was on ice from 1994-2002.

To the best of my knowledge, no one thinks the North Koreans are close to having enough uranium to make a nuclear weapon that way. And it's not even completely clear they were ever trying to enrich uranium.

So Clinton strikes a deal to keep plutonium out of the North Koreans' hands. The deal keeps the plutonium out of reach for the last six years of Clinton's term and the first two of Bush's. Bush pulls out of the deal. Four years later a plutonium bomb explodes.

Clinton's fault, right?"...

No Democrats Here

TPMmuckraker October 11, 2006 08:37 AM: "Sources Deny 'October Surprise' Theory
'Two of the news media's sources of Mark Foley's sexually explicit instant messages to former House pages said this week that they came forward to expose the Florida congressman's actions, not to help the Democrats in the midterm elections....

'One of ABC News's sources, a former page, said he went public with his knowledge of the instant messages on Sept. 29 only after the network, the day before, published the questionable e-mails that Foley had sent to the Louisiana boy. The former page and current college student stressed that he is a 'staunch Republican' who 'wouldn't vote for a Democrat ever.' He also said that he is not calling for the resignation of Hastert or any other Republican leader...."

Being Base

The Blog | James Love: Being the "base" for a poltical party | The Huffington Post: "Being the 'base' for a poltical party (5 comments )

Much has been made of the cynical manipulation of the evangelical movement; perhaps most succinctly by Tucker Carlson on the Chris Mathews show, who talks of the contempt that conservative republicans have for the religious right, and how the 'base' is beginning to figure this out. This reminds me of 2000, when many on the left begin to figure out that the Democratic Party had largely abandoned them in favor of corporate interests, and millions voted for Nader.

Being part of the base often means you feel as though you have nowhere to go, except to not participate, or to vote for protest candidates..."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

World Domination At Hand

Eat The Press | Google Buys YouTube In Next Step For World Domination | The Huffington Post: "05:26 PM

If this was a sceince fiction movie this is about the time the protagonists would start getting freaked out by the rainbow-colored perma-smiling relentlessly-cheerful colony from the West seeping inexorably across the nation gobbling everything in its path, growing, growing, growing. Well, this is all too real — ALL TOO REAL — so we'd better get used to the fact that Google owns us, utterly. Today they confirmed the rumor swirling in the blogosphere, from LonelyGirl15 to all those dudes now wearing A:F6 shirts (402 and counting): Google has indeed purchased YouTube, for the whopping sum of $1.65 billion dollars — yes, we did say billion..."

Maybe it will be a better world...

Low Wage States

Conservative Truths: "Conservative States Have Lower Wages Than Liberal States

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006 the Average Annual Wages across the United States in 2003 was $37,765. 28 out of 31 Conservative States had a lower than average rate of Annual Wages (90% of Conservative States) versus 8 out of 20 Liberal States that had a lower than average rate of Annual Wages (40% of Liberal States). The highest rate of Annual Wages in the country is found in the District of Columbia with $60,417. The lowest rate of Annual Wages in the country is found in Montana with $26,907."

Very interesting information at this site.

The Great Decider

State of the Day: Henry Redux: "...As for the Great Decider his resolute response to all the gloom and doom is to deny its existence and proclaim much progress in the midst of all his hard work. Those who do not share his vision, whether Democrats or the majority of citizens who disagree with him, are denounced one and the same as terrorists or those who would coddle terrorists. This at the same time as a Congress full of Democrats and a citizenry hand to him the charred remains of the American Constitution.

Thus, from the President's own assault on American freedoms and civil liberties, to Iraq's inferno extending the flames of hatred and extremism across the Muslim and Arab worlds, do the dominos of democracy advance not forward but avalanche backward, stripped bare of all democracy as they topple on the doorsteps of America.

Of all the wars the Decider is waging, real and imagined, domestically and abroad, his only successes come at home. His only victories against the Constitution of the United States and the people of America."

North Korea's October Surprise

NewsHog: North Korea's October Surprise: "...Given the fast and glib spin which is appearing as if it had been carefully written ages ago, I have to ask. Is this the 'October Surprise' that Rove promised the GOP when he told them all they should run on national security despite the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan? If so, how long ago did the administration know this was coming and exactly what did they do to head it off, knowing that it was a disaster for world stability but a gift-horse for re-election races?"

More Troop Troubles

Vote Vet Poll Reveals Combat Troop Hardships:
From a poll of service men and women (via Taylor Marsh):
"# ...Veterans faced real challenges with equipment and supplies while in Iraq or Afghanistan.
# Nearly half of all veterans (42 percent) reported that their equipment did not meet the military standard that requires a unit to be at least 90 percent operational.
# Later deployments reported improvements in operational equipment: only 52 and 49 percent of veterans serving in 2003 and 2004 respectively reported their equipment was operational compared to 61 percent of those who served in 2005 and later.
# Thirty-five percent of veterans said their trucks were not up-armored at all and 10 percent said the trucks were up-armored with scrap metal
# One-fifth of veterans have been impacted by stop-loss regulations or extensions and the majority believes the Army and Marine Corps are overextended..."

Unfortunately, there's much more.

Standards For Troops

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth

Army continues to use lower standards

by Chris in Paris - 10/10/2006 02:14:00 AM

Because cutting corners always works so well in the Don Rumsfeld Pentagon?
According to statistics obtained by The Associated Press, 3.8 percent of the first-time recruits scored below certain aptitude levels. In previous years, the Army had allowed only 2 percent of its recruits to have low aptitude scores. That limit was increased last year to 4 percent, the maximum allowed by the Defense Department."

From The "Go Figure" Department

Poll Shows Strong Shift Of Support to Democrats - washingtonpost.com: "...Approval of Congress has plunged to its lowest level in more than a decade (32 percent), and Americans, by a margin of 54 percent to 35 percent, say they trust Democrats more than Republicans to deal with the biggest problems the nation is confronting. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said congressional Democrats deserve to be reelected next month, but just 39 percent said Republicans deserve to return to office..."

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bright, Hot Flames

A moment of clarity « The Opinion Mill: "...There is no longer any excuse for continuing to buy into these lies, these sordid power grabs, these wormy strategies for wresting political advantage from death and tragedy. The blood of thousands of Americans killed on 9/11 goes unavenged, the lives of many more thousands of Americans and Iraqis cry out for justice, the very foundations of our government tremble as these sleaze weasels and their media lickspittles work around the clock to destroy everything that is good and noble about this country.

And yet there are still people willing to support them? I ask those people: Is it so important to you that gays not be allowed to get married? Do you really lie awake at night worrying that Paris Hilton and Steve Forbes might have to pay their fair share in taxes? How does it feel to know that you can be bought this cheaply, to know that you will play along with such transparent lies in order to . . . in order to . . . what? What are you getting out of this? Is your soul so rotten with hatred for liberals that you would prefer to see the car get driven off a cliff before a Democrat can take the wheel?..."

O Harry!

The Blog | Raymond J. Learsy: Harry Truman, Where Are You? We Need You! | The Huffington Post:

"...Harry Truman was not only brave, he held duty to country far beyond personal fiefdom and fealty. Who could serve the nation best -- that was his consistent requirement for appointments.
In their brilliant and now all too timely book 'The Wise Men', Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas quote Paul Nitze, one of the authors of the Marshall Plan and director of the State Department's policy planning staff: 'I have never seen such a panoply of first-class people who have never thought of putting their interests before the nation's.' These people included such luminaries as John J. McCloy, Averill Harriman, Dean Acheson, George Kennan, Charles Bohlen, Robert Lovett, and Nitze himself. Not to mention the extraordinary likes of George C. Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, and General Lucius Clay. Their combined wisdom brought honor to America with their vision to rebuild Europe and Japan, to bring order to the chaos of a post war world, and to create an effective bulwark against the then Stalinist menace..."

This post is excellent reminder of better leadership. Read it, please.

Foley v. Clinton

The Blog | RJ Eskow: The Real Difference Between "Foley and Studds" in 9 Statements (Plus 3 About "Ethics" And 2 About Clinton) | The Huffington Post:

"...Lastly, a word or two about Bill Clinton:

1. The Democratic leadership expressed its outrage over his behavior. They did not knowingly protect him while he was doing it. Their sense of betrayal should have been a model for the Republicans to follow in this case. Their absence of outrage tells us all we need to know about their party's moral depravity.

2. Monica Lewinsky was an adult - and, by all accounts, sought out the attention she received. Mark Foley forced himself on the young people entrusted to the care of the House of Representatives.

Torture, violation of the Constitution, lies to start a war, widespread financial corruption ... but it took these actions, protecting a predator, to capture the zeitgeist. It encapsulates today's GOP in the blinding light of a single moment, like a lightning flash that reveals the stalker who's been standing outside your door..."

Snarky Scarborough

And we thought Clinton had no self-control - Joe Scarborough: "When The Washington Monthly reached me at my office recently, a voice on the other side of the line meekly asked if I would ever consider writing an article supporting the radical proposition that Republicans should get their brains beaten in this fall.

“Count me in!” was my chipper response. I also seem to remember muttering something about preferring an assortment of Bourbon Street hookers running the Southern Baptist Convention to having this lot of Republicans controlling America’s checkbook for the next two years.

Maybe that’s because right-wing, knuckle-dragging Republicans like myself took over Congress in 1994 promising to balance the budget and limit Washington’s power. We were a nasty breed and had no problem blaming Bill and Hillary Clinton for everything from the exploding federal deficit to male pattern baldness. I suspected then, as I do now, that Hillary Clinton herself had something to do with “Love, American Style” and “Joanie Loves Chachi.” And why not blame her? Back then, Newt Gingrich felt comfortable blaming the drowning of two little children on Democratic values. Hell. It was 1994. It just seemed like the thing to do..."

FDR For Today

Becoming Fearless | Arianna Huffington: FDR and Fearlessness: How the Personal Became the Political | The Huffington Post: "...And because fearlessness, like fear itself, is contagious, FDR's conviction that he and his fellow Americans could handle whatever challenges came their way ended up infecting -- and buoying -- the entire country. The Great Depression and WW II were certainly legitimate causes of fear, but Roosevelt's mastery of his fear helped inspire millions to do the same. Just imagine how differently the current occupant of the White House would have dealt with these monumental crises -- using them to stifle dissent, gain political and partisan advantage, smear critics, and browbeat a nation into compliance.

Instead of assuring us 'the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,' W would have told us the only way out of the Depression is to waterboard the Constitution, put Lady Liberty in a 'stress position,' and attach electrodes to the private parts of the Bill of Rights.

The paraphrase FDR, the only things we have to fear are fear itself -- and those who use it for their own shameful purposes."

Wounded Troops

BlondeSense: I don't think that the Republicans are keeping us or anyone safe:

"Somehow Foleygate as morphed into 'What did Nancy Pelosi know and when did she know it.' Oh no, Republicans, this one is yours. Deal with it. The media looooves a good sex scandal. At least the Democrats didn't spend $43 million on a witch hunt. But then again, that would be better than the massive pissing away of money for the clusterfuck that is bush's folly in Iraq.

What's under the radar is that our troops are being wounded in record levels. Last month 776 troops were wounded in action.

Some experts believe the number of wounded provides a better insight to the nature of the conflict in Iraq than the figure of 2,700 killed because - in relation to previous wars - many more wounded troops survive.

The ratio of wounded to killed is 8 to 1, compared with 3 to 1 during the Vietnam War. The Independent

Now the forces are fighting the Sadr militia again in southern Iraq at Diwaniya. Um, these guys won't die and go away. Oh wait, another report says that they might not be the Mehdi Army. Meanwhile hundreds of Iraqi police got sick from food poisoning coincidentally in southern Iraq and are unable to assist troops. Keep your fingers crossed for our troops who are being put in harms way big time this coming week."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

More Kinkyisms

Star-Telegram.com | 10/06/2006 | Irreverent moments from the debate: "...Best excuse for not knowing the answer: Friedman quibbled with panelist Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News when Slater said the candidate was using inaccurate information in his campaign. “I don’t use the Internet –- I think it’s the tool of Satan.”

Best comeback: “Who raised you? I was raised by a black lady who taught me Jesus Christ was color blind.” Friedman’s response to Slater, who asked about accusations that Friedman has made racist comments about blacks."

The Amish

The tragic school shootings in Amish country have sent us a reminder I hope everyone is feeling. No, I’m not talking exactly about the horrific murders of these children, though we all have taken that insecurity and terror to heart. I am talking about the way real Christians act. The Amish have set an example of dignity, humility, and forgiveness that few of us will ever be able to achieve. They have given us a light of Christian love in the swirling, oppressive darkness of contemporary conservative Christian thought and action.

If this had happened in some church academies, we would have been treated to an endless spectacle of sermonizing pastors screaming for the flesh of gays, pedophiles, and Democrats, who, of course, would have been at fault. Fox News would be running on-going stories about how if Republicans had more power in Washington and Pennsylvania none of this would have happened, and various Republicans senators and such would have raised a veritable thunder of righteous rage and called the lightning bolts of moralistic certitude upon those who don’t see it their way.

But that didn’t happen. I have heard no calls for any sort of retribution from any member of the Amish community. Now, they have become more much to all of us than post cards, tourist attractions, and an admired, if misunderstood, minority among the kaleidoscopic and cacophonous din arising from the religious communities around the country.

So once again, we are truly confronted with the Mystery of Faith, believing that God has purposed our lives and that purpose is cloaked in His Mystery, leaving us only with the uncomfortable cliché that God Moves In Mysterious Ways. But here it is, perhaps, not so mysterious, since I suspect that, like me, millions have people have their hearts stirred and their souls uplifted by the simple example of love shining from a beacon of the true meaning of the life of Jesus Christ emanating from the deep sorrows of the friends, neighbors, families and victims of this most despicable crime.

For this, I sincerely thank all of you.