Friday, August 31, 2007

GOP Double Gay Standard

Cliff Schecter: "Lost in much of the Larry Craig bathroom follies coverage has been the blatant double standard practiced by the GOP. The GOP leadership has stripped Larry Craig of his committee assignments and has pushed him to resign, based on his misdemeanor crime.

On the other hand, the GOP has allowed David Vitter to retain all his committee assignments and has not pushed him to resign. They have taken this relaxed stance, even though Vitter has essentially admitted to criminal behavior (sex with a prostitute)..."

Fox Attacks Moms

PERRspectives Blog: Fox News Attacks Couric Trip While Single Mother Soldiers Die in Iraq:

"Fox News Attacks Couric Trip While Single Mother Soldiers Die in Iraq

As ThinkProgress reported today, Fox News attacked CBS rival and single mother Katie Couric for her upcoming trip to Iraq. But while Neil Cavuto, John Gibson and the gang at Fox grew hysterical about Couric, they remained silent about 26 year old Michelle Ring and other single mothers fighting for the United States in Iraq.

The issue for Fox, of course, is that anyone else's coverage of Iraq inevitably brings the facts of Bush's Baghdad fiasco directly to American television screens. But in a new low even for Fox, Couric (whose husband passed away from colon cancer in 1998) was accused of placing her children at risk all in the name of ratings. As guest Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for American put it:

"She's saying my ratings are more important than my children. That's the bottom line."

If only Fox News would focus such concern on all of the American single mothers who are fighting - and dying - for us in Iraq. That would include women like Michelle Ring of the 92nd Military Police Battalion based in Fort Benning, Georgia. Ring, who joined the Army in 2005, recently reenlisted with the hope of becoming a military police officer. Ring was killed by mortar fire on July 5th while on guard duty..."

On Merit Pay For Teachers

Dave Riegel: The Problem with Merit Pay - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...The use of test scores for evaluation of teachers is fraught with difficulties that should be obvious to any outside observer. First among them, you can't pick your students upon whom your salary might depend. Those in favor of merit pay often use the private sector as a comparison point, saying essentially that most people are paid by how hard they work or how many cases they win or how much they sell. And all that's true. But a salesman isn't forced to spend his time on customers who clearly don't want to buy his products. Lawyers don't typically take cases they can't win. But the logic of paying teachers based on performance is similar to saying to a car salesman, 'here are 30 adults chosen at random. Your salary depends on being able to sell all of them cars -- a standard car, at that -- regardless of their needs, desires, or ability to pay.' Or to tell a lawyer, 'you must win the next 30 cases that walk through your door, using limited resources, regardless of the merit of their suits, or the expense required to prosecute their cases.'

Teachers don't get to choose who walks in their doors, like the hapless lawyer or car salesman in the examples above. It's the luck of the draw. Teachers (good ones) certainly believe all children can learn, and want them to. But success in terms of test scores depends on many factors, mostly too obvious to mention, outside the teachers' control. Not the least among these, and perhaps less obvious to outside observers, is the support of fellow practitioners. In many cases, a child's learning requires the support of others besides just the classroom teacher. It depends on an administrator who can effectively create an climate for learning in the school. It may depend on reading specialists who can help students comprehend their textbooks. It may depend on intervention specialists who help devise strategies for learning disabled students to make more effective gains. It even depends on successful foundations provided by teachers in previous grade levels. How do merit pay advocates propose to disaggregate the work of a classroom teacher from the support staff around her? For that matter, how would art, music, physical education or special education teachers be judged under a pay for performance system? Would we need to implement standardized tests in those areas?..."

I work under a merit pay system. It does not work as intended.

Another GOPer Outing Coming?

DownWithTyranny!: WHO'LL BE THE NEXT REPUBLICAN HYPOCRITE TO BE DRAGGED OUT OF THE CLOSET SCREAMING ABOUT MEDIA WITCH HUNTS?: "...The murdered gay Republicans include Ralph Reed's purported ex-lover, Ralph Gonzalez (former head of the rabidly homophobic Georgia Republican Party), David Abrami and McHenry guy-pal Robert Drake, the shooter. All three were found last week in a murder-suicide in an Orlando apartment. According to right-wing website, the North Carolina Conservative 'All three men were active in Republican politics.' They mention that Drake is 'an associate' of McHenry's but don't define that. He is alleged to be an associate of quite a few younger men, some of whom are gay and some of whom are just gay-for-pay. (Note: The websites in this GOP report are graphic, pornographic gay prostitute sites and if you don't want to see that kind of stuff DO NOT copy and paste the links. They are purposely not in the form of links....)"

Wow. This could really be a very hot potato. In fact, if only half of what is alleged is true, it is really bad. DownWithTyranny has the complete rundown complete with a warning about visiting some of the web sites listed because of the explicit nature of the material.

Courts Martials Needed

Think Progress: "This morning, the Washington Post has a story on how lawmakers are being “slimed in the Green Zone” when they travel to Iraq for congressional delegation trips. Reps. James Moran (D-VA), Jon Porter (R-NV), and Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) recently returned from such a trip. While there, Tauscher and Moran noticed sheets of paper that “seemed to be everywhere” in the Green Zone, “distributed to Iraqi officials, U.S. officials and uniformed military of no particular rank.”"

From The Let Them Eat Cake Department

Barbara Ehrenreich: It's Not Easy Being Ultra-Rich - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...The poor whine about having no home at all, or maybe a two-bedroom apartment for a family of six. They should just think for one moment of the tribulations involved in running four or more mansions, each with its own full-time staff. There's the problem of getting between them, for example. A friend of mine, of very modest means himself, consults for a billionaire couple who commute between London and Los Angeles by private jet, with their dogs following in a second private jet..."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gonzo Gone, III

The Daily Dish: "...In the end, I suspect Gonzales simply couldn't tolerate the punishing mortification anymore, the spectacle of his gross incompetence playing out so harshly on the national stage. And so he finally summoned up the courage to confront the President, that one time, if only to try and salvage whatever crumbs of dignity he had left, likely pleading with Bush to set him loose. Put differently, his only act of rebellion came at the very end, not on the important issues of the day that so badly sullied our democracy and highest traditions, but because Gonzales could no longer abide a crushing humiliation that had by then become total.

Ironically evincing a smigden of backbone only in a bid to persuade Bush to allow him to move off stage to spare himself further such misery, this belated act of banal self-preservation sadly came far too late. By then our collective American dream had been badly tarnished. Still, if it is part of the price of him leaving, let us allow him to fancifully imagine he is still somehow living his. All told, it's a small price to pay as we begin to clear out the rot left in the wake of this baleful Administration."

GOPer Sex Scandal List

It is long. It is here: Daily Kos :: Comments About those "naughty e-mails" ...

Tuff Ted Turns Timid

The Raw Story | Nugent defends right to threaten Democrats during his concerts:

"Rocker not so forgiving when 'threats' were directed other way

Rocker Ted Nugent said trying to explain his fantasies of executing prominent Democrats that he aired in the middle of a recent show would be 'like trying to explain an orgasm to a eunuch...'"

A Stink In A C-130

...I'm sure: US Lawmakers' Plane Under Fire in Iraq | World Latest | Guardian Unlimited: "WASHINGTON (AP) - A military cargo plane carrying three senators and a House member was forced to take evasive maneuvers and dispatch flares to avoid ground fire after taking off from Baghdad on Thursday night. The lawmakers said their plane, a C-130, was under fire from three rocket-propelled grenades over the course of several minutes as they left for Amman, Jordan..."

Union Stands-Up For Edwards

John Edwards for President-Edwards Receives Support Of Carpenters Union: "Union endorses Edwards as the strongest candidate to win the election and help working Americans

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, representing more than 520,000 members from all political affiliations, today endorsed Senator John Edwards for president. After carefully considering all the candidates from both parties, the Carpenters Union chose Edwards as the candidate with the best chance of winning the White House and the person who will best represent hard-working families. Following a meeting with the union's executive board and 35 key leaders from throughout the United States last week in Las Vegas, they voted overwhelmingly to endorse Edwards. The formal endorsement will be made at a rally of union members on September 8th in New Hampshire. Edwards' endorsement is the union's first endorsement in the primaries in several presidential cycles..."

Get A Job, Ted

Ted's spiritual restoration team: get a job - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "...Last week, Haggard had e-mailed a KRDO-TV reporter in Colorado Springs, asking that supporters send contributions to Families with a Mission, a Monument non-profit run by Paul Huberty, a twice convicted sex offender. ...'It was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry...Mr. Haggard will not be moving in or working with the Dream Center. He will not be doing any ministry. He will be seeking secular employment to support himself...'"

Contraceptive Lies

Crooks and Liars » Righties Continue To Attack Planned Parenthood with False Info: "This just makes me crazy. Want to know why collectively, Americans are dumbing down? Because we allow false information that supports the Fundies’ agenda to go out absolutely unchallenged. This particular battle in Colorado started when several outlets ran an article where a “Right-To-Life” member throws out unbelievably false info (like teenage girls getting “hooked” on birth control). Thankfully, some residents wrote in to smack down the lies. The Fundies’ response? Get the disinformation out on radio:..."

Drudge Sludge

Attytood: Matt Drudge rules their world...and falsely accuses them of murder

"...Here's how the story is now bannered near the top of the Drudge Report, one of the ten most trafficked news sites on the Internet, the news source that former ABC News political director Mark Halperin said "rules our world":

"THE MAN THE MEDIA MURDERED: Richard Jewell dead..."

Pretty provocative. Reading that, I assumed that someone close to Jewell, like his wife, was making the accusation that the stress from his ordeal with the press had caused his illness. In fact, the linked story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution only says this:

Meriwhether County coroner Johnny Worley said Jewell's wife, Dana, discovered him unconscious at about 10:30 a.m. Worley said an autopsy would be performed by the Georgia Bureau of Investiation to determine how Jewell died, but there was "no suspicion of foul play..."

Idaho Paper Wants Craig Gone

Idaho Statesman: Pack it in, Larry - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "The largest paper in Idaho has called for Senator Larry Craig to resign. (Idaho Statesman):

It is difficult and unpleasant to call on Idaho's senior senator to end a career in public service. We don't do this casually, or unanimously. However, we cannot abide an elected official who didn't disclose a lewd conduct arrest until the story broke 77 days later -- a lie by omission and a violation of the public trust. We cannot believe Craig can effectively serve Idaho, under the shadow of his guilty plea on a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. We cannot afford, as a state with but four congressional representatives, to have a senator who merely provides fodder for bloggers and late-night talk show hosts."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Katrina Redux

How Hurricane Katrina Exposed The Fallacies of Conservatism - The Smirking Chimp: "DUMMERSTON, Vt. —Two years ago this week, a great American city was left to die.

An incompetent, corrupt administration showed its true colors as Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history.

It took a strong wind to blow away the nonsense and expose the fallacy of what has been an article of faith for conservatives for decades — that government is the problem, not the solution..."

Watching the aftermath of Katrina is what led me to start blogging. I had to do something more than just voting and politicing and griping and complaining. It's a mental health issue.

Wage Gap Grows

Top Execs Earn More in A Day than Average Workers Do in A Year - CEOs * US * News * Story - "Top executives at major U.S. businesses last year made as much money in one day of work on the job as the average worker made over the entire year, according to a report released on Wednesday..."

Go Craig, Go

Think Progress: "Sens. Norm Coleman (R-MN) and John McCain (R-AZ) have become the first members of the Senate to call for Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) to resign over his arrest for alleged “lewd conduct” in an airport bathroom. Craig, who was arrested in June, pled guilty to “disorderly conduct” charges on August 8, though the plea was kept secret until Roll Call newspaper broke the story on Monday..."

Iran and the Bomb

Democrat Taylor Marsh Broadcasts Live Talk Radio and Blogs Politics: "Nuclear Fear Factor". Excellent post regarding nuclear weapons deployment. Read it here.

Sir Norman Fry - Public Toilet

A tad racy, kids.

Fox News Wants Dead Americans

Pepper Monkey Press: Fox News' John Gibson Warns Al Qaeda To Attack Before Hillary Is Elected: "...FOX's John Gibson, for his part, is clearly and dutifully fulfilling his mandate as a well compensated neocon shill, sending a none-to-cryptic message to Al Qaeda to attack before the US Presidential election if it, Al Qaeda, wants the US to continue on its present course: training and equipping thousands of potential Al Qaeda recruits on the bloody battle field of an occupied Iraq..."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Craig's Latrine Launch

Go here to see a reenactment of the Senator's lewd conduct(You Decide.): Crooks and Liars » News Anchors re-enact Craig’s Men’s Room incident

Nugent Wants To Kill

The Raw Story | In obscenity-laced tirade, Ted Nugent jokes of killing Obama, calls Clinton a 'bitch': "At a recent stop on his 'Love Grenade 2007 Shrapnel Tour,' rocker Ted Nugent tossed some rhetorical bombs at a few top Democrats, and possible future gubernatorial candidate joked about executing the most prominent African American politician in a generation..."

He had his chance back in the 'Nam days.

Richard Roeper gives us some grist for the Nugent mill:
...Except when it was time to register for the draft during the Vietnam era. By his own admission, Nugent stopped all forms of personal hygiene for a month and showed up for his draft board physical in pants caked with his own urine and feces, winning a deferment. Creative!...

and disgusting.

The Rightness of The Gore

Consortiumblog: Neck Deep Secret: Gore Was Right: "By Robert Parry
August 27, 2007

Having written several books that span periods of years, I’m often surprised how patterns emerge that aren’t apparent to me in day-to-day news coverage. In Neck Deep, our new book about George W. Bush’s presidency, one of those surprises was how often former Vice President Al Gore turned up making tragically prescient comments.

Gore, whose admirers sometimes call him “the Goracle,” comes across more as a Cassandra, warning the nation of looming disasters and finding himself either ignored or mocked by the dominant politicians and media pundits.

Read on."

Helping The Troops

Bobby Muller: How in Good Conscience Can We Do This To Our Men And Women in Uniform? - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...If the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff told you that our troops were at their breaking point, when the Department of Defense reported that our current deployment policies are compounding the wounds of war, causing mental health problems among our troops to skyrocket, and that one of the primary causes was our current policy of deploying troops back to Iraq and Afghanistan without adequate dwell time at home, would you do something about it?

Would you support a policy where soldiers are deployed for 15 months in Iraq and then receive at least equal time stationed stateside to rest, train, and then fight again? (And at least three times that much as home if they are from the Guard or Reserve.)

You'd do that right?

Well, guess what? Back in July before they took their summer break, a lot of United States Senators voted against this fundamental act of fairness by voting against the Webb-Hagel Amendment. (click here to see a press conference where I spoke up for this bill before the vote....)"

Dear Lord,

Please don't let anyone in the Bush Administration read this (no worry about George himself): Through Analysis, Gut Reaction Gains Credibility - New York Times.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Warping Found

Einstein's Warping Found Around Neutron Stars | LiveScience: "Einstein's predicted warping of space-time has been discovered around neutron stars, the most dense observable matter in the universe.

The warping shows up as smeared lines of iron gas whipping around the stars, University of Michigan and NASA astronomers say. The finding also indicates a size limit for the celestial objects.

The same distortions have been spotted around black holes and even around Earth, so while the finding may not be a surprise, it is significant for answering basic questions of physics, said study team member Sudip Bhattacharyya of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and the University of Maryland, College Park..."

Another GOPer Morals Problem

Election Central | Talking Points Memo
"GOP Senator Larry Craig Arrested For "Lewd Conduct" In Men's Room

Breaking news from Roll Call:

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon.

Craig’s arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the Hennepin County District Court. He paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation with the court that began on Aug. 8..."

The Senator has a kinda sorta explanation at the link.

No Obama Smooches

Frank Dwyer: Obama's Turn; or, This Campaign May Be Just Long Enough to Eliminate Everybody - Politics on The Huffington Post: "I was appalled to see Barack Obama's nice guy list of good Republicans, the ones he looks forward to working with, the ones whose counsel and advice he will seek. Why did he do this? I've been impressed with him and grown to like him, but I'm much more likely to support a Democratic candidate who gives us a list of which Republicans should be going to jail. Sorry, but I'm just not interested in the old business-as-usual, go-along-to-get-along, you-scratch-my-earmark-I'll-scratch-yours bipartisanship. And isn't there some unfinished business we should take care of, one or two little things, a subpoena or two, Iraq, before we kiss and make up? Besides, I don't think you can lie down with Karl Rove and the Swift Boat vermin without becoming Karl Rove and the Swift Boat vermin, and that, for me, is what the Republican Party has become. Are these three men cited by Obama the lonely three Republican men of principle, the ones who managed to keep their honor all through the dark times? Lugar, Warner, and Coburn? Come on. Aristotle said that character is habitual action: look at what these "good" Republicans have done, and tried to do, all their lives. Look at how they have voted! You want me to tell you, Barack, that any friend of yours is a friend of mine? Sorry. Any friend of theirs is no friend of mine, I'm afraid... "

I'm with you. No making-up. No make-nice. Criminals belong in prison. Incompetents do not belong in think-tanks or on national television. Getting them out of office is not enough. Justice must somehow be meted out to one and all for the harm that have done this once great nation.

AG Ming To Come?

Think Progress » BREAKING: Alberto Gonzales Resigns

"...U.S. News reported this weekend, “The buzz among top Bushies is that beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales finally plans to depart and will be replaced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Why Chertoff? Officials say he’s got fans on Capitol Hill, is untouched by the Justice prosecutor scandal, and has more experience than Gonzales did, having served as a federal judge and assistant attorney general...”

Good News From Iraq

There's a round-up of the hopeful news here: Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog
and here and here.

Who Said What About Gonzo The Goner

Look here for a very thorough summary of all the various reactions to the Gonzales resignation: Talking Points Memo | Reax to Gonzo Resignation

The Silence of The Wingnuts

Good Bye Gonzo - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"I thought about taking on a different topic, but it seems pretty useless on a day like today. So I thought I'd add my two cents on Gonzalez.

What's striking to me is how little sadness there is on the right that he is leaving. A quick look over at The Corner shows that most conservatives there view his departure with relief. Michelle Malkin wasn't upset to seem him go either. A quick blogosphere check shows that most on the right are okay with this decision..."

Gonzo Gone

"Embattled U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned, senior administration officials told CNN today. President Bush will likely nominate Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to replace Gonzales, officials said..."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Who'duh Problem?

PoliTits:Your Monthly Reminder That DEMOCRATS Are NOT The Problem
"JUST before Congress adjourned for its August recess, Democrats engaged in a flurry of legislative activity, while Republicans complained about a “do-nothing” Congress’s meager policy accomplishments. Deep partisan differences, narrow majorities and a Republican in the White House have frustrated Democratic ambitions and fueled a toxic atmosphere in both chambers of Congress. The public’s low approval ratings reflect broad discontent with the direction of the country but also displeasure with Congress for failing to reverse course on Iraq and for continuing the bitter partisan warfare..."

The Daily Flashback

...Killing Fields edition.

Lies, Lies, and More Lies, in History-Illiterate America - The Smirking Chimp:

"George Bush -- and other Iraq War supporters -- have argued that if we withdraw from Iraq the result will be like the slaughters -- the killing fields -in Cambodia.

Here are the facts:

  • The killing fields were real. The genocide against their own people was committed by the Khmer Rouge.
  • The Vietnamese -- the Communist Vietnamese -- were the people who went in and put a stop to it.
  • The United States then supported the Khmer Rouge.

Here's how that came to happen..."

Jobs Card Finally Played

Deseret Morning News | At odds: Murray says Huntsman endangers jobs: "HUNTINGTON — Mine owner Bob Murray says Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s recent comments about rescue efforts for six trapped miners have put hundreds of mining jobs in Utah's coal country in peril.

'If you persist in your statements and course of action, you, Governor, are going to jeopardize 700 jobs in Carbon and Emery Counties,' Murray said in a letter obtained Friday by the Deseret Morning News..."

From The Terrible Truths Department

Whistleblowers on Fraud Facing Penalties - "One after another, the men and women who have stepped forward to report corruption in the massive effort to rebuild Iraq have been vilified, fired and demoted. Or worse..."

It is worse. Don't read this article unless you've had your blood pressure medication.

Racist Rush Ruminates

Media Matters - Limbaugh claims Dems' interest in Darfur is securing black "voting bloc"

'Summary: On his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Democrats "want to get us out of Iraq, but they can't wait to get us into Darfur." He continued: "There are two reasons. What color is the skin of the people in Darfur? It's black. And who do the Democrats really need to keep voting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this voting bloc, they're in trouble." A caller responded, "The black population," to which Limbaugh said, "Right..." '

Saturday, August 25, 2007

An Event, I Hope

They're remaking The Day the Earth Stood Still - | Google Groups: "The Day the Earth Stood Still Being Remade for 2008 - Confirmed!
February 21, 2007
by Alex Billington

Apparently Box Office Mojo, the best website for all things box office earnings, has updated their schedule for summer 2008 and included a listing of The Day the Earth Stood Still to open on May 9th, 2008 (one week after Iron Man). The original is a sci-fi classic 1951 movie about an alien and a robot that land on Earth to try and save the world from being destroyed. IMDB doesn't even have a listing for this remake, but Box Office Mojo claims it's being produced by Fox, fast-tracked for a spot in 2008's busy summer..."

I pray they can do the original some kind of justice.

Kristol Hearts Bush

Steve Benen for Talking Points Memo notes: "...Kristol concludes:

[A]ll honor to George W. Bush for following in Reagan's footsteps, grasping the nettle, and confronting the real lessons and consequences of Vietnam. The liberal media and the PC academics are horrified. All the better.

As the left shudders, Bush leads.

There isn't even an argument to refute here; it's just childish cheerleading and empty sloganeering..."

Edwards Wingnuttia

News Hounds: What Was He Thinking? Democratic "Strategist" Yuks It Up With Hannity and Voter-Fraud Suspect Coulter At Democrats' Expense: "...As Hannity hyped his upcoming Sunday night “expose” on Edwards’ involvement in a company that is foreclosing on residents in New Orleans, Murphy didn’t think it worth mentioning how Edwards has pledged to provide financial assistance to those residents. Instead, he added to the opprobrium by saying: “There are some considerable inconsistencies between (Edwards’) rhetoric and the reality of his lifestyle. I mean, it’s like he said, there’s two Americas, the very wealthy and all the rest of us and just in case some of us don’t know which side he lives on, he wants to make sure he demonstrates that he lives the lifestyle of the wealthy.” Murphy could not keep from cracking up at his own humor..."

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bush The Queen of Preen

James Wolcott's Blog: Preen Queen: Wolcott's Blog: "Fourteen US troops die in a helicopter crash in Iraq and President Bush honors their sacrifice by feeding applause lines to a roomful of warm geezers, the young once again dying for the preening platitudes of the old. And when it comes to arrogant pride, no one preens like this president..."

A Prayer For Iraq

Chris Durang: Yikes, the Freedom Watch Ads - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...A house built on sand cannot stand. This war was built on the sand of lies and misperceptions and bad judgment. Staying in it on and on and on is not a sensible option. More Americans will be killed, and victory is impossible. The AA prayer says 'God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

It's a brilliant prayer, and goes to the heart of difficult choices in life.

Those who want to withdraw (not in one day, of course) are of the mind to accept that the war was mistake and that we can't solve the centuries' old problems among the factions in Iraq.

Those who want to stay think they have the courage to change things, but the 'wisdom to know the difference' is the key: in my view, they have zero ability to know the difference, they are stuck and stubborn, and they want to prove their wrong choice was right. Bush is among the most stubborn people I have ever seen in my life..."

Legacy Surge

Talking Points Memo:

"...Not so for the president. For him, this is it. He's not bigger than this. His entire legacy as president is bound up in Iraq. Which is another way of saying that his legacy is pretty clearly an irrecoverable shambles. That is why, as the folly of the enterprise becomes more clear, he must continually puff it up into more and more melodramatic and world-historical dimensions. A century long ideological struggle and the like. For the president a one in a thousand shot at some better outcome is well worth it, no matter what the cost. Because at least that's a one in a thousand shot at not ending his presidency with the crushing verdict history now has in store. It's also worth just letting things keep on going as they are forever because, like Micawber, something better might turn up. Going double or nothing by expanding the war into Iran might be worth it too for the same reason. For him, how can it get worse?

And when you boil all this down what it comes down to is that the president now has very different interests than the country he purports to lead..."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra"

Any post that references the greatest Star Trek episode ever is worth a read. Even if this post didn't, it is still outstanding (all about wingnut mythos) [in my Top Ten of the Year]. No excerpt. Just go read it to understand a little better "Davy Crockett at the Alamo:" The Mahablog » The Power of (Right Wing) Myth

NC Liberals Having Snark Fit

North Carolina: former "Christian" group leader pleads guilty to solicitation - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth
"My, my, it is a busy week. I can hardly keep up with these guys...

Former NC lawmaker, retired Baptist minister -- and now-former Christian Action League president -- Coy C. Privette pleaded guilty yesterday to six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution. He has to perform 48 hours of community service and receive counseling.

In July he was busted for doing the no-tell motel dance, paying to have sex with someone other than his wife. Pious Privette receives bonus Darwin points:

* he paid for the hotel rooms under his own name on six occasions;
* the prostitute took pictures of her with the former minister using her cell phone camera..."

Edwards The Nightmare - CNN Political Ticker Is John Edwards 'Karl Rove's worst nightmare'? «

'WASHINGTON (CNN) — Many political watchers are wondering exactly why former top Bush aide Karl Rove has attacked New York Sen. Hillary Clinton so aggressively since he announced he was leaving the White House last week.

Well, Joe Trippi, one of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards' top strategists, thinks he knows the answer: Rove "doesn't want John Edwards to win the Democratic nomination..."'

I agree.

Immigration Issues

Top GOP Leader: Bush Employs Thousands Of Undocumented Workers - Politics on The Huffington Post
"If President Bush is serious about getting tough on U.S. employers who hire illegal aliens, he can start with his own administration, which employs thousands of unauthorized workers, says the top Republican on the House immigration subcommittee..."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Piling On Vick

Firedoglake - Mutts Against Mitt

"...Michael Vick is a football player. Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are running for President. Mitt Romney blithely tortured his dog by tying it to the top of his car for 12 hours until it defecated down the back window under the stress, then thought of himself as a real smart feller because he grabbed a hose and washed it off. That particular incident of cruelty and callousness towards animals barely even charted with Our Elite Media.

Then there’s Judy Giuliani, who demonstrated medical staples on dogs for fun and profit who were killed afterwards. I really just do not see that she did anything that wasn’t just as bad as Michael Vick, with the exception that the medical industrial complex managed to buy her way into legality. It’s still cruel and immoral as hell, but we really didn’t hear much about that when the vultures were circling Michael Vick, did we? It would have been the perfect time to mention it, a wonderful correlating story, but we got…zip. Nada. Nothing.

Why, one might ask, are two people engaged in the race for the nation’s highest office not given more scrutiny on this front than a professional football player? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending Michael Vick’s actions. And I don’t know that the NFL, a company with a brand to think about, wants to be associated with animal cruelty in the future after Vick has done his time. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t the United States of America be a bit more worried about electing a President who openly embraces similar behavior? Because while Rudy didn’t exactly exterminate the brutes himself, I didn’t hear him utter a word against it. (Does anybody think he wouldn’t?)

We heard about John Edwards’ haircut nonstop. The stories of Mitt and Judy Giuliani torturing dogs barely lasted a day. Then Michael Vick entered the headlines, and it’s not that the story itself had no native appeal, because that’s all we’ve heard about for days. So enquiring hounds want to know. What is it about Michael Vick that makes him more worthy of being publicly pilloried than Mitt or Judy?..."

Thanks, Ari!

An open thank you letter to Ari Fleischer - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"Dear Ari Fleischer,

Thank you. The news today about a $15 million TV ad campaign targeting Republicans in the name of a group called "Freedom Watch" is probably the best thing we could want right now. It is a gift.

The revival of your role as salesman-in-chief for the White House’s failed war policy is also welcome. We were looking for a way to connect this mysterious “Freedom Watch” outfit to the White House Iraq PR machine. And then it turned out that you made our job very simple—you are in charge. This is the “White House Ad campaign.”

Our researchers tell us your ads are targeting 90% Republicans (37 out of 41). We’ve had strong fundraising but we never thought a $15 million TV buy was in the works. Every extra minute of TV time talking about Iraq is another drip, drip, drip of bad news for politicians who won’t break with Bush. So, thanks..."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Clinton Blamed For Military Woes

Talking Points Memo | Thompson: U.S. must rebuild military: "The U.S. must rebuild its military to fight global terrorism because leaders 'took a holiday' in the 1990s after the end of the Cold War, undeclared presidential candidate Fred Thompson told war veterans Tuesday..."

Really? ching!ching! Weren't you a Senator then, Fred? I don't recall nor can I find any impassioned cries to build the military up to, say, Vietnam levels from you.

No Bush Compassion Here

Bush cuts tens of thousands of children out of health insurance program - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "If you agree that children should be cut off from health insurance, then please do vote Republican. Bush was opposed to this program from the start. He tried to kill its reauthorization. And now he's trying to dismantle it for tens of thousands of kids. Welcome to the Republican party."

9/11: Tenet --His Bad

The Blotter: CIA Report Blames Tenet for 9/ll Failure: "Former CIA director George Tenet 'bears ultimate responsibility' for failing to create a strategic plan to stop al Qaeda prior to 9/ll, according to a review by the CIA's inspector general that was made public today, more than two years after it was written..."

He begs to differ.

Rebuttal of Troops Op-Ed

Crooks and Liars » O’Hanlon Weeps: click here and here. Rebuttal of the rebuttal here and here. The original op-ed here.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Coal Dot Connection

Arianna Huffington: Connect the Dots: Karl Rove's Politics Uber Alles Strategy and the Utah Mine Disaster - Politics on The Huffington Post

"...Coal mining interests have donated more than $12 million to federal candidates since the Bush-era began with the 2000 election cycle, with 88% of that money -- $10.6 million -- going to Republicans..."

Defining Issues

What Is Hypocrisy & What Kind of "Hypocrisy" Should We Worry About? - The Smirking Chimp
"...But I believe Barack Obama said it best this week when he explained why it's not contradictory for him to be advocating for lobbying reform despite aggressively raising money for his presidential campaign. "The argument is not that I'm pristine, because I'm swimming in the same muddy water [of the current system]," he said. "The argument is that I know it's muddy and I want to clean it up..."

Foot and Brain Tango

Your foot and your hand are in synch: Sandy's Place.

Family Research Council: No Dead Marrying

Family Research Council: Same-sex marriage = marrying a corpse - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "...FRC decided to weigh in on the matter by filing a brief to argue that the marriage cannot be recognized (even though there is no law in R.I. banning same-sex marriage), citing this unhinged thinking:
'Following the logic of the appellants and their supporters, man/animal marriage and man/deceased woman marriage must be permitted under Rhode Island law simply because the General Assembly has not expressly prohibited it.'
Tony and Co., when you are able to explain how animals and corpses can grant consent to enter a union of any kind, please let us know..."

Piercing, Politics, and Someboy You Know

Don't follow this link if piercing bothers you; there are pictures. A Little Bit of History [BME Guest Column]: "Introductory Note A friend of mine recently told me this interesting story highlighting the hidden colorful characters many Republicans seem to have in their lives — characters and relationships that seem completely contradictory to some of their actions in public life. I’ll let you read for yourself so I don’t spoil the conclusion, but I’ll preface it by saying it took a little coaxing to get the story out of him because he’s (perhaps only partially in humor) worried that not long after this is printed he may “disappear”..."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Huckabee and Clintons

Huckabee via Andrew Sullivan:
The Daily Dish: "'...You know, I've never hated the Clintons. I still don't, I have great respect for them. He made a lot of mistakes — a lot of personal ones — but you know something that I think should not be forgotten. There's two things about Bill Clinton I tell Republicans, it drives them nuts, but here it is.

Number one, don't get it lost on you that a kid out of a very small, Southern rural state aspired to be President of the United States. This kid came from a dysfunctional family — alcoholic abusive father. And yet he didn't just aspire, he was elected president of the United States not once, but twice. That is an affirmation of the system. And it's a wonderful testament to give to every kid in America that no matter where you've come from, you've got an opportunity to do something extraordinary.

The second thing, and this'll really wrangle, again, some of my Republican colleagues. Bill Clinton and Hillary went through some horrible experiences in their marriage, because of some of the reckless behavior that he has admitted he had. I'm not defending him on that — it's indefensible. But they kept their marriage together. And a lot of the Republicans who have condemned them, and who talk about their platform of family values, interestingly didn't keep their own families together...'"

Heritage Moat

Wonkette: The D.C. Gossip: "...Wonkette operatives say the construction around the Heritage Foundation’s headquarters on Massachusetts Ave. NE has taken an ominous turn, first with the sinister barbed-wire-topped walls and now with what appears to be an actual moat around the building. Considering the vast gulf between public sentiment and Heritage Foundation positions — this week, the arch-conservative think tank is boldly defending “Subprime Lending: A Valuable Innovation” — moats may still be an effective way for feudal lords to protect themselves from savage mobs of poor people."

The more (Medieval) things change...

NBC's Rove Wankery

On Rove, Wilson, Plame, and the Old Media. Firedoglake : "But what do you expect? NBC insists on having the guys who are part of the story interview the other people who are part of the story. Russert interviews Novak, and Gregory interviews Rove. So even though Gregory no doubt knows that Rove is lying about Wilson’s op-ed, he’s not going to ask any tough questions because it might spark Rove to put Gregory on the spot. You know–by asking Gregory why he continues to refuse to discuss how Ari Fleischer leaked Valerie Wilson’s identity to him, in spite of the fact that Fleischer never considered their conversation a confidential one?..."

The Troops On Iraq

The War as We Saw It - New York Times: "...A few nights ago, for example, we witnessed the death of one American soldier and the critical wounding of two others when a lethal armor-piercing explosive was detonated between an Iraqi Army checkpoint and a police one. Local Iraqis readily testified to American investigators that Iraqi police and Army officers escorted the triggermen and helped plant the bomb. These civilians highlighted their own predicament: had they informed the Americans of the bomb before the incident, the Iraqi Army, the police or the local Shiite militia would have killed their families.

As many grunts will tell you, this is a near-routine event. Reports that a majority of Iraqi Army commanders are now reliable partners can be considered only misleading rhetoric. The truth is that battalion commanders, even if well meaning, have little to no influence over the thousands of obstinate men under them, in an incoherent chain of command, who are really loyal only to their militias..."

Very good op-ed. Click on the link to read it.

Debate Coverage TPM Cafe.

More Crooked GOPers

AmericaBLOG has the rundown.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bush DeFashioned

Think Progress: "Fashion article peeves Bush
. The Washington Post reports, “What really gets George W. Bush riled up? Calling him a fashion victim.” After Marques Harper of the Austin American- Statesman wrote a short style piece critiquing Bush’s choice of clothing when he’s down on the Crawford ranch, noting that lately “he’s opted to look more like ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ than a sweaty, tough ranch hand.” Harper said after the article appeared, the White House called to express its disdain:
Harper received a phone call that morning from White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino, who, Harper told friends, said the president read the article and was unhappy about the way he was portrayed..."

Men who worry about fashion are...

(no, I'm not gonna make it easy. Insert your own list.)

Iranian Guards Threaten US

Iranian Guards vow to 'punch' U.S. - "TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said they would not bow to pressure and threatened to 'punch' the U.S., in their first response to Washington's plan to list them as a terrorist organization, newspapers reported Saturday. art.iran.jpg An Iranian Revolutionary Guard special forces unit takes part in military maneuvers in April 2006.

Local press in the Iranian capital of Tehran quoted Revolutionary Guards leader Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi saying that he could understand Washington's ire toward the group because of their 'leverage' against the U.S.

'America will receive a heavier punch from the guards in the future,' he was quoted as saying in the conservative daily Kayhan. 'We will never remain silent in the face of U.S. pressure and we will use our leverage against them.'

There was no elaboration on what Safavi meant by the punch or the organization's 'leverage...'"

Let me send you guys a smoke signal-- if you do anything violent, you will be playing directly into the hands of the Darth Dick Cheney and his monkey. America's grounds force are weakened; it's naval and air forces are not. Do not give these neocon crazies any excuse.

Daily Show In Iraq

Ron Riggle is the reporter for the upcoming segment, so just to clear up any impending wingnutiness--
Think Progress: "...UPDATE: Riggle, who joined the cast in 2006, is a major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve who served in Liberia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. August 17, 2007 4:41 pm"

Hatch Act Anyone?

"WASHINGTON — Top Commerce and Treasury Departments officials appeared with Republican candidates and doled out millions in federal money in battleground congressional districts and states after receiving White House political briefings detailing GOP election strategy.

Political appointees in the Treasury Department received at least 10 political briefings from July 2001 to August 2006, officials familiar with the meetings said. Their counterparts at the Commerce Department received at least four briefings — all in the election years of 2002, 2004 and 2006..."

Everyone who is surprised by this raise your hand.

Thievery At The Pentagon

Plumbing boss charged Pentagon $1m for two washers | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited: "Plumbers are notorious for excessive bills. But none has come even remotely close to matching an extravagant claim by a South Carolina firm: almost $1m (£500,000) for two metal washers worth 19c each.

Charlene Corley, 47, co-owner of the plumbing and electrical firm C&D Distributors, who supplied parts to the military, is awaiting sentence after pleading guilty yesterday to defrauding the Pentagon. She faces 20 years in jail.

The most expensive washers in history were part of $20.5m the company stole from the Pentagon over the last 10 years. The company shipped plumbing and electrical parts to US bases round the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan..."

Can you imagine what a real effort to find the crooks would uncover?

Union Chief On Workers

John Sweeney: 'What's Wrong with America?' - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...Something is deeply wrong with America today. Working men and women have lost their value to the people who have been running this country for too long. Ruthless CEOs wring working people dry and the neocon ideologues in the White House help them. Our wages are stagnant, our benefits are disappearing, the middle class is shrinking and, for the first time, there's a good chance our children will not be better off than our generation. We're the most productive workers in the world but we have to work more hours, more jobs and send more family members into the workforce just to keep up..."

A passionate post that doesn't answer the question "Which candidate would be most likely to help the working people of America the most?"

Good Question

AMERICAblog: Why Can't Republicans Ever Truly Apologize: "...Did you get that? He meant no offense, harm, or disrespect when he said that the Founding Fathers would have never wanted a Muslim-American elected to high office in America. Then what exactly did he mean? What does he think of the substance of what he said?

Why does the media accept these non-apologies as true apologies. A real apology would be: I was wrong, I was rude, I was offensive, and I'm sorry. In this case, the congressman actually pretty much stood behind what he said, all he's talking about what his 'motivation' in saying it. Well that's nice. But lots of bigotry in America isn't motivated by a desire to be a bigot. It's usually motivated by your sense that you're correct, that you have morality and God and history on your side. Very few people with bigoted views actually intend to be bigots. Usually, they intend to be Godly. But they're still bigots."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Belzer On Biz Prez

Richard Belzer: What would Jesus do? (No, Really) - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...Traditionally the Democratic base had always been the working class, lower middle class, African- Americans, professors, artists and entertainers (the kinds of people Conservatives find to be most annoying and electorally irrelevant). For some surprisingly heartless and what they, I assume, thought was a brilliant way to transform the party into a more 'business' savy entity. This of course required amnesia about the great lesson Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign made clear. Not only did he inspire the traditional base of the party but, people who, after his assassination then supported George Wallace!

What does all this mean? It means that the too clever by half DLC has alienated the party's massive base and never attracted those from the other side: hence we truly have by definition one major party in this country: 'The Business Party.'

It is not impossible to succeed as a social democracy, where business and free enterprise thrive AND not abandon the disenfranchised, poor, sick and elderly. In other words: What would Jesus do?"

Government Is Not Business

Alec Baldwin: Keep Businessmen Out of the White House - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...We do not need another businessman in the White House. We need a leader. A great leader. A man who will give Americans the hope and courage to make the tough choices we face in order to realign our symbiosis with this planet. A man who will redefine what America's priorities will be for the next 50 years. And if not a man who will do all that.....then a woman."

More Fear of Edwards

New Attack on Edwards:
"There's a poll out by the ONE campaign pointing to a new lead by Edwards in Iowa. Everyone following the primary race knows how important this state is to his campaign. So it's not all that shocking that the WSJ goes after him today. As the Times put it, the WSJ "pursues another piece" of the Edwards campaign platform. Digging for dirt is more like it. Unfortunately, the ties come complete with Edwards willing to make good on what went bad. However, this is why the whole where did you get your money argument is not a winner for any presidential campaign candidate. In the absence of public financing the argument between lobbyists and lenders is a loser..."

Diebold Becomes Premier

Crooks and Liars » Diebold Scrubs Wikipedia - Changes Name Of Voting Machine Division
"...It seems Diebold has teamed up with FOXNews in an attempt to re-write history. We have to stay on top of this sort of trickery, especially with the crucial 2008 presidential election on the horizon. Let’s review - Diebold Election Systems is now PREMIER Election Systems..."

Frodo Knows

“An Attempt to Deceive Americans Into Yet Another War” - "Dennis Kucinich may not be a front runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But the congressman from Cleveland has succeeded in distinguishing himself from the other contenders when it comes to speaking those truths that are self-evident. And in an era of mass delusion and denial on the party of leaders in both major political parties, stating the obvious can be a radical act. Such is the case with Kucinich appropriate answer to the latest move by the Bush-Cheney administration to ramp up hostilities with Iran. That move — the unprecedented attempt to label Iran’s 125,000-strong Republican Guard as a “specially designated global terrorist” group — is, as the congressman says “nothing more than an attempt to deceive Americans into yet another war — this time with Iran.” No one who has paid even the slightest attention to the Bush-Cheney administration’s approach to Middle East affairs can doubt that Kucinich is right. Yet, his is a lonely voice of clarity amid the din of Democratic obfuscation that aids and abets this White House’s worst instincts. ““The belligerent Bush Administration is using this pending designation to convince the American public into accepting that a war with Iran is inevitable,” argues Kucinich..."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Some of Us

Fighting For America: The 2008 Prospectus | Redstate: "...Some Liberal Progressives and some of their blog mouthpieces appear to only concern themselves with power and with self-aggrandizement, and they conduct themselves not unlike selfish and spoiled little least in certain circles. They also seem to harbor a near-childlike resentment (with an added pinch of anger and hostility for good measure) for anyone in any positions of authority, and most especially for anyone with whom they disagree. They are NOT after the good of the nation, they are only after the good of themselves. They ARE, however fast BECOMING the nation, in so much as the representatives they pay to put in office have become beholden to their rants and recitations..."

Unlike some GOPers who never lie, cheat, steal, or break any of God's Ten Commandments and Three Thousand Suggestions, liberals and Democrats never join the military and never serve in combat... I. Will. Not. Rant.

Biden's Son To Iraq - CNN Political Ticker Biden's son to be deployed to Iraq «: "(CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told a crowd at the Iowa State Fair Thursday that his son will be deployed to Iraq. Beau Biden, Delaware’s attorney general, is a captain in the Army National Guard. His unit has been notified that it should be prepared to deploy in 2008..."

Hitch Gets Hosed

A. J. Rossmiller eats a sotty sandwich: (Me on) Hitchens on al Qaeda in Iraq - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

Pink Floyd and the GOP

Les Enrag├ę Pink Floyd Political Science University – Part 2: "...Where I want to draw particular emphasis is the riding of the gravy train. This is exactly what the politicians want. An Easy Ride. They consistently prove this by offering platitudes, and mealy mouthed nothingness in terms of positions on real issues. This is my acid test for the difference between a politician and a leader: If there’s a plan about making a plan, it’s a politician you smell. If it’s a bold stake on a position, with only a nod to cost, be it moral or monetary, that’s a leader. I call this the FDR test. You might find that unsettling, and fine. Leaders are constantly unsettled and that’s the mental reference. Hang on here, Pink Floyd is coming back into this mix, but..."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Abortion Question

Suppose abortion is now illegal. A woman has an abortion. A "crime" is committed. How much time does the woman get for having an abortion? How much time does the doctor or coat-hanger commando get? How much time does the father get, if he knew and approved of the abortion? How much time does the father get even if he knew nothing of the abortion? How much time does the driver of the cab that carried the pregnant woman to the clinic get? Do we have different punishments for abortions caused by the actions of rapists and incestuous parents? Or does one size fit all? You know, like our highly successful punishments for drug violations. Surely (surely!) race won't matter, but what about retardation or lunacy? Does that matter?

Crazy. Ok. A robber uses a loaded gun to rob a bank and someone gets killed. Think accessories before and after the fact. Does a cabbie who drives a masked man with a loaded gun to a bank escape blame for the crime? What about the man who sold the gun? If it was a legal sale, say, you know, like in a marriage, is the gun shop owner free of blame? What if the robber told him he was going to rob the bank? If the sale is illegal, is the seller more blameworthy?

The mind starts to reel with, as Spock might note, infinite possibilities. And everywhere Pavlov's lawyers will be salivating.

More On The Draft

AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "...On the subject of the draft I'll just take a page out of Colin Powell's biography : My American Journey ''I particularly condemn the way our political leaders supplied the manpower for that war. The policies - determining who would be drafted and who would be deferred, who would serve and who would escape, who would die and who would live - were an anti-democratic disgrace. I can never forgive a leadership that said in effect: These young men - poorer, less educated, less privileged - are expendable (someone described them as economic cannon fodder), but the rest are too good to risk. I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well-placed and so many professional athletes (who were probably healthier than any of us) managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units. Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to their country.' About his first tenure in the White House: Organisation doesn't really accomplish anything. Plans don't accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don't much matter. Endeavours succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people can you accomplish great deeds. About democracy: democracy did not always function well in the light of day. Democracy is give and take. People have to trade, change, deal, retreat, bend, compromise, as they move from the ideal to the possible. To the uninitiated, the process can be messy, disappointing, even shocking. Compromise can make the participants look manipulative, unprincipled, two faced."

In closing, I am outraged that the same people who did everything in their power to avoid service in Vietnam (while they supported it at the same time) now have found themselves in a position of power only to create a brand new Vietnam of their own.

The only difference is that in Vietnam they had an exit strategy (I got that from a bumper sticker).

John Bruhns
Iraq war veteran
Take A Stand ..."

The Funny of the Day

The Daily Dish
"As the White House enters a critical domestic phase of the war on terror - with a heightened threat environment and the coming report from Gen. David Petraeus on progress in Iraq - Mr. Cheney may be called on to play a more public role. That may seem counterintuitive. If Mr. Cheney's approval ratings are so abysmal, why increase his visibility? The answer is simple: because his low poll numbers are the result of his low profile," - Stephen Hayes, Wall Street Journal.

The Decider Will Decide

LA Times: White House is writing General Petraeus' September progress report on "the surge" in Iraq - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"Incredible. Absolutely incredible. These people have no shame. The "big" report coming this September, the one Bush has been telling us we should wait for before making any decisions about what to do next in Iraq. Well, the White House is writing the frigging report.

From today's Los Angeles Times:
Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government..."

Foxes & Henhouses

Nice overview, with examples, of Fox operatives trying to sanitize entries for various Fox Faves. For students, this entry also helps explain why they aren't usually allowed to use Wikipedia as a source for research papers. Daily Kos: Fox News Scrubs Wikipedia: "...This is hardly all there is, but it’s certainly telling. Someone at Fox News is going online and scrubbing Wikipedia entries to make Fox look better and to attack their political enemies. Perhaps they would claim they’re simply trying to make things fair and balanced, but the rest of us see little more than revisionist history."

First Amendment Arrest (Update Update)

Update: The Asheville Citizen Times (8/15/07) quotes Buncombe County Sheriff Duncan:

"'We have basically done the corrective actions that we’re going to do,' Duncan said. 'We don’t want an incident like this to happen again.'

Duncan would not say what, if any, discipline Deputy Brian Scarborough received. The Sheriff’s Office in response to a public records request released information noting the deputy has had no personnel action since June 13, the date of his employment, and before the July 25 flag arrests..."

The couple arrested in the incident are not happy campers.

For the entire article, go here.

Minor Update: WLOS-TV is reporting now (8/14/07, 11:02 p.m.) that the Sheriff's Department investigation is over and that Deputy Brian Scarborough will remain on the force. No follow-up yet. More details later. You can find also find an update of the "Parkway Gestapo" incident over at Hooligans.

Update: WLOS-TV reports (6:03 pm, 8/2/07) that all charges have been dropped against the Kuhns and that an internal sheriff's department investigation is underway. The Kuhns' neighbors showed their support by flying flags in the distress position. Flag-defiling charge ends in fight, arrests: "ASHEVILLE — A couple who said they were protesting the state of the country by flying the U.S. flag upside down with signs pinned to it found themselves in jail following a scuffle with a deputy Wednesday morning.

Mark and Deborah Kuhn were arrested on two counts of assault on a government employee, resisting arrest and a rarely used charge, desecrating an American flag, all misdemeanors. The Kuhns were released from custody Wednesday afternoon..."

WLOS-TV reports that a neighbor has verified the Kuhns' version of the altercation, which was that Deputy Brian Scarborough cut his hand after breaking a pane of glass in the Kuhns' door. Mark Kuhn had closed the door, refusing Scarborough's request for identification. Scarborough said he needed the identification in order to write the Kuhns a citation for flag desecration and maintains that Mark Kuhn slammed the door on his hand.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Think Progress

The “Half Hour News Hour” is going down. Crocodiles everywhere are weeping; warblers quit warbling; gloom descended on Tinkerbell, and Barry Bonds confessed that O.J. took steroids.

Think Progress: "...TVNewser reports today that the HHNH has been canceled. In a memo to senior producers today, Fox News Corp.’s senior vice president Bill Shine announced:
Joel Surnow and I have mutually decided that we will not continue the Half Hour News Hour beyond its current 15 episode run. The last show will be presented on September 16th.
Shine claimed the reason for the shelving of the show was that Fox is “considering ways to retool the show for future scheduling needs.” He held out the chance that the show would air again: “There is still a chance you will see the program at some point in the future...”"

GOP Pit Polled

Glenn Greenwald - Political Blogs and Opinions - Salon: "After six years of George Bush, right-wing control of Congress, neoconservative dominance, endless liberty-infringement and lawbreaking at home, and the Iraq War, what is the most disliked institution in America?..." Click on the link for the chart.

Rove Gone, 3

TBogg - "...a somewhat popular blogger": "...It is said that every time Karl Rove laughs an angel bursts into flames." Read Mr. Tbogg's post and you'll discover why.

Welcome, Company

What a thrill! Linked by Crooks and Liars. I won't have much today-- posting on the old lunch hour right now-- too much work. Stay a spell if you please, just don't scare off both my readers.

Rove Gone, 2

Talking Points Memo | Frum on Rovism: "...Having said all this, I think there is one other issue about Rove that could use a little more saying. Everyone knows that Rove's popularity in the Republican party has dropped dramatically as President Bush's popularity went into free fall and took much of the GOP with him. But it's more than just that and more than just Iraq, which of course the congressional Republican party supported more or less to a man. There's a distinct and additional level of unpopularity tied to the fact that even as the president's popularity has dropped -- which obviously he and Rove didn't plan or want -- they've basically been indifferent to the fate of the congressional GOP, even the future of the GOP as a whole. Again and again over the last year the White House has had chances to take some of the heat off congressional Republicans -- to ease back on Iraq, to can Alberto Gonzales, to let go or punish this or that crook. And they haven't done one. And that's spawned a level of rage -- though seldom openly expressed -- that in some respects almost rivals that felt by Democrats. As with the country going back seven years now, they've shown little interest in the future fate of the GOP after they leave or even at present unless it bears directly on their ability to protect themselves. In other words, they are now treating the Republican party much as "

Monday, August 13, 2007

Telling Telling-Tale

...or how to spot a prick without a cactus.

The Plank:

"...Anyway, I thought the most interesting anecdote in the article reflected on President Bush, not Rove:

Dick Armey, the House Republican majority leader when Bush took office (and no more a shrinking violet than DeLay), told me a story that captures the exquisite pettiness of most members of Congress and the arrogance that made Bush and Rove so inept at handling them. "For all the years he was president," Armey told me, "Bill Clinton and I had a little thing we'd do where every time I went to the White House, I would take the little name tag they give you and pass it to the president, who, without saying a word, would sign and date it. Bill Clinton and I didn't like each other. He said I was his least-favorite member of Congress. But he knew that when I left his office, the first schoolkid I came across would be given that card, and some kid who had come to Washington with his mama would go home with the president's autograph. I think Clinton thought it was a nice thing to do for some kid, and he was happy to do it." Armey said that when he went to his first meeting in the White House with President Bush, he explained the tradition with Clinton and asked the president if he would care to continue it. "Bush refused to sign the card. Rove, who was sitting across the table, said, 'It would probably wind up on eBay,'" Armey continued.

When I wrote an article several years ago defending Bush hatred, numerous conservative critics were incredulous that I could find the man personally distasteful. Everybody knows Bush is a great guy! This just showed what a crazy liberal I was! But Bush isn't a great guy. He's a jerk."

--Jonathan Chait

Update from comments at C&L

#78 Jay Says:

<“Bush refused to sign the card. Rove, who was sitting across the table, said, ‘It would probably wind up on eBay,’”

Current number of pieces of George Bush autographed memorabilia on E-Bay: 2
Current number of bids on George Bush autographed memorobilia: 0
Highest E-Bay asking price on George Bush Autographed Memorobilia: $0.99

I think that this administration has a slightly inflated sense of self worth. :-p
Shocking! /snark~>

Also, check this comment #90.

Dick Thinks Invasion Is A Bad Idea

Original YouTube title: "Dick Cheney '94: Invading Baghdad Would Create Quagmire"

Rove Gone, 1

From Taylor Marsh--No More Mr. Rove: "..I see a video in my mind when I think of Rove. From his friends in Texas, to his wingnut radio pals and beyond, Rove revving up the machine to do one deed he'll be remembered above all: the swiftboating of a Democratic veteran in a hot presidential race, making sure not even a military man would succeed against The Boss. Sure, the candidate was sometimes his own worst enemy, but that was his problem. Rove intended to take away the heroism, the medals, the myth of the man, whatever it took, even presenting a little Osama - 9/11 mixture right before the vote to nail the election lid on. South Carolina, the sequel, that's Rove's greatest achievement, from McCain to Kerry, two vets down, The Boss stays in the saddle. It also revealed what Republicans really think of veterans, especially those who don't follow the right talking points. Not even a war hero is off limits to Rove and the Bush machine.

Never forget..."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mitt's Vote Costs

Talking Points Memo |: "Mitt Romney got the win he wanted out of the Ames Straw Poll, but it came at a high price -- more than $400 per vote (nearly eight times the cost per vote for second-place finisher Mike Huckabee)..."

From The Dept. of Irony

Gonzales is shaping Iraq's Justice System. Yeah, Alberto Gonzales. - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

Ok, this is like a bad movie. The embattled lying Attorney General flew into Baghdad because, get this -- he's helping with that country's fledgling system of justice. Well, if Gonzales is involved, the Iraqis don't stand a chance. But, let's be real. Gonzales is in Iraq for p.r. reasons and, of course, he's getting the perfunctory briefing from the Iraqi spin machine:

Gonzales got an update from Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and also planned to meet with Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, and other U.S. and Iraqi officials, the statement said.

The Never-Ending Combat

Fatigue cripples US army in Iraq | World | The Observer: "...The Americans he commands, like the other men at Sullivan - a combat outpost in Zafraniya, south east Baghdad - hit their cots when they get in from operations. But even when they wake up there is something tired and groggy about them. They are on duty for five days at a time and off for two days. When they get back to the forward operating base, they do their laundry and sleep and count the days until they will get home. It is an exhaustion that accumulates over the patrols and the rotations, over the multiple deployments, until it all joins up, wiping out any memory of leave or time at home. Until life is nothing but Iraq..."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Liberal Draft

Taylor Marsh sums up my position nicely, though she is certainly not talking about me.

Democrat Taylor Marsh Broadcasts Live Talk Radio and Blogs Politics: "...After George W. Bush's incompetence, aiding and abetted by Republicans, the draft is something I not only think should be brought back, but instituted as part of American policy. Not everyone has to serve in war or on the front lines. But I believe everyone should be made to serve their country in some form. If we are indeed in a generational war with jihadist extremists then we need to prepare the country and the citizenry, but also educate our young people on what this war means to us all.

There is on caveat I'd offer. If we're not set on the heading of perpetual war, but willing to step back and institute musucular diplomacy once again, with all saber rattling and MADD talk off the table (sic). Of course, our military will remain the strongest in the world, even as we set our economic goals towards softer means of moving minds. That would mean economic development in countries where the unemployed male youth population is at all time highs; madrassas replaced by real education; as well as other methods of winning hearts and minds, instead of killing husbands, wives, sons and daughters while setting the world afire with American hatred.

However, in real time, the seriousness of what's going on in Iraq is being missed by a country who hears sound bites, but sees no bodies, blood or the true cost in Iraq. As for the loss of progress in Afghanistan, as well as bin Laden still being alive, as al Qaeda gets stronger in the border areas of Pakistan, few young people even care. A draft would certainly focus everyone's attention. In the circumstances today, I'm for it. Especially for chickenhawks like Mitt Romney who rail about how good the Iraq war is while keeping five, five, sons home riding around in a Winnebago, equating their service to soldiers."

Red Cross Sued By Johnson & Johnson

over the Red Cross symbol. Here: Scrutiny Hooligans

Murder Good...'ll wake us up, but of course, we're dead so I'm not sure how that works. Steve Benen notes that most of the right agrees with the irksome column calling for another 9/11.

Talking Points Memo

"...Everything about this column seems misguided -- the diagnosis of what ails America, the description of the symptoms, the proposed cure. The surprising part of this, however, is that a variety of far-right media outlets seemed to embrace Bykofsky's message. ThinkProgress noted that Drudge seemed to think highly of the piece, conservative radio host Mike Gallagher invited Bykofsky on to his show, and Fox News' John Gibson went so far as to endorse Bykofsky's thesis on the air: "I think it's going to take a lot of dead people to wake America up..."

FOX News and John Edwards

BO just can't figure why Edwards doesn't like Fox News.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Jesus Is Not Pleased

Church Cancels Memorial for Gay Navy Vet - The Huffington Post: "ARLINGTON, Texas — A megachurch canceled a memorial service for a Navy veteran 24 hours before it was to start because the deceased was gay. Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil Howard Sinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister, Kathleen Wright. But after his obituary listed his life partner as one of his survivors, she said, it was called off. 'It's a slap in the face. It's like, 'Oh, we're sorry he died, but he's gay so we can't help you,'' she said Friday..."

Draft Coming Back?

Bush War Adviser Says Draft Worth a Look - The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to a military draft, President Bush's new war adviser said Friday. 'I think it makes sense to certainly consider it,' Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said in an interview with National Public Radio's 'All Things Considered.' 'And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. But ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another,' Lute added in his first interview since he was confirmed by the Senate in June..."

Divided Government

The Daily Dish: "...Earlier, I quoted political scientist Larry Sabato as saying--correctly in my view--that the American people like gridlock. They don't trust either party to run the whole show. And frankly, the 2000-2006 experience of a Republican Congress and a Republican president is strong evidence in favor of divided party control.

Therefore, if Republicans were to run a national campaign reminding voters that the best economic times we've had in living memory came when we had a Democratic president and a Republican Congress, I think it could persuade a lot of voters to split their votes. If, on the other hand, Republicans insist of believing that they can hold the White House and put all their eggs in that basket, then we could have a nightmare scenario where Democrats in Congress are free to enact bad legislation with no restraint."

Uh, that might be difficult since the GOP isn't noted for honesty and that would also mean that a Democrat did something worth while.

Shuler On Spying

Well, at least Shuler thought about it.

E. J. Dionne Jr. - Why the Democrats Caved - "...Several members from swing districts -- including Reps. Heath Shuler of North Carolina and Patrick J. Murphy of Pennsylvania -- expressed openness to having Congress stay in town to fight if important constitutional issues were at stake...."

Huckabee Calls For GOP Honesty

Mike Huckabee, GOP Conscience - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "During the Presidential campaign, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has been a surprisingly honest voice. He criticized his own party for ignoring the personal vices of other candidates (like divorces, affairs et. al), especially since the right attacked Bill Clinton for his personal vices. He made the same argument many of us on the left have made - conservatives are acting like hypocrites.

Former President Bill Clinton could be owed an apology by some Republicans if they don't take character issues in candidates' personal lives seriously in the upcoming presidential election, former Gov. Mike Huckabee says..."

Banging The Drum and The Base

David Sirota: How to End the War? Make GOPers Decide Between Bush and Their Base - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...So here's the concept (which, though I'm not 100 percent sure, I don't think has been tried yet in Congress): How about when Congress reconvenes in September, Democrats bring a bill to the floor of the House and Senate mandating that, say, 25,000 National Guardsmen be taken out of combat in Iraq and be immediately redeployed to guard America's porous domestic borders - both southern and northern? If Democrats wanted to get even more creative, they could additionally mandate that some of these National Guardsmen being redeployed be immediately sent to forest fire emergency zones - many of which are in Republican states right now.

Think this through for a moment. All of a sudden, the illegal-immigration-obsessed Tom Tancredo wing of the Republican Party, which also happens to be the most reflexively pro-war wing of the GOP, would be forced to choose either the Iraq War or beefed up border security. All of a sudden, we would be having a debate about two very real, very pressing priorities, rather than theoreticals and hypotheticals, and we would be discussing exactly how the misuse of our National Guard as a wing of the regular Army harms our ability to deal with the domestic challenges the National Guard was originally established to deal with..."

Idiot Calls For Another 9/11

I hope John Amato will forgive me-- I rarely swipe entire posts. But he captures the rage I felt when I read Byhkofsky's piece, so here goes.

Crooks and Liars » Stu Bykofsky hopes for another terrorist attack on America to bring back the good old days

"Yes folks—as 9/11 approaches, expect more and more of these odious op-eds to be written.

Funny how he fails to point out that America was unified until we were lied to repeatedly by this administration which used charlatans as witnesses. And all the war hawks in our media propped up as much terror as they could articulate so that the country feared a nuclear attack by Saddam more than life itself and we just had no choice but to invade a country that never attacked us. The right wing blogs try to perpetuate this fear every chance they get and like Malkin, they get upset when a bridge collapses in Minesota and the government quickly rules out terrorism….And so it goes…

America’s fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater.

What would sew us back together?

Another 9/11 attack.

The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda.

Is there any doubt they are planning to hit us again?

If it is to be, then let it be. It will take another attack on the homeland to quell the chattering of chipmunks and to restore America’s righteous rage and singular purpose to prevail.

He misses the unity Osama’s attack instilled in our land and what better way to regain those warm and fuzzy jingoistic feelings highlighted by American flags being sold at twenty bucks a pop on street corners like Hollywood Star maps so we could hoist them on our cars. Those were the days. I wonder if Stu will volunteer to be the first person killed in an attack so that in his mind his death will serve the purpose he so longs for… (be gentle) I’m sure Will Bunch can’t be thrilled right now…(h/t Brady)"

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sinking Middle Class

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Hiring an Employee’s Stalker, Dissing Disabled Vets—Bad Bosses Have No Shame: "...Michael Moore’s documentary “SICKO” shows a woman who tells George W. Bush that she’s working three jobs. Bush proffers his standard idiotic grin and says something to the effect: “Isn’t that great?”

No, actually. It isn’t.

Needing to work three jobs isn’t a sign that the economy is thriving because jobs are plentiful (Bush’s interpretation). It’s a sign that new jobs being created do not offer sufficient wages, health care and retirement coverage to support an individual or a family.

There is a tie between BAD bosses and an economy that works against working people. Because when people are so desperate for a job that they literally will risk their lives to keep it, there’s something big time wrong with the system.

It used to be, you worked hard, you had a chance to get ahead—or at least, pay the bills. But since 1973, there’s been a big disconnect between worker productivity and wages. From 1979 to 2004, the percentage of households in the “middle class” category—those with incomes between $30,000 and $90,000—fell from 47 percent to 39 percent..."