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December 16, 2008

Goldman Sachs To Pay Effective Tax Rate of One Percent

It simply pays to be a corporate criminal:

Goldman Sachs’s Tax Rate Drops to 1%, or $14 Million

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which got $10 billion and debt guarantees from the U.S. government in October, expects to pay $14 million in taxes worldwide for 2008 compared with $6 billion in 2007.

The company’s effective income tax rate dropped to 1 percent from 34.1 percent, New York-based Goldman Sachs said today in a statement. The firm reported a $2.3 billion profit for the year after paying $10.9 billion in employee compensation and benefits.

Goldman Sachs, which today reported its first quarterly loss since going public in 1999, lowered its rate with more tax credits as a percentage of earnings and because of “changes in geographic earnings mix,? the company said.

The rate decline looks “a little extreme,? said Robert Willens, president and chief executive officer of tax and accounting advisory firm Robert Willens LLC.

“I was definitely taken aback,? Willens said. “Clearly they have taken steps to ensure that a lot of their income is earned in lower-tax jurisdictions.?

Nice business model they got there. If only everybody got free money from taxpayers, then there would be no recession.

Once again, we have no other options left for these animals except to:

HANGEMHIGH.jpg

September 29, 2008

Dow 36.00

Who'da thunk that it would be Republicans that would save us from this $700 billion tax giveaway to greedy Wall Street crooks. I know, I know, we need it to avoid an economic catastrophe, but come on. No more band-aids. Lets the chips of failed corporate ideology fall where they are, and then maybe we can see some real reforms come from the fallout.

April 24, 2008

Vaffanculo

They don't even try to hide their lies anymore:

(CBS) People who believe the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision giving the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush was politically motivated should just get over it, says Justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia denies that the controversial decision was political and discusses other aspects of his public and private life in a remarkably candid interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, this Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

"I say nonsense," Scalia responds to Stahl’s observation that people say the Supreme Court’s decision in Gore v. Bush was based on politics and not justice. "Get over it. It’s so old by now. The principal issue in the case, whether the scheme that the Florida Supreme Court had put together violated the federal Constitution, that wasn’t even close. The vote was seven to two," he says, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision that the Supreme Court of Florida’s method for recounting ballots was unconstitutional.

Furthermore, says the outspoken conservative justice, it was Al Gore who ultimately put the issue into the courts. "It was Al Gore who made it a judicial question…. We didn’t go looking for trouble. It was he who said, 'I want this to be decided by the courts,'" says Scalia. "What are we supposed to say -- 'Not important enough?'" he jokes.

In short:

vaffanculo.jpg

If we didn't have a Congress run by an incumbency protection racket, I'd say impeachment is too good for the slimebucket.

March 18, 2008

Does Anybody Take Responsibility Anymore?

Abu Ghraib cover girl Lynndie England tells a German magazine that it's the media, not her actions, that inflamed the insurgency:

Lynndie England, the public face of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, told a German news magazine that she was sorry for appearing in photographs of detainees in the notorious Iraqi prison, and believes the scenes of torture and humiliation served as a powerful rallying point for anti-American insurgents.

In an interview with the weekly magazine Stern conducted in English and posted on its Web site Tuesday, England was both remorseful and unrepentant — and conceded that the published photos surely incensed insurgents in Iraq.

"I guess after the picture came out the insurgency picked up and Iraqis attacked the Americans and the British and they attacked in return and they were just killing each other. I felt bad about it ... no, I felt pissed off. If the media hadn't exposed the pictures to that extent, then thousands of lives would have been saved," she was quoted as saying.

Asked how she could blame the media for the controversy, she said it wasn't her who leaked the photos.

"Yeah, I took the photos but I didn't make it worldwide. Yes, I was in five or six pictures and I took some pictures, and those pictures were shameful and degrading to the Iraqis and to our government," she said, according to the report.

Yep, it's not her fault, she wanted to keep the torture private. What a perfect Republican.

March 11, 2008

$1 Trillion And Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dead Bodies Later. . .

New headline in Shit We Already New In 2002 Weekly:

Exhaustive review finds no link between Saddam and al Qaida By Warren P. Strobel

WASHINGTON — An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network.

The Pentagon-sponsored study, scheduled for release later this week, did confirm that Saddam's regime provided some support to other terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East, U.S. officials told McClatchy. However, his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime.

The new study of the Iraqi regime's archives found no documents indicating a "direct operational link" between Hussein's Iraq and al Qaida before the invasion, according to a U.S. official familiar with the report.

He and others spoke to McClatchy on condition of anonymity because the study isn't due to be shared with Congress and released before Wednesday.


August 27, 2007

Rats, Sinking Ships, Etc.

So I was off by about five months, big deal:

WACO, Tex., Aug. 27 — ­ Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.

Mr. Gonzales, who had rebuffed calls for his resignation, submitted his to President Bush by telephone on Friday, the official said. His decision was not immediately announced, the official added, until after the president invited him and his wife to lunch at his ranch near here.

Mr. Bush has not yet chosen a replacement but will not leave the position open long, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Attorney General's resignation had not yet been made public.

Mr. Bush had repeatedly stood by Mr. Gonzales, an old friend and colleague from Texas, even as he faced increasing scrutiny for his leadership of the Justice Department, including his role in the dismissals of nine United States attorneys late last year and questions about whether he testified truthfully about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.

Gee, first MC Rove, now Gonzo. Bushco's wall is crumbling around him as we speak.

July 18, 2007

Chasing Ghosts

Big Bad Terra-ist Jihadist Leader turned out to have never existed:

Leader of Al Qaeda group in Iraq was fictional, U.S. military says
By Michael R. Gordon Published: July 18, 2007


BAGHDAD: For more than a year, the leader of one the most notorious insurgent groups in Iraq was said to be a mysterious Iraqi named Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi.

As the titular head of the Islamic State in Iraq, an organization publicly backed by Al Qaeda, Baghdadi issued a steady stream of incendiary pronouncements. Despite claims by Iraqi officials that he had been killed in May, Baghdadi appeared to have persevered unscathed.

On Wednesday, a senior American military spokesman provided a new explanation for Baghdadi's ability to escape attack: He never existed.

Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, the chief American military spokesman, said the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima.

July 11, 2007

Michelle Bachmann Proves Eye-Rack No Longer Safe For Self-Serving Congressional Junkets

Geez, the people of St. Cloud and the sixth district picked this woman over Patty Wetterling? Is there something in the water up there?

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann continued to stand by President Bush's military surge in Iraq, two days after returning from a congressional trip that put her in the line of fire while visiting Baghdad.

"It hasn't had a chance to be in place long enough to offer a critique of how it's working," said Bachmann, R-Minn.

. . .The delegation's visit was harrowing at times. While visiting with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker at the U.S. Embassy inside Baghdad's walled, high-security Green Zone on Friday, mortar blasts landed inside the American-controlled territory.

"This recorded message played four times while we were there, asking us to move away from any windows, to get on the ground and move to the center of the building," Bachmann said. "(Crocker) stayed in his seat and kept talking with us the whole time. He never moved."

. . .Security conditions in Iraq prevented Bachmann from meeting any Iraqis, leaving the Green Zone or staying in Iraq overnight. She and other congressional members were required to wear full body armor, including Kevlar helmets, during the entire trip, she said.

But she said she was encouraged by reports of progress from Crocker, Gen. David Petraeus and other personnel in Iraq linked to the surge.

A comprehensive report on military progress and whether the Iraqi government is meeting a series of political benchmarks Bush has set is expected.

"(Gen. Petraeus) said al-Qaida in Iraq is off its plan and we want to keep it that way," she said. "The surge has only been fully in place for a week or so."

Only thirteen more months, only thirteen more months. . .

(via Americablog)

July 2, 2007

Impeachment NOW!

WorstPresidentEver commutes Scooter Libby's prison sentence.

You pink-tutu Dems better do something now, or forever share his shame.

June 20, 2007

"Are Ya Gonna Convict Jack Bauer?"

That's the workings of the Great Legal Mind currently sitting on the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia. Apparently, we now look to completely fictional and over-the top TV dramas that have lost audience share this season because of it's nonsensical story arcs in order to establish enduring constitutional principles:

Senior judges from North America and Europe were in the midst of a panel discussion about torture and terrorism law, when a Canadian judge's passing remark - "Thankfully, security agencies in all our countries do not subscribe to the mantra 'What would Jack Bauer do?' " - got the legal bulldog in Judge Scalia barking.

The conservative jurist stuck up for Agent Bauer, arguing that fictional or not, federal agents require latitude in times of great crisis. "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent's rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand.

"Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. "Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so.

"So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes."

The other Canadian judges, in their own high-minded academic manner, told Scalia to go to hell, as they should. But why the hell is Scalia free to spout such nonsense in the first place? He and his kind can ever point to real-world situations where torture has saved people from an imminent threat, and since we are dealing with Islamic radicals, they would welcome such abuses - seeing it as the most holy martyrdom at the hands of their enemies. For the last time: torture doesn't work. The Abu Ghraib torture never helped us in Eye-Rack, torture is not helping us in Afghanistan, nor did it help in Vietnam or any other conflict. Our LACK of committing torure actually helped us defeat the Germans, whose squads would readily surrender to the Americans instead of to the Soviets whose prison camps they feared. So if Scalia thinks he's being a patriot, then he's dead wrong. He's just another man-child wanking off to cowboy movies.

I wonder how you can disbar a Supreme Court Justice?

June 19, 2007

Fox Issues Henhouse Report

Fear not American taxpayers, you're NOT being as hosed as you think you are:

WASHINGTON - Fraud committed by government contractors in Iraq is a problem but isn't as severe as some critics have suggested, federal officials said Tuesday.

Some House Judiciary Committee Democrats questioned the assertions, saying they felt the Justice Department is dragging its feet in pursuing some cases of alleged fraud. They also said some federal judges appear too willing to seal records in such cases, making it impossible for the public to assess the merits of whistleblowers' accusations.

Stuart W. Bowen Jr., an inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, told lawmakers that anti-fraud efforts should be better coordinated, but they nonetheless have had an impact.

"Losses to American taxpayers from fraud within reconstruction programs will likely amount to relatively small components of the overall investments in Iraq, totaling in the tens of millions" of dollars and not in the "hundreds of millions or billions as is sometimes imagined," Bowen told the Judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security.

That wouldn't be this Stuart Bowen who is under investigation himself, is it? Actually, it was launched by the Bushies, so it appears that Bowen has gotten the message: stop sniffing around, stop snitchin', stop lyin'.

June 13, 2007

The Connecticut For Lieberman Party: The Gift That Keeps On Gving

I know the less we speak of that thumbsucker, the better, but this is just too good to pass up:

(WTNH) _ The Connecticut for Lieberman Party is calling on Senator Joseph Lieberman to resign from the U.S. Senate following his remarks made Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation regarding military action against Iran.

Lieberman said on the national television program that, "we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians."

The Connecticut for Lieberman Chair, Dr. John Orman, called for Lieberman's resignation saying that he "crossed the line" and "no longer represents the views of the citizens of Connecticut."

Orman, a longtime critic of Lieberman, took control of the minority party back in January.

Yep, nothing says "fake party created for one's own political gain" than allowing your party to be taken over by anti-Lieberman activists. Good for John Orman.

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.

Lieberman Goes To Eye-Rack To Give Troops Much Needed Stump Speech

Lieberman.jpg duckandcover_bert_the_turtle_6k_1.jpg

See any difference? Me neither.

Quid Pro Joe is back in Eye-Rack trying to convince people that everything is A-OK. But when it came to actually addressing the concerns of the troops on the ground, LIEberman was virtually AWOL:

The night before, 30 other soldiers crowded around him with questions for the senator. He wrote them all down. At the top of his note card was the question he got from nearly every one of his fellow soldiers: When are we going to get out of here??

The rest was a laundry list. When would they have upgraded Humvees that could withstand the armor-penetrating weapons that U.S. officials claim are from Iran? When could they have body armor that was better in hot weather? . . .

It isn’t clear whether Williams mentioned the last line on his note card, the one that had a star next to it. “We don’t feel like we’re making any progress,? it said.



The same post also mentions that the soldiers are getting pretty peeved about spending all their resources and energry forming human barricades around visiting politicians looking for a photo-op to support their obvious agendas, and that the biggest offender of all was Lieberman.

Continue reading "Lieberman Goes To Eye-Rack To Give Troops Much Needed Stump Speech" »

May 30, 2007

Breaking News: Valerie Plame Was Covert

Once again, reich-wing gasbags are proven how they never, repeat NEVER deal with the facts and would rather commit treason than let their boy king president (gasp!) get called upon for waging a war based on lies:


WASHINGTON - An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame's employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was "covert" when her name became public in July 2003.

The summary is part of an attachment to Fitzgerald's memorandum to the court supporting his recommendation that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former top aide, spend 2-1/2 to 3 years in prison for obstructing the CIA leak investigation.

. . .The unclassified summary of Plame's employment with the CIA at the time that syndicated columnist Robert Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 says, "Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States."

Plame worked as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations and was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) in January 2002 at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias -- but always using cover -- whether official or non-official (NOC) -- with no ostensible relationship to the CIA."


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 8, 2007

Like Refrigerator Light To Cockroaches

Looks like the Democrats' subpoena power have those corporate crooks running scared:

The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce offers a series of programs for its government contractor members: seminars, networking opportunities, news about latest developments. And, last week, this one: "Congressional Investigations: The Challenge of Responding Effectively."

It sold out.

About 40 people showed up, lured by the chamber's warning that the recent change in control of Congress will inevitably mean more investigations by newly empowered Democrats. "They're looking at security, police, construction in Iraq -- we do all of that," said Greg Lagana, a spokesman for DynCorp International who attended the early morning breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner.

. . .DynCorp, a major government contractor in Falls Church, got a letter last month from a House oversight committee headed by Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), asking for details about the behavior of its gun-carrying employees. This wasn't DynCorp's first experience with scrutiny -- it has faced criticism of the quality of the Iraqi security forces it trains and questions about the merit of its expenditures.

. . ."There's been a significant spike in breadth, depth and scope of investigations," said moderator Gerry Sikorski, who heads the government section of law firm Holland & Knight. "There's no rules of evidence like a courtroom. It is part governmental, part political and part P.R."

May 2, 2007

"You'll Have To Pry The Medal Of Freedom From My Cold Dead Hands"

So sez "newly contrite" ex-CIA director George Tenet.

April 19, 2007

Grand Old Police Blotter Days

Wow, two Republican lawmakers, two raids and two resignations in two days? It might not be a record, but still:

In a second blow to House Republicans this week, the FBI raided a business tied to the family of Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) Thursday afternoon as part of an ongoing investigation into the three-term lawmaker.

Details of the raid on Patriot Insurance Agency in Sonoita, Ariz., were not immediately available. Renzi’s most recent financial disclosure form lists the business as an asset belonging to his wife, Roberta, and valued at $1 million to $5 million.

Little is known about the inquiries into Renzi’s activities, but according to media reports the Justice Department has been running a two-track investigation into Renzi regarding a land deal, as well as a piece of legislation he helped steer that may have improperly benefited a major campaign contributor. It was not immediately clear which investigation the raid pertained to, and neither his attorney nor his spokesman could be immediately reached for comment.

As a result of the raid, Renzi is stepping down from his seat on the House Intelligence Committee, according to a statement from his office obtained Thursday evening by Roll Call.

“Today, the FBI came to my family’s business to obtain documents related to their investigation,? Renzi said. “I view these actions as the first step in bringing out the truth. Until this matter is resolved, I will take a leave of absence from the House Intelligence Committee. I intend to fully cooperate with this investigation.?

And that's following the raid on Rep. John Doolittle's property.

April 12, 2007

MC Rove, The Mark Fiore Remix

Watch it.

Quelle Surprise

Upon receipt of the subpoena, the White House "accidentally" loses a bunch of incriminating emails. Whoopsie doodle:

The White House acknowledged yesterday that e-mails dealing with official government business may have been lost because they were improperly sent through private accounts intended to be used for political activities. Democrats have been seeking such missives as part of an investigation into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

Administration officials said they could offer no estimate of how many e-mails were lost but indicated that some may involve messages from White House senior adviser Karl Rove, whose role in the firings has been under scrutiny by congressional Democrats.

Democrats have charged that Rove and other officials may have used the private accounts, set up through the Republican National Committee, in an effort to avoid normal review. Under federal law, the White House is required to maintain records, including e-mails, involving presidential decision-making and deliberations. White House aides' use of their political e-mail accounts to discuss the prosecutor firings has also fanned Democratic accusations that the actions were politically motivated.

Briefing reporters yesterday about an initial review of the private e-mail system, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel declined to discuss whether the political aides were driven by a desire to conduct business outside of potential review. "I can't speak to people's individual e-mail practices," he said.

Stanzel conceded that the White House had done a poor job of instructing staff members how to save politically oriented e-mail and said that it has developed new guidance for the more than 20 staffers who have official as well as political e-mail addresses. He also said that the White House is trying to recover the lost e-mails.

April 9, 2007

Every Time Their Lips Move

After everything that has been exposed, after everybody but the 30-percent nutters know that the war is a complete lie, to think that Darth Cheney would continue with his warmed-over bullshit is just well past maddening:

Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides "all confirmed" that Hussein's regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.

. . .The report's release came on the same day that Vice President Cheney, appearing on Rush Limbaugh's radio program, repeated his allegation that al-Qaeda was operating inside Iraq "before we ever launched" the war, under the direction of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist killed last June.

"This is al-Qaeda operating in Iraq," Cheney told Limbaugh's listeners about Zarqawi, who he said had "led the charge for Iraq." Cheney cited the alleged history to illustrate his argument that withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq would "play right into the hands of al-Qaeda."

April 6, 2007

Goodling Resigns

Looks like when she realized that she can't really plead the fifth while acting as an official in the Justice Department, so she decided she has a better chance at immunity if she becomes a private citizen.

Problem solved.

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 1, 2007

Suicide Vests Found In The Green Zone; Weathervane McCain Insists Eye-Rack Is Safer

While Saint McCain is bloviating and visiting bombed-out marketplaces under heavy security convoys, two suicide vests were found Saturday within what is supposed to be the safest place in Baghdad. Makes you wonder about the ones they didn't find.

March 29, 2007

MC Rove

I'd be remissed if I didn't post this (just have your puke bucket ready)

If You Don't Fight This War, Zarqawi Will Eat You In Your Sleep (Boogah! Boogah!)

John McCain just said this yesterday:

"The consequences of failure are catastrophic because if we come home, bin Laden and Zarqawi, they are going to follow us."

Jesus, even when we do kill the terra-ists they are still a threat. Not a nice endorsement to either wars, you blockhead.

via Atrios.

National Review To Abu Gonzalez: Resign.

Did someone spike the kool-aid at the editor's office or something?

Once again, credit to John Aravosis.

March 28, 2007

The Privileged

Forget the fact that the Bushies caught up in the attorney scandal can't really hide within the "executive privilege" bunker since the right-wing trolls have completely destroyed that concept during Monicagate. The fact that they used RNC e-mail addresses to plan the prosecutor purges should deny them that excuse, Kevin Drum explains.

Support Yer Troops

This is disgusting:

"We immediately requested to go to Fort Bragg to see our son," Bob Pesta said. "We were refused."

"I just wanted to hold his hand," Joan Pesta said. "I just wanted to say goodbye. They said we could not come and if we did, we'd be arrested."

It was at that moment -- when an Army functionary refused permission for the grieving parents to rush to to the side of their dead son -- that everything turned dark and sour at the Pesta house. The Army's explanation to the Pestas that there were no visiting facilities at the base morgue was not good enough for a family deep in shock and grief.

"There were too many questions and too few answers," Bob Pesta said. "No one one knew what anybody else was doing. They left us telephone numbers that didn't work or were connected to fax machines. Answering machines were full. It was a weekend and nobody would call us back."

And all because he died in the wrong country.

Ours.

March 24, 2007

Buh-Bye Gonzo

The document dump on Friday reveals that Abu Gonzalez basically authorized the firings of the attorneys. Of course, Bush still stands by his man, which when you look at the case of Rumsfailed means that he's outta here by Monday if I were a betting man.

March 19, 2007

Joseph I. Lieberman, R-Connecticut

mcgee.jpg
Joseph Lieberman, artist's conception.

Who on God's green earth is surprised by this?

WASHINGTON -- It's no secret that Joe Lieberman got strong support from Republicans last year, and that he has made strong overtures this year to Senate Republicans as he pursues a new, more bipartisan legislative path.

But new data show the extent of the help he got from big GOP donors in the last weeks of his 2006 campaign, as they poured more than $1.5 million into his final pre-election push - with subtle but unmistakable help from the White House.

The information was compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Its data are the first detailed look at the sources and amounts of GOP money that went into the Lieberman campaign.

. . .In the general election, in which Lieberman ran as an "independent Democrat," his take from Republicans soared 80 percent. He collected more money from Republicans than from Democrats. And of major donors - giving $200 and more - Republicans exceeded Democrats.

. . .Officially, the White House stayed out of Lieberman's 2006 race, and Lieberman, who today caucuses with Senate Democrats, did not actively seek its support. But the signs from the White House were unmistakable.

. . .There were other signals. On primary day, White House political guru Karl Rove called the senator. "He's a personal friend," Rove said later. "I called him. It was a personal call."

That call, leaked to media organizations at the time, "sent a message to Republicans across the country to embrace this guy. When Karl Rove calls, most Republicans ask how high they should jump," veteran GOP strategist Scott Reed said last week.

So when we call him "Quid Pro Joe" you know exactly what we are talking about.


March 17, 2007

Oh, They Are Good

All this time, the White House spin machine has been successful in building a wall around the president concerning the prosecutor purge and making the issue all about Deputy Attorney Kyle Sampson and Attorney General Albert Gonzalez.

But then again, the soundbite that they have repeated, ad nauseum, is that the prosecutors "serve at the pleasure of the president." Well, they are going to wish they have never made that part of their damage control strategy since there is one small, tiny, legalistic little detail that we are missing: only the President gets to fire the U.S. Attorneys, not the attorney general or his deputies.

As the DailyKos diarist Mary2002 makes clear, no firing of the US attorney could be made without the direct approval of the president, per constitutional law. If Abu Gonzalez or Kyle Sampson were acting independently in firing those prosecutors, they would have committed a federal crime and should be removed immediately. If they are not charged with a crime, then President Bush himself would have to explain why he approved the removal of eight prosecutors with glowing job performance reviews.

Hey, if criminal testimony from a sitting president was good enough for Bill Clinton, then it's damn well good enough for Bush.

March 16, 2007

"I Was Not Involved" - Attorney General Albert Gonzalez: 4/3/2005-3/??/2007

The complete quote from that now infamous presser by Abu Gonzalez goes like this:

"I was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on. . .That's basically what I knew as the attorney general."

Other than the fact that how the hell could he not know what his own Chief of Staff was doing, he had a pretty plausible alibi.

Which lasted all of three days now that new e-mails have emerged that show that Gonzalez was discussing the purge of USAs even before he became the AG:

The messages also show that an internal administration push to remove a large number of federal prosecutors was well underway even as Alberto R. Gonzales, then the White House counsel, was preparing for Senate hearings on his nomination to be attorney general.

Gonzales talked "briefly" in December 2004, the messages show, with D. Kyle Sampson, who would become his chief of staff at Justice, about the plan to remove U.S. attorneys. Justice spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos said Gonzales has "no recollection" of discussing the prosecutors' firings at the time, when he was preparing for his January 2005 confirmation hearings.

Yep, that's all Mr. Torture Memo has left, the Busheimer's Syndrome defense. Since there doesn't seem to be any Urbandictionary or Wikipedia entry for that affliction, I shall define it here:

Busheimer's Syndome: 1. (n) a disease that afflicts any Bush administration official that is currently under questioning or investigation for a crime in which they conveniently forget certain details of the relevant events, usually utilizing various forms of the phrase "I can't recall"; c.f. Scooter Libby's entire defense during his obstruction of justice/perjury trial.

2. (n) A disease that afflicts many pundits and commentators of major news outlets in which they conveniently forget certain events during the Bush administration in order to make new observations favorable to their agenda or to the Bush administration itself; c.f. neocon mea culpa over Eye-Rack war.

Continue reading ""I Was Not Involved" - Attorney General Albert Gonzalez: 4/3/2005-3/??/2007" »

March 13, 2007

Abu Gonzalez In Hot Water

It's official, the Bushies working with AG Gonzalez and Harriet Miers were directly involved in the political purgings of the eight prosecutors:

“Just when we thought our faith could not be shaken any further, it has been,? said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “The latest revelations prove beyond any reasonable doubt that there has been unprecedented breach of trust, abuse of power and misuse of the Justice Department.?

Mr. Schumer was reacting to disclosures by administration officials on Monday that the White House was deeply involved in the decision late last year to dismiss federal prosecutors, including some who had been criticized by Republican lawmakers.

The furor was heightened this afternoon as the House Judiciary Committee released copies of e-mail messages between Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel, and D. Kyle Sampson, a top aide to Mr. Gonzales who quit on Monday, discussing changes among United States attorneys. A Sept. 13, 2006, note from Mr. Sampson to Ms. Miers, for instance, names some prosecutors “who, rumor has it will be leaving? and other “in the process of being pushed out.?

Mr. Schumer, who called over the weekend for the resignation of Mr. Gonzales, renewed that call today. The senator also said Karl Rove, President Bush’s top political adviser, “should not wait for a subpoena? but should come before Congress at once to tell what he knows about the affair.

So should Ms. Miers, the one-time Supreme Court nominee, “who was deeply involved in this ill-conceived project,? Mr. Schumer said.

Of course, all Gonzalez would say is that he accepts all responsibility, even though he's innocent. Can't these people ever stop lying?

"Curveball" Revealed

curveball.jpg

I guess with the Eye-Rack war in shambles, the media decided it was time to start naming names:

The Iraqi defector known as Curveball, whose fabricated stories of "mobile biological weapons labs" helped lead the U.S. to war four years ago, is still being protected by the German intelligence service, an ABC News investigation has found.

Intelligence sources, who provided ABCNews.com with the first known photo of the man, say he has been resettled in a small town near the Munich headquarters of the German service, which has continued to honor its original commitment made when he fled Iraq in 1999.

. . .Behind the scenes at the CIA, however, a former senior official says he was trying to keep the Curveball information out of the Powell speech.

"People died because of this," said Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of European operations at the CIA, who has written about it a new book, "On the Brink." "All off this one little guy who all he wanted to do was stay in Germany."

. . .The CIA has since issued an official "burn notice" formally retracting more than 100 intelligence reports based on his information.

March 11, 2007

Rove And New Mexico Republicans Conspired To Fire U.S. Attorney

So sez chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party:

Presidential advisor Karl Rove and at least one other member of the White House political team were urged by the New Mexico Republican party chairman to fire the state's U.S. attorney because of dissatisfaction in part with his failure to indict Democrats in a voter fraud investigation in the battleground election state.

In an interview Saturday with McClatchy Newspapers, Allen Weh, the party chairman, said he complained in 2005 about then-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to a White House liaison who worked for Rove and asked that he be removed. Weh said he followed up with Rove personally in late 2006 during a visit to the White House.

"Is anything ever going to happen to that guy?" Weh said he asked Rove at a White House holiday event that month.

"He's gone," Rove said, according to Weh.

"I probably said something close to 'Hallelujah,'" said Weh.

March 6, 2007

Libby's Convicted

Four out of five counts of lying, perjury and obstruction of justice. Nice.

February 28, 2007

Dealing With The Walter Reed Problem

If the administration officials aren't dissembling over how to handle the scandal over how they handled Walter Reed outpatients, they are now playing the omerta game with the soldiers who provided the testimony for the story in the first place:

Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.

“Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,? one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

It is unusual for soldiers to have daily inspections after Basic Training.

Soldiers say their sergeant major gathered troops at 6 p.m. Monday to tell them they must follow their chain of command when asking for help with their medical evaluation paperwork, or when they spot mold, mice or other problems in their quarters.

They were also told they would be moving out of Building 18 to Building 14 within the next couple of weeks. Building 14 is a barracks that houses the administrative offices for the Medical Hold Unit and was renovated in 2006. It’s also located on the Walter Reed Campus, where reporters must be escorted by public affairs personnel. Building 18 is located just off campus and is easy to access.

. . .The Pentagon also clamped down on media coverage of any and all Defense Department medical facilities, to include suspending planned projects by CNN and the Discovery Channel, saying in an e-mail to spokespeople: “It will be in most cases not appropriate to engage the media while this review takes place,? referring to an investigation of the problems at Walter Reed.

One of these days, the U.S. military must realize it is part of our political democracy, not a freelance player that can make its own rules. If it takes a disastrous loss in Eye-Rack to make them realize such a simple truth, then so be it.

February 17, 2007

Where Atrios Outscoops The Media

In the first post, Atrios links to a story posted on Americablog where we have John McCave trying to appease the fundyclowns by supporting abstinence-only education. He asks the right question the media should be asking but are afraid to: did the New John McCain actually save his virginity before marriage?

Few posts later, we find the answer to the question: he was a he-man navy guy out of the academy who's out exploring and experiencing the world, what the fuck do YOU think?

February 3, 2007

Treason

FBI agent testifies that Libby learned about Valerie Plame's name and occupation from none other than Darth Cheney:

After a long day or legal wrangling and no witnesses, an FBI agent took the stand shortly before 3 p.m. She is Deborah Bond, a 19-year veteran, called into the probe of who may have leaked name of classified agent.

She described the bureau's interview with I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on Oct. 14, 2003. Asked where he first learned of Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, he had told the FBI then -- from the vice president, on or about June 12 that year, in a telephone conversation.

Vice President Cheney had also said that she worked in "CP" or counter-proliferation at the agency. How did Cheney know this? From someone at the CIA -- possibly director George Tenet, but Libby wasn't sure.

Impeachment is too good for these Bush bastards.

January 26, 2007

Rove And Bartlett To Be Subpoenaed

HAH!

White House anxiety is mounting over the prospect that top officials—including deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and counselor Dan Bartlett-may be forced to provide potentially awkward testimony in the perjury and obstruction trial of Lewis (Scooter) Libby.

Both Rove and Bartlett have already received trial subpoenas from Libby’s defense lawyers, according to lawyers close to the case who asked not to be identified talking about sensitive matters. While that is no guarantee they will be called, the odds increased this week after Libby’s lawyer, Ted Wells, laid out a defense resting on the idea that his client, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, had been made a “scapegoat? to protect Rove. Cheney is expected to provide the most crucial testimony to back up Wells’s assertion, one of the lawyers close to the case said. The vice president personally penned an October 2003 note in which he wrote, “Not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the other.? The note, read aloud in court by Wells, implied that Libby was the one being sacrificed in an effort to clear Rove of any role in leaking the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq war critic Joe Wilson. “Wow, for all the talk about this being a White House that prides itself on loyalty and discipline, you’re not seeing much of it,? the lawyer said.

The Bushistas forced too many people into being sacrificial lambs for a long time (cf. John DiIulio, Paul O'Neill, George Shinsheki, George Tenant, Colin Powell) why are they surprised that someone might screw them back?

"Angry American" Now Angry About The Eye-Rack War

Flag-hugging country singer Toby Keith is now telling Newsday that he "never did" support the Eye-Rack war:

"Never did," he says -- and he favors setting a time limit on the occupation. He says he suspects civil war in Iraq is inevitable and predicts the Kurds will be the victors: "I promise you, they'll end up with it all."

That is despite the fact that he voted for Bush twice and has performed in front of Photoshopped images of Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks ( maligned for criticizing Bush over the war) together with Saddam Hussein. It must be very goddamn lucrative to be such a weathervane.

via Thinkprogress.

Update: Hmm, looked like Keith was having serious doubts about the war around the time the Bush propoganda about there not being an insurgency was demolished along with the UN building, but in the end decided to put all his eggs in Bush's and Condoleeza's baskets:

"Look, my stance is I pick and choose my wars. This war here [in Iraq], the math hasn't worked out for me on it. But I'm smart enough to know there's people smarter than me. [National security advisor] Condoleezza Rice, [Secretary of State] Colin Powell, George Bush — this is their job, and I have to trust in them. I support the commander in chief and the troops."

Don't Trust The Military To Report The Facts

Apparently, the story of how five soldiers died in an ambush by Iraqis posing as American soldiers didn't go down as first reported:

Four American soldiers were abducted during a sophisticated sneak attack last week in the Shiite holy city of Karbala and their bodies were found up to 25 miles away, according to new information obtained by The Associated Press.

The brazen assault, 50 miles south of Baghdad on Jan. 20, was conducted by nine to 12 militants posing as an American security team. They traveled in black GMC Suburban vehicles _ the type used by U.S. government convoys _ had American weapons, wore new U.S. military combat fatigues, and spoke English.

In a written statement, the U.S. command reported at the time that five soldiers were killed while "repelling the attack." Now, two senior U.S. military officials as well as Iraqi officials say four of the five were captured and taken from the governor's compound alive. Three of them were found dead and one mortally wounded later that evening in locations as far as 25 miles east of the governor's office.

The U.S. officials said they could not be sure where the soldiers were shot after being captured at the compound. Iraqi officials said they believe the men were killed just before the Suburbans were abandoned.

The commando team also took an unclassified U.S. computer with them as its members fled with the four soldiers and left behind an American M-4 automatic rifle, senior U.S. military officials said.

The new information has emerged after nearly a week of inquiries. The U.S. military in Baghdad did not respond to repeated requests for comment on reports that began emerging from Iraqi government and military officials on the abduction and a major breakdown in security at Karbala site.

The two senior American military officials now confirm the reports, gathered by The Associated Press from five senior Iraqi government, military and religious leaders. The U.S. military also has provided additional details from internal military accounts.

As mcjoan from The Daily Kos said, this story was initially covered up in hopes of not furthering the opposition to the troop escalation. Well, since it was reported during the Friday night dump, the Bushelvikis may well get their wish.

January 23, 2007

The Lizardbrain

As Kevin Drum says why is the Washington Post giving prime op-ed space to Dick Cheney's daughter, Elizabeth Cheney, so that she could rehash old arguments that have already been debunked or have lost traction quite a while ago?

Apparently her viewpoints have elicited a lot of responses - most of them negative.

January 8, 2007

McCain Was For 20,000 More Troops Before He Was Against It.

Flippity-Floppity-Floo.

He also doesn't want to raise the necessary funds to pay for his excellent Surge. Media whores, wake the fuck up.

Bush and Abramoff, BFFs

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Congress (CREW) was given a photograph of WorstPresidentEver and convicted criminal Jack Abramoff standing together at a fundraiser, despite the best efforts of the Bushies to conceal it.

So without further ado, say cheese:

bushabramoff.jpg
You rats.

(via ThinkProgress)

November 4, 2006

And He's Outta Here

Ted Haggard has been selling a bill of goods to the sheeple that follow him, and he continues to sell a bill of goods regard the surrounding scandal, saying he threw away the meth that he bought, that he only received a massage from gay prostitute Steve Jones (yeah, a prostate massage).

Well, the leaders of the New Life Church he created aren't convinced:


The Rev. Ted Haggard agreed to resign Saturday from his New Life Church after its independent investigative board recommended removal, saying he was guilty "of sexually immoral conduct."

"We, the Overseer Board of New Life Church, have concluded our deliberations concerning the moral failings of Pastor Ted Haggard," a statement from the church said. "Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct."

Imagine. If he created a church dedicated to charity, agape, and acceptance of others, he wouldn't be in the mess he's in now.

November 3, 2006

"I May Be A Dope Fiend, But I Aint No Queen"

While I was picking up my brother from his charter school, I heard on NPR that the sheeples at the New Life church are still standing by that disgraced crook of a fraud Ted Haggard. They base their support on the fact that Haggard admitted to "some of the allegations," meaning that his indiscretions are vague and could mean anything like he has met this prostitute in passing some time ago. And they also blame the media for making up the story.

Disgraced New Life pastor Ted Haggard is now forced to admit that he has bought crystal meth from Steve Jones, the prostitute in question. But don't worry, he claims he threw it away immediately, even though the voicemails suggests he bought the product from his supplier more than once.

He also claims he only got a massage from Jones, so believe him at your own peril you dumb flock.

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.

October 26, 2006

Cheney: Waterboarding Is Not Torture

That recently enacted Military Commissions Act is really something. It says that it doesn't allow torture, but it lets the Bush administration define what torture is. Keep in mind that these are the same monsters who said what happened in Abu Ghraib isn't torture, that wrote a memo saying anything short of organ failure isn't torture, and now Darth Cheny has emphatically stated that waterboarding, or as the brownshirt radio host who he did the interview with has called "dunk in water," is not torture:

Cheney confirms that detainees were subjected to water-boarding

By Jonathan S. Landay
McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Wed, Oct. 25, 2006

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed that U.S. interrogators subjected captured senior al-Qaida suspects to a controversial interrogation technique called "water-boarding," which creates a sensation of drowning.

Cheney indicated that the Bush administration doesn't regard water-boarding as torture and allows the CIA to use it. "It's a no-brainer for me," Cheney said at one point in an interview.

Cheney's comments, in a White House interview on Tuesday with a conservative radio talk show host, appeared to reflect the Bush administration's view that the president has the constitutional power to do whatever he deems necessary to fight terrorism.

The U.S. Army, senior Republican lawmakers, human rights experts and many experts on the laws of war, however, consider water-boarding cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment that's banned by U.S. law and by international treaties that prohibit torture. Some intelligence professionals argue that it often provides false or misleading information because many subjects will tell their interrogators what they think they want to hear to make the water-boarding stop.

. . .In the interview on Tuesday, Scott Hennen of WDAY Radio in Fargo, N.D., told Cheney that listeners had asked him to "let the vice president know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives."

"Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?" Hennen said.

"I do agree," Cheney replied, according to a transcript of the interview released Wednesday. "And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high-value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation."

Cheney added that Mohammed had provided "enormously valuable information about how many (al-Qaida members) there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth. We've learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that."

"Would you agree that a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?" asked Hennen.

"It's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the vice president `for torture.' We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in," Cheney replied. "We live up to our obligations in international treaties that we're party to and so forth. But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program without torture, and we need to be able to do that."

Whoever said it is right. When fascism emerges in this country, it will come festooned with crosses and American flags.

May 17, 2006

The Coming New Rounds of "Utter Disasters"

Historian Douglas Brinkley recently called embattled New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin an "utter disaster" in his new book because Nagin couldn't evacuate the whole city. Well, via First-Draft, there's a new poll of Gulf Coast residents that suggests that Nagin outdid what normal circumstances would demand:

Mayfield [National Hurricane Center director Max Mayfield] outlined the poll at the launch of the 2006 National Hurricane Survival Initiative, an educational campaign aimed at preparing and protecting residents in vulnerable coastal areas. He said 13 percent of residents in coastal states said they might not or would not evacuate even if ordered to leave.

Fifteen percent of Florida residents said they wouldn't evacuate.

The majority of residents said they preferred to weather the storm at home and wanted to be there to protect their property, while three percent said they would stay for their pets.

Of those who do evacuate, one in five residents said they would only leave 12-24 hours before a storm makes landfall.

As scout_prime said, "only" 10 percent of New Orleans residents did not evacuate. Perhaps the soupbowl situation the city found itself in demanded that every person should be shipped out or left to die, but as we see, there is little one can do to overturn human nature, even after Katrina showed the importance of safety above all.

May 13, 2006

I'm So Indicted

TruthOut has the scoop that Karl Rove is definitely going to be indicted and he's going to resign.

This calls for a happy dance

snoopydance.gif

May 4, 2006

Clarity From The First Lady

Laura Bush, seemingly dispatched by the Bushelvikis to put her high approval ratings to good use, gave an interview on CNN claiming that the "Mission Accomplished" speech by WorstPresidentEver actually applied to those on the ship. Must they continue to make up myths about that episode?

April 3, 2006

Mission Accomplished

Exxon Dethrones Wal-Mart on Fortune 500

NEW YORK (AP) - Skyrocketing energy prices propelled Exxon Mobil Corp. to the top of the 2006 Fortune 500 list, and consigned Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to the No. 2 spot on the magazine's annual ranking of the nation's largest publicly traded companies.

Fortune compiled its list based on companies' 2005 revenues. Exxon Mobil raked in $340 billion in revenue, a 25.5 percent increase over 2004, and had $36.1 billion in profits, the most by any U.S. company in history.

What else can result when you privatize the greed and the profits while socializing the costs?

March 21, 2006

John Yoo Was Against Dictatorial Powers Before He Was For It

I meant to blog on this when it first came out, but here's John Yoo, infamous and outspoken architech of the "theories" the Bush gang is using to justify their expanded presidential powers, on the prospect of Bill Clintoon ever exercising that option:

President Clinton exercised the powers of the imperial presidency to the utmost in the area in which those powers are already at their height — in our dealings with foreign nations. Unfortunately, the record of the administration has not been a happy one, in light of its costs to the Constitution and the American legal system. On a series of different international relations matters, such as war, international institutions, and treaties, President Clinton has accelerated the disturbing trends in foreign policy that undermine notions of democratic accountability and respect for the rule of law.

John C. Yoo, The Imperial President Abroad, in Roger Pilon, ed., The Rule of Law in the Wake of Clinton 159 (2000)

So instead of a wrongheaded academic, he's been exposed as a shameless partisan. Quell surprise.

March 14, 2006

How To Cheat On NCLB In 3 Easy Steps:

1. Give third-grade test to third graders

2. Give same third-grade tests to fourth graders

3. Combine number of third and fourth-graders who passed the test and report yourself as a "miracle school".

via Atrios.

March 13, 2006

Color Me Surprised

Gas prices up even as crude goes lower High demand and government rules mean they'll stay up

Monday, March 13, 2006; Posted: 2:35 a.m. EST (07:35 GMT) .

The hike obliterates the 9-cent drop that had begun January 20, said Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey.

"Those five weeks of declines were due largely to our being at the bottom of our gasoline-demand curve," she said.

The price rise came even as the cost of a barrel of crude fell from $62.91 on February 24 to $59.96 last Friday -- a 7-cent-per-gallon drop.

Lundberg said an expected increased demand for gasoline in the spring and new government gasoline formulation requirements conspired to drive up prices at the pump.

Prices are not likely to fall any time soon, she said.

"With our demand building and those new recipe requirements coming into effect, gas prices will most likely surge much higher," she predicted.

Could it get any more obvious?