Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cuttin' Out The Middle Man

Law Requires N.M. to Grow Its Own Pot - The Huffington Post: "SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico has a new medical marijuana law with a twist: It requires the state to grow its own.

The law, effective Sunday, not only protects medical marijuana users from prosecution _ as 11 other states do _ but requires New Mexico to oversee a production and distribution system for the drug..."

Seven Down, X To Go

Seventh official quits Justice Department | U.S. | Reuters: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An assistant attorney general at the Justice Department announced her resignation on Friday, becoming the seventh official to quit the department since the Democratic-led Congress launched an investigation in March into the firing of nine federal prosecutors.

Rachel Brand, assistant attorney general for legal policy, said she would step down on July 9. No reason was given..."

Petition Exposure

Expose The Obstructionists | Campaign for America's Future: "Americans elected a new Congress to get things done. But the conservative minority has chosen a strategy of obstruction in the Senate. They have used the threat of a filibuster to delay or block virtually every major initiative. Bills with majority support—raising the minimum wage, ethics reform, a date to remove troops from Iraq, revoking oil subsidies and putting the money into renewable energy, fulfilling the 9/11 commission recommendations on homeland security—get blocked because they can’t garner 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.

In its first 40 hours, the new majority of the House of Representatives kept their promise to voters and passed legislation—increasing the minimum wage for the first time in a decade, empowering Medicare to negotiate lower prices on drugs, cutting interest rates on student loans in half, revoking big oil subsidies and using the money to invest in renewable energy—that provided a down payment for a new direction for this country.

These bills are overwhelmingly popular, and are simply common sense reforms. Yet every one of them—and many more—got held up in the U.S. Senate...

...Campaign for America’s Future is creating a petition to Reid, urging him to expose the obstructionists. Please join the petition. Let’s insure that Americans are clear on who is pushing for change and who is standing in the way."

The Real Iran?

Victor Davis Hanson on Iraq on National Review Online: "...With oil prices at an all-time high, Iran can't provide gasoline for its own people, who resent the billions spent instead on Arab terrorists abroad. If oil were to dip from near $70 to $50-55 a barrel, the regime would face abject bankruptcy. For all the criticism of the U.S. position, from the left and right, we have now found the right blend of military determination not to let Teheran go nuclear, combined with economic and political efforts at containment. There is an array of future options — stronger embargoes, blockades, and military strikes on infrastructure — still on the table. The social unrest the mullahs desire in Iraq is starting to spill over the border into their own Iran, and its magnitude and final course are still unpredictable..."

Generals' Moore

Click to enjoy a sampler of comments from Right Blogistan. Jesus' General: "The Patriotsphere's reasoned response to Sicko..."

Friday, June 29, 2007

Iraq Vet Won't Be Kicked Over Comments

"KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Marines won't kick out an Iraq war veteran who made anti-war statements in a speech and wore part of his uniform at a protest, the service said Friday, despite a recommendation to discharge him early.

An investigating officer had recommended in May that Liam Madden, 22, of Boston receive an other-than-honorable discharge, the worst discharge possible under non-court martial conditions..."


Slamming Rudy

Cliff's Corner - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "...1) Rudy Giuliani understood the terrorist threat when Bill Clinton didn't after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. That is why he never mentioned terrorism. Didn't know who Osama bin Laden was. And Put the counterrorism center in the only place that had actually been attacked: The freakin WORLD TRADE CENTER.

Rudy do you really want to run on this? You're to counterterrorism what Lindsay Lohan is to driving or Dick Cheney is to eating vegetables. There is a reason the firemen hate you, you jackass. Let me put this in a way a blunt man like you can understand. Your negligence in not replacing faulty radios GOT THEM KILLED. You get that, America's 'cousin-kissing, serial-marrying, Bernie-Kerik-promoting, Oxycontin-pushing' Mayor?..."

Paul Harvey and Paris

Just caught this on the radio so I'm not sure if Paul is quoting someone else or not, but the blurb quoted Paris Hilton saying "I have learned that I am not above the law," to which Paul responded, "which clears the way for President Bush to appoint her Vice President."

If Darth Shooter has lost Paul, he has lost America.

On Mitt's Crisis Management

I'm sure everyone by now has heard about Mitt Romney strapping the family dog atop his vehicle for a trip. Here's the best take on the implications I've read yet.

Northman's Fury: "...I'm not sure what is more disturbing; that Romney strapped the family pet to the roof of his car for a twelve-hour highway road trip, or the fact that the reporter thought this story was an excellent way to introduce a profile of the guy.

Note to reporters: Cool-headed crisis management is more impressive when you're not responsible for creating the easily foreseeable crisis to manage.

Strapping the family pet to the car's roof was an amusing anecdote for National Lampoons, but is normally preceded by the warning for other people to not try it themselves. I mean, what kind of cruel bastard would treat their family pet that way?

Oh well. if his Presidential campaign doesn't work out, he can always apply for CEO of Air Canada."

Fox Polls, Rats Cry

According to the Fox News Poll More Americans Trust Dems to Handle World War III Against Islamofascists! Wow! Really. And, oh, Bush is at 31%; his lowest previous Fox low was 33%. Wonder where he would be in a Democratic poll.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Coultergeist Updates

[6/28]...and now John Edwards, on Hardball, fires back.

[6/27]AMERICAblog has video of Coulter wishing John Edwards murdered and of Elizabeth Edwards challenging the Beast of Palm Beach (or wherever she actually votes in Florida).

Raw Story quotes Mrs. Edwards on her reasons for calling:

On Wednesday, the Edwards campaign sent out a letter to supporters written by Elizabeth which explained "why I called Ann Coulter."

"Last night I had an important talk with Ann Coulter and I want to tell you what happened," Elizabeth Edwards wrote. "On Monday, Ann announced that instead of using more homophobic slurs to attack John, she will just wish that John had been "killed in a terrorist assassination plot."

The letter continues, "Where I am from, when someone does something that displeases you, you politely ask them to stop. So when I heard Ann was going to be on 'Hardball' last night, I decided to call in and ask her to engage on the issues and stop the personal attacks. I told her these kinds of personal attacks lower our political dialogue at precisely the time when we need to raise it, and set a bad example for our children."

"How did she respond?" Edwards writes. "Sadly, perhaps predictably, with more personal attacks. John's campaign is about the issues—but pundits like Ann Coulter are trying to shout him down. If they will not stop, it is up to us cut through the noise."

[6/28] More Updates: Taylor Marsh has a good post, as does John at C&L.

From The "Don't Kill The Beaver" Department

Here: Chronicle Blogs: A Bikini Wax Gone Wrong
and here.

When Animals Aren't

Sean Daniel: Misusing "Animal House" - Media on The Huffington Post

We've all gotta quit it--- Daniel's right. Animal House is what we should all aspire to. Though in fairness to its many misusers, most people when they say "Animal House," mean a "bunch of irresponsible people partying." Click here to read the post.

The Rings of Hell

Most of the Bush Administration is destined for one of three Rings of Hell. My guess is Old Scratch will have to conjure up a shuttle service between the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Rings in order to adequately punish Gonzo, Shooter, and the Cretin-In-Chief.

The following link, about firing an AG and the death penalty and how long you should think about it before you execute someone, TPMmuckraker, perfectly illustrates the dilemma Satan faces when those souls shoot-off this mortal coil.

Aravosis Gets Irked

Coulter's hate has been a financial windfall for John Edwards - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "The woman should be in prison. Has the Secret Service investigated Coulter yet for wishing John Edwards assassinated? Oh that's right, George Bush's Secret Service only investigates liberals, while conservative man-whores are given free rein of the White House without even getting the basic background checks required of other frequent White House visitors. Why should we expect the Secret Service to investigate death threats against a Democratic presidential candidate? That would require them to do their job in an impartial manner. Just like they didn't care when Pat Robertson suggested that terrorists nuke the State Department. It's not their job to care, it's their job to protect Republicans. More from AP."

John is exactly right.

Shooter Slammed By Reagan Deputy

Crooks and Liars » Impeach him: "Bruce Fein, the associate deputy attorney general under Reagan, has apparently seen enough.

In grasping and exercising presidential powers, Cheney has dulled political accountability and concocted theories for evading the law and Constitution that would have embarrassed King George III. The most recent invention we know of is the vice president’s insistence that an executive order governing the handling of classified information in the executive branch does not reach his office because he also serves as president of the Senate. In other words, the vice president is a unique legislative-executive creature standing above and beyond the Constitution. The House judiciary committee should commence an impeachment inquiry. As Alexander Hamilton advised in the Federalist Papers, an impeachable offense is a political crime against the nation. Cheney’s multiple crimes against the Constitution clearly qualify..."

Media Fears

Cut to the Chase: Zapping & Snapping The Zeitgeist: Free Press? So Why "Fear Is In Every Newsroom In The Country"?: "...Although the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have shown that media conglomerates limit the diversity of views, subvert democracy and stymie journalistic integrity, Canada, America and Australia’s media regulators continue to let them expand. In fact, over the past decade, media regulators have gone out of their way to help facilitate consolidation or have refused to speak up against it – all to the detriment of the public’s interest. As each of these three countries enters another round of media convergence, their federal media watchdogs appear to be looking the other way."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Whitman Speaks

The Rude Pundit:
"...According to Whitman, whose testimony sounded like it came directly from a phone call with Karl Rove, don't blame her or the Bush administration. Blame "the terrorists who attacked the United States, not the men and women at all levels of government who worked heroically to protect and defend this country," which is a little like saying to blame smoking-related deaths on the existence of tobacco, not on the corporations who lied for years about its addictive nature. Osama bin Laden didn't make Whitman tell everyone the air was fine to suck down into your lungs..."

For some background on Whitman's testimony, click here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No Moore Here

Andrew Sullivan doesn't like Michael Moore and on multiple occasions has accused Moore of lying, though like everyone else who has accused Moore of lying, I have yet to see one provable example of a Moore Lie. Anyway, Sullivan does have some interesting points on the health care debate. Here's a sample:

The Daily Dish: "...Moreover, a wholesale shifting of healthcare from the private to the public sector simply means replacing rationing by wealth with rationing by number, and a drastic decrease in individual freedom on both sides of the medical equation. You'd replace insurance company bureaucrats who deny care with government bureaucrats who deny care. Removing the financial incentive from doctors simply means they will provide sloppier treatment. They're not saints. They're human beings. And slashing the profit motive from the drug companies will simply mean fewer new drugs for fewer illnesses. This is the trade-off the left will deny till they're blue in the face. But it's a real trade-off.

The European health systems have, of course, been free-riding on private U.S. drug research for decades. Name a great new drug developed in Europe these past ten years. Their own pharmaceutical industries have been decimated by the socialism Moore loves (and many of Europe's drug companies have relocated to the US as a result). But I fear the left is winning this battle; and the massive advantages of private healthcare are only appreciated when you lose them. "

P.S. If you're planning on bombarding me with Moore Lies, feel free to do so, but notice I said provable, not inferred.

Kids Say "No" To Torture

Scholars Urge Bush to Ban Use of Torture - The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — President Bush was presented with a letter Monday signed by 50 high school seniors in the Presidential Scholars program urging a halt to 'violations of the human rights' of terror suspects held by the United States.

The White House said Bush had not expected the letter but took a moment to read it and talk with a young woman who handed it to him.

'The president enjoyed a visit with the students, accepted the letter and upon reading it let the student know that the United States does not torture and that we value human rights,' deputy press secretary Dana Perino said..."

Monday, June 25, 2007

Attaboy, Heath

Crooks and Liars » Don’t mess with Shuler’s stuff: "Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), a former NFL quarterback, keeps a sign outside his congressional office noting the federal deficit and the average American’s individual share of the debt. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) wanted to use it as a prop, so he took it. Shuler was not amused.

“On Thursday, during House votes, a very angry Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) had some distinctly non-collegial words for Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas),” Emily Heil reports for Roll Call’s “Heard on the Hill.” “The words ‘gutless,’ ‘chickens–t’ and ‘thief’ were flung.”

The paper reports, “Shuler, a former NFL quarterback, was spotted towering over a seated Gohmert, wagging a finger in his face during the heated session, spies tell HOH.”

Note to Gohmert: don’t mess with Shuler’s stuff."

More from Wonkette:

"...The next day, according to Roll Call, “Shuler, a former NFL quarterback, was spotted towering over a seated Gohmert, wagging a finger in his face during the heated session.” The furious Shuler was yelling at Gohmert for being a “gutless chickenshit thief” and was apparently barely able to keep from stomping the little Republican’s skull.

Such episodes give the nation hope that this guy might get drunk with Jim Webb one night and then bust into Cheney’s house and rip off his ****ing head..."

Wrestler Chris Benoit Dead

Leo (et. al.)
Wrestler Chris Benoit and family found dead | "REPORTS say Chris Benoit, one of TV wrestling's leading personalities, and his family have been found dead in their home..."

Inside Outsider

Looking at Thompson's Lobbying Past - The Huffington Post: "NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Republican Fred Thompson, who likes to cast himself in the role of Washington outsider, has a long history as a political insider who earned more than $1 million lobbying the federal government.

As a lobbyist for more than 20 years, billion-dollar corporations paid Thompson for his access to members of Congress and White House staff. During that time he was close to two Senate majority leaders, both from his home state of Tennessee _ his political mentor Howard Baker and, more recently, his former colleague Bill Frist..."

No-Draft Mitt

Mormon Church Obtained Vietnam Deferrals For Romney - Politics on The Huffington Post: "As the Vietnam War raged in the 1960s, Mitt Romney received a deferment from the draft as a Mormon 'minister of religion' for the duration of his missionary work in France, which lasted two and a half years.

Before and after his missionary deferment, Romney also received nearly three years of deferments for his academic studies. When his deferments ended and he became eligible for military service in 1970, he drew a high number in the annual lottery that determined which young men were drafted. His high number ensured he was not drafted into the military."

Court Rules For Nazi Schools

Court Tightens Limits on Student Speech - The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court tightened limits on student speech Monday, ruling against a high school student and his 14-foot-long 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' banner.

Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as advocating drug use, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court in a 5-4 ruling.

Joseph Frederick unfurled his homemade sign on a winter morning in 2002, as the Olympic torch made its way through Juneau, Alaska, en route to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Frederick said the banner was a nonsensical message that he first saw on a snowboard. He intended the banner to proclaim his right to say anything at all..."

We don't need any more emboldened school principals.

Update (from comments):

Nobdebplume's comment and my response are two of the many sides of this argument. By logical extension, employers should now be able to trail employees around and discipline them for free speech activities they don't approve of.

"Are we really talking 'Nazi Schools' when a smart-mouth high school student can't win a lawsuit against the principal because he was rightfully punished for doing something wrong... even with the help of the ACLU?"

If the smart-mouth kid were yelling "fire," then I would agree with your point, but the kid was not. School administrators are paid to deal with all the kids and that includes the ones they don't like and the ones with differing political positions. Resorting to strongarm tactics in order to maintain discipline is not conducive to democracy, but then our Supreme Court is not conducive to democracy.

As always, your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Media Marginalizing Edwards

Drew Westen: Obama's Decline in the Polls: Who Turned Off the Electricity? - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...Obama has it in him, but he isn't using it. The one who is using it is John Edwards, who voters saw as the winner of the last debate, but who the East Coast media have run a concerted effort to take out of the race -- first by pretending that he wasn't in it, describing it as a two-way contest between a white woman and a black man, and failing to mention in most articles that the usual presumptive favorite, the vice-presidential nominee from the last election, was even in the race; then by amplifying a concerted GOP effort to portray him as feminine and hypocritical (as if the Kennedys couldn't talk about poverty or the minimum wage until they sold their compound on the Cape), and now describing his years studying and speaking about poverty -- not exactly an obvious issue to champion if you want to win an election -- bashing immigrants is much better for the polls, if not for the soul -- as a political ploy and perhaps a misuse of funds. Northeastern intellectuals didn't care much for Bill Clinton, either, and he did what Edwards will likely need to do: he turned to alternative media (which are now much more powerful) and to local media, who are usually excited to talk with a major candidate rather than to run him into the ground. But Edwards will also need to respond more rapidly and aggressively to smear campaigns, because it's a lot harder to wipe it off after it sticks..."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Secret Dick Joke Contest

Click here: Sadly, No! » Dick Cheney Is So Secretive …

Edwards v. Romney

Edwards attacked for poverty fighting - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "How dare John Edwards create an organization to fight poverty in a time of war. Instead of setting up an organization to combat poverty in America, he should have been using the state of Massachusetts to fund his trips all over the US to build his political network at great taxpayer expense. Heck, he should have also broken with tradition and traveled to the Vatican to see an archbishop become a cardinal because that could have also helped attract right wing catholic voters..."

Shooter Sauce

The Raw Story | Democrats plan to cut Cheney out of executive funding bill: "Following Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that his office is not a part of the executive branch of the US government, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) plans to introduce an amendment to the the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for Cheney's office.

The amendment to the bill that sets the funding for the executive branch will be considered next week in the House of Representatives..."

Making Choices

Military Sees Drop in Black Recruits - The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — The number of blacks joining the military has plunged by more than one-third since the Afghanistan and Iraq wars began, as other job prospects soar and relatives of potential recruits increasingly discourage them from signing up.

According to data obtained by The Associated Press, the decline covers all four military services for active duty recruits, and the drop is even more dramatic when National Guard and Reserve recruiting is included.

The findings reflect the growing unpopularity of the wars, particularly among family members and other adults who exert influence over high school and college students considering the military as a place to serve their country, further their education or build a career..."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Privacy Emboldened Email

E-mail Privacy Gets a Win in Court | TIME: "...In a startling decision this week, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati ordered the feds to keep their mitts off e-mail stored with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) like Yahoo! unless they notify the sender first or show that he doesn't consider the e-mail private. The ruling was based on the conclusion that most people think e-mail, like letters or phone conversations, is private, and protected under the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable government searches and seizures.

That seems a pretty fair conclusion, but the amazing thing is that no court has ever reached it before. In other words, we've been living under a legal regime that essentially assumes we don't much care if, say, Alberto Gonzales sees our e-mails after they leave our outbox. So for a federal appeals court to upend that regime is a big deal, as experts like Professor Orin Kerr at George Washington University Law School will tell you..."

School of Americas Survives Ax

House Rejects Cuts to Army School: "WASHINGTON - Congress has turned back the latest attempt to cut funding for an Army school that trains military officers from Latin America and has a tainted past.

Just before midnight Thursday, the House voted 214-203 against a bid to eliminate the money used for foreign military officers to attend the controversial Army facility at Fort Benning, formerly called the School of the Americas.

The amendment, sponsored by Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., is similar to one that the school's critics have tried to pass for years. It failed 218-188 in a House vote last year.

The school is best known for training Latin American soldiers who fought communist insurgencies in the 1980s and 1990s. Critics have long charged that the Defense Department teaches abusive and illegal tactics there, citing allegations that many graduates later became involved in corruption, murder and human rights violations. Large protests are held annually outside the school near Columbus, Ga..."

Edwards Flamed Again

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall June 22, 2007 04:03 PM: "Today's New York Times has an enormous front page story today suggesting that John Edwards' antipoverty programs were set up merely to provide a 'bridge' to his 2008 Presidential campaign.

But guess what -- the Edwards campaign tells us that The Times refused the chance to speak to people who actually benefitted from his programs."

Friday, June 22, 2007

Marsh Nails Wingnut Radio Woes

Taylor Marsh really covers the topic well in this post. Here's a snippet:

"Right-Wing Radio in a Panic

Boy did American Progress stir up a storm. Never has one report gotten so many wingnuts in a tizzy. It's positively delicious.

If your party is in free fall and your base is demoralized what do you do? That is, what do you do if you're a Republican? You create an issue. Sew panic (sic). Rev up that fear mongering machine! Never fear, Fox "News" is here. The trouble is that wingnut talk-radio has as much to fear from their own..."

Energy Bill

Senate Democrats pass energy reform despite GOP efforts - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "The GOP continues to coddle and protect their friends in Big Oil who are always open to a free ride on the backs of the American middle class consumer. Senate Democrats continue pressing forward with dragging the GOP, Big Auto and the oil industry into the modern world, succeeding to increase the average fleet mileage for the first time in 20 years and starting the process of changing our energy policies. The GOP did succeed in defeating a tax increase for Big Oil, once again choosing to prop up the best interest of the oil industry over average Americans who are already suffering with earnings problems and increases in daily expenses for food and gas..."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Going Low

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: "Bush falls to 26% in Newsweek poll..."

Darth Shooter Gives Himself A Raise

Vice President Exempts His Office from the Requirements for Protecting Classified Information :: Committee on Oversight and Government Reform :: United States House of Representatives: "Vice President Exempts His Office from the Requirements for Protecting Classified Information

The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, Vice President Cheney exempted his office from the presidential order that establishes government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information. The Vice President asserts that his office is not an “entity within the executive branch...” "

The Big Left

Crooks and Liars » The “Fringe Liberal Bloggers” Myth

"Glenn deconstructs Fred Thompson’s — and the mainstream media’s — grossly inaccurate and deliberately misleading caricature of the liberal blogosphere:

Ideas that were always previously so radical as to be unthinkable are now routinely identified as “mainstream conservatism.” Conversely, political principles that have been such an integral part of America’s political identity as to be unquestionable are now the hallmarks of “fringe liberalism” (a “fringe” which, as our last election demonstrated, now includes an ever-growing majority of the population). Those whose views of “bloggers” are based upon the caricatures of Time Magazine and The Washington Post would undoubtedly be shocked to learn of just how unremarkable is the Platform of Beliefs of the “Progressive Blogosphere” as articulated by one of its leading and most admired commentators. Read more…

If I could just add another point, we, the left, are in virtual lock step with “mainstream America” on nearly every single defining issue of the day. Whether it’s Bush’s job performance, the Iraq War, the impending war with Iran, the direction of the country, national health care, global warming, gun control, raising the minimum wage, stem cell research, and Darfur — just to name a few –, progressive viewpoints are very much in line with the majority of Americans..."

State Farm Mob

State Farm hit with RICO charges over Katrina payments - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Instead of focusing on helping GOP campaign contributors win fat contracts in the devastated area, the administration should have been thinking of the individuals who were impacted. The reports about State Farm and their post-Katrina actions are sickening and should be met with a forceful response. When the GOP complains about frivolous lawsuits - and of course, that happens - they always overlook alleged situations such as this. It will be interesting to see how State Farm responds to be charged under federal racketeering laws, just like mobsters. If the shoe fits..."

The shoe fits just right. "One man with a briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns" --Don Corleone, Mario Puzo's The Godfather.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On Commander Guy VoteVets Founder Jon Soltz Rocks Take Back America Conference: "...In addition to showing the popular VoteVets television ads that many believe helped swing some close Congressional elections into the Democratic column in 2006, Soltz had harsh words for Bush's tough-guy talk while the troops in Iraq are the ones having to back up his big mouth.

'There was nothing worse for us in Iraq than to be fighting insurgents every day and hear my Commander-in-Chief, a draft-dodger from Vietnam encouraging my enemies with words like 'bring it on,'' said Soltz to the packed room. 'That's real easy to say when your kids are in Argentina.'

Soltz also commented on the fact that Osama bin Laden in now celebrating day 2,100 of freedom since Bush uttered his empty 'dead or alive' threat in 2001..."

Bush has always been very good with writing checks with his mouth that other people's asses have to cash.

A Mind Is A Terrible Thing...

Years ago, a colleague of mine, a Professor of Carpentry, remarked that "Some people are educated beyond their intelligence." I have seen the truth of that statement many, many times as the sands of time have dribbled through my hourglass. Click on the following link for a fine example. Althouse: The new Hillary Clinton video is a take on the last scene of "The Sopranos."

Honing The Keen

The NonSequitur » Blog Archive » They're bound to mess up: "...The evidence for the theory of evolution, my science oriented friends tell me, is vast and testable. On the basis of this vast and testable theory, Dawkins makes judgments (perhaps erroneous ones–remember children, this is science, people are bound to make mistakes, that’s the point) about things and events that fall within the purview of the theory, such as the behavior of biological creatures–i.e., living things, like human beings. He claims that as we learn more about the brain–that thing with which we think, and whose wisdom is impaired with chemical substances found in booze–we will probably come to account for more and more human behavior. Confidence or rather faith in such progress is one reason why the study of neurology continues to be funded.

One problem with Fish’s claim is that he sophistically equivocates on the words “believe,” “hope,” and so forth. The fact that believers and science types both “believe,” “hope” and “have faith” in other words, tells you nothing about what they believe and how they believe, but a lot about the multivalent nature of words. All cognizant beings stand in some kind of relation to the objects of their judgments–but that doesn’t mean the objects of these judgments are all the same."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sniffing The Candidates

Steve Benen noted at Crooks and Liars

"Last week, Chris Matthews praised Fred Thompson for the way he smells.

Can you smell the English leather on this guy, the Aqua Velva, the sort of mature man’s shaving cream, or whatever, you know, after he shaved? Do you smell that sort of — a little bit of cigar smoke?

Yesterday, after a CNN interview with Mitt Romney, Alina Cho added:

He looks great, sounds great, smells great.

I honestly can’t figure out what’s wrong with these people."

I can-- they're stupid.

Monday, June 18, 2007

$1 A Year

Sounds a bit high to me... - CNN Political Ticker Laura Bush asks for birthday cash «: "WASHINGTON (CNN) — Birthdays are a time for celebrating and — if you are a politician — raising money.

With President Bush’s 61st birthday a little over two weeks away, first lady Laura Bush is soliciting $61 donations from supporters of the Republican National Committee.

“Please consider commemorating President Bush’s 61st birthday with a gift our entire Party can share,” Laura Bush wrote in an e-mail..."

No Regs, Please

Bush, Industry Block Anti-Terror Regulations For Chemical Plants - Politics on The Huffington Post: "For nearly seven years, the chemical, oil and gas industries have successfully fought proposals to require stringent anti-terror security measures at facilities storing poisonous materials such as chlorine and methyl mercaptan.

These industries have been especially opposed to legislation requiring 'inherently safer technology,' a policy industry officials and the Bush administration view as both setting an excessively high standard and as leaving companies more vulnerable to lawsuits for failing to comply.

The chemical, oil and gas lobbies have successfully fended off regulation even under a Democratic Congress. A provision adamantly resisted by the industry was included in the first Iraq supplemental appropriation, which was vetoed by President Bush. The House added it again to the second Iraq supplemental appropriation, but it was quietly removed during final negotiations between top officials of the House and Senate at the request of Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, whose staff said he was acting at the behest of the White House..."

GOP Losing Latinos

Crooks and Liars » GOP Losing Traditional Latino Voters
"LA Times: As a Cuban who fled Fidel Castro’s communist rule for a new life in the U.S., Julio Izquierdo would seem a natural Republican voter - a sure bet to adopt the same political lineage that has long guided most of his countrymen who resettled in South Florida.But moments after taking his oath this week to become a U.S. citizen and registering to vote, the grocery store employee said he felt no such allegiances.”I don’t know whether Bush is a Democrat or a Republican, but whatever he is, I’m voting the other way,” Izquierdo, 20, said Thursday as he waited for a taxi after a mass naturalization ceremony at the Miami Beach Convention Center.Izquierdo said he did not like President Bush’s handling of the Iraq war and was miffed at politicians, most of them Republican, who seem to dislike immigrants..."

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Daily Howler: Carl Bernstein defines dishonesty down on an appalling book tour: "HEIR TO CLASS TRAITOR: In today’s Times, Paul Krugman’s discusses the mainstream press corps’ love affair with “authenticity.” As you know, John Edwards is “inauthentic” because he owns a great big house. By contrast, Fred Thompson is highly “authentic” because—well, because they just say that he is! At one point, Krugman notes the role this fuzzy concept now plays in our quickly devolving “public discourse:”

'KRUGMAN (6/11/07): Talk of authenticity, it seems, lets commentators and journalists put down politicians they don't like or praise politicians they like, with no relationship to what the politicians actually say or do.'

And yes, that’s pretty much all there is to it. “Authenticity” became the press corps’ favorite buzz-word in 1999, along with its silly handmaiden, “comfortable in his own skin.” And let’s state the obvious: When the press corps adopted such subjective markers as key standards of measure, they were giving themselves the right to tell whatever story they choose. It’s perfectly easy to shape a narrative in which any candidate is most “authentic.” As long as our standards of measure are so subjective, there’s no real process of assessment being conducted at all..."

Who's The Middle Class?

The Corner on National Review Online: "...No matter what the Left says, quintiles don’t actually shrink, and neither does the middle class. The middle class is constituted by all those with annual income in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quintiles. That means household income between $19,000 and $91,000. Three-fifths of the population, right there..."

Sorry, but I don't see how $19,000 buys you a middle class lifestyle. The gulf between $20k and $80k is immense out here in the real world. In most areas, $60k will barely get you a house, car, medical insurance, and a college fund, and probably, one of those is going to go if you plan on eating out anywhere other than Taco Bell. For a good example see the lyrics of "We Can't Make It Here."

Obama's Macaca Moment

Excellent summary of the Obama campaign memo concerning Clinton. Here's a snippet: Obama Just Got Less "Brown" Friendly - Sepia Mutiny "...But what’s really remarkable about this story is the questionable anonymous memo issued by the Obama campaign in response to the Clinton disclosures. The memo amounts attempts to smear Clinton as being too friendly to India, and is laced with xenophobic sentiments and insinuations.It starts with the title of the memo itself: “HILLARY CLINTON (D-PUNJAB)’S PERSONAL FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL TIES TO INDIA...”

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pardoning The Truth

Bill Moyers: Begging His Pardon - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...One Beltway insider reports that the entire community is grieving -- 'weighted down by the sheer, glaring unfairness' of Libby's sentence.

And there's the rub.

None seem the least weighted down by the sheer, glaring unfairness of sentencing soldiers to repeated and longer tours of duty in a war induced by deception. It was left to the hawkish academic Fouad Ajami to state the matter baldly. In a piece published on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, Ajami pleaded with Bush to pardon Libby. For believing 'in the nobility of this war,' wrote Ajami, Scooter Libby had himself become a 'casualty' -- a fallen soldier the President dare not leave behind on the Beltway battlefield.

Not a word in the entire article about the real fallen soldiers. The honest-to-God dead, and dying, and wounded. Not a word about the chaos or the cost. Even as the calamity they created worsens, all they can muster is a cry for leniency for one of their own who lied to cover their tracks.

There are contrarian voices: "This is an open and shut case of perjury and obstruction of justice," said Pat Buchanan. "The Republican Party stands for the idea that high officials should not be lying to special investigators." From the former Governor of Virginia, James Gilmore, a staunch conservative, comes this verdict: 'If the public believes there's one law for a certain group of people in high places and another law for regular people, then you will destroy the law and destroy the system.'

So it may well be, as The Hartford Courant said editorially, that Mr Libby is 'a nice guy, a loyal and devoted patriot...but none of that excuses perjury or obstruction of justice. If it did, truth wouldn't matter much.'"

Moving On

The Quiet Gay Revolution | TIME: "...That's not how they look now. On no issue is history moving faster than on 'gay rights'--an already antiquated term for full and equal participation and acceptance of gay men and women in American life. The work is not finished, of course, but what took black Americans more than a century, gays have accomplished in two or three decades (thanks in no small part to blacks, who designed the template for this kind of social revolution). We still argue about it, but the whole spectrum of debate has moved left. A right-wing thug like Tom DeLay or Newt Gingrich probably has more advanced views about homosexuals than dainty liberals of the past century like Adlai Stevenson or Hubert Humphrey. And whatever the actual views, public expressions of overt homophobia are now unacceptable from any national politician..."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bad Polls

Bleak Mood Drags Down Support for Bush to 29% | The Agonist: "Wall Street Journal - An increasingly gloomy political environment has soured Americans on President Bush and Congress, scrambled the Republicans' 2008 field, and strengthened Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton's lead, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

As the Iraq war drags on and Washington is embroiled in inconclusive policy debates, just 19% of Americans now say the nation is headed in the right direction. More than three times that proportion, 68%, say things in the U.S. are 'off on the wrong track.' That's approaching the most pessimistic mood in the history of the WSJ/NBC poll.

At the same time, Mr. Bush's job approval rating has fallen to his lowest-ever level of 29%, while 66% disapprove his handling of the presidency. The telephone survey of 1,008 adults, conducted June 8 to 11 by Republican pollster Neil Newhouse and his Democratic counterpart Peter Hart, carries a margin for error of 3.1 percentage points..."

No Energy Progress

Continuing the GOP Senate strategy of obstruction, Republicans filibuster energy reform - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth:

"Republican Senators have been in a filibuster frenzy. Earlier this week, the GOP filibustered the no confidence vote on Gonzales. Yesterday, the GOP Senators filibustered energy reform in order to protect the power companies:

Senate Democrats, facing their first significant battle over a wide-ranging bill intended to reduce oil consumption, found themselves blocked by Republicans on Thursday and postponed all significant votes until next week..."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

From The Surprise! Surprise! Department

Think Progress » Judge in Libby trial receives threats.: "The federal judge who oversaw I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s CIA leak trial said Thursday that he received threatening letters and phone calls after sentencing the former White House aide to prison.

“I received a number of angry, harassing mean-spirited phone calls and letters,” U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said. ”Some of those were wishing bad things on me and my family.”"

Intelligensia and The Masses

Marty Kaplan: Watch Mr. Wizard - Media on The Huffington Post: "...It's a pity that scientists today, including those who owe their career starts to him, are so often snobbish about show biz. That mandarin condescension toward the masses is why Carl Sagan, one of Don Herbert's television successors, was dismissed as a vulgar popularizer by many of his peers. Entertainment, as Herbert knew, is the art of capturing attention. Scientists depend on public funding, and therefore on the theater of persuasion. Scientists, like it or not, have become hostages to culture warriors, and their ranking in the public's hierarchy of epistemologies, like it or not, depends on the sympathies of citizen audiences. Evidence and proof, conjecture and refutation, theory and argument: these may be defined by scientists with reference to a community of their peers, but if they have any hope of staving off a new Dark Age, it's their non-peers to whom they must also communicate -- the Idol- and Oprah-watchers, the climate-change know-nothings, the 'I didn't descend from a primate' pols and their constituents..."

To get a taste of this mind-set and its consequent calcification, visit or better yet, join up. See how long you can tolerate the sneering, condescending tone emanating from the sanctimonious intellectual highlands. Then wonder why we don't have a colony on Mars, flying cars, warp drive and then know why we won't have them. If these same scientific nay-sayers had infected Silicon Valley years ago, there would be no Internets tubes and everyone would be blogging on bulletin boards at the bus station with Underwood typewriters.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ronnie Raygun and The Cold War

From a comment by Justanothercoverup in the post How Ronald Reagan Won the Cold War - The Smirking Chimp:

"A lesson we didn't learn...

For the Republicans, re-writing history is status-quo - as is lying about our current situation. It seems that anything that is supported by the GOP must be examined closely, and once all of the smoke and mirrors are exposed, the harsh reality of right-wing GOP tactics will be attributed historically as the prime reason for the upcoming collapse of the United States.

The Soviets broke themselves economically by fighting a war in Afghanistan they couldn't win - albeit aided by support from the United States when Bin Laden was supposedly fighting on the side of justice. The Russians have never forgot our meddling in the Afghanistan War, as they demonstrate by their weapons research and sales of armaments that are specifically designed to thwart American designed weapons systems.

As we armed the resistance against Russia, we now sow what we have reaped; Russia and China are selling arms to our worst enemies - and now it's us who are stuck in the quagmire of Iraq and Afghanistan, cutting health care, education, and all essential services to help finance a war that cannot be won. We watched and cheered as the Soviet Union imploded, and instead of learning from their mistakes, the Bush administration has decided to take Russia's proven course of destruction - magnify their mistakes ten-fold, and then wonder why the public is screaming for the impeachment of the Bush Administration.

It's too bad the Democrats are now appearing to be as complicit as the GOP - still refusing to uphold the constitution and rule of law, cowards and thieves - more interested in their own political careers than doing the right thing and removing a tyrant and criminal from office."

Early Review

Joseph A. Palermo: California Nurses and Michael Moore Make History - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...Sicko is a brilliant, emotionally draining, poignant film, which also has Moore's characteristic sense of humor inter-spliced therein. It is heartbreaking to see how America's health care system routinely victimizes people. It often bankrupts middle-class families, and sweeps low-income people into contrived 'cracks' in the system because it drives up profits.

There have only been a handful of times in American history where art has led to citizen action. What comes to mind for me are Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin's effect on slavery; Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and the rise of progressive reforms relating to pure food and drugs; the television special in the mid-1960s, Harvest of Shame, which educated the nation on the unjust working conditions of farm workers. Moore's Sicko blows the lid off of everything the corporations that make fortunes off exploiting the sick and dying do not want Americans to see... "

Insiders Subpoenaed

White House officials subpoenaed in U.S. attorneys probe - "WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Subpoenas are being issued to two former White House officials, the first to be subpoenaed in the fired U.S. attorneys investigation.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday issued a subpoena to Sara Taylor, former White House political director. About the same time, it was announced that the House Judiciary Committee will issue a subpoena in the same case to former White House counsel Harriet Miers..."


There's been quite the furor in the last few days over Mudcat Saunder's comments. Here's what he said:

Happy Hour Roundup | TPMCafe: "...In his inaugural post on Time's Swampland blog: 'So to those bloggers who believe in a straight-forward dialogue and exchange of ideas, God bless you and thank you ... At the same time, those Democratic bloggers, who have appointed themselves as intellectually superior and believe the only way to win an argument is to shot (sic) the loudest with personal attacks, you can go to Hell...'"

All you have to do is lurk a while on the comment threads of any left leaning blog and you will discover what Saunders is talking about. Of course, Right Blogistan is even worse. But for the Left to pretend this behavior doesn't exist is foolish. Now, Saunders is serving as the perfect example of his own criticism and is being attacked as everything from a pious redneck to a closet racist. All of which points out two things: it's a slow time for political news and Democrats, in fact and especially, eat their own during fat times.

Pardon Me

Two weights, two measures for Romney and pardons - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Decorated Iraq war veteran guilty of shooting a BB gun at age 13 was rejected for a pardon by Romney, though the recently convicted Libby, would be worth considering for a pardon. The primary difference here being that Libby is the right wing favorite at the moment and we all know how much Romney loves to play a crowd if it wins him a few points whereas the war vet is just a regular person who honorably served the country and even received a Bronze Star while in Iraq. Another day, another changing position by Mitt."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How To be Authentic

John Neffinger: The Riddle That Stumped Paul Krugman - Politics on The Huffington Post: "So what is this 'authenticity' that political pros from both the left and right see in people like Thompson?

To those of us who study non-verbal communication, it looks like this blameless word has been pressed into service to describe something there's not a good word for: the body language, facial expressions, and vocal tone that conveys a person is comfortable with themselves and their place in the world, that they aren't conflicted about what they are feeling, and they don't much care what anyone else thinks of them. When homo authenticus says something, he says it like he means it. What's authentic or genuine about him is not so much his life story as his emotional expression."

Scoot Scooter Soon

Prosecutor Wants Libby Imprisoned Now - The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald urged a federal judge Tuesday not to delay former White House aide I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's 2 1/2-year prison sentence in the CIA leak case..."

No More Public Education

Crooks and Liars » Goldberg wants to close public schools: "Jonah Goldberg offers a new talking point for the GOP: close public schools.

Here’s a good question for you: Why have public schools at all?

OK, cue the marching music. We need public schools because blah blah blah and yada yada yada. We could say blah is common culture and yada is the government’s interest in promoting the general welfare. Or that children are the future. And a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Because we can’t leave any child behind.

The problem with all these bromides is that they leave out the simple fact that one of the surest ways to leave a kid “behind” is to hand him over to the government. Americans want universal education, just as they want universally safe food. But nobody believes that the government should run 90% of the restaurants, farms and supermarkets. Why should it run 90% of the schools — particularly when it gets terrible results?

Let’s do all we can to share Goldberg’s words of wisdom to American families from coast to coast — the right wants to shut down your local public school and privatize education. That ought to go over well."

And replace them with...Church? Which one? The First Order of the Almighty Neocon? I think this is the point where you begin to drown government in a bathtub.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Bork Sues

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall June 11, 2007

'Judge Robert Bork: torts for me but not for thee.

Bork, after a career advocating tort reform, is suing the Yale Club of New York City for $1 million plus punitive damages for failing to provide adequate staging for the dais he had to mount to give a speech at the club.

He slipped and fell, injuring his head and leg."

No matter the generation, GOP hypocrisy runs deep-- and old.

On Tony, The View, and Life Eternal

James Wolcott's Blog: Obstructed View (updated): Wolcott's Blog: "Imagine The Sopranos without James Gandolfini in his Yogi Bear bathrobe cleaning out the refrigerator. That's what's it's like on The View post-Rosie O'Donnell.* Deprived of her physical power and unstable force field of personality--her solidly planted dissonance--The View panel is like a backroom meeting at the Bada Bing without Tony's presiding presence. Poor Barbara Walters looks stun-gunned as she occupies Rosie's place at the table like a parakeet in a birdbath; Joy Behar seems bereft, stuck between Walters' maternal platitudes and make-nice mouthings about celebrities (Paris Hilton's mother, such a trial these last days have been for her) and Elizabeth Hasselbeck's nattering chipmunk idiocies; and the guest panelists have brought nothing to the proceedings--even Kathy Griffin didn't look or sound comfortable fielding the caroms. Today there was a to and fro about evolution and faith that was so jejune and uninformed--the guest panelist said she hadn't read Darwin, but the Bible seemed good enough to her in explaining How We Got Here--that it made you feel that our education system has failed so badly we should just give up and let the Chinese take over the world until the next generation of robots is ready to assume rule. So much of belief in God the Creator is simply narcissism--a way of saying, Life must have transcendent meaning, otherwise why would I be here? How can the rich wonder of existence that is ME be the product of blind forces and cosmic chance? Don't try telling me I evolved from a primate and robbing me of the false dignity I've spent my entire life propping up, dammit!..."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Marines Caught In A Different Trap

The Buffalo News: Home: " The body armor that West Seneca’s American Legion Post 735 bought for Marines in Iraq is gathering dust somewhere in dusty Anbar province, thanks to Marine Corps orders preventing its use.

And the local Legionnaires who spent nearly $6,000 for the state-of-the- art protective gear are none too happy about it..."

Marsh On Edwards v. Rudy

Edwards v. Rudy
"...Edwards obviously knew he was picking a fight when he calculated that taking on the "global war on terror" would get him into a rhetorical brawl with the fearmongering GOP '08ers. I've wondered if this was a smart move in the middle of a campaign, not sure if Edwards could follow it all the way through to the inevitable street fight. That said, the courage it took to take on Bush's main talking point showed real steel from John Edwards, which impressed me greatly. If Edwards gets specific and takes the fight and turns it towards Rudy's implied "fascism," he just might make this into something that could lift the Edwards campaign up a notch or two. As it plays out it could also pay off..."

On a related note, This Week's Roundtable took a considerable amount of time and effort in bashing Edwards, which is now standard fare for George and George and the GOP talking head brigade, featuring Tori Clark in fine Bush enabling form. Unlike Fred Thompson, the actor, Claire Shipman, ABC "reporter," of Fred Thompson gravitas fame, didn't find that Edwards, the lawyer, had very much gravity.What is it about Edwards that terrorizes these GOPers more than any other Democratic candidate?

Gay Bomb

David E’s Fablog » Blog Archive » Fait Divers: Political Science: "“(CBS 5) BERKELEY A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting...”"

Thompson Comes Sorta Clean

Crooks and Liars » Fred Thompson's Interesting Grasp on Corporate Taxes

"...Oy. Because with all that’s going on–record deficits, outsourcing, real wages dropping, the middle class becoming extinct, what we should focus on is REDUCING CORPORATE TAXES? Fred actually tells NAM:

“We have, you know-if you include state taxes-the highest corporate tax rate in the world. That makes us less competitive. All those things have to be looked at. And all those-especially as far as the corporate tax rate is concerned, need to be clearly reduced.”

Only problem, is that’s not strictly true. Conservative think tanks will say it is, but what they neglect to mention corporate tax rates are only paid on corporate income AFTER all tax credits, deductions and other loopholes have been applied. This .pdf from Citizens for Tax Justice shows that 82 of the largest and most profitable US corporations paid NO tax for one or more years during the Bush Administration.

So, Fred, how exactly does reducing nothing make us more competitive?"

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Paris Finds A Defender

Orlando Sentinel - A whole lotta Paris Hilton fills cable news channels by Hal Boedeker: "Paris Hilton yelled, 'Mom,' and it was the scream heard round the world. Poor baby. Poor us -- MSNBC and Fox News Channel couldn't get enough of the heiress' return to jail Friday.

Fox News even brought in Ann Coulter, who complained that the 45-day sentence handed to Hilton was unfair, because it revealed how everyone hates Hilton. Coulter also complained that the traffic judge was trying to make a name for himself with the sentence. Enjoy the irony of that analysis: the pot-calling-the-kettle routine.

Also for Fox News, Al Sharpton said the Hilton case illustrated the need for the same standards for everyone. 'This is not about Paris Hilton,' Sharpton said..."

No Soldiers Here

Their Depravity and Obscenity are Boundless § Unqualified Offerings By Mona
In “The Soldier’s Creed,” there is a particularly compelling principle: “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” This is a cherished belief, and it has been so since soldiers and chroniclers and philosophers thought about wars and great, common endeavors. Across time and space, cultures, each in its own way, have given voice to this most basic of beliefs. They have done it, we know, to give heart to those who embark on a common mission, to give them confidence that they will not be given up under duress. A process that yields up Scooter Libby to a zealous prosecutor is justice gone awry….
He can’t be left behind as a casualty of a war our country had once proudly claimed as its own. [my emphasis]
These people are sheerly repulsive. There are some photographs available online of hideously maimed Iraq war vets. Then there are the dead ones. I’m not going to include such a graphic because I am not comfortable with the morality of using such depictions in a political rant. But use your imagination, and ponder they who rhapsodize about “Soldier’s Creeds” and etc. for Scooter effing Libby in the context of the Iraq war, with its actual dead and disabled.


[Eyes bug. Sweat pops. Heart pounds. Hands tremble] ... and Paris Hilton is a victim, too.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Rove Needed

Get Rove on the record, under oath. Now. - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth:

"As David Iglesias, the fired U.S. Attorney from New Mexico, said, 'All roads lead to Rove.' The NY Times is right -- it's time to hear from Karl -- under oath, with a transcript:

Congress has now heard from everyone in the Justice Department who appears to have played a significant role in the firings of the prosecutors. They have all insisted that the actual decisions about whom to fire came from somewhere else. It is increasingly clear that the somewhere else was the White House. If Congress is going to get to the bottom of the scandal, it has to get the testimony of Mr. Rove, his aides Scott Jennings and Sara Taylor, Ms. Miers and her deputy, William Kelley.

The White House has offered to make them available only if they do not take an oath and there is no transcript. Those conditions are a formula for condoning perjury, and they are unacceptable. As for documents, the White House has released piles of useless e-mail messages. But it has reported that key e-mails to and from Mr. Rove were inexplicably destroyed. At the same time, it has argued that e-mails of Mr. Rove’s that were kept on a Republican Party computer system, which may contain critical information, should not be released..."

Pace Gone

Gen. Pace Retires As Joint Chiefs Chair - The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — The Bush administration sidelined Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Friday, announcing plans to replace him as the nation's top military officer rather than reappoint him and risk a Senate confirmation struggle focusing on the Iraq War.

'It would be a backward looking and very contentious process,' Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at a Pentagon news conference where he announced he would recommend Adm. Mike Mullen to replace Pace."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Devil's Lackey

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall June 6, 2007 10:07 PM: "...In a telling detail about Gonzales, the Attorney General apparently planned to promote Philbin to be principal deputy solicitor general. In other words, it would appear that for all the rest we have learned about Mr. Gonzales, he was not inclined to punish Philbin for his role in the Ashcroft-Comey recertification incident. However, Cheney intervened. In Comey's words: 'I understood that someone at the White House communicated to Attorney General Gonzales that the vice president would oppose the appointment if the attorney general pursued the matter. The attorney general chose not to pursue it.'

So, two sides of Mr. Gonzales, but a composite that fits the profile of the man -- not personally vindictive or perhaps even a person of malign will, but an obedient servant of bad men."

So how well does evil flourish when good men do the bidding of evil men?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pelosi Praised

Breaking: Pundit Says Pelosi Might Prove To Be An "Exceptional" Speaker! | TPMCafe: "Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has just published a long paean to the Speaker that's worth a look.

Ornstein argues that the recent lobbying reform stuff actually turned out to be an 'impressive victory,' and that the House leadership's approach on Iraq -- while a retreat of sorts -- actually represents a sign that she's a very skilled and impressive House Speaker in various ways.

'There are some signs at least of better times ahead for those who love Congress,' Ornstein says. 'And signs that Nancy Pelosi could be an exceptional Speaker.'"

George and Vlad

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall June 6, 2007 07:03 PM: "...What is the president doing exactly? Can he be set up with a minder? Can the whole White House be set up with one, for that matter? We need an escalation in tensions with the Russians at the moment? We don't have our hands full? Can someone step in and help the White House exercise any degree of competence in this situation? It's bizarre and embarrassing and even dangerous."

When The End Is Not

Jane Smiley: Not a Joke - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...When those in power exercise it in an unjust manner, they destroy the sense of trust that average citizens have in their own government and their own society and they open the society to the return of revenge as a sentiment and as an act. American history is replete with examples of how long it has taken and how difficult it has been for us as a nation to escape vengeance as a social mechanism--Kansas and Missouri, vigilantes and lynching, gangs and outlaws. Cheney's specific crimes are reason enough for the New York Times to take impeachment seriously, but his larger crime against the nation has been to roll back the clock and infuse people like me, liberals like me (whom we all know are wimps, right?) with vengeful sentiments and fantasies. We have the crimes, then we have the arrogance--since the 2000 election, Cheney has been adding insult to injury, here and in Iraq. The combination is a potent one--the injuries damage our lives; the insults make us mad (both angry and crazy). The antidote is the exercise of laws, such as Kucinich's articles of impeachment. I have news for the New York Times--if you assume that this is all going to pass away with another election season, you are dangerously wrong."

Congressional Democrats need to pay attention here. Any MOC who thinks he or she can let this slide will not get my support. I want someone in Congress and in the White House who will pursue these criminals, both foreign and domestic, to the Gates of Hell and beyond. Justice will not be served by business as usual. If the GOP can spend $50 million pursuing Bill Clinton, the Dems can spend the time and effort to round-up all the Bush Crooks, beginning now and extending into the next millennium if necessary. There is only one sacred document in the United States: the Constitution. Scooter, Shooter, Gdub and the rest have profaned this "piece of paper." They need to be punished.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Bush Bloggers' Blues

James Wolcott's Blog: Around the Diamond: Wolcott's Blog: "...Absoscreaminglutely. Hard as it is to fathom, a President Giuliani might be even worse than Bush when it comes to cronyism, and the fact that he's soliciting advice from John Bolton means that he, like the other Republican candidates, hasn't learned a cursed thing about the nefarious incompetence of the neocons, or perhaps they just don't care. On some of the conservative sites I pop into, they're so disenchanted with Bush that they're trying to convince themselves that he's really a stealth liberal and has been a stealth liberal all along (hence the Harriet Miers nomination), only they were unwilling to acknowledge it at the time because the War on Terror superceded all of their other so-called convictions and principles. They're lying to their readers, as usual, and they're lying to themselves if their arguments are even halfway sincere. Bush is not a liberal, never was; he's a messianic narcissist of mediocre abilities who needs hacks around him to keep his ego from collapsing like a dam wall. He isn't spurning his conservative base on immigration because he's longs to make nice with Ted Kennedy, he's spurning them because they disagree with him and he can't brook disagreement. If he didn't listen to his own father, a former president no less, do you really think he's going to lose winks at night over what Laura Ingraham or the NRO gang has to say? His head hits that pillow like a rock and there's no reasoning with a rock."

Corps Gets Some Sense

Discharge Suggested for Anti-War Marine - The Huffington Post

"KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A military panel has recommended a general discharge for an Iraq war veteran who wore his uniform during a war protest and later responded with an obscenity to a superior who told him he might have violated military rules.

Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh participated in the protest in March, clad in a uniform that had his name tag and other insignia removed. After he was identified in a photo caption in The Washington Post, a superior officer sent him a letter saying he might have violated a rule prohibiting troops from wearing uniforms without authorization.

After a hearing Monday before an administrative separation board at the Marine Corps Mobilization Command, the panel decided not to recommend an other-than-honorable discharge, choosing instead the general discharge..."

Sorry but that is not good enough. After all the occasions where various GOP candidates and officials have used uniformed personnel as political props, Kokesh should have never been charged with anything. Period. Exclamation point. The Corps acted poorly in this case, demonstrating perhaps that a few officers have forgotten why we have a military-- to ensure the freedom of this country and its citizens. The issue would have been different if Kokesh were on active duty and in an actual uniform, but he was neither. What's next? Removing veteran benefits from those G.I.'s who don't toe the Bush line?

Scooter Gets Prison case you've been under a rock-- Prison for Libby in leak case - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON - Former White House aide I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Tuesday for lying and obstructing the
CIA leak investigation."

Conservopedia and Leftopedia

Just the facts -- and they're always right - The Boston Globe: "Here is an odd, truthful sentence in the Conserva-entry for Ann Coulter: 'Her incoherent books and vitriolic speaking style have endeared her to fans and infuriated opponents.' Even the broken clock of conservative nuttery tells the correct time now and then..."

And now one for the Leftopedia "...But until Leftopedia comes along ( sample entry: "Al Gore: the Messiah, rejected by mankind in 2000 and again in 2008")..." But he arose again in '07 and was deified in '08.

The Leftopedia sounds like so much fun I'm tempted to try it myself. Anybody got any other sample entries?

Good Work, Good Pay

1010 WINS - On-Air, Online, On Demand - SUNY Science Prof's Salary Increased to $666,995: "SUNY Science Prof's Salary Increased to $666,995

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- The State University of New York's high-profile expert in the science of nanotechnology has been given a raise that increases his annual SUNY salary to $666,995 or almost a half-million dollars a year more than Eliot Spitzer is paid as governor.

The almost $142,000-a-year raise for Alain Kaloyeros was first reported Monday by the New York Post. Even before the hefty hike, Kaloyeros was New York's highest paid state employee..."

At least the state's highest paid employee is not a football coach. Wonder what his teaching load is?

Principles v. Policies

As We See It: Politics of candor - - - June 5, 2007: "...Fournier points out recent polls by most candidates that show voters suspicious of Washington politicians. 'Americans are also better educated and — thanks to the Internet — better informed than ever, which helps them spot a phony. They want the real deal'

We're not so sure. Here in Santa Cruz, we don't expect that any politician who backs President Bush or the Iraq war will win over anyone. War opponents, at least many that we've talked to, won't support any candidate who is in support of the Bush policy. We've not met one war opponent who, for example, has supported Bush's 'surge' policy in Iraq as a strategy.

Most don't care about someone's integrity if it means a differing policy. Despite better and more accessible information, most people vote for someone because they agree with positions taken by the candidate. Fewer people vote for a candidate just because he or she is a person of integrity..."

Monday, June 04, 2007

Begging For Mercy

Hullabaloo: "...Listening to these phonies whine now about how Scooter didn't mean it and Lurita Doan never followed through and how the Democrats are 'criminalizing' politics moves me not at all. In a world where Republicans hadn't impeached a president for purely partisan reasons, stolen elections, started unnecessary wars, pillaged the treasury and degraded the constitution I might be inclined to be compassionate toward someone like Doan, who was probably just doing what Karl Rove expected. Sorry, I'm fresh out of compassion for Republicans. As far as I'm concerned, Waxman should ruthlessly go after every single case. It is a moral hazard to allow these people to continuously get away with things of which they accuse others. It's got to stop."

Dirty Dem Indicted

ABC News: Louisiana Rep. Jefferson Indicted in Bribery Probe: "Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., was indicted Monday on federal charges of racketeering, money-laundering and soliciting more than $400,000 in bribes in connection with years of trying to broker business deals in Africa.

The charges came almost two years after investigators raided Jefferson's home in Washington and found $90,000 in cash stuffed in a box in his freezer..."

What's the Crook Score? 200R to 10D?

Comparing The Parties

Very thorough, very informative post comparing the two political parties and various administrations. Get your GDP's in order and read it at Angry Bear.

When Normal Is Great

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall June 3, 2007 10:19 AM: "Even if we put aside the merit of these various proposals and nominations, in most presidencies, this would generally be characterized as a normal week. The White House talked up a few policy initiatives, engaged in a little foreign affairs, and offered a World Bank nominee. Seeing this, DC is suddenly caught 'off guard.' The president now appears 'remarkably spry.' Why? Because the Bush gang managed to go a few days without a colossal screw-up or major new scandal.

'I think we've had a very great week this week in announcing initiatives that the president has been building on over his time here at the White House,' spokesperson Dana Perino said Friday.

Talk about your soft bigotry of low expectations, Bush and his team now congratulate themselves for Basic Governing 101. It's kind of sad, really..."

Ever been on a job where there is an employee who is constantly late? Then, the worker shows up on time two days in a row and demands praise, if not medals, for doing what everyone else has been doing forever. That's our boy Bush.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Undissing The Troops

VFW Backs Vet in Trouble Over Protest - The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — The nation's largest combat veterans group on Friday urged the military to 'exercise a little common sense' and call off its investigation of a group of Iraq war veterans who wore their uniforms during anti-war protests.

'Trying to hush up and punish fellow Americans for exercising the same democratic right we're trying to instill in Iraq is not what we're all about,' said Gary Kurpius, national commander of the 2.4 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars.

'Someone in the Marine Corps needs to exercise a little common sense and put an end to this matter before it turns into a circus,' Kurpius said.

Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh had already received an honorable discharge from active duty before he was photographed in March wearing fatigues _ with military insignia removed _ during a mock patrol with other veterans protesting the Iraq war (sic)..."

The Real Rudy

Long but excellent article on The Mayor. Excerpt:
Rolling Stone : Giuliani: Worse Than Bush: "...Then there's 9/11. Like Bush's, Rudy's career before the bombing was in the toilet; New Yorkers had come to think of him as an ambition-sick meanie whose personal scandals were truly wearying to think about. But on the day of the attack, it must be admitted, Rudy hit the perfect note; he displayed all the strength and reassuring calm that Bush did not, and for one day at least, he was everything you'd want in a leader. Then he woke up the next day and the opportunist in him saw that there was money to be made in an America high on fear.

For starters, Rudy tried to use the tragedy to shred election rules, pushing to postpone the inauguration of his successor so he could hog the limelight for a few more months. Then, with the dust from the World Trade Center barely settled, he went on the road as the Man With the Bullhorn, pocketing as much as $200,000 for a single speaking engagement. In 2002 he reported $8 million in speaking income; this past year it was more than $11 million. He's traveled in style, at one stop last year requesting a $47,000 flight on a private jet, five hotel rooms and a private suite with a balcony view and a king-size bed..."

Dissing The Troops-- Again

Pentagon launches more witch hunts of Iraq war critics - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "In this case, they're going after an Iraq war vet for wearing camouflage fatigues during a mock patrol protesting the war that took place in DC in March. Wearing camo? Funny that the Bush administration uses active and former military, in uniform, at practically every political event they hold, but the Pentagon has no problem when it's the Republicans using our troops for political purposes..."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Sporadic Blogging

Mad In The Middle

I'm taking the computer in for another try at repair. May or may not be resuming a normal blog schedule. Not that anyone will know... (The lament of the late night DJ).

Exiting Crook's Jersey Coup::By Robert D. Novak
"Republican sources on Capitol Hill and in California say Rep. Jerry Lewis, ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee who has been criticized on ethical grounds, will not seek a 16th term next year..."

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Daily Flashback

Crooks and Liars » Bring back the nightmare of peace and prosperity
"A few days before Bush was inaugurated in January 2001, The Onion ran one of the greatest satirical pieces of the decade: “Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that ‘our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over...’”

Will Reaction

Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community: "...Today conservatives tend not to favor freedom. They favor illegal warrantless wiretaps, FBI National Security letters, the suspension of habeas corpus, kangaroo courts, torture facilities, voter suppression, limitations on free speech, abuse of eminent domain, restrictions on women's health alternatives, restrictions on permissible scientific enquiry, government intrusion into personal medical decisions, mandatory sentencing, the war on drugs, de facto conscription thru stop-loss programs, and more.

Liberals oppose almost all of this. What George Will is missing is that the conservatives turned out to be frauds."

High Gas Explanation

Was Iraq Invaded to Boost Oil Prices? Value of Exxon Reserves Rose by $666 Billion - The Smirking Chimp: "Saddam Hussein may have been deposed in order to limit Iraq's oil production and thus keep world oil prices artificially high. This could be the real reason behind the invasion of Iraq by the Anglo-American forces and their allies.

According to Greg Palast's new book, 'Armed Madhouse'(Plume), 'When OPEC raises the price of crude, Big Oil makes out big time.' Palast makes the point Iraq's output in the 2003-05 period following the invasion saw a decline in oil production. In fact, it dropped to below the level of the 1995-2003 Oil-for-Food arrangement that allowed Iraq to sell two million barrels per day to raise cash for humanitarian purposes..."

Yesterday's Traitor

Bush administration negotiating with terrorists in Iraq - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth:

"...I'm not saying this is a bad idea. I just think it stinks that Bush and Cheney and Rudy and McCain and all the rest have the nerve to suggest that any and every Democratic proposal on Iraq 'empowers the terrorists' when they're talking about giving all the terrorists amnesty and jobs where they carry guns and enforce the law as they see fit. Yeah, no terrorist victory there."

Remember not so long ago when Pelosi was a traitor for talking with Iranians? I sense a pattern here...