Monday, April 30, 2007

Iraqis On Vacation

Crooks and Liars » Iraqi Parliament Planning TWO MONTH Recess: "Yes, you read that correctly. The Iraqi parliament - who our brave young men and women are fighting to protect and preserve - is planning on taking a two month vacation during the months of July and August. This is wrong on so many levels. Exactly what are we fighting for again? This doesn't seem like a government committed to getting things done, despite our huge investment and sacrifice. Absolutely shameful..."

Time Lurching Far Right

'Time' Hires Republican Suck-Up Mark Halperin - Gawker: "Time has just hired former ABC News political director Mark Halperin. So that whole thing where we made fun of Eric Alterman for being all, 'Time magazine is a right-wing talking point rag that only hires Republicans?' Maybe he was right! ..."

Adults Now Hiring At DOJ

TPMmuckraker April 30, 2007 09:23 AM: "You can always count on lawyers to produce the most precise non-denial denials.

The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the Justice Department had decided to return control of the hiring process to career lawyers in the department. Why? Because, a spokesman explained, after four years of political appointees having control of the process, those in charge have finally realized that there's something of an appearance problem..."

Really? No kidding? You think?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Turks Not Protesting US

700,000 Turks protest Islamic-rooted government | The Huffington Post: "ISTANBUL, Turkey — Some 700,000 Turks waving the red national flag flooded central Istanbul on Sunday to demand the resignation of the government, saying the Islamic roots of Turkey's leaders threatened to destroy the country's modern foundations.

Like the protesters _ who gathered for the second large anti-government demonstration in two weeks _ Turkey's powerful secular military has accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of tolerating radical Islamic circles.

'They want to drag Turkey to the dark ages,' said 63-year-old Ahmet Yurdakul, a retired government employee who attended the protest..."

Good. Now don't invade Kurdistan.

Tenet Roasted By Ex-Spooks

NO QUARTER: Letter to George Tenet: "We write to you on the occasion of the release of your book, At the Center of the Storm. You are on the record complaining about the “damage to your reputation”. In our view the damage to your reputation is inconsequential compared to the harm your actions have caused for the U.S. soldiers engaged in combat in Iraq and the national security of the United States. We believe you have a moral obligation to return the Medal of Freedom you received from President George Bush. We also call for you to dedicate a significant percentage of the royalties from your book to the U.S. soldiers and their families who have been killed and wounded in Iraq..."

This is iceberg-tip of a mountain of anger. Full text at the link.

Katrina Aid Lost

The Modern Day Prophet: Stubborn Incompetance! US Rejected Allies Assistance During Katrina Incident!

"Now Almost Two Years of the Katrina Incident the Washington Post found out that Britain, Canada, and Israel offered aid and manpower to aid America of the disaster. The US, instead of allowing the assistance, turned them all down..."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Daily Flashback

Clickthe link for a bit dated, but still revealing, list of the major crooks in the Bushland. TPMmuckraker December 4, 2006 07:11 PM Our Great List of Scandalized Administration Officials

Brats In Charge

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Brain-Dead Ozymandias: "...[Bush] He doesn't think he'll pay a price because he and his inner circle have lived very sheltered lives. That platinum-plated cocooning and lack of real-world hardening (does anyone think that these people could run a drugstore, much less the country, without either serious cheating and/or their mommies and daddies standing ready to bail them out by any means necessary?) has made them incapable of understanding just how badly off they are.

Bush and his advisors are fifteen-year-old trust-fund babies in the bodies of mature men and women. They never have had to face, on a deep and personal level, the consequences of their actions; their mommies and daddies (and/or the friends of their mommies and daddies) have always been around to bail them out. Now the kids may resent this, and may even try (as Bush has tried for all his life, with his rejecting of the advice of his daddy's friends in the Iraq Study Group being just his most recent bit of adolescent rebellion) to pretend that they don't need their parents' or their parents' friends' help, but they wouldn't be where they are without it. As befits their eternal immaturity and combined dependence on and rebellion against their parents, their political philosophy is nothing more than a raised middle finger to everything that is espoused by anyone who might try to make them operate under any sort of restraint..."

Defense Delayed?

Armored Vehicles for Iraq May Be Delayed | The Huffington Post

Don't veto, George.

Edwards on Terror

Edwards on 'Global War on Terror' (Taylor Marsh):

"Edwards aide David Ginsberg confirmed that the former North Carolina senator had not raised his hand in response to Brian Williams' question,'Do you believe there is such a thing as a global war on terror?'

He also noted that Edwards elaborated later in the debate.

'I believe -- and this goes to the question you asked earlier, just a few minutes ago -- global war on terror. I think there are dangerous people and dangerous leaders in the world that America must deal with and deal with strongly, but we have more tools available to us than bombs. And America needs to use the tools that are available to them so that these people who are sitting on the fence, who terrorists are trying to recruit, the next generation, get pushed to our side, not to the other side. We've had no long-term strategy, and we need one, and I will provide one...'"

Rove Greeted By Protesters

ABC 13:

...for a speech in Western North Carolina. More later.
Update: Scrutiny Hooligans has the definitive post.

Invasion Always Goal of Administration

Bush is changing his Iraq talking points. "Progress" is out. - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"...In today's Washington Post, we see further evidence that Iraq was always an obsession of the Bush administration:
White House and Pentagon officials, and particularly Vice President Cheney, were determined to attack Iraq from the first days of the Bush administration, long before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and repeatedly stretched available intelligence to build support for the war, according to a new book by former CIA director George J. Tenet.
From the first days, invading Iraq was in the cards. And, the current situation is what they've given us...."

Intel Committee Iraq Truth

Crooks and Liars » Sen. Durbin Drops Bombshells on the Senate Floor

Durbin notes that the Senate Intelligence was being told one thing, while the public was being told another during the pre-invasion PR blitz. Click the link for the video.

Senate Protesters Arrested

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hypocrites and Hookers

Bush official who promoted abstinence and denounced condoms resigns -- after admitting he used "D.C. Madam's" escort service - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"...Today, ABC News reported that the married Mr. Tobias resigned from his post as Deputy Secretary of State after admitting he was a customer of a DC escort service
Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias submitted his resignation Friday, one day after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation. Tobias, 65, Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), had previously served as the Ambassador for the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief.
In a Ted Haggard-like admission, Tobias said he only got "massages."

Abstinence is for the little people, not the loyal Bushies. They don't have to practice what they preach.'"

GOP Gets Another Media Pass

Media, Right Wing Silent On Romney's Osama Gaffe | TPMCafe: "Yesterday we flagged an Associated Press story quoting Mitt Romney saying the following about Osama Bin Laden: 'It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.'

We noted yesterday that such a quote coming from a Democrat would have been broadly covered by the big news organizations and probably would have triggered a major outcry.

Curiously, though, Romney's quote has been met with near-total silence..."

The buck is always the bottom line with these guys...

General Duty

The following is taken from a reader response to a post over at Sullivan's. The post in question concerned a "scathing" combat journal that detailed various failures of leadership in Iraq. The bold is mine

The Daily Dish: "The debate is whether or not it is proper for a sitting general officer - whether or not he is charged with the responsiblity - to speak out when he is ordered to execute plans he knows full well may be either poorly planned, under-manned, poorly equipped, or dangerously over-reaching. The argument among many in the civilian leadership - both in and outside of the Pentagon - is that they should remain quiet, salute smartly, and simply execute the orders they are given ... and that to do otherwise is to be disloyal, to be laying the groundwork for a military coup. Others though, believe that they are indeed charged with presenting their long-studied, long-prepared-for alternative points of view. Points of view which are based upon an adult lifetime of measured responses and reason."

Colin Powell had absolutely no problem undermining Bill Clinton. I recall him approaching Congress to keep Clinton from equalizing rights for gay servicemen. Apparently, there are different standards when Democrats are president. Regardless, the thesis that our generals, with a few exceptions, failed us and our country by allowing Commander Codpiece to strut into war is correct.

Teacher Told Not To Teach?

School newspaper editorial prompts teacher transfer - "WOODBURN, Indiana (AP) -- A high school teacher who faced losing her job after a student newspaper published an editorial advocating tolerance of gays can continue teaching at another school.

Amy Sorrell, 30, reached an agreement that allows her to be transferred to another high school to teach English, said her attorney, Patrick Proctor.

'The school administration has said in no uncertain terms that she's not going to be given a journalism position,' Proctor said.

Sorrell, who had been an English and journalism instructor at Woodlan Junior-Senior High School, was placed on paid leave March 19, two months after an editorial advocating tolerance of homosexuals ran in Woodlan's student newspaper, The Tomahawk. Sorrell had been the newspaper's adviser..."

Ignorant Is Skin Deep...

...but stupid goes all the way to the bone.

Think Progress » Fox News Sinks To New Low, Repeatedly Reports Parody Story As Actual News: "On Tuesday, Fox News morning show “Fox & Friends” aired at least eight segments on a purported “news” story that was actually a parody article written by a publication similar to The Onion."

Imus Moment

Crooks and Liars » BREAKING: Limbaugh’s “Barack the Magic Negro,” on-air song has workers up in arms.


Leading The Revolt

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » The Democratic Candidates Debate: "...Americans are angry, deeply angry at the Bush/Cheney regime. If we are to regain the promise of the American experiment, and regain respect and credibility in the world, the next President will need to be wise enough to channel the nation’s anger about that betrayal in a constructive way, and this will not be easy. He or she will need to explain to the American people that we came close to losing our country to a radical group that included extreme ideologues, outright crooks and religious charlatans, that the moral corruption invaded virtually every aspect of the federal government, and that if the country is to regain its stature and confront any of the major problems we are facing, the first priority will be to clean house — to root out the corruption and ideologues. And part of the moral corruption was the willingness to pander to religious extremism and let it gain an undue influence over government. Where is the leader who can both clean house and call out the scoundels, and then reunite the country?"...

Getting Busted By Congress

Why Congress has the power to make arrests. - By Josh Chafetz - Slate Magazine: "...Federal law can allow the executive to punish disobedience to Congress, but it cannot take away Congress' own punishment powers. Back in 1833, Justice Joseph Story said those powers were utterly necessary 'for either house to perform its constitutional functions,' a conclusion also reached by the Supreme Court as a whole in 1821. Once a house of Congress finds someone in contempt, it can order its sergeant to go after him. It's really that simple.

And that's as it should be: As the House of Commons understood when it nabbed Ferrers on its own, and as Congress understood when it scooped up Sam Houston, accepting help from the executive means subordination to the executive. The legislature can least afford this when it is the executive that is under investigation. The sergeants of the houses of Congress already have all the power they need. Rove, Rice, Miers—Congress, go get 'em!"

Bad People Food Surprise

Shocking revelation - tainted pigs entered human food supply - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"Who didn't see this one coming? The FDA "was not sure" if the pigs had been sold and eaten by humans but just as they knew about the E. Coli spinach years ago, just as they knew about the peanut butter problems well before they went public, they probably knew about this as well. It's impossible to have any confidence at all with the FDA since decisions are made for political reasons instead of safety reasons. Let the GOP goons who created this monster be the food testers for the country and then let's see how fast the system changes..."

Bomb: Not Eric. Muslims?

Bomb found outside Texas abortion clinic | US News | "AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Authorities on Thursday confirmed they had found an unexploded bomb outside an abortion clinic in the state's capital.

The device, about the size of a piece of carry-on luggage, was discovered on Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot of the Austin Women's Health Center, said David Carter, assistant chief of the Austin Police Department..."

Where's the panic? Why aren't we at code nuclear? Where's the National Guard? When will Bush be on the toob? Oh, wait. That's ok. That bomb may kill Democrats. Move along. Nothing to see.

Mitchell Wanks

Andrea Mitchell On Gravel: "He Is A Radical...He Puts The Rest Of Them On The Spot, And I Think It's Terrific." | The Huffington Post

Thursday, April 26, 2007

With Scarborough

The Blog | Joe Scarborough: Pity Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama | The Huffington Post: "With 973 Democratic candidates jammed onto a small stage tonight, there will be little chance for the frontrunners to 'win' this first presidential debate. But with a gaggle of pundits and talking heads hiding behind every palmetto tree in South Carolina, expect either Hillary or Barack to be declared the big, fat loser. Somehow, someway, some pundit will decide that one of these senators failed to meet the high expectations placed upon them -- most likely -- by the same pundits calling them failures..."

I've been agreeing a lot with Joe lately. I'm worried about me.

Media Uproar

WorkingForChange: Washington Reporters In Meltdown, Damage-Control Freak Out Mode

"In the lead up to and wake of Bill Moyers' much-anticipated mega-dunk on the Washington press corps this week, we are seeing the ugliest side of Beltway culture - the meltdown, damage-control freak out. Only what's new is that instead of politicians melting down, it's reporters themselves. And never underestimate the desperation that comes when Establishment Washington unifies to try to defend itself..."

Carlson Thinks We're Kids!

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog: "The bow tie may be gone, but the effects it had cutting off the oxygen supply to his head linger:

H]e's claiming that bloggers aren't qualified to choose who's the next President. He said, 'how can a bunch of pre-pubescent kids living in their mom's basement eating ice-cream sandwiches decide who's the next President'?

From the 2006 Blogads readership survey :

The median political blog reader is a 43 year old man with an annual family income of $80,000. He reads 6 blogs a day for 10 hours a week. 39% have post-graduate degrees. 70% have contributed to a campaign.

These stereotypes persist because people like Tucker Carlson are just too stupid and lazy to check their facts. He just continues to be bad for America."

It seems like only yesterday, when I was living in Mom's basement. Oh, wait. We didn't have a basement. We lived in a trailer.

Tenet Shafted?

Tenet: "Slam Dunk" Comment Misused, Ex-CIA Director Explains Phrase He Says Bush Administration Has Dishonorably Clung To - CBS News.

Click on the link and decide.

What's Important: MoDo Hair Edition

Daily Howler: At first, we were drawn to Gregory's world by those Nantucket nuptials

"...She’s one of our most influential pundits. And needless to say, she quickly began to recite the Bush camp’s jibes. Darlings, it was simply delicious! Indeed, this sort of thing is right up her alley; she has trafficked in such mindless drivel for year after year after year. How big a fool is Maureen Dowd? She was still reciting the “Breck Girl” insult in the column she wrote last Saturday! (See THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/23/07.) You know? The column where she reinvented (lied about) basic facts to help you swallow her nonsense?

But then, Dowd is part of our dumbest professional cohort—she’s one of our millionaire pundits. She’s vastly overpaid and over-praised—and she’s dumb as a bunch of old rocks. This morning, a rational person from out in the world commented on her vast dumbness:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (4/24/07): While Maureen Dowd hints at hypocrisy by denouncing presidential candidates for building fancy houses or spending big money on haircuts, we should all remember how weak the connection is between personal wealth and public policy.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was among our richest presidents. He wore elegant suits, lived in the mega-mansion of Hyde Park, and was no stranger to the social life of the richest in the nation—during the depths of the Depression. Yet no president before him and none since have done as much for the poor, the hungry, the neglected.

What mattered then, and what matters now, is what the president does for the people. The rest is a monumental distraction.

Katherine S. Newman
Princeton, N.J., April 21, 2007
The writer is a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University.

We agree with every word..."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Edwards To Rudy

Edwards To Rudy: A Democratic President Will Actually Keep America Safer | TPMCafe: " 'Rudy Giuliani's suggestion that there is some superior 'Republican' way to fight terrorism is both divisive and plain wrong. He knows better. That's not the kind of leadership he offered in the days immediately after 9/11, and it's not the kind of leadership any American should be offering now.

'As far as the facts are concerned, the current Republican administration led us into a war in Iraq that has made us less safe and undermined the fight against al Qaeda. If that's the 'Republican' way to fight terror, Giuliani should know that the American people are looking for a better plan. That's just one more reason why this election is so important; we need to elect a Democratic president who will end the disastrous diversion of the war in Iraq.'"

Cheery Malkin

Tbogg might have some fun with this one.

The Horror

Read it at your own risk.

The Blog | Jeffrey Feldman: A Corpse in a Cesspool | The Huffington Post

The Other Aliens

The Raw Story | Planet find gets British bookies scared of aliens: "British bookmakers wasted no time slashing the odds on aliens being discovered after astronomers announced Wednesday that they had discovered an Earth-like planet.

William Hill cut the odds on proving the existence of extra-terrestrial life from 1,000-1 to 100-1..."

The Daily Flashback

This is from December of 2002. Might a theme be at work here.

Bush's Suits Cost $2,000 to $14,000 - BuzzFlash Reader Commentary: "A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY

Here's some trivia for you I saw on the internet. While the press focuses on how much Sen. Kerry's haircuts cost, check out how much President Bush's suits cost. Certainly, if Kerry's haircuts are a story, doesn't this deserve a mention if it's true?


- 'But Bush's past style lapses are forgivable because, since his inauguration he's been wearing some of the best tailored garments -- Oxxford suits.'

- 'This guiding principle ensures Oxxford continues to create top-notch garments for a price --$2,000 to $14,000 --that loyal customers are willing to pay.'

- 'Mr. Bush was so pleased with the fit of his tuxedo, suit, and topcoat and trousers that he immediately ordered six more garments.'"

If you care, check this very interesting post about the Bush dude ranch and his cult neighbors.

Laura Agonistes

Laura Bush wants you to know that when it comes to Iraq, no one is suffering more than the First Couple. No one. - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Listen, you Americans, Laura Bush wants you to know the President is suffering over Iraq. In fact, Laura told Anne Curry on the Today Show, that the American people need to know that 'no one is suffers more than their President and I do.' No one? She's as delusional as her husband. Of course, her husband is the person who caused the suffering -- and is the one person who can end it..."


MoDo Roast Continues, II

TAPPED: "...Since then, Dowd has called John Edwards 'Breck Girl' in five separate columns.

The idea that the Democrat is weak, effeminate, and just plain girly is more than just the attack the Republicans will use against Edwards, it's the attack they have used against every Democratic presidential candidate since 1968. It is the essence of Republican presidential politics, the plea to white men that if they vote Democratic, people might think they're light in the loafers. And it works because of the enthusiastic cooperation of commentators like Maureen Dowd, queen of the Heathers, casting her lighting bolts of snide psycho-sexual humiliation down on anyone who fails to win her favor. Quite worthy of the Times op-ed page, the most valuable piece of real estate in the pundit universe, don't you think?"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Another Hour, Another Crook

Rep. Renzi steps down from House panels - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON - An Arizona congressman temporarily stepped down from two more House committees on Tuesday, less than a week after the FBI raided his wife's insurance business.

Rep. Rick Renzi (news, bio, voting record) announced in a statement Tuesday that he was taking a leave of absence from the House Financial Services and Natural Resources committees. He stepped down from the House Intelligence Committee last week..."

The Air Force Ground War

Air Force Pinched by Iraq Ground War | The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — The Air Force's top general expressed frustration on Tuesday with the reassignment of troops under his command to ground jobs for which they were not trained, ranging from guarding prisoners to driving trucks and typing..."

One of his complaints was an Air Force surgeon assigned to typing duties.

Little Equals Assisted Suicide

MediaBloodhound: The Wounded-Courier: Little Sent Into Dinner Without Protective Humor: "WASHINGTON – In another blow to President Bush’s image as Commander-in-Chief, comedian/impressionist Rich Little was sent into the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner without sufficient protective humor..."

Don't have fluids in yer pie-hole when ye click this link. (The comments are a major hoot, too)

Another Day, Another Crook

TPMmuckraker April 23, 2007 04:09 PM: "Yet another shoe drops in the Jack Abramoff investigation. A former aide to Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Mark Zachares, looks set to plead guilty to corruption charges..."

Top 10 Bush Moments

Letterman delivers...

Rate Hike Blues

Take Action: Save Small and Independent Publishers: "Postal regulators have accepted a proposal from media giant Time Warner that would stifle small and independent publishers in America. The plan unfairly burdens smaller publishers with higher postage rates while locking in special privileges for bigger media companies.

In establishing the U.S. postal system, the nation's founders wanted to ensure that a diversity of viewpoints were available to 'the whole mass of the people.' Time Warner's rate increase reverses this egalitarian ideal and threatens the marketplace of ideas on which our democracy depends.

It's time stand up for independent media. Demand that Congress step in to stop the unfair rate hikes. Sign the letter below to alert Congress and put the Postal Board of Governors on notice."

If Time-Warner is for it, I'm against it.

The Daily Flashback: McGovern Edition

George McGovern: Cheney is wrong about me, wrong about war - Los Angeles Times: "...In the war of my youth, World War II, I volunteered for military service at the age of 19 and flew 35 combat missions, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross as the pilot of a B-24 bomber. By contrast, in the war of his youth, the Vietnam War, Cheney got five deferments and has never seen a day of combat — a record matched by President Bush..."

Rove Investigation?

Low-key office launches high-profile inquiry - Los Angeles Times: "WASHINGTON — Most of the time, an obscure federal investigative unit known as the Office of Special Counsel confines itself to monitoring the activities of relatively low-level government employees, stepping in with reprimands and other routine administrative actions for such offenses as discriminating against military personnel or engaging in prohibited political activities.

But the Office of Special Counsel is preparing to jump into one of the most sensitive and potentially explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove..."

Monday, April 23, 2007

If You're Tired of Bush, Honk... - CNN Political Ticker: "WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former President George Bush told CNN's Larry King Monday that the electorate may be experiencing 'Bush fatigue...'"

Gee. You think.

Honors For Fallen Troops

Why don't our flags fly at half-staff for our fallen troops? - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth
This US soldier is right.

"...Why do we fly the flag at half-staff for the VA Tech victims, for deceased US Senators and judges, but not for our soldiers fallen in war?
A U.S. Army sergeant complained in a rare opinion article that the U.S. flag flew at half-staff last week at the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan for those killed at Virginia Tech, but the same honor is not given to fallen U.S. troops here and in Iraq.

In the article issued Monday by the public affairs office at Bagram military base north of Kabul, Sgt. Jim Wilt lamented that his comrades' deaths have become a mere blip on the TV screen, lacking the "shock factor" to be honored by the flag as the deaths at Virginia Tech were.

"I find it ironic that the flags were flown at half-staff for the young men and women who were killed at VT, yet it is never lowered for the death of a U.S. service member," Wilt wrote.
We should pass legislation requiring the flags to fly at half-staff for 24 hours each time a US soldier is killed during war time. Is that too much a sacrifice for us to make, considering the ultimate sacrifice we ask of our soldiers? Yes, every day we lose scores of soldiers in Iraq, and thus it means our flags would likely fly at half-staff every day until the war in Iraq is over. But what better way to honor the brave Americans service members who gave their lives for their country? Are we to punish them, refuse to honor them, simply because too many of them have given their lives for us? The magnitude of their numbers is all the more reason to honor them, not shun them..."

Secret Servers

AlterNet: Network Hosting Attorney Scandal E-Mails Also Hosted Ohio's 2004 Election Results: "Did the most powerful Republicans in America have the computer capacity, software skills and electronic infrastructure in place on Election Night 2004 to tamper with the Ohio results to ensure George W. Bush's re-election?

The answer appears to be yes. There is more than ample documentation to show that on Election Night 2004, Ohio's 'official' Secretary of State website -- which gave the world the presidential election results -- was redirected from an Ohio government server to a group of servers that contain scores of Republican web sites, including the secret White House e-mail accounts that have emerged in the scandal surrounding Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's firing of eight federal prosecutors..."

The Daily Flashback

Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq - "...Many of those chosen by O'Beirne's office to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq's government from April 2003 to June 2004, lacked vital skills and experience. A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance -- but had applied for a White House job -- was sent to reopen Baghdad's stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget, even though they didn't have a background in accounting.

The decision to send the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest is now regarded by many people involved in the 3 1/2 -year effort to stabilize and rebuild Iraq as one of the Bush administration's gravest errors. Many of those selected because of their political fidelity spent their time trying to impose a conservative agenda on the postwar occupation, which sidetracked more important reconstruction efforts and squandered goodwill among the Iraqi people, according to many people who participated in the reconstruction effort..."

Reid Rocks

Harry Reid and Diogenes - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "We've had six long years of a president who lies. Fourteen years of a Congress that thought its only job was to rubber stamp the interests of its party and its base, be they corporations or far-right extremists. That's why Harry Reid is such a welcome change. The man actually speaks his mind, yes - but what makes Reid exceptional is far more than that. Reid is willing to talk about the hard issues. Honestly, frankly, without any sugar coating, and with intelligence. That's a rarity in Washington, from either political party.

And that's why Harry Reid scares the hell out of the Republicans. How many politicians in a position of leadership - the leader of the Senate majority, mind you - would have the courage to admit what everyone knows, but everyone fears to admit: that the war in Iraq is over, Bush has lost. That the war is lost is just not something you say. Yes, it's honest. But far too often politicians fear that the American people don't want honesty, can't handle honesty. From Social Security to Iraq, politicians fear that if they tell the American people how bad the situation really is - i.e., the truth - the American people will respond to the bad news by killing the messenger because they can't handle the truth..."

MoDo Roast Continues

Following is a sample of high-snark. Click the link for the full treatment.

The Egalitarian Bookworm (Chick?)...: Dowdy and the Patriarchy: A Match Made in Heaven: "...But guess what? The guy Dowdy has referred to as 'The Breck Girl' five-plus times got a pricey haircut because image matters now. It matters a whole lot--thanks to none other than, you guessed it, Dowdy and her ilk. You see, Dowdy was more into in Kerry's windsurfing than Bush's windbagging. She cared more about Al Gore's Earth tones than his Earth-friendly strategy, was more interested Hillary's shrewish image than her shrewd understanding of policy. Yup, it's true. Hil's a wonk. She certainly wouldn't know what to talk about with Michi and Alessandera around Cosmos and a rerun of Sex and the City. But would Hil know how to run the country? Let's not be ridiculous. Dowdy doesn't really care! She's a 'color' columnist, remember?..."

skippy on haircuts

(Klein flogged Edwards for getting a haircut and getting caught.)

skippy the bush kangaroo: ezra klein's an idiot: "'s what we think edwards (and ezra) should say about the haircut and to ms. dowd:

you're not a serious person. that's fine for you - you can afford to be. and maybe if it were the 2000 election we all could afford your frivolousness. but it's not 2000. the republicans have destroyed the military and our international standing. they are sleeping through the last years in which we can do something about climate crisis. they have no response to the health care crisis that is eviscerating our medical system. and their calls for education reform look to be nothing more than a way to rip off taxpayer dollars.

i don't know or care where ms. dowd gets her haircuts or how much she pays for them. most americans who are concerned about the critical questions that face them and face our country don't give an airborn fornacative moment about mine. ms. dowd and her ilk think talking about my haircut is some fancy way to trash me. i think it shows how little they care about, and how little they're willing to offer to a conversation about the best way to turn our country around. and since i believe that's the conversation we should be having, that is the last thing i'm going to say to ms. down, or anyone, about my grooming habits..."


Bad Justice

The Blog | Barry Scheck: On the 200th DNA Exoneration in the U.S. | The Huffington Post: "Jerry Miller was 22 years old when he was arrested and charged with a brutal rape, robbery and kidnapping. He was convicted and sentenced to 45 years in prison. Today, 26 years later, Jerry Miller will be exonerated because DNA testing proves what he said all along - that he is innocent.

Jerry is 48 years old now. He has lost virtually his entire adult life to a wrongful conviction. And he is the 200th person in the United States who has been exonerated through DNA evidence..."

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Toad Flashbacks

Think Progress: "Gingrich has a history of spinning tragedy for ideological and partisan gain.

- In 1994, after Susan Smith confessed to drowning her two children in South Carolina, Gingrich quickly blamed liberals, saying the only way to avoid similar future incidents was “to vote Republican.”

- After former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) was forced to resign over his sexually inappropriate behavior towards House pages, Gingrich declared that conservatives didn’t act to stop Foley because they “would have been accused of gay bashing” by liberals.

- At the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year, Gingrich blamed the residents of New Orleans’ 9th ward for “a failure of citizenship,” by being “so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn’t get out of the way of a hurricane.”

In Gingrich’s mind, anything bad that happens can always be traced back to the culture created by liberals."

Byrd On Funding

The Blog | Sen. Robert Byrd: Time for the White House to Stop the Nonsense and Work with Congress | The Huffington Post: "...And Congress will craft a responsible strategy for the Iraqis to take control of their own nation. Congress will insist on accountability and responsibility both from the Bush Administration and the Iraqi government.

These priorities, the White House claims, are extraneous and wasteful. I simply cannot understand why the President is so eager to send endless billions of taxpayer dollars to rebuild Baghdad, yet is unwilling to fund priorities here at home, such as rebuilding the Gulf Coast or providing first-class health care for our veterans and our troops returning home from war..."

More Lazy Journalism

Maureen Dowd Devotes Whole Column To Edwards' Hair | TPMCafe: "As we've griped far too many times, your pundits and commentators simply refuse to acknowledge their own role in shaping public perceptions of politicians. Case in point: Maureen Dowd, who devotes an entire column today to John Edwards' hair..."

Guess talking about Democratic hair is more uplifting and more in tune with the national yen for leadership than, say, talking about Republican pubic hair. When you got nuthin', go for nuthin'.

The Daily Flashback:Gun Control Edition

The Timothy McVeigh Story: The Oklahoma Bomber - The Crime Library - The Crime library

"On September 13, 1994 the gun shows McVeigh attended had become somber occasions. New laws had been passed to stop the manufacture of many types of weaponry, including a range of semi-automatic rifles and handguns. Gun traders and buyers alike were outraged to learn the government was controlling their "right to bear arms".

To McVeigh, it also meant his livelihood was endangered. He had been buying weapons under his own name and charging a brokerage fee to other buyers those who didn't want their names on government forms.

Paranoia rose on rumors that owners would be subject to surprise searches of their homes and businesses. McVeigh decided that action could no longer be postponed. From the Nichols home in Marion, Kansas, he wrote Fortier. He insisted the time had come for action, and he wanted Fortier to join him and Terry Nichols in their protest. Imitating The Turner Diaries, they planned to blow up a federal building. McVeigh cautioned Fortier against telling his wife Lori an instruction Fortier ignored..."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Stewart But Not Congress

Waxman Threatens to Subpoena Card, Rice | The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — If President Bush's former chief of staff can chat about the identifying of CIA agent Valerie Plame on Jon Stewart's comedy show, he can talk about it to the House oversight committee, the panel's chairman said Friday. If Andy Card refuses, the panel will vote Wednesday on whether to compel his testimony with a subpoena, said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

White House Counsel Fred Fielding has declined to let Card testify..."

Media and Best Laid Plans

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog: "...Meanwhile, the Democrats — whose policy proposals are more popular with Americans than are Bush's — are described with all manner of negative adjectives and modifiers, and the media gleefully aids and abets the Republicans in crafting bogus stories about Democrats like Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

This is why it's so gratifying to see that, after three solid weeks of nearly-nonstop slimestorming by the GOP/Media Complex, Speaker Pelosi's ratings have actually gone up. (Hat tip to Atrios.) We've also found that all BushCo's constant harping on Iraq has done is reinforce it with Americans (who do not like this war and occupation) that the Democrats are the ones trying to bring the troops home. Meanwhile, the war profiteer Republican congresscritters like Duke Cunningham and Rick Renzi are being caught, one by one — Duke's good buddy John Doolittle's next in line for an orange jumpsuit, methinks (that is, if Renzi doesn't elbow in front of him in line)..."

GOP Beef

E. coli beef recalled weeks after illness - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"What would America do without quality food safety from the USDA? Please remember to thank Newt Gingrich and the GOP congress who helped make it all possible, unburdening industry from the troubles of regulation and letting the free market decide when to recall food that causes sickness and even death. After all, why should consumers have the right to know if the food they eat is going to cause liver failure? Just let it work through the system and add the problems to a footnote in a database that's filed somewhere obscure, never to be reviewed again."

Disability Issues For Vets Grow

Ok. Here we go again with another round of the government screwing returning, wounded vets. Following is a small excerpt from this infuriating article. Click on the link to read the whole article-- if your blood pressure can stand it.

NPR : Injured Troops Struggle to Get Health Care: "The VA has been more generous than the Army all around. It rated Ngo as 100 percent disabled compared with the Army's 10 percent rating.

The VA gives him a monthly disability check, which helps with his finances; his head injury and post-traumatic stress disorder have prevented Ngo from holding on to even a simple job since he returned home.

Ngo's mother, Hong Wyberg, says the Army gives soldiers such as her son low disability ratings to save money..."


First Draft: Your President Speaks!: "...I realized that there is an enemy of the United States that is active and is lethal. At further study of that enemy, I realized that they share an ideology, that these weren't -- that the -- and when you really think about it, the September the 11th attack was not the first attack..."

Click the link for more than you can stand.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow

Iowa Likes Giuliani, Edwards in 2008: Angus Reid Global Monitor: "...In the sample of Democratic Party supporters, former North Carolina senator John Edwards is first with 27 per cent, followed by Illinois senator Barack Obama with 20 per cent, and New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton with 19 per cent. Support is lower for Delaware senator Joe Biden, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, retired general Wesley Clark, Connecticut senator Chris Dodd, and Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich..."


Vermont Senate adopts resolution seeking impeachment of Bush, Cheney | The Huffington Post: "MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont senators voted Friday to call for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, saying their actions have raised 'serious questions of constitutionality.'

The nonbinding resolution was approved 16-9 without debate _ all six Republicans in the chamber at the time and three Democrats voted against it..."

Playing With Your Navel

Crunchy Con: Cho and the moral imagination - Rod Dreher, Conservative blog, Beliefnet conservative politics and religion blog: "...This is what you get too from a society that tolerates all manner of lurid, explicit violence in its visual art, and forbids nothing except the impulse to forbid. I don't think for a minute that everyone who watches slasher films, or who plays violent video games, or who reads sadistic novels, or who listens to violent music, will turn out to be Klebold, Harris or Cho. Clearly that's not the case, and it would be stupid to claim that. But when we have no taboos on the nihilistic and violent in our art, when we live in a culture in which hearts and minds marinate in this acid, we lose our ability to recognize the abnormal and the threatening. We become desensitized to the culture of death. By numbing our own collective moral imagination, we prepare the way for our own perishing."

My mom told me it was comic books...

Here We Go Again, Again

FBI Raids Renzi Family Business; Congressman Leaves Intelligence Panel: "In a second blow to House Republicans this week, the FBI raided a business tied to the family of Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) Thursday afternoon as part of an ongoing investigation into the three-term lawmaker."

Ghost Ship

'Ghost yacht' found floating off Great Barrier Reef | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited: "
Rescuers in Australia are trying to solve the mystery of a yacht found drifting in calm waters off the Great Barrier Reef with food on the table, computers and engine running, but no sign of the three-man crew..."

Reminds me of U.S. foreign policy...

First Amendment Blues

The Warrior Wimps « The Opinion Mill: "Strange, isn’t it, how the Republicans who spend their days calling liberals and Democrats a bunch of wimps turn into a clutch of shivering mice at the thought of facing left-wing protestors?

Day in, day out, winger commentators are denouncing lefties as a bunch of white wine and Brie scarfing pantywaists who can’t be trusted to carry out a decent war. But when these stalwart warriors get together for their quadrennial gathering of the wingnut flock, their terror of the pantywaists is such that they can hardly bring themselves to fly in unless the gathering place is surrounded by platoons of cops and miles of chain-link fence.

Mike Bloomberg’s complicity in the abuse of protestors during the 2004 GOP national convention in New York is a deep stain on what would otherwise be considered a pretty good record as mayor. And now it turns out that St. Paul is getting ready to spend over $4 million on security measures so the Spartan warriors of the GOP won’t soil their loincloths at the sight of some Code Pink ladies waving signs..."

Gonzo and the NYT

Gonzales v. Gonzales - New York Times: "If Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had gone to the Senate yesterday to convince the world that he ought to be fired, it’s hard to imagine how he could have done a better job, short of simply admitting the obvious: that the firing of eight United States attorneys was a partisan purge.

Mr. Gonzales came across as a dull-witted apparatchik incapable of running one of the most important departments in the executive branch..."

It's Over

Harry Reid: The war is lost - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "I wrote this months ago, Harry Reid just said it today. Either way, it's what the overwhelming majority of Americans already know in their hearts - George Bush lost the war in Iraq a long time ago. And it does no one any favors - neither our troops, their families, nor any other American who cares about the future of our country - to pretend otherwise. The far-right extremists currently in control of the Republican party don't care about doing the right thing, and certainly don't care about our troops - as we witnessed with the body armor debacle when the war started, and now the Walter Reed catastrophe. They care about saving their own behinds. This is their war, George Bush's war. And they lost this war through their utter mismanagement. Rather than admit that truth, and accept the blame and responsibility for their own mistakes, and bring our troops home, they'd rather continue lying to the American people and lying to our troops as they send tens of thousands more of them into an out of control civil war. The extremists running the Republican party would rather risk the lives of American soldiers for a cause they already know is lost, than accept responsibility for a gross mistake of their own making. Their ego is more important than the life of an American service member.

Now who hates the troops?"

Missing Wolf

Wolfowitz lays low as board meets - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz canceled a speech to a health conference on Thursday as the bank's board met late into the night to discuss a controversy over the promotion of his girlfriend, which has paralyzed the poverty-fighting institution..."

No doubt howling at the moon.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


DNC sues Justice Department; RNC not ready to turn over e-mails to Congress | The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee sued the Justice Department on Thursday, demanding it turn over any e-mail traffic with the Republican Party on the U.S. attorneys controversy and criminal investigations.

Problems involving missing e-mail surfaced in recent weeks at the Republican National Committee and the White House as congressional investigators looked into the department's firing of federal prosecutors..."

Dr. Bush In Your Cabinet

Bush administration is prying into your medical records in violation of the law - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "by John Aravosis (DC) · 4/19/2007 11:15:00 AM ET

We learned yesterday that the Bush administration has created a database of every single prescription drug user/patient in the country (that would pretty much be all of us). The database was created pursuant to a 2005 law that was intended to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs. Funny that this massive new database of your private medical information is now being (ab)used for a purpose that wasn't intended in or approved by the law.

The federal database of your private medical information is now being used by federal law enforcement to investigate crimes that have nothing to do with prescription drug abuse. We know this because yesterday ABC News disclosed that the feds checked the database to see what prescription meds the Virginia Tech shooter might have been on. How does the mass murder of students and faculty at Virginia Tech have anything to do with prescription drug abuse? It doesn't..."

Video Choices

ABC News: Psychiatrist: Showing Video Is 'Social Catastrophe': "April 19, 2007 — The videos of Seung-hui Cho, the man who fatally shot 32 people at Virginia Tech on Monday and then killed himself, shouldn't have been released because they don't offer the public any greater understanding of the gruesome crime, said Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist and ABC News consultant, on 'Good Morning America' today.

'If anybody cares about the victims in Blacksburg and if anybody cares about their children, stop showing this video now. Take it off the Internet. Let it be relegated to YouTube,' Welner said. 'This is a social catastrophe. Showing the video is a social catastrophe...'"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Here We go Again

Roll Call Newspaper Online || Index: "The FBI raided the Virginia home of Rep. John Doolittle and his wife on Friday, though the Congressman’s lawyer contended the raid was focused on Julie Doolittle’s fundraising records rather than any of the California Republican lawmaker’s own activities."

Iran Hostage Moment and VaTech

Cable Voyeurism from Virginia: (Taylor Marsh)--

"Our hearts go out to the Virginia Tech families and the entire community. It was a senseless tragedy of unspeakable magnitude and every single victim deserves to be known for the glorious life that was lost so needlessly.

But I can't help but wonder when MSNBC will do something like this for our slain soldiers.

When will CNN, Fox "News" and MSNBC spend all day for two or three days showing the bodies in Iraq; showing the U.S. soldiers in broken pieces in hospitals across the country and in Iraq? When will NBC send their prima donna Brian Williams to pontificate about the dead soldiers coming home in flag draped coffins actually showing one of them? All we're getting from Mr. Williams lately is whining about the Internet, or going to Iraq to help his sagging ratings.

We can't show the coffins because people might get the idea that soldiers are dying one after another after another... ... after another... after another... ..."

When the Iranian hostages arrived back home after the shady machinations of the Reagan Regime, the streets filled with celebrating Americans (or so it seemed). Tears welled-up in the eyes of Vietnam veterans everywhere, thankful for the return of their countrymen, but there was also bitterness in those tears for no one had ever given them a parade, no one had ever thanked them. What they received back home was harassment from police, condemnation from peers, and prospective employees inspecting their arms for tracks because "all you vets are junkies." Then there was the Great National Guilt Trip and all the vets got some kudos, but it really was too little, too late.

I wonder how the Iraq vets feel about the coverage of VaTech murders.

Please Use The Google

The Blog | Earl Ofari Hutchinson: "An Asian Man" | The Huffington Post: "Then there is the sheer monstrous magnitude of the Virginia Tech rampage. It was by far the worst mass attack by one individual in American history, and nearly every single news report and broadcast has prefaced the story on the killings with that tagline. This insures that Cho's name, and though seldom stated publicly, whispered by many privately, that he was a Korean non-citizen, and an immigrant. This fact will be indelibly imprinted in the public record and perhaps the public mind for years to come..." [my bold]

Sigh. Go here for something worse. Then here. None of these links in any way mediate the horror of the murders at VaTech, but let's at least maintain some accuracy of statement.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Winning The Gun Debate

The Blog | Bob Cesca: It's Not About The Firearms | The Huffington Post: "...The key, as best I see it, is to leave most of the guns alone (and the video games, Senator Clinton) and provide real health insurance for everyone, then to begin the slow process of rebuilding a viable middle class in America.

If the NRA, among others, truly wants to win this debate, it should dedicate a large percentage of its lobbying resources to promoting guaranteed affordable (free is better), comprehensive health care coverage for every American. Additionally, if you want to keep your firearm, tell your elected representatives that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans should be rolled back in favor of serious tax breaks for the middle class. This will begin to close the divide between crime and earning an honest living. Proper health care will begin to tackle the rate of untreated mental illnesses which, at the very least, will reduce the numbers of gun crimes by those of us who aren't able to handle or fully process the torque of modern American reality."

Nuts Are Loose Everywhere

Virginia Tech Funerals to be Target of Westboro Baptist Picket -- Towleroad for modern gay men,: "Never missing the opportunity to take advantage of a tragedy, Fred Phelps and his gang of haters at Westboro Baptist Church plan to picket the funerals of those killed in the Virginia Tech shooting..."

VaTech Killer

ABC News: Killer's Note: 'You Caused Me to Do This': "April 17, 2007 — Seung-Hui Cho, the student who killed 32 people and then himself yesterday, left a long and 'disturbing' note in his dorm room at Virginia Tech, say law enforcement sources.

Sources have now described the note, which runs several pages, as beginning in the present tense and then shifting to the past tense. It contains rhetoric explaining Cho's actions and says, 'You caused me to do this,' the sources told ABC News..."

I was lurking in the comments section of a major blog shortly after the story broke-- and here they came again; no, not the gun-banning liberals. Those other liberals who immediately started talking about "gun-toting racist Southern rednecks" blah, blah, blah. Like the Duke lacrosse story, conclusions were being jumped in record time.

Yeah, much to my consternation, he was from the South. South Korea.

And. He was an English major.

Jump that generalization.

Minor Horn Blowing

Crooks and Liars » Is Regent embarrassed - or is Bush?: "About a week ago, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick noted a tidbit that the rest of us missed: TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Regent University boasts that 150 of its graduates, including former top DoJ aide Monica Goodling, are serving in some capacity in the Bush administration. Lithwick noted that this is “a huge number for a 29-year-old school.” That’s certainly true; it’s also a huge number for a small right-wing college led by a radical televangelist who believes Americans brought 9/11 upon themselves.

Lithwick knew about the 150 Regent grads because, as she put it, the school’s website “proclaims [the number] proudly” on its About Us page. That is, until this past week..."

What's this "us" stuff. I had something up on March 10 about this. But then again, I am not Slate so I guess that is the price you pay for being nobody.

Monday, April 16, 2007

On Being A Whistleblower

The BRAD BLOG : STEPHEN HELLER: Take a Deep Breath and Blow Hard! Click the link and read the post. Please.

From The "Well, Duh" Department

Pew Survey Finds Most Knowledgeable Americans Watch 'Daily Show' and 'Colbert'-- and Visit Newspaper Sites: "...Virtually bringing up the rear were regular watchers of Fox News. Only 1 in 3 could answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly. Fox topped only network morning show viewers..."

It's The Hair, Stupid

Ben Smith's Blog - "How much, you ask does it cost to look like that?

Well, John Edwards' campaign for president spent $400 on February 20, and another $400 on March 7, at a top Beverly Hills men's stylist, Torrenueva Hair Designs.

The expensive haircut is, of course, a perennial. Bill Clinton got zinged for getting a cut from Cristophe, and Hillary was found at one point to have buried a stylist on her campaign payroll..."

Proving that you can put lipstick on a pig, though not necessarily to good effect, the GOP, at least some of them, also have the occasional haircut:

"...Meanwhile, our favorite TV nugget of the day so far came courtesy of Barbara Walters, who matter-of-factly informed viewers that Laura Bush recently had her hair done by famed New York City stylist Sally Hershberger, who charges $700 for a haircut. Just take a moment to think back to the go-go '90s, and try to imagine what the press' hysterical reaction would have been if word ever leaked out that Hillary Clinton had sat down for a $700 trim...."

There is no truth to the rumor that Mr.Bush has his knuckles waxed. Nature takes care of that hair.

Run To The Base

Krugman to Dem. candidates: Don't fear your base, embrace it. - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Paul Krugman thinks that the Democratic politicians -- and their consultants -- should actually listen to their base because that's where the American people are on Iraq and other key issues. This cycle, catering to the base for the Democrats means catering to the opinions of most Americans. The pundit-types tend to dismiss us as the extreme, turns out we're the mainstream:

It took an angry base to push the Democrats into taking a tough line in the midterm election. And it took further prodding from that base — which was infuriated when Barack Obama seemed to say that he would support a funding bill without a timeline — to push them into confronting Mr. Bush over war funding. (Mr. Obama says that he didn’t mean to suggest that the president be given “carte blanche...”)"

Air Force In The Army

Air Force fills out Army ranks in Iraq - Yahoo! News: "...The training range is Army, as is the duty itself — one of the most dangerous in
Iraq these days. But the young men and women clad in camouflage and helmets training to run and protect convoys are not Army; they're Air Force..."

So the Air Force spends, say, $100,000 to train a fuels technician on the science of refueling its planes, and that technician ends up driving a truck in Iraq? 1) Isn't the government breaking its contract with that airman? 2) Isn't that a waste of tax money? (Above and beyond the waste of the entire war.)

They're Gonna Do It

Crooks and Liars » From the Obvious Files: Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Doesn’t Work

Nicole Belle:

"Yes, I know. But the Bush White House has a report that agrees with us. So guess when they released it? Friday night news dump, naturally.

RH Reality Check:

The news for the Bush Adminstration's abstinence-only policies just seems to be getting worse, some might liken it to a swiftly sinking boat or ship.

So a burial at sea is appropriate, and by releasing the latest federal report on abstinence-only, Impacts for Title V. Section 510, Abstinence Education Programs: Final Report, from Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. late on a Friday, that is exactly what the Bushies are doing..."


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wolcott Notes A Coulterism

James Wolcott's Blog: Coulter's Crosshairs: Wolcott's Blog:

"...In the Church & State article, Stan notes that Coulter's line about "a procedure with a rifle" was greeted "with laughter" by the pious assembled. Something to keep in mind the next time a decent-minded liberal complains that atheist crusaders such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are too harsh and dogmatic."

The Anguish of the Survivor

The Galloping Beaver: The Abyss: "...I know now that those who preceded me wished that they were the last generation to ever have to go to war. Their hope was that the human condition could change and war could be made obsolete. That was my hope too.

It was not to be. We have sent yet another generation of young men and women off to become permanently scarred with first-hand knowledge of war. In time they will return and those who have had to experience the worst war has to offer will pay heavily. They will experience the dismissal of their difficulty to deal with the turmoil in their minds and the humiliation of having to try to beat back depression, anxiety and a simmering anger.

They will look into the abyss and, as a so-called enlightened society looks on knowing nothing of what agony exists in their minds, wonder what lies at the bottom."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Winky Wonk

Wonkette: The D.C. Gossip: "...Having successfully ended the Iraq and Afghanistan and Drug wars, impeached and convicted Bush and Cheney, ended poverty, rebuilt our crumbling cities, educated our children, restored good-paying union jobs to our working class and solved global warming through American technological ingenuity, America’s liberals decided the only thing left to do was get a bunch of right-wing entertainers fired for obnoxious statements — or, “for doing the showbiz job they were hired to do...”"

Another Day, Another Scandal

Graft Beats Out Food Safety At Agriculture Department | CorrenteWire

"Woefully, the scandals are rolling in like waves for the most corrupt administration ever to get into power. Now it’s the Agriculture Department’s use of public funds for totally nonagricultural purposes..."

Friday, April 13, 2007

Iacocca Burning

Borders - Feature - Where Have All the Leaders Gone?: "Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course.'

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. ..."

The Daily Flashback:Gov. Bush Edition

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Late Nite FDL: A Perfect “Victim”

"...It was like Tucker Carlson's report of the Narcissist-in-Chief's hateful mockery of condemned murderer Karla Faye Tucker:

In the weeks before the execution, Bush says, a number of protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Karla Faye Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask. Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them", he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with Tucker, though. He asked her real difficult questions like, 'What would you say to Governor Bush?'" "What was her answer?" I wonder. "'Please,'" Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "'don't kill me.'" I must look shocked — ridiculing the pleas of a condemned prisoner who has since been executed seems odd and cruel — because he immediately stops smirking..."

Voter Fraud-- Not So Much

Cato-at-liberty » Scant Evidence? That’s Voter Fraud Calling: "One of the more clever country song titles I ever heard was If the Phone Don’t Ring, You’ll Know It’s Me.

That’s something like the predicament of searchers after the menace of voter fraud, who can’t seem to find much of it. The New York Times today reports that “scant evidence” exists of a significant problem.

Voter fraud is the idea that individuals might vote multiple times, in multiple jurisdictions, or despite not being qualified. This is distinct from election fraud, which is corruption of broader voting or vote-counting processes. While voter fraud (and/or voter error) certainly happens, it is apparently on a trivial scale. It probably has not changed any election results, and probably will not do so if ordinary protective measures are maintained..."

Franken: Fire Glenn Beck

During CNN Appearance, Al Franken Calls On CNN To Fire Glenn Beck - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth.

Maybe we need a separate racists-r-us network. Oh. Sorry. We already have one. Beck needs to move to Fox.

Education Reminder

David Sirota: "..Sadly, the hard data tells us that, as comforting as this Great Education Myth is, we cannot school our way out of the problems accompanying a national trade policy devoid of wage, environmental and human-rights protections..."

From an old, but very worthy, post.

Bad Liberal Traits List

Good list. Here are my favorites:

Ten things I don't like about liberals - The Smirking Chimp: "...Here's some stuff I find wrong with liberals.

1) We are, as you sometimes accuse us of being, capable of being a mite smug and self-righteous, kind of like the religious wing of the Republican Party, minus the claim that God has given us our opinions

2) We are inclined toward overblown adherence to political correctness, and we are often not inclined to question our most sacred positions, opinions and attitudes...

10) The left has largely abandoned the blue-collar working class, and the Democratic Party has moved away from the base it once had in the labor movement..."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Gas Bag Round-up

Media Matters - It's not just Imus
"On April 11, NBC News announced that it was dropping MSNBC's simulcast of Imus in the Morning in the wake of the controversy that erupted over host Don Imus' reference to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." The following day, CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves announced that CBS -- which owns both the radio station that broadcast Imus' program and Westwood One, which syndicated the program -- has fired Imus and would cease broadcasting his radio show. But as Media Matters for America has extensively documented, bigotry and hate speech targeting, among other characteristics, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity continue to permeate the airwaves through personalities such as Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Michael Smerconish, and John Gibson..."

Check the Media Matters link for a complete run-down on all the above, ahem, personalities.

Duke Lacrosse Lament

- Media Notes Extra - "...But in all the coverage you read and see about the clearing of these young men, very little of it will be devoted to the media's role in ruining their lives. I didn't hear a single television analyst mention it yesterday, even though two of the players' lawyers took shots at the press...

...We will now read 100 stories about how an obsessive prosecutor overreached in bringing the indictments in the first place, and that's fine. But keep in mind that the Duke case was all over the network newscasts, the morning shows, the cable channels and the front pages. Newsweek put two of the defendants' mug shots on the cover. "I'm so glad they didn't miss a lacrosse game over a little thing like gang rape," Nancy Grace said on Headline News...

...The North Carolina AG spoke of "a tragic rush to accuse," and he just as easily could have been talking about journalists as Mike Nifong. Commentators have been chattering about whether Nifong will be disbarred, but no one gets to disbar the media.

What made this a case of aggravated media assault is that news outlets weren't content to focus on the three defendants. Attorney General Roy Cooper said there was a "rush to condemn a community and a state." Remember all the "trend" stories about "pampered" and "privileged" student athletes being "out of control"? Remember how the lacrosse players' homes were shown on TV? How the coach lost his job? How this case was depicted as being about the contrast between a white elite institution and a poor black community? All of that was built on what turned out to be lies..."

I have looked all over Left Blogistan and have yet to find one note of contrition concerning this "high-tech lynching." Rich white boys can be victims, too, and this time they were and no amount of excusing will change the fact that too many people who ought to know better, since we all spend a lot of time looking at blogs and separating wheat from chaff, jumped far, far over the conclusion line. Basically, it was accusation to gas chamber in six seconds flat, ignoring the dozens of red flags waving in the gale of info from this case.

You'd think people who weren't fooled by tales of yellow cake uranium wouldn't fall for the half-baked incoherencies that came out the rape investigation within the first 48 hours. But they did. And apparently no one wants to own up to it.

Pumping The Outrage Boiler

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog 'We Make It; They Take It: "U.S. workers are the most productive in the world and they put in longer hours than workers in any other developed country. Yet, even though our economy generates more than $13 trillion in income, the economy is not delivering for workers. In fact, average wages today are only 15 percent higher than in 1980, despite a 67 percent increase in productivity.

The annual release of CEO compensation last week highlights one reason why the gap between the richest in America and the rest of us has grown significantly over the past 25 years.

In 2006, the average CEO of a Standard & Poor’s 500 company made $14.78 million in total compensation, according to initial estimates by the Corporate Library and highlighted on the 2007 AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch website, which includes some of the executive compensation data required under new rules issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2006. The new disclosure rules go further than ever before in revealing just how much executives are paid, making transparent previously hard-to-find information such as pension totals..."

Where The $'s Are

Congressional Report: Gross Mismanagement of Iraq Funds: " A damning report issued last month by the nonpartisan research arm of Congress says the Department of Defense continues to overstate its financial needs, by tens of billions of dollars, to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The agency also casts serious doubt on President Bush's statements that money to fund the war will dry up by the end of the month if his budgetary demands are not immediately met.

The 45-page report, 'The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11,' prepared for Congress by the Congressional Research Service, warned lawmakers that before they release additional funds to the Pentagon for the Iraq war, they should first demand that Defense Department officials provide an accurate accounting of how the money is being spent..."

The Daily Flashback

Crooks and Liars » Pot (Burton) calls the kettle (Waxman) black: "...In the 1990s, Dan Burton & Co. handed out subpoenas like candy. He subpoenaed 141 different Clintonites. He held hearings — for 10 days — on the Clintons’ Christmas card list. In one instance, Burton was so reckless, he subpoenaed the wrong man (looking for someone with a similar name). In another instance, Burton fired a bullet into a “head-like object” — reportedly a melon — in his backyard to test the theory that former White House counsel Vincent Foster was murdered (this from the man who is now warning against “sensational disclosures”).

And now Burton is worried about Dems going too far? Please."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Emails Go Missing

Surprise! Surprise!

White House E-Mail Lost in Private Accounts - "The White House acknowledged yesterday that e-mails dealing with official government business, possibly including missives related to the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, may have been lost because they were improperly sent through private accounts intended to be used for political activities..."

The Daily Flashback

Don Imus show calls Post's Howie Kurtz "boner-nosed, beanie-wearing Jew boy" - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "That was back in the year 2000. Seven years ago. SEVEN YEARS AGO. We're to overlook Imus' race-baiting bigotry because, you know, it's just a one-time indiscretion. Better we look at the totality of his work, we're told. Fine. Look at the totality of his work. The man's show has been racist for years. And even more interesting, back in 2000 Imus promised to stop the bigotry - so he was on notice before of his 'problem,' and he broke his promise..."

Shafting The Troops

Gates Announces Longer Tours in Iraq | The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — Beginning immediately, all active-duty Army soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will serve 15-month tours _ three months longer than the usual standard, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday..."

Shorter Taylor's Townhall Recap

As usual, a very thorough job by Ms. Marsh. For me, this was the bottom line, most important statement(my bold):

Townhall Recap: "...But this is not the time for political calculation, this is the time for political courage. This is not a game of chicken. This is not about making friends or keeping Joe Lieberman happy. This is about life and death—this (is) about war. We are done letting George Bush manipulate the rhetoric of patriotism, only to use our troops as political pawns. If Bush vetoes funding for the troops, he's the only one standing in the way of the resources they need. Nobody else. - John Edwards..."

TPM's Pulitzer

How McClatchy Reporter Cracked 'AttorneyGate' Scandal: "...For weeks, reports of suspicious firings of well-qualified U.S. attorneys had been appearing on the blogs, particularly at Talking Points Memo. The Wall Street Journal eventually noted some of the dismissals. Taylor had been following it all, but also hearing a lot of 'buzz' about this being a political deal from her contacts in the legal community across the country..."

So if Josh Marshall and the Talking Points Memo bloggernaut are really the ones who did the heavy lifting on this story-- should Josh not be the one getting the Pulitzer, or at least getting a share of the Pulitzer glory when it goes to whomever for unwrapping this smelly mess? I realize what a Pulitzer is and what it means, but aren't we beyond ink and paper niceties and into the arena of quality journalism? Isn't that what the award is all about?

I followed the story from day zero when TPM first posted a note about the DoJ firings; they did for the investigation what Firedoglake did in clarifying the Libby trial-- both blogs lead the way, and both should be recognized beyond just our meager praise in the blogosphere. I don't know what award would be appropriate for turning legal gunk into English, but I do know what award would be appropriate for the best investigative journalism-- the Pulitzer.

Bush Bad News Iraq Poll

Poll: More Americans Favor Congress Withholding Funds In Face Of Veto | TPMCafe: "It finds that if President Bush vetoes the Dems' bill attaching a withdrawal date to troop funding, more Americans by a very slim margin want Congress to refuse to send the President another bill without withdrawal timetables than want Congress to give him the no-strings-attached bill that he's insisting on..."

Gonzo Goner Gambit

The Hill’s Pundit Blog » Destroy Gonzales-ism: "...Gonzales-ism is applying the abuse of cronyism and power to the two jobs that must never be so abused: White House counsel and attorney general.
Gonzales-ism is the notion that the highest legal officer in the land is not the agent of the law, or the Constitution, or the people, but is the sycophant and agent of the Crown.

Gonzales should be removed; Gonzales-ism should be destroyed. It is the hallmark of the corruption of partisan conservatives that they supported policies and practices that every principled conservative should abhor in our democracy, as much as every principled liberal..."

Selling Bad Science

The Blog | Paul Abrams: Latest Right-Wing Junk Science on Global Warming: "It's the Sun, Stupid" | The Huffington Post: "...We all know why the radical rightwing has to debunk the human contribution to global warming---recognizing it requires some regulation of their businesses. Of course, if Reagan had not canceled Carter's CAFE standards, we would not be importing ANY oil today, and Detroit would be prosperous making high efficiency engines, probably even leading the world.

The tobacco industry 'invented' the strategy behind junk science, hiring some scientists who could never make it on merit, pay them gobs of money, and have them 'publish' in journals that do not require scientific review. The industry is, after all, selling death--lung cancer, emphysema, stroke, heart attack, to name just a few, and they had to convince about 5000 children per week to take it up to grow their markets. If you can convince society not to regulate that, as they did for 30+ years AFTER the surgeon general's report linking cigarettes to those diseases was published, it is mere chickenfeed compared to getting people to dismiss global warming or, for that matter, to vote an insecure, incuriousn'er-do-well 'son-of'into the White House. According to the tobacco apologists, the link between cigarettes and those diseases was 'only' statistical..."


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Levitican Reminder

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog: "...There is a very serious money train from the taxpayer trough to the pulpit that has been established under the Bush regime in the guise of 'faith based initiatives' and other boondoggles that has meant millions in the pockets of preachers who deliver votes. They are no more interested in backing a candidate based on principle than they were in backing Sunday school teacher Jimmy Carter because he is a good Christian. There may be quite a bit of jockeying for power but in the end they will come down on the side of cold, brutal cash and find a way to give a pass to whoever makes them the best deal — and stands the best chance of being in a position to make good on that deal. He can be the biggest father raping sonofabitch on the planet and they will find a way to make him okay with the snake handlers and keep that money train a-runnin', because that's what it's all about..."

D Good, R Bad

In Totally Unsurprising News… (Shakesville): "Political scientists at the University of Iowa have found that “candidate gender matters more to men and Republicans than it does to women and Democrats.”

Here’s another heart-stopper: “Compared to statewide Iowa registered voters, likely Democratic caucus goers were less likely to say race is an important factor in their candidate choice.”

So, you’re telling me that politically active Democrats tend to be less sexist and racist? I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

They probably spent lots of money interviewing 1,290 registered voters to come to this conclusion. I would have told them for free."

Kerry Cools Toad

Think Progress » Kerry Forces Gingrich To Admit Inhofe Is Off-Base On Global Warming Science: "Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) engaged in head-to-head debate this morning on global warming. During the event, Kerry challenged Gingrich on his commitment to global warming science, asking him what his message would be to conservatives like Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) who are “resisting the science...”"

The Sound of the Other Shoe Dropping

House panel plans hearings on misinformation surrounding Tillman, Lynch cases | The Huffington Post: "SAN FRANCISCO — A U.S. House committee has scheduled hearings on a series of misleading military statements that followed the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan and the rescue of Pvt. Jessica Lynch in Iraq, congressional officials said Tuesday..."

Monday, April 09, 2007

Defining Again

No more Mr. Nice Guy - The Smirking Chimp: "...In the walnut-size reptilian conservative Republican mind, Hollywood denizens meet and conspire to produce movies and TV shows that bring down American family values. Eventually, most of these right-wing blowhards are exposed as having the moral values of the vampiric whores in 'Bordello of Blood' (which starred Dennis Miller, by the by).

They lie. They cheat - both on their wives and their constituents. They swindle. They take kickbacks. They suck the life out of budgets. They lead innocent Americans to their deaths because of half-baked ideological fantasies. They ignore facts to promote propaganda. They batter the poor to curry favor with the rich. They ignore the working class, hoping to eliminate it, one day.

Then, when caught, they embrace Christ and make the talk show circuit, wearing official Republican hair shirts replete with American flag lapel pins..."

Halliburton Quitting Iran

The Raw Story | Halliburton winds up Iran work: "US oil services giant Halliburton said Monday it had wrapped up its work commitments in Iran and was no longer conducting any projects in the Islamic republic.

Halliburton announced in January of 2005 that it was shutting-down its Iran operations, but would honor existing 'contractual commitments' until they were fulfilled.

'Halliburton announced today that all of its contractual commitments in Iran have been completed and the company is no longer working in Iran,' the firm said in a brief statement..."

Nuclear Whack-a-Mole

Iran Expands Uranium Enrichment Effort | The Huffington Post: "Iran is known to have had 328 centrifuges operating at its Natanz enrichment facility in central Iran. For months, it has been saying it plans to launch an expanded program of 3,000, likely to be set up in a large underground area at Natanz to protect them from air strikes.

'I declare that as of today, our dear country has joined the nuclear club of nations and can produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale,' Ahmadinejad said in a speech during a ceremony at Natanz marking the one-year anniversary of the first successful enrichment of uranium there..."

Keep in mind that the United States is capable of producing fireballs on an apocalyptic scale. Earth beware.

Follow The Leader?

Political Radar: "Obama to Nix Fox Debate

April 09, 2007

ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, will be the second Democratic presidential candidate to boycott a proposed debate to be broadcast by Fox News Channel.

'CNN seems to be a more appropriate host,' an Obama campaign aide tells ABC News.

Obama and Fox News Channel have had frosty relations ever since January, when the channel hyped and repeated untrue allegations that Obama had attended an extremist Islamist madrassa as a child living in Indonesia. (More on that here).

Former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, was the first to formally boycott the Fox News debate, which is sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, of which Obama is a member..."