Friday, November 30, 2007


Confirmed: Sen. Boxer's Impeachment Grudge - The Sleuth

"Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), through a spokeswoman, now acknowledges she is blocking former Rep. James Rogan's (R-Calif.) nomination to the federal bench because of his role in impeaching former president Bill Clinton.

The Sleuth first touched on Rogan's nomination earlier this week in a piece about Rogan reaching out to the 42nd president. For that piece, Boxer declined to say whether the impeachment issue had anything to do with her opposition to Rogan's nomination to a federal judgeship. Her spokeswoman said Boxer is denying Rogan a hearing because of his record in Congress against abortion rights, cleaning up the environment, helping organized workers and stopping gun violence..."

Screwing The Teachers

Politics in the Zeros » Breaking. Credit crisis hurts the blameless

"Schools and local governments in Florida who routinely deposited excess money in a state run investment fund were stunned today when the state suspended withdrawals.

This is because the nimrods who ran the fund were “investing” in extremely risky SIVs. Word got out, there was a run on the fund, now the state has slammed the door shut...

...Bloomberg TV just had an interview with a school official in a Florida town who said, I’ve got a $850,000 payroll for 230 employees to make tomorrow and no money to do it with because the state froze the money. He sounded practically in tears."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fetus Tasing - World - Cop Tasers pregnant woman: "TROTWOOD, Ohio — A policeman forced a pregnant woman to the ground and used a stun gun on her when she refused to answer the officer’s questions and resisted being handcuffed, authorities said Thursday.

The woman went to the police department on Nov. 18 to ask officers to take custody of her one-year-old son, said Michael Etter, Trotwood’s public safety director..."

Obama UnHearts Yokels

Democrat Taylor Marsh Broadcasts Live Talk Radio and Blogs Politics: "...Mr. Obama really stepped in it, especially for someone trying to win Iowa. Evidently, some of it didn't make the cut, but the video above offers a doorway leading to big trouble for Mr. Obama, that is if anyone decides to cover it.

'But they also, surprisingly enough, even in rural Iowa, recognize the opportunity to send a signal to the world that, you know, we are not as ingrown, as parochial as you may perceive. ... ..' - Barack Obama

Even in rural Iowa... you know, because them rural voters, they aren't as 'ingrown, as parochial' as the intelligent city folk believe and by golly, they're going to send a message! Ingrown? Hmmm.... Coming from Columbia, Missouri myself, you know, out beyond the big city lights, 'ingrown' to me means inbred. You know, like the Ozarks, marryin' your brother 'n all. However, dumb hicks from the sticks, even in rural Iowa, want to send a signal to the world. Country folk and Iowans are going to fight that 'ingrown' and 'parochial' image, by golly.

Good grief.

Is it just me, or is Mr. Obama continually espousing lofty rhetoric in his stump speeches while delivering mostly negative when actually analyzed? There's a pattern developing here. This 'even in rural Iowa' Obama blurt out reveals the heart of it..."

That is insulting, and he upped the ante of the gaffe again. Check the link.

Lott Kin Charged

Trent Lott's Brother-In-Law, Nephew, Indicted On Federal Bribery Charges - Politics on The Huffington Post: "Prominent Mississippi trial attorney Richard 'Dickie' Scruggs, the brother-in-law of outgoing GOP Sen. Trent Lott, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges that he and four other men tried to bribe a Mississippi state court judge..."


I found several misposts in one of my other blogs which were intended for this blog, hence the untimely arrival of old news here.

What Could You Buy With The Iraq War?

'Boston Globe' Web Site Calculates Other Uses For $611 Billion Spent on Iraq: "NEW YORK, the Web site of The Boston Globe, has again taken a unique view of the latest Iraq War funding request, offering a look at what the $611.5 billion that would be spent so far on the war could buy if it was not used for the military operation..."

The Goose and the Gander

Think Progress » Media: Pelosi’s Syria Diplomacy = ‘Foolish’; Bush’s Syria Diplomacy = ‘Victory’

When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi traveled to Syria to visit President Bashar al-Assad last spring, the right wing immediately excoriated her diplomatic efforts.

President Bush said the trip “sends mixed signals” to the Assad government, and Dana Perino called the trip “a really bad idea.” Vice President Dick Cheney said Assad’s “bad behavior’s being rewarded.” Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) viciously accused Democrats of being “so drunk with grandiose visions of deposing Bush that they break bread with terrorists and enemies of the United States...”

Congress Invaded Iraq

Paul Abrams: Rove: "Congress Pushed Bush to War in Iraq Prematurely" - Politics on The Huffington Post: "You are not going to believe this, well, actually you will... According to Karl Rove (on Charlie Rose), the Bush Administration did not want Congress to vote on the Iraq War resolution in the fall of 2002, because they thought it should not be done within the context of an election. Rove, you see, did not think the war vote should be 'political'.

Moreover, according to Rove, that 'premature vote' led to many of the problems that cropped up in the Iraq War. Had Congress not pushed, he says, Bush could have spent more time assembling a coalition, and provided more time to the inspectors. If you are like me, you have stopped reading/listening, and are rushing to get your anti-emetic..."

Aaarrggghh. Head explodes from excess chutzpah.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Line Forms Over Here

I believe might can find a few volunteers to help Ashcroft get waterboarded. From Think Progress » John Ashcroft: I’m Willing To Be Waterboarded

"...During the speech, Ashcroft caused an uproar when he declared Guantanamo Bay was a “good place” for detainees. In addition, he defended the torture tactic of waterboarding:

Ashcroft also responded to questions from the audience. The first question came from a woman who asked if Ashcroft would be willing to be subjected to waterboarding.

“The things that I can survive, if it were necessary to do them to me, I would do,” he said..."

Homer's People Politick

No, not that Homer. This Homer. You know, the one who talked about the silent majority. Not not Jerry Falwell. His silent, moral majority was neither. This one-- the silent majority that is still politicking around. Deceased still lining political coffers, to tune of half-million -

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On Lott's Trot

"Trent Lott’s Resignation" by Scott Horton (Harper's Magazine)
"Trent Lott was quick, in his two appearances yesterday, to rule out health and scandal as reasons for his sudden and very surprising resignation from the Senate. But Washingtonians know that whenever a politician leaves to “spend more time with his family,” there are likely to be other reasons. Sources in Mississippi law enforcement inform No Comment that FBI agents are now raiding the law office of Richard “Dickie” Scruggs in Oxford. Scruggs is the brother-in-law of Trent Lott, and, as we reported earlier, several Mississippi newspapers openly questioned whether Lott had intervened to protect Scruggs in a recent criminal probe that produced the prosecution of a number of other Mississippi lawyers and judges with whom he was closely connected. Could there be a connection between the FBI raid and the Lott resignation? Just asking."

Clinton Poll Problem

Questions raised about Zogby poll on Hillary's chances - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Yesterday we reported that Zogby had a new poll showing Hillary losing to all of the major Republican presidential candidates. Since that time, there's been a lot of discussion as to whether Zogby's poll was a valid poll. Apparently, Zogby's polled people who opted in to a 'please poll me' email list that he runs. Normally polls are done with random voters from around the country, not people who opt in to an email list. For starters, I'd be concerned that known partisans would opt-in to this list with the intent of totally skewing its results - i.e., it might not be a representative cross-section of random voters. has far more about the poll and its problems."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Shopping Tip

TBogg - "...a somewhat popular blogger": "...As a consumer, there are lots of good deals to be had, but they're only good deals if you are buying within your means. Just don't buy the hype that everything is rainbows and reindeer. This is not going to be a good retail season."

If don't need it, you ain't getting a deal, friend.

Stephen King Has An Idea

Stephen King Sounds Off: "I Suggested Jenna [Bush] Be Waterboarded" - Entertainment on The Huffington Post

Hillary Losing

New Poll: Hillary would lose to all major GOP candidates - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Okay, that's scary. And it's a big change from the same poll this summer, that showed Hillary beating them. From Agence France-Presse:

In the new survey, Clinton trailed Senator John McCain 42 percent to 38 percent, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani by 43 percent to 40 percent and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney by 43 percent to 40 percent.

She also lagged behind former Arkansas Republican governor Mike Huckabee by 44 to 39 percent, and former Senator Fred Thompson by 44 to 40 percent in hypothetical general election matchups. Clinton's top Democratic challengers Barack Obama and John Edwards however would still beat their hypothetical Republican rivals in potential 2008 contests..."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Unhappy Fred

The Raw Story | Fred Thompson: Fox 'skews things' against me: "After a Fox News anchor used two of the network's own pundits to 'show how' the Thompson campaign was experiencing negative buzz, Fred Thompson hit back hard, suggesting that Fox 'skews things' by presenting only the opinions of their own analysts..."

Why? You're not Rudy, the Faux News Anointed Preznit.

Police State Update

Defend Catherine Wilkerson "In the ensuing overly aggressive police response, three people were arrested. As the senior medical professional on scene, Dr. Wilkerson took responsibility for the well-being of a middle-aged man who was forced by police to the floor. The man, at least twice, told the two police officers on top of him, "I can't breathe." After he lost consciousness, Dr. Wilkerson exhorted police to get off him and allow her to check his breathing and pulse. Wilkerson later protested when Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel adopted a punitive, potentially dangerous approach and breached ethical medical practices by forcing ammonia into the man's nostrils and face. It was at this time that she was physically assaulted and detained by Ann Arbor police. To this day, Wilkerson still requires physical therapy for the shoulder injury she needlessly suffered at the hands of Officer Warner. Wilkerson was never handcuffed or even required to produce identification because she had committed no crime in advocating for a patient in her care. However, nearly two months after the incident and just seven days after she filed a police brutality complaint, she was charged by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie's office, at the request of the UM police, with two attempted felonies—one against Officer Warner and one against the EMS personnel..."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Brier Rabbit Factor

Horses Mouth November 23, 2007 3:31 PM: "The winger bloggers and commentators are starting to push a silly new meme: That Democrats, not Republicans, are the 'party of the rich.' The basis for this? A new 'study' done by the Heritage Foundation that was written up in this article in The Washington Times..."

Since the data was crunched out by the Heritage Foundation, it doesn't quite (ahem) hold water. Check the link for more.

Troops Not Counted "At least 20,000 U.S. troops who were not classified as wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been found with signs of brain injuries, according to military and veterans records compiled by USA TODAY.

The data, provided by the Army, Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs, show that about five times as many troops sustained brain trauma as the 4,471 officially listed by the Pentagon through Sept. 30. These cases also are not reflected in the Pentagon's official tally of wounded, which stands at 30,327..."

Friday, November 23, 2007

For Bemusement, Check This List

What Do Conservatives Spend Their Time Thinking About? | The Agonist


Easier than expected. Next stop: open heart surgery sometime next month. I'll sorta kinda blog some for the next few days since I'm supposed to be doing nothing more exciting than breathing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Maybe Last, Maybe

Another cardiac procedure tomorrow. Hope to be back by Saturday. Hope.


The Raw Story | CNN's Blitzer: Is deputy fire chief trying to 'swiftboat' Giuliani?: "New York City Deputy Fire Chief Jim Riches does not want to see his former mayor become president.

As head of the group 9/11 Firefighters and Families, Riches works tirelessly to spread the message that Rudy Guiliani failed his first responders on 9/11. Riches appeared on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer to discuss what he's trying to do. While former New York City Police Commissioner Howard Safir also appeared to defend Giuliani's record..."

Rape In Arabia

Saudis defending whipping raped woman for "crime" of being in a car with an unrelated male relative - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"They're barbaric. A backwards, barbaric country that has far too much power for its 12th century maturity. Had we bothered investing in alternative energy right after September 11 we'd have a chance to start, eventually, decreasing the stranglehold that barbarians like the Saudis, the Iranis, Chavez in Venezuela and more have over our nation. Instead, we're wedded to these loons now more than ever (and oil is now hitting $100/barrel). Enough is enough, the madness needs to stop. In addition to faulting Bush, Cheney and the Republicans, who wouldn't dare help America become energy independent lest it hurt their corporate buddies in the oil industry, I fault the enviro groups and the pro-Israel lobby for not doing more following September 11 (and the invasion of Iraq) to take advantage of the growing national consensus that our ties to Middle Eastern oil countries are harming rather than helping America. We had a chance to do something about this, and the groups, like (liberal) groups always do, dropped the ball."

BO and the Troops

Why does Fox News hate our troops? - The Smirking Chimp: "Why does Bill O'Reilly despise the American military? Why did he refuse to report -- in prime time -- on the heroic, fallen soldier who gave his life in Iraq and was posthumously awarded the national highest combat award, the Medal of Honor? What is it about O'Reilly's strident ideology that blinded him to the U.S. military's achievements to the point where he simply ignored the White House presentation of the Medal of Honor? And honestly, doesn't that really tell you all you need to know about O'Reilly and the state of right-wing media?..."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Queen of Hearts Race Card

Talking Points Memo | Michelle Obama: "Imagine our family on that inaugural platform. America will look at itself differently. The world will look at America differently. There is no other candidate who is going to do that for our country. You know that."

Skippy The Scientist Slings Cells

Crooks and Liars » Before Bush pats himself on the back…:

"Yesterday’s announced breakthrough on stem-cell research is obviously good news for medicine, public health, and scientific advancements. The Bush White House, which has stood in the laboratory door for seven years, suddenly feels justified...

...Look, we should all be really pleased by yesterday’s news, and the scientific advancements offer hope for life-saving medical research. But for the White House to suggest that Bush deserves some kind of credit for the progress is nonsense. In fact, the opposite is true.

One of the researchers involved in yesterday’s reports said the Bush restrictions may have slowed discovery of the new method, since scientists first had to study embryonic cells to find out how to accomplish the same thing without embryos.

“My feeling is that the political controversy set the field back four or five years,” said James Thomson, who led a team at the University of Wisconsin and who discovered human embryonic stem cells in 1998."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shafting The Troops, Part Ten Billion and One

Think Progress » "The U,S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.” Jordan Fox of Pittsburgh was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, cutting his service short by three months. “A few days ago, he received a letter from the military demanding nearly $3,000 of his signing bonus back...”

I would say "unbelievable" but... sigh.

The Smell of Mitt Cooking

Talking Points Memo | Self-Inflicted

"Hmmm. This could get very sticky for the Mittster. There's been some weird circumstantial evidence suggesting that the candidate with the most connections to the firm behind those anti-Mitt, anti-Mormon push-polls was none other than Mitt himself. Now the campaign is furiously denying that he was push polling himself."

Powered by ScribeFire.

POTUS Contenders Blog

A new blog sponsored by VoteVets has invited the presidential candidates to post on veterans issues. Very interesting material. You can find it here: VetVoice A project of

Lying Liars

McClellan: Rove, Bush, Cheney helped me pass "false information" about Plame - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

Sounds like a damning new book by the former Bush press secretary:
"The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," writes McClellan. "So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby."

But his press performances weren't based on the facts, McClellan continues.

"There was one problem. It was not true," he writes. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Your Borther's Keeper

Sex Scandal Hits Atlanta-Area Megachurch - Politics on The Huffington Post: "DECATUR, Ga. — The 80-year-old leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch is at the center of a sex scandal of biblical dimensions: He slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her.

Members of Archbishop Earl Paulk's family stood at the pulpit of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church a few Sundays ago and revealed the secret exposed by a recent court-ordered paternity test..."


Crooks and Liars » Jack Cafferty: Is a Fertilized Egg a Person?: "Jack Cafferty points to a recent Colorado Supreme Court ruling allowing an anti-abortion group to collect signatures for a ballot measure that would define a fertilized egg as a person and asks his viewers to weigh in on it." Video at the link.

Clinton Snark

Snap! Hillary Says "It Takes A Clinton To Clean Up After A Bush" - Politics on The Huffington Post

Poor Me

Talking Points Memo: "Crony US Attorney Paulose says members of the Federal Society are victims of a new McCarthyism and black-list.

She further alleges she's being hounded out of her office for her religion, ideology, gender and skin color."

What about her shoe size?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

FOX News Porn

Bush Legacy Update

Sabato's Crystal Ball - ANOTHER PART OF THE BUSH LEGACY IN QUESTION?: "...But during his seemingly ill-starred second term, the Republicans have hemorrhaged seats up and down the ballot--losing their majorities in both houses of Congress, dropping hundreds of seats in the state legislatures, and giving up enough governorships to leave the GOP with less than half of them for the first time in more than a decade.

As a result, with barely a year to go in his administration, that part of Bush's legacy--as a party builder par excellence--remains very much in question..."

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Daily Flashback, Reagan Edition: II

d r i f t g l a s s: "A Rose for Bobo" -- Part 1 of 4.: "...Reagan began the road of crippling America's ability to care for Americans. Now we have this failed trickle down economic policy pushed by yet another President. One that leaves Americans in record debt and record bankruptcies. Instead of tax rates which fairly distribute the burden of funding America, the rich have been encouraged to avoid their fair share. Ronald Reagan began the bankrupting of America and the creation of a super wealthy CEO class, one where their great grandchildren will never have to work, an aristocracy of trustifarians. Under Reagan hypocracy and selfishness became the rule of the road. Not just in public life, where his staff routinely lied, eventually leading to Iran-Contra.

But if Reagan started to ruin America, his foreign policy left the dead around like fallen leaves. His foreign policy was a disaster by any standard. Dead nuns in El Salvador, murdered school teachers in Nicaragua, the tortured in Argentina, the seizure of Grenade, the failed intervention in Lebanon, the aerial assassination attempt on Khaddafi, which led to the bombing of Pam Am flight 103. Reagan's policies left a trail of failure and disaster at every turn..."

Edwards Ahead

Iowa Independent:: Edwards Tops Iowa Independent Democratic Power Rankings

Sweeney Guilty

Talking Points Memo | Sweeney Cops a Plea: "Fmr. Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) took a plea yesterday in his drunk driving arrest. He'll pay a thousand dollar fine, agree to a suspension of his license and avoid jail time..."

Friday, November 16, 2007

$1 Million Challenge

The Swamp: John Kerry accepts oil man's $1 million challenge: "...Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, has accepted the challenge of wealthy oil man T. Boone Pickens, who provided cash to the Swifties four years ago for ads that had the effect of torpedoes on Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. The ads, as you'll recall, questioned the circumstances surrounding the wounds Kerry received during his service in the Vietnam War and other aspects of Kerry's biography.

Pickens recently said he'd give $1 million to anyone who could prove that one fact in any of those ads was wrong. Kerry is taking him up on..."

The CNN Debate

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » CNN Debates the Democrats: "...From the opening question, it seemed CNN had planned the evening as an opportunity to take down Hillary Clinton, with anti-Clinton talking points assumed as proven facts and then embedded in questions. Campbell Brown opened by asking Clinton why she “stumbled” so badly in the last debate, and that was followed by a question to Obama that was premised on why Clinton is so triangulating. Then we had questions on the Bill’s “boys” and the “gender card” and the obligatory Lou Dobbs demogoguery on drivers’ licenses for immigrants. That was followed by John Roberts, whose questions — “what about the awful teachers’ unions?” and “Isn’t Petraeus swell?” — illustrated why he’s known as a blatant Republican shill. Was that really “the best team on television?...”"

Craig Communicates

God bless GOP Senator Larry "Wide Stance" Craig - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth:

"'My concern is not with myself but with the posteriors of those in the audience' -- Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), on being given an extra 2 min. to speak at today's EPW hearing (Last Call! sources).

Of course this is the guy whose first line at his 'I am not gay' press conference was to 'thank everyone for coming out today.'"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Of Venus and Mars

Whiskey Fire: Artificial Light: "...Men who are confident and smart don't need women to pretend to be stewardesses or mommies or naughty nurses. What the Althouses and the Dowds and the Flanagans of the world don't see, for whatever reason, is that people liked Bill Clinton because he had a smart wife, because he gave her a policy-making role, because he was not intimidated by her intellect. This isn't about evolution, it's about being a f*ing adult..."

Shafting The Troops, Part Ten Million

The Impolitic: The quick and the dead: "Well, this is just horrible. CBS News did an investigative report and discovered there is a suicide epidemic going on among our war veterans, particularly those newly home from Iraq..."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Where Bridge Leads Us

US Bridge Federation doesn't want to upset the Chinese dictators - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth:

"...As an aside, I can understand why the American team made the point that they didn't vote for Bush. Anyone who travels regularly abroad knows that wearing your anti-Bushism on your sleeve is the next best thing to Kevlar in terms of self-preservation. The world hates George Bush, they hate our government because of George Bush and the Republicans (and the war and Gitmo and more), and they're not very happy with the fact that Americans voted twice for the idiot. (Once, they can understand - mistakes happen - but twice? Second time you own him.) I routinely let people know that I didn't vote for Bush when I'm abroad. Why? Because the conversation routinely goes like this:

Them: You speak great [insert language here]. Me: Thank you. Them: But you're American? Me: Yes. Them: So where are you from in America? Me: Washington, DC. Them: [stone silence accompanied by cocked head and odd stare.] Me: I didn't vote for Bush. Them: [Cold face melts to smile.] Ah... good! [Animated conversation continues, followed by new lifelong friendship.]

The thing is, I'm not kidding. That's quite literally a conversation I've had repeatedly, verbatim, with lots and lots and lots of foreigners. I am sick and tired of getting disparaging silence every time I say I'm from DC. Foreigners just assume that we support this idiot, and they loathe him, and us by extension, if they assume we support him, us. No more. I get that politics stops at the border. I get that we're supposed to rally around the flag when we're abroad. But George Bush isn't the flag. George Bush burns the flag every time he opens his mouth or lifts his pen. George Bush is an embarrassment to everything this country stands for, or stood for. So the notion that we should refrain from criticizing Bush when abroad, especially because it might upset dictators, is, well, something I have a hard time accepting.

So I get why the national team felt the need to speak out. It's high time more of us did."

I feel a cosmic connection between this story and the recent behavior of the US Women's Soccer team.

Update: Anon gives us addreses to which we can send a "bridgy" opinion. Open the comments.

Bridge Winners Protest Bush

World Bridge Championships - Venice Cup - Protest - New York Times
"In the genteel world of bridge, disputes are usually handled quietly and rarely involve issues of national policy. But in a fight reminiscent of the brouhaha over an anti-Bush statement by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks in 2003, a team of women who represented the United States at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month is facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for a spur-of-the-moment protest..."

Malkin et. al. are, of course, going on a wingnut rampage. Sorry. No links to them from me. Nice picture of the group and sign here.

State Dept IG On The Grill

Talking Points Memo | D'Oh!

"I guess you could say these hearings aren't going to well for Howard "Cookie" Krongard. Anytime the morning's questions lead you to recuse yourself from investigations you're currently accused of blocking or whitewashing, that just can't be good..."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Edwards Gets Froggy

Ezra Klein: His Ideas Are Good, But I Want More Bullet Points

"So we're back to arguing about John Edwards' plan to strip members of Congress of their health care if they don't pass comprehensive reform. I'm always astonished at how bizarrely literally pundits act when they approach this idea. It's true that, in the strong form, its; unconstitutional. Edwards cannot, with his pen, deprive anyone of their health care. The Edwards Campaign, by contrast, says that it will take the form of a bill sent to Congress, which seems constitutional, though everyone says it would be impossible to pass..."

Good News!

Erie, PA receives $100 million donation - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "What an amazing story. Anyone who has lived in the area or even just passed through knows what a hard hit region this is. Closed factories, few new jobs and shattered families make for a very hard environment. This anonymous gift will go a long way towards helping the community re-build..."

The only way this gets better is if it were Christmas.

Raw Story Wins Reporting Award

The Raw Story | Raw Story Investigates reporter wins investigative reporting award: "Long before Blackwater became the topic du jour for the mainstream media, Raw Story's Investigative team was on the march.

Raw Story is proud to announce Raw Story Investigates' Miriam Raftery won third prize in the San Diego Press Club's annual reporting for daily newspapers and websites in the category of investigative reporting.

Raftery won for an article she wrote on Blackwater, 'Massive security contractor faces growing protest in rural California town over 824-acre base...'"

Congratulations to Raw Story and to Raftery. We should all be thankful that there are a few places still doing God's Work in journalism.

Belzer on the Media and Poverty

Richard Belzer: Willful Ignorance, Callous Indifference, or Both? - Politics on The Huffington Post: "What do almost 100 million Americans have in common? They are at -- or perilously close to -- the official poverty line! Yet government officials and most of the so-called punditocracy declare rather impatiently that the economy is just fine and only the misguided masses don't think so. The universally rich television talking heads patronizingly shake their dyed coifes at the public's uniformed naiveté about the complexity of the marketplace in all it's sphinx-like inscrutability.

These overpaid, smug opinionated keepers of Wall Street's gates are, in their view, the only class of people who can explain the confusing riddle of the American economy. The only glaring problem with this conceit is that tens of millions of our fellow citizens have to choose between food, medicine or heating fuel..."

Very interesting comment thread; here's a sample:

"Mr. Belzer,
As a member of the Wall Street society for the past 25 years, I am disgusted by the policies of greed that have pounded working class Americans into submission. The propaganda of which you speak is a consistent message which memorizes the ill-informed to act in ways that are contrary to their own self interests. As a consequence, the priorities of the upper class are mistakenly embraced by the working class.

In the short term this approach has worked very well. The rich have become substantially richer . Virtually all of their goals with the exception of the estate tax, have been accomplished. At the same time the American public has been substantially dumbed down in terms of their awareness of what is happening at their expense. In the long run I fear that the stage has been set for a dramatic political/economic shift which no one can either predict or prevent..."

Monday, November 12, 2007

UFOs Abounding

Former pilots and officials call for new U.S. UFO probe - Yahoo! News

'WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich may have been ridiculed for saying he had seen a UFO, but for some former military pilots and other observers, unidentified flying objects are no laughing matter.

An international panel of two dozen former pilots and government officials called on the U.S. government on Monday to reopen its generation-old UFO investigation as a matter of safety and security given continuing reports about flying discs, glowing spheres and other strange sightings.

"Especially after the attacks of 9/11, it is no longer satisfactory to ignore radar returns ... which cannot be associated with performances of existing aircraft and helicopters," they said in a statement released at a news conference...'


Fox Hoping For Doomsday

The Raw Story | Fox host 'let down' by implausibility of suitcase nukes

"After appearing in numerous film and TV programs and even creeping its way into American political discourse, the suitcase nuke, a nuclear bomb small enough to be easily hidden, is unlikely to exist, according to experts. The revelation left the anchors of the Fox News program Fox & Friends more than a little disappointed.

"You mean '24' isn't true," Co-host Page Kelly inquired, referring to Fox's national security-themed prime time hit, starring Kiefer Sutherland as CIA agent Jack Bauer. "'24's my favorite show."

"It is a little bit of a let down," agreed Greg Kelly..."

Alaska Stink

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Oily "...The multiple corruption investigations have uncovered so much dirt, that the Anchorage Daily News has an entire section in the paper labeled “Political Investigations.” It isn’t just Alaskan politicians who are caught up in the smarm net, though — as it turns out, VECO and other companies who have been participating in alleged bribery and pay to play schemes in AK also happen to be big GOP donors in the lower 48 and in the national races as well..."

What Could You Buy With The Iraq War?

'Boston Globe' Web Site Calculates Other Uses For $611 Billion Spent on Iraq: "NEW YORK, the Web site of The Boston Globe, has again taken a unique view of the latest Iraq War funding request, offering a look at what the $611.5 billion that would be spent so far on the war could buy if it was not used for the military operation..."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

India Watching

I was scratching around for a post like this. Actor 212 has done some very heavy lifting here because we (the public) need to keep our collective eye on the subcontinent-- all of it. Click the link for a darn good overview.

Simply Left Behind: The Mystery Of The Sub-Continent: The Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy:

"...Pakistan and India have long had enmity and conflict with each other. At one point, in 1998, they each showed the other its dick by testing nuclear weapons and missile systems.

So why has India kept so quiet over a turmoil in its neighbor's house? ..."

The Daily Flashback: Reagan Edition

The U.S. and Iran - "The tale sounded really too bizarre to be believed. The U.S. conniving at arms shipments to Iran? Sending a secret mission to palaver with the mullahs? Trying to keep the whole thing from Congress and most of the U.S. Government? And all over Iran, of all places! The country that held Americans hostage for 444 days beginning in 1979, the land whose fanatical leader, Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, has never ceased to denounce America as the 'Great Satan,' the state widely suspected to this very day of fomenting terrorist attacks against Americans..."

Same Song, Same Verse

Talking Points Memo:

"...Here's the top story out of Iowa: Rudy Giuliani told an audience at Iowa State University that the American military needs to be bigger, and he lashed out at Bill Clinton for cutting the military during the 1990's.

'Our military is too small to deal with the Islamic terrorism threats,' Giuliani said, 'but it really is too small to deter would-be aggressors to even think of challenging us. And that's due to Bill Clinton.'

Does this make any sense? What threats are we incapable of dealing with? And if they exist, why hasn't Bush/Cheney (and congressional Republicans) done anything about it? We already spend more on the military than most of the world put together -- who else does Giuliani want to invade? (Oh wait, don't answer that.)..."

Dead Babies

US Among Worst in World for Infant Death - Technology on The Huffington Post: "...The United States ranks near the bottom for infant survival rates among modernized nations. A Save the Children report last year placed the United States ahead of only Latvia, and tied with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia..."

An Admission

Crooks and Liars » Late Edition: Armitage on Leaking Plame’s Identity and Smart Power: "What an amazingly refreshing and grown up admission from a former member of the Bush Administration. When shown a clip of Valerie Plame Wilson castigating him for revealing her identity to Robert Novak by Wolf Blitzer, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has really only one thing to say: She’s right..." Video at the link.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Screwing The Sick

Another entry from "It Figures" Department.

Health insurer tied bonuses to dropping sick policyholders - Los Angeles Times

"One of the state's largest health insurers set goals and paid bonuses based in part on how many individual policyholders were dropped and how much money was saved.

Woodland Hills-based Health Net Inc. avoided paying $35.5 million in medical expenses by rescinding about 1,600 policies between 2000 and 2006. During that period, it paid its senior analyst in charge of cancellations more than $20,000 in bonuses based in part on her meeting or exceeding annual targets for revoking policies, documents disclosed Thursday showed.."

Human Tetris II

English is not necessary. No politics here.

Mailer Dead

VOA News - American Author, Cultural Icon, Norman Mailer Dead at 84: "For nearly 60 years, Norman Mailer was one of America's most prolific and controversial authors. A colleague says Mailer died early Saturday at a hospital in New York City He was 84..."

Click on the link to get a good summation of Mailer's career and achievements. One work not mentioned is An American Dream, in which Mailer demonstrates that the core American Dream of "everything will turn out all right in the end" is bogus. George Bush is the perfect embodiment of that sentiment, believing that his actions have no dire consequences and somehow a completely myopic future will judge him a giant among American presidents. Believe Mailer fiction before believing Bush reality.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Edwards May Get Boost

Election Central | Talking Points Memo | Edwards To Be Endorsed By Key Iowa Group: "I've just learned from several sources that John Edwards will be endorsed by the fiscal group Iowans for Sensible Priorities, a very good get for Edwards in the key early-primary state.

A source on a rival campaign confirmed that the group decided to endorse Edwards; the decision will officially be announced tomorrow morning. The endorsement is a key one because it could potentially deliver a large block of thousands of caucus goers to Edwards..."

Other Clinton Takes The Blame

Clinton: Blame Me for Health Failure - Politics on The Huffington Post: "GLENWOOD, Iowa — Former President Clinton said Thursday that he is to blame for his administration's failed health care plan, not his wife, who spearheaded the effort.
Clinton was asked about the plan during a campaign event, where he spoke to about 600 people crowded into a YMCA gymnasium. The health care effort was led by then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, now a New York senator and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

'She has taken the rap for some of the problems we had with health care the last time that were far more my fault than hers,' the former president said..."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just, uh, Wow

Talking Points Memo | Inside the Bush Bubble

""By almost all accounts, this Administration has done more to improve government effectiveness than any previous Administration, ever."
--Clay Johnson, Bush buddy turned deputy director of OMB who also chairs the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency, which oversees all government inspectors general..."

Words fail. Mind reels. Wave of stupid washes over the galactic core.

Hissy Fit Forecast

Congress Hands Bush First Veto Override - "WASHINGTON -- President Bush suffered the first veto override of his seven-year-old presidency Thursday as the Senate enacted a $23 billion water resources bill despite his protest that it was filled with unnecessary projects.

The 79-14 vote included 34 Republicans who defied the president. Enactment was a foregone conclusion, but it still marked a milestone for a president who spent his first six years with a much friendlier Congress controlled by his Republican Party..."


Study: 1 out of 4 homeless are veterans - Yahoo! News

"WASHINGTON - Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday.

And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job..."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

No Principles But Power

Pat Robertson wants Rudy to be President - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "One of the pillars of the anti-gay, anti-abortion theocratic community, Pat Robertson, is supporting the thrice married mayor who supports a woman's right to have an abortion. So reports Chris Cilizza at The Fix:

Pat Robertson, one of the most influential figures in the social conservative movement, will announce his support for Rudy Giuliani's presidential bid this morning in Washington, D.C., according to sources familiar with the decision.

Neil Bush: Hot Again

Neil Bush's Firm Under Federal Scrutiny - Politics on The Huffington Post

"WASHINGTON — The Education Department's inspector general says he will review whether federal money is inappropriately being spent on programs by a company founded by Neil Bush, the president's brother.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a Washington-based watchdog group, called for the inquiry and released a letter this week from the department's inspector general, John Higgins Jr..."

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Not The Last

Going into the hospital for "a cardiac procedure." Light posting. Posting from beyond?

A Reagan Error?

The Reason the Right Went Wrong « The Independent, Conservative, Common Sense Oasis

"...Ronald Reagan gets most of the credit, which he deserves, for the rise of Republican conservatives. However, he also deserves all of the blame for the their fall. Sacrilege you say. I could see the conservatives ready to burn me in effigy, if not in reality. Please, just give me a moment...

...Easy, I can say it with the confidence of 20/20 hindsight. President Reagan’s grand error can be summed up in one action, the Vice Presidential choice of George Herbert Walker Bush..."

Monday, November 05, 2007

V for Vendetta Televised Speech

Existing In V

Penny for the Guy? - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"I was in London, 24 years ago today, on Guy Fawkes Night. The cutest little kid, with the cutest little accent, was asking for pennies outside one of the Tube stations. I was 19. Fawkes will always remind me, now, of the movie "V for Vendetta," which increasingly creeps me out, and moves me, every time I watch it, as it has an awful lot to do with the world and country(ies) we live in today.
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parliament.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the ..."
I've watched V at least a dozen times and I'm with John on this one-- the more you watch the weirder you get. (If Dexter works the same way, my mental health will soon be suspect.) Critics said the movie was a modern morality play and that it was more about the US and Bush than about the Brits and Blair. I agree with both views, but there is another V.

The miniseries was about an alien invasion and was pretty darn good. It used the premise of alien invasion to demonstrate how a facist regime can take over a civilization, using methods pioneered by everyone's favorite villains-- the Nazis. (As the industry is prone to do, a series was spun-off and it jumped the shark early on with interspecial breeding-- they're always wanting to cross an aardvark with a kangaroo in Hollywood.) The two V's used different methods to achieve the authoritarian wet-dream of a High Ruler, but the result is always the same-- eventual chaos and destruction and revolution. Budding fascists might do well to consult with another V-- a Vulcan. The Bushpires will not long endure.

*If you have trouble following the V for Vendetta plot, turn on the close captioning. Does wonders for actors (or more probably, directors and sound technicians who under-mic a scene) and clarifies those pesky accents.


Nora Ephron: It's Hard to be a Democrat - Politics on The Huffington Post: "...And then there are the Democrats in the Congress. What a bunch of losers, hiding behind the fact that it takes 60 votes to shut down debate and 67 to override a presidential veto. So what? So pass a law and make Bush veto it. Make him veto something every single day. Drive the guy crazy. What have you got to lose? And meanwhile what have you done? You've voted for the surge, you've voted to authorize a war against Iran, and you're about to vote in favor of an attorney general-designate who refuses to call waterboarding torture..."

digby On Media Corruption

Hullabaloo: "...Grab the Maalox kids because I can feel it in my gut. The bad breath and the sleepy eyes and the bedhead are all around us. Come 2009, if a Democrat wins the presidency, the Village press will finally wake up from its 8 year somnambulent drool and rediscover its 'conscience' and its 'professionalism.' The Republicans will only have to breathe their character assassination lightly into the ether --- the Village gossips will do the rest. And if this new president resists in any way, a primal scream will build until he or she is forced to appoint a special counsel to investigate the 'cover up' and grovel repeatedly in forced acts of contrition in response to manufactured GOP hissy fits and media hysteria. We're going forward into the past (and judging from the haircut nonsense we've already seen, it isn't confined to Clinton.) Reforming politics isn't enough.

Reforming the media is just as important. The current administration is so power mad, morally bankrupt and inept that their natural heir is a barking madman. (And some excellent reporting has been done to expose them.) But the Village kewl kidz and the queen bees who set the political agenda and dominate the coverage have never found any of that interesting or worthwhile. They care about their silly little shorthand parlor games that they think reveal politicians' "character." And their judgment of character is about as useful to the average voter as Brittney and K-Fed's..."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Will Laments

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

'"Republicans, supposed defenders of limited government, actually are enablers of an unlimited presidency. Their belief in strict construction of the Constitution evaporates, and they become, in behavior if not in thought, adherents of the woolly idea of a "living Constitution." They endorse, by their passivity, the idea that new threats justify ignoring the Framers' text and logic about shared responsibility for war-making.

Unless and until Congress stops prattling about presidential "usurpation" of power and asserts its own, it will remain derelict regarding its duty of mutual participation in war-making. And it will merit its current marginalization," - George F. Will, one of a growing number of real conservatives in Washington, standing up to the Decider.'

Unhappy US

Poll Finds Americans Pessimistic, Want Change -

"...Overwhelmingly, Democrats want a new direction, but so do three-quarters of independents and even half of Republicans. Sixty percent of all Americans said they feel strongly that such a change is needed after two terms of the Bush presidency.

Dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq remains a primary drag on public opinion, and Americans are increasingly downcast about the state of the economy. More than six in 10 called the war not worth fighting, and nearly two-thirds gave the national economy negative marks. The outlook going forward is also bleak: About seven in 10 see a recession as likely over the next year..."

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Godfather Rudy

Think Progress: "Giuliani’s ‘Mafia family.’ The close relationship between Rudy Giuliani and his former police commissioner, the disgraced Bernard Kerik, “raises questions” about Giuliani’s “ability to pick leaders” and his propensity to value loyalty above all else. The New York Times describes a meeting between the two men shortly after Giuliani became mayor of New York City:

Mr. Kerik followed Mr. Giuliani downstairs to a dimly lighted room. There waited Mr. Giuliani’s boyhood chum Peter J. Powers, who was first deputy mayor, and other aides. One by one, they pulled Mr. Kerik close and kissed his cheek.

“I wonder if he noticed how much becoming part of his team resembled becoming part of a mafia family,” Mr. Kerik wrote. “I was being made...”"

Foxes and Henhouses

Sen. Sherrod Brown: New Leadership Needed at the Consumer Product and Safety Commission - Politics on The Huffington Post

"...Earlier this week, however, a New York Times story revealed that CPSC Acting Chairwoman Nancy Nord is actively working against these improvements. That is just plain shameful.

This morning's Washington Post revealed that -- in addition to fighting agency improvements -- Chairwoman Nord has enjoyed trips across the country paid for by the very toy companies she is responsible for regulating. That is just plain outrageous. These were trips paid for by the toy industry, the industry now under scrutiny for cutting corners. Corners that earn big profits for industry CEOs and send toxic toys into our children's bedrooms...

...Chairwoman Nancy Nord should step down. It's time to put a Chairperson in place who is not satisfied with 'we're doing the best we can.' We need a chairperson who fights for the authority and resources the CPSC needs to do the job it is supposed to so.

We need real leadership at the CPSC. Leadership that does not side with manufacturers over consumer safety. Leadership whose only bottom line is the safety and well being of our nation, of our families, of our children."

"Do Not Call" Loophole

Dems trying to close "Do Not Call" list loophole - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"This is the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans created this expiration, the Dems are closing it:
Congress took the first steps Tuesday to ensure that people who registered for the national Do Not Call list won't be inundated next year with telemarketing calls at dinnertime.

At separate House and Senate committee sessions, lawmakers passed legislation that makes most of the 145 million phone numbers on the list permanent by eliminating a five-year expiration date established by the Federal Trade Commission, which administers the program."

Friday, November 02, 2007

The AG Cave

Talking Points Memo | BREAKING: Schumer and Feinstein Will Vote For Mukasey: "According to CNN, Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will vote for the confirmation of Michael Mukasey as attorney general..."

Good Idea, Good Luck

Bill Maher: No Crony Left Behind - Politics on The Huffington Post: "New Rule: In the next fifteen months, President Bush has to perform at least one act that doesn't make money for someone he knows..."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Immunity Not!

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog: "There has been some kinda crazy talk floating around the MSM that State Department investigators somehow conferred immunity on Blackwater mercenaries in the course of questioning them. Without commenting on whether or not the word “immunity” was ever used in any conversation let me tell you that as a matter of law, it would be impossible for that to be true.

You see for statutory immunity to be conferred—YOU NEED A COURT ORDER. Immunity is not some causal thing that you can accidentally or carelessly sprinkle about like pocket lint..."

Surprise! Surprise!

The Raw Story | Huckabee blames Bill Clinton for release of rapist-murderer: "Republican president candidate Mike Huckabee has recently come under fire from the conservative American Spectator magazine for having secured the parole in 1997, while he was governor of Arkansas, of a rapist who then murdered a woman..."

Huck says Bill did it, so it's another case of BBF (Blame Bill First).


Horses Mouth November 1, 2007 1:31 PM: "Since the Dem debate a few days ago a lot of people have understandably been taking shots at Tim Russert for his often small-minded 'gotcha' questions and his constant references to Bill Clinton. Some Hillary backers are seething about Russert; indeed, in a conference call with big donors, Hillary pollster Mark Penn and other supporters repeatedly griped about Russert's approach, with one supporter saying that he 'should be shot...'"


Bush and the GOP on economics - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

"Bush can conveniently blast the Democrats for spending but nobody can deliver destruction to the economy the way Bush can do it. Some of his greatest hits include:
- Largest decline in housing prices since 1991.
- Crumbling US dollar, weakest showing against leading five currencies since early 1970s. This includes 37 year low against Canadian dollar. Against the UK pound, it's over $2 to buy only one.
- Skyrocketing and "out of control" oil prices, record highs at the pump.
- Billions of US taxpayer dollars lost, missing, and who knows what from Iraq. Costs for war to drag out for decades.
- Record high budget deficit, compounded by GOP spending boondoggles..."

Perfected: The Ann Coulter Song

Social Security Bingo

Josh Marshall has an excellent post that explains the various aspects of the Social Security system, including both the fiscal and political. Check it out. Talking Points Memo | Stop Saving Social Security

Speaking of Hypocrisy...

...and featuring just about my favorite Bible verse.

The Talent Show » Get Your Pray On: "...If some Fox News douche wants to insist on asking religious questions, tell him that your “relationship with the Lord” is a personal matter and bust out some chapter & verse :

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

If you’re so religious, then heed the words of Jesus. The pundits and politicians who insist on mentioning their beliefs with every other breath, they’re the hypocrites. Are their embarrassing displays of zealotry really behavior that you want to emulate?"

Defining Cons (Pun Intended)

The Mahablog » Where Next for Conservatism?: "...When you’re talking about conservatism you’re supposed to clarify whether you are talking about libertarian conservatism, social values conservatism, America First conservatism, or some other critter. In a logical world, the libertarian get government out of my business conservatism ought to clash with social we’ll make you behave or else conservatism, but it’s not at all uncommon to find righties who take a libertarian view on some issues (e.g., taxes) and an authoritarian view on other issues (e.g., abortion; warrantless wiretapping). Untrammeled individual rights for me; a rigid moral code for everyone else..."

Nuts Beyond The End

$11M Verdict in Funeral Protesters Case - Politics on The Huffington Post: "BALTIMORE — Members of a fundamentalist Kansas church ordered to pay nearly $11 million in damages to a grieving father smiled as they walked out of the courtroom, vowing that the verdict would not deter them from protesting at military funerals..."

Not Going

Crooks and Liars » Hell, no, they won’t go: "After staffing key diplomatic roles for years with inexperienced ideologues, the U.S. embassy in Iraq, and Amb. Ryan Crocker in particular, are desperate to have competent State Department officials in Iraq. Not surprisingly, State employees are, shall we say, reluctant to go.

A few days ago, the State Department, left with too few volunteers, announced it would to stop asking employees to go to Iraq and start ordering them to go.

Yesterday, State Department officials started pushing back..."