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June 27, 2008

Irony: Still Dead

If a staff at The Onion tried to submit this as a fake story, they'd be reprimanded for being far too implausible:

Two United States Senators implicated in extramarital sexual activity have named themselves as co-sponsors of S. J. RES. 43, dubbed the Marriage Protection Amendment. If ratified, the bill would amend the United States Constitution to state that marriage "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), who was arrested June 11, 2007 on charges of lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport terminal, is co-sponsoring the amendment along with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA).

Craig, who entered a guilty plea to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, was detained and charged for attempting to engage in sexual activity with a male undercover police officer. His arrest and plea became public two months later. At that time, Craig attempted to withdraw his plea and enter a new plea of not guilty. To date, his efforts have been denied by the courts.

In July of 2007, Vitter was identified as a client of a prostitution firm owned by the late Deborah Jeane Palfrey, commonly known as The DC Madam.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Republicans.

July 5, 2007

With The GOP, We Were Always At War With (Insert Country Here)

Matthew Yglesias points us to a report by James Fallows that before 9-11 Lynne Cheney was colluding with the neocons in search of the next Eeeeevil Empire for this country to go to war against, not because it would be good foreign policy or even, God help us, sane, but because constant war is always good for the Republican party.

Two commentators on his blog sums up the insanity well:

I think Mexico is the next big growth area as far as national security threats are concerned. Think of the synergies that can be created by combining anti-terrorist rhetoric and anti-immigrant rhetoric. The political rate of return will be very handsome for the GOP.

and:

Land war in Asia.

My, these people are fracking brilliant.

(via Atrios)

July 2, 2007

The Rainmaker

So much for leaving to Caesar's what is Caesar's, and leaving to God what is God's. Steve Benen posting at Crooks and Liars points out yet another chapter in Alabama's leadership on government intervention:

With the state’s weather forecasters not delivering much-needed rain, Gov. Bob Riley on Thursday turned to a higher power. The governor issued a proclamation calling for a week of prayer for rain, beginning Saturday.

Riley encouraged Alabamians to pray “individually and in their houses of worship.?

“Throughout our history, Alabamians have turned in prayer to God to humbly ask for his blessings and to hold us steady during times of difficulty,? Riley said. “This drought is without question a time of great difficulty.?

So if the prayers don't work, do they forsake God or pray harder?

June 7, 2007

Ron Paul Is A Republican

Seems like every time Republican candidates debate, there is no shortage of liberals who should know better that heap praises upon Ron Paul for his admittedly sensible positions on foreign policy.

But Ron Paul is NOT one of us. His views on domestic policies paint him as a Republican, and not the stern but reasonable Eisenhower Republicanism, but the Nixonian, Lee Atwater-like "Southern Strategy" Republicanism that has defined much of the modern era:

Texas congressional candidate Ron Paul's 1992 political newsletter highlighted portrayals of blacks as inclined toward crime and lacking sense about top political issues.

Under the headline of "Terrorist Update," for instance, Paul reported on gang crime in Los Angeles and commented, "If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be."

. . .Paul, writing in his independent political newsletter in 1992, reported about unspecified surveys of blacks.

"Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty and the end of welfare and affirmative action,"Paul wrote.

Paul continued that politically sensible blacks are outnumbered "as decent people." Citing reports that 85 percent of all black men in the District of Columbia are arrested, Paul wrote:

"Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,' I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal," Paul said.

Paul also wrote that although "we are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational. Black men commit murders, rapes, robberies, muggings and burglaries all out of proportion to their numbers."

Writing in the same 1992 edition, Paul expressed the popular idea that government should lower the age at which accused juvenile criminals can be prosecuted as adults.

He added, "We don't think a child of 13 should be held responsible as a man of 23. That's true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult and should be treated as such."

Yes, let's vote in David Duke as president. Sixty percent of white Louisianans can't be wrong.

June 5, 2007

QOTD

John Stewart just now on The Daily Show commenting on the indictment of Louisiana congressman William Jefferson:

"Now we know what it takes for the federal government to pay attention to a black guy from New Orleans."

June 1, 2007

You Have GOP To Be Kidding Me

Yes, Bush's nominee for Surgeon General is someone who runs a program to "cure" gays. Hopefully if enough Democrats pay attention, they will make this a fight that Bush is simply not going to win. Otherwise, they really are useless.

May 30, 2007

Republicans Still Being Mean To Democrats

It's like the Democrats have achieved learned helplessness. They continue to cave to conservative opposition in a feeble attempt to neutralize a talking point, but Republicans still bash them anyways:

SPARTANBURG — Sen. Jim DeMint on Tuesday blamed Democratic “wimps? in Congress for American casualties in Iraq, and cited Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for special censure.

During a luncheon speech to 100 constituents in Spartanburg, DeMint also took issue with the now widespread belief that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, saying the executed Iraqi dictator had “stockpiles of chemical weapons? that still exist.

DeMint devoted most of his comments to the current immigration debate in the Senate. But he spoke about the war when a woman in the audience stood and asked him how long U.S. troops will remain in Iraq.

“Al-Qaida knows that we’ve got a lot of wimps in Congress,? DeMint said. “I believe a lot of the casualties can be laid at the feet of all the talk in Congress about how we’ve got to get out, we’ve got to cut and run.?

Yes, we must appease obvious morons like Demint in order to maintain our incumbency protection racket.

Ijits.

May 27, 2007

I Dunno About Atrios

But I and most other people would give their left nut to live through the 90's again if all we had to worry about is idiodic Clinton-bashing from a bunch of wingnuts.

May 26, 2007

"F@$king Stupidest Guy On The Face Of The Earth" Part II

CIA officer Pat Lang recounts how he tried to get a job with former Eye-Rack war architech Douglas Feith:

“He was sitting there munching a sandwich while he was talking to me,? Lang recalled, “which I thought was remarkable in itself, but he also had these briefing papers — they always had briefing papers, you know — about me.

“He’s looking at this stuff, and he says, ‘I’ve heard of you. I heard of you.’

“He says, ‘Is it really true that you really know the Arabs this well, and that you speak Arabic this well? Is that really true? Is that really true?’

“And I said, ‘Yeah, that’s really true.’

“That’s too bad,? Feith said.

The audience howled.

“That was the end of the interview,? Lang said. “I’m not quite sure what he meant, but you can work it out.?

And people wonder why Eye-Rack is so fucked up.

May 5, 2007

Any Warm Body

If nothing else, the Eye-Rack war will expose the "don't ask, don't tell" policy as the unsustainable, unreasonable sham that it is:

On his wedding night in July 2004, then-Petty Officer 3rd Class Jason Knight finally accepted a truth he had fought against for years: he was gay.

Almost immediately, he moved to get his marriage annulled. He apologized to the woman he’d married. And when it came time to explain his changing circumstances to the Navy, he left nothing out. Under the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell? policy, he was quickly discharged from the service.

But now — whether through a clerical oversight or what some claim is an unwritten change in policy to keep more gay servicemembers in the ranks at a time of war — Jason Knight is back on active duty. Since promoted to petty officer second class, Knight is finishing a scheduled one-year tour in Kuwait with Naval Customs Battalion Bravo. And, already kicked out of the Navy once, he sees no need to hide his sexual orientation.

“I thought it was a joke at first,? he said, remembering the day he received his recall orders. “It was the ultimate kick in the ass. But then I thought, there isn’t much they can do to me they haven’t done the first time.?

May 2, 2007

Joan Baez Banned From Performing At Walter Reed

This is proof positive that to these clowns, military or otherwise, they view "supporting the troops" as supporting Bush's fuck-up in Eye-Rack, or maybe just all wars in general:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Folk singer and anti-war activist Joan Baez says she doesn't know why she was not allowed to perform for recovering soldiers recently at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as she planned.

In a letter to The Washington Post published Wednesday, she said rocker John Mellencamp had asked her to perform with him last Friday and that she accepted his invitation.

"I have always been an advocate for nonviolence and I have stood as firmly against the Iraq war as I did the Vietnam War 40 years ago," she wrote. "I realize now that I might have contributed to a better welcome home for those soldiers fresh from Vietnam. Maybe that's why I didn't hesitate to accept the invitation to sing for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the end, four days before the concert, I was not 'approved' by the Army to take part. Strange irony."

Baez, 66, told the Post in a telephone interview Tuesday that she was not told why she was left off the program by the Army. "There might have been one, there might have been 50 (soldiers) that thought I was a traitor," she told the paper.

April 30, 2007

When Republicans Debate Immigration

Wow.

Utah County Republicans ended their convention on Saturday by debating Satan's influence on illegal immigrants.

The group was unable to take official action because not enough members stuck around long enough to vote, despite the pleadings of party officials. The convention was held at Canyon View Junior High School.

Don Larsen, chairman of legislative District 65 for the Utah County Republican Party, had submitted a resolution warning that Satan's minions want to eliminate national borders and do away with sovereignty.

In a speech at the convention, Larsen told those gathered that illegal immigrants "hate American people" and "are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won't do."

Illegal aliens are in control of the media, and working in tandem with Democrats, are trying to "destroy Christian America" and replace it with "a godless new world order -- and that is not extremism, that is fact," Larsen said.

At the end of his speech, Larsen began to cry, saying illegal immigrants were trying to bring about the destruction of the U.S. "by self invasion."

Republican officials then allowed speakers to defend and refute the resolution. One speaker, who was identified as "Joe," said illegal immigrants were Marxist and under the influence of the devil. Another, who declined to give her name to the Daily Herald, said illegal immigrants should not be allowed because "they are not going to become Republicans and stop flying the flag upside down. ... If they want to be Americans, they should learn to speak English and fly their flag like we do."

(via Crooks and Liars)

April 27, 2007

Why We Call Them Wankers

Indeed.

(via Atrios)

April 18, 2007

VT Killer Was Institutionalized, Was Still Able To Get A Gun

Sure, there may have been a time when faced with a tragedy like the one in Virginia, we would have put political ideology and blamemongering aside for collective mourning. But, as WorstPresidentEver loves to say, 9-11 changed everything, when right after the attack, blaming liberals for being pussies and Muslims everywhere for not going on their knees and begging for forgiveness was all en vogue. So, if we must point fingers, we must point them at the forces that have allowed former mental patients easy access to handguns:

April 18, 2007 — A court found that Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho was "mentally ill" and potentially dangerous. Then it let him go.

In December 2005 — more than a year before Monday's mass shootings — a district court in Montgomery County, Va., ruled that Cho presented "an imminent danger to self or others." That was the necessary criterion for a detention order, so that Cho, who had been accused of stalking by two female schoolmates, could be evaluated by a state doctor and ordered to undergo outpatient care.

. . .Police obtained the 2005 detention order from a local magistrate after it was determined by a state-certified employee that Cho's apparent mental state met the threshold for the temporary detention order.

Under Virginia law, "A magistrate has the authority to issue a detention order upon a finding that a person is mentally ill and in need of hospitalization or treatment.


Wendell Flinchum, the chief of the Virginia Tech police department, said that it's common for university police to work with state-affiliated mental health facilities instead of on-campus counseling because it is easier to obtain a detention order.

"We normally go through access [appealing to the state's legal system for help] because they have the power to commit people if they need to be committed," Flinchum said at a press conference Wednesday morning.

Cho was taken to Carilion St. Albans Behavioral Health Center in Radford, Va., a private facility that can take 162 inpatients, according to court documents.

Other news reports said that a form Seung-Hui filled contained a section asking if he received any involuntary psychiatric help. He put down "no" and no background check was done. Simple as that, easy as pie.

April 6, 2007

Curioser And Curiouser

About a week after the former Minnesota U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger swore straight up and down that he wasn't replaced by Rachel Paulouse because of political reasons, we now learn that three of his top aides have resigned their posts and have taken demotions and smaller salaries within the local USA office:

3 federal prosecutors quit manager posts They left their management jobs with the Minnesota U.S. Attorney's Office and will go back to prosecuting cases.

By Dan Browning and Pam Louwagie, Star Tribune

Last update: April 06, 2007 – 3:22 PM

In a surprising move, three top lawyers in the Minnesota U.S. Attorney's Office resigned their management positions Thursday and will return to prosecuting cases.
The resignations of the first assistant U.S. attorney, who is second in command, and the chiefs of both the criminal and civil divisions of the office, were communicated internally late Thursday afternoon, according to a source with direct knowledge of the events. The job changes followed a visit to the office by a representative from the Executive Office of the U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who chairs a Senate subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, issued a harsh statement Friday after learning of the resignations.

"This is another example of the proud corps of U.S. Attorneys being deprofessionalized," Schumer said. "We wonder in how many other offices the same lack of confidence is taking its toll. Attorney General [Alberto] Gonzales has a responsibility to see that the finest people are put in these positions, not simply cronies."

The resignations are certain to raise questions, especially in light of the controversy surrounding Gonzales and the way the Bush administration replaced eight U.S. attorneys around the country since August.

Minnesota's U.S. Attorney, Rachel Paulose, took the job in March 2006. No one has linked her to the controversy in Washington.

"It's just absolutely extraordinary that these three top managers would voluntarily demote themselves," said one defense attorney knowledgeable about the office. "I mean, it's a rank cut. ... And then it would be a salary cut, too."

A source familiar with the office said Thursday's resignations were more about management style and communication than politics. But they take on added significance because they follow a number of other managers who have voluntarily stepped aside since Paulose took over.

. . .Paulose said the three are excellent prosecutors.

"The community will benefit from their focus on prosecuting high-profile, sophisticated cases in the years to come," she said. "This office remains focused on our law enforcement priorities and service to this community."

If they are so good, why did they have to step down? Even in the midst of the attorney scandal, the Bushies still engage in suspicious behavior.

Update (via John Aravosis):

Seems like Paulose was being too much of a fundyclown and tyrant for the top aides, but even at that it doesn't make sense why they would accept a demotion and pay cut. If I were them I'd just leave for a more lucrative post in private practice.

April 4, 2007

Beware The Dhimmicrats

When I first saw the pictures of Nancy Pelosi in Syria wearing a hijab, I immediately knew the right-wing nuts would complain about how Pelosi is capitulating to those A-rab Mud-slims. As I've said before, those nuts are as predictable as the tides, and Mahablog shuts down their pissing and moaning completely.

(via Atrios)

Messing up the Message

Can't these people understand that Baghdad is safe, that McCain says you can stroll around that particular marketplace without being harmed? Why do they have to mess up the narrative?

A newborn baby was one of at least 14 children and adults killed when a suicide bomber detonated a lorry laden with explosives close to a primary school in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk yesterday.

The latest massacre of Iraqi children came as 21 Shia market workers were ambushed, bound and shot dead north of the capital. The victims came from the Baghdad market visited the previous day by John McCain, the US presidential candidate, who said that an American security plan in the capital was starting to show signs of progress.

FBI Becomes The Police Arm Of The Right-Wing Movement

This local piece in the Washington Post reports that the FBI have been conducting political intelligence on Eye-Rack war protestors:

A secret FBI intelligence unit helped detain a group of war protesters in a downtown Washington parking garage in April 2002 and interrogated some of them on videotape about their political and religious beliefs, newly uncovered documents and interviews show.

For years, law enforcement authorities suggested it never happened. The FBI and D.C. police said they had no records of such an incident. And police told a federal court that no FBI agents were present when officers arrested more than 20 protesters that afternoon for trespassing; police viewed them as suspicious for milling around the parking garage entrance.

But a civil lawsuit, filed by the protesters, recently unearthed D.C. police logs that confirm the FBI's role in the incident. Lawyers for the demonstrators said the logs, which police say they just found, bolster their allegations of civil rights violations.

The probable cause to arrest the protesters as they retrieved food from their parked van? They were wearing black -- a color choice the FBI and police associated with anarchists, according to the police records.

FBI agents dressed in street clothes separated members to question them one by one about protests they attended, whom they had spent time with recently, what political views they espoused and the significance of their tattoos and slogans, according to interviews and court records.

The revelations, combined with protester accounts, provide the first public evidence that Washington-based FBI personnel used their intelligence-gathering powers in the District to collect purely political intelligence. Ultimately, the protesters were not prosecuted because there wasn't sufficient evidence of trespassing, and their arrest records were expunged.

Similar intelligence-gathering operations have been reported in New York, where a local police intelligence unit tried to infiltrate groups planning to protest at the Republican National Convention in 2004, and in Colorado, where records surfaced showing that the FBI collected names and license plates of people protesting timber industry practices at a 2002 industry convention.

Several federal courts have ruled that intelligence agencies can monitor domestic groups only when there is reason to believe the group is engaged in criminal activity. Experts in police conduct say it is hard to imagine how asking questions about a person's political views would be appropriate in a trespassing case.

Of course, this breach of public trust only qualifies as D.C. news, not national news, according to the insane pro-Bush editors at that paper.

(via ThinkProgress)

March 29, 2007

John McCain: Democrat?

If that's true that at one point he seriously considered switching parties, then Ralph Nader is right, there's not a dime's worth of difference between the parties since McCain would be the worst Democrat since Zell Miller.

March 28, 2007

Isn't It Too Early For Attack Ads?

Apparently not, especially if the political attack ad is aimed against someone who was not elected and has just lost his job.

Digby highlights an ad against one of the fired prosecutors David Iglesias running in New Mexico by a group calling itself New Mexicans for Honest Courts. Their name makes it clear that they used to keep it halfway honest back when they were against "activist judges" during the 2004 campaign, but now they have come out to play interference for the beleaguered Bushies. If the Justice Department isn't so politicized, perhaps this group should be investigated for improper politicking.

March 27, 2007

Press Secretary Tony Snow Has Cancer.

Spread from his abdomen to his liver. I'm sure Rush Limbaugh will blame the White House for playing up his illness for sympathy votes. In any case, all the best to him and his recovery.

March 14, 2007

Very Odd. . .And Hyperpartisan.

As posted by ThinkProgess.org the Washington Post online politcal columnist Dan Froomkin has noticed that the incriminating e-mails that have suggested that the firing of the eight prosecutors was a political operation were using domains owned by the RNC, namely gwb43.com. Not sure if I'd be less outraged if the emails were done using government domains, but there you have it.

March 11, 2007

How Politicized Is The Justice Department

Well by 2004, they have investigated a total of 298 Democratic elected officials and only 67 elected Republicans. Which would mean that the eight fired attorneys are just the tip of the iceberg.

March 9, 2007

America's Heroes Reject America's Mayor

You know how Rudy Giuliani only became a viable candidate for president because of his on-screen performance during the wake of 9-11? Also at that time this country heaped praise upon the firefighters who risked and lost their lives during that day.

But the thing is, the firefighters know the true story of what happened that day and the lack of support they received from Giuliani, and they have not forgotten about it:

Early on, the IAFF made a decision to invite all serious candidates from both political parties — except one: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

We made this decision after considerable soul-searching and close consultation with our two New York City affiliates, the Uniformed Firefighters Association Local 94 and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854, as well as our former Local 94 President and current IAFF 1st District Vice President covering New York.

The IAFF recognizes that Mayor Giuliani generally enjoys a favorable reputation as a result of his actions immediately after the tragedy of 9/11. As such, we want our affiliates and every one of our members to clearly understand the reason and rationale behind this very serious and sober decision.

Many people consider Rudy Giuliani "America's Mayor," and many of our members who don't yet know the real story, may also have a positive view of him. This letter is intended to make all of our members aware of the egregious acts Mayor Giuliani committed against our members, our fallen on 9/11, and our New York City union officers following that horrific day [...]

The disrespect that he exhibited to our 343 fallen FDNY brothers, their families and our New York City IAFF leadership in the wake of that tragic day has not been forgiven or forgotten.

In November 2001, our members were continuing the painful, but necessary, task of searching Ground Zero for the remains of our fallen brothers and the thousands of innocent citizens that were killed, because precious few of those who died in the terrorist attacks had been recovered at that point.

Prior to November 2001, 101 bodies or remains of fire fighters had been recovered. And those on the horrible pile at Ground Zero believed they had just found a spot in the rubble where they would find countless more that could be given proper burial.

Nevertheless, Giuliani, with the full support of his Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, decided on November 2, 2001, to sharply reduce the number of those who could search for remains at any one time. There had been as many as 300 fire fighters at a time involved in search and recovery, but Giuliani cut that number to no more than 25 who could be there at once.

In conjunction with the cut in fire fighters allowed to search, Giuliani also made a conscious decision to institute a "scoop-and-dump" operation to expedite the clean-up of Ground Zero in lieu of the more time-consuming, but respectful, process of removing debris piece by piece in hope of uncovering more remains.

Mayor Giuliani's actions meant that fire fighters and citizens who perished would either remain buried at Ground Zero forever, with no closure for families, or be removed like garbage and deposited at the Fresh Kills Landfill.

Ouch, that's gotta hurt.

(via Daily Kos)

March 7, 2007

Fixing A Broken Bureaucracy: Less Than $1 million dollars

support the troops.jpg

Reptilian conservatives electing to spend money on more taxcuts and more Eye-Rack rather than to spend this government-scale pittance to support our troops: priceless

A proposal to keep seriously wounded vets from falling through the cracks of the bureaucracy was shelved in 2005 when Jim Nicholson took over as the secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department, according to the former VA employee who was responsible for tracking war casualties.

As a result, seriously wounded veterans continued to face long delays for health care and benefit payments after being discharged from the military, says former VA program manager Paul Sullivan.

The program, called the Contingency Tracking System, had been approved by Nicholson's predecessor but died once Nicholson took over the VA, Sullivan told ABC News.

Sullivan said he was told the cost of the system -- less than $1 million to build and requiring a handful of staff to maintain -- was prohibitive.

And to think, there are at least three separate investigations, one from Congress, the Inspector General and another presidential "blue ribbon commission" that were ordered to find out what is already known: Republicans fucked up, big time.

(Via TPMmuckraker)

Coulter's Comment As The Winning Message.

Yep, that's right. Digby explains that the reason why Anne Coulter's slur against John Edwards initially didn't get much media attention (compare with how they covered Whoopi Goldberg's comment against Bush during the Kerry campaign) is because, however crude it is, it fits right with the right-wing meme against Democrats and liberals that have been totally internalized by the media. In fact, the media only started reporting it when a few conservatives started complaining about it.

The main reason why Republicans have been so relevant and have won so many elections since the sixties is the way they've portrayed Democrats as wimpy and impotent - in other words, homosexuals. And since they are homosexuals, they are deviants and perverts, just like we know all homosexuals to be. The simple fact that seems to escape the media commentators is that this is not the first time she has accused prominent Democrats of being gay. She called Al Gore a "fag", said that Hillary Clinton a lesbian, and accused Bill Clinton of having "latent homozexuality". Arnold Schwartzenegger became governor because he's a hard-bodied beefcake while Governor Gray Davis was an effete little chicken (this was made clear when Taco Bell did that campaign where you get to vote for Schwartzenegger by buying a hard crunchy beef taco, while a vote for Davis came in the form of a limp chicken soft taco.) It's a tactic that has been inculcated into the minds of the voting public: Republicans are strong, Democrats are weak. Republicans are the "daddy party", Dems the "mommy party".

Anyways, Digby has done more research than me and has made the case already, so as they say, go read Digby.

March 4, 2007

Obstructionism Is Now Good

When conservative strategist Grover Norquist says bipartisanship is like date rape, he wasn't kidding:

At the Conservative Political Action Conference yesterday, right-wing activist and anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist urged conservatives not to work to accomplish anything in the current Congress.

“Get married, develop a hobby, learn to belly dance, learn to golf — you know, we got two years free, but we gotta spend time and effort playing defense here,? Norquist said. “Our job is to say ‘no, no, no, no’ for two years.?

Norquist predicted, “People are gonna go, ‘oh maybe this bill isn’t as bad as it looks.’? But he warned, ? Don’t eat it, don’t swallow it, don’t touch it. Nothing good passes this Congress.?

So much for the importance of the Upordown Vote™.

Update: As a commentator on Steve Benen's blog said, this is just typical of these lizard-brain conservatives. They will stop at nothing to make sure that government doesn't work, that it will fail the public trust, because to them the government is a worthless entity that gets in the way of private rapacity over those without the means to protect themselves and the consequent enrichment of the elite few. The New Deal was a disaster to these snakes because it instilled in the public mind that government does work for the people in order to improve their lives, and indeed the policies helped create the (white) middle class that we know today. Since the conservatives are all about hyper-stratification in order to create a new nobility, that just can't happen.

February 28, 2007

Firing of U.S. Attorneys Were Politically Motivated

Typical:

A political tempest over the mass firing of federal prosecutors escalated yesterday with allegations from the departing U.S. attorney in New Mexico, who said that two members of Congress attempted to pressure him to speed up a probe of Democrats just before the November elections.

David C. Iglesias, who left yesterday after more than five years in office, said he received the calls in October and believes that complaints from the lawmakers may have led the Justice Department to fire him late last year.

Iglesias also responded to allegations from Justice officials that he had performed poorly and was too often absent, citing positive job reviews and data showing increasing numbers of prosecutions. He also noted that he is required to serve 40 days a year in the Navy Reserve.

. . .Iglesias was among seven U.S. attorneys notified by phone on Dec. 7 that they were being fired without explanation. An eighth prosecutor, in Little Rock, also was removed in December, to make room for a former aide to presidential adviser Karl Rove.

The charges by Iglesias added a new dimension to the ongoing controversy over the fired prosecutors, at least four of whom were presiding over major public-corruption probes. Although other fired prosecutors have publicly defended their records, they have never alleged that political pressure related to an ongoing criminal investigation played a role in their dismissals.

In addition to Iglesias's probe of Democrats, fired prosecutors in Arizona, Nevada and California were conducting corruption probes involving Republicans at the time of their dismissals.

. . .In an interview Tuesday, Iglesias said the two lawmakers called him about a well-known criminal investigation involving a Democratic legislator. He declined to provide their party affiliation, but his comments indicated the callers were Republicans.

New Mexico media outlets reported last year that the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Albuquerque had opened a probe into allegations involving former Democratic state senator Manny Aragon and government construction projects in Bernalillo County. No charges have been filed in the case.

Iglesias said the lawmakers who called him seemed focused on whether charges would be filed before the November elections. He said the calls made him feel "pressured to hurry the subsequent cases and prosecutions" but said he did not receive similar contacts from anyone in the executive branch. He acknowledged he made a mistake by not reporting the calls to the Justice Department.

Referring to the calls, Iglesias said: "I suspect that was the reason I was asked to step down, but I don't know that I'll ever know."

Iglesias said other criticisms of his performance by the Justice Department "are demonstrably untrue statements." He added: "We all have a right to defend our honor. I felt like my honor and the honor of my office was attacked."

Iglesias produced statistics showing that his office's immigration prosecutions had risen more than 78 percent during his tenure and said the office prosecuted record numbers of narcotics and firearms cases as well.

Iglesias cited a January 2006 letter from Michael A. Battle -- the Justice official who fired him -- commending him for "exemplary leadership in the department's priority programs." A November 2005 evaluation obtained by The Washington Post also said Iglesias was "experienced in legal, management and community relations work and was respected by the judiciary, agencies and staff."

Former deputy attorney general James B. Comey, now general counsel for Lockheed Martin, this week praised Iglesias as "one of our finest and someone I had a lot of confidence in as deputy attorney general."

But Roehrkasse said Justice "had a lengthy record from which to evaluate his performance as a manager, and we made our decision not to further extend his service based on performance-related concerns."

February 8, 2007

We Do Need To Talk About The War

I generally avoided the kabuki theater that was the battle over whether we get to debate the war in Eye-Rack as it stands as so much raw, uncut bullshit that talking about it will only diminish me further. Apparently John Warner sponsored a weak-kneed, non-binding resolution whether or not to agree with Bush's Surge™ (but not whether the war was a stupid fucking idea in the first place), and a few other Republican Senators such as Hagel and Bob Smith of Oregon feel some discomfort about the war. But the rest of the rat bastard Republicans want to block discussion of any resolution by holding a filibuster, and every Republican except for Coleman and Susan Collins voted against cloture.

That's right, Chuck Hagel is all talk but no action and Warner voted against his own resolution.

But that's not the best part. Seems that the media reported this act of utter spinelessness and legislative dysfunction in a way that cast a rather bad light on the Republicans, especially the vulnerable ones who are up for re-election. Seven Republican Senators, five of whom voted against cloture, signed a letter whining that they weren't allowed to debate the war EVEN THOUGH THEY VOTED NOT TO DEBATE THE WAR IN THE FIRST PLACE. Perhaps they were swayed by this testimony by Peter Pace.

February 6, 2007

Fuggit. Give Them The War.

I've said before that if Democrats and liberals try to be the responsible adults and end this abortion of a war they will get nothing but blame for denying this country its glorious, glorious victory over the mud-slims. Kevin Drum, who inspired my current position, points to this Weekly Standard article as Exhibit A for the coming neocon backlash if the dirty fucking hippies don't shut up and clap harder:

[If] the surge is seen to fail, they will be the ones who made it more difficult, demoralized the armed forces, kneecapped the commander, and telegraphed to the enemy that our will was cracking, and we would shortly be leaving.

The Democrats have also given Bush a partial alibi for a possible failure -- he tried, but at a critical moment they threw in the towel. This argument would be plausible enough to attract support from a great many people.

If these clowns want to learn the hard way, then so be it.

January 10, 2007

Democrats Pull A Boehner

Digby is right, Democrats can't win in the eyes of the reich-wing media. Apparently Steny Hoyer agreed to postpone congressional proceedings after minority leader John Boehner requested that he show his support for Ohio State in their bowl game against Florida. Did the reich-wing media hail this rare moment in bipartisan comity?

Nope:

Co-hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade made hay in their Monday show at the expense of Democrats, yucking it up repeatedly during the two-hour show over the fact that Democrats had broken their pledge to work five days a week by taking the day off Monday so members could attend the BCS title game between Ohio State and Florida.

Watch the video to see how they handle the fact Boehner was the one who requested the postsponement.

And how does Boehner thank his Democratic colleague for taking the political heat? Why by distancing himself from it:

"We just make the request - the majority makes the decision," said a spokesman for Boehner, a well-liked politico known for throwing A-list parties at the political conventions.

Snakes, all of them.

January 3, 2007

Haven't We Humans Suffered Enough?

Who will finally impale a stake into this vampire?

John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, has accepted the position of deputy secretary of state, NBC News has confirmed. The job has been open for months since the resignation of Robert Zoellick.

So the killing fields in Central America and Eye-Rack aren't enough, where else are we going to see massacres at his hand?

January 2, 2007

The Democratic Learning Curve.

Looks like the Dems are adjusting to the rumors that Republicans will abuse any political openings given to them in the name of "bipartisanship" in order to derail winning Democratic initiatives like raising the minimum wage or ethics reform:

As they prepare to take control of Congress this week and face up to campaign pledges to restore bipartisanship and openness, Democrats are planning to largely sideline Republicans from the first burst of lawmaking.

House Democrats intend to pass a raft of popular measures as part of their well-publicized plan for the first 100 hours. They include tightening ethics rules for lawmakers, raising the minimum wage, allowing more research on stem cells and cutting interest rates on student loans.

But instead of allowing Republicans to fully participate in deliberations, as promised after the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, Democrats now say they will use House rules to prevent the opposition from offering alternative measures, assuring speedy passage of the bills and allowing their party to trumpet early victories.

Nancy Pelosi, the Californian who will become House speaker, and Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, who will become majority leader, finalized the strategy over the holiday recess in a flurry of conference calls and meetings with other party leaders. A few Democrats, worried that the party would be criticized for reneging on an important pledge, argued unsuccessfully that they should grant the Republicans greater latitude when the Congress convenes on Thursday.

The episode illustrates the dilemma facing the new party in power. The Democrats must demonstrate that they can break legislative gridlock and govern after 12 years in the minority, while honoring their pledge to make the 110th Congress a civil era in which Democrats and Republicans work together to solve the nation's problems. Yet in attempting to pass laws key to their prospects for winning reelection and expanding their majority, the Democrats may have to resort to some of the same tough tactics Republicans used the past several years.

You can only be so civil with a swarm of ankle-biting snakes. And Steve Gilliard is right, the reporters on the Post articles are either novices or Republican hacks. They talk about how the Democrats risk jeopardizing their "slim" majority in the house even though it's now larger than what the Republicans had for at least six years. That "slim majority" is 31 seats in the Hiouse, not 16 seats as the article claims. And of course, there is fuck all at what the Republicans are planning to do with the few bones Democrats will throw at them, or fuck all in any past relevant articles of the perfidy that they've done when they had the power.

Continue reading "The Democratic Learning Curve." »

December 22, 2006

At Least They Have Their Trust Funds

Via Kevin Drum we learn that Republicans have deep-sixed Nancy Pelosi's plan to give two month's severance to the soon-to-be-unemployed Republican staff members:

As the old Congress wound down in a scramble of post-election activity, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered to pay two months’ severance to staff members working on some committees and in House leadership offices. But her offer was scuttled — by Republican lawmakers, who complained they didn’t have the opportunity to study the proposal and look at costs.

Welp, those staffers helped make the bed of the Worst Congress Ever, so they should sleep in it. But the thing that should gall the staffers is that their former bosses are the same losers now complaining that they don't have time to read a proposal, but who have made introducing bills for a floor vote with only one day at most to examine it a congressional standard, the most famous being the Patriot Act.

December 7, 2006

Immaculate Conceptions

The reduction of teen pregnancies in this country is due to the knowledge and use of contraceptives, not counter-intuitive prescriptions to curious and fully pubescent teens that sex is icky and wrong and will make angels weep blood. Otherwise, if abstinence-only education worked, there's a hell of a lot of virgin births happening:

Sexual abstinence as an effective tool in reducing teenage pregnancy is a complete "myth", the Government's advisory body on the issue claimed yesterday.

The Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy said that research from the United States showed that contraception was the way to bring down rates. Researchers from Columbia University and the Guttmacher Institute examined the relative roles of abstinence and contraceptive use in the "remarkable decline" in US teenage pregnancy rates, which dropped 27 per cent from 1991 to 2000. They said that 86 per cent of the decline in teenage pregnancy was due to improved use of contraception.

Only 14 per cent of the drop amongst 15- to 19-year-olds was linked to reduced sexual activity, according to the study, published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

December 6, 2006

A Five-Day Work Week? The Horror!

Whining Republicans are reacting to the new rules being instituted by the new Democratic regime:

Forget the minimum wage. Or outsourcing jobs overseas. The labor issue most on the minds of members of Congress yesterday was their own: They will have to work five days a week starting in January.

The horror.

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, the Maryland Democrat who will become House majority leader and is writing the schedule for the next Congress, said members should expect longer hours than the brief week they have grown accustomed to.

"I have bad news for you," Hoyer told reporters. "Those trips you had planned in January, forget 'em. We will be working almost every day in January, starting with the 4th."

The reporters groaned. "I know, it's awful, isn't it?" Hoyer empathized.

For lawmakers, it is awful, compared with what they have come to expect. For much of this election year, the legislative week started late Tuesday and ended by Thursday afternoon -- and that was during the relatively few weeks the House wasn't in recess.

"Keeping us up here eats away at families," said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays. "Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families -- that's what this says."

Time away from Washington is just as important to being an effective member of Congress as time spent in the Capitol, Kingston added. "When I'm here, people call me Mr. Congressman. When I'm home, people call me 'Jack, you stupid SOB, why did you vote that way?' It keeps me grounded."

Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), who had intended to retire this year, only to be persuaded to run again, wondered whether the new schedule was more than symbolic. "If we're doing something truly productive, that's one thing," he said. "If it's smoke-and-mirrors hoopla, that's another."

Senate leaders have not set their schedule, but the upper chamber generally works a longer week than the House, though important votes or hearings are usually not scheduled on Mondays or Fridays.

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), one of the architects of the lighter workweek, put the best Republican face on Hoyer's new schedule.

"They've got a lot more freshmen then we do," he said of the Democrats. "That schedule will make it incredibly difficult for those freshmen to establish themselves in their districts. So we're all for it."

After voting for themselves salary increases several times during the past decade while refusing to raise the minimum wage once, this new rule is token justice at best.

November 30, 2006

Even When Republicans Lose, They Still Win

Yes, Democrats made a net gain of thirty seats in the House of Representatives and six in the Senate this year, but they did it by winning nearly fifty-eight percent of the popular vote, according to Wikipedia (take it as you may). The Republican Revolution of 1994 netted them 54 seats in Congress and eight seats in the Senate, and they did it by gaining less than fifty percent of the popular vote.

So if the system wasn't rigged, there would have been a veritable landslide this year, so what happened? One word - redistricting, especially the newest computerized version that most famously produced the psychedellic-looking Texas district map (look especially at the 12th and 18th district and tell me that wasn't generated in a politically cynical way). During their reign Republicans have been busy making sure that the political facts on the ground were created to their favor, and in some ways they have succeeded. Yes I'm glad Democrats have won, but the celebration is cut short with all the problems that need to be solved.

More Lizardbrain Activity

That Christ-hating muslim elected congressman from Minneapolis Keith Ellison is reportedly going to be swearing on the Koran instead of the Bible, and natually the reich-wingers are becoming apopolectic over it:

Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran.

He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization.

First, it is an act of hubris that perfectly exemplifies multiculturalist activism -- my culture trumps America's culture. What Ellison and his Muslim and leftist supporters are saying is that it is of no consequence what America holds as its holiest book; all that matters is what any individual holds to be his holiest book.

Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress. In your personal life, we will fight for your right to prefer any other book. We will even fight for your right to publish cartoons mocking our Bible. But, Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath.

And it goes on like that, with Dennis Prager comparing Ellison's action to that of a neo-nazi swearing on a copy of Mein Kampf, that even Jews use the Holy Bible when being sworn into Congress, and that Ellison's actions will embolden the Muslim terra-ists.

Well, one problem with that. It seems that freshmen Congresspeople don't even use a holy book at all when being officially sworn into Congress:

But Prager’s column is based on one other glaring error: the swearing-in ceremony for the House of Representatives never includes a religious book. The Office of the House Clerk confirmed to ThinkProgress that the swearing-in ceremony consists only of the Members raising their right hands and swearing to uphold the Constitution. The Clerk spokesperson said neither the Christian Bible, nor any other religious text, had ever been used in an official capacity during the ceremony. (Occassionally, Members pose for symbolic photo-ops with their hand on a Bible.)

This electioin brought out the worst in Republicans. Their defeat has brought us Trent Lott back into the Senate minority leadership and it's only going to get worse from here.

November 22, 2006

Worst Congress Ever: The Postscript,

Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly bags on the moral children that are our Republican congressmen who decided to leave a huge fiscal mess they were supposed to finish two months ago to the new incoming Democratic majority:

WASHINGTON - Republicans vacating the Capitol are dumping a big spring cleaning job on Democrats moving in. GOP leaders have opted to leave behind almost a half-trillion-dollar clutter of unfinished spending bills.

There also is no guarantee that Republicans will pass a multibillion-dollar measure to prevent a cut in fees to doctors treating Medicare patients.

The bulging workload that a Republican-led Congress was supposed to complete this year but is instead punting to 2007 promises to consume time and energy that Democrats had hoped to devote to their own agenda upon taking control of Congress in January for the first time in a dozen years.

Actually, I'm glad the Republicans are leaving the grown-up work to the grown-ups. They've already done a heckuva job fucking up this country for the past decade or so.

November 10, 2006

What Lizard Brains Sound Like

Apparently some of you out there don't like my characterization of base conservatives as "lizard brains" who should be put down at every chance. Here's a little reminder of who we are up against:

The guest is David Brock, former movement conservative journalist who saw the light along the way and now runs MediaMatters.org, a watchdog site that catches right-wing media types in their various lies. Obviously he's also an admitted homosexual. Those who wish to pull punches on people like the guy who made that comment to David Brock are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem.

November 8, 2006

Better Dead Than Red

This story from the newly coathanger-free state of South Dakota encapsulates the anti-Republican backlash this mid-term elections represent:

PIERRE, S.D. - A woman who died two months ago won a county commissioner's race in Jerauld County on Tuesday.

Democrat Marie Steichen, of Woonsocket, got 100 votes, defeating incumbent Republican Merlin Feistner, of Woonsocket, who had 64 votes.

November 7, 2006

The Conservative Base Breaks Out Their White Hoods

Welp, it looks like Keith Ellison is sailing through the vote to become the first Muslim in the House and the first black congressman from Minnesota, and the Freeptards are not going to stand for it. Their rhetoric regarding his faith is so disgusting that it has to be shown for posterity.

Here's the original link, but since the Head Freeper likes to delete threads that exposes the racism and extremism of the website's members, I'm creating mirror pages for posterity:

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

If I were to put up the greatest hits, my picks would be:

Locked and Loaded!!

5 posted on 11/07/2006 8:00:03 PM PST by newconhere

As I said on a previous thread...I feels as if I am watching 9-11 again on my TV. Watching America be attacked from within and I am helpless watching.

America...what have you done?

6 posted on 11/07/2006 8:00:05 PM PST by My Favorite Headache

future suicide bomber?

35 posted on 11/07/2006 8:07:08 PM PST by teacherwoes

Getting ready to go out & buy my burka. I knew it, next we'll have Barrack Hussein O'bama as Prez. This is what the liberals want.

Screw the burkha. Buy ammo :)

47 posted on 11/07/2006 8:10:05 PM PST by Mordacious

Screw the burkha. Buy ammo :)

LOTS of it!!

70 posted on 11/07/2006 8:22:36 PM PST by MrCFdovnh

And the post that wins the Irony Award:

Over or even he introduce the first sharia law leglietatio

15 posted on 11/07/2006 8:01:25 PM PST by SevenofNine

Oh, so now the righties are "concerned" about faith-based legislation, now that it's coming from the religion of our "enemies"? Nice work there, you cross-burning clowns.

This just goes to show you that even if the we (by we I mean Democrats) win the House, the Senate or both, this is not over. The lizard brains still exist and they need to be put out.

November 4, 2006

SUNDAY!. . .SUNDAY!. . .SUNDAY!

Reflecting back on the last entry, everybody who hasn't had their head up somewhere it shouldn't be knows that the Saddam trial verdict coming this Sunday, November 5th, was cynically scheduled in order to provide the necessary political capital to the Republican apparatchik just before the election. But the problem is that the verdict, whichever it will be, will inevitably lead to a violent reaction from either side. If Saddam gets sentenced to death by his Shiite enemies, loyal Sunnis will likely revolt. If Saddam gets less than a hanging or a stoning, the Shiites will go on a rampage.

Sure, I may be wrong. Perhaps the checkpoints the U.S. set up will indeed quell any incipient violence. I sure hope I'm wrong.

But still, Operation Together Forward was supposed to pacify Baghdad months ago.

November 3, 2006

Requiem For A Fundyclown

I first read about Ted Haggard, the absolute leader of the mammonization and bastardization of our Christian faith through the overflowing megachurches in last year's profile of him and his movement in Harper's. His religion of material conveniences, combined with your pro-forma hatemongering was abhorrent, but at least he has his integrity of character, right?

Welp, as with Swaggart, Bakker and the pedophile priest protection program run by the papists, it's is still do as I say, not as I do:

After a day of whirlwind controversy surrounding New Life Church and its leader Ted Haggard, who went on administrative leave earlier Thursday, the acting Senior Pastor, Ross Parsley tells KKTV 11 News that Pastor Haggard has admitted to some of the indiscretions claimed by a Denver man.

Thursday morning, Mike Jones went on a Denver radio talk show and said Pastor Haggard paid him for sex over the past 3 years. Jones also claims Haggard did drugs with him. Pastor Parsley says Haggard admitted that some of the allegations are true, but not all of them. The church is not saying what Haggard admitted to.

And that's after Ted Haggard issued a rigorous denial of the allegations against him. Good thing Jaysus always has room for crooks and liars.

You can listen to the taped smoking gun conversations here.

Two New York Times Bombshells

Wow, the Friday news dump has some juicy tidbits today. Two story in the Times chronicle the Republican one party rule's criminal incompetence and it's criminal corruption/lack of accountability

First the criminal incompetence:

Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to “leverage the Internet? to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.

Last night, the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials. A spokesman for the director of national intelligence said access to the site had been suspended “pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing.?

Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, fearing that the information could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms, had privately protested last week to the American ambassador to the agency, according to European diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. One diplomat said the agency’s technical experts “were shocked? at the public disclosures.

The documents, roughly a dozen in number, contain charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building that nuclear experts who have viewed them say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums. For instance, the papers give detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives, as well as the radioactive cores of atom bombs.

“For the U.S. to toss a match into this flammable area is very irresponsible,? said A. Bryan Siebert, a former director of classification at the federal Department of Energy, which runs the nation’s nuclear arms program. “There’s a lot of things about nuclear weapons that are secret and should remain so.?

The government had received earlier warnings about the contents of the Web site. Last spring, after the site began posting old Iraqi documents about chemical weapons, United Nations arms-control officials in New York won the withdrawal of a report that gave information on how to make tabun and sarin, nerve agents that kill by causing respiratory failure.

The campaign for the online archive was mounted by conservative publications and politicians, who said that the nation’s spy agencies had failed adequately to analyze the 48,000 boxes of documents seized since the March 2003 invasion. With the public increasingly skeptical about the rationale and conduct of the war, the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees argued that wide analysis and translation of the documents — most of them in Arabic — would reinvigorate the search for clues that Mr. Hussein had resumed his unconventional arms programs in the years before the invasion. American search teams never found such evidence.

The director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, had resisted setting up the Web site, which some intelligence officials felt implicitly raised questions about the competence and judgment of government analysts. But President Bush approved the site’s creation after Congressional Republicans proposed legislation to force the documents’ release.

Now the criminal corruption:

Investigations led by a Republican lawyer named Stuart W. Bowen Jr. in Iraq have sent American occupation officials to jail on bribery and conspiracy charges, exposed disastrously poor construction work by well-connected companies like Halliburton and Parsons, and discovered that the military did not properly track hundreds of thousands of weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces.

And tucked away in a huge military authorization bill that President Bush signed two weeks ago is what some of Mr. Bowen’s supporters believe is his reward for repeatedly embarrassing the administration: a pink slip.

The order comes in the form of an obscure provision that terminates his federal oversight agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, on Oct. 1, 2007. The clause was inserted by the Republican side of the House Armed Services Committee over the objections of Democratic counterparts during a closed-door conference, and it has generated surprise and some outrage among lawmakers who say they had no idea it was in the final legislation.

One line in the article is all you need to know about how the Republican apparatchik in Washington operates to circumvent checks and balances, the deliberative process and the rule of law:

Neither the House nor the Senate version contained such a termination clause before the conference, all involved agree.

Ah, yes, the conference committee, that hole in the ground where the laws are REALLY made. Let's go back to Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stones article:

[Republican Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee Bill] Thomas is also notorious for excluding Democrats from the conference hearings needed to iron out the differences between House and Senate versions of a bill. According to the rules, conferences have to include at least one public, open meeting. But in the Bush years, Republicans have managed the conference issue with some of the most mind-blowingly juvenile behavior seen in any parliament west of the Russian Duma after happy hour. GOP chairmen routinely call a meeting, bring the press in for a photo op and then promptly shut the proceedings down. "Take a picture, wait five minutes, gavel it out -- all for show" is how one Democratic staffer described the process. Then, amazingly, the Republicans sneak off to hold the real conference, forcing the Democrats to turn amateur detective and go searching the Capitol grounds for the meeting. "More often than not, we're trying to figure out where the conference is," says one House aide.

In one legendary incident, Rep. Charles Rangel went searching for a secret conference being held by Thomas. When he found the room where Republicans closeted themselves, he knocked and knocked on the door, but no one answered. A House aide compares the scene to the famous "Land Shark" skit from Saturday Night Live, with everyone hiding behind the door afraid to make a sound. "Rangel was the land shark, I guess," the aide jokes. But the real punch line came when Thomas finally opened the door. "This meeting," he informed Rangel, "is only open to the coalition of the willing."

But remember kiddies: Kerry said something bad about the troops.

Oy.

October 30, 2006

So This Is Where My Offering Goes Every Week

Virginia Catholic leaders have spent $25,000 on what they consider a worthy cause. Was it poverty? Nope, it wasn't poverty. Was it homelessness? Nope, they were not trying to get the homeless off the streets. Were they aiding the sick? Nope, it wasn't to make sure people have medical care.

They spent that much money trying to convince Virginia Catholics that gays shouldn't have civil unions, despite the fact that 60 percent doesn't believe that civil unions will lead to hell on earth, as the Catholic heirarchy would like you to think:

Virginia's Catholic leaders can take comfort from recent polls showing that a majority of state voters are in sync with them in supporting a constitutional amendment to ban civil unions. What worries them is their own flock.

A Washington Post poll conducted this month showed that a majority of Catholic voters oppose the proposed amendment, which would ban same-sex marriages. As a result, Virginia bishops are flexing their growing political muscle in an attempt to sway more Catholics on the issue and get them to voting booths.

"When Catholics are presented with our church's perspective on the nature of marriage, its relationship to the common good of society and the importance of the proposed amendment for children and families . . . they will be much more likely to support the amendment," said Jeff Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference.

The lobbying group spent about $25,000 this year on 100,000 glossy copies of a letter that Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo and Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde wrote to explain why Catholics should support the amendment.

The amendment campaign is one of DiLorenzo and Loverde's largest political efforts. They founded the conference just last year, although many states -- including Maryland -- have had Catholic lobbying groups for decades.

There has also been a renewed effort since 2005 to register voters at Catholic parishes in Virginia, said Terry Wear, state coordinator of the marriage amendment effort for the Knights of Columbus. Wear said the marriage amendment is "one of the principal issues" behind the new registration effort, as well as concern about abortion and other social issues.

. . .A solid majority of the state's Catholic voters -- 60 percent -- said gays should "be allowed to form legally recognized civil unions," compared with 38 percent who said they shouldn't, according to a Washington Post poll conducted this month. Slightly more than half of Catholic poll respondents -- 51 percent -- said they oppose the proposed constitutional amendment, compared with 46 percent who said they support it.

In contrast, the result for all poll respondents was 53 percent in support of the amendment and 43 percent against.

The split among voters who identify themselves as Catholic and church leaders mirrors a national rift on civil unions, as well as some other social issues. Asked whether gay couples should be allowed to form legally recognized unions that would give them the rights of married heterosexual couples, 53 percent of Catholics nationally said yes in a June 2006 ABC poll, compared with 40 percent who said no.

If there is any proof that the Catholic Church as an institution has been out of touch with modern trends, this is it. If they think celibate priests, all-male leaderships and their zealous opposition to gay marriage and abortion is so important, then all power to them. But they should stop complaining if their membership declines because of their obstinancy.

October 27, 2006

So This Is How Fascism Looks Like (Oprah Edition)

Just now on Oprah, where she is interviewing Falafel-boy Bill O'Reilly, Bill-O just defended the use of torture, specifically waterboarding, in that it should be used to save lives, citing the "fact" that waterboarding Khalid Shaikh Mohammed lead to the breakup of terror plots. First of all, the terror plots O'Leilly was referring to included the plan to blow up the Library Tower in Los Angeles. The Bushies claimed to have disrupted that plot in 2002. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured in 2003, so whatever information he gave on that plot was probably redundant. Second of all, waterboarding Al-Qaeda operatives gave us bogus information that directly led to the Eye-Rack shitmire.

But all that didn't matter. The soccer-mom hens that make up Oprah's studio audience clapped and cheered O'Loofah's courageous stance in favor of torture. That moment sent chills down my spine. If the supposedly moderate audience that watches Oprah supports that type of war crime, what hope is left for this country?

Worst. Congress. Ever.

Inspired by the post by Charles Pierce over at TAPPED, in which he explains how Jean Schmithead's totally misadvised outrage over her opponent's campaign ad, among her other famous political indiscretions, is just symptomatic of how the Gingrich Revolution of 12 years ago was successful in placing (in Pierce's words) "fools, lightweights, mountebanks, kinky libertines, and public omadhauns" in positions of power.

Come on, Pierce. Tell us how you REALLY feel, because being in Washington you know full well just how godawful the situation has become, even for Washington.

It's a continuing scandal that plagues this nation, and the media has barely even touched on it. Luckily, Matt Taibbi in the latest issue of the Rolling Stones shows us a Republican Congress that named Mark Foley as the protector of children. It deals with the mudane - billion dollar pork projects, one-party rule, infantile behavior, brass-balls criminality. But the most illuminating part was when he deals with the disgraced congressman Duke Cunningham:

Anyone who wants to get a feel for the kinds of beasts that have been roaming the grounds of the congressional zoo in the past six years need only look at the deranged, handwritten letter that convicted bribe-taker and GOP ex-congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham recently sent from prison to Marcus Stern, the reporter who helped bust him. In it, Cunningham -- who was convicted last year of taking $2.4 million in cash, rugs, furniture and jewelry from a defense contractor called MZM -- bitches out Stern in the broken, half-literate penmanship of a six-year-old put in time-out.

"Each time you print it hurts my family And now I have lost them Along with Everything I have worked for during my 64 years of life," Cunningham wrote. "I am human not an Animal to keep whiping [sic]. I made some decissions [sic] Ill be sorry for the rest of my life."

The amazing thing about Cunningham's letter is not his utter lack of remorse, or his insistence on blaming defense contractor Mitchell Wade for ratting him out ("90% of what has happed [sic] is Wade," he writes), but his frantic, almost epic battle with the English language. It is clear that the same Congress that put a drooling child-chaser like Mark Foley in charge of a House caucus on child exploitation also named Cunningham, a man who can barely write his own name in the ground with a stick, to a similarly appropriate position. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the former chairman of the House Subcommittee on Human Intelligence Analysis and Counterintelligence:

"As truth will come out and you will find out how liablest [sic] you have & will be. Not once did you list the positives. Education Man of the Year...hospital funding, jobs, Hiway [sic] funding, border security, Megans law my bill, Tuna Dolfin [sic] my bill...and every time you wanted an expert on the wars who did you call. No Marcus you write About how I died."

How liablest you have & will be? What the fuck does that even mean? This guy sat on the Appropriations Committee for years -- no wonder Congress couldn't pass any spending bills!

This is Congress in the Bush years, in a nutshell -- a guy who takes $2 million in bribes from a contractor, whooping it up in turtlenecks and pajama bottoms with young women on a contractor-provided yacht named after himself (the "Duke-Stir"), and not only is he shocked when he's caught, he's too dumb to even understand that he's been guilty of anything.

As Brad Delong has said several times on his blog, "oh why are we ruled by these idiots?"

October 9, 2006

Arsonists Promising To Be Better Firemen

This is getting ridiculous. Yesterday North Korea conducted its first underwater nuclear test, making it officially part of the nuclear club. This happened under the watch of the Bush administration and the reign of the Republican cabal, and Republicans are still claiming that they are better at protecting Americans than are Democrats. The thing that is ridiculous is not that Republicans are shameless in making that claim, but that the press is giving it the airtime and credibility that it doesn't deserve:

Within hours of North Korea’s proclaimed nuclear test yesterday Dennis Hastert, the Republican speaker in Congress, and John Boehner, the Republican majority leader on Capitol Hill, issued politically charged statements. With only a month to go before mid-term congressional elections many Republicans believe the tests could help restore their waning prospects.

“This reckless move by North Korea highlights the importance of a US missile defence shield capable of protecting America against madmen with weapons of mass destruction,? said Mr Boehner. “It is time for the Democrats . . . to abandon their long-standing policy of voting against missile defence programmes. It is now clear that such a position would put Americans in danger.?

Yep, no matter what happens, the Republicans ALWAYS stand to gain if we are to believe the media.

May 17, 2006

Bill O'Reilly, Defender Of White Christian Privilege

Yesterday on his show, O'Reilly said that "lefty zealots" like the New York Times who opposes WorstPresidentEver's plan to use the International Guard as a band-aid against illegal immigration said the agenda behind the opposition is that we hate whitey. From MediaMatters:

O'REILLY: Now in 1986, President Reagan thought he could solve the [immigration] problem by granting about 3 million illegal aliens amnesty. The New York Times was in heaven, editorializing back then, quote, "The new law won't work miracles but it will induce most employers to pay attention, to turn off the magnets, to slow the tide." Of course, just the opposite happened. But the Times hasn't learned a thing. That's because the newspaper and many far-left thinkers believe the white power structure that controls America is bad, so a drastic change is needed.

According to the lefty zealots, the white Christians who hold power must be swept out by a new multicultural tide, a rainbow coalition, if you will. This can only happen if demographics change in America.

An open-border policy and the legalization of millions of Hispanic illegal aliens would deeply affect the political landscape in America. That's what The New York Times and many others on the left want. They might get it. And that's the "Memo."

Well, I can't really blame O'Reilly for stating the truth that white Christians control this country and enjoy privilege. Apparently it's the same type of mentality that's behind Bush's home county in Texas rejecting a resolution to apologize for lynching blacks:

McLennan County commissioners on Tuesday declined to adopt a resolution apologizing for lynchings in the area in the 1800s and early 1900s.

But after rejecting the Community Race Relations Coalition's document by a 4-to-1 vote, commissioners said they would work on a resolution they all could accept.

[snip]

At least two commissioners have said they oppose an apology because the lynchings happened before current leaders and residents were born. They also have said the murder or rape victims of the black men who were lynched should not be forgotten.

Yeah, you'd like to think we came a long way from the past, but it appears that there are limits to enlightenment.

Either Git Married Or Git Moving

This is what happens when you give these fundyclown whackjobs an inch over stuff like gay marriage or abortion. Soon we will live in a country governed by Leviticus:

Mo. Town Denies Unmarried Couple Permit

BLACK JACK, Mo. - The city council has rejected a measure allowing unmarried couples with multiple children to live together, and the mayor said those who fall into that category could soon face eviction.

Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving were denied an occupancy permit after moving into a home in this St. Louis suburb because they have three children and are not married.

The town's planning and zoning commission proposed a change in the law, but the measure was rejected Tuesday by the city council in a 5-3 vote.

"I'm just shocked," Shelltrack said. "I really thought this would all be over, and we could go on with our lives."

The current ordinance prohibits more than three people from living together unless they are related by "blood, marriage or adoption." The defeated measure would have changed the definition of a family to include unmarried couples with two or more children.

There's your vaunted "Christian" family values for ya, kick the children in the streets simply because their parents decide to live "in sin." Jesus, save us from your followers.

I Like My Wimmen In The Kitchen, Barefoot And Pre-Pregnant

That's right all you fertile women of marriageable age, according to the Center For Disease Control, every women should act like they will become pregnant and bear a child. No longer are you rational human beings capable of making decisions about reproduction on your own. You are now vessels for creating the next generation of Americans:

New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.

Among other things, this means all women between first menstrual period and menopause should take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control.

While most of these recommendations are well known to women who are pregnant or seeking to get pregnant, experts say it's important that women follow this advice throughout their reproductive lives, because about half of pregnancies are unplanned and so much damage can be done to a fetus between conception and the time the pregnancy is confirmed.

The recommendations aim to "increase public awareness of the importance of preconception health" and emphasize the "importance of managing risk factors prior to pregnancy," said Samuel Posner, co-author of the guidelines and associate director for science in the division of reproductive health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which issued the report.

Other groups involved include the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the March of Dimes, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention's Division of Reproductive Health and the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

The idea of preconception care has been discussed for nearly 20 years, experts said, but it has drawn more attention recently. Progress toward further reducing the rate of unhealthy pregnancy results, including premature birth, low birthweight and infant mortality, has slowed in the United States since 1996 "in part because of inconsistent delivery and implementation of interventions before pregnancy to detect, treat and help women modify behaviors, health conditions and risk factors that contribute to adverse maternal and infant outcomes," according to the report.

May 16, 2006

Corporate Fascism Approved

You know how in civics class you are taught that whenever a legislative body passes a law, any citizen can challenge the constitutionality of that law in a courtroom? Well yesterday according to David Sirota, the Supreme Court just ruled that when it comes to state legislators and local municipalities approving multimillion-dollar giveaways to corporate fat-cats, even if it results in DIRECT harm to the schools and other basic services, you have absolutely no standing to challenge the abuse of taxpayer's money:

In a unanimous decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a lower court ruling that would have invalidated massive taxpayer giveaways to Corporate America. The Supreme Court has long been the victim of a hostile takeover by Big Money interests. It is a court now headed by a corporate lawyer that has repeatedly gone out of its way to protect Corporate America's ability to bleed the middle class dry. Today's ruling, though, is particularly egregious. Not only did the court strike down an important ruling, but it essentially emasculated taxpayers' ability to bring any such lawsuits against their own government in the future. The details are as shocking as they are disgusting. As the Associated Press reports, "two years ago, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Ohio's tax credit on new equipment, saying the practice hinders interstate commerce because the incentives are available only to businesses that invest in Ohio." In other words, plaintiffs correctly noted the credits are creating a race to the bottom that violate interstate commerce laws by forcing states and cities to compete with each other to give away more and more taxpayer cash to Big Business. In the Ohio case, the tax credit was used to give DaimlerChrysler roughly $300 million in taxpayer cash - cash that Toledo's county auditor says was siphoned away from local schools, forcing the city to close up to nine schools or fire 380 school workers.

In striking down the lower court ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court not only ruled against Ohio taxpayers, but against all taxpayers. Chief Justice John Roberts, formerly a corporate lawyer, said in the official opinion that "State taxpayers have no standing ... to challenge state tax or spending decisions simply by virtue of their status as taxpayers." In other words, not only will the Ohio law remain, but state taxpayers throughout the country now have no legal right to challenge the decisions of their bought-and-paid-for elected officials who are selling off our government to the highest bidder.

To get a sense of just how far reaching an affront to taxpayers' rights this ruling is, consider that USA Today earlier reported that taxpayers in other states were moving forward with similar cases. As just one example, in North Carolina, taxpayers have challenged the state's $242 million giveaway to Dell Computer. Now, the Supreme Court has essentially said they aren't even allowed to bring such a case. Want to try to stop Wal-Mart from abusing interstate commerce laws by extorting a billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies? Forget even having your case heard in court - your Supreme Court says you have to simply sit back and accept higher taxes to fund this kind of largesse.


Remember - these taxpayer giveaways are accelerating and come at a huge cost in terms of higher taxes for individuals. As USA Today noted, "In 1977, nine states gave tax credits to corporations [but] by 1998, that number had grown to 36." At the same time, "individual income taxes are growing at a faster rate than corporate income taxes" because state/local governments are recovering the tax giveaways from ordinary citizens. According to the Census Bureau, "corporate income taxes collected rose 6.5% from 1994 to 2004, while individual income taxes collected went up 49.7%."

Also remember that, as Greg LeRoy notes in his book The Great American Jobs Scam, these taxpayer giveaways often do not result in the benefits Big Business promises. In fact, many of the corporations that receive these taxpayer giveaways never even follow through on the economic development or job creation they promise.

May 15, 2006

Once His Playground, Now His Plaything

WorstPresidentEver confirms what any of us with half a brain could tell about his proposal to send the International Guardsmen to the Mexican border: a cheap political ploy:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush assured Mexican President Vicente Fox on Sunday he did not intend to militarize their countries' mutual border, but was considering sending National Guard troops there to temporarily support border control efforts.

"The president made clear that the United States considers Mexico a friend and that what is being considered is not militarization of the border, but support of border patrol capabilities on a temporary basis by National Guard personnel," White House spokeswoman Maria Tamburri said, describing a telephone conversation between Bush and his Mexican counterpart.

And the major networks are seriously considering carrying his bullshit speech on primetime during sweeps? God, his balls must taste like ice cream.

Achtung, Juan!

This is exactly what I was afraid of when this anti-illegal immigrant hysteria was whipped up by the conservative troglodytes looking to round up some must needed bigot votes:

Raids fill Hispanics with fear Legal or not, many stay at home BY RYAN CLARK AND KAREN GUTIÉRREZ | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITERS

FLORENCE - Yolanda Wysocki spent part of last week begging Hispanic parents to send their children back to Collins Elementary School.

But the parents were afraid. On Tuesday, 76 allegedly undocumented immigrants had been arrested in Florence. Could the same happen to them or their children?

The roundup has drawn attention to Florence's Hispanic residents, less than 4 percent of the population.

Theirs is a world in which some are now staying locked inside their homes, fearful of police. Others have proper documentation, yet are met with suspicious glances. Still others - resigned to the risk of deportation - continue to openly look for work.

Collins Elementary School has 80 students in a special program for English language learners. The day of the arrests, 10 were absent.

One mother kept her children at home because her husband had been taken away by authorities that day.

Another was afraid to put her children on the bus because she thought she might never see them again, said Wysocki, an assistant teacher in the English-language program and a native of Mexico.

What's next, are we going to fill cattle cars with 12 million illegals?

May 9, 2006

The New Affirmative Action

Looks like you can't get government contracts unless you're loyal to Chairman Boosh:

Once the color barrier has been broken, minority contractors seeking government work may need to overcome the Bush barrier.

That's the message U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson seemed to send during an April 28 talk in Dallas.

Jackson, a former president and CEO of the Dallas Housing Authority, was among the featured speakers at a forum sponsored by the Real Estate Executive Council, a national minority real estate consortium.

After discussing the huge strides the agency has made in doing business with minority-owned companies, Jackson closed with a cautionary tale, relaying a conversation he had with a prospective advertising contractor.

"He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the prospective contractor. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something ... he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'

"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."

Looks like we are beyond the point of seeing how much WorstPresidentEver can get away with. It's now all out war.

May 8, 2006

Bush Culture Of Compassion Update: Mission Accomplished

Just found out on DU that Andrea Clark has just died after being transferred to a hospital in Chicago. One must wonder if the results might have been different if the Texas hospital haven't wasted time trying to kill her under the futile care law.

April 30, 2006

Hell Freezes Over Again

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WASHINGTON, April 30 — The Senate Republican plan to mail $100 checks to voters to ease the burden of high gasoline prices is eliciting more scorn than gratitude from the very people it was intended to help.

Aides for several Republican senators reported a surge of calls and e-mail messages from constituents ridiculing the rebate as a paltry and transparent effort to pander to voters before the midterm elections in November.

"The conservatives think it is socialist bunk, and the liberals think it is conservative trickery," said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, pointing out that the criticism was coming from across the ideological spectrum.

Angry constituents have asked, "Do you think we are prostitutes? Do you think you can buy us?" said another Republican senator's aide, who was granted anonymity to openly discuss the feedback because the senator had supported the plan.

Conservative talk radio hosts have been particularly vocal. "What kind of insult is this?" Rush Limbaugh asked on his radio program on Friday. "Instead of buying us off and treating us like we're a bunch of whores, just solve the problem." In commentary on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume called the idea "silly."

Rush Limpballs and I agree on something. Now I need a shower.

April 26, 2006

Bush's "Culture of Compassion" In Action

Yeap, Bush couldn't get off his ass during last year's tsunamis and hurricanes, but decisively ended his vacation to sign the Terri Schiavo bill (which thankfully got struck down in court). With all the protesting and poitical grandstanding that went on with the Terri Schiavo case, why the deathly silence on this one?

Houston Hospital Votes To End Woman's Life With Bush Law HOUSTON---The countdown has begun on the life of Andrea Clark, a patient at St. Luke's Hospital.

Six days left.

No, she's not terminal, her family says and she's not brain dead. Her sisters say that she wants to live. The Houston hospital is going to unilaterally remove a woman from life support, apparently based on the decision of a lone physician even though her family wants her to continue to receive care.

The central issue in the Andrea Clark case is the same as that in the Terri Schindler Schiavo case, whether the state should be able to sanction the removal of a human being from life support.

What's even more significant in the Clark case is that the Texas bill that allows health care providers to end a human life despite the wishes of the patient and the patient's family was signed into law in 1999 by President George W. Bush as Texas Governor. However, in 2005, he rushed back to the White House from Easter vacation to sign a bill rushed through Congress which was designed to save the life of Terri Schiavo because of his "presumption in favor of life".

The hospital's ethics committee has apparently decided they don't want Andrea Clark to receive care anymore, saying its futile, and has recommended that she be removed from life support despite her family's wishes. If her family can't find another hospital to transfer her to by Sunday, April 30, she will be removed from her respirator and dialysis and die.

Andrea Clark, 54, has been a heart patient at the hospital since November. In January, she underwent open heart surgery and in February, she developed bleeding on the brain.

Clark's sisters, Lanore Dixon and Melanie Childers, point out that under a little known Texas law, a self-appointed ethics committee can decide to forcibly remove care from a patient. Once that decision is made, the patient and family have 10 days to find another hospital to provide care for their family member.

But they say the law also requires that the attending physician help with the transfer which they say hasn't been done in Andrea's case. They say that the hospital has unlawfully and unjustly transferred responsibility to them, a denial of due process.

Andrea's sisters are racing to beat the clock but say the hospital is working against them. Although the obscure 1999 Futile Care Law that gave hospitals the authority to remove patients from life support despite the patient's and family wishes says once such a decision is made that the hospital must provide the patient's family with a list of hospitals where the patient could be transferred, St. Luke's hasn't done that. The sisters also claim that the hospital social worker exaggerated the seriousness of Andrea's condition, exaggerating the level of care that is needed in an alleged attempt to discourage other hospitals from admitting her as a patient.

Ho well, I've already wrote an op-ed on this relating to two other cases in Texas, this is just another drop in the river of hypocrisy that is modern conservative politics.

Law & Order Under The Bushelvikis

All I can say is mmmgmaamhjdhgghdhuuughga!

No Charges in Falsified Nuclear Waste Data

By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: April 26, 2006

WASHINGTON, April 25 — The United States attorney for Nevada has decided not to prosecute federal employees who admitted making up details about research involving the Energy Department's effort to open a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, the department's inspector general said Tuesday.

But the inspector general, Gregory H. Friedman, said the Yucca project had "internal control deficiencies" that allowed lapses that contributed to a loss of public confidence.

Mr. Friedman's findings were part of a report about e-mail messages sent by employees of the United States Geologic Survey who said they had made up details about their research about the mountain's geology.

April 20, 2006

Worst President Ever At 33%: Fox-Jazeera News Poll

Loser.

April 7, 2006

No Mas For HAMAS

First Israel is withholding tax monies to the newly Hamasified PA, now the Bushelveckis are joining in the party:

U.S. Cuts Some Aid to Palestinians

By ANNE GEARAN
The Associated Press
Friday, April 7, 2006; 1:30 PM

WASHINGTON -- The United States will cancel or suspend more than $240 million in projects aimed at assisting Palestinians out of concern that the money could go to help the new leadership of the militant Islamist movement Hamas, a senior State Department official said Friday.

At the same time, the United States will redirect some of that money to humanitarian projects for the impoverished Palestinian people. Humanitarian assistance will rise by 57 percent to $287 million over several years, the official said.

Another $13 million will go for new vetting procedures, including a special inspector general, to ensure that even humanitarian aid funneled through the United Nations Relief Agency and approved charities does not end up in Hamas hands, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because no public announcement has yet been made by the State Department. That was expected later Friday.

Morons. Hamas got elected in the first place because A.) U.S. and Israel did everything it can to discredit the Fatah movement, creating a vacuum for Hamas to exploit and B.) The years of ruinous American-Israeli policies towards the Palestinians excascerbated the violently antagonistic attitudes of the Palestinians towards the Israelis (who the hell names their kid "Eichmann"?), making for an accepting population for groups like Hamas.

Sure, the Palestinians kill Jews, and Jews kill even more Palestinians, but somehow those two are just going to have to learn to live with each other, especially since the Arab population in Israel and the occupied territories is well past the Jewish population. Impoverishing an already radicalized population is not going to get you anything, and neither will annexing 30 percent of the West Bank and leaving the future "state" of Palestine divided into 3 bantustans in total anaconda grip of the Israelis will achieve any measnure of justified peace either.

Slaying The Election-Year Wedge Issue Beast

MyDD says that the bill is likely to whither and die at the hands of those who want to filibuster it. Good, this was a distraction issue anyways and the Republicans are too incompetent and hateful to do anything useful about it anyways.

Update: More here.

April 5, 2006

A Crook And A Liar To The End

Looks like Tom Delay is laughing all the way to the bank:

DeLay was determined to hang on to his seat at least through the primary, said Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. That was because he considered his three Republican challengers gadflies and traitors and he was determined to try to block them from succeeding him. ...

An additional impetus for putting off the resignation until now was suggested by John Feehery, a former aide to DeLay and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). "He needed to raise money for the defense fund. That was the bottom line," Feehery said. "He wanted to make sure he could take care of himself in the court of law." Under federal campaign rules, any reelection money a lawmaker raises can be used to pay legal fees stemming from official duties.

Duping his supporters into covering his legal bills? Boy the cons are sure gonna looooove this.

April 1, 2006

We've Finally Achieved Energy Independence

No, not us, Brazil. Via No More Mr. Nice Blog the Brazillians finally figured out how to make cheap ethanol:

in Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world, there's a plan to become free from imported oil, not in the next 30 years, not in the next 10, but by the end of this year....

That's primarily because while the rest of the world was mapping the human genome, scientists in Brazil were mapping the DNA of sugar in an effort to create a cleaner, cheaper alternative to gasoline: sugarcane ethanol.

They succeeded. Brazil's ethanol is about 30 percent less expensive than gasoline; according to the World Bank, it's about 50 cents cheaper per gallon to produce sugarcane ethanol. And although ethanol gets slightly less mileage, it's still cheaper on a per-mile-driven basis....

Hmm, who woulda thought subsidizing oil companies to fulfill promises they don't intend to keep would put us behind a country like Brazil? Maybe if I wave the flag harder. . .

March 31, 2006

Cazzis

I wasn't gonna blog on this story of how Nino Scalia made an obscene gesture and remark while receiving communion because it seemed like just another example of the obscene and arrogant behavior typical of conservatives.

But now the archdiocese that plays host to this piece of scumbag that dares call himself a Supreme Court Justice is piling on to the shitstorm of hypocracy by firing the photographer for the mortal sin of telling the truth:

A freelance photographer has been fired by the Archdiocese of Boston’s newspaper for releasing a picture of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia making a controversial gesture in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Sunday.

Peter Smith, who had freelanced for The Pilot newspaper for a decade, lost the job yesterday after the Herald ran his photo on its front page. Smith said he has no regrets about releasing it.

“I did the right thing. I did the ethical thing,? said Smith, 51, an assistant photojournalism professor at Boston University.

Smith snapped the photo of Scalia flicking his hand under his chin after a Herald reporter asked the conservative jurist his response to people who question his impartiality on matters of church and state.

Smith wouldn’t give up the photo earlier this week but chose to release it when he learned Scalia said his gesture had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald. Smith, who was standing in front of the judge, said the Herald “got the story right.?

Welp, I guess it's safe to say that if I go to church next week and declare "fuck you in the ass" in church, I will be protected not only from criticism, but exposure, right?

March 29, 2006

Baghdadinople

Howard Kaloogian, the Republican heir-apparent to Duke Cunningham's seat in San Diego, posted this picture up on his website in an attempt to counter the criticisms that the war in Iraq is failing:

DowntownBaghdad.jpg

Gee, look how nice, pristine and peaceful the Baghad street looks like, notice the yellow taxi, the underdressed woman, the lack of blast walls, the Roman letterings,

waitaminute, there are no Roman letterings in Iraq, unless the signs were specifically in English. There's also a cedilla on the "s" in "carsin" and "noter" is not an arabic word. That would mean that the image posted on the website is from (*drumroll*)

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Turkey!

Or specifically, the suburb of Istanbul called Bakirkoy, where the Turks had abandoned the Arabic script for a modified version of the Roman alphabet in order to better accomodate their language (or as claimed by Kemal). I know, lying Republicans are a dime a dozen, but this one is pretty brazen on its face.

March 23, 2006

Finally, A Breath Of Fresh Air

More of this please:

PROVIDENCE - Rhode Island education officials have banned from public schools a federally funded abstinence program that civil rights advocates said embraced sexist stereotypes and included a voluntary student health survey that violated privacy laws.

Lawyers at the Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union first complained last year that a now-abandoned textbook used by Heritage of Rhode Island taught students that girls should wear clothing that doesn't invite "lustful thoughts" from boys. The book described men as "strong" and "courageous" while women were called "caring."

A speaker on an accompanying videotape said abstinence helped him "honor my relationship with Jesus," although Heritage officials said the tape wasn't used in public schools.

"The curriculum had these incredible sexist viewpoints about men and women and boys and girls that seemed to come out of the nineteenth century," said Steven Brown, executive director of the state's ACLU.

Damn. . .Those Democrats Are More Powerful Than I Thought

Bill Frist sent this in an e-mail to supporters:

“The Democrat alternative to Republican efforts to restrain spending is clear: Continue to spend beyond our means, mortgaging our children’s future by saddling them with a debt of $8 trillion … and continue to ratchet up taxes to pay for their fiscal irresponsibility, stifling the American economy,? Frist wrote.

That's despite the fact that Republicans have controlled Congress since 1994 (the brief respite in the Senate notwithstanding).

And that's after Bill Frist voted to add $7 billion to unspecified social programs, increasing our debt.

I was almost conflicted whether to label this post "Conservative Politics" or "Crooks and Liars," but we all know when it comes to conservatives, there are no distinguishing the two.

March 21, 2006

How Unpopular Is Darth Cheney?

What about so unpopular that the candidate he raised $400,000 for can't be in the same room as him:

Cheney, but no candidate, at fundraiser NEWARK, N.J., March 21 (UPI) -- Democrats are saying U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is so unpopular that a candidate he raised funds for didn't appear at the event until Cheney had left.

"It's true that Dick Cheney is radioactive and it's true that his political affliction is contagious," New Jersey Democratic Party spokesman Richard McGrath told The New York Times.

By other standards the fundraiser was a success -- raising about $400,000 for the campaign of state Sen. Thomas Kean Jr., R-Union. Kean is running against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and is fighting a substantial deficit in fundraising, the Times said.

Kean said he wasn't able to get to the Monday early evening event because he was voting on several issues in Trenton. He arrived, having taken perhaps not the most direct route, the Times said, about 15 minutes after Cheney left.

Democrats said it was so Kean wouldn't be photographed with Cheney; Republicans pointed to the New Jersey Senate schedule.

The Times said that Cheney's trip to New Jersey for the fundraiser was an indication that the Senate seat isn't completely safe for the Democrats.

He's Got My Vote

No need to wait for the Democratic primary, Russ Feingold says what finally needs to be said:

Shades of October 2002. These are the same pundits, consultants, and spin miesters who said you've gotta vote for the Iraq war or George Bush is going to hang you out to dry and he's gonna show that you don't care about the troops and you don't care about the fight against terrorism.

They pull it every time. And the Democratic insiders in Washington and the consultants fall for it every time. They don't realize that the thing that bugs people about the Democratic party right now is that we don't seem to stand strongly enough for what we believe in.

How can we be afraid at this point, of standing up to a president who has clearly mismanaged this Iraq war, who clearly made one of the largest blunders in American foreign policy history? How can it be that this party wants to stand back and allow this kind of thing to happen?

And then add to that the idea that the president has clearly broken the law --- and a number of Republican senators have effectively admitted that, by saying "you know, we need this program so let's make it legal," --- so they are admitting it's illegal.

The idea that Democrats don't think it's a winning thing to say that we will stand up for the rule of law and for checking abuse of power by the executive --- I just can't believe that Democrats don't think that isn't something, not only that we can win on, but it does, in fact, make the base of our party, which is so important, feel much better about the Democrats. The Republicans care deeply about making the base of their party feels energized. What about the people of our party who believe in the Democratic Party especially because they fight for the American values of standing up for our rights and civil liberties?

Sure, Feingold went ahead with his censure resolution without consulting the rest of the Democrats, but too many of them acted in a way that he predicted: by calling for more investigations when Pat Roberts had already effectively shut it down on March 7th. If the other Democratic candidates do not realize that they are in no position to be overly cautious, then they really have learned nothing.

March 18, 2006

Get Used To Decisions Like These

Since the courts are filled with Bushbots of all kinds:

The state would be within its rights to issue specialty license plates reading "Choose Life" while denying a plate encouraging abortion rights, a U.S. appeals court ruled yesterday.

Messages on Tennessee license plates are government speech, not a public forum as the American Civil Liberties Union argued, the majority decision of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said.

While one-sidedness may be "ill-advised" on politically charged issues like abortion, the court ruled there's nothing in the First Amendment that prohibits it.

These would be interesting times to be a law student.

March 17, 2006

Why Not Just Give Him A Crown Already

Glenn Greenwald reports that Mike Dewine of Ohio introduced a bill yesterday that will make the illegal wiretapping the president is doing, well, legal:

Michael DeWine yesterday introduced what he is calling The Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006 (.pdf), co-sponsored by those independent maverick Republicans Olympia Snowe, Chuck Hagel and Lindsay Graham. The purpose of the bill is to render legal the illegal warrantless eavesdropping program ordered by the President more than 4 years ago. This bill is based upon the Richard Nixon Theory of Executive Infallibility, famously expressed in Nixon's 1977 interview with David Frost:


FROST: So what in a sense, you're saying is that there are certain situations, and the Huston Plan or that part of it was one of them, where the president can decide that it's in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal.

NIXON: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.

FROST: By definition.

NIXON: Exactly. Exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president's decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they're in an impossible position.

He describes a whole bunch of provisions that are horrifying, like the president can spy on a whole group of people based on the suspicion of one person, and the president can spy based on political beliefs, just as long as it isn't the sole reason.

The Democrats who were so craven in the face of Feingold's censure resolution can redeem themselves by filibustering the hell out of this bill if it ever comes to vote. If they allow this to become law, I will boycott every Democratic election as long as I live, because what is the point if both parties are going to roll over for a dictatorship?

They Don't Care About Us

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America's Nightmare

Here is what seven-year-old Autumn Ashante recited when she was invited to speak at some middle-schoolers in New York:

Black lands taken from your hands, by vampires with no remorse. They took the gold, the wisdom and all the storytellers. They took the black women, with the black man weak. Made to watch as they changed the paradigm of our village. Yeah white nationalism is what put you in bondage. Pirates and vampires like Columbus, Morgan and Darwin.

Yeah, I wish I was a tenth that eloquent when I was her age (and then some). Yet the price for her eloquence was her "unofficial banning" by the district from ever performing again. Good thing the education system are imposing a testing regime on the black kids, or else they might start noticing the disparate power structure for themselves and question how it got to this point.

March 15, 2006

Do You Think The Democrats Will Save Us?

The Daily Show sketch last night had Paul Hackett and Ed Helms lampooning the Beltway Democrats who torpedoed his Senate run by having the DSCC back Sherrod Brown by mocking the way they and their pathetic consultants discourage outspokeness in their candidates and instead advise them to take safe positions ("I'm Paul Hackett, and I'm for small children and puppy dogs.") and allow the Republicans to implode on their own. Ed Helms had me rolling when he said (paraphrasing) "I once had a fight with a bum, and even though he was pummeling me with an empty liquor bottle I waited until he hit himself. Sure enough he did and I won that fight, although I was unconscious at the time."

That sketch fit into the same thread as the hoopla over Russ Feingold's censure proposal that had the Democrats scurrying in their usual fashion. Perhaps Feingold asked the Democratic leadership in the Senate if he could go ahead with his censure proposal before he went public, and I think Harry Reid and others discouraged him, taking away the opportunity for other Democrats to coordinate their message and remain unified. If the Democrats retake the Congress this fall, it won't be the doing of the ones that are in office right now.

The problem right now is that the Democrats in Washington have been change-averse for a long time, and have lost a lot of the ideals that one would think you need to run the country. This story by Eric Blumrich tells the sad tale:

Continue reading "Do You Think The Democrats Will Save Us?" »

March 14, 2006

Modern Religion In A Nutshell: If You Don't Do As I Say, You're Going To Hell (Booga! Booga!)

Jerry Falwell clearing up any misconceptions on what he feels about Jews:

Earlier today, reports began circulating across the globe that I have recently stated that Jews can go to heaven without being converted to Jesus Christ. This is categorically untrue....

Like the Apostle Paul, I pray daily for the salvation of everyone, including the Jewish people.

via Americablog

March 9, 2006

Speaking of Fat Cats

Number of billionairs surges from 102 to 796 this year.

So when will the tricking down begin?

March 6, 2006

Fertility Clinic Conundrum

Jane Hamsher offers up a stumper for the "protect the fetus" brigade:

If a fire breaks out in a fertility clinic and you can only save a petri dish with five blastulae or a two-year old child, which do you save?

Apparently when this question was posed to a typical right-wing radio monkey, he screamed he'd let the baby burn and save the five bundles of stem cells. Jesus these people are evil.

Neoconism Defined

There's an op-ed in the Daily today by someone named Aaron Solem which basically claimed that Adri Mehra is wrong, that the two conservatives Bush appointed to the Supreme Court not neocons since Mehra is concerned that they will rewrite domestic policy instead of foreign policy.

My how the neocons have fooled the masses.

According to an essential article that recently appeared in Harper's, Earl Shorris clearly marks the birth of the neocon doctrine to one Leo Strauss, a longtime lecturer at the University of Chicago who spent his last days at St. John's College. He used to be a student of the more recent philosophers, most importantly Martin Heidegger. All that changed when Heidegger allied himself with the Nazis, betraying his overall philosophy and his follower, Leo Strauss, who fled to the U.S. to teach at the New School, itself a refuge for Jewish scholars. According to Strauss, the fall of Heidegger is the fall of modernism, an arc that he claimed was started by Machiavelli, whom he denounced as a "teacher of evil" for abandoning the principles of ancient philosophy.

It was the classics such as Plato, Aristotle and other ancients who revealed immutable truths and realities of how men lived that Leo Strauss found comfort in. And in these texts he formulated his principles that will later become neoconservatism. Among these principles that Shorris outlines is that "wise men tell noble lies", "all men are not created equal", "democracy is the rule of the wise over the unwise", all of which leads to the conclusion that "the answer to the human question is to avoid it." This basically means that those in the upper class should be free to rule over us with an iron fist, while fooling us into believing that we have some control over our own destinies, that democracy and self determination is anathema to the neoconservative cause, and the way to avoid such "nihilism" is to force upon us the doctrines of the Christian right. Even though a lot of the neocons don't buy into the Christian right doctrines, they felt it's necessary in order to keep the masses in line.

So that is why the two Bush appointees are neocons, since among Strauss's students were William Bennett, Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, as well as the usual suspects like William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. Therefore the neocon philosophy is twofolds: keep the masses stupid while they fulfill their unitary goals abroad and at home. Also John Robert's last decision before being nominated to the Supreme Court was to overule a lower-court's decision on Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld that the way the military tribunals were run was unconstitutional, making Roberts a total neocon.

March 3, 2006

The Right Kind Of Rape Victim

Oh, you didn't really think the cretins in South Dakota passed the anti-abortion law for the sake of women, didja? From tonights PBS News Hour:

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Napoli says most abortions are performed for what he calls "convenience." He insists that exceptions can be made for rape or incest under the provision that protects the mother's life. I asked him for a scenario in which an exception may be invoked.

BILL NAPOLI: A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

Well, I guess if his wife got raped and impregnated, she's shit outta luck because she committed the sin of bedding with this jackhole. Him and his kind know exactly what they want to turn this country into, one big fucking hicksville where shotgun weddins are mandatory:

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Much of what she fears as an assault on basic rights Senator Napoli sees as a return to traditional values.

BILL NAPOLI: When I was growing up here in the wild west, if a young man got a girl pregnant out of wedlock, they got married, and the whole darned neighborhood was involved in that wedding. I mean, you just didn't allow that sort of thing to happen, you know? I mean, they wanted that child to be brought up in a home with two parents, you know, that whole story. And so I happen to believe that can happen again.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: You really do?

BILL NAPOLI: Yes, I do. I don't think we're so far beyond that, that we can't go back to that.

Aye-yi-yi, why do are these people allowed to breathe our air?

Update: Crooks and Liars now has the video up. Yep, that guy sounds like one of those serial killers with a faux-friendly Mr. Roger's type voice.

March 2, 2006

Bill O'Reilly Don't Like Black People

If you are wondering why New Orleans just cannot be fixed up and why Katrina victims continued to be screwed over, it is because people like Bill O'Reilly continue to run this country:

During the segment, the caller said to O'Reilly:

CALLER: George Bush doesn't care about American people. After Katrina, he passed a law making it so his contracting buddies could bring in a bunch of illegal immigrants, instead of putting Americans to work, plus it took them five days to get down there.

In response, O'Reilly said: "On the rebuilding of New Orleans, you've got to use contractors that can do the job. So, you can't -- you know, if you've got contractors who specialize in infrastructure rebuilding, you've got to bring them in." He then added, "And the homies, you know, who you don't know -- I mean, they're just not going to get the job."

George Bush Don't Like Black People

Remember back in September when Bush was just shocked (SHOCKED!) that the hurricane could have flooded New Orleans?

Well, per usual, the Worst President Ever was lying back then. The video of Bush being briefed by Drownie and meteorologist Max Mayfield of the strong possibility that New Orlean's levees will be breached is posted at Crooks and Liars.

You think I'm too harsh when I say "Worst. President. Ever."? Normal presidents would prepare emergency plans in the face of such briefing, or at least PRETEND to care. Worst Presidents Ever would do this:

Bush_guitar.jpg

via Daily Kos

February 28, 2006

Spyware Courtesy of the Minnesota GOP

So that's how they identify and keep tabs on potential voters. Yesterday I listened on NPR on the heartwarming tale of how Republican activists were able to convert a black Ohio woman who used to vote straight Democratic. They noticed how she puts her kids in private schools and how she is an evangelical, so they appealed to her anti-abortion and pro-voucher leanings. I wondered how they got such detailed info from such a random person. Now we know.

Popular War-time President

At long last is it time to disabuse us of that meme?

Not only does the CBS poll show the Bush approval rating of 34%, placing the Bushbots hopelessly out of the mainstream, but it also shows that 63 percent don't think Iraq is worth the cost, 62 percent think things are going badly in Iraq, and 53 percent of Americans do not think toppling Saddam Hussein is worth the cost, making them objectively pro-Saddam.

But the real kicker is that for the first time more Americans disapprove of the way the monkey president is handling the WARONTERRA (50%) than approve (43%). Yeah, I have no friggin idea either since they seem to be doing such a fan-fucking-tastic job at reducing terrorism. I think it's because of the Dubai port deal, of which 70 percent of Americans are NOT a fan of.

February 27, 2006

Ser-PRIZE! Ser-PRIZE!

You know how the Bushies gallantly agreed to let the Dubai port company delay the deal until the mandatory 45-day review is completed? Well, not so fast:

“The company said that during the renewed scrutiny, or until May 1, a London-based executive who is a British citizen would have authority over DP World’s U.S. operations. It pledged that Dubai executives would not control or influence company business in the U.S., but said it was entitled to all profits during the period.?

They also said if the review results in the denial of the deal they would sue, and the review is going to kept secret anyway and kept from the eyes of Congress. So for the trillionth time, is there ANYTHING these jackals won't lie about?

May 6, 2005

When Religion And Politics Don't Mix

video of Democrats being excommunicated from a church

I think it's time to disabuse ourselves of the fact that being a conservative, religious fundy automatically makes you "moral". These people are out for power and influence over our very lives, and it makes it even more reprehensible that they use religion, the values so intrinsic in the lives of everyday people, to achieve those ends.

May 4, 2005

U.S. Will Have Trouble Winning Wars

Myers: Iraq, Afghan Wars Strain Military

In Report, Gen. Myers Tells Congress That Iraq, Afghan Wars Have Strained U.S. Fighting Ability


By JOHN J. LUMPKIN Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON May 3, 2005 The U.S. military may not be able to win any new wars as quickly as planned because the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have strained its manpower and resources, the nation's top military officer told Congress in a classified report.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the U.S. military as in a period of increased risk, according to a senior defense official, who described the report Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.

Myers predicted the risk would go down in a year or two, the official said. Myers provided the report to Congress Monday.

Still, the report says the U.S. military is able to win any conflict it becomes involved in, said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

"We are at war and that level of operations does have some impact on troops," White House spokesman Trent Duffy said. "But the president continues to be confident, as well as his military commanders, that we can meet any threat decisively."

The military's reorganization toward Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's vision of a lean, agile force, should reduce what increased risk it is facing, Whitman said.

Among the most likely conflicts the Pentagon foresees in the near term are with North Korea and Iran, the two remaining members of President Bush's "axis of evil." The Bush administration accuses both of having ambitions to become a nuclear power; North Korea has already claimed it has nuclear weapons.

The U.S. military has timelines in place for defeating its potential adversaries, given enough soldiers, tanks, aircraft and warships to do the job. But with so much of those resources tied up fighting insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, those timelines could slip, Myers said, according to the defense official.

About 138,000 American troops are in Iraq, according to U.S. Central Command. Another 18,000 are in Afghanistan.

Military officials have given no precise estimate when they will be able to significantly draw down the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, but some generals have suggested it could come next year if Iraqi security forces continue to improve in quality and grow in numbers.

So what didja expect invading a country that had no part in attacking us?

April 26, 2005

1570 Bodies And $300 Billion Later. . .

Well, it's official, there are no weaponsofmassdestructions in Eye-Rack.

Period. End of sentence.

It's funny, even though I was opposed to the war before it even started, for the "duh, isn't it obvious?" reasons such as Saddam's army was a third of what it was during the first Gulf War, that it was going to cost a trillion dollars and half a million soldiers to do it right, and because I wasn't convinced that Saddam was such a great threat then but not during the previous decade.

But I always thought Saddam had at least something he squirreled away or just forgot about. I mean, the CIA and the entire drumbeat at the time couldn't be THAT wrong, could it?

In any case, 9/11 changed everything and war rationales are now malleable Weaponsofmassdestructions are the thing of the past and now we are in the business of spreading Freedom to the little Eye-Rackees. What? Do you really wanna see Saddam back in power? Do you? DO YOU? HUUUUUUHHH???!!!

Well, at least I can take comfort that over half of Americans are objectively pro-Saddam which if I judge the media's critique of Bush's election win gives them a "clear mandate".


Update (May 3): CNN/USAToday/Gallup Poll now says percentage of Pro-Saddam Americans is now up to fifty seven percent, enjoying mandate over 41 percent of non-appeasers.