Thursday, May 31, 2007
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...'"
Excellent post on the issues here.
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...'"
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..."
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
"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...
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..."
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.
"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?..."
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
They are making the effort to deal with one of humanity's greatest issues. They deserve credit for that.
'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...'"
Monday, May 28, 2007
"...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 web page may be gone but I'm sure the sentiment lingers on...
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..."
...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..."
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
"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.
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…"
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
Thursday, May 24, 2007
"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..."
The Vixen is at it again. This time she leaves John Edwards for a moment to laser-bore Al Gore.
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
"...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..."
"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 ABCNews.com..."
Not much of a secret; not much of a surprise.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
"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."
"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?
"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
"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..."
"...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..."
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
"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..."
"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
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...
Klaudt accused of sexual contact with foster kids, pages,By Terry Woster, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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..."
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..."
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
'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..."
"...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%..."
Thursday, May 17, 2007
"...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..."
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..."
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..."
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...'"
"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
"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..."
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..."
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
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..."
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.
"...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
Something to look forward to in the future-- the toasting of Holy Joe.
'Simply stated, it is the policy of CBS that it will not take any part in any partisan political process in any form...'"
"...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..."
"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
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.
"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.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
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.
Shocked I am, I am.
Friday, May 11, 2007
"...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 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..."
[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
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..."
"...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...
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..."
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 dailykos.com..."
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
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..."
"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..."
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
"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."
"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..."
"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..."
"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
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
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...'
"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.This war has made Americans less safe in so many ways.
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.
Andy Towle has a link to photos documenting the complete devastation."
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
“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.”"
"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..."
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
The notion that variety of scandals might indeed be linking up is not outside the realm of possibility..."
"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..."
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..."
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...”
"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..."
By Paul Kiel - May 4, 2007, 6:06 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..."
U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV made the ruling regarding documents about information the New York Police Department says it used."
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
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..."
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.
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..."
Thursday, May 03, 2007
"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."
"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?"
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..."
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
" 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..."
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.
"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?..."