Thursday, May 31, 2007


Notorious spammer arrested - Breaking News - World - Breaking News: "A man described as one of the world's most prolific spammers was arrested, and US authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk email.

Robert Alan Soloway, 27, is accused of using networks of compromised 'zombie' computers to send out millions of spam emails.

'He's one of the top 10 spammers in the world,' said Tim Cranton, a Microsoft Corp lawyer who is senior director of the company's Worldwide internet Safety Programs. 'He's a huge problem for our customers. This is a very good day...'"

Decider Gorilla

Georgie Anne Geyer: A spreading terror | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion: Viewpoints: "...Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated 'I am the president!' He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of 'our country's destiny..."

Internet Users--Read This Post

John Edwards and... spectrum? | TPMCafe: "For those of us who labor in the arcane world of telecommunications policy, this had been a red-letter week. One presidential candidate, and one person who should be a presidential candidate are helping to put the issues of who owns the Internet front and center. Who knew?..."

Excellent post on the issues here.

The Rumor Mill

Bush Admin Spreads False Rumor About Governor Who Criticized Guard Shortages | The Huffington Post: "Bush administration officials have been putting out the word that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was two days late getting to Greensburg after the tornado struck because she was attending a jazz festival in New Orleans, columnist Robert Novak reported. But that's not the real story, said Nicole Corcoran, the governor's press secretary..."

Lieberweasel Barks

Lieberman in Iraq sees "progress," says so-called surge "would start to break the insurgency" - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "What a coincidence. Two years after Cheney said the insurgency was in its last throes, Joe Lieberman made essentially the same prediction.

CNN reports that Lieberman is on an unannounced 'surprise' visit to Baghdad. Paula Hancocks followed Lieberman around. She talked to Lieberman and reported, 'He said he was happy with the progress. He was devastated by the fact that May was turning in to the deadliest month since November 2004. But he said he did believe that this surge eventually would pay off and it would start to break the insurgency...'"

Who'Da Wimp?

Jon Soltz: Jim DeMint is the Real 'Wimp' Here | The Huffington Post: "...As reported today, Senator DeMint said at an event yesterday, 'Al-Qaida knows that we've got a lot of wimps in Congress ... I believe a lot of the casualties can be laid at the feet of all the talk in Congress about how we've got to get out, we've got to cut and run.' The State also reported, 'DeMint said a U.S. military officer who drove him around Iraq during a 2005 visit pointed out a site where the officer said there were chemical weapons. DeMint said the United Nations failed to enforce the requirement that Saddam destroy such weapons after the 1991 Gulf War.'

As someone who has never worn the uniform, it may be tough for Jim DeMint to understand this, but we fight to protect America and our democratic system of government, which encourages debate and deliberation. If anything, it is reassuring to those of us who serve to know that America's system is working. Because we have no voice when we're in the field, we depend on our elected officials to ask the tough questions in Washington..."

Hypocrisy Cubed

DeLay Explains How His Adultery Was Different Than Gingrich's | The Huffington Post.

Click if you care. Then see if you can find a link that explains how one murdered man isn't quite as dead as the other murdered man.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Wolcotting of Bolton

James Wolcott's Blog: For Whom the Bell Trolls: Wolcott's Blog:
"In or out of mating season, John Bolton in full swollen umbrage is never an edifying spectacle, which makes it all the more puzzling that producers insist on providing this diplomatic reject and rage-aholic with a peddler's license to lie, bluster, and fearmonger. We Americans are now accustomed to the likes of Bolton in full coconut-heaving mode but the Brits have been less exposed to neoconservatism in the malignant raw, and Matthew Carr's review of Bolton's recent perf on the Today show read like a report filed from behind a one-way mirror at a psychiatric clinic:.." The filleting continues...

Airwoman Charged

"SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany - A Spangdahlem-based airman was sentenced Monday to four months confinement for her part in a sexual act with two other airmen.

Airman 1st Class Ashley N. Rains pleaded guilty at a court-martial to two indecent acts charges.

She had faced rape and sodomy charges but admitted to the lesser charges as part of a plea deal..."


Reuters AlertNet - Bush envisions U.S. presence in Iraq like S.Korea: "WASHINGTON, May 30 (Reuters) - President George W. Bush would like to see a lengthy U.S. troop presence in Iraq like the one in South Korea to provide stability but not in a frontline combat role, the White House said on Wednesday.

The United States has had thousands of U.S. troops in South Korea to guard against a North Korean invasion for 50 years..."

Could someone explain to Herr Bush that the two situations ain't even beginning to become ever similar? Update: Josh Marshall helps out.

Plamegate Update

Crooks and Liars » Plame was a Covert Agent
"It's official. Valerie Plame was a covert agent at the time her name was leaked by Novak. Will Victoria Toensing issue an apology? And Fred Hiatt should follow her lead.

An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame's employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was "covert" when her name became public in July 2003…read on

FDL: Ex. Order 12958 — Hayden's approval of Waxman's statement that Ms. Wilson's status was classified, that she was a covert agent protected under the aforementioned Executive Order…UPDATE: Larry Johnson: How about them Apples Vicky Toensing?..."

Not Satire, Really

U.S. government fights to keep meatpackers from testing all slaughtered cattle for mad cow - International Herald Tribune: "WASHINGTON: The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease..." Read on in utter disbelief...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Affirmative Action Elsewhere

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Riots over Indian tribal quotas: "At least seven people have been killed in violent clashes in India's Rajasthan state over the government's affirmative action plans, officials say..."

They are making the effort to deal with one of humanity's greatest issues. They deserve credit for that.


Nancy Cleeland : Why I'm Leaving The L.A. Times | The Huffington Post: "After 10 years, hundreds of bylines and some of the best experiences of my professional life, I'm leaving the Los Angeles Times at the end of this month, along with 56 newsroom colleagues. We each have our reasons for taking the latest buyout offer from Chicago-based Tribune Company. In my case, the decision grew out of frustration with the paper's coverage of working people and organized labor, and a sad realization that the situation won't change anytime soon..."

More Planets

28 New Exoplanets Discovered | LiveScience: "HONOLULU--Astronomers have discovered 28 new planets outside of our solar system, increasing to 236 the number of known exoplanets, revealing that planets can exist around a broad spectrum of stellar types--from tiny, dim stars to giants.

'We added 12 percent to the total in the last year, and we're very proud of that,' said one of the study team members Jason Wright of the University of California at Berkeley. 'This provides new planetary systems so that we can study their properties as an ensemble...'"

Ultimate Winning

Crooks and Liars » Bob Schieffer: America Should Practice What We Preach: "...Schieffer: 'I had breakfast the other day with the ambassador from one of America's strongest and closest allies. We got to talking about Iraq and Vietnam, and he asked me what I thought the great lessons of those years have been. I said, first, that we can help people but we can't do it for them, and, second, that America leads best when it leads by example – when we demonstrate how our system works by practicing what we preach, not by resorting to the methods of those who oppose us...'"

Monday, May 28, 2007

On Sicko

Anthony Kaufman: I Dare Rush Limbaugh to See Sicko And Not Shed A Tear | The Huffington Post
"...Moore is such a polarizing figure that many people will swear off seeing the film, of course. But as Moore said at the Cannes press conference, he now has a track record that should answer his most vehement critics. "I would hope by now that I could catch a break," he said. "That somebody will say: 'We don't like the way this guys looks, but he warned us about General Motors, he warned us about high school shootings, he warned us about Bush and the reasons for this war,' and it's my profound hope will people listen this time. Because I don't wait 10 or 20 years before we have universal healthcare, and we, as Americans, take a look into our soul, so we can be better citizens in this world."

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Daily Flashback

Shrum and Dumber - Matthew Yglesias: "...Kennedy lost, of course, but kept his seat in the Senate. Carter, meanwhile, was shown the door by the voters in November, no doubt weakened in part by the need to fend off Kennedy’s vigorous intraparty challenge. The resulting Reagan administration was a disaster for the poor and working-class Americans on whose behalf Shrum thinks of himself as toiling, but something of a boon for Shrum himself. With Carter in the White House he was, at best, a nobody who’d alienated the most important Democrats in town. With Carter gone, he was a speechwriter for the most famous Democrat in Congress—and by most accounts a good one..."

GayEnviro Terrorists

The Raw Story | Alabama site classifies environmental activists, gay rights supporters as possible terrorists: "The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has taken down a webpage that listed environmental, anti-war, and gay rights groups as possible terrorists, according to a report from the Associated Press..."

The web page may be gone but I'm sure the sentiment lingers on...

A Ray of Hope

U.S. Frees 42 Iraqi Captives in Raid | The Huffington Post: "BAGHDAD — American forces freed 42 kidnapped Iraqis _ some of whom had been hung from ceilings and tortured for months _ in a raid Sunday on an al-Qaida hideout north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

Military officials said the operation, launched on tips from residents, showed that Iraqis in the turbulent Diyala province were turning against Sunni insurgents and beginning to trust U.S. troops.

'The people in Diyala are speaking up against al-Qaida,' said Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq..."

Faux Fury, Faux News

Think Progress » Kristol: Bush ‘Was Furious’ Over NYT Report Of 2008 Withdrawal: "...If there was ever any lingering doubt about whether the White House might finally be considering a redeployment, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol put those hopes to bed this morning on Fox News. He revealed that Bush is “furious” over the NYT report and that the White House is aggressively pushing back on the story over the Memorial Day weekend...

...The NYT report is just the latest example in a recurring pattern of media reports that have given false hope of an imminent drawdown. As Glenn Greenwald notes, “For four straight years, the same set of war supporters have constantly and repetitiously given the same exact false assurances about Iraq — virtually verbatim — in order to protect themselves politically.” And the press bites at the story every time..."

Letter From A Vet

Crooks and Liars » Mike’s Blog Roundup: "Veteran and friend,Michael Graham, wrote me on Memorial Day:

What most liberals have so far failed to understand — because they tend to be people with kind hearts and sensibilities — is that the Republican Party has been commandeered by Nazis. They are not just the opposition party anymore, they are evil. This has been building for years, and I have been alive long enough to have witnessed much of it. There was the John Birch Society, and Watergate, and Iran-Contra and now this..."

Saturday, May 26, 2007


In case you are doubtful about the lack of of of of, well, damn, anything to do with GOPerism and the absence of thought above the microbial level, then go here and read the post and wade through the comments. Be warned, though, that all hope for humanity may ooze out of your ears. Heliocentrism is an Atheist Doctrine « Blogs 4 Brownback

Losing Lifers

The Raw Story | CNN: Young officers leaving service at 'alarming' rate: "CNN reported on Friday about the 'alarming number' of mid-level army officers leaving the military as soon as they complete their initial commitment, many of them citing family reasons and multiple deployments. The army has been forced to offer new incentives for re-enrolling, including bonuses and extra training..."

Troop Supporter?

1,106 IED deaths on Bush's head - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "

"1,106 US troops died since the time they begged George Bush for IED-proof vehicles, vehicles that actually exist, and Bush ignored them because he didn't want to spend the money (or because he wanted to use the IEDs as an excuse for war with Iran?). Check out the chart of growing IED deaths, and check out how many occurred AFTER the troops begged Bush for the vehicles in February 2005 (shown in yellow). The total number in yellow is 1,106.

Some Memorial Day message for their families - Bush was too cheap to save your kid..."

Good graph on causalities back at the link.

Torture Tangles The Saturday Cartoons: "America - Where The Torture Is Only Half-Assed

Over at Townhall, there has been a discussion about American torture versus Al Qaeda torture. Dean Barnett, after looking at an Al Qaeda torture manual, writes the following:

By all means, read the whole thing. And then ask yourself why there are so many people who can’t distinguish between this stuff, which is real torture, and the attention grab and other enhanced interrogation techniques. Are they willfully obtuse, scoring political points, or just hopelessly morally muddled?

First, it's absolutely hilarious that Barnett would accuse those opposed to torture of being morally muddled…"

Sliming Dems

Daily Howler: When Gore is still trashed--while Thompson is praised--the system is blindingly obvious: "...Has it ever been more clear how modern White House politics works? This has gone on for quite a few years—and career liberals have staunchly refused to discuss it. But has it ever been more clear? Has the agenda behind the mainstream coverage ever been more freaking obvious?

Thompson’s a mediocrity—a borderline dope. Gore is one of the world’s most honored public servants. So readers, when even Gore gets trashed this way, isn’t it finally perfectly obvious? That no matter what a big Democrat does, he will be trashed as too fat and too phony? Has it ever been more clear? Has the mainstream press corps—the Pomfrets, the Matthews, the Dowds—ever made it more blindingly obvious?"

Friday, May 25, 2007

It's Not The End

Ross Douthat: "...Both neoconservatives and their foes, it's worth pointing out, have a vested interest in inflating the current crisis: The neoconservatives because it lets them argue that defeat in Iraq means defeat for all time, the realists and liberals because it lets them suggest that their wise counsel is all that stands between us and a Bush-created abyss. But while this is a tough moment for America, no question, it's still the case that we'll probably leave Iraq with our long-term advantages - economic, military, geographic, demographic - over our rivals more or less intact. And for all the current polarization, we're enduring almost none of the kind of internal instability that actually did make our institutions totter in the early 1970s. So maybe everyone - from the Zbigniew Brzesinskis who think that our Iran policy leaves us 'one miscalculation away from catastrophe' to the Donald Kagans who claim that 'our very existence could be at risk' if we pull out of Iraq - should take a deep breath and lay off the doomsaying. (Though to be fair to them, the NJ piece starts out with an apocalyptic frame, and clearly went out looking for quotes to suit that theme...)"


A cure for a rampant GOP problem...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

God Speaks To Bush About Gonzo

Political Radar: "May 24, 2007 1:50 PM

"ABC's Ann Compton reports: An outdoor news conference in perfect spring weather, with birds chirping loudly in the magnolia trees, is not without its hazards.

As President Bush took a question Thursday in the White House Rose Garden about scandals involving his Attorney General, he remarked, "I've got confidence in Al Gonzales doin' the job."

Simultaneously, a sparrow flew overhead and left a splash on the President's sleeve, which Bush tried several times to wipe off..."

Dowd Dumbing Down

Daily Howler: John Pomfret must be a bright man. So how was this drek thrust upon him?

The Vixen is at it again. This time she leaves John Edwards for a moment to laser-bore Al Gore.

Dogma First

US military kicks out 3 more Arabic linguists for being gay - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Sure, we won't be able to stop the next September 11 from killing perhaps tens of thousands of people because we don't have enough linguists to translate the terrorist chatter, but at least they stopped the gay linguists. And they wonder why we're losing in Iraq? Because we have complete bozos running our military. This is criminal."

Fair Sentencing?

Ex-Coke Secretary Gets 8 Years in Prison | The Huffington Post: "ATLANTA — A federal judge ignored a former Coca-Cola secretary's plea for mercy Wednesday and sentenced her to eight years in prison for conspiring to steal trade secrets from the world's largest beverage maker.

U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester told Joya Williams, 42, that he was giving her a longer sentence than recommended by federal prosecutors and sentencing guidelines because, 'This is the kind of offense that cannot be tolerated in our society...'"

Let's see-- how much time did Ken Lay get? How about the other Enron crooks? How about the Worldcom robbers? Apparently, it's better for the criminal to have almost victims (note the "conspiring" in the paragraph above) rather than real victims.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Reality Bites

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » We Can’t Stop The War Without Removing Bush/Cheney

"...One by one, Democratic leaders tried to put the best face they could on the reality that they do not have enough votes to force an obstinate President to accept a timetable or binding benchmarks on the Iraq supplemental funding bill. It was a painful moment, a major disappointment to those who hoped that somehow the Democrats could find a clever way to defy the basic math. But we all knew from last week’s vote on Feingold-Reid we are still many votes short of overriding a veto. Hundreds more will die including these people and their families, waiting for those votes. Every member who fails to vote to end this madness is responsible..."

Iran Action

The Blotter
"The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on"

Not much of a secret; not much of a surprise.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Remember Me

Gay Flamingo

The Daily Dish: The Intrinsic Evil of Flamingos

"A famous avian same-sex couple - together for six years in an English zoo - have now adopted an abandoned flamingo chick. They are engaging in what the Vatican calls an "intrinsic evil." How does the Vatican know caring for and rearing a chick that might otherwise perish is evil? Because natural law says so. Meanwhile, nature seems to be ignoring the voice of God, as interpreted by the Pope. Time to excommunicate Planet Earth? Your Holiness, standards are slipping."

Edwards Shafted By NYT

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall May 22, 2007 02:02 PM

"Is The New York Times giving short shrift to the Edwards campaign?

Our survey shows that in the last three months, Hillary and Obama have each earned mentions in nearly twice as many Times articles as Edwards has."

Hmmm. Where does the Vixen of Vile, #1 Edwards hater work?

Smithsonian Caves To Fear

Smithsonian Accused of Altering Exhibit | The Huffington Post

"WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian Institution toned down an exhibit on climate change in the Arctic for fear of angering Congress and the Bush administration, says a former administrator at the museum.

Among other things, the script, or official text, of last year's exhibit was rewritten to minimize and inject more uncertainty into the relationship between global warming and humans, said Robert Sullivan, who was associate director in charge of exhibitions at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

Also, officials omitted scientists' interpretation of some research and let visitors draw their own conclusions from the data, he said. In addition, graphs were altered "to show that global warming could go either way," Sullivan said..."

Monday, May 21, 2007

Iowa Polls

Romney, Edwards lead in latest Iowa poll - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"National polls on the presidential race are fun and interesting, but they don't really matter right now. What does matter is what's happening on the ground in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Over the weekend, the Des Moines Register released its latest polls. Romney is up on the GOP side -- by 12 points over McCain. For the Democrats, Edwards is in the lead followed by Obama and Clinton..."

Bush Misses Holiday

Welcome to Pottersville: Iraq Daily War Grief
"...I’m glad that some of us had mentioned that George W. Bush, our war preznit who’s trying to divest himself of whatever responsibilities he ever took on for Iraq by nominating a war lord, nixed a measly 3.5% pay hike for the troops as Armed Forces Day approached. Which isn’t surprising when one recalls that he’d actually proposed cutting their pay even as he was dropping them into Iraq’s meat grinder and has systematically cut VA funding and outsourced their patient care to the point of scandal.

Now, in case no one’s mentioned it yet, I’ll throw in my belated two cents by adding that in his weekly Saturday radio address to the nation, George W. Bush commemorated Armed Forces Day in the grand old style of the Grand Old Party by talking about… immigration. He never once mentioned Armed Forces Day, never mentioned Iraq, never mentioned Afghanistan. In fact, if you use the White House’s own search engine using the keywords “Armed Forces Day, 2007” the results will show two hits for National Day of Prayer, 2007 and nothing for yesterday’s holiday..."

Commenting On Carter's Comments

Jimmy Carter's comments about Bush provoke attack from Bush staff - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Some flunky for the Bush administration said he thinks Jimmy Carter is 'increasingly irrelevant.' Typical response from a loyal Bushie. One more time, instead of dealing with the underlying Iraq crisis, the Bush staff attack their enemies. If they put as much time and energy into the policy of Iraq as they do the politics, they might make some progress.

All Carter said what most Americans are thinking:

In the newspaper interview, Carter said Bush had taken a 'radical departure from all previous administration policies' with the Iraq war.

'We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,' Carter said.

The Bushies don't want a discussion of the substance of what Carter said.."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Reminder For '08

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall May 20, 2007 07:11 PM

"It may seem a little early -- OK, it is a little early -- to consider motivating factors in the 2008 presidential race, but Tom Goldstein emailed me with a heads-up on a terrific piece he wrote about the election and the future balance of the Supreme Court.

While acknowledging upfront that justices' retirements are unpredictable, Goldstein makes a compelling case that the next president will likely be in a position to name at least two, possibly three, members of the high court..."

Carter Burns Bush

Carter Blasts Bush on His Global Impact | The Huffington Post
"LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Former President Carter says President Bush's administration is "the worst in history" in international relations, taking aim at the White House's policy of pre-emptive war and its Middle East diplomacy.

The criticism from Carter, which a biographer says is unprecedented for the 39th president, also took aim at Bush's environmental policies and the administration's "quite disturbing" faith-based initiative funding..."

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Insane Court Ruling

'Honk for peace' case tests limits on free speech: "When one of Deborah Mayer's elementary school students asked her on the eve of the Iraq war whether she would ever take part in a peace march, the veteran teacher recalls answering, 'I honk for peace.'

Soon afterward, Mayer lost her job and her home in Indiana. She was out of work for nearly three years. And when she complained to federal courts that her free-speech rights had been violated, the courts replied, essentially, that as a public school teacher she didn't have any.

As a federal appeals court in Chicago put it in January, a teacher's speech is 'the commodity she sells to an employer in exchange for her salary.' The Bloomington, Ind., school district had just as much right to fire Mayer, the court said, as it would have if she were a creationist who refused to teach evolution.."

Talk about your false equivalences...

GOP Rep Accused of Rape

Argus Leader Media - News: "Ex-lawmaker charged with rape

Klaudt accused of sexual contact with foster kids, pages,By Terry Woster,, Published: May 19, 2007

PIERRE - Former Republican Rep. Ted Klaudt could spend the rest of his life in prison after turning himself in to authorities Friday on felony charges that include eight counts of rape involving foster children and former legislative pages.

Five girls told authorities they were assaulted by Klaudt, court documents state, although charges filed Friday involve only two of the girls..."

Remember: IUPG.

On Tony Blair

The Blog | Jeremi Suri: Why I Love Tony Blair | The Huffington Post: "...He was not militant; he was thoughtful and passionate.

These very qualities got Blair into trouble in Iraq. He allowed his anger at the terrorists and his loyalty to the United States to blind him to the perils of a preventive war, fought with insufficient forces. Moral vision was not sufficient to occupy and re-make a society as complex as Iraq. Blair's tragic misstep ultimately cost him the prime ministership -- an office he will vacate under a cloud of controversy at the end of June.

We must not, however, lump Blair in with the other misguided interventionists. Unlike Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others, Blair did not act recklessly. He took a strong and deeply personal stand against what he believed were some of the sources of violence, intolerance, and irrationality in the Middle East. He took a strong and deeply personal stand on behalf of a British-American bond that he described in nearly sacred terms. Despite the consequences, these were courageous positions that deserve respect. Blair tried to offer real leadership, transcending simple phrases and shallow postures..."

Black Holes

Merging Black Holes Observed in New Detail - Yahoo! News

Scientists have pinpointed the precise locations of a pair of supermassive black holes at the centers of two colliding galaxies 300 million light-years away.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Falwell Does Good

The Blog | Rev. Ron Stief: Thanks, Jerry Falwell . . . for Making Me Go to Seminary! | The Huffington Post: "...The untold story of Falwell's impact on society is that he unknowingly recruited many of us to claim our Christian roots - not an easy thing to do in the secular left - and join the political battle for the soul of America as Christians with a different view of the Bible..."

The Base Is Base

The Raw Story | Op-Ed: Republican candidates, base support 'un-American' policies: "New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says the leading Republican presidential candidates would run the country just as President Bush has, pursuing policies in conflict with the rule of law and the rigors of logic, including torturing terror suspects and conflating disparate threats facing Amercia.

'The principles Bush has betrayed are principles today's GOP, dominated by movement conservatives, no longer honors,' Krugman writes in today's column. 'In fact, rank-and-file Republicans continue to approve strongly of Bush's policies -- and the more un-American the policy, the more they support it.'

Krugman cited the enthusiastic response from the crowd at Tuesday's Republican debate when Rudy Giuliani endorsed waterboarding suspected terrorists and Mitt Romney called for doubling Guantanamo as evidence of the mood within the GOP base..."

Iowa Poll Watching

The Blog | John Zogby: A Reality Check on the 2008 Presidential Race | The Huffington Post
"...On the Democratic side, despite all the hype for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, John Edwards continues to hold on to a narrow lead in Iowa -- 26% to 24% for Clinton, and 22% for Obama. Edwards leads in the central part of the state and, most importantly for him, has begun to particularly take of among union voters. This is very much a three-way race and if Edwards should win, it will give him a bounce for New Hampshire. Clinton does well with liberals, with Democrats (as opposed to independents) among older voters and lower income voters. Obama does best among independents and in the eastern part of the state closest to Illinois. Importantly, while Edwards has kept his numbers since January, his two main opponents have grown -- Clinton from 16% to 24% and Obama from 17% to 22%..."

Jon Soltz on News Hour (Part 1)

Jon Soltz on News Hour (Part 1)-- The video gets painful about half-way through. If rudeness causes your skin to crawl, it will slough-off here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Daily Flashback

The Fairness Doctrine & Right Wing Talk - The Smirking Chimp
"...The right wing realized that advancing their agenda required real trickery. If Americans understood the right wing’s goals they’d tar and feather ‘em and run ‘em outa town. A light bulb went on in conservative heads. They’d set up “Think Tanks!” These “Tanks” would manufacture little bombs, or sound bites. Rabid, dope addled T.V. and talk radio hosts would throw them at the liberals. It was a wonderful match. Right wing “Think Tanks” (Who but a conservative could have the effrontery, and the arrogance, to come up with a misnomer like “Think Tank”) such as The Hoover Foundation, The Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, would invent stories they’d offer as fact. Sometimes they got caught, but they knew their viewer/listeners attention spans were even less than their IQ’s. ABC news, after harsh criticism from high ranking, Congressional Democrats, admitted that their documentary “The Path to 9/11” was largely fabricated and designed to smear the Clinton Administration. They conceded the film was a “fantasy version of history,” and reclassified the film calling it a dramatization, not a documentary..."

Gravel On Drugs

Another Democrat after my vote.

Iowa Independent:: Fmr. Sen. Mike Gravel: Unfiltered: "...Iowa Independent: The Progressive magazine reports that you think mari-juana should be legal and available next to beer in liquor stores. Is that true? What about cocaine and methamphetamine?

Sen. Gravel: It sure is true. When are we are going to learn. We went through the Depression and we realized how we created all the gangsters and the violence. When FDR came in he wiped out Prohibition. We need to wipe out this whole war on drugs. We spend $50 billion to $70 billion a year. We create criminals that aren’t criminals. We destabilize foreign countries. With respect, to marijuana, Doug, I’ll tell you what: Go get yourself a fifth of scotch or a fifth of gin and chug-a-lug it down and you’ll find you lose your senses a lot faster than you would smoking some marijuana.

Independent Iowa: Yeah, I’m 37, I think most people in my generation agree with that point on marijuana. What about cocaine and meth?

Sen. Gravel: We need to legalize the regulation of drugs. The drug problem is a public health problem. It’s not a criminal problem. We make it a criminal problem because we treat people like criminals..."

Shafting The Troops, Take 200

White House: 3.5 percent pay hike unnecessary - Military News, Army News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Army Times: "Troops don’t need bigger pay raises, White House budget officials said Wednesday in a statement of administration policy laying out objections to the House version of the 2008 defense authorization bill.

The Bush administration had asked for a 3 percent military raise for Jan. 1, 2008, enough to match last year’s average pay increase in the private sector. The House Armed Services Committee recommends a 3.5 percent pay increase for 2008, and increases in 2009 through 2012 that also are 0.5 percentage point greater than private-sector pay raises..."

Crook'd Advancement

The Stakeholder::: "Republican Corruption Reigns Supreme -- Another Investigated Member Promoted by Republican Conference

Representative Tom Feeney (R-FL) became the second Republican Member of Congress under investigation to be promoted by the Republican Conference in less than a week.

'Apparently, the way to advance in the Republican conference is by being investigated for corruption. Isn't there a single Republican member who isn't corrupt who would be better suited for these jobs?” asked Jennifer Crider, Communications Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Clearly, Republicans haven’t learned their lesson about holding their Members accountable for their wrong doing...'"

Rudy Says Dems Did 9-11

Giuliani says Democrats believe America deserved 9/11 - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth:
"Oh yes he did. Right after the debate, he said it on FOX News, talking about his angry response to Ron Paul blaming America for 9/11. From Hotline: 'I usually hear this on the Democratic side. Don't usually hear it on the Republican side.'

Really, Rudy? You usually hear Democrats saying 9/11 was our fault? Well, sure, I mean it was Bush's fault - you know, that old memo entitled 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike In US' - but that's not what you meant. You meant on a more visceral basic level that Ron Paul was saying that America deserved what it got on September 11. And you think you 'usually' hear this from Democrats. What Democrats have you heard saying that we deserved September 11? That we're to blame for September 11? The only person I know who said that is your Republican buddy Jerry Falwell, and oh yeah, religious right extremist Fred Phelps (the guy who pickets American soldiers' funerals).

So tell us, Rudy, which Democrats 'usually' blame America for September 11? Or is this yet another lie that you'll flip-flop on by the next debate?"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

VA Management

It's time to clean house at the VA, now - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"For those who suggest this is what socialized health care is all about, you are wrong. I live with socialized health care which is excellent. With so many retired, middle class Americans turning to the VA due to rising insurance costs while on a fixed budget, it is imperative that the system is corrected. Updating and fixing a broken down system is difficult when the top management is sitting on the board, overseeing their own juicy bonus plans despite cost overruns and substandard care.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press raise questions of conflicts of interest or appearances of conflicts in connection with the bonuses, some of which went to senior officials involved in crafting a budget that came up $1.3 billion short and jeopardized veterans' health care..."

More On Hypocrisy

The Blog | Michael Goldfarb: Wolfowitz: A View From the Other Side of the Atlantic | The Huffington Post: "...But no matter what the apologists say, the hot-air inflating the scandal and the pressure for Wolfowitz to resign are not about payback for Iraq. It is about something they - the Washington crowd - just don't get.

You can't preach anti-corruption and be seen not to practice what you preach. You can't look at African leaders with wives, children, cousins and their children, and families of key cronies all on the payroll and be making special arrangements for your domestic partner and hiring political hacks whose sole qualification for the work seems to be loyalty to President Bush. It's called hypocrisy, and while 'hypocrisy' isn't an indictable crime, it makes reforming an institution like the World Bank and insisting on better governance to the recipients of its loans virtually impossible..."

The Definitive Falwell. Hypocrisy

Here and Here:Falwell | Campaign for America's Future
Here: The Sin of Religious Hypocrisy

Gas Prices

Think Progress: "“Households are spending about $1,000 more per year for gasoline than they were just five years ago, an 85 percent increase” according to consumer groups’ analysis prepared for the House Judiciary Committee. “In the past five years the oil industry has picked consumers pockets for 200 billion in excess profits,” said the Consumer Federation of America."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

VA God Squad

From William Petroski, Des Moines Register:
Navy vet: Chaplains tried converting me - Military News, Navy News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Navy Times

"Navy veteran David Miller said that when he checked into the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City, he didn’t realize he would get a hard sell for Christian fundamentalism along with treatment for his kidney stones.

Miller, 46, an Orthodox Jew, said he was repeatedly proselytized by hospital chaplains and staff in attempts to convert him to Christianity during three hospitalizations over the past two years.

He said he went hungry each time because the hospital wouldn’t serve him kosher food, and the staff refused to contact his rabbi, who could have brought him something to eat..."

Reading Reading

Visual-Syntactic Text Formatting: A New Method to Enhance Online Reading

Finally, a practical use for learning to diagram sentences. For more:
Reading Online

Cuttin' N Runnin'

Check this link for a summary of the GOP doing what they accuse the Dems of wanting to do: Steve Chapman: GOP has a history of military retreat.

Rainbows and Bridges

TPMmuckraker May 14, 2007 12:15 PM: "When your bid to build a bridge to nowhere is shut down, try to get federal funding for another bridge, to a different part of nowhere – where your friends own property.

John Stanton of Roll Call wrote a great story (Sub. Req.) that parses out the likely motivations for the Alaska Congressional delegation’s work over the last few months to snag federal cash for a bridge to connect an area where no one lives to Anchorage.

Why bother to invest in infrastructure to nowhere?" Click to confirm the answer you already know.

Hypocrisy amd Smoking

The Blog | Marshall Herskovitz: Smoking and R-Ratings | The Huffington Post

"...It kills hundreds of thousands of people a year. Young people shouldn't smoke, and seeing smoking in films probably influences millions of them to start. No argument.

The problem is that excess drinking is a terrible thing and also kills millions of people a year. And influences young people. Driving automobiles irresponsibly is a truly terrible thing and kills tens of thousands of people a year and influences young people. Guns are terrible things. Sexual harassment is a terrible thing. Robbery is a terrible thing. War is a terrible thing. Being mean to other children is a terrible thing.

The world is filled with terrible things that can influence children, and movies have depicted them since time immemorial. Should every terrible thing warrant an R-rating?..."

I'll go you one better. Since obesity is killing us all, shouldn't all commercials selling food be banned from the airwaves? (That would put teeveeland into double-overtime electroshock.) Should movie scenes featuring food automatically have R-ratings? How about titles that glorify food, like my My Dinner With Andre, be forced into retitling?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Karma Debt Compounded

Lieberman Helps Collect Cash for Collins - The Fix: "...Not only has Lieberman endorsed Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine.) -- one of Democrats' biggest targets in the 2008 cycle -- but he's planning to co-host a fundraiser for her on June 21 in Washington, D.C..."

Something to look forward to in the future-- the toasting of Holy Joe.

The Daily Snark

James Wolcott's Blog: Wolcott's Blog: "...The wait was shorter than I could have ever hoped and dreamed, and with far more dramatic consequences. I would go through the entire list, but consider: Tom DeLay--gone; George Allen--gone; Rick Santorum--gone; John Bolton--gone; Donald Rumsfeld--gone. It's been clear since the midterm elections that the Bush administration and the Republican Party never anticipated (anymore than I did) that the Republicans would lose both houses of Congress. They assumed--and why wouldn't they?--that they would have two unassailable years to pack the government agencies and the courts with their cronies and gerrymander the Democrats into crippled, ineffectual archipelagos. Two years for Bush to walk tall in the roving spotlight and stage-manage his triumphant stroll into his legacy, a two-term titan with a permanent Republican majority to Reaganize his memory. Two years for Rove to gloat in his desaturated fats of his own genius..."

Edwards Obama Treatment

Obama's Kumbaya: "It wasn't nearly as contentious as the Edwards interview. No Republican talking points from George Stephanopoulos yesterday, you know, like when he accused Edwards of abandoning the troops with this beauty: "Do you think the Democrats should be saddled with the idea of completely cutting off funding for the troops?" Or this one: "You know, a lot of Democrats still in the Senate think that your position here is cynical political theater." This week, George and Barack had just a nice, polite little chat. Likely because Edwards is more of a fire breather when it comes to getting out of Iraq. Obama is not. He is also not an ideologue, which is an understatement with frightening ramifications..."

CBS-Batiste Brawl Beckons

Think Progress: "As Keith Olbermann first reported on Thursday, Gen. John Batiste’s consulting arrangement with CBS was terminated due to his participation in a VoteVets ad. In post entitled “Revisiting the Batiste Decision,” the CBS News blog cites the following standard as a rationale for Batiste’s firing:

'Simply stated, it is the policy of CBS that it will not take any part in any partisan political process in any form...'"

Finding Terrorists

The Blog | Arianna Huffington: Bill Maher, Frank Luntz, and the Limitations of Reframing Reality | The Huffington Post
"...I don't think it's a mystery at all. I've written extensively about how the Republicans have used fear to scare their way to victory (see here, here, and here). Fear is their go-to play. Mushroom clouds as smoking guns! Terror alerts any time the poll numbers take a dip! And isn't it interesting how we have the Fort Dix arrest of the gang that couldn't jihad straight just as Bush's approval rating hits a record low? When the president warned that if we didn't fight them over there, we'd have to fight them over here, I never imagined that ground zero would be Circuit City..."

Hypocrisy of Another Shade

Crooks and Liars » The candidate with the ’sensational good looks’

"For all the palaver about John Edwards’ appearance, haircuts, and Breck-Girl qualities, at least he isn’t distributing items at his campaign appearances about his “sensational good looks.”

But Mitt Romney is..."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bush DeHick

Bush's wink becomes a royal pain: "Oh, he tried. He really did.

And yet President Bush managed to come off as a yokel during Queen Elizabeth's U.S. visit. He stumbled over dates in his speech, adding two centuries to the British monarch's age by indicating that she'd visited the U.S. in 1776 rather than 1976.

President Bush makes a small faux pas while welcoming Queen Elizabeth II to the White House on May 7. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

And then he winked at her majesty as though she were a waitress at the IHOP (or Karl Rove). Then he referred to her as his mother..."
Unfortunately, there's more. Much more. Click the link.

Turks Rally Against Government

1.5 million Turks rally against pro-Islamic ruling party, pressuring government ahead of vote | The Huffington Post
"IZMIR, Turkey — Choking the highways and crammed onto ferries, hundreds of thousands of Turks streamed into this port city on Sunday in an enormous show of opposition to the pro-Islamic ruling party, increasing pressure on the government ahead of early elections.

Some 1.5 million protesters carried anti-government banners, red-and-white Turkish flags and pictures of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded the secular republic in 1923. Turkish flags hung from balconies and windows, as well as buses and fishing boats and yachts bobbing in Izmir's bay.

"I am here to defend my country," said Yuksel Uysal, a teacher. "I am here to defend Ataturk's revolution..."'

Best wishes for keeping your country. Best wishes for us keeping ours.

What The War Costs

National Priorities Project - The Cost of War

Real time counter and comparison links. It will cause you to shake your head.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Edwards New Website

John Edwards launches new campaign to the end the war - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Edwards launched a new Web site today, Edwards is proposing that this Memorial Day, we take back patriotism. I like it. And his video appeal is well done too. I'm on a conference call with a number of Edwards supporters at the moment, and we'll be doing a smaller conference call with a few bloggers and Edwards in a few minutes..."

More Sharpton

Imus producer: Sharpton a 'race-baiter' - Yahoo! News: "NEW YORK - Don Imus' former producer on Friday called Rev.
Al Sharpton a 'race-baiter' who was looking for attention when he led a campaign to fire the radio host, while Sharpton said Imus and his producer got what they deserved for making a racist, sexist remark on the air..."

More astounding revelations to come, I'm sure.

Oil Missing

Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq, U.S. Study Says - New York Times: "Between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq’s declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling, according to a draft American government report..."

Shocked I am, I am.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Brits Showing The Way

The Blog | Bill Moyers: "I'm Harry." | The Huffington Post: "..But a less playful thought also occurred to me watching the first and royal families all gussied up. I couldn't help but think of Prince Harry, the Queen's grandson, who is headed for Iraq with a cavalry regiment, even though he's a conspicuous target for assassination or kidnapping. There's angst in official circles that other members of his regiment will be put at graver risk because of his celebrity. So guess what his comrades -- his fellow soldiers -- are doing? Rather than petition the Queen to keep the young man home, they have gotten shirts printed up with the words across them: 'I'm Harry.' Marvelous, no? The commoners and the Prince are in this together: one for all and all for one. What a notion -- that war should be the great equalizer, that no one's son or daughter is privileged from duty or danger..."

An Image Too Far

Cliff's Corner - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"...2) Being a Republican means that you're actually now motivating generals to retire so that they can do commercials pointing out your war policy sucks more than Dick Morris in a room full of Brit Hume's toes..."

Yeeek. Scald my mind's eye with boiling Colorox.

The Gilded Guild

The Blog | RJ Eskow: How Reporters Who Attack Bloggers Are Like Beauticians | The Huffington Post: "...Left-wing bloggers continue to tear their hair and ask why far more vicious attacks on the press by conservatives like Limbaugh and Ann Coulter don't trigger the indignation and slashing counterattacks that better documented and more civil progressive blog critiques do.

The answer is simple: Coulter and Limbaugh don't threaten the franchise. They may differ from David Broder in Joe Klein in style and content, but they are part of the same economic system. As highly-paid pundits, they are in the guild. That means they don't threaten the economic security of Klein, Broder, Brian Williams, and other blog-bashers..."

Glenn Beck On Prez Joe

My Two Sense: Is Glenn Beck An Anti-Semite?:

[Beck:] " 'Now, I have said on this program, 'I would not vote for Joe Lieberman as president of the United States.' I think Joe Lieberman knows how to fight this war. I think Joe Lieberman really gets it. However, even if I didn't disagree with him on so many social issues, I wouldn't vote for Joe Lieberman at this time because of the complications it would add in this country or on the planet right now because of the way the Middle East would use it. That's not saying the same thing as I wouldn't vote for a Jew for president. And yet, people can get away with that.'

If he isnt ruling out voting for a jewish President, why not Lieberman? Beck already says that he agrees with Lieberman on the war, and that even if Lieberman agreed with him on social issues, he still wouldnt vote for him, so again why not Joe Lieberman?"(sic)...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hot Rice and Oil

The Carpetbagger Report » Blog Archive » A side of Rice in the oil-for-food scandal?: "As part of the deal under negotiation, Chevron probably won’t admit that it was violating U.N. sanctions, but would instead acknowledge that the company should have been aware of the illegal kickbacks to Saddam.

If only Chevron had some kind of internal policy committee, as part of the company’s board of directors, with a knowledgeable expert responsible for looking out for these kinds of problems. Oh wait, it did — and it was led by Condoleezza Rice.

According to the Volcker report, surcharges on Iraqi oil exports were introduced in August 2000 by the Iraqi state oil company, the State Oil Marketing Organization. At the time, Condoleezza Rice, now secretary of state, was a member of Chevron’s board and led its public policy committee, which oversaw areas of potential political concerns for the company.

Ms. Rice resigned from Chevron’s board on Jan. 16, 2001, after being named national security advisor by President Bush.

Sean McCormack, a State Department spokesman, referred inquires to Chevron.

Hmm. Rice wasn’t just on Chevron’s board when the company was paying kickbacks to Saddam Hussein, she was in charge of the company’s policy committee, which existed to look for potential political problems..."

The Other Shoe: Jersey Six Edition

The Daily Dish: Fort Dix
"...Indeed, over the months that followed, as the targets of the investigation spoke with a sometimes unfocused zeal about waging holy war, the informer, one of two used in the investigation, would tell them that he could get them the sophisticated weapons they wanted. He would accompany them on surveillance missions to military installations, debating the risks, and when the men looked ready to purchase the weapons, it was the informer who seemed to be pushing the idea of buying the deadliest items, startling at least one of the suspects...") NYT.

Everyone who is surprised...

It's Almost Zip-it Time

The Blog | Jeff Stier: The Season of Misconception | The Huffington Post: "At a time when research dollars are dwindling, this one really leaves me scratching my head: Babies who are conceived between June and August aren't as smart as the rest of us. Or at least they don't score as well on state exams. This, according to Dr. Paul Winchester of the Indiana University School of Medicine..."

Feds Target Moore

Feds Probe Moore's Film Trip to Cuba | The Huffington Post: "LOS ANGELES — Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore is under investigation by the U.S. Treasury Department for taking ailing Sept. 11 rescue workers to Cuba for a segment in his upcoming health-care documentary 'Sicko,' The Associated Press has learned.

The investigation provides another contentious lead-in for a provocative film by Moore, a fierce critic of President Bush. In the past, Moore's adversaries have fanned publicity that helped the filmmaker create a new brand of opinionated blockbuster documentary..."

No Signing Statements - Pelosi threat to sue Bush over Iraq bill: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is threatening to take President Bush to court if he issues a signing statement as a way of sidestepping a carefully crafted compromise Iraq war spending bill.

Pelosi recently told a group of liberal bloggers, “We can take the president to court” if he issues a signing statement, according to Kid Oakland, a blogger who covered Pelosi’s remarks for the liberal website"

Republican Law and Disorder

We The People

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Daily Snark

John Ridley: Stop the Presses: Al Sharpton's a Hatemongeringt Hypocrite"...Toward the tail end of that TV news cycle whipped storm, when it was pointed out to Al that a variation of Imus's rant could be heard with an exponent in heavy rotation within a certain variety of rap music, Al promised to go at the extreme ends of the music business with the same camera-whoring zeal with which he attacked Imus.

On the 12th it will have been a month since Imus was dropped by CBS.

Though I make a point of closely following the news, I was apparently otherwise occupied during the ten minutes Al was flogging his big Anti-misogyny in Music Campaign...."

Chris Kelly:"Every time Michael Medved interprets a poll, a statistician dies. According to Medved, a made-up non-quasi-plurality of Democrats don't not not think that the president didn't see 9/11 coming..."

James Wolcott:"It has not been a bravura week in the right blogosphere.

Despite giving it her Diamandas Galas banshee all, Shamela of Atlas Shrugs was able only to whip up eight to ten stragglers for an anti-CAIR protest rally in midtown Manhattan. So sad. As one disillusioned citizen-soldier moped, "There were no press at all, not even a kooky cable station. I was so surprised, I mean here I am in a city where there are what, 20 million people in a 30 mile radius, most of which read the internet, hopefully concerned about our fate, and 8 people show up?" I blame the low turnout on Shamela's foolhardy decision to defect from Pajamas Media and exile herself to the cold, distant, obscure interstellar reaches of the internet. She shouts into the void to no avail..."

Hammertime Redux

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall May 9, 2007 10:58 AM

"A key snippet from today's piece in The Hill about the DeLay portion of the Abramoff investigation ...

One source familiar with the investigation said federal officials have given immunity to at least one senior member of DeLay’s political circle who may now be cooperating with investigators. Former associates of the majority leader say investigators are apparently attempting to indict DeLay for corruption by proving that Buckham sought to influence him with unearned payments to his wife..."

Majority Says "No Veto" - CNN Political Ticker: "WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A majority of the U.S. public disapproves of President Bush's decision to veto a war spending bill that called for U.S. troops to leave Iraq in 2008, according to a CNN poll released Tuesday.

The poll found that 54 percent of Americans opposed Bush's May 1 veto, while 44 percent backed the president's decision to kill the $124 billion bill..."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Regal Press

Crooks and Liars » Journalists Are Not A Royal Class

"Why in the name of God are four working journalists among those attending this state dinner — not as reporters with a notebook or a camera but as guests munching on Dover sole and dancing into the night with America's own brand of dukes and earls?[..]

In the last few weeks, the sight of journalists yucking it up with celebrities and the people that they cover at annual events like the White House Correspondents' Association dinner (the one where President Bush famously joked about not being able to find weapons of mass destruction) has caused a growing uproar. Last week, the New York Times said its staffers will no longer attend such dinners

I think there needs to be a debate about whether journalists should attend these fancy state dinners as well. The reason should be obvious. Reporters — whether they work in Washington, D.C. or a small mountain town in Washington State — ought to be the voice of the kind of people who don't get invited to white-tie affairs, the handymen and school teachers, not the politicians and billionaires."

On The Ft. Dix Plot

No More Mister Nice Blog
"There's going to be a lot of chest-pounding and feces-throwing among right-wingers very soon, in response to the arrest of six men in an alleged plot to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The right-wingers are going to say that liberals are evil because the government broke up this plot and liberals don't want the government to do what's necessary to break up plots like this.

So let me just point you to this, from WNBC...

...So apparently no warrantless wiretapping led to these arrests, no torture of suspects in overseas prisons, nothing liberals have objected to in the Patriot Act. Remember that when you're told that these arrests prove that we can't trust liberals and Democrats.

In fact, what led to these arrests, apparently, is something right-wingers might object to -- a video processor calling the FBI after watching people on a tape shooting guns. I'm surprised that that isn't already illegal, as the result of pressure from the gun lobby. But maybe that's a fight for another day..."

Doolittle Sinking

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall May 8, 2007 12:03 AM

"Is Rep. John
Doolittle's (R-CA) career going down the tubes for Alberto Gonzales's sins? That's Doolittle's story. Doolittle has made a number of wild claims in recent days. But on Saturday he wrote a guest column in his hometown newspaper, the Auburn Journal. In the column Doolittle claims that the Justice Department raided his home in Northern Virginia and subsequently leaked news of the raid in order to give AG Alberto Gonzales ammunition to argue that he's evenhanded in pursuing Democratic and Republican corruption..."


Pentagon Tells 35,000: Prepare to Deploy | The Huffington Post
"WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has notified more than 35,000 Army soldiers to be prepared to deploy to Iraq beginning this fall, a move that would allow commanders to maintain the ongoing buildup of troops through the end of the year if needed.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Tuesday the deployment orders, which have been signed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, do not mean that the military has made a decision to keep the increased level of 20 brigades in Iraq through December. A brigade is roughly 3,500 soldiers..."

Monday, May 07, 2007


Life Under Bush: Less Affordable and Less Secure:"For millions of hard-working, middle-class families, life under the Bush presidency has grown less affordable and less secure. President Bush’s record of fiscal incompetence and mismanagement, anepublicans’ close ties with special interests, have helped lead to both lower wages on the one haand skyrocketing costs for basic necessities like gas, health care, and college tuition on the other. Unfortunately, instead of producing solutions to the problems facing the middle class, Bush Republicans have ignored them and pushed for policies that would make matters even worse.

In addition to tightening the squeeze on families, Republican policies have made our entire nation less financially secure. Republicans increased our debt to nearly $9 trillion and have insisted on spending billions of dollars every year on budget-busting tax breaks for special interests and multi-millionaires. The Bush Administration also continues to compromise our economic security by increasing our reliance on foreign investment from in China, Japan, and Dubai..."

Getting Lou Dobbs Right

I don't watch Lou Dobbs except on rare occasion, though his positions and mine line-up with near laser precision. Sirota notes the problems with Leslie Stahl's interview (I wonder if anyone will have anything to say on the grilling Edwards got on This Week. Update: see Taylor Marsh here to watch the show and a rebuke of the "journalism.")

The Blog | David Sirota: Lou Dobbs Challenges The Great Objectivity Scam | The Huffington Post

'...Take, for instance, this line in the 60 Minutes piece, delivered as an authoritative, nonpartisan, objective fact:

"Dobbs is full of contradictions: he's pro-abortion rights, but against gun control; a fiscal conservative who supports government regulation."

Stahl would have us believe that believing the consistent libertarianism inherent in the dual beliefs that government shouldn't dictate decisions between a woman and her doctor nor decisions about who should own a gun is a "contradiction." She would also have us believe that being a fiscal conservative (aka. for less government spending and balanced budgets) is a "contradiction" for someone who supports government regulation (aka. consumer protections, environmental laws, etc.). She offers no proof of these claims. Factually, of course, they are absurd, meaning at best such claims are Stahl's own (very odd) opinions. Yet, her opinion is portrayed as non-partisan objective fact akin to stating that water is wet...'

Not In Kansas No Mo'

National Guard equipment is in Iraq, not in Kansas where it's needed - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"The tornado in Kansas this weekend totally destroyed the town of Greensburg. It's gone. Now the clean-up begins. But, that's being hampered by the war in Iraq:
The rebuilding effort in tornado-ravaged Greensburg, Kansas, likely will be hampered because some much-needed equipment is in Iraq, said that state’s governor.

Governor Kathleen Sebelius said much of the National Guard equipment usually positioned around the state to respond to emergencies is gone. She said not having immediate access to things like tents, trucks and semitrailers will really handicap the rebuilding effort.
This war has made Americans less safe in so many ways.

Andy Towle has a link to photos documenting the complete devastation."

More Attorneygate

TPM restates their investigation on illegal hirings then we get this:

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: "...Now, it seems, McClatchy and congressional investigators are starting to take note. Just out on the McClatchy wire tonight ...

Congressional investigators are beginning to focus on accusations that a top civil rights official at the Justice Department illegally hired lawyers based on their political affiliations, especially for sensitive voting rights jobs.

Two former department lawyers told McClatchy Newspapers that Bradley Schlozman, a senior civil rights official, told them in early 2005, after spotting mention of their Republican affiliations on their job applications, to delete those references and resubmit their resumes. Both attorneys were hired..."

Again, where's the Pulitzer for TPM?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Another Bad Day At The Front

Think Progress » 11 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.: "11 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.

“Six American soldiers and a civilian journalist were killed Sunday in a roadside bombing northeast of Baghdad, the military said, raising to 11 the number of U.S. combat deaths reported. A car bomb in the capital, where U.S.-led forces are in the midst of a crackdown on sectarian violence, killed at least 30 Iraqis.”"

GOP Buys Voter Data

ePluribus Media Community || CO state worker sells voter data to GOP, Sec. of State investigating

"As reported last night, a technology manager in the Elections Division of Colorado's Secretary of State's office was selling Colorado voter data to GOP candidates.

Daniel J. Kopelman of Aurora, CO, whose duties include oversight and maintenance of the state's master voter registration database, was offering "GOP campaign help" in the form of voter and "fresh" fundraising lists at the web site of his privately-owned company Political Live Wires..."

No 'Crites Here

On Mitt Romney and B-List pundits:
Hullabaloo: "...Changing your position on the right to abortion and gay rights is easily understood, but a millionaire getting an expensive haircut and a constantly travelling politician having a preference of cabin is really hard to explain. I can only assume that's because when Republicans prove themselves to be unprincipled whores it isn't news while Democrats who don't live like animals are hypocrites.

Those would be the Clinton Rules. It looks like the press corps is really intent upon partying like it's 1999. Get out your glow sticks kids."

Saturday, May 05, 2007

When Scandals Collide

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog: "Scandals collide! — the BushCo-rattling USAttorneys scandal may have intersected with the titillating DCMadam scandal. And just in time, after the extraordinary buildup and letdown from ABCNews 'investigative reporter' Brian Ross on Friday night (transcript). I guess 20/20 doesn't believe in full release and happy endings.

The notion that variety of scandals might indeed be linking up is not outside the realm of possibility..."

DOJ Trashes Murder Investigation

New Story for Firing Emerges -
"A U.S. attorney in Seattle was singled out for dismissal in part because he clashed with senior Justice Department officials over the investigation of a federal prosecutor's murder, and he was recommended for removal 18 months earlier than was previously known, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews.

D. Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, told congressional investigators that he believes he may have recommended former U.S. attorney John McKay's removal in March 2005 because of conflicts with senior Justice officials over the investigation of the 2001 murder of federal prosecutor Tom Wales, according to congressional aides and Sampson's attorney..."

Bush Does Good!

Bush pisses off the NRA - The Smirking Chimp: "For the first time in six years, the Bush administration got it right.

But, all it's done is piss off the far right.

You see, the White House has gotten behind a bill that would make it illegal to sell weapons to terrorist suspects.

Even Bushie couldn't blow that one, could he?

Well, apparently he did because the NRA is now all over him, protesting that the bill would be in conflict with the 2nd Amendment..."

"MPEACHW" Plate To Be Seized

"...But somebody doesn’t agree. And that somebody complained to the state. Now, the South Dakota Division of Motor Vehicles is trying to recall the plates -- which read MPEACHW. And if Moriah doesn’t turn them in voluntarily, the state might send law-enforcement officers to pick them up.

Even so, she’s not immediately inclined to cooperate.

“I don’t think I’m going to play,” Moriah said Thursday afternoon. “The plate isn’t in poor taste. It‘s not sexual in nature or pornographic. To me, a political message should not be considered offensive...”

Bush Going For All-Time Record

NEWSWEEK Poll: Bush Hits All-Time Low - Newsweek Politics -
By Marcus Mabry, Newsweek

"May 5, 2007 - It’s hard to say which is worse news for Republicans: that George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation, or that he seems to be dragging every ’08 Republican presidential candidate down with him. But According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public’s approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.’s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP’s chances for victory in ’08. The NEWSWEEK Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups..."

Corruption, Alaska Style

TPMmuckraker May 4, 2007 06:06 PM

"I tell you, corruption doesn't get any uglier than Alaskan corruption.

The investigation surrounding VECO, an Alaskan oil company, has finally borne fruit. Two Republican members of the state legislature were indicted today, one of them the former speaker of the house. There's still no word on the fate of former state Sen. Ben Stevens, son of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), who is also under investigation..."

NY Must Release Documents

GOP Convention Papers Ordered Opened | The Huffington Post: "NEW YORK — The city cannot prevent the public from seeing documents describing intelligence that police gathered to help them create policies for arrests at the 2004 Republican National Convention, a judge said Friday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV made the ruling regarding documents about information the New York Police Department says it used."

Healthcare Hoodwink

Health Care Spending and Results in Perspective: The US, the OECD and Canada | The Agonist: "...But at least the US isn’t spending a lot of public money on health care, right? Wrong. As of 2001 only Norway, Luxembourg and Sweden spent more public money per capita on health care than the US. Because of how much the US spends on health care its percentage of public money spent on healthcare is much less than the OECD average (44.2% vs. 72.2%).

So then - if the US is spending more per capita and a larger share of it’s GDP then it should be getting more for that spending, right?

Well it’ll probably come as no surprise that there are very few metrics on which the US outperforms the OECD average.

Let’s run through a few. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) male mortality for children under 5 in the US as of 2002 was 9 per thousand and female mortality under 5 was 7 per thousand. Canada’s equivalent numbers were 6 per thousand for males and 5 per thousand for males. The despised English health care system came in at 7 per thousand for males and 6 per thousand for females..."

Friday, May 04, 2007

More GOP Debate Opinion

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog: "...They [the GOP presidential contenders] do not see a nation angry at them about the war nor shamed by a government that sanctions torture. With their Reaganesqe optimism, they do not see families struggling with health care costs, job security, retirement security, and college tuition. They don’t seem to worry whether the government is doing enough to protect us from unsafe working conditions, unsafe products, unsafe foods and drugs. They apparently don’t see global warming as a national security or economic threat. American democracy is not threatened; the Constitution is not under siege, and Americans don’t hate the Bush regime for what it has done to our liberties (Paul excepted). Attacks on the rights of women, gays, and immigrants and anyone who looks like the “enemy” are non-issues.

The collective denial shown by these men was even more surprising because one of the first questions asked concerned the fact that about only 22 percent of the American people think the country is on the right track, but you’d never know it from listening to these men. And because they seem so completely disconnected from what the American people believe, there is no possibility that any of these men could successfully address the nation’s concerns. Last night, the Republican Party declared itself to be in denial and irrelevant except as an out of touch opposition party with no ideas left for any of the hard questions of governnance..."

GOPers Speak

PERRspectives Blog: GOP Quotes of the Week, Iraq Veto Edition: "GOP Quotes of the Week, Iraq Veto Edition

Judging from the latest deluge of egregious gaffes, blunders and banality from the conservative chattering class, Stephen Colbert was certainly right that 'reality has a well-known liberal bias.' President Bush's wildly unpopular war funding veto, the continued entropy in Iraq, George Tenet's revisionist history and the rhetorical mishaps of 2008 GOP hopefuls combined to produce a hilarious - and disturbing - mix of Republican verbal psychosis..."

Check the link for a long list of gaseous emissions.

VA Bonuses Questioned

Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community: "Congressional leaders on Thursday demanded that the Veterans Affairs secretary explain hefty bonuses for senior department officials involved in crafting a budget that came up $1 billion short and jeopardized veterans' health care.

Rep. Harry Mitchell, chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee on oversight, said he would hold hearings to investigate after The Associated Press reported that budget officials at the Veterans Affairs Department received bonuses ranging up to $33,000..."

Congress On A Take-Back

Clinton Proposes Vote to Reverse Authorizing War - New York Times: "WASHINGTON, May 3 — Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed Thursday that Congress repeal the authority it gave President Bush in 2002 to invade Iraq, injecting presidential politics into the Congressional debate over financing the war..."

Thursday, May 03, 2007

WSJ Calls For Dictator

Glenn Greenwald - Salon

"The Wall St. Journal online has today published a lengthy and truly astonishing article by Harvard Government Professor Harvey Mansfield, which expressly argues that the power of the President is greater than "the rule of law."

The article bears this headline: The Case for the Strong Executive -- Under some circumstances, the Rule of Law must yield to the need for Energy. And it is the most explicit argument I have seen yet for vesting in the President the power to override and ignore the rule of law in order to recieve the glories of what Mansfield calls "one-man rule...

...While the Bush administration expressly adopts these theories to detain American citizens without charges, engage in domestic surveillance on Americans in clear violation of the laws we enacted to limit that power, and asserts a general right to disregard laws which interfere with the President's will, our media still barely discusses those issues.

They write about John Edwards' haircut and John Kerry's windsurfing and which political consultant has whispered what gossip to them about some painfully petty matter, but the extraordinary fact that our nation's dominant political movement is openly advocating the most radical theories of tyranny -- that "liberties are dangerous and law does not apply" -- is barely noticed by our most prestigious and self-loving national journalists. Merely to take note of that failure is to demonstrate how profoundly dysfunctional our political press is."

Traitor Rice?

Did Nancy Pelosi force a breakthrough in US-Syrian relations? - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"Sure looks that way.

Just a month or so after Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with senior Syrian government officials, and was labeled a traitor by Republicans for visiting "a terror state," US Secretary of State Condi Rice is now planning to meet with senior Syrian government officials. Imagine that.

So does Pelosi get credit for the breakthrough in relations, or is Condi a traitor too?"

Where The Problem Lies

Even Gipper can't pull this one out | Chicago Tribune: "...But the Gipper can't save them. Each of Bush's signature failures -- the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, Enron and the corporate scandals, failed tax and trade policies, the attempt to privatize Social Security, the posturing around Terri Schiavo and stem cells -- can be traced back not simply to the conservative ideology and ideologues that sired them -- but to the basic concepts that Reagan championed. The Gipper can't lead Republican candidates out of the wilderness because, to paraphrase, his conservatism is the problem, not the solution.

Over the last six years, with Bush in the White House, then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay ramrodding the Republican Congress and Karl Rove focused on mobilizing the Republican base, conservatives have largely had their way. Bush pursued the core ideas of each strand of 'movement conservatism' largely to catastrophic effect. In each case, he was largely implementing what Reagan had previously championed..."

Speaker Pelosi Urges Override of the President's Veto

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

BO Is Bad Every 7 Seonds

Think Progress » STUDY: Bill O’Reilly Uses Derogatory Names ‘More Than Once Every Seven Seconds’: "A new study by Indiana University media researchers finds that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly calls “a person or a group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, on average, or nearly nine times every minute during the editorials that open his program each night...”"

God Squad Urges Murder?

Talk To Action | Reclaiming Citizenship, History, and Faith
" There have been some big scandals in the church world in recent years. There is the ongoing Catholic priest pedophilia scandal. The crimes were first enabled and then covered-up by high ranking church officials like Boston's Cardinal Law. Then there was Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals who was paying a male prostitute for anal sex -- while publicly denouncing homosexuality and campaigning against gay marriage.

And now there is the vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention who publicly endorsed the assasination of a doctor by a member of an underground terror organization, who had been on the FBIs Ten Most Wanted List. The first two scandals created international news, but the third has not; at least not yet. Since Intelligence Report, the magazine of the Southern Poverty Law Center broke the story, there has been no press coverage that I can find, except for Ethics Daily on Friday; and only a handful of blog posts, notably Mainstream Baptist, Big Daddy Weave, Moiv and me. This merits further discussion.

Rev. Wiley Drake endorsed the murder in signing a declaration of support for confessed assasin James Kopp on the web site of the Army of God. He has also, as I reported, had a long time involvement in antiabortion activism among other things, with an AOG leader named Robert Ferguson..."

The Daily Flashback

Justice Sunday Preachers: "Senate majority leader Bill Frist appeared through a telecast as a speaker at 'Justice Sunday,' at the invitation of the event's main sponsor, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. 'Justice Sunday' was promoted as a rally to portray Democrats as being 'against people of faith.' Many of the speakers compared the plight of conservative Christians to the civil rights movement. But in sharing the stage with Perkins, who introduced him to the rally, Frist was associating himself with someone who has longstanding ties to racist organizations..."

Fascist Neocon Calls For Coup

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall May 2, 2007 12:21 PM

Thomas Sowell in the National Review: From my ivory tower, things look so bad that it may be time for a military coup in the United States.

Pot Is Not?

Marijuana Duck, Duck, Goose - Same Old Story - Cause for Concern

"Today, 13 states currently have active medical marijuana programs. Illinois, Texas, and Connecticut are chompin' at the bit (Connecticut just did the civil union thing - watch out). Grandma in the Bronx (colorectal cancer) isn't getting tagged for smokin' the rope. Hell, even Sanjaya's fam is in the growing business. Good reports? You got it: Marijuana has shown to cut lung tumor growth in mice and a marijuana-like compound may slow Alzheimer's.

So what has to come out? Marijuana makes makes you crazy and damages the brain. Sorry, that's FOX News. How about a more credible reporting source like Reuters through Scientific American?..."