Friday, August 31, 2007

It's so safe in Iraq, one can go shopping with ease, and get shot at while flying in a plane

If you're a member of the U.S. Congress, you might think twice before flying Air Evasive Maneuvers:
A military airplane carrying four members of the U.S. Congress came under fire over Iraq on Thursday but the plane was not hit and no one was hurt, a spokesman for one of the lawmakers said on Friday.
Mmmm. The Baghdad skies: Lean back, soar among the clouds, and....DUCK!
The C-130 cargo aircraft conducted evasive maneuvers after a nighttime takeoff from Baghdad, said Ken Lundberg, spokesman for Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, who was on the plane.
At least it was a bipartisan attack.
In addition to Martinez, the plane was carrying fellow Republican Sens. Richard Shelby of Alabama and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Alabama Rep. Robert "Bud" Cramer, a Democrat.
To quote our favorite Wide-Stancer, "Jiminy!"

The world is so much safer since we invaded Iraq, isn't it? Maybe during their next trip, the Congressmen can take a late-night stroll and stop for a cup of IEDs.

ALSO UP AT AMERICABLOG:

The Week That Was 7/27/2007

Another week. More preposterousness to report.

I am not gay. I never have been gay. I was only getting a massage from those "Central American" hookers. I was only massaging my mistress, not choking her. I was only attracted to those pages because I am an alcoholic.

Is this a political party or the left-over members of Heaven's Gate who weren't beamed up to Scotty (calm down Larry, that is only an expression)? I mean, are you kidding me? Really, are you kidding me?

These guys talk about family values like they live in a "Leave It To Beaver" world, when really, they would have to pay for either beaver or Beaver, if not lucky enough to catch him while in the john.

Wow, I even learned some new things about the GOP this week. For example, it seems they have to be proficient at tapping to get any illicit action. If so, then they are the party of Fred Astaire.

I also learned that some hearty-whoring, a seemingly weekly-to-monthly engagement for David Vitter, is not treated like a potential bathroom boinking for a man who has apparently been crossing light sabers with other Y-chromes at Union Station for a quarter century now.

Moral, or lack thereof: Sex with anonymous women for pay: Good. Sex with anonymous men through hand signal: Bad--yet, much like with Mark Foley, only when discovered by the media.

Can Rep. Frank Wolf stop fighting the War On Porn? It may be the only thing saving the GOP from giving in and holding one big group orgy.

Snort.

The Long View
Advisory thoughts on the 43rd president.


By Karl Rove
(snip)
However, I believe history will provide a more clear-eyed verdict on this president’s leadership than the anger of current critics would suggest.

President Bush will be viewed as a far-sighted leader who confronted the key test of the 21st century.
(snip)


Damn, it would have made my Friday night.

Craig to announce his plans Saturday


Staff
AP News

Aug 31, 2007 17:18 EDT

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig will announce his future plans Saturday after widespread calls from fellow Republicans to resign, according to his spokesman.


Hmmm, found this from 10 months ago about Larry Craig on Bill Maher.


Put there by the illustrious, talented and handsome Mike Rogers from PageOneQ

BREAKING - Buh-Bye John Warner

18 holes per day have his name written all over them.

If we can get our own Warner to run (that would be Mark, who said if his good friend John did not run, he would seriously consider it), well, he left office as governor a year and a half ago with an 80%+ approval rating. And he can self-fund.

In other words, the seat is ours if he runs.

The Band Marches On: War Profiteers Find Ever More Sickening Ways To Commit Treason

"There is such a thirst for gain [among military suppliers]...that it is enough to make one curse their own Species, for possessing so little virtue and patriotism." -- President George Washington, 1778

George Washington knew a thing or two about war. Unlike a more recent George W, he chose to actually fight in one to defend what he believed, instead of simply paying it lip service while bottom-up in an alley somewhere with a fifth of Scotch in tow.

In fact, when it came to engaging in armed conflict, the Founding Fathers considered enriching oneself through war the lowest form of treason. These days among the GOP donor class it has a different name.

A day at the office.

Adding to what we learned from Robert Greenwald's terrific film on this topic (full disclosure, he's my boss--further disclosure, I'd be writing this anyway as you may be able to tell from my slightly peeved tone), Iraq For Sale, a number of recent articles have helped shed a light on the sick practice of immensely profiting from unnecessary death, as well as the punishments meted out to whistleblowers for trying to help reign in this traitorous behavior. It is enough to make you wonder if we are still the United States we all grew up learning about, or have become something more akin to the Roman Empire (ask Larry Craig about that).

Matt Taibbi, in a recent piece for The Rolling Stone, describes one typical case this way:

You start off as a well-connected bureaucrat: in this case, as an Air Force civil engineer, a post from which Robbins was responsible for overseeing 70,000 servicemen and contractors, with an annual budget of $8 billion. You serve with distinction for thirty-four years, becoming such a military all-star that the Air Force frequently sends you to the Hill to testify before Congress -- until one day in the summer of 2003, when you retire to take a job as an executive for Parsons, a private construction company looking to do work in Iraq.

....

A few months later, in March 2004, your company magically wins a contract from the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq to design and build the Baghdad Police College, a facility that's supposed to house and train at least 4,000 police recruits. But two years and $72 million later, you deliver not a functioning police academy but one of the great engineering clusterfucks of all time, a practically useless pile of rubble so badly constructed that its walls and ceilings are literally caked in shit and piss, a result of subpar plumbing in the upper floors.
Yes, if this doesn't remind you of the very "military industrial complex" President Eisenhower--a Republican at a time when they were actually a respectable party instead of a collection of self-hating lunatics--warned us about in his farewell speech, you're dumber than Dubya.

This shameful case is but one of thousands: Billions disappear in Iraq, Katrina becomes a money-making venture for those who have already screwed up multiple times in Iraq and no-bid contract has become a household term learned by every American during the corrupt reign of The Decider.

Take our friends at CACI. No, please take them. Would it surprise you in any way to find out that they are up to their necks in piles of naked men at Abu Ghraib:

Following the conviction of a few low-ranking soldiers for their roles in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, Lt. Col. Steven Jordan was reprimanded Wednesday by a 10-member jury after his conviction on only a single charge - failing to obey an order. As a result, he will spend no time in jail, after being cleared of all allegations that he abused prisoners or failed to do his duty as a senior officer at the notorious prison. The case is supposed to be the last of the criminal proceedings concerning this dark chapter of the Iraq war, but sources close to the Abu Ghraib legal drama tell TIME that two key civilians who worked as private contractors in the notorious facility's cell blocks could still face prosecution.

....

CACI itself said in 2004 that its own internal investigation had produced no evidence that any of its employees had been involved in abuse at the prison. Contacted by TIME regarding new investigations into their former employee Stefanowicz, a spokesperson said: "CACI does not condone or tolerate illegal acts or behavior on the part of its employees. It is the company's clear and unambiguous policy that all its activities shall comply with all applicable laws at all times."
Well that clears it up. They don't "tolerate" or "condone" torturing other human beings. So that's why it didn't happen. Oh wait, it did.

And of course CACI and their bloated, Cheney-like, cholesterol-inhaling, CEO J.P. London got themselves the best lobbyists money could buy. Which would be Vin Weber, former GOP Rep. from Minnesota and policy-chairman on the Romney-For-President campaign (a tough job, as you have to change your position paper on any issue on any given day).

Good to know Weber could have access to a GOP President. J.P. London must be psyched. His compensation only rose from $2.5 million in 2003 to nearly $4 million in 2005 of course not including stock options worth $27.5 million by the end of 2005. So if President Bush regulates children our of having health care access through SCHIP, J.P's kids could find themselves in some hot water. Not boiling water, like the prisoners of Abu Ghraib most likely got to know intimately, but hot.

I am guessing somewhere J.P.'s over-caloried corpus must by gyrating with delight at the thought of a President Romney.

And what if you actually have a conscience and try and stop this madness? Why, you are punished by those making out like bandits, of course. And by punished I mean demoted, fired and yes, sometimes tortured (obviously CACI has some experience with this):

One after another, the men and women who have stepped forward to report corruption in the massive effort to rebuild Iraq have been vilified, fired and demoted.

Or worse.

For daring to report illegal arms sales, Navy veteran Donald Vance says he was imprisoned by the American military in a security compound outside Baghdad and subjected to harsh interrogation methods.
Is this the country you thought you lived in? Because it was not the one I grew up believing in. It is also not a country that is going to prosper much longer on the world stage, unless we do something to show people that we don't reward venality and criminal behavior.

Right in Cliff's back yard, a very special prank

A gift to Cliff from OhDave (it's a short video, take a look):

Take top poster and pass to the left.

Following those instructions, hundreds of Hilliard Darby High School football fans fell into an elaborate prank on Friday night.

When they stood up during a football game against cross-town rival Hilliard Davidson High School and held up squares of construction paper, they thought they were spelling out: "Go Darby."

But from across the field, Davidson fans read the actual message:

"We suck."

Now why can't we do the same to a Bush or Cheney event?

Oh, I remember why. We'd all get cuffed and dragged off to another country to be tortured.


Well batpoop. Between the renewed Diana hysteria on MSNBC and Snow resigning, I managed to miss this.

Warner expected to announce end of Senate career

Richmond (Map, News) - Sen. John Warner, R-Va., is expected to announce today that he will not seek re-election, Republican officials said Thursday.

According to GOP campaign and congressional sources, the 80-year-old Warner has informed them he will retire when his fifth term ends at the end of next year. Political analysts, however, cautioned that Warner may not come to a final decision until he steps up to the microphone at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where he is scheduled to appear at 2 p.m.

(snip)

Some congressional aides said Virginia's senior senator could be hoping for a last-minute intervention by GOP leaders who want him to run again, but others say he has made up his mind not to seek a sixth term.

One top GOP aide described the decision to retire as “solid.”


Personally, I don't think Warner will run again. I've had the feeling for a while that he (as well as my Senator Lugar) have been chafing against pretty much everything the GOP represents lately.

The question would be does he dislike the current GOP more than he dislikes a possible Democratic Majority Senate?


Snow announces departure date
Press secretary to step down Sept. 14


WASHINGTON - Tony Snow, the highly visible White House press secretary, will leave his job on Sept. 14 and be replaced by his deputy, Dana Perino, an administration official said Friday.

President Bush was to announce the changes during an appearance in the White House briefing room.

Snow, ailing with cancer, had said recently he would leave before the end of Bush's presidency because he needs to make more money.


I do not envy Mr Snow's situation with his illness and position at the White House.

But in the same breathe, I would like to say that I personally know of quite a few families of 5 that would be willing to try and live on $166k a year with full government benefits.

Just sayin'.

The Gay Penalty

Lost in much of the Larry Craig bathroom follies coverage has been the blatant double standard practiced by the GOP. The GOP leadership has stripped Larry Craig of his committee assignments and has pushed him to resign, based on his misdemeanor crime.

On the other hand, the GOP has allowed David Vitter to retain all his committee assignments and has not pushed him to resign. They have taken this relaxed stance, even though Vitter has essentially admitted to criminal behavior (sex with a prostitute).

Now some of this difference could simply be politics. Louisiana, home to Vitter, has a Democratic Governor, so the GOP would lose a seat if Vitter resigned. Idaho has a Republican Governor, so there is no problem for the GOP if Craig quit the Senate.

But the vehement reactions of the GOP leadership regarding Craig intimates something deeper - a loathing of homosexuality. Ruth Marcus nails it in her column this morning.

Now there is the furious swiftness of the GOP's response to Craig. Senate Republican leaders have called for an ethics committee investigation and stripped Craig of his committee assignments; presidential candidate Mitt Romney couldn't boot Craig as his Idaho chairman fast enough. Would the reaction have been nearly so fierce if homosexuality wasn't involved?

When Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter's phone number turned up on the accused D.C. madam's call list and he acknowledged a "very serious sin" in his past, there was hardly a peep from the GOP leadership. Craig pleaded guilty to a crime, and Vitter wasn't charged, but lawmakers' squeamishness with gay sex, I suspect, played a big role in the differing treatment
.



Hillary was on Letterman last night, and she was good.
A little too laughy for my taste, but good.

Top Ten Hillary Clinton Campaign Promises


10. Bring stability and long term security to The View.

9. Each year on my birthday, every American gets a cupcake.

8. You'll have the option of rolling dice against the IRS for double-or-nothing on your taxes.

7. Having trouble getting a flight and Air Force One is available -- it's yours.

6. My vice president will never shoot anybody in the face.

5. Turn Gitmo into a Dairy Queen as soon as possible.

4. For over a century there have been only two Dakotas -- I plan to double that.

3. We will finally have a president who doesn't mind pulling over and asking for directions. Am I right, ladies?

2. I will appoint a committee to find out what the heck is happening on Lost.

1. One more pantsuit joke and Letterman disappears


list via MyDD comments

Mucho buzz on the intertubes and CNN that Larry Craig will step down soon.

Here's a lite amuse bouche for your Friday morning funny.



Via Firedoglake

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Oh no! Bush may not have a reason to bomb Iran after all!
What's a war-happy Maniac-In-Chief to do?

The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency gave an upbeat assessment of Iranian cooperation with international inspectors in a new report Thursday that could make it more difficult for the United States to win tougher U.N. sanctions against Iran.
No way! If this keeps up, we'll have to find a brand new country to invade!
The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna also concluded that while Iran continues to enrich uranium in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, its fuel enrichment plant has produced "well below the expected quantity for a facility of this design." The quality of the uranium also was lower than expected, the IAEA said.
What no mushroom cloud? No Holocaust? What fun is that?
The report praised Iran for --
SCREEEEEECH! Huh?? Wait. Go back. Say that again.
The report praised Iran for taking "a significant step forward" by agreeing to a new work plan and timelines for resolving numerous questions about the history of its nuclear program. Separately, U.N. officials said that Iran had slowed construction of a new plutonium-fuel reactor in Arak.
Boiiiiing! That was the sound of Bush's eyes popping out of his head.
The report suggests that if Iran adheres to the program and timelines, the agency could resolve its remaining questions about the nature of the country's nuclear program by the end of the year and close the file.
Close the file? Close the file? What are they nuts? This must be some mistake. We can't have that. It simply won't do. That was Chimpy's favorite file!
If the IAEA concludes that Iran has not engaged in a covert program to develop nuclear weapons, it could raise new questions about the quality of U.S. intelligence in the Middle East. The United States made the case for going to war against Iraq based on claims that Saddam Hussein had programs to develop nuclear technologies and other weapons of mass destruction, but U.S. forces found no evidence of such programs after invading the country.
Bush would have to come up with a whole new little skit on looking for WMD somewhere else. Wouldn't that be special? He's such a cut-up.
But the report also gave ammunition to Iran's critics, who noted that the country has not stopped its uranium enrichment...
Whaddya want? They are part of the Axis of Evil. Nobody's perfect.

Dr. Drew Westin Peers Into The Craven "Mind" Of David Brooks




As you can imagine, what he finds ain't pretty.


It's game time!
Let's see how many headlines sound so familiar that you could recycle them!


When will Thompson jump in?

(CNN) — When will Fred Thompson officially jump into the race for the White House? That's the question all of us would like to know. Well, here's what we're learning.

A handful of sources working on Thompson's formal entry into the race for the GOP presidential nomination tell CNN to expect the former Tennessee senator and actor to make his announcement on the web, some time as early as the middle of next week. They say Thompson will travel and campaign in key primary states following the Internet announcement.


When I first started hearing about Thompson joining the race, I have to admit I was a little worried. Sometimes the American public isn't as discerning as it should be, and can be um, deceived by clever tricks and sleight of hand.

But the more I read (and see) of Thompson, I'm really looking forward to his candidacy. It's gonna be a huge bomb, mark my words. Word on the street is he can't make a speech, doesn't have any energy and looks really ancient and worn.

Bring it on Hollywood Fred, I need the laughs.



****UPDATE****

Looks like Sept 6th. Why then you ask?

Well, how about this for a reason?


By delaying the filing of his organizational papers until books have closed on the third quarter of 2007, Thompson arguably will not have to file any disclosure reports with the FEC until January 31, 2008, after the Republican primaries/caucuses in WY, IA, NH, NV, FL and Lord knows who else at this point.

Got that?

Frederick of Hollywood's shadow campaign can raise millions and spend millions without having to disclose to the public a single contribution raised or disbursement made over a six-month span -- and while his opponents have been consistently doing so -- delaying disclosure until after at least five Republican primaries have been held.

And it's deliberate, too, just like his (failed) coy attempts to walk the tightrope on "testing the waters" activity.


Via Adam B at Kos.

The Larry Craig Arrest Audio



This is so spooky to listen to it is actually a bit unnerverving. The cop accuses him of lying.

It is simply brutal.


For what it's worth:

Justice Department investigators have expanded their probe into whether political considerations were improperly used in hiring, inquiring about personnel decisions as long as a year before Alberto Gonzales became attorney general.
In a related story, Karl Rove is anxious to probe into his own activities to determine whether he's a lying, underhanded, destructive sleazeball.

THEY FOUND THE IRAQI WMDS!!!


Alert Pete Hoekstra!!! Call Rick Santorum!!! Crown Michelle Malkin!!

YOU WERE RIGHT GUYS!!


Gosh, we're so sorry for being stu... oh, wait.

UN Inspectors Find Chemical in UN Office

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- U.N. weapons inspectors who had been in Iraq discovered potentially hazardous chemical agents in their office near U.N. headquarters as they were wrapping up their operation, a U.N. spokesman said Thursday.

"There is no immediate risk or danger," U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said.


Yeah, so? That just proves that all the wingers were right... you libtard!!

Chemicals from Iraq inspections found in N.Y.
FBI called in to remove what U.N. inspectors collected decade ago

UNITED NATIONS - U.N. officials found vials of dangerous chemicals, which had been removed from Iraq a decade ago, in a U.N. building in New York, but U.N. officials said Thursday there was no danger.

Oh, nevermind.


Idiotic quote of the day

On Thom Hartmann just now, there was a discussion about homosexuality.

Thom explained to Rick Scarborough (who was featured on Christiane Amanpour's recent CNN special "God's Warriors") that one is born gay, and that zoologists even confirm homosexual behavior in animals, mostly mammals.

Here's Scarborough's response:

"So what you're advocating is animal behavior."

That was the idiotic quote of the day.

FYI:
On Friday, The Thom Hartmann Program "Live" on C-SPAN! Check local listings.

Whoa...totally off that topic
Thom just said this:
It's illegal to use the militia against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, until the most recent Republican control of the House and Senate. Then came the Military Commissions Act.

Now,
from WESH in Florida: Members of the 1st batallion 265th air defense artillery, headed for federal active duty in DC, troops to be deployed for a year. Ordered by Bush to D.C. where they will operate high tech weapons systems against any air threat. If that's the beginning and end of it, okay.

But what if it's not? We don't know yet. I'm looking on the WESH site and I can't find the story. I might have not heard the call letters correctly, but I'll keep looking.

UPDATE: I found the story. It was from August 24th.
Members of the 1st Battalion 265 Air Defense Artillery have mobilized and are on a plane headed first to Ft. Bliss, then for federal active duty in the capital region.The troops will be deployed for a year. [...]
They are ordered by the president to the nation's capital, where they will operate high-tech weapons systems against any potential air threat. [...]

The 265th is part of Operation Noble Eagle.

Thom got creeped out by this. When Thom's creeped out, so am I.

This Is Why I Like Chris Dodd

It is always nice to hear someone being honest about what is going on in Iraq, when rejecting a call for more money by the Bush Crony Clan:

You've got to give them credit for water carrying.



Just amazing.

via Newshounds

Moveon Slams Rep. Brian Baird (D-Blue Dog) For Betraying The Soldiers In Iraq

This is what these guys need to know will happen to them when they fall under whatever spell (the phrase "right-wing speaking fees" comes to mind) has worked on Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman, John Kennedy (the party-switching idiot in Louisiana who is going to run against Mary Landrieu), Rodney Alexander, Ben Nelson and others to turn them from simply somewhat bad Democrats into full-on GOP suckups or party-hoppers.

Larry Craig Holds Another Press Conference!...This Time He's British

FYI
Cliff will be on Young Turks any minute now.

Here or here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Larry Craig Just Held Another Press Conference!





h/t Howie Klein


Two Ted Haggard stories? In one day?

New Life Church in Colorado Springs have stopped Ted Haggard's plan to move into a faith-based halfway house in Phoenix and minister to those who live there.
Teddy was going to begin counseling residents of the Dream Center halfway house in Phoenix this October. But they won't let him now.
Haggard also asked for donations in the e-mail to help support his family while he and his wife Gayle finish their degrees.
But his plans were "unacceptable" to New Life Church overseer Mike Ware.
"Mr. Haggard's solicitation for personal support was inappropriate. It was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry."

Ware also writes in Wednesday's media release that Haggard will not be moving to or working with the Dream Center. In fact, the last sentence of the release reads, "He will be seeking secular employment to support himself and family." The release did not say if Haggard was punished in any way for making the inappropriate comments in his email.

But that's not all!


He's Trouble, with a capital T which rhymes with C which stands for Creep:
Haggard made an appeal for financial help last week in Colorado, suggesting that donations for his family be made to Families With a Mission, a nonprofit group run by Paul Gerard Huberty.
That's Huberty which rhymes with Puberty which...never mind.
Huberty, 50, is listed on the sex offender registry of the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, which shows that he moved this year to Monument [from Hawaii].
Among other things, "Huberty was convicted of second-degree attempted sexual assault, a felony, in Kona Circuit Court on Jan. 8, 2004. He was sentenced to one year in prison, with six months suspended, and five years' probation."

And always remember, Haggard's not gay and never has been. And thank you all for coming out tonight.


I didn't think I'd post today, but this was too good to pass up:

U.S. Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's car is seen after someone wrapped the car in plastic wrap on the White House grounds on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007. (AP / Ron Edmonds)

Who pimped Karl Rove's ride?

The top aide flew to Texas with President Bush after announcing his resignation this month, and left his car in the West Wing driveway.

When he comes back to the White House tonight, Rove will find the Jaguar tricked out with an "I love Barack Obama" bumper sticker, a stuffed-animal elephant on the hood and twin plush-toy eagles on the trunk.

And oh, to make sure everything stays perfectly in place, the Jag is all wrapped up in plastic.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. So why couldn't they have also wrapped him up and sent him far, far away. I hear dough travels well.

Back-Talk #3 Ex-Reagan Officials Accuse Bush of War Crimes

These videos by Speak Easy Productions are really cool. Great mixture of visuals, music, humor and message.



But the message is the key.

Watching BC & Cliff make declarations has spurred me to make one of my own.

Tucker Carlson is a bullying punk.



His clarification?

Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men's room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room.

Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men's room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.

Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That's absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn't angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me.


I consulted with my "guyness" expert and the decision? "He's a punk". (those guys, so succinct)

This Is Why We Must Have Universal Health Care



* Full Disclosure - Unlike BC, I am not in the tank for anyone. But I do, at this time, prefer Dodd and Edwards, and can't see myself supporting Kucinich, Gravel, Clinton or Biden in the primary. Obama is my second tier, but could still break into the top. Richardson is stuck in the third tier, and has lost ground with his responses to certain issues...

Larry Craig Police Report: A Dramatic Reading

This is hysterical. You must listen.

Paul Hipp definitely deserved that Tony nomination.

Republican Consultant Scott Reed On His Own "Ridiculous" Party

And this guy is a partisan, as in he managed Bob Dole's '96 presidential campaign. Here is his sweet-sounding rant:

"The real question for Republicans in Washington is how low can you go, because we are approaching a level of ridiculousness," said Mr. Reed, sounding exasperated in an interview on Tuesday morning. "You can't make this stuff up. And the impact this is having on the grass-roots around the country is devastating. Republicans think the governing class in Washington are a bunch of buffoons who have total disregard for the principles of the party, the law of the land and the future of the country."
We agree Scott. We agree.

President Bush Spoke Live From New Orleans This Morning...I Have Some Thoughts

To begin, it's really kind of him to mark one of the three most despicably negligent episodes of his presidency by showing up at a place that he has IGNORED for two years.

Did he bring My Pet Goat to read to those in attendance?

Perhaps he is looking for Al Qaeda in Iraq there?

Might he be in NOLA rounding up children who get their health care through SCHIP so he can go on an intravenus-tube-yanking spree in local hospitals?

Perhaps Laura is there so she can remind herself that it is Hurricane "Katrina" and not "Karina" as the worldly librarian seemed to think recently.

What an absolute jackass. One would think he would have the class to do what he did when the hurricane hit--not get any closer than flying over the devastation.

But then again, there is no level to which this pathetic faux-decider won't sink (no pun intended of course).

In The Bag For Obama

I think it's apparent by now that I'm in the bag for Sen. Obama. I've written about him enough, it's probably been pretty obvious. For those who want to know why, I would refer you to this article. I think he's the breath of fresh air (a truth teller) that we need now.

But he's also uttered words not often heard, especially when Democratic constituencies gather. For example:

_Obama told the National Education Association that performance-based merit pay ought to be considered in public schools.

_Cuban exiles are considered one of the keys to winning Florida, but he disagreed with leaders who want a full embargo against Fidel Castro's government and instead called for allowing travel and money to the island.

_Michigan voters play an important role in national politics, but Obama visited Detroit to lecture the state's biggest industry for failing to improve automobile fuel efficiency.

"I don't do this for shock value," Obama said in a recent interview.

"There may be people who chose not to support me because I'm not telling them what they want to hear or reinforcing their preconceptions," he told The Associated Press. "I want to be elected to the presidency not by having pretended I was one thing and then surprise people with an agenda, but to get the agenda elected, to get a mandate for change. And you can't do that if you're not doing some truth telling."

(snip)

Since Obama offers blacks a chance to put one of their own in the White House for the first time, he comes with instant credibility.

He has told blacks that they are letting homophobia stop them from fighting the spread of AIDS. He repeated a similar message at the largely white Saddleback megachurch, telling the congregation that they should stop preaching abstinence only and instead promote condom use.

He says blacks need to vote and clean up their neighborhoods. He has decried movements against affirmative action and unequal spending in black and white schools, but he has said parents also have a responsibility to better educate their children.

"Turn off the television set and put away the Game Boy and make sure that you're talking to your teacher and that we get over the anti-intellectualism that exists in some of our communities where if you conjugate your verbs and if you read a book that somehow means you are acting white," he said during a speech in Selma, Ala., to commemorate the civil rights march there.

Sniff. Gonna miss ya bud.



Via TPM

Bush Wants $50 Billion More for Iraq War
Planned Request Signals Confidence That Congress Won't Prevail on Pullout


By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 29, 2007; Page A01

President Bush plans to ask Congress next month for up to $50 billion in additional funding for the war in Iraq, a White House official said yesterday, a move that appears to reflect increasing administration confidence that it can fend off congressional calls for a rapid drawdown of U.S. forces.

(snip)

The request is being prepared now in the belief that Congress will be unlikely to balk so soon after hearing the two officials argue that there are promising developments in Iraq but that they need more time to solidify the progress they have made, a congressional aide said.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sarkozy Is Sar-Crazy

No biggie, he just casually mentioned bombing Iran.

Enjoy your George W. Bush, France!

On a side note, I'm sure they'll find a way to make him a contributor at Fox by morning.


Pageant contestant re-answers question

After watching the video Cliff posted down thread of Miss Teen South Carolina, I suddenly realized how smart she was. You see, I'd also just watched a clip of GW Bush.

Well, she has redeemed herself. Bush on the other hand...

Lauren Caitlin Upton went on the Today show and improved upon her first response. She took her flubbed answer in stride:

"Everything did come at me at once. I was overwhelmed and I made a mistake. Everybody makes a mistake. I'm human," she said Tuesday. "I seriously think I only heard about one or two words of the actual question."

Apparently.

Upton's former principal Creig Tyler remembered her as a well-rounded student.

I'd like to point out how mature I'm being by not making a comment about Mr. Tyler's reminiscence.

I'd also like to point out how immature I'll most likely be in Comments.

I'm sure some of you will join me as you always do. See you there.




MSNBC Grows Up, With Younger Crowd

Claiming the "strongest growth of any cable news net in Total Day and Primetime," MSNBC says its "ratings growth continued this summer."

— In primetime (M-F, 8-11p), MSNBC was up 45% in the 25-54 demo and up 46% in total viewers.

— "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" was up 67% in total viewers this August (721,000) compared to last August (431,000).

— MSNBC ranked #1 among the news nets in the 18-34 demo (M-S 8-11p). With 78,000 viewers, a small number by any measure, still out-delivering CNN by 5,000 and FNC by 18,000.


Now if they'd just replace fTucker with Cliff (and me as a pundit every once in awhile... c'mon, please?) it would be the perfect cable channel.


Two things to remember...

JUST SAY NO.....

To Faux News

and

Sex with Republicans.




(You know it's bad when everyone is snickering at you)



vids via TPM

While We Are On GOP Sex...

As gross as thoughts of enchanted moments of ecstasy for Larry Craig and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are, gross yourself out a bit more.

Republican Sexcapades from this past week. It was, as they say, a doozy...


A former member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty Monday to a charge of possessing child pornography.

Mormons are in the news more than ever these days, right Mitt?
A former member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty Monday to a charge of possessing child pornography.

Robert Matthews, 52, of Orem, appeared in U.S. District Court to admit he possessed images of child pornography that were sent over the Internet.

10 years? This can't be a first offense.

Matthews was indicted by a federal grand jury in October of last year. Charges were also filed in state court on four felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of lewdness involving a child, a misdemeanor.

I wonder if he'll use the "wide stance" defense. Silly me. That only works for bathroom stall lewdnss.

Matthews had joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in January 2006 but was released after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints learned of his arrest, according to a church official.

Thou shalt not be a hypocrite. Amen.


"The Americans are handing out contracts and jobs to terrorists, bandits and gangsters"

Same ol', same ol' in Anbar. I used to have soft, shiny, Revlon Medium Auburn hair. Now I'm nearly bald from pulling it out. Not a pretty picture, I might add.
Iraq's deadly insurgent groups have financed their war against U.S. troops in part with hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. rebuilding funds that they've extorted from Iraqi contractors in Anbar province.
Is this something new? Nah.
The payments, in return for the insurgents' allowing supplies to move and construction work to begin, have taken place since the earliest projects in 2003, Iraqi contractors, politicians and interpreters involved with reconstruction efforts said.
The quote above is from Sheik Ali Hatem Ali Suleiman, the deputy leader of the Dulaim, the largest and most powerful tribe in Anbar. He was "involved in several U.S. rebuilding contracts in the early days of the war, but is now a harsh critic of the U.S. presence."

Join the club.
One senior Iraqi politician with personal knowledge of the contracting system said the insurgents also use their cuts to pay border police in Syria "to look the other way" as they smuggle weapons and foot soldiers into Iraq.
I'm pulling out more hair as we speak. Maybe I'll give Britney a call and see where she buys her wigs.

Two years after Katrina and thousands are still w/o homes

This is our newest video at Brave New Films:



Please go sign our petition to pass the Gulf Recovery Act of 2007. If you need more persuading, here are the shocking figures:

- 30,000 families are scattered across the country in FEMA apartments, 13,000 are in trailers, and hardly any of the 77,000 rental units destroyed in New Orleans have been rebuilt.

Here are some personal stories:

- We have heard the story of the Aguilar family who lost their home to the storm and only received $4,000 in payments from their insurance company. We have met Mr. Washington, an 87-year-old man and former carpenter, who owned three homes prior to the storm. He is still living in a FEMA trailer today. And we've met Julie, who could have returned to her job and normal life, if the government had opened up the public housing units that she had lived in prior to the storm. You can watch their stories here.

This is a preventable tragedy allowed to occur by the worst president in the history of this country, and perhaps any republic. Please do what you can to help those still living in FEMA trailers while Jenna's million-dollar wedding is being planned in Washington.


The good news? California could be the first state to vote on whether
Bush should immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.


The bad news? It would be advisory only, and have no legal effect.
The bill, which cleared the lower house after two hours of impassioned and sometimes bitter debate, would place a referendum urging a pullout on the February ballot...
Did the Republicans have anything original to say about this? That's like wondering if Bush is any better at answering questions than Ms. South Carolina. (see Cliff's post below)
Democrats said Californians deserve the chance to send a message to the president. Republicans denounced the bill as a cynical attempt to generate more votes for Democratic leaders' causes, including a change in the state's term-limits law that is expected to appear on the same presidential primary ballot.
Why would Democrats in California go to such lengths knowing that it was a symbolic vote?
"This bill does take an unusual step," Senate leader Don Perata (D-Oakland) said after the vote. "But we've reached an extraordinary moment in our history -- and silence and patience have gotten us nowhere."
Did you hear that U.S. Congress? Time to speak up...loudly.

Here's one reason why:
Iraq Orders 1 Million Pilgrims To Leave. "...at least 35 lives [were lost] during a religious festival. Nearly 200 people were wounded, ... the government sent reinforcements from Baghdad to quell growing unrest and help clear the city."

And this:
The only US officer to go on trial cleared of Iraq abuse .

And this: Criminal investigation into
the purchase and delivery of billions of dollars of weapons, supplies and other matériel to Iraqi and American forces.

I Don't Really Know What To Say But WATCH THIS (And Lament The State Of Our Education System)



(h/t Jim Gilliam)


From the Department of So Hysterical I Had To Share....

Just now on MSNBC, Dana Milbank discussing the various "reasons" Senator Craig is claiming for his crapper caper....


"I'm surprised he didn't blame it on 'Restless Leg Syndrome' "


HA!


Lieberman as next Attorney General?


That's what
Marjorie Cohn is saying on The Thom Hartmann Show. The talk started a few hours ago, from what they're saying. (not that it didn't occur to any of us earlier, but it's going around now) Per Cohn:
  • It would stop the Senate investigations dead in their tracks.
  • It would guarantee a Senate confirmation.
  • It would change the balance of power in the Senate, in favor of the Republicans.
  • And it smells of Karl Rove.
Her advice? Barrage the Senate with calls. Make sure this doesn't happen. It would be an unmitigated disaster.

CLIFF NOTE: On the bright side, if I am correct in my understanding of CT law, if this were to occur the GOP Governor gets to put in a placeholder Republican until 2008. Then there is a special election, and no GOPer is winning in CT with one year as an incumbent (expecially considering their choices).

We will get a real progressive like, I don't know, some guy named Lamont. And the Senate organizing arrangement does not change, so the miscreants do not take over. And Lieberman is then irrelevant forever. Just food for thought.

GOTTALAFF UPDATE: This came up much later in the show. The next scary thought, after Lieberman's new AG status, was that Cheney would resign from the VPresidency (health issues, of course) at some point, and Lieberman would be brought in. That would set him up for a run for President.

Yes it's far-fetched, as Hartmann acknowledged. But we've all been floored by every other seemingly impossible scenario that this insane bunch has brought to fruition.

The Heir To Bush

An in depth look at the nascent Thompson campaign shows that maybe he really is the heir to George Bush. After all, what is more Bush-like than rampant incompetence hidden by misplaced overconfidence and false folksiness?


A Thompson source, requesting anonymity to speak candidly, voiced concern that Team Fred is still not ready for a the pressure cooker of a presidential campaign.

"There is no question that from a political standpoint, the testing-the-waters committee is right where it needs to be,” this person said, “but from a personnel standpoint, it's a completely different story."

"You have some gaping holes in the communications shop and in the overall management at the committee.”

Thompson fired his communications director Linda Rozett, a former chamber of commerce official, last week, displeased by her lack of campaign experience. Thompson’s spokeswoman, Burson Snyder, resigned two weeks ago, unhappy with a diminished role and uneasy about the disorder in the campaign structure. And Thompson's first campaign manager, Tom Collamore, was viewed as lacking the necessary political chops for a White House run and forced out.

Asked if the installation of Bill Lacy, Thompson’s close friend and the strategist from his first Senate race, had brought order to the operation, the Thompson source said, “It hasn’t yet.”

One person familiar with the day-to-day operation indicated that there could be belt-tightening measures taken to curb the outbound flow of cash from Thompson’s testing-the-waters committee.

Hypocrisy On Larry Craig Continues

Republicans are trying right now to get away with dismissing this as another "overblown [no pun intended, for sure] media scandal". While running away from Craig at warp speed.

Um, ok guys. You see an "overblown media scandal" was when you tried to impeach Bill Clinton over his personal behavior, and Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Newt Gingrich, David Vitter, Bob Livingston and the rest of your band of self-hating misfits supported it.

Your lead candidate in the presidential race is Rudy Giuliani, who treats marriage like a drive-thru at McDonalds. Then there is dream candidate Fred Thompson, whose girlfriend and FORMER wife was probably not dreaming of having him impregnate her in high school.

This is NOT a media scandal. It is your whole damn party. It is why I do Republican Sexcapades every Thursday (8AM EST) on The Young Turks. And I have to eliminate topics each week.

You guys love the Bible. Try practicing the Golden Rule and then maybe, maybe, I'll have some sympathy.

Oh, and finally, do you think Hugh Hewitt's inviting David Dreier on his show to talk about it and MSNBC's having Armstrong Williams on for a discussion of this topic really makes sense? For those who don't understand, just google their names and get creative about what else you throw in. Then you'll get it.




Beijing police launch Web patrols

BEIJING - Police in China's capital said Tuesday they will start patrolling the Web using animated beat officers that pop up on a user's browser and walk, bike or drive across the screen warning them to stay away from illegal Internet content.

Starting Sept. 1, the cartoon alerts will appear every half hour on 13 of China's top portals, including Sohu and Sina, and by the end of the year will appear on all Web sites registered with Beijing servers, the Beijing Public Security Ministry said in a statement.

China stringently polices the Internet for material and content that the ruling Communist Party finds politically or morally threatening. Despite the controls, nudity, profanity, illegal gambling and pirated music, books and film have proliferated on Chinese Internet servers.

The animated police appeared designed to startle Web surfers and remind them that authorities closely monitor Web activity.


UPDATE

From a "special commenter"

Saw your post - great story to highlight. Chinese internet police are no joke -there's at least 30-70k of them.

You might be interested in this game: Yingsel escapes. A battle between a Tibetan antelope and the Chinese internet police in the form of Pac man.



Pretty freakin' impressive.

For Dodd, A Major Endorsement
27 Aug 2007 01:45 pm

The Politico's Ben Smith has news of the International Association of Fire Fighters' impending endorsement of Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)

That means the Firefighters, the first union to endorse Sen. John Kerry in 2004, won't endorse Hillary Clinton or Bill Richardson, two reliable allies.

Dodd, meanwhile, gets a major boost, particularly in New Hampshire, where the Firefighters union takes politics seriously and provides serious help to its endorsed candidate on primary day.

Why Dodd? No official word yet, but it's probably because the IAFF could not ignore his long Senate history of providing tangible political and material benefits to its members.


In reality, as much as the pundits would like us to think that the race is over, there is still 3 months until the primaries and MANY more endorsements to be meted out. Things could change.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Anyone wanna play the guessing game?

How long before Mitch McConnell scrubs this photo from his website?

From The Politico:

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) — who has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in connection with an incident where he allegedly solicited a plainclothes police officer in a men’s restroom — is one of Mitt Romney’s top backers in the Senate. A clip of Craig praising Romney was until just moments ago available on Romney’s YouTube channel, but is now listed as “a private video.”

Explaining why he’s backing Romney, Craig says in the video that it’s in part because “he has very strong family values.”…

BTW, rumors of Craig’s homosexuality didn’t just pop up last year. Then-Rep. Larry Craig went on network news in 1982 to deny rumors involving cocaine and sex with male pages.


Senior administration officials are playing the media re: Gonzales replacement

So what else is new? Via Atrios:

A congressional source familiar with deliberations about Gonzales' replacement told CNN that the successor will not be Chertoff and that senior administration officials are "playing you guys," referring to the media.

A source close to Chertoff said of a possible nomination, "this would be a surprise to Mike."

So who was it, exactly, that played them? Then again, it's not like lying to the press, or lying to us, or lying to their wives for that matter, is unusual for this bunch.

And about that recess appointment habit...