Tuesday, July 31, 2007
From: Jarvis, Ron @homedepot.com]
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 3:00 PM
Subject: RE: PULL SUPPORT FOR OREILLY
Thank you for your email , we will not and have not advertised on the Bill O’Reilly show..." (more)
"Just one day after the Iraqi government received failing marks in President Bush's surge interim progress report, Americans learned that the Iraqi parliament is proceeding with its plans to take off the month of August. But while the American people may be up in arms, President Bush's amen corner is predictably silent. After all, given Bush's own record-setting penchant for vacationing during crises here at home, Republicans are understandably reticent to criticize the absentee government in Baghdad.
Judging by the numbers, the Bush presidency at times resembles one extended holiday. As of this Easter, Bush had traveled to his Crawford ranch 63 times, spending all or part of 405 days there. By August 2005, Bush set the two-term record for most presidential days off, easily eclipsing Ronald Reagan's previous eight-year tally of 335..."
Monday, July 30, 2007
Short Take : Federal employees, empowered by the Patriot Act, threaten to arrest a photographer for pointing a camera at them; they were engaged in the search of vehicle on the Blue Ridge Parkway, apparently stopping and harassing hippies, er, music lovers, on their way to FloydFest.
KURTZ: Mitt Romney said that, he was expressing his reservations about joining the next YouTube debate, “I don’t think candidates should have to answer questions from a snowman.” Well let me just say this to the former governor: how are you going to deal with Osama bin Laden if you’re afraid of that snowman?
Something tells me we've not seen the last of the snowman.
These are the various scenarios contemplated in The Washington Post's front page analysis this morning, which marshals experts and an examination of Gonzales' history of public service to examine the question:..."
I know how to test all the theories. Impeach Bush. Then let Gonzales defend him.
That gives me no comfort.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
U.S. has chance to lessen Muslim resentment: "LONDON -- RECENTLY, I found myself in Dallas, a place I'd never been before. As a Muslim writer, I felt about going there pretty much the way an American writer might have felt about heading to the tribal areas of Pakistan: nervous, with the distinct suspicion that the locals carried guns and weren't too fond of folks who look like me.
So I was surprised by the extraordinary hospitality I encountered on my trip. And I still remember the politeness with which one elderly gentleman addressed me in a bookshop. He held a copy of my latest novel, 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist,' and examined the face on its cover, comparing it to mine. Then, he said, nodding once as if to dip the brim of an imaginary hat: 'So tell me, sir. Why do they hate us?...'" (more)
"by Eric Margolis | Jul 29 2007 - 9:31am |
Washington is buzzing with talk about withdrawing U.S. military forces from Iraq, but nobody seems to have told the United States Air Force. Far from packing their duffel bags, America's air warriors appear to be planning a long stay in Iraq..."
Whatever authority a vice president has is derived from the president under whom he serves. There are no powers inherent in the office; they must be delegated by the president. Somehow, not only has Cheney been given vast authority by President Bush -- including, apparently, the entire intelligence portfolio -- but he also pursues his own agenda. The real question is why the president allows this to happen.
Three decades ago we lived through another painful example of a White House exceeding its authority, lying to the American people, breaking the law and shrouding everything it did in secrecy. Watergate wrenched the country, and our constitutional system, like nothing before. We spent years trying to identify and absorb the lessons of this great excess. But here we are again.
Since the Carter administration left office, we have been criticized for many things. Yet I remain enormously proud of what we did in those four years, especially that we told the truth, obeyed the law and kept the peace."
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Rep. Nancy Boyda: “...And finally, I would just like to share a story. When I was speaking back at home with one of a very right wing conservative talk show hosts and after, thank God, after we were off the air, I said something that I assumed he would agree with and I just said ‘you know, I’m really worried about these guys and gals, but mainly guys, that have gone, that they’ve been redeployed now three and four times’ — he came back to me and said ‘you know what, they should have thought about that before they enlisted, before they signed up.’ He said ‘it’s their fault.’ And I was so upset, I looked at him and I said with all due restraint, and I said no respect, it’s not with all due respect because quite honestly, I have no respect for that opinion, with all due restraint, and I got myself calmed down and left the room. But I am very disappointed, I would hope that General Keane would not say that. But I am very disappointed that, where is he to get up and defend the men and women who have so honorably served our country? Where is he and where is the rest of this military to say this is the right thing to do? With all due respect, this country has to come together and first and foremost deal in the reality of the situation and find a way to come together and put these crazy partisan politics behind us, and come up with a way forward. And maybe that’s where I should stop. And I will yield back my time...”
Gun. Gun? Where's my gun?
Right-wing Activists Suspicious of Thompson Ties to ‘Shadow Government’
According to the right-wing news website, WorldNetDaily, Fred Thompson has finally and “candidly” confirmed his membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, which WND says is sometimes referred to as the “‘shadow government’ organization of elites with a global agenda.” Earlier this week, Thompson was confronted and questioned by an activist during a campaign stop regarding his association with the Council, long a bete noir of activists who suspect the United Nations and other elites of scheming to destroy U.S. sovereignty. The activist who confronted Thompson, and was eventually forcibly removed from the event, mentioned the Council’s supposed efforts to bring about the North American Union, the latest nightmare for Phyllis Schlafly and the black-helicopter crowd..."For more proof, visit TBogg; then here.
Press Reports: Another Apparent Iraq Vet Suicide: "NEW YORK One of the least covered aspects of the fallout from the Iraq war is the rising toll of suicides, both near the battlefield and back home.
Latest official figures released by the Pentagon reveal at least 116 self-inflicted fatalities in Iraq. But this does not include several dozen still under investigation, nor any of the many cases back in the U.S..."
This is too much for me right now.
"Former Senator Fred D. Thompson has yet to make a formal declaration that he is running for president, but already his noncampaign campaign has gone through its first shake-up.
A week of personnel turnover that extended from his campaign-manager-in-waiting down to volunteers raised questions about whether the Thompson camp is prepared to jump fully into the race for the Republican presidential nomination, a race in which his rivals have had months to establish their campaign organizations, raise money and hone strategy..."
Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 05:59:06 PM PDT
A reader emailed Lowes about their ads on O'Reilly's show. They got this response:
Replied On 07/27/07 15:41:09
Dear Lowe's Customer,
Thank you for your comments regarding the program, The O'Reilly Factor.
Lowe's has strict guidelines that govern the placement of our advertising. Our company advertises primarily in national, network prime-time television programs and on a variety of cable outlets.
Lowe's constantly reviews advertising buys to make certain they are consistent with its policy guidelines. The O'Reilly Factor does not meet Lowe's advertising guidelines, and the company's advertising will no longer appear during the program.
We are dedicated to providing the best service, products, and shopping environment in the home improvement industry. All three of these are very important to our business, and our customers will always be our number one priority.
We appreciate your contacting us, and hope this information addresses your concerns.
Lowe's Customer Care
Emphasis was mine.
Two can play at this game."
Ok. Now does everyone know where to get those 2x4's ?
Update: or Home Depot either...
Friday, July 27, 2007
The incident occurred in '04 so it is a bit of an oldie; for more information check here: The Washington Note. They have a very thorough article on the incident. Incidentally, here's the Google page for the initial search if you want to look around more. I got sidetracked in the comment sections of some of the blogs. (Yes, the natives were restless then, too.)
By Spencer Ackerman - July 27, 2007, 9:05 AM
Was Pat Tillman murdered?
Stunning as it is to contemplate, the Associated Press obtained Pentagon documents through the Freedom of Information Act showing that investigators looked into whether the athlete-turned-soldier might have been deliberately killed in 2004 by members of his Special Forces unit in Afghanistan. Nothing the AP obtained is definitive, and ultimately the friendly-fire ruling withstood a criminal investigation..."
Com'on. Don't sugarcoat it. Tell us how you really feel.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
'For doing my job you're going to bill me?' Rodriguez said.
And he's not alone. A 2006 government report found more than 1,000 soldiers being billed a total of $1.5 million. And while fighting overseas put their lives on the line, this battle on paper could cost them their future by ruining their credit. Rodriguez will be reported to credit agencies next month.
'It makes a terrible point about the nature of military service today,' citizen soldier Tod Ensign said.
Ensign is a veteran's advocate. He says this is all part of the military’s push to be run more like a business.
'They'll just pound him and call him, call his employers, and make his life as miserable as they can until he pays up,' Ensign said.
Testimony before Congress detailed in a report found that 'although unit commanders and finance offices are authorized to write off debts for lost and damaged equipment ... they have not always done so..."
Years ago, what is probably an archetypal story floated through the Viet Nam theatre concerning a grunt on a helicopter. The chopper started getting small arms fire and eventually a few hits. Somewhere along the line, the chopper lurched and the soldier lost his M-16 out the open door. He started yelling at the pilot to "Take 'er down! Take 'er down!" The pilot refused but the soldier said, "But I'll have to pay for that weapon!" The co-pilot pointed at the open door as they sped over the jungle: "Now you know why a Captain goes down with his ship."
That sounds absurd but no more so than the reality of the story above. The question unanswered, of course, is who pays for all those broken and lost human weapons that make up the daily body count?
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
27741. Helms, Jesse. The Columbia World of Quotations. 1996:
"CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · AUTHOR INDEX
The Columbia World of Quotations. 1996.
QUOTATION: Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He’d better have a bodyguard.
ATTRIBUTION: Jesse Helms (b. 1921), U.S. Republican senator from North Carolina. New York Times, p. A19 (November 23, 1994).
Public statement made a week after calling the President unfit to be commander-in-chief."
And Harry Reid said George Bush was a liar. Whoopeedooo.
The Chief Justice told Senators during his hearings that 'I do think that it is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent. Precedent plays an important role in promoting stability and evenhandedness.' His remarks were echoed by Justice Alito, who said that 'there needs to be a special justification for overruling a prior precedent...'"
Rep. John Murtha, a moderate Pennsylvania Democrat and longtime critic of the war, said he would propose that in an amendment to a defense spending bill for the fiscal year starting October 1, expected on the House floor next week..."
When he asked what would happen to his child, the Secret Service said, 'He can be sent to Child Services.' Luckily, the boy found his mother and was safe.
But the citizen who practiced his free speech spent a few hours in jail before he was released..."
Hewitt warns us:
The Boot and Hanson interviews make it perfectly clear that the consequences of retreat in Iraq are perfectly clear. The genocide and the export of terror that followed such a cut and run would be catastrophic, and wholly the legacy of a Democratic Congress. [My italics.]
You thought this debate was about Iraq? Notice how the Iraq catastrophe will be pinned by the GOP entirely on the one political party that has had almost nothing to do with a war now in its fifth year. It won't work, but that doesn't mean they won't try."
Of course, to think about just what a joke Fox is you need do no more than remember how their star reporter Carl Cameron wrote a 'parody' (the one with a very fey John Kerry gabbing about his manicures) about then presidential candidate John Kerry about a month before the '04 election and somehow this 'parody' ending up running as a news story on Fox website. And of course the whole thing was brushed off as just good fun..."
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I now loathe Nader. I can forgive a mistake; I cannot forgive a repeated mistake. Nader has and continues to repeat his mistakes. Once, I was a great fan of Nader, though I knew voting for him was tossing a vote to the wind, so I did not. But apparently his giant ego cannot face the fact that he did, in fact, put George Bush in the White House. Without him, the race would not have been close enough for the Supreme Court to usurp the will of the people and install its toy. Nader owes us all an apology.
Elizabeth and I were shocked to learn that an alarming number of wounded U.S. soldiers are not necessarily receiving adequate treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, one of the country’s most prestigious hospitals for our armed forces. Many of these brave people have been severely injured and their lives forever changed. It’s horrible to contemplate that they are not getting the class-A care that they truly need and deserve..."
A Dutch scientist at the site, Dick Mol, says the find near Grevena should help explain why mastodons died out in Europe two to three million years ago..."
Here was his key response, his voice rising as he went along:
“Do you believe that compromise, triangulation will bring about big change? I don't. I think the people who are powerful in Washington -- big insurance companies, big drug companies, big oil companies -- they are not going to negotiate. They are not going to give away their power! The only way that they are going to give away their power is if we take it away from them!...”"
Monday, July 23, 2007
"According to a new American Research Group poll, just 25% of Americans approve of the way President Bush is handling his job as president and 71% disapprove. These are record lows for the survey.
When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 23% approve and 73% disapprove.
Read more here."
'When I have dealings with people, and they tell me one thing and do something else, they're not telling the truth, what else do you have to call them? I am a person who calls things the way I see them,' Reid said Sunday.
Now, that's not very complicated, but the media can't grasp it. Bush lies to them regularly -- and they report what he says anyway. The Bush team knows the media won't call them liars. It's just not done. So, Bush and his crew have lied without repercussions for years.
Fortunately, Harry Reid doesn't hold back. A lie is a lie -- especially if it comes from George Bush. Most of the media doesn't get that, but more and more Americans do"
Sunday, July 22, 2007
But to hear all of this — and the recent “Hillary has boobs” expose (so to speak) — one notices a big, gaping pattern: why is it that Democratic candidates get the full Heathers treatment, while Hollywood Fred and Make-up Mitt and Rudy Guiliani and his travelling cross-dressing show, and all the other superficial gaffes and goofs get nary a mention?
The double standard has to stop. But it will only do so when we all stand up together and say collectively “enough.” I’m with Jamo — ENOUGH."
This was in response to the letter Hillary Clinton received from Eric Edelman, former Cheney advisor, now in the Pentagon, and, according to Turkish newspapers, the absolute worst US Ambassador to Turkey in history. Edelman wrote that Clinton's letter asking what plans the Pentagon had for withdrawing US troops was, in effect, helping our enemies.
Democrats typically would slam the Administration for such accusations, thus succumbing to their invitation to join their argument. Indeed, that is what Hillary did in her response.
John Kerry did it better. He shoved it back down their throats so that they would choke on it. He also broke the taboo on calling for those voting and promoting the war volunteering themselves and having their own children go to Iraq.
This hypocrisy is NOT the major reason we should not have invaded to begin with, nor the main reason we should withdraw all our troops. It is, however, a potent weapon because it strikes at the most "reptilian" part of our brain: their fear conflicting with and overcoming their grand ideas of remaking the world so long as someone else took the risk.
Now, John Kerry has broken the taboo. Politicians, bloggers, and MSM -- repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat."
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Lothberg's 40 gigabits-per-second fiber-optic connection in Karlstad is believed to be the fastest residential uplink in the world, Karlstad city officials said.
In less than 2 seconds, Lothberg can download a full-length movie on her home computer -- many thousand times faster than most residential connections, said Hafsteinn Jonsson, head of the Karlstad city network unit..."
(4) When the rest of the world thinks you're crazy, it's worth entertaining the possibility that they might be right. We should not defer to their judgment mindlessly, but we should have what Jefferson called 'a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.'
(5) Beware of movements built on contempt. Many of the people who pushed for war had spent decades expressing their contempt for what you might call standard foreign policy -- the kind in which diplomacy is taken to be a useful instrument, not a snare for the weak-minded, and force is a last resort, not an all-purpose tool. Their own views had never been seriously tested (and no, Reagan doesn't count), and many of their spokesmen lacked any serious experience conducting foreign policy. Sometimes, groups of people who spend years muttering about how different things would be if they were in charge are right. Often, however, they are not. Absent a real track record on which to evaluate them, they should be approached with caution."
"...There's been a lot of talk about the legitimacy of the Edwards expensive snip story: Scott Lemieux, Digby, Marc Ambinder, Glenn Greenwald, even me (more than once). Just about everyone has weighed in, especially the wingnuts and Fox, with the latest Romney makeup revelation offering a prime moment to examine the double standard.
But Romney beats the drums of war and is not a modern man, something Republicans understand and to which they can relate. Religious, cunning, "conservative" when it's convenient, rich.
John Edwards is different. He talks of poverty, peace and something beyond perpetual war, which completely flummoxes Republicans. The truth is that the reason Republicans want Edwards gone is that they can't attack his message, because they don't understand it, are even scared of it, dread facing it. The haircut is easier to ridicule, as they hope to capitalize on the juvenile mind set of the average American voter who is too busy working two jobs and is willing to hate anyone so rich, good looking and who has succeeded where they have failed. Edwards is a wealthy man who came from nothing who is now making his life's work the poor; people to whom Republicans can't relate, but to whom they continually sell their policy propaganda to, but which will never set them free. Nothing is scarier than the thought of the poor rising up and realizing that the talk of the American dream through Republican policies (and the cheerleading of talk radio) will never reach that far down to them. If the truth be told to the masses, Republicans would never win another election and wingnut radio hypocrisy would be finished forever. That's why Edwards must not only be defeated, but destroyed; like Kerry the veteran turned against war had to not only be stopped, but the symbol he represented obliterated and neutralized. Antithetical notions to Republican thinking are not allowed to thrive in the American dialogue, and the messenger will not survie to sell his story..."
Friday, July 20, 2007
The bogus badges were part of the bizarre security tactics allegedly employed by Jay Garrity, the director of operations for Romney who is under investigation for impersonating a law enforcement officer in two states. Garrity is on a leave of absence from the campaign while the probe is ongoing..."
Press secretary Tony Snow told reporters Friday that Bush will have the procedure at his Camp David, Md., mountaintop retreat..."
Now that's real terror.
Privette, 74, of Kannapolis, was charged with six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution by renting a hotel room and paying for sexual acts with Tiffany Denise Summers, 32, who was charged with six counts of prostitution, according to arrest warrants.
All charges are misdemeanors, said State Bureau of Investigation Agent Kevin Canty..."
Strange. I looked at several new articles and never found a mention that Privette was a Republican. My first confirmation was in a comment wherein the commenter had asked what party Privette was in. Strange.
William Kristol is living proof of how the American media has turned the concept of meritocracy upside its head and now puts chronic failures at the top of the pundit pyramid..."
Thursday, July 19, 2007
It's not a small thing that the judge who just dismissed the Plame case is the same one who dismissed the lawsuit over Cheney's energy task force. Here's the decision.
What the Bush administration did to Valerie Plame, including the chill sent through the CIA, was beyond the pale; the targeting of Joseph Wilson a message to all private citizens daring to push back against the falsehoods we were fed. It was a gallant fight to engage..."
If this is the end of recourse, might I suggest a more spy-like accounting?
This is exactly this kind of thing that makes people like me laugh when I get lectured by professional journalists about 'objectivity' and 'ethics.' At least I put my political biases up front. These phonies hide behind a veil of journalistic conventions so they can exercise their psychologically stunted desire to stick it to the BMOC, or the dork or whoever these catty little gossips want to skewer for their own pleasure that day. Please, please, no more hand-wringing sanctimony from reporters about the undisciplined, unethical blogosphere. Their glass houses are lying in shards all around their feet.
Each time they've pulled this puerile nonsense in the last few years, it's resulted in a mess that's going to take even more years to unravel. And they learned nothing, apparently, since they are doing exactly the same thing in this election. If the press really wants to know why they are held in lower esteem than hitmen and health insurance claims adjusters, this is it."
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Philippine-born Leandro Aragoncillo, a U.S. citizen and former Marine, pleaded guilty last year to taking the documents that included details on threats against U.S. government interests and military personnel in the Philippines..."
White House officials arranged for top officials at the Office of National Drug Control Policy to help as many as 18 vulnerable Republican congressmen by making appearances and sometimes announcing new federal grants in the lawmakers' districts in the months leading up to the November 2006 elections, a Democratic lawmaker said yesterday.
Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said documents obtained by his panel suggest that the appearances by the drug control officials were part of a larger White House effort to politicize the work of federal agencies that "may be more widespread than previously known..."
I wonder if the taxpayers footed the bill? Oh. wait. Stupid question.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
No, it's not The Onion--it only seems like it.
Here first for your approval (queue Rod Serling):
BBC NEWS | Middle East | British blamed for Basra badgers: "British forces have denied rumours that they released a plague of ferocious badgers into the Iraqi city of Basra.
Word spread among the populace that UK troops had introduced strange man-eating, bear-like beasts into the area to sow panic..."
... to the second picture in the Night Gallery;
Iranians arrest 14 squirrels for spying
Iranian intelligence operatives recently detained over a dozen squirrels found within the nation's borders, claiming the rodents were serving as spies for Western powers determined to undermine the Islamic Republic.
"In recent weeks, intelligence operatives have arrested 14 squirrels within Iran's borders," state-sponsored news agency IRNA reported. "The squirrels were carrying spy gear of foreign agencies, and were stopped before they could act, thanks to the alertness of our intelligence services..."
Decades ago, I read a short story in either Amazing or Analog concerning the U.S. dropping squads of Teddy Bears on the Soviet Union. The Soviets accused the Americans of spying. The charges went nowhere until one of the Teddy Bears confessed.
I bet if the Iranians waterboarded one of the squirrels, it would confess.
Secretary of Veterans' Affairs, Jim Nicholson, announced he will be resigning on October 1, 2007, according to a press release from his office.
Nicholson has weathered a number of scandals, namely the massive loss of veterans' data in 2006, since he was sworn in as Secretary of Veterans' Affairs on February 1, 2005. Nicholson was also criticized for claiming the number of injured vets is overblown since "a lot of them come in for dental problems."
Nicholson plans to return to the private sector. He did not release any definite plans.
Initiatives opposed by the White House included:
1) Bigger Pay Raises
2) Higher TRICARE Fees
3) TRICARE Retail Drugs 'Fair Pricing'
4) CRSC Expansion
5) Survivor Indemnity Allowance
6) Reserve GI BILL..."
Click here to check any of the above of list.
The Republicans in general, and the Bush administration in particular really have only strategy - they always, always, give the other side nothing of any significance. They never cooperate, they never admit a lie, they never back down unless forced to do so. They understand only the most primal of motivations - fear and force. If you can't force them to do something; if you can't make them fear the consequences of not doing something, they won't do it.
This is a very powerful strategy. You've probably observed it in your life when you've seen a customer in a store scream until someone gives them what they want (or calls the cops). You've seen it from people in power - from cops who will beat you bloody because they know they can get away with it and know if you fight back, you're screwed. In schools kids will use it with teachers, knowing that the teachers aren't allowed to use force anymore. Just do whatever you want - what's the teacher going to do? In business just lock your employees in the store (Wal-mart) or just dock wages whether it's legal or not. What are they going to do?..."
Appearing alongside his wife Wendy, Vitter seemed to lay blame on the media and appeared to be trying to come off as a victim, when he talked about how hard the media scrutiny had been on his family. MSNBC HardBall host Chris Matthews characterized Vitter as 'contemptuous' and 'angry.'
'If this is what they waited a week to come up with,' said Chuck Todd, NBC News' Political Director. 'Vitter's part of it was borderline disastrous as far as political damage control...'"
Notice that the price of media and many entertainment products has quietly gone up, up and away. My cable bill has soared. The Sunday Times is now $4.00, and a ticket at the neighborhood movie theater is $11. In any other country, this would be seen as a form of pocket picking even as media CEO salaries rise. Barry Diller made a reported $437 million last year to cite but one example. That's obscenity by media, not in it"
Monday, July 16, 2007
Hooker-lovin' cajun adulterer Senator lets wife he cheated on defend him - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth: "GOP family values Senator David Vitter just held a press conference, didn't acknowledge that he paid a hooker repeatedly for sex, then put his wife - the woman who publicly attacked Hillary Clinton for standing by her man after his repeated indiscretions - before the cameras to blame the media for being mean (hmmm... yeah, the press made him bash gay marriage for being a bigger threat to society than Hurricane Katrina while he knew he'd committed repeated adultery with a hooker). But please don't judge David Vitter's marriage, his wife begs, it's only for the Vitter's to judge our marriages..."
"Forcing his Republican colleagues to put up or shut up on the notion of an up-or-down vote, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just moments ago announced that he will immediately file a cloture motion on the Reed-Levin troop redeployment bill and, if Republicans follow through with a filibuster, will place the Senate in a prolonged all-night session Tuesday to force a true continuation of debate..."
Sen. Reid: Do Your Job And Make Them Stand And Filibuster
I have had it. Giving the Republicans in Congress a pass to do as they please, obstruct whatever legislation they like and pay no penalty for doing so has to stop.
Harry Reid must do his job and make the Senate GOP physically stand up and filibuster. Or we might as well declare Congress to be a lovely afternoon tea party and be done with it.
Civility doesn’t mean that you roll over and ask for a belly scratch from your opponents — it means that everyone plays by the rules on all sides. We had 56 votes for the Webb bill — but could not get it through because a super-majority was required of 60 votes for cloture. This has happened time and time again. The GOP continually obstructs? Then they ought to pay a hefty public price. Harry Reid needs to lead on this — or get the hell out of the way.
Call Sen. Harry Reid today and tell him to do his job and make them stand and filibuster. He can be reached at 202-224-3542 in DC and 702-388-5020 in Nevada..."
May I add-- Amen!
Joseph A. Palermo: My Vacation in Cheney Land - Living Now on The Huffington Post: "...Cheney no doubt will live a long and happy life after his presence no longer darkens our nation's capital. In 'retirement' I don't think he'll end up anywhere near Wyoming, he just used the state as a means to attain power.
I have already written the peroration of the eulogy I plan to give him:
'Dick Cheney was simply an awful and indecent man, who saw right and tried to wrong it, saw suffering and tried to increase it, saw injustice and tried to worsen it, and saw war and tried to prolong it.'"
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Very informative post. The following snippet illustrates something that often gets lost in the debate about impeachment-- it's not a crisis.
The Vanity Press: "...JOHN NICHOLS: You are seeing impeachment as a constitutional crisis. Impeachment is the cure for a constitutional crisis. Don't mistake the medicine for the disease. When you have a constitutional crisis, the founders are very clear. They said there is a way to deal with this. We don't have to have a war. We don't have to raise an army and go to Washington. We have procedures in place where we can sanction a president appropriately, do what needs to be done up to the point of removing him from office and continue the republic. So we're not talking here about taking an ax to government. Quite the opposite..."
Poll respondents from both political parties say they’re tired of the fighting between Congress and the White House, and want the two branches of government to work together on such issues as education, health care and the Iraq war.
This is what I’m talking about when I say we MUST pierce through the bubble that encircles the Beltway. These politicians read these stories and polls (TPM has the full poll here) and internalize it that their approval ratings will sink even further if they give Bush too hard a time or play the same kind of hardball that the Republicans had no problem playing when they were the majority. It is incumbent upon all of us to make very clear that their approval reading has to do with their lack of action, not fear of it."
Exactly. Everyone wants the war stopped and most of us want rid of Bush and his mafia. We want more fighting in Washington, not less.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
The Daily Dish: "The inflation rate just surged, and unrest is brewing:
The CPI surged by 16.1 percent in the month from May 22 to June 22 from the same month of this year, giving an annual inflation rate of 14.2 percent, it said..."
"In addition to such gems as schadenfreude and sitzpinkler, the famously versatile German language has given us the term backpfeifengesicht, which translates to "a face that cries out for a fist in it."
That pretty much describes every last one of these wingnut warmongers, from Kristol to Continetti on down. If you can watch any of those videos without wanting to land a haymaker square on the end of that smug prick's nose, you oughta be in line for sainthood.
Doug | Homepage | 07.13.07 - 8:31 am | # "
It's not often you get to love a word you can neither spell nor pronounce.
The president has the weight of the world on his shoulders. How about showing some signs of stress?"
It all seems "positively Shakespearean," or maybe Biblical.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Whether it was the personal health crisis or talking about the minimum wage, Edwards' ability to hear and respond to the audience, to engage and reach out to them was remarkable. It was also more than a politician looking for votes. Edwards seems to have the ability to touch people. It's the empathy quotient, which was in full view today. I hadn't covered Edwards on the stump before, though I'd covered his appearance at the health care forum, but today's town hall was personal between the people and Mr. Edwards..."
He is not up to his job, and (to a greater extent than most people imagine) he knows it. This explains his inability to sack officials who have demonstrated their incompetence. A substratum of vivid knowledge of his own demerits forms a constant impediment, and has played a larger part in shaping his conduct than petulance, mere cronyism, or the boyish code of loyalty. Not just 'There, but for the grace of God, go I,' but: 'Who am I to fire this one, or any one?'
There has never been a president so unable to solicit or comprehend advice from qualified judges who don't support his prejudices. Never a president before with so continuous a motive for repression of reality. He bears the burden of having done great wrong. To admit even a fraction of that wrong would be to enter a path of remorse that is alien to his nature..."
The Raw Story | O'Reilly takes on Tony Snow, 'You can't win' in Iraq: "Fox News' Bill O'Reilly promised his audience 'the truth about Iraq' on Thursday, saying that most Americans now feel the war has not been worth the costs, while 'the president's argument for sustaining the war is largely theoretical.'
O'Reilly turned on his special guest during the segment, White House press secretary Tony Snow, saying, 'You can't win ... unless the Iraqi people turn on all the terrorists. And they're not...'"
Senate Narrowly Backs Bush in Rejecting Debate on Increasing Time Between Deployments
Well, no, I'm sorry. That's not right. The vote was 56 to 41. A solid majority of senators supported increasing time between deployments.
Republicans blocked a vote on the bill. Say it again: They blocked a vote. They filibustered it..."
"...Thompson is a lawyer. He has also been an actor, a Senator, and a Lobbyist. Depending on which of those hats he is wearing at any particular time, he has different rights and different obligations. There are many behaviors that are perfectly appropriate for an actor to do, but that are not all right for an attorney to do in a courtroom. John Adams was not lobbying for those British soldiers, he was their lawyer - representing them in court before a judge.
Lobbying is not lawyering. As the Tennessee Attorney General ruled in 2005: "lobbying is not per se the practice of law." You don't have to be a lawyer to be a lobbyist, and in fact some of the biggest lobbyists in Washington are not. ( Examples from the Washingtonian's list of the 50 biggest include Linda Daschle, David Carmen, J.C. Watts who are not lawyers))
The abortion rights group paid Thompson money to lobby for them. They did not hire him as their lawyer..."
Thursday, July 12, 2007
The study, which was requested by Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York, found that since 2000 the DoD has awarded 'sole-source' contracts valued at $2.2 billion to just two companies, Force Protection, Inc.(FPI) and Armor Holdings, Inc (AHI)..."
Addressing the empty chair where Miers had been subpoenaed to testify, Rep. Linda Sanchez ruled out of order Bush's executive privilege claim that his former advisers are immune from being summoned before Congress..."
Please. Please. Please, Congress. Put somebody in jail.
By Don Davis
Major League Baseball, in conjunction with both President Bush and Congress, has announced that the outcome of this year’s All-Star Game will determine whether the United States will immediately pull out of Iraq.
Since MLB’s former policy of awarding home field advantage in the World Series to the League that wins the Summer Classic did not translate into increased ratings, Commissioner Bud Selig has tried to up the ante, by making the All-Star Game the prime determinant of U.S. foreign policy.
Both President Bush, the former owner of baseball’s Texas Rangers, and the Democratic-controlled Congress, enthusiastically embraced the idea, since it relieves them of any responsibility for the Debacle in Iraqle."
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
July 9, 2007 on 4:08 pm | In |
There is mounting evidence that smokers are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who don’t partake of the Devil’s Weed. The protective effects of smoking also decreased with years since quitting..."
Why the GOP chooses to be on the wrong side of this one is bizarre. But, they do what George Bush wants every single time."
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
'Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried,' Dr. Richard Carmona, who served as the nation's top doctor from 2002 until 2006, told a House of Representatives committee..."
'When the decision was made to liberate Iraq, I was going on what my advisers were telling me and what everyone has said for nearly a century—that the U.S. military is the best in the world,' Bush said. 'But if that were the case, and we did have the most powerful army, navy, marines, and air force on the globe, we would be winning, right?'
The president admitted that he'd been toying with the idea that a thorough lack of quality in personnel, from the top U.S. commander to the lowest-ranked private, is the only way to account for the colossal failure in Iraq, given that everything on the administrative side of the war has been carried out with the utmost care and precision."
Polls show Dick Cheney has had a recent drop in his approval ratings that bring him very close to Dan Quayle, who was the least popular vice president since the age of polling began. Cheney is now viewed disapprovingly by 59 percent of Americans, four points less than Quayle's high of 63 percent in July 1992. Meanwhile, Cheney's personal favorability is an astounding 13 percent — an all-time low. We reported last week that a majority now favor impeachment proceedings against Cheney — an intensity of loathing that not even Quayle suffered from."
The following is a comment about this post.
"collapse pitman (See profile | I'm a fan of pitman)
As a Vietnam veteran I say Aww toughen up Cindy, you only lost your son. Your son could have had it tougher (NOT) like America's 'Ultimate Coward' right winger and has been guitarist Ted Nugent who admitted in an interview with the Detroit Free Press (July 15, 1990)to urinating and defecating in his pants for an entire week before reporting for his draft board physical during the Vietnam War. Now he earns 'Blood Money' preaching around the country about patriotism, killing and ironically the right to bear arms. All this while the generation he betrayed are still suffering from emotional and physical wounds from a war that this dirt bag coward ran from. Scum bags like Nugent and those like him in this administration that he represents are filthy draft dodging cowards. You Mrs. Sheehan and your son are American heroes. Shame on politicians lke Hagle, McCain, Kerry and Webb for not calling out the hypocrisy and cowardice of so many Vietnam draft dodging politicians in this administration. They sure as hell have no problem sending other Americans to their deaths. They don't stand in the same room with the integrity of Mrs. Sheehan and her son.
Log in | posted 6:10 am on 07/10/2007"
Monday, July 09, 2007
Vitter's spokesman, Joel Digrado, confirmed the statement in an e-mail sent to The Associated Press."
Taylor, you may know, is the former White House political director. She has been subpoenaed to testify on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. And she claims she's quite willing to do so as she's done nothing wrong. But the White House is urging her to ignore the subpoena. And since, in the words of Taylor's lawyer, the president is 'a person whom [Taylor] admires and for whom she has worked tirelessly for years', she doesn't want to testify and thinks she shouldn't have to.
Pleading the fifth is on the books. Various privileges, though most are bogus, can be asserted and litigated. But being a member of the Bush personality cult just isn't a reason to refuse to testify.
Not yet at least."
So I'm walking to the mailbox and I see my neighbor shoot the postman. The cops tell me I have testify to what I saw. I claim Neighbor Privilege and say "No. I've lived next door to Mr. X for 30 years and he's a fine fella and I like him a lot." The cops, of course, using the Bush standard say "No problem. We'll just let this one go."
Welcome to Bizarro Bushworld.
"The soldiers think they can win," reads Bill Kristol's subhead in The Weekly Standard while "some Senators lose their nerve."
This conflation of the actual physical courage exhibited by soldiers risking their lives in a war with the alleged courage demonstrated by pro-war pundits and politicians in advocating that the lives of others be risked is surely the most annoying tick of America's War Party. War is hard. Favoring war is easy. The distinction isn't difficult to grasp.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
"Okay, maybe not in the way you’d think. The Nation’s Editor Katrina VandenHeuvel points out that the overwhelming success that Democratic contenders are having in raising funds has everything to do with the fact that the Democrats are the party of ideas:
Look at the debate we had a few weeks ago. You had Democrats debating what was the best national healthcare plan they could offer the country and you had Republicans debate which method of torture would be best employed if they could bring in Jack Bauer."
...Like Yglesias, I think Mark Warner deserves quite a bit of the credit for making Virginia "bluer." Following Jim Gilmore's almost comically hopeless term as governor, the state was willing to take a chance on a Democrat. Warner won, governed very well, and enjoyed stunning popularity statewide (he left office with an approval rating over 70%).
But reading over the results of the Post poll, Bush really is the gift that keeps on giving. Warner may have made Democrats palatable to otherwise GOP-leaning Virginians, but the president sealed the deal.
Randall Austin, who lives in conservative southwestern Virginia, said, "I think most of the United States and the majority of people I talk to are kind of negative towards the Republican Party. With the war, the economy, with everything, including fuel pricing, I have a feeling everyone wants a change." Austin, of course, voted for Bush."
In sum, the commutation of Libby's sentence is a cover-up, pure and simple. The trial judge's sentence may have exceeded federal guidelines by a few months. But Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence totally ignores those guidelines. If Libby deserves a pardon, shouldn't we revisit other sentences that exceed federal guidelines?"
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
It is not enough to let Scooter Libby slide through the rest of his life, greasing prosperity on Wingnut Welfare. Libby, and Bush, and Cheney, and all the rest, need to face the music for their criminal acts. It won’t happen any time soon, though, because we have basically a gutless Congress with only a few exceptions. The tired argument that the Republicans will obstruct any Democratic attempts at removing Bush and Shooter is perhaps true. But so what? Do you fight every fight worrying that you might lose? Do you run in any races that you know you might lose? For the morale of the country, the Democrats should lead the charge toward removal of the criminal enterprise at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Should the effort to remove these ill-begotten sons of privilege and contempt fail, then, the next President, whether Clinton, Obama, Edwards, or Ron Paul, after three days of careful lubrication of the legislative and bureaucratic wheels in the now veto-proof majority-ruled Congress, should immediately and unconditionally pardon Scooter Libby of all crimes related to the Plame investigation.
On the fourth day, Libby should be subpoenaed to appear before Congress and testify about everything he knows about the Plame outing. Given the general above-the-law smugness of everyone connected with the Bush cabal, Libby will evade, obfuscate, and outright refuse to answer. At that point, he can be transferred to an appropriate jail cell until such time that he agrees to answer Congress’ questions truthfully.
On the fifth day the Congress should send forth unto the States an Amendment to the Constitution that says that a presidential pardon or commutation can be overturned by a majority vote of the Congress. I do think that Amendment would pass the states and the people’s muster.
On the sixth day, the President should order the Attorney General to begin and complete and thorough investigation, backtracking every unraveling thread to this scandal even if it extends backwards to a by-gone era like Iran-Contra. The truth knows no statute of limitations.
There will be no rest on the seventh day, for that is when the next President must sign a new, reenergized version of the Fairness Doctrine, one that guarantees Net Neutrality and at least gives us a fighting chance of getting the truth out of the media.
Congress and the next President need to pledge to the American people that, like Osama Bin Forgotten, they will pursue the King and all his men and women to the gates of Hell until justice is finally served and the truth is known.
Though all that might be totally unnecessary if the next President has the cajones to do what is really called for—declare the whole kit and caboodle of neocon trash enemy combatants and then let Mitt do the “double Gitmo” on them.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
But in a single stroke, Mr. Bush swept away one conviction, three guilty pleas and two pending cases, virtually decapitating what was left of Mr. Walsh’s effort, which began in 1986. Mr. Bush’s decision was announced by the White House in a printed statement after the President left for Camp David, where he will spend the Christmas holiday.
Mr. Walsh bitterly condemned the President’s action, charging that ‘the Iran-contra cover-up, which has continued for more than six years, has now been completed.’
Mr. Walsh directed his heaviest fire at Mr. Bush over the pardon of Mr. Weinberger, whose trial would have given the prosecutor a last chance to explore the role in the affair of senior Reagan officials, including Mr. Bush’s actions as Vice President.
What can you say. Like father, like son."
President Bush's commutation of Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison sentence highlights some interesting connections between Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, a former fugitive from justice, an ex-president and two leading 2008 White House hopefuls.
Before entering government, Libby was a private attorney who represented billionaire international commodities trader Marc Rich.
Rich was indicted in 1983 by then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani on charges of tax evasion and illegal dealing with Iran during the American hostage crisis.
Rich fled to Switzerland. He also occupied a spot on the FBI's Most Wanted List for many years.
Giuliani, former mayor of New York, is now a leading Republican presidential candidate. He endorsed Bush's decision to spare Libby jail time even though he had tried to put Libby's client behind bars.
"After evaluating the facts, the president came to a reasonable decision, and I believe the decision was correct," Giuliani said in a written statement Monday evening.
Rich's fugitive days ended when former President Clinton pardoned him in January 2001, a move that prompted a congratulatory call from Libby to Rich..."
Oh, and Scooter paid his fine today. Not much problem coming up with the cash. (I wonder who paid the most--Bush forces or Cheney forces.)
'By his words and deeds he chose to place himself above the law. By his words and deeds he has undermined the rule of law in America to the great harm of this nation,' the Kansas Republican said. 'By his own words and deeds, he has undermined the truth-finding function of the judiciary, at great harm to that branch of our government. By his words and deeds, he had done great harm to the notions of honesty and integrity that form the underpinnings of this great republic.'
And here's the Brownback kicker: 'We have lost many things over the past few months: trust in public officials, respect for the rule of law, confidence in the truth of the White House's public statements. But perhaps the most tragic loss has been the steady erosion of our societal standards.'
That's Brownback in his closed-door impeachment statement on President Bill Clinton, that was read into the Congressional Record on February 12, 1999..."