Friday, September 29, 2006

Last Post...Maybe

I may be dead in the water until Monday. I'm planning to disassemble my computer system for "house cleaning," Windows reinstall, etc. Murphy's Law I know. "See you on the other side, Ray."

G.Washington on Torture

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: from Sen. Clinton's address: "'...The light of our ideals shone dimly in those early dark days [of the Revolutionary War], years from an end to the conflict, years before our improbable triumph and the birth of our democracy. General Washington wasn't that far from where the Continental Congress had met and signed the Declaration of Independence. But it's easy to imagine how far that must have seemed. General Washington announced a decision unique in human history, sending the following order for handling prisoners:

'Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to complain of our Copying the brutal example of the British Army in their Treatment of our unfortunate brethren.'

Therefore, George Washington, our commander-in-chief before he was our President, laid down the indelible marker of our nation's values even as we were struggling as a nation – and his courageous act reminds us that America was born out of faith in certain basic principles. In fact, it is these principles that made and still make our country exceptional and allow us to serve as an example. We are not bound together as a nation by bloodlines. We are not bound by ancient history; our nation is a new nation. Above all, we are bound by our values.

George Washington understood that how you treat enemy combatants could reverberate around the world. . ."

Another Take On Kinky

Kinky Friedman Can Devastate Bush - The Smirking Chimp: "...Nervous Democrats and Republicans have lately attacked Kinky for being a racist. This is sheer nonsense. African-American columnist Bob Ray Sanders said this: 'Come on, y'all. There may be plenty of reasons not to vote for Kinky Friedman, but him being a racist is not one of them, namely because he is not. He may be -- he is --a lot of things, but not a bigot. I know satire can be hard to comprehend and, even if one understands it, hard to swallow. But that's what the man does.' Texas writer Dolph Tillotson also addressed this issue and said: 'Interestingly, the Republican frontrunner tended to ignore Friedman until the challenger's poll numbers took an upward turn. Now the masters of spin are scouring Friedman's writings and tapes of his performances. Kinky being Kinky, it's not hard to find offensive remarks. Still, based on what I've seen so far, I haven't changed my mind. I still find Friedman more appealing than the empty suits he's running against. I don't think he's a racist. Here's where I think the truth lies. Calling Kinky Friedman 'insensitive' is a little like calling former Gov. Ann Richards, God rest her, a Democrat. ... What he offers voters ... is the rare opportunity to say emphatically how disenchanted we are with traditional, empty, lobby-dominated politics in Texas...'"

Iraqis Want US Dead

The Blog | Arianna Huffington: Majority of Iraqis Approve of Attacks on US Troops, Why Are We Still There? | The Huffington Post: "...Well, we've just had another amazing moment in which the Iraqi people have spoken. But this time the message isn't 'We want to be free.' It's 'We don't mind seeing American soldiers blown up.'

You read that right. In a stunning new poll conducted by a well-regarded Iraqi public opinion research firm, over 60 percent of Iraqis said they approve of attacks on U.S. troops, including solid majorities of both Sunnis and Shiites.

U.S. deaths in Iraq just passed 2,700 and the Iraqi people seem to be dancing on the graves. Large numbers of those voters who held up their purple-stained fingers back in December now seem intent on giving America the finger.

Among the reasons why: the poll found that almost 80% of Iraqis believe the US military presence in Iraq provokes more violence than it prevents. And three-fourths say they think America plans to keep military bases in Iraq forever..."

Republicans as Cowards?

The Blog | Bob Geiger: Republicans The Real Cut-And-Run Cowards | The Huffington Post: "epublicans have become so accustomed to using the phrase 'cut and run' that they probably mumble it while sleeping and their childlike leader, George W. Bush, babbled it again yesterday, saying at yet another GOP fundraiser that 'the party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run.'

That takes a ton of nerve coming from a Chickenhawk like Bush, who used Daddy's connections to avoid Vietnam and then went AWOL from his cushy stateside post. But we've heard that empty phrase from the cretins in the right-wing of the Republican party so many times that it barely even registers any longer.

They like to question the courage and patriotism of Democrats for being unwilling to shed more American blood and waste billions more on a pointless war, that the country was lied into and that's made us far less safe and more despised throughout the world. Aside from the fact that the majority of Americans no longer support the Iraq war -- and, thus, they must all be cut-and-run defeatists as well -- it is the Republicans who have shown themselves to be the lily-livered cowards among us.

Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their whole craven cabal are scared stiff -- and they want us to all be very afraid as well..."

Bush Bucked Advice

Book Says Bush Ignored Urgent Warning on Iraq - New York Times: "Book Says Bush Ignored Urgent Warning on Iraq

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 — The White House ignored an urgent warning in September 2003 from a top Iraq adviser who said that thousands of additional American troops were desperately needed to quell the insurgency there, according to a new book by Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter and author. The book describes a White House riven by dysfunction and division over the war.

The warning is described in “State of Denial,” scheduled for publication on Monday by Simon & Schuster. The book says President Bush’s top advisers were often at odds among themselves, and sometimes were barely on speaking terms, but shared a tendency to dismiss as too pessimistic assessments from American commanders and others about the situation in Iraq.

As late as November 2003, Mr. Bush is quoted as saying of the situation in Iraq: “I don’t want anyone in the cabinet to say it is an insurgency. I don’t think we are there yet.”

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is described as disengaged from the nuts-and-bolts of occupying and reconstructing Iraq — a task that was initially supposed to be under the direction of the Pentagon..."

Torture Bill Response

MyDD :: Coleen Rowley Speaks for Me:
' "...And dismissing legal principles which have served America well for over two centuries does not make America safer; rather, it removes the moral authority America once held among nations, and diminishes what it means to be American.

This bill was born out of fear: George Bush's fear of being called to account. He was asleep at the wheel on 9/11. He was wrong about Saddam's ties to al Qaeda, wrong about Saddam's WMD. His ill-conceived invasion of Iraq has been a failure, and last summer, Bush literally fiddled while New Orleans drowned. George Bush knows he cannot keep America safe, so he is illegally tapping our phones, indefinitely detaining those labeled as 'enemy combatants', and ignoring centuries of established legal precedent in the desperate hope that he will stumble on a magical formula for success. He's asked Congress to give him cover for his cowardice, and John Kline and the GOP-led Congress were only too willing to comply. They placed political expedience above the principles that made this country great.

Shame on them. And shame on all of us if we don't stand up and declare that we the people will not be frightened into violating those principles."

Democrats almost beat this bill. If we had a few more Democrats in the Senate, we would have. If that's not an incentive to work hard this cycle, I don't know what is.'


TheWorldNewser: "...Fox News Chief Roger Ailes is up in arms over the now famous clash between former President Bill Clinton and Fox's Chris Wallace. He says Clinton had a 'wild overreaction' and his 'attack' on Wallace was 'an assault on all journalists.'

How supremely ironic that Roger Ailes would be saying this. On January 25th, 1988, it was Ailes who, sitting five feet away from then Vice President George H.W. Bush in his Senate office in the Capitol building, literally used cue cards to help orchestrate the now-famous Bush confrontation with Dan Rather over the Iran/Contra affair..."


Crooks and Liars: "Woodward has been such a puppet for Bush that this does come as a surprise.

According to Woodward, insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret. 'It’s getting to the point now where there are eight-, nine-hundred attacks a week. That’s more than 100 a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces,' says Woodward.—President Bush is absolutely certain that he has the U.S. and Iraq on the right course, says Woodward. So certain is the president on this matter, Woodward says, that when Mr. Bush had key Republicans to the White House to discuss Iraq, he told them, 'I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me...'"

Thursday, September 28, 2006

USA Dumping Ground?

The Blog | Michael Smerconish: The Midnight Ride of Pat Buchanan | The Huffington Post: "...It's not just the magnitude of the invasion, it's the composition. Like the Cuban Mariel boatlift, Buchanan makes the case that we've become a dumping ground for the Third World.

Those coming here are disproportionately poor, uneducated and criminal. And the fact that they are emigrating from countries that have themselves never been fully assimilated into the First World, is what separates this group from our forefathers.

They are breaking in, not playing by the rules. Most important, many have no desire to be American. So why does it continue?

The status quo is enabled by multinational corporations anxious to topple sovereign borders, a Hispanic media that depends for its survival on the perpetuation of bilingualism and gutless politicians.

Political correctness is a major factor. Witness how many seek to dismiss Buchanan's analysis as the work of a white guy uncomfortable with the realization that his kind is losing its dominance and control. Or they try to label him a racist or xenophobe.

That kind of talk limits the debate. But Buchanan has heard it before. The elitists who try to cast him as a relic clinging to cultural oppression are no match for his arguments.

He's on a mission to foster a debate he knows he can win on the merits..."

Fire and Fuel

Mia Culpa: Stay the Course: "Stay the Course

A second report confirms the obvious:

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A U.N. report released on Wednesday said the Iraq war provided al Qaeda with a training center and recruits, reinforcing a U.S. intelligence study blaming the conflict for a surge in Islamic extremism.

The report by terrorism experts working for the U.N. Security Council said al Qaeda was playing a central role in the fighting in Iraq as well as inspiring a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan, several hundred miles (km) away.

'New explosive devices are now used in Afghanistan within a month of their first appearing in Iraq,' said the report. 'And while the Taliban have not been found fighting outside Afghanistan/Pakistan, there have been reports of them training in both Iraq and Somalia...'"

What Are We Becoming?

Crooks and Liars: "Cafferty: President Bush is trying to pardon himself. Here’s the deal: Under the War Crimes Act, violations of the Geneva Conventions are felonies, in some cases punishable by death. When the Supreme Court ruled that the Geneva Convention applied to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees, President Bush and his boys were suddenly in big trouble. They’ve been working these prisoners over pretty good. In an effort to avoid possible prosecution they’re trying to cram this bill through Congress before the end of the week before Congress adjourns. The reason there’s such a rush to do this? If the Democrats get control of the House in November this kind of legislation probably wouldn’t pass.

You wanna know the real disgrace about what these people are about to do or are in the process of doing? Senator Bill Frist and Congressman Dennis Hastert and their Republican stooges apparently don’t see anything wrong with this. I really do wonder sometimes what we’re becoming in this country."

Torturing for God, Part II

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog: "...On the whole torture doesn’t poll so strongly — might this have something to do with the failure of so many on both sides of the aisle to stand up to St. John McCain? (One has to wonder at the logic of the ‘08 hopefuls who are too timid to stand up to him now, and expect that we somehow won’t remember that their nerve crumbled when it really mattered. A little demonstrable leadership would be nice).

But surprisingly (or not, as your perspective might dictate) people who identify themselves as Christians seem to be more enthusiastic about the whole idea of torture than their secular fellows."

Rudy Defends Billy

Giuliani defends Clinton on anti-terror - Yahoo! News: "By MATT SEDENSKY, Associated Press Writer Thu Sep 28, 7:14 AM ET

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani defended Bill Clinton on Wednesday over the former president's counterterrorism efforts, saying recent criticism on preventing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is wrong. . ." (more)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Chains of Allah

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: A Muslim Writer: says "...In the House of Islam, you cannot have a principle other than that of the community. Every thing you do is referred to Islam. The mantra is 'that's stupid BUT ... But we cannot do this because we are Muslims.' One hears this expression ad nauseam. In the Islamic world you cease to be a human being. You become only a Muslim, whatever that entails.

You are not allowed to be a person with vices and virtues, you cannot follow your own reasoning, and you cannot be unpopular or defend an unpopular idea. You cannot go out of the circle. To express yourself freely means to risk death. And death indeed if you change your faith. Invention itself is considered as an act of blasphemy."

Without invention, no progress can occur. With no progress, eventually civilization will decline and fall and abject barbarism will ensue, followed by-- extinction.

Off The Radar

The Smirking Chimp -We Need An Economic Justice Movement: ". . .With so much rampant yet unrecognized and unaddressed economic inequality, this country desperately needs an economic justice movement. Being slaves to an unjust economic system merits as much concern and action as any social cause of recent decades.

How do you know that economic inequality is no where near a significant political issue driving class warfare in the good old USA? When there is rampant positive news coverage of the new Forbes list of the 400 richest American citizens. No one seems angry that for the first time all 400 are billionaires. The rich are rapidly becoming super-rich. The super-rich are rapidly becoming mega-rich. The obscene wealth and the growth in it do not motivate loud calls for a wealth tax. In the streets of America there are no mobs of unemployed and low-paid workers demanding government action and economic justice..."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

On School Vouchers

The Counterpoint: ". . .Look, if Milton Friedman or any other proponent of the voucher system for private schools wants to put forward a program in which the government ponies up enough money so that a kid from South Central or the Bronx can go to Hawthorne Hills Preparatory Academy and Institute of Polo Studies and share stock tips with Little Lord Fauntleroy whilst punting on the campus’s waterway, we’ll talk.

Until then, let’s not strip mine the few resources we have in public education and use them as door prizes at the Let’s Abolish the Department of Education mixer. . ."

Lying for God

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth: "Theocrats use dirty tricks and lie in elections
by Joe in DC - 9/25/2006 08:32:00 AM

The 'Values Voters' met in DC for their election conference this weekend. The meeting was filled with their usual hate rhetoric. But, they gave some insight in to their tactics -- which include deception and lies:

In a workshop, Connie Marshner, a veteran organizer, distributed a step-by-step guide that recommended obtaining church directories and posing as a nonpartisan pollster to ask people how they planned to vote.

“Hello, I am with ABC polls,” a suggested script began.

Some attendees complained that the script seemed deceptive, Ms. Marshner said in an interview afterward. She said that such disguised calls were a common campaign tactic, that it was just a suggested script and that she never recommended answering a direct question with a lie.

And these are the people who pride themselves on their devout religious views. They'll do anything it takes to impose their theocratic agenda."

Rice Erupts

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth: "Condi Rice blew a gasket this morning, angrily proclaiming that she and George Bush did lots of stuff before September 11 to stop Bin Laden. Putting aside the fact that a detailed Washington Post analysis says she and he most certainly did not, let's just compare one event in the Clinton and the Bush administrations to see how well each responded. . ."

Bolton Dead

BIG NEWS: Bolton Confirmation Is Really, Really Dead | TPMCafe: "he last pre-election loophole through which John Bolton's confirmation might have snuck through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was at 2:15 this afternoon at a previously called 'business meeting' of the Committee.

That meeting has been cancelled -- and with it even the dimmest chance of John Bolton being confirmed as US Ambassador to the United Nations. . . "

Just to be sure-- holy water, beheaded, buried in a crossroads at high noon, stake through the heart, garlic, wolfsbane, silver bullets, eye of newt, toe of frog...

50% of America Not Stupid - Americans look for political manipulation as gasoline prices plunge: "WASHINGTON — There is no mystery or manipulation behind the recent fall in gasoline prices, analysts say. Try telling that to many. motorists.

Almost half of Americans believe the plunge at the pump has more to do with politics and the November elections, than economics.

Retired farmer Jim Mohr of Lexington, Ill., rattled off a tankful of reasons why pump prices may be falling, including the end of the summer travel season and the fact that no major hurricanes have disrupted Gulf of Mexico output.

'But I think the big important reason is Republicans want to get elected,' Mohr, 66, said while filling up for $2.17 a gallon. 'They think getting the prices down is going to help get some more incumbents re-elected.'"

No Peace Plan

Crooks and Liars: "Batiste: The work to remove Saddam Hussein and his regime was a challenge, but it pales in comparison to the hard work required to build the peace. The detailed deliberate planning to finish the job in Iraq was not considered as Secretary Rumsfeld forbade military planners from developing plans for securing a post-war Iraq. At one point, he threatened to fire the next person who talked about the need for a post-war plan. Our country and incredible military were not set up for success."

KO KO's Fox News

Crooks and Liars: "Keith pulled no punches and launched another smack down on Bush and FOX News…

Video - WMV Video - QT

And finally tonight, a Special Comment about President Clinton’s interview. The headlines about them are, of course, entirely wrong. It is not essential that a past President, bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster, finally lashed back.

It is not important that the current President’s 'portable public chorus' has described his predecessor’s tone as 'crazed.'

Our tone should be crazed. The nation’s freedoms are under assault by an administration whose policies can do us as much damage as Al-Qaeda; the nation’s 'marketplace of ideas' is being poisoned, by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would’ve quit. Nonetheless.

The headline is this: Bill Clinton did what almost none of us have done, in five years. He has spoken the truth about 9/11, and the current presidential administration. . ." (more)

What You Already Knew

The Raw Story | GOP aide busted for fake blog posts on liberal sites: "Liberal bloggers have uncovered a staff member to Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH) using government computers to make fake posts on liberal blogs in New Hampshire, today's ROLL CALL reports.

Heard on The Hill columnist Mary Ann Akers has authorized RAW STORY to reprint the full registration-restricted item below:" (click)

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Good Idea Going Nowhere

The Smirking Chimp - News And Commentary from the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy: "In yet another attempt by Senate Democrats to get the Republican leadership to devote time and money to real national security measures, Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced legislation last week to require commercial airliners to store cargo in blast-resistant containers. . ."

Quick-- come up with some excuses why this won't work: costs too much, impractical, cause ticket prices to rise, pigs will fly...

New Airplane Rule

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: Gels Are Fine Now:
"Hmm. You mean only one alleged terror cell was interested in mixing liquids in lip-balm to blow up 'dozens' of airplanes across the Atlantic? Or that the entire London bomb scare is beginning to look less and less like anything close to a realistic danger and was hyped for political purposes? I guess we'll soon find out from the British courts. But count me as a remaining skeptic on what exactly that August 10 bomb threat really was."

Do tell.

Iraq Policy Hearings

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth
"Dems. to hold Iraq hearings today -- because GOP won't
by Joe in DC - 9/25/2006 10:33:00 AM

The Republicans in Congress have never challenged Bush's failed Iraq policy. Now we know from the latest National Intelligence Estimate that the Bush/GOP Iraq policy has made the world a more dangerous place.

The Republicans won't hold oversight hearings on Iraq. But, today, the Democrats will: . . ."

Fox Screwing Clinton

Well, that's not much of a news headline (since there's no news there) but it does get at the creative editing done by Fox to make Clinton look bad.

Eat The Press | "Nice Little Conservative Hit Job": And Also, Nice Little Conservative Clip Job | The Huffington Post: ". . .As for the allegation that this was a 'conservative hit job' — Wallace has adopted a wide-eyed 'don't look at me' position, claiming that 'All I did was ask him a question' and that he was 'I was utterly surprised by the tidal wave of details--emotion--and political attacks that followed.' In fact, Wallace's so-called 'non-confrontational question' was multipart, not only asking 'Why didn't you do more to put bin Laden and Al Qaida out of business when you were president?' but also bringing up Somalia in 1993, the bombings of U.S. African embassies and the U.S.S. Cole, and brought up allegations raised by the book The Looming Tower, which is highly critical of Clinton in the pre-9/11 years. So it actually was very much a question that required breaking out element by element to properly answer, which is what Clinton said when he heard it ('Now, I will answer all those things on the merits, but first I want to talk about the context in which this arises'). As the conversation proceeded, Wallace several times tried to interject and interrupt, with Clinton responding like so: 'You brought this up, so you'll get an answer. . .' "

Opinion Makers Shriveling

An apt, if vulgar, metaphor comes to mind, but I digress...

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Late Nite FDL:”PIQUANT”??!!: ". . .The Progressive Blogosphere is Nirvana (the band, not the state of mind), and soft-left establishment rags like Time are, well, Winger. Even little Brandon Nyhan in his weaselly cri de coeur last week admits that the great frigates of 'opinion journalism' (whatever that means) have suffered heavy damage to their previously impregnable hulls and are now rapidly taking on water.

It’s because of the war, stupid. If the last five years have shown us anything, it is the fact that we can’t trust you. You all stood by with your hands in your pockets while a reckless and power-crazed administration sold you a pack of lies and took our nation to war against another sovereign nation, unprovoked. Iraq was no threat to the United States. But it is NOW! So everything you people say now is suspect. You can’t be relied upon to tell the truth, to be curious, or to fulfill your traditional role as watchdog against unchecked corruption in the halls of power.

And that’s why the blogosphere’s numbers keep getting bigger even as newspapers and news magazines see their circulation shrinking and dwindling before their very eyes. . ."

Allen Used Racist Language?

Teammates: Allen used "N-word" in college | Salon News: "...Three former college football teammates of Sen. George Allen say that the Virginia Republican repeatedly used an inflammatory racial epithet and demonstrated racist attitudes toward blacks during the early 1970s.

'Allen said he came to Virginia because he wanted to play football in a place where 'blacks knew their place,'' said Dr. Ken Shelton, a white radiologist in North Carolina who played tight end for the University of Virginia football team when Allen was quarterback. 'He used the N-word on a regular basis back then...'"

"I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you."

Punctuating Iraq

Editor and Publisher responds to a Bush comment that the war in Iraq will be only a comma in history:

For Americans Killed in Iraq: A Period, Not a Comma: "For Americans Killed in Iraq: A Period, Not a Comma
In an interview aired on CNN on Sunday, President Bush suggested that one day the conflict in Iraq will be looked back on as 'just a comma.' The dead, and their families, might propose different punctuation. Here are some alternatives... "(2700 periods)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

End of a Streak - MLB - Recap: "DENVER (AP) -- Braves manager Bobby Cox will have to find something else to do now when the postseason starts.

Atlanta's streak of 14 straight postseason appearances ended with a 9-8 loss Sunday to the Colorado Rockies, who got a grand slam from Matt Holliday."

Another Torture Stand

"I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of Americans have absolutely no problem whatsoever with the federal government sanctioning the use of torture as an interrogation technique. And to a certain extent, I understand why this is the case. Americans are, understandably, fearful of another 9/11 (or something even worse).  But we are better than those who seek to destroy us; and engaging in barbarity only serves to transform us into the very thing we claim to be fighting against. "
The comments on this site/thread are interesting.

Bush Had Time To Get Bin Forgotten

It's a cute game the Republicans like to play, claiming that George Bush didn't have enough time to take on Osama before September 11. But that's bull.

Bush and his neo-con cronies would like you to believe that somehow history started fresh on the day Bush took office in January of 2001. But it didn't. Bush knew, just like all the rest of us knew, that the World Trade Center was attacked in February of 1993 and that the threat to the Trade Center continued unabated. Bush knew that our embassies were attacked in Africa in 1998. And Bush knew that the USS Cole was bombed on October 12, 2000.

None of this was "news" when the Bush team came into office just three months after the Cole attack, and a good eight years after the first WTC attack. George Bush didn't have 8 months warning that terrorists were trying to get us. He had eight years warning..."

C&L & NYT On Iraq Intel

"NIE report proves what we already know: Iraq has made us less safe–Surprise!

NY Times: 

A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks. The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.

Yes, Iraq has created many more terrorists than before. The Iraq war has made us less safe as a country,

An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology. The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.

When will the chattering class of pundits finally come to grips with this? When will they finally tell the American people the truth instead of being a PSA for Bush and the Republicans–especially since it’s election time and all the GOP wants to do is scare America? ..."

Sinking Bushland

"REPORT: Bush Family Compound At Kennebunkport Could Be Submerged By Global Warming

The Natural Resources Council of Maine this week released “one of the most complete depictions ever done of the potential impacts on Maine’s coastline from rising sea levels due to global warming.”

Using the latest available science, NRCM’s analysis shows that coastal businesses, homes, wildlife habitat, transportation systems, and some of the state’s most treasured places are highly vulnerable to sea-level rise.

One “treasured place” in extreme risk is the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport (noted by the yellow arrow below). The area in orange shows land that will be submerged by a sea level rise of 6 feet; the area in red will be underwater after a rise of just 3 feet.

Numerous studies on the future impacts of global warming, including the International Panel on Climate Change, have predicted a sea level rise of 3 feet or more by the end of the century. In other words, unless the problem of climate change is taken seriously, the Bush vacation retreat will under water by the time Jenna and Barbara’s kids grow up.

The Bush family aren’t the only ones who should be worried. “The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that no fewer than one in four U.S. buildings within 500 feet of a coastline will be destroyed by erosion by mid-century, with rising sea levels a big factor.” More on global warming at Climate Progress.

Handling American Thugs

AMERICAblog: "...Just look at the latest story of President Clinton ripping FOX News' head off for lying about September 11. Clinton eviscerated FOX host Chris Wallace for, among other things, lying to Clinton about what the show was going to be about. But then Wallace went one step further, a la Disney/ABC he started lying about September 11 and the events leading up to it. Clinton, having a backbone, called bullshit. (Clinton also made it quite clear that George Bush is the one who never tried to take out bin Laden, or respond to the Cole attack or any other attack.)

And now FOX and the GOP are all freaked out because the bad man was mean to them. Waaaaaaaaaaaa...

Which goes to a larger lesson that Joe in DC often reiterates. Bullies don't know how to handle someone who gets in their face and calls them on their bs. So in the case of the Republican bullies, they try to convince you that fighting back is BAD so that you'll never fight back again.

Sorry Charlie, this time you picked on the wrong Democrat."

Angry Right

'Critical to the Republican base, conservatives are expressing confidence that their rank-and-file will vote Nov. 7 even though the Republican-controlled Congress hasn't delivered this year on their core issues.

"We're disgusted somewhat with some of the Republicans, but we'd be in a whole lot worse shape with the Democrats," said the Rev. Don Wildmon of Tupelo, Mississippi, chairman of the conservative American Family Association. "So, if you can't get the whole loaf, take a half a loaf..." '
...or no loaf at all.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Name Calling

The Smirking Chimp - News And Commentary from the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy: "comments that President Bush was the devil incarnate, 'El Diablo.'

Among those exercised (and exorcized) about Chavez' name-calling were some of the loudest name-callers in American media today -- including Rush Limbaugh and other rightwing talk hosts.

Limbaugh tried to equate Chavez' remarks with the alleged Bush-bashing that comes from top U.S. Democrats. In case you've forgotten, it was Limbaugh who ridiculed Chelsea Clinton, then 13, as the 'White House dog. . .'"

Corruption at HUD

AMERICAblog: A blog for a great nation that deserves the truth: "Internal review shows HUD secretary illegally blocked govt. contracts to Democrats, then lied about it an attempt to cover it up

by John in DC - 9/22/2006 12:16:00 PM

Time for the Republican culture of corruption to stop. This man needs to resign. (And of course, get a medal.)

ThinkProgress has the leaked Inspector General report from HUD, it's bad:

In April, Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson told a group of real estate officials that he once canceled a government contract because the contractor was critical of President Bush. Awarding contracts based on political leanings “violates federal law.” Jackson is a “longtime Bush friend” and former neighbor in Dallas, Texas.

The Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development has conducted a detailed investigation and produced a 340-page report detailing his findings. The agency has given a copy to Jackson, but refused to release the report to the public."

Torturing for God

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: Christians For Torture:
"The Traditional Values Coalition, led by the Reverend Louis P. Sheldon backs torturing military detainees. They might want to get the date of the Geneva Convention right. We have a new bumper sticker, don't we: WWJT? Who Would Jesus Torture? Oh, wait ..."

Defining Torture

Open University: "For what it is worth, I note that Menachem Begin, generally not thought to be a particular bleeding heart liberal, wrote, with regard to his own experience of being tortured in the Soviet Union, that the spirit of a sleep-deprived prisoner 'is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire to sleep, to sleep just a little, not to get up, to lie, to rest, to forget. ... Anyone who has experience the desire knows that not even hunger or thirst are comparable it with it.'

It is foolish to assume that 'torture' need involve the rack and the screw (or even waterboarding, which the US seems to be moving away from). It is enough to keep people up for almost literally inhuman lengths of time. Or would anyone seriously argue that the sleep-deprivation apparently visited on Begin 'really' wasn't 'torture'? If so, what would such an argument be based on, beyond basically juvenile notions--drawn from reading too much action literature--that torture is necessarily restricted to certain kinds of inflictions of pain (or inductions of psychosis) and not others?"

War Crooks

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog: "If there has been one shining light in the past six dark years of the reign of the Boy King, it is how Henry Waxman has remained indefatigable in his pursuit to expose the kleptocratic abuses in DC. The article by Rajiv Chandrasekaran in the Washington Post last week about Mr. Ole 60 Grit Jim O’Beirne and the CPA in Iraq opened a lot of people’s eyes, and Waxman is now requesting information and calling for the rug to be pulled back on all the war profiteering cockroaches: (more)"

Loony Endorsers?

Crooks and Liars: " .
..Tony Snow is confirmed to speak on Friday, September 22 from 2:35 p.m. to 2:55 p.m. in the Regency Ballroom. FRC Action President Tony Perkins and co-sponsors Dr. James C. Dobson, Gary Bauer and Don Wildmon will also be joined by Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, Bill Bennett, Governor Mitt Romney, Sens. George Allen and Sam Brownback, Governor Mike Huckabee, Reps. Mike Pence and Marilyn Musgrave and many more…

I want the media to make Governor Mitt Romney, Sens. George Allen, Sam Brownback, Governor Mike Huckabee, Reps. Mike Pence and Marilyn Musgrave finally admit that the rantings of a lunatic are at the heart of the core values they embrace. Ann Coulter repeatedly calls Democrats traitors, terrorist lovers and everything else under the sun while she cheerfully opined that the 9/11 widows were very happy that their husbands were killed in the Twin Towers. No more can they claim anything otherwise since she’s scheduled at this event. With Tony Snow signing up we can also chalk up the White House as another supporter of Coulter’s vicious and insipid rantings."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

News Story - Verizon Online

News Story - Verizon Online: "Church to Fight IRS Over Sermon
Associated Press Writer

PASADENA, Calif. - A liberal church that has been threatened with the loss of its tax-exempt status over an anti-war sermon delivered just days before the 2004 presidential election said Thursday it will fight an IRS order to turn over documents on the matter.

'We're going to put it in their court and in a court of law so that we can get an adjudication to some very fundamental issue here that we see as an intolerable infringement of rights,' Bob Long, senior warden of All Saints Church, told The Associated Press.

He said the church's 26-member vestry voted unanimously to resist IRS demands for documents and an interview with the congregation's rector by the end of the month.

The church's action sets up a high-profile confrontation between the church and the IRS, which now must decide whether to ask for a hearing before a judge, who would then decide on the validity of the agency's demands.

Religious leaders on the right and left have expressed fear that the dispute could make it more difficult for them to speak out on moral issues such as gay marriage and abortion during the midterm election campaign. . ."

Rat List

20 Most Corrupt Members Of Congress: Burns, Frist, Santorum, Doolittle, Jefferson, Harris... | The Huffington Post: "Today, the Center For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington released its second annual survey of the twenty most corrupt members of Congress, aptly named 'Beyond DeLay: The 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and five to watch).'

CREW inventoried the 'transgressions' of each member of Congress under the microscope of federal law and congressional rules.

Some highlights:

-The three most corrupt Senate members are the infamous Conrad Burns (R-MT), Bill Frist (R-TN), and Rick Santorum (R-PA)

-Seventeen of the twenty 'Most Corrupt' politicians are Republicans

-Four of the 'Five Members To Watch' are Republicans

-All but one of the 25 Members of Congress included on the list are up for re-election

The Full List: " click.

Screwing the Troops, Again

This is just great.

Think Progress » Conservative Congressman Blocking Crackdown on Predatory Lenders Targeting U.S. Troops

"Conservative Congressman Blocking Crackdown on Predatory Lenders Targeting U.S. Troops

Predatory lenders are seriously harming the U.S. military, and one member of Congress is fighting to keep it that way.

A Pentagon report last month found that as many one in five U.S. service members “are being preyed on by loan centers set up near military bases” that can charge interest of 400 percent or more. Increasingly, soldiers have debt levels so high they are barred from serving overseas; others suffer from “bankruptcies, divorces and ruined careers.” (More facts HERE.)

The Pentagon has joined consumer, military, and veterans groups in backing a bipartisan amendment from Sens. Jim Talent (R-MO) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) that places a cap of 36 percent on high interest rates for short-term payday loans to military members.

But one conservative congressman, Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), is trying to gut the amendment. Davis has proposed his own language — praised by the payday lending industry — that sets no real limits on predatory lenders. One of Davis’s aides admitted last week that he consulted on the legislation with “CNG Financial of Mason, Ohio, one of his top campaign donors and owner of national payday lender Check ‘n Go.”

Today may be the last day to stop Davis in his tracks. Call his office now and tell him to stop enabling predatory lenders who are hurting the U.S. military."

Head Wrenching Hypocrisy by Malkin

For a little essay on when a terrorist is a freedom fighting patriot and when it is a good thing to have the rule of law look at Greenwald's take on Malkin's latest excursion into the Twilight Zone of Reason:

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Well beyond satire

Guilting the American Taliban

Crooks and Liars: "Starting tomorrow, the Family Research Council, DC’s most powerful religious right lobbying group, is hosting a major conference this Friday called the '2006 Values Voter Summit.' For a mere $95, attendees can hear three days worth of far-right, theocratic rhetoric from nearly all of the movement’s most prominent leaders and activists, including James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Tony Perkins, and Don Wildmon.

Perhaps most importantly, a featured guest will be none other than Ann Coulter. Will she be enough to keep high-profile politicians away from the summit? As Charles Pierce explained, not so much.

I count at least five people — George Allen, Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and my own governor, Mitt Romney — who are rumored to be running for president and who come to wallow with a woman who recommends the assassination of Supreme Court justices…. Not that we here at Tapped engage in guilt by association, but, wow.

In addition to the names Pierce mentioned, I’d also add that confirmed speakers also include Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), and Reps. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.). (John McCain has been invited but has not confirmed.)..."

Sun Jar

Cool and hot.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More On Medical Outsourcing

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » When Your Gall Bladder Gets Sent to India, Have You Had Enough?:
From the comment thread:

"John Casper says:
September 19th, 2006 at 8:13 pm

Redshift, I agree with your 8:00. I would just add, physicians ignore the laws of supply and demand. They pay their dues to their union, the AMA, who artificially restricts the number of physicians who graduate every year, so physicians can earn more. Then these physicians, overworked, because of an artificial shortage, they caused, make a huge number of errors. Then they complain about the high cost of their mal-practice insurance. . ."

Speeding Trooper

Welcome to the 13 WLOS Supercast

"Trooper in Court
A Highway Patrol Trooper charged with speeding and reckless driving pleads guilty to reckless driving in court Tuesday.

A Fletcher Police Officer pulled over Kevin Bray for speeding on Mills Gap Road back in April.

The officer charged Bray with reckless driving, going 99 in a 45 miles per hour zone, and driving without a license.

The state agreed to drop the last two charges.

Bray had no comment as he left the courtroom Tuesday.

District Attorney Jeff Hunt says reckless driving will result in license points and insurance points, but will allow Bray to keep license.

The judge ordered Bray to pay a $100 fine and court costs and sentenced him to eight hours of community service."

Hmmm. It ain't Bush, but it is indicative...

Where Are The Godly

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: The Christian Right and Torture:

"Many evangelical writers and some preachers have spoken out against torture; but isn't it amazing that there does not seem to be much pressure from Bush's Christian conservative base on the matter? A reader comments:

I haven't dug around in my Bible in a long time, but I thought I remembered that a few of the apostles (Peter, Andrew, maybe others?) died from torture. And of course, Jesus was placed in a 'stress position' for most of a Friday afternoon. It's hard to believe that so-called Christians will follow an administration that seems hell-bent on legalizing torture.

And yet so many seem to. Why? Torture is not a hard issue for any Christian. It is an unmitigated moral evil. There is no theology on earth which can make it a less grave moral matter than, say, gay marriage. And yet it has been enforced by this president for five years and where is the outrage? You would imagine that James Dobson would have organized a massive phone-in or email blitz to Capitol Hill on the detainee legislation. You would imagine that every theocon from Ponnuru to Neuhaus would be writing about this every day and night. But nah. Gays getting married in one state out of 49? Massive, coordinated outrage, sermon after sermon, direct mail blitz after direct mail blitz, and a threatened constitutional amendment. The president authorizing torture? You can hear a pin drop on the religious right. Tells you something, no?"

Yeah. It tells me something. And I damn sure don't like what it tells me.

Handshaking Obama

Yeas and Nays: Tuesday, Sept. 19 - ". . .On his first meeting at the White House, he remembers shaking the hand of the president, who turned to “an aide nearby, who squirted a big dollop of hand sanitizer in the president’s hand.”

“Not wanting to seem unhygienic,” the senator writes, he also “took a squirt. . .”"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Crooks A-Running

New York Daily News - Home - Daily News Exclusive: D.C. corruption eruption: "FBI forced to triple fraud probe squads to keep up


WASHINGTON - There is so much political corruption on Capitol Hill that the FBI has had to triple the number of squads investigating lobbyists, lawmakers and influence peddlers, the Daily News has learned.

For decades, only one squad in Washington handled corruption cases because the crimes were seen as local offenses handled by FBI field offices in lawmakers' home districts.

But in recent years, the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and other abuses of power and privilege have prompted the FBI to assign 37 agents full-time to three new squads in an office near Capitol Hill.

FBI Assistant Director Chip Burrus told The News yesterday that he wants to detail even more agents to the Washington field office for a fourth corruption squad because so much wrongdoing is being uncovered. . ."

Ten thousand FBI agents is probably not enough to catch all the crooks currently infesting Washington.

Dime Store Cowboy Call

Democrat Taylor Marsh Blogs Politics: ". . .George Felix Allen showed up in his customary dime store cowboy costume of shit-kickin’ boots but minus the ten-gallon hat and was generally mocked by Webb who has used his status as a real life veteran who truly knows what it’s like to actually have have boots on the ground often. Webb has been great at contrasting real military service to the contrived standard chickenhawk talking points of the same Republican neocons who are all too anxious to send the children of others off to be blown to bloody bits in ill conceived wars while ensuring that their own brood get no closer to the front lines than watching ‘Saving Private Ryan’ on big screened plasma televisions in their gated community McMansions.

Webb has been cleaning George Felix Allen’s clock lately mainly because he is authentic. This is a trait which has sadly become an endangered species in the post 9/11 wasteland of what used to be America where the term ‘hero’ has been tainted and essentially rendered irrelevant due to its constant invocation and overuse by right-wing Republican propagandists seeking to claim that they have a monopoly on patriotism. They have been very good at using 'hero' to frame their fraudulence . . ."

Powell Not Confused

AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "
Colin Powell strikes back
by John in DC - 9/18/2006 11:42:00 PM

Apparently the former Secretary of State, and general, doesn't like it when the White House calls him 'confused.'

Joe mentioned to me that it's rather interesting that Powell is joining in the fray only 7 weeks before the election. Seems the inmates are rebelling. Then again, Colin Powell did permit George Bush to utterly destroy his reputation, so perhaps this is Powell's chance to clear his name and exact a little revenge at the same time."

Brim Fight The War On Terror

Fish used to detect terror attacks - Yahoo! News: ". . .San Francisco, New York, Washington and other big cities are using bluegills — also known as sunfish or bream — as a sort of canary in a coal mine to safeguard their drinking water.

Small numbers of the fish are kept in tanks constantly replenished with water from the municipal supply, and sensors in each tank work around the clock to register changes in the breathing, heartbeat and swimming patterns of the bluegills that occur in the presence of toxins. . ."

Let's not tell PETA about this.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Flogging ABC, Part 7

Taylor Marsh starts with a WaPo whitewash from the crapudrama's writer and ends with this:
'Path to 9/11' Writer Speaks Out:

...Lastly, maybe Mr. Nowrasteh should talk to the FBI agent who quit over the his fictional account of 9/11 events. Then again, the truth wasn't what ABC or the producers of "Path" wanted and Mr. Nowrasteh was evidently more than happy to oblige.'

Marsh makes the point that "this is not over," and I agree; too many of us have very bad tastes in our collectives mouths for the Rat Empire. Neither ABC nor Disney nor Apple is getting any more of my money; so, Itunes-- no more downloads from me. Disney: no movies, no DVDs, no visits to Disney World (Dollywood here I come); ABC: three thumbs down on my TiVo for everything you show. I know one of me ain't much a'tall, but a couple of million dedicated boycotters might just show up on your bottom line.

Oh, and Apple, that quaint notion I had about trying one of your way-overpriced computers again-- fergitaboutit.

This Is News In Some Places

GOP talk of vibrant economy rings hollow - Yahoo! News: "...Times are 'very good for the rich and very, very bad for the poor' who 'can't afford to live,' laments Larry Mitchell, 43, a now-and-then merchant peddling his wares recently in a submarine sandwich shop parking lot. He says the middle class is 'having a hard time.'

In the Ohio River Valley, where people decry high gas prices, stagnant wages, lost jobs and factory closures, many don't buy the claim that the economy is humming along.

Seven weeks before the midterm elections, the gulf between Bush's perceptions and that of voters form the political backdrop across the country as well as in a region with several competitive House races. This area typically gets left out of national boom times and usually feels the pinch more than others during slowdowns..."

Whapping the Outrage Meter

Think Progress » Report: Saddam and Al Qaeda Enemies, Not Collaborators

'On Sept. 11, 2001, Bush articulated the so-called Bush Doctrine: “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” Declassified portions of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Phase II report released Friday make definitively clear that Iraq never qualified for inclusion in the Doctrine.

Al Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 terrorist acts. Key portions of the new Intel Committee report indicate that Bush attacked an Iraqi regime that not only lacked an operational relationship with al Qaeda, but was hostile toward the terrorist network. By making the strategic mistake of attacking Iraq, Bush’s policy accomplished the goals of the al Qaeda network. Here’s what the report says:' ...more

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Blaming George

" Former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough eviscerates Bush in Sunday's Washington Post
by John in DC - 9/17/2006 12:48:00 AM

"The" story this election isn't the civil war in Iraq, it's the civil war in the Republican party. Front page of the Outlook Section, no less.
I can't help but feel sorry for my old Republican friends in Congress who are fighting for their political lives. After all, it must be tough explaining to voters at their local Baptist church's Keep Congress Conservative Day that it was their party that took a $155 billion surplus and turned it into a record-setting $400 billion deficit.

How exactly does one convince the teeming masses that Republicans deserve to stay in power despite botching a war, doubling the national debt, keeping company with Jack Abramoff, fumbling the response to Hurricane Katrina, expanding the government at record rates, raising cronyism to an art form, playing poker with Duke Cunningham, isolating America and repeatedly electing Tom DeLay as their House majority leader?

How does a God-fearing Reagan Republican explain all that away?

Easy. Blame George W. Bush...."

Cell Phone Rage

I've Wanted To Do This

Pot 'n Kettle


Novak Slams Jon Stewart: ‘Self-Righteous Comedian Taking on Airs of Grandeur’

"During an appearance on C-SPAN, columnist Robert Novak was asked about his television viewing habits. Novak said, “somebody mentioned the Jon Stewart program, I’ve never seen that in my life and I will go to my grave never having seen it.” Asked why, Novak said, “I don’t see any reason for it. It’s a comedian, self-righteous comedian taking on airs of grandeur and I really don’t need that. . ”

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Good Blog /Pix Problem -- much traffic because of a photo (I can't post pix via email so no picture) and some of the aged gremlin response to the photo. Both wingnutia and moonbatia have been discussing the situation at length. It is nuts. Apparently, the message is that you need to be ugly to blog, and, oh, don't get near Bill Clinton if you are female. Check the usual suspects such as and for more info. Drop by for a progressive feminist perspective.

The President Has A Hissy Fit

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 — President Bush made an impassioned defense on Friday of his proposed rules for the interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects, warning that the nation’s ability to defend itself would be undermined if rebellious Republicans in the Senate did not come around to his position.
Speaking at a late-morning news conference in the Rose Garden, Mr. Bush said he would have no choice but to end a C.I.A. program for the interrogation of high-level terrorism suspects if Congress passed an alternate set of rules supported by a group of Senate Republicans...

Issue Framing

via The Smirking Chimp:
by Thom Hartmann

Every time the media - or a Democrat - uses the phrase "Illegal Immigration" they are promoting one of Karl Rove's most potent Republican Party frames.

The reality is that we don't have an "Illegal Immigration" problem in America. We have an "Illegal Employer" problem.

Yet it's almost never mentioned in the mainstream media, because to point it out could slightly reduce the profits and CEO salaries of many of America's largest multi-state and multinational corporations - who both own the media and contribute heavily to conservative politicians. Republicans would prefer that the "criminals" covered in the press are working people, and that corporate and CEO criminals not get discussed..."

A Frightening Question

"The torture debate in Congress--I never expected to write such words--is as surreal to me as watching the collapse of the Twin Towers. If the Democrats are able to take control of at least one chamber in November, then surely the President's pro-torture bill will be viewed in hindsight as the nadir of the Bush presidency. If not, how much lower can things go?"

Muslims Continue To Prove Pope's Point

"Outrage against Pope continues
by Chris in Paris - 9/16/2006 10:37:00 AM

Who could have predicted such outrage when the pope decided to read quotes from the medieval text? Well, just about anyone who is following world events. Is the Vatican ever going to move on from being hate-mongers or is that going to continue being the focus of the Vatican? It's 2006, almost 2007 so let's think about how we are going to bridge cultural divides instead of making them larger. Haven't we had enough?
Salih Kapusuz, deputy leader of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted party, said Benedict's remarks were either "the result of pitiful ignorance" about Islam and its prophet or, worse, a deliberate distortion.

"He has a dark mentality that comes from the darkness of the Middle Ages," Kapusuz told Turkish state media. "It looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades."

The outrage has forced an apology of sorts from the Vatican:
``The Holy Father is very sorry that some passages of his speech may have sounded offensive to the sensibilities of Muslim believers,'' said Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in a statement."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Best Yet On No-Torture Policy

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish:

I'm swiping the front and back of Andrew's post. You need to read the whole thing. I'd put a link right here but I can't at the most. Click on the title above to get back to the post. (That will work for a day or two)

"What We've Lost

15 Sep 2006 04:38 pm

A reserve soldier who fought in Iraq writes:

'I was deployed in my reserve unit (USMCR) as part of operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Marine infantry, and we were on the front lines, supposedly to guard a gunship base, but really, though, the gunships guarded us...

...If those men [the soldier was guarding POW's] had even put up token resistance, some of us would not have come back. But they didn't even bother, and surrendered at least in part because of our reputation. Our two hundred year old reputation for being fair and humane and decent. All the way back to George Washington, and from President George H.W. Bush all the way down to a lance-corporal jarhead at the front.

Its gone now, even from me. I can't get past that image of the Iraqi, in the hood with the wires and I'm not what you'd call a sensitive type. You know the picture. And now we have a total bust-out in the White House, and a bunch of rubber-stamps in the House, trying to make it so that half-drowning people isn't torture. That hypothermia isn't torture. That degradation isn't torture. We don't have that reputation for fairness anymore. Just the opposite, I think. And the next real enemy we face will fight like only the cornered and desperate fight. How many Marines' lives will be lost in the war ahead just because of this asshole who never once risked anything for this country?'

This president must never be forgiven for what he has done to the reputation of this country."

Astronomers Find Distant, Fluffy Planet - AOL News

Astronomers Find Distant, Fluffy Planet - AOL News: "WASHINGTON (Sept. 14) - The largest planet ever found orbiting another star is so puffy it would float on water, astronomers said Thursday. The newly discovered planet, dubbed HAT-P-1, is both the largest and least dense of the nearly 200 worlds astronomers have found outside our own solar system.

Next Crook, Please Who's the Next Target in the Abramoff Probe? -- Page 1: "...The source confirmed previous public reports that particular scrutiny is being paid to Sen. Conrad Burns, a Montana Republican who faces a tough campaign for reelection.

'A lot of the conduct to which Ney has pleaded guilty is similar to the alleged conduct of Senator Conrad Burns and his staff,' points out Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit watchdog group. 'Abramoff has said that Burns and his staff used Signatures [Abramoff's restaurant] like their cafeteria. And Burns took a number of legislative actions on Abramoff's behalf, even as members of his staff went on trip to the 2001 Super Bowl on private jet and visited Sun Cruise gambling ships, which were partly owned by Abramoff. 'Abramoff himself said in an interview earlier this year, 'Every appropriation we wanted [from Burns's committee] we got. Our staffs were as close as they could be. They practically used Signatures as their cafeteria. I mean, it's a little difficult for him to run from that record...'"

Bush Says Powell Supports Al Qaeda

AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Bush says Powell is 'unacceptable' for comparing the United States to Al Qaeda
by John in DC - 9/15/2006 11:29:00 AM

Well, so much for that. Bush just told the nation that Colin Powell thinks America acts just like Al Qaeda.

Does Colin Powell really think that?

It's great to see Bush starting to Swift Boat his fellow Republicans by calling them un-American traitors who don't understand the battle we face.

Powell doesn't listen to the words of the enemy, Bush says.

Oh God, now Bush is criticizing the Geneva Conventions, 'it's very vague, what does that mean?' Bush wants to 'clarify' the Geneva Conventions. Excuse me? We want this idiot to be clarifying the Geneva Conventions, something that has existed for 60 years or so without Bush's help, thank you very much.

How dare he tell the world that he is going to reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, and not expect other countries to do the same thing when they get a hold of our soldiers and have them in custody? As Colin Powell and John McCain have said, George Bush is putting our soldiers' lives at risk, and he doesn't care or even understand the reason for these protections. . ."

VetuCon Bush Defining

No Latin dictionary handy? (OldCon, old conservative, as in older conservative ideas)

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: "'The United States has seen political swings and produced its share of extremists, but its political character, whether liberals or conservatives have been in charge, has always remained fundamentally Burkean. The Constitution itself is a Burkean document, one that slows down decisions to allow for “deliberate sense” and checks and balances. President Bush has nearly upended that tradition, abandoning traditional realism in favor of a warped and incoherent brand of idealism. (No wonder Bush supporter Fred Barnes has praised him as a radical.) At this dangerous point in history, we must depend on the decisions of an astonishingly feckless chief executive: an empty vessel filled with equal parts Rove and Rousseau,' - Jeffrey Hart, one of the true intellectual architects of American conservatism in the modern era, calling this president what he is: a dangerous, reckless, ideological incompetent."

Democratic Security Bill Torpedoed by GOP

Democratic Ideas Struggle to Be Heard by a Very Lazy Media - The Smirking Chimp: "Just the day before, S.Amdt. 4936, a comprehensive security bill by Senate Democrats, based on their 'Real Security' plan for America, was killed by the GOP leadership by a 41-57 vote that went almost straight down party lines.

'Today is another example of Republicans talking tough about national security, but then failing to do what it takes to keep America safe,' said Reid after Wednesday's vote on his Real Security Act of 2006. 'Our country is not as safe as it can and should be five years after 9/11, and votes like this in the Republican Congress are a reason why.'

Reid continued: 'The Bush White House and its Do-Nothing Congress have left our ports, borders, chemical plants and mass transit systems vulnerable. It is time this Congress finally learn the lessons of 9/11. Politics won't protect the American people. Only a serious commitment and tough and smart strategies, like the Democrats Real Security Act, will.'"
What we are

Rove Wouldn't Do That??

Lawyer Says Rove Targeted Client - "Attorneys for a man accused of fraud say he was charged at the behest of presidential adviser Karl Rove in retaliation for a flood of spam e-mails sent to a campaign Web site. A federal prosecutor says the claim is 'absurd.'

Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Siegal urged U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain on Monday to reject arguments that Rove caused the criminal investigation that led to charges against Robert McAllister.

Siegal said lawyers for McAllister made the 'patently absurd argument that the U.S. attorney's office in the Southern District is a shill for Karl Rove and has arrested and indicted their client in some sort of vindictive retaliation.'

McAllister's lawyer Gerald L. Shargel said Monday he plans to try to call Rove as a witness, if the court allows it. "

Ney Guilty

Rep. Bob Ney Agrees to Plead Guilty - "Rep. Bob Ney Agrees to Plead Guilty

The Associated Press
Friday, September 15, 2006; 10:16 AM

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Bob Ney agreed Friday to plead guilty to federal criminal charges he made false statements and conspired to commit fraud and violate federal lobbying laws in the congressional corruption probe spawned by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Ney, R-Ohio, had defiantly denied the charges for months. Now he faces up to 10 years in prison. The Justice Department said prosecutors will recommend that he serve 27 months based on federal sentencing guidelines. Ney became the first lawmaker to admit wrongdoing in the election-year investigation.

Ney agreed to plead guilty to making false statements and conspiracy to commit 'wire and mail fraud,' make false statements and violate post-employment restrictions for former congressional staff members.

Ney signed the plea agreement Wednesday, but it was not approved by the Justice Department or filed with the U.S. court until Friday."

Bad Media

From the "Go Figure" Department:

The Blog | Jonathan Rintels: FCC Report Says Media Consolidation Harms News Coverage - FCC Then Orders Report Destroyed | The Huffington Post:

"The Federal Communications Commission ordered its staff to destroy all copies of a draft study that suggested greater concentration of media ownership would hurt local TV news coverage, according to a story by the AP's John Dunbar.

Former FCC attorney Adam Candeub, now a law professor at Michigan State University, said senior managers at the agency ordered that 'every last piece' of the report be destroyed.
'The whole project was just stopped -- end of discussion,' he said.

The FCC staff analysis showed local ownership of television stations adds almost five and one-half minutes of total news to broadcasts and more than three minutes of 'on-location' news. The conclusion is at odds with FCC arguments made when it voted in 2003 to increase the number of television stations a company could own in a single market. It was part of a broader decision liberalizing ownership rules. . ."

Texas Two-Step Gets New Meaning

Friedman says he'd legalize pot in Texas - Yahoo! News: "AUSTIN, Texas - Kinky Friedman says he favors legalizing marijuana to keep nonviolent users out of prison. If Texas elects him governor, he says, he'll try to get locked-up pot users released to make room for more violent criminals.

'I think that's long overdue,' Friedman told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday. 'I think everybody knows what (U.S. Sen.) John McCain said is right: We've pretty well lost the war on drugs doing it the way we're doing it. Drugs are more available and cheaper than ever before. What we're doing is not working. . .'"

Amen, bro! Go, Kinky!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Heroes

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: The Heroes: "The Heroes

Count them: Republicans John McCain, John Warner, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins joined with the Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee to vote the Senate bill, retaining Geneva protections, to the full Senate floor. The committee vote was 15 - 9. That's what I'm hearing. Here's the latest news story. More later - because I haven't had a chance to read the small print. But the bottom line is: Rove's gambit may be backfiring - and for the Senate to rebuff the president even as he lobbies them personally is a stunning rebuff, and a victory for American decency and honor. Now Karl Rove will have to win a Republican re-election by campaigning against at least four Republican senators. Stay tuned."

The Remaining Republicans

The Remaining Republicans - The Smirking Chimp: "The Remaining Republicans
by Cenk Uygur | Sep 14 2006 - 9:28am | permalink
article tools: email | print | read more Cenk Uygur

I often wonder how anyone can still remain a Republican. They have not done one thing right since George W. Bush stepped into office. The world is falling apart around us and it's obvious to anyone who has a bit of sense that Bush has no idea what he's doing. How can anyone continue to support this clueless and out of control party?

Remember, it's not just Bush. If it was, I might still be a Republican. Every party has a couple of bad apples. Granted this apple happens to be their head. But if Al Sharpton miraculously became president, that doesn't mean you have to stop being a Democrat. The problem isn't that Bush and Cheney have led everyone off a cliff -- the problem is they followed.

I lost all respect for Republicans in Congress when none of them would step up and challenge this administration. The worst president we've ever had and not one of them stepped up to say, 'You're wrong, Mr. President. We need to go in a new direction.' They bowed their heads and did exactly what they were ordered. . ."

The Forgotten

The Carpetbagger Report: "Perhaps the single most common refrain from the White House and the president's allies is that there have been no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. That's incorrect — about a month after 9/11, someone sent weaponized anthrax to two Democratic senators and several news outlets. Five Americans were killed and 17 more suffered serious illnesses.

For reasons that I've never been able to explain, the incident — I suppose one should call it an 'attack' — is hardly ever mentioned. No one knows where the anthrax came from, who sent it, or why. It was a horrifying incident, immediately on the heels of another horrifying incident, but five years later, it's almost as if the episode never happened.

One woman in Florida who was widowed by the attack is still waiting for some answers, and she's willing to go to court to get them.

Maureen Stevens says the federal government probably knows who killed her husband.

She believes they're not telling because that might reveal things the government doesn't want revealed.

Nearly five years after Bob Stevens' death, the first in the anthrax attacks that terrified a nation, 'I want to know what happened,' his widow, who's sued the government, said Wednesday from her lawyer's office. 'I want to go into court and find out what happened. . ."

Good-bye, Ann

Democrat Taylor Marsh Blogs Politics:

"The Texas grand dame is gone. She was a great broad.

She would have liked that description, I bet, because not every woman can be one. You have to have a certain amount of experience, pain and grit; have known ups and downs, well, you catch my drift. There's also a measure of class that comes with the title. Richards oozed class.

One of the things that always got me was that Karl Rove beat her by spreading rumors that she was a lesbian. I never met Ms. Richards, but I bet Ann would want us all to remember that about the skunk we're fighting this next election and beyond.

Blessings to this powerful politician. She was something to watch. She will be missed. . ."

No More Walru at UN?

AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Bolton's nomination is 'dead as far as the Senate is concerned'
by Joe in DC - 9/14/2006 08:49:00 AM

Last year, Bush did a recess appointment to get Bolton to the U.N. This year, Bolton actually needs Senate confirmation -- and it looks like he's not going to to get it. Republicans on the Hill are conceding defeat:

President Bush's nomination of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations appears increasingly endangered in the Senate, prompting the administration to explore other ways to keep him in the job after his temporary appointment expires in January, officials said yesterday.

The situation represents a sharp turnaround from two weeks ago, when the White House was confident it could finally push through Bolton's long-stalled nomination. But last week's surprise move by Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R-R.I.) to delay a vote convinced Republicans on Capitol Hill that the nomination may be doomed, prompting a search for alternatives. . ."

No Torture Club Gets Larger

AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "Powell joins McCain, Warner and Lindsey opposing Bush's torture plan
by Joe in DC - 9/14/2006 11:24:00 AM

Bush is on the Hill today to push his pro-torture agenda. Colin Powell just undermined Bush's plan:

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday endorsed efforts by three Republican senators to block President Bush's plan to authorize harsh interrogations of terror suspects.

The latest sign of GOP division over White House security policy came in a statement that Powell sent to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of the rebellious lawmakers. Powell said that Congress must not pass Bush's proposal to redefine U.S. compliance with the Geneva Conventions, a treaty that sets international standards for the treatment of prisoners of war. . ."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cooking Civies - Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs - Sep 12, 2006: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.

The object is basically public relations. Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others about possible safety considerations, said Secretary Michael Wynne.

'If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation,' said Wynne. '(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press.'

The Air Force has paid for research into nonlethal weapons, but he said the service is unlikely to spend more money on development until injury problems are reviewed by medical experts and resolved . . ."

Hmmm. Election day. That might be a good time to test those weapons...