Saturday, March 10, 2007

I enjoy when I discover new blogs. It's even better when it's due to the interesting comments of our visitors.

Well, many of you may be familiar with The Speculator from the comments. It turns out that his blog is written with a mind towards history and politics. Two things I kinda like. And he is suffering through grad school in history. I've been there pal. In fact, until I write my dissertation, I suppose, technically, I'm still there.

But enough with introductions. Go check out his weekly blog. This week he explains the difference between fascism and communism, even breaking down the latter as it has been practiced in certain countries.

I fear he's wasting his time, as this is way too much intellectualizationizizing for any mouth breathers from the Right who might stumble across his site. Nonetheless, it is informed and interesting.

Go check it out.

I agree with our humble savior the good General.

Matt Sanchez must get his own show on Fox! Maybe it could be combined with 24, where Sanchez sees how many "glory holes" he can, um, join with while the clock ticks in the background.

And at the end, a nuke can be set off in Los Angeles like in the actual 24, to scare anti-Christianites into submission, or just because then true believers can all get raptured while the glory-hole surfers eternally suffer from unspeakable pain.

Like the kind of pain only an innocent citizen of Canada can suffer at the hands of the Syrian government due to Bush Administration rendition.

Just spitballin' here.

The Cocktail Hour

Man, I hate housecleaning. Anyone near Northern IN wanna come over and help?
I'll share my vodka & Diet Squirt!!

We have advertising!! Right now, they are directly under Cliffs' pic on the right, but soon they will be moving. Please, in that we are brand new with the service, click thru and check them out. Every click counts!! (and apparently we're doing something right, one of our advertisers just re-upped!)

We have Amazon reccomendations. Cliff specifically picked out these books as being top notch reads. If you are heading over to Amazon for gift giving or your own erudation, please consider using the links. Cliff gets credit for your click!!

Links to all things Cliff Schecter are on the right hand. We have articles about Cliff, archives of Young Turks appearances, a description of his upcoming book and other goodies. Go check them out.

Old stuff- Don't forget the RSS feed, DIGG, Delicious, and Spotlight. Any questions about this stuff, ask in the comments and I'll try and help.

Reminder- you guys don't need any of us to chat amongst yourselves on gabbly.
You can register at or just go to and use it as an anonymous user.
Cliffs' gonna try and find a nite this week to join us in the chat. Good times.

Is the Pentagon trying to start WWWIII?

Well, it wouldn't be shocking when boneheads like Wolfowitz and Feith have gotten high-ranking jobs there under this administration.

But my pal Noah has more at Danger Room. Here's a taste:

Congress could not have made itself any clearer: Do not build a whole bunch of conventionally-armed Trident ballistic missiles to go after terrorists, it told the Pentagon. The idea is half-baked, the scenarios you have come up with are far-fetched, and the weapon -- which looks and flies almost exactly like a nuke -- could very well start World War III. To force you to comply, we are cutting your funds for this program by 80%. Go put your thinking caps back on before you ask for more cash. Oh, and get a National Academies study done, too. And a haircut.

But when it comes to these "Global Strike" weapons, the Defense Department doesn't seem to be able to take no for an answer. According to Inside Defense, "the Navy has budgeted $175 million for the project in fiscal year 2008 -- nearly $50 million more than the service requested in FY-07 and $150 million more than Congress actually appropriated for the so-called Conventional Trident Modification, or 'CTM,' during the current fiscal year." (My spies are giving me slightly different budget breakdowns; but the pig-headed idea is the same.)
Go read the rest to see we are wasting money on weapons that won't deter our real threat, stateless terrorists, and of course could only lead to war with a another country(hmm, who do you think they have in mind?).

So sometimes an idea just hits you like a lightning bolt. It often takes a combination of factors, if you're as dense as I am.

I was reading my pal Howie Klein's awesome blog today, and he announced that he and Jane Hamsher, as well as a few other notables in the blogosphere (John Amato and Matt Stoller) are going to be launching a Blue America Speaker's Bureau, to add to their other fanstastic Blue America efforts.

This is SO important, to get progressives a in front of crowds to practice speaking and to help those of us who go on tv for no or little pay, the chance to earn some money speaking.

Well, as if there were not good enough, Howie was kind enough to use me as the example of someone this project is set up to support. I was honestly flattered. This is no bullshit. I have so much respect for Howie, I can't tell you. He has had a ridiculously successful career in the music industry, and could be on an island somewhere right now double-fisting drinks with umbrellas. Instead he has chosen to fight for progressive values.

And when I say fight, I mean fight. Howie is one of those guys we all love, who hits the other side as hard, and usually harder, than they hit us. We need more Howie Kleins. Go visit his blog early and often. And you can catch the Blue America conversation right now at Firedoglake.

Yet, in the meantime, here's what hit me like the proverbial lightning bolt. I had been looking for an award to give to pundits/bloggers who kick ass, like The Jim Webb we give to public servants.

Well it now has a name folks: The Howie Klein

We'll have our first honorees today or tomorrow.

If you were not watching Bill Maher last night, here is just a small part of one of the most articulate military critiques of Republicans and the pajama-clad, dribble-pantsed warriors of the Bush Administration I have ever heard.

It was delivered by retired Army Major General Paul D. Eaton who was the original Commander in charge of training Iraqi troops. Note to Democrats: This man should be encouraged to run for office (VP anyone?).

The reticence of many retired military officers to call a spade a spade, makes Eaton the easy choice to be the latest recipient of The Jim Webb, which as you may know we award to those public servants who stand up to the bullies on the Right and tell them where to stick it in very plain language (previous winners: Eliot Spitzer and Carol Shea-Porter):

We've got this thing that so many military believe that Republican administrations are good for the military. That is rarely the case. And, we have to get a message through to every soldier, every family member, every friend of soldiers that the Republican party, the Republican dominated Congress has absolutely been the worst thing that's happened to the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps.
There is much more where this quote came from. John has the video over at Crooks & Liars.

Watch it.

Bob Geiger has the Saturday cartoons as he always does. Funny stuff on Madame Adam's Apple.

Go read 'em.

In a post at the National Review online, Andy McCarthy bemoans the Inspector General report on the misuse of power by the FBI. His main problem with it is that "civil libertarian extremists" will use the report to eviscerate the Patriot Act. McCarthy defends the government by saying

"It is worth bearing in mind here that Inspector General found the FBI's
mistakes here were based on incompetence, not malevolence"

That's right folks, no need to worry about the government misusing power, they're just stupid, not evil. Apparently, stupidity is something Republicans value these days, which explains the prominence of folks like Limbaugh and Coulter.

Simon Rosenberg, the political force behind the New Politics Institute, which teaches progressives to use new technologies and tactics to win the war of ideas and the battle of the ballot booth, sums up the Bush years quite well in an email:

The largest set of criminal investigations into the leaders of our nation in our history. Longest jail sentence for a member of Congress in history. Now two senior White House staff members - Libby and Safavian - convicted of crimes. Covering for a known sexual harrasser of young kids and awarding him the Chair of the Committee on Missing and Exploited Children. The condoning of torture, the establishment of secret prisons and the practice of rendition, and the erosion of the Geneva Conventions. Warrantless spying on our citizens. Overstepping of even the generous provisions of the Patriot Act. Putting our kids into battle without proper equippment or training. Out of control government spending, and handing over our future to foreign central banks. The incredible politicization of the US Attorney system, starting with Rove's intervention on behalf of Abramoff against the US Attorney in Guam in 2002. Abramoff's dozens of visits to the White House, hidden for so long from the public. Attempts to cut veteran benefits and the scandal of Walter Reed. Lying to the world about the cause of war. Allowing serial corruption of the Iraqi contracting process. The buying off of journalists and commentators, from Miami to Washington. Ignoring the cries from New Orleans. While wages are going down, denying an increase in the minimum wage and attempting to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans. Over the top partisanship, and an absolute unwillingness to sit down and work out a deal on major national concerns like the budget and war. The denying of the reality of global climate change.....
Simon covered it quite well, although sadly this list could go on ad infinitum.

Spring is Coming!!
Another great photo by my friend Cat

And as an aside, this was in the Politico article that I referenced last nite, but apparently it is SO important, that Drudge (no link, won't do it) had to put it at the top of his site.
A statement released Friday night from Fox Vice President David Rhodes said: "News organizations will want to think twice before getting involved in the Nevada Democratic Caucus, which appears to be controlled by radical fringe, out-of-state in interest groups, not the Nevada Democratic Party. In the past, has said they 'own' the Democratic party. While most Democrats don't agree with that, it's clearly the case in Nevada."

Friday, March 09, 2007

This is just TOO GOOD.

Like a cool summer's breeze or a gay prostitute pimping himself to the very Republican Party who pretends to be against homosexuality when their closet is more full than Rush Limbaugh after the all-you-can-eat brunch at Denny's.

Here is what the Dekalb Daily Chronicle had to say about "firing" Ann Coulter (incidentally, the seventh paper to drop the hammer on the Adam's Apple's column).

Exactly one week ago today - not in a column printed in the Chronicle but rather in a speech to attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington - Ann Coulter said the following: “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.'” She said it boldly and without apology. The audience applauded, either in affirmation or because people sometimes react oddly when offended.

Ann Coulter is not a “real” employee of the Chronicle. She isn't a freelancer or even an independent contractor. If she were an employee and referred to another human being as a “faggot,” her employment would be short-lived. As it is, the acerbic Coulter is a syndicated columnist whose material is distributed through Universal Press Syndicate. Universal President and Editor Lee Salem has responded to Coulter's remarks by saying, “She is not an employee, and we have no legal power to ‘fire' her.”

That's a lot like the Chronicle saying, “She didn't say it in one of the columns we ran, so it isn't our problem.” Wrong. It is our problem, and not dealing with it is a cop-out.

So yesterday we called Universal Press Syndicate and “fired” Coulter. What she said was wrong and hurtful and stepped way beyond the line of human decency, much less political commentary.
It's thankless work being a bigot these days.

DEAD, belly up, blooey, buried, cadaverous, checked out, cold, cut off, deceased, defunct, departed, done for, erased, expired, extinct, gone, inanimate, inert, late, lifeless, liquidated, mortified, no more, not existing, offed, passed away, perished, reposing, rubbed out, snuffed out, spiritless, stiff, unanimated, washed up, wasted.


Nevada Dems Nix Fox Debate

By: Ryan Grim
March 9, 2007 05:54 PM EST

The Nevada State Democratic Party is pulling out of a controversial presidential debate scheduled for Aug. 14 in Reno and co-hosted by Fox News, according to Democratic insiders.

The debate was being hosted by Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio, the Nevada State Democratic Party and the Western Majority Project.

A Fox spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a call for comment.
The state party has been under pressure from progressive activists across the country, led by, to cut its ties with the debate.

According to MoveOn, more than 265,000 people signed a petition sent to the Nevada State Democratic Party. The organization launched a website -- -- as part of its campaign.

FOX News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes gave the progressive activists more ammunition on Thursday when he jokingly compared Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, to Osama bin Laden.

Yes, an ignorant (or more likely partisan) writer named James Pethokoukis at U.S. News & World Report actually tries to make the argument that the rich are suffering.

Sometimes I can only shake my head and wonder how many shekels it takes for these people to whore themselves out. If there were any question about his loyalties, his bio says he frequently appears on Kudlow & Company.

That would be Larry Kudlow. Oh, you don't know who he is you say. Well just read this small section of his bio, and play a game. It's called: How many right wing organizations can I find?

He was a member of the board of directors of Empower America, a supply-side economics organization founded in 1993 and merged in 2004 with the Citizens for a Sound Economy to form FreedomWorks. Kudlow is also consulting chief economist for American Skandia Life Assurance, Inc., in Connecticut, a subsidiary of insurance giant Prudential Financial.

He has also contributed to the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, the Cato Journal of the Cato Institute and the City Journal of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, as well as the television shows The McLaughlin Group, and has appeared as a guest on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and on Wall Street Week. Kudlow's book American Abundance: The New Economic and Moral Prosperity (ISBN 0-8281-1117-0) was published by HarperCollins on December 1, 1997.

Kudlow belongs to the Union League Club of New York, the Princeton Club, the Capitol Hill Club and the National Women’s Republican Club, and co-founded the Club for Growth. He also serves as a member of the Fordham University board of trustees.
Oh and he also cheats at tennis, or so my uncle says (and what's up with belonging to "The National Women's Republican Club," I mean it's been a while since I took high school biology, but, um, doesn't having a penis preclude you from being a woman--not counting Ann Coulter of course).

In any case, luckily we have Ian to expose the silliness of Mr. Pethokoukis' piece.

Crooks & Liars

The Progressive:

It is the soldiers, their families, and the people of Iraq that pay the human costs. The tab so far: more than 3,000 dead U.S. troops, tens of thousands of wounded, over half a million Iraqi casualties, roughly 250,000 American servicemen and women struggling with PTSD, and almost 60,000 military marriages that have been broken by this war.

Democrats Meet Testicles, Testicles Meet Democrats

Democrats pressured to drop Fox News despite compromise

Not satisfied with the Nevada Democratic Party's attempts to placate them, online activists say they won't rest until the party's partnership with Fox News is severed.

"People like Harry Reid and Tom Collins probably are not in touch with rank and file Democrats, who have been pretty mad about the lack of spine in the party for about 20 years," he said. "The Democratic Party has been rolling over for Republicans for ages."

Oh, Man.... can we get this guy to "purify" the US from coast to coast?

Priests to Purify Site After Bush Visit
JUAN CARLOS LLORCA | AP | March 9, 2007 12:20 AM EST

GUATEMALA CITY — Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate "bad spirits" after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.

"That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday.

Southern Baptist Mengeles?

Original Sin
Posted Mar 9th 2007 9:00AM by Richard Rothstein
Filed under: Gay Rights, Religion, Homophobia

One of the nation's leading Southern Baptists has called for a policy that would support medical treatment, if it were to become available, to change the sexual orientation of a fetus inside its mother's womb from homosexual to heterosexual.

This latest assault on our dignity and existence comes from no less a personage than Rev. R. Albert Mohler, the president of the prominent and influential Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

Could Edwards Become First Woman President?

Head meet desk.

Wow, somebody get Bill O'Liellys' body language expert on the fon....
If you were watching Robert Mueller, FBI Directors' press conference, you know exactly what I'm saying... he shifted, barely looked at the camera and obviously had a horrible case of dry mouth. Hmmmm..


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI is guilty of "serious misuse" of the power to secretly obtain private information under the Patriot Act, a government audit said Friday.

The Justice Department's inspector general looked at the FBI's use of national security letters (NSLs), in which agents demand personal and business information about individuals -- such as financial, phone, and Internet records -- without court orders. Civil libertarians have slammed the practice.

John @ Americablog has great coverage of the Mueller press conference & the questions it prompts.

Newt Gingrich, thy name is hypocrisy.

"One day there will be a new attorney general, maybe sooner rather than later," Specter said sharply. In an interview with Reuters after the meeting with Gonzales, Specter said his comments did not imply he thought the attorney general should be replaced.
No, apparently those comments implied that Specter was employing the philosophical tenets of Rene Descartes when pondering the many workings of space and time. Or he's a chickenshit who backed down. You choose.

Well, in any case, wouldn't that be a shame if Gonalez were actually replaced. It would suck to have an Attorney General who goes after criminals and terrorists instead of adults who watch pornography (no, there are no Republicans among that group).

Proposing having an Attorney General who doesn't hire and fire based upon politics, or more accurately, hire those who metaphorically practice a Mark Foley-style petting of this administration (in the case of some CPAC guests, however, not so metaphorical) would also be just downright crazy talk. Like Rush on the burgers with the Peyote sauce.

Wow, who ever thought we'd be looking back nostalgically at John Ashcroft?

Tom Schaller writes good.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hey folks,

If you are a Kos member, my friends Mike Stark and John Javna put up their profile of me for the BlogPac hero (or as I call it, in my case, schmuck). In any case, if you could go over there and recommend, it would be much appreciated.

Your pal,


Lieberman Supports a Swift-Boater

Yeah, um, good idea letting him have the radio address as a "Democrat." The stupidity of continuing to lay in bed with this cretin knows no bounds.

He is now outwardly supporting the Bush nominee for Ambassador to Belgium, a guy who helped finance the swift-boating of John Kerry in 2004. I know this will shock you the most, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that this very guy who financed swift-boaters, also donated to Alf's dad in his independent bid in CT after his own party kicked him to the curb.

Joe Lieberman was beaming. "Sam Fox represents what America is all about," he said, "and that's why he will be, when confirmed, an extraordinary ambassador."

The scene was last week's Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Connecticut's junior senator was making a highly unusual appearance to lobby for Fox's nomination to be the U.S. ambassador to Belgium.

Fox has come under fire from Democrats because of his role in helping to bankroll the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004 - the group that many Democrats still hold responsible for John Kerry's narrow loss to President Bush that year.

The day after the 2006 election, Lieberman, elected as an independent, got a $10,500 contribution from Fox and another $10,500 from Fox's wife. Both are generous GOP donors.

Another week, more McCain flip-floppery. We the folks at The Real McCain are once again happy to bring it to you:

* Apparently many McCain staffers up and quit when he flip-flopped on his own presidential announcement plans. Did I mention he didn't thell them? What a straight-shooter!

* McCain also was for using the word "wasted" when referring to lives lost in Iraq before he was against it. Now he's for "sacrificed." As in, how many more lives do you intend to sacrifice in this failed, trumped up war, senator?

*“I will take responsibility for being a member of the Armed Services Committee and not knowing about it and not doing anything about it,” the Republican 2008 contender told a group of county officials from across the country today. “I apologize for my failure” to act, the Arizona Republican added. “I should be held accountable.”

This is the current McCain on Walter Reed. Here is McCain during the 2006 election cycle when campaigning against Tammy Duckworth (yes, he campaigned against a vet who lost both legs in combat--nice way to show you're for the troops first and party second):

"Mr. McCain demanded the apology while electioneering for a Republican congressional candidate in Illinois...He was speaking of how often he had been to Walter Reed Hospital to see the wounded Iraq veterans, of how many of them have lost limbs. "

No senator, the residents of Walter Reed should be demanding much more than just an apology from you. If you were there numerous times, and did NOTHING about the situation there, how about we hear from you as to why you did NOTHING.

Thanks as always, and hope you enjoyed this week's edition.

Cliff Schecter will be publishing a book on John McCain this summer called The Real McCain.

Mike Lux, a good friend and progressive in DC, has written a great piece about the current divide in the Democratic Party. He puts it like this:

Something new, though, is going on inside the Democratic Party, and as someone who is both a strong progressive and a loyal Democrat, I am paying a lot of attention to the action. This is not just a little bit of a dust-up or some catty dueling between factions. This goes much deeper than that. It is the divide between the party establishment and the emerging (and rapidly strengthening) outsider progressives.
He goes on to define who these people are and does it quite well, in my humble opinion:

In Camp A, the establishment camp, I am thinking of people nervous about Democrats being too aggressive in ending the Iraqi war; former Democratic staffers who are comfortable about going to work as a lobbyist or consultant for big corporate clients; people who endorsed Lieberman in his primary last year; people who are strongly pro-free trade; campaign consultants who still believe in spending most of a campaign's budget on broadcast TV ads; and people disdainful of bloggers and

In Camp B, the outsider/progressive camp, I am thinking of writers and avid readers of the blogosphere along with members of; supporters of Howard Dean's 50-state strategy; people who believe Democrats should do everything in their power, ASAP, to get us out of Iraq; and people who believe that strong labor and environmental problems should be negotiated into trade packages.
I find this piece especially interesting, because Mike describes himself as being politically aligned with Camp B, but knowing many folks in Camp A, after working for Clinton and being in DC for a while. Now I don't have Mike's rolodex, but similar things could be said about me.

One small difference is that he thinks a less agressive approach should be taken by progressives in taking on the establishment, "picking fights where we can." I believe this is a fight for the soul of the party. If you are cool with not pulling out of Iraq, with that crappy bankruptcy bill that passed, with free trade deals that are actually quite costly to American workers due to their lack of protections, then I must aggressvively oppose you not only because I believe it to be bad politically, but also morally.

Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Mike and he has done a great job breaking this down, I just happen to disagree with his conclusion.

I was going to write something biting and clever about Bob Novak's smarmy piece about the scandal he started, but Jon Stewart says it best.

International Woman's Day

Figures compiled by the British government, development agencies and human rights groups resemble a roll call of shame:

* Two-thirds of the world's 800 million illiterate adults are women as girls are not seen as worth the investment, or are busy collecting water or firewood or doing other domestic chores.

* Two million girls aged from five to 15 join the commercial sex market every year.

* Domestic violence kills and injures more people in the developing world than war, cancer or traffic accidents.

* Seventy per cent of the world's poorest people are women.

* Violence against women causes more deaths and disabilities among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents or war.

* Women produce half the world's food, but own less than two per cent of the land.

* Of the more than one billion people living in extreme poverty, 70 per cent are women.

* Almost a third of the world's women are homeless or live in inadequate housing.

* Half of all murdered women are killed by their current or former husbands or partners.

* Every minute a woman dies as a result of pregnancy complications.

* Women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, yet earn only a tenth of its income.

* One woman in three will be raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime.

Ahh, the liberal press. Today, that dupe of an on-line blog, The Politico, has a story about Bill Richardson answering questions about being a womanizer. The article mentions that no one has alleged anything improper, and that people who have done background checks on Richardson have found nothing improper or incriminating. Basically, Ben Smith wrote a piece about rumors regarding a Presidential candidate, without a single piece of substantiation or even an allegation. Wonder when the RNC will let him publish his next article?

The Boston Globe published an article that Obama paid off some old parking tickets. Stop the press!!!! He might have also once removed two pennies from the "take a penny, leave a penny" at a Dunkin Donuts. If only the press worked this hard taking a look into George Bush's AWOL military record and allegations of drug use.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm pissed... again.

There were rumblings about this two weeks ago, when Faux Freaks in the AM took a poll as to whether or not they should get a seat in the front for the gaggle and kick Helen out. I figured they were full of s**t.

Guess not.

Helen Thomas Moving Back After 46 Years Down Front

By: Mike Allen
February 20, 2007 04:47 PM EST

Every theater-style seat in the White House briefing room, now closed for renovation, had a brass plaque inscribed with the name of a news organization. Only one, in the middle of the front row, had a name: “HELEN THOMAS,” it said.

The press corps is scheduled to move from temporary facilities back into the spiffed-up, rewired briefing room in May or June. Thomas, who has been questioning presidents and press secretaries for 46 years, plans to be there. But her front-row seat won’t be. Plans call for her to be moved to the second row to make room for a cable news channel – a sign of Washington’s changing pecking order, and of the new ways that Americans get their news.


You mean giving credence to LIARS AND FABRICATORS,
not tough minded JOURNALISTS who believe in the TRUTH?
I'm having vapors, I'm so F**KING PISSED.


I pointed out that there is a school of thought that questions are worth asking even if the president won’t answer them. “At least the public’ll know you’re doing your job,” she said. “Questions should be out there, because the American people have seen us become so compliant and complicit. You were there for the run-up to the war. Where were the questions?

Am I alone in my anger?
Raw Story 2/27/07

Nope, seems like Les Kinsolving is a little (humorously) ticked
"But CNN also reported that in order to accommodate one more network in row one, Helen, our senior-to-all colleague, is to be relegated to row two when we move back into the White House press room," Kinsolving continued.
"And my question: Assuming that CNN is accurate, how can you allow this dean of our corps, senior veteran and undeniably colorful character to be backseated as has been done to her at presidential press conferences?" Kinsolving asked Snow. "And what does this say about Bush-Snow treatment of senior citizens, who wonder how you and the president can allow a network such ageist favoritism over a veteran?"

As Snow stumbled for an answer, Thomas said, "I would never think of his questions in a million years."

"Number one, of course we love Helen," Snow responded. "Number two, the White House does not make decisions about where people sit, so you can address that to the Correspondents' Association. And number three, regardless of the seating arrangement, you'll still be looking at the back of her head."

Kinsolving pressed on, "Why do you allow this? Why do you and the president allow this discrimination against a senior citizen, who is our senior reporter?"

I've been in contact with a friend of Helens' and this is what she had to say-

What is funny to me is that the idiot on FoxNews who is pushing for this said he collected 300 emails in support of him replacing Helen. We could get 3000 in a day on her behalf and blow that jerk out of the water.

So what's stopping us?

WHCA Office- Steve Scully is President of the White House Correspondents Association
1920 N Street, NW
Suite 300
Washington, D.C.



Main Number: (202) 737-3220

Finally, from Helen's friend... much more eloquently than me....

I believe that there is tremendous value, both symbolically and practically, for having someone of her courage and character grilling the President from the first chair. It shows the rest of the world that free press, governmental accountability, accomplished female professionals, and Executive transparency are truly American virtues.

A F'ng Men.

Tom Tancredo, also known as the American Jean Marie Le Pen or the lovechild of a forbidden dalliance between Henry Ford and Charlie Lindbergh is just kinda funny.

Well as funny as racists can be. But it is amusing when one of his staffers took his car out for a joy ride and trashed it. Now, that, fair conservative humorists at Fox, is comedy.

Matt Ortega, a great guy and top-quality blogger, has the details.

Maybe Republicans should just stick to "faggot" jokes (HT - The Daily Dish)

Reason # 4,254 I cancelled my Washington Post subscription last year.

What an utter piece of neoconservative crap this once venerable newspaper has become.

Reading through the morning's news, I was surprised to see this editorial in The New York Post calling for a pardon for Scooter Libby. Why would The Post defend a convicted perjurer, you ask? Well, because the case was political. Here's the money quote

So what was this all about?

Scoring points against Bush.

That much is obvious, given prosecutor Fitzgerald's conduct during Libby's trial.

It's not just that his closing argument was blatantly political, charging that Libby's boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, had orchestrated the leak of Plame's name in order to discredit her husband.

So, The New York Post thinks it is wrong to run a political investigation, and that perjuring oneself during a political investigation is not worthy of punishment. Hmmm, perjury, political investigation, where have I heard this before? Oh yeah, the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Surely, The Post held similar opinions back then, right? Some money quotes

But this misses the point. Al Gore hasn't turned into Dan Quayle. He's turned into Bill Clinton. On "20/20," he defended his claims last year that it was OK for Clinton to make "misleading statements," i.e., lies, because it was a "partisan" impeachment process. (New York Post, June 18, 1999)

Bill Clinton may truly believe that his acquittal has salvaged his reputation.
But he now stands branded - by a federal judge far removed from the partisan politics of Congress - as a willful, deliberate, contemptuous liar.
That is his shame to bear - and all America's, as well. (New York Post, April 13, 1999)

So basically, The Post thinks the partisan investigation of Bill Clinton that led to a charge of perjury was the shame of the nation, but Scooter Libby ought to be pardoned for far worse offenses. Spare us the explanation, JPod, and just admit to being an outright hypocrite.

You may have heard of the faux-Arianna scandal--you know where The Weekly Standard, who likes to make realy smart predictions about easy wars in the Middle East, tries to hold the good Mrs. Huffington responsible for every commenter on the Huffington Post, if she doesn't erase each comment exactly five seconds before it was written.

Well what say you about this comment posted at a YouTube video of mine Mr. Barnes?


You all know that if I was debating this beady-eyed Jesus killer, I would have destroyed him. I guarantee that Menendez loses in New Jersey. America does not like manipulative Jesus killers, corrupt New Jersey politicians like Menendez, or like Jim McGreevey who smokes flesh missile behind Catholic Churches and at highway rest stops. This is why Democrats can't win an election to save their lives.
Besides the fact that we all know who the real bedwetters are, the ones who pee themselves at the thought of anyone who looks different or might have been born outside 'Merica--so just bomb them all!--it appears I am still being held responsible for killing Jesus.

So I am guessing that is way Barnes, Kristol et al think about eveyone of Semitic origin? In Kristol's case, even, um, himself?

What sucks is I have such a good alibi from that day. I was at least five miles away herding goats (plus, my wife thinks my eyes are one of my best features, so that uncalled for attack on them just, well, stings right now).

Damn Skippy!!
Edwards to skip Fox News debate

We will not be participating in the Fox debate. We're going to make lots of appearances in Nevada, including debates. By the end of March, we will have attended three presidential forums in Nevada - and there are already at least three proposed Nevada debates. We're definitely going to debate in Nevada, but we don't see why this needs to be one of them.

Hmmm, wonder what could have helped their decision?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Yes a gay porn star was at CPAC. Yes, he's been on Hannity, O'Reilly and got his picture taken with Coulter. No, you should not be surprised by this in the slightest (see Gannon, Haggard, Lonnie Latham and the gang).

My pal Matt Browner-Hamlin has the story.

Bill Scher, who was one of the brave ones to hang out at CPAC the whole time and risk that the stink does stick, provides a good summary of this experience and conservatism's "secular problem."

Give it a read.

Chris Bowers could not be more right on this point. We have allowed Republicans to define using the power of the purse as cutting off funding from the troops, which is such bullshit.

Yet, right-wing talking points, a compliant media, a group of Democratic triangulators and other Dems afraid to stand up often lands us in this place.

It is simple. We are voting to fully fund redeployment. And homeland security. And to protect the troops. Whatever you decide to go with (all are true by the way), you don't buy into the bs Republican frame.

Amazing. As I pointed out earlier, Ted Stevens and Pete Domenici voted to end funding Vietnam (no, not the American troops there, the crappy war). So imagine how far to the right the debates has shifted since then when liberal Democrats are even afraid to do the same now.

It is really quite maddening.

Why so many people hate Joe Lieberman so much? The Hartford Courant takes a closer look at the reasons. Money graphs

Meanwhile, on "Meet the Press," Chuck Hagel, Nebraska's Republican senator, unloaded after Lieberman said he wanted to win in Iraq for his children and grandchildren.

Hagel said he was "offended" by suggestions that those who want
to curb U.S. involvement were advocating defeat. "We all have children and grandchildren. He doesn't have a market on that, nor do any of my colleagues."

Why does Lieberman incite such anger? Why doesn't he get more credit for trying to bring people together? Tom Andrews, a former Democratic Maine congressman who is national director of Win Without War, a coalition of religious, environmental and civil rights groups, tried to explain.

"He's not only on the other side of most Democrats, but he's opposed by a clear majority of the American people," he said.

It was pointed out that Lieberman's view is shared by others in politics, but they don't get the daily thumping he endures.

"That's because he's in your face about his views," Andrews said. "He goes out of his way to lecture people about why it's important to back the president in Iraq."

Taken together, these two statements are the essence of why Joe is despised. He is in your face about the moral superiority of his position, even though his position isn't morally superior. Through the first few years of the Iraq War, Joe lectured Democrats not to attack the President's plan, because it was working. And now that he was obviously wrong, that the Bush plan he defended didn't work and was a disaster, what does Joe say? Instead of saying he was wrong, he is once again lecturing Democrats not to attack the President's plan.

Bottom line is line - you don't claim the high ground unless you have it. We don't want parenting advice from Britney Spears (or hairstyle advice, for that matter), we don't want tips on honesty from Scooter Libby and we don't want lectures from Joe on the War.

Libby Found Guilty. Sentence of up to 25 years. 'Nuff said.

Walter Reed Smoking Gun Quote

Here is the Bush Administration when the scandal broke recently:

At the White House, spokesman Tony Snow said he spoke with the president yesterday about Walter Reed and the president told him: "Find out what the problem is and fix it."

He said Bush "first learned of the troubling allegations regarding Walter Reed from the stories this weekend in The Washington Post. He is deeply concerned and wants any problems identified and fixed." (The stories were published Monday and yesterday in the Monitor.)
And here is President Bush December 20, 2004, when defending his then-Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld:

"I know Secretary Rumsfeld's heart; I know how much he cares for the troops," Bush said, adding that Rumsfeld and his wife, Joyce, often visit military patients at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington and the Naval Medical Center in nearby Bethesda, Md.
You got that? Rumsfeld was with the patients, and obviously just didn't notice the crap falling from the ceiling, soiled carpets or multi-legged creatures living among our wounded soldiers.

So either Bush is lying and Rumsfeld wasn't visiting, or he and/or Rumsfeld are heartless whores who didn't care to do anything about this (are they mutually exclusive)?

You choose.

Today is an important day you probably don't know about....

The Prosecuter Purge

GOP lawmakers tried to influence federal investigation
By Marisa Taylor
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Heather Wilson of New Mexico pressured the U.S. attorney in their state to speed up indictments in a federal corruption investigation that involved at least one former Democratic state senator, according to two people familiar with the contacts.

The alleged involvement of the two Republican lawmakers raises questions about possible violations of House of Representatives and Senate ethics rules and could taint the criminal investigation into the award of an $82 million courthouse contract.

Senate hearings started at 10a on CSpan 3 which I don't have, but you can watch online here and they are live blogging over at Daily Kos.
From the live blogging, Schumer says
Some in the admin were seeking to turn US Attorneys into political operatives... what are we to think when there are allegations of retaliation...when prosecutors appear to have been fired for no reason, or worse, as part of a political vendetta?

Talking Points Memo has been on this from the beginning. They think (and I agree) that this could be the ultimate downfall of the Bush Administration.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Coulter Loses 3 Advertisers From Her Website

She has been dropped by several advertisers at, including Fannie Mae, Verizon, and NetBank. Fannie Mae and Verizon claimed they bought advertising from a "third party" and should never have been on the site. NetBank specifically dropped because of the pressure.

She is a vile hateful person. If you spend any time on Daily Kos, you will find out that Transexuals find it a special insult for her to be rumored Transexual. They don't want her. So in respect for that I don't hypothesize about her sexuality. I find it alot more probable that she is just a bitter warped woman who eats rats for lunch.

Just a reminder: So far she has called Clinton, Gore, Edwards & Tucker Carlson gay.

Read Steve's roundup today.

All things I was going to blog on, so Steve makes life easy for me. Thanks pal!


It is 2001 days since the attack in 2001 and no Osama. But just so you feel better, he's still wanted dead or alive.

CREW filed an ethics complaint against Senator Pete Domenici today. No, not for proposing to the talking urinals, but for interfering with a federal investigation.

As an aside, another sad offshoot of the current Republican Party has been to watch old horses in the GOP, who used to be at least semi-moderate and I used to respect if disagree with, become cuckolds at the hands of radical, fringe loons.

Many Republican voters in New Mexico, Virginia and other states have figured this out and have started voting Democratic, yet Domenici and John Warner, have joined the parade and destroyed what were respectable legacies. I would say the same about Ted "series of tubes" Stevens who once voted to pull funding for Vietnam and is pro-choice, and Dick Lugar who has always been respected in the foreign policy community as one who works well with others (I believe all supported campaign finance reform, which while flawed as McCain-Feingold, was at least an attempt to do something).

Well at least three of those guys are up for reelection in 2008, and when it comes to Warner and Domenici in particular, who reside in states we can win, I say no mercy (Stevens would take a bit of luck, but who knows if the Democrats decide to actually stand up on Iraq as the GOP sinks). They had their chance to break with their party, and by Domenici's most recent actions as well as their records over the past six years, they have all failed to stand up and display any honor.

What Sean-Paul said.

I couldn't put it any better.

Where will Rush go now to find his fourth wife and sicken the patrons?

This is why I am such a big fan of Wes Clark. Not only was he one of the few Democrats to go and actually support Lamont in Connecticut last year, but he tells us what we need to know on the foreign policy front without acting like so many in this town. That would be a frightened little child, scared their shadow might take a bite out of their ass.

Well, what do we find out from General Clark today (or actually Friday, but who's counting)? Well, it turns out--shocker here--the Bush team, immediately after 9/11, had a plan to do 7 wars in 5 years.

Yup. The people who can't even handle two wars without making them both appear as if they were being run by Gomer Pyle wanted 5 more (or 6, I don't even think they were counting Afghanistan at that point--which is quite evident when one views the results). Keep that bunker stocked for the next two years folks...

I am a huge fan of Congressman John Yarmuth, freshman from Louisville, who knocked off one of those right-wing, McConnell-clones-in-moderate-clothing, Anne Northup.

Well, besides being a great progressive on virtually every issue, and not hiding behind triangulation, Yarmuth is holding the hearing today that Paddy alluded to below, on Bush's latest Katrina, 9/11 or Iraq--known as Walter Reed.

Here is the press alert in full (full disclosure, I advised the campaign in a completely informal, unpaid capacity in 2006):

Congressman John Yarmuth

Representing Kentucky's 3rd District


Monday, March 5, 2007


Stuart Perelmuter 202.225.5401

Congressman Yarmuth, Walter Reed Field Hearing in Progress on C-SPAN

(Washington, DC) Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) and the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs is conducting an unprecedented field hearing on the substandard care and conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The hearing can be seen live on C-SPAN.


Congressman Yarmuth to Demand Answers from Walter Reed Officials

in Unprecedented Field Hearing

(Washington, DC) This Monday, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) and the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs will conduct a field hearing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to determine the cause for the substandard care wounded soldiers have been receiving of late. They hope to come away with solutions that will quickly raise the level of care and prevent the situation form recurring.

Although alarm has spread throughout the government and military over the recent revelations about Walter Reed, Yarmuth's subcommittee is the only one that will be traveling to the site to investigate.

In addition to hearing from wounded soldiers and their families, the Committee will also question Lieutenant General Kevin C. Kiley. Kiley served as Head of Walter Reed in 2003 and 2004 and was returned to the post this week. The appointment has come under fire as many of the deficiencies plaguing the Medical Center developed during Kiley's tenure. Adding fuel to the fire, Kiley said that the dilapidated Building 18 was neither "substandard" nor "serious."

Although they offered no explanation as to why, the Army refused to allow the testimony of Major General George Weightman, whose February 28th firing prompted the reinstatement of Lt. Gen. Kiley. Maj. Gen. Weightman has since been subpoenaed to testify at this hearing. The expected testimonies of Weightman and Kiley's will break a policy of silence, which the Army imposed on Walter Reed staff and patients after the conditions were made public February 18th.

The hearing comes on the heels of Yarmuth's call for the U.S. Government Accountability Office to conduct a full investigation into "the adequacy of the Administration's long term plans to provide the full range of necessary services for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars while continuing to care for veterans of previous wars."

"I'm looking forward to getting answers as to how we strayed so far from fulfilling our basic responsibilities to our soldiers," said Congressman Yarmuth. "We absolutely cannot tolerate this appalling level of care for the men and women who were injured fighting for our country, and I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure that these brave soldiers get the care they deserve, and that they get it now."

WHEN: Monday March 5 at 10:00 AM

WHERE: Walter Reed Army Medical Center

WHAT: Field Hearing on Care and Conditions at Walter Reed

WHO: Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3), Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, wounded soldiers and their families, Lieutenant General Kevin Kiley, Major General George Weightman, Cynthia Bascetta Director of Healthcare, GAO

Congressional hearing on the horrid situation at Walter Reed on CSpan 2 now.
How about this?

Washington Post

'It Is Just Not Walter Reed'
Soldiers Share Troubling Stories Of Military Health Care Across U.S.

By Anne Hull and Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, March 5, 2007; A01

Ray Oliva went into the spare bedroom in his home in Kelseyville, Calif., to wrestle with his feelings. He didn't know a single soldier at Walter Reed, but he felt he knew them all. He worried about the wounded who were entering the world of military health care, which he knew all too well. His own VA hospital in Livermore was a mess. The gown he wore was torn. The wheelchairs were old and broken.

"It is just not Walter Reed," Oliva slowly tapped out on his keyboard at 4:23 in the afternoon on Friday. "The VA hospitals are not good either except for the staff who work so hard. It brings tears to my eyes when I see my brothers and sisters having to deal with these conditions. I am 70 years old, some say older than dirt but when I am with my brothers and sisters we become one and are made whole again."

Hundreds of soldiers contacted The Washington Post through telephone calls and e-mails, many of them describing their bleak existence in Medhold.

From Fort Campbell in Kentucky: "There were yellow signs on the door stating our barracks had asbestos."

From Fort Bragg in North Carolina: "They are on my [expletive] like a diaper. . . . there are people getting chewed up everyday."

From Fort Dix in New Jersey: "Scare tactics are used against soldiers who will write sworn statement to assist fellow soldiers for their medical needs."

From Fort Irwin in California: "Most of us have had to sign waivers where we understand that the housing we were in failed to meet minimal government standards."

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Worth Repeating.... over and over...

From Sen. Obama's speech today in Selma. Read the whole thing, but these paragraphs really caught my attention.

I'm fighting to make sure that our schools are adequately funded all across the country. With the inequities of relying on property taxes and people who are born in wealthy districts getting better schools than folks born in poor districts and that's now how it's supposed to be. That's not the American way. but I'll tell you what -- even as I fight on behalf of more education funding, more equity, I have to also say that , if parents don't turn off the television set when the child comes home from school and make sure they sit down and do their homework and go talk to the teachers and find out how they're doing, and if we don't start instilling a sense in our young children that there is nothing to be ashamed about in educational achievement, I don't know who taught them that reading and writing and conjugating your verbs was something white.

We've got to get over that mentality. That is part of what the Moses generation teaches us, not saying to ourselves we can't do something, but telling ourselves that we can achieve. We can do that. We got power in our hands. Folks are complaining about the quality of our government, I understand there's something to be complaining about. I'm in Washington. I see what's going on. I see those powers and principalities have snuck back in there, that they're writing the energy bills and the drug laws.

We understand that, but I'll tell you what. I also know that, if cousin Pookie would vote, get off the couch and register some folks and go to the polls, we might have a different kind of politics. That's what the Moses generation teaches us. Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Go do some politics. Change this country!
That's what we need. We have too many children in poverty in this country and everybody should be ashamed, but don't tell me it doesn't have a little to do with the fact that we got too many daddies not acting like daddies. Don’t think that fatherhood ends at conception. I know something about that because my father wasn't around when I was young and I struggled.


All Men, All the Time in News Business

In 2005, female graduates from journalism and mass communications programs were more likely to find full-time jobs than their male classmates.

But, actually, most of the news for women in the news is bad, so maybe Bergman and company were right to continue to reinforce the stereotype that the news business -- whether it's newspapers, TV, Sunday talk shows or magazines -- is dominated and run by men.

Male TV correspondents reported 75 percent of the news stories at the three major networks in 2005, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs.

86 percent of guests on Sunday morning public-affairs shows are, you guessed it, men, according to the White House Project, which studied cable and network show guests from November 2004 to July 2005.
My two cents?

When when the women DO get on the panels, they invariably get steamrolled by the host. I can't tell you the times I've wanted to smack Chris Matthews when he pointedly leaps over AB Stoddard or Hilary Rosen just to get another tired canard out of John Fund or Terry Jefferies.

Why no serious (eh) political shows with a female host? Where's Christianne Amanpour when you need her. I could go on and on.

This is simply hysterical. My friend Max Blumenthal, who is a contributor to The Nation, among other things, shows shades of Michael Moore at CPAC.

See Malkin freak out on him, his questioning Coulter's failed engagements in a room full of hard-core righties, David Horowitz insult him, Tancredo folk try and hide their Confederate love.

All with Max giving a masterful narration, replete with the mixture of humor, sarcasm, confrontation and theme that you usually can only find in Moore documentary. I am not exaggerating.

Go check it out.

Coultergeist clarifies her statement

:Ms. Coulter, asked for a reaction to the Republican criticism, said in an e-mail message: “C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.”

My Weekly AMERICAblog Column:

The Week That Was 3/2/07

Another week. More preposterousness to report.

"The Number 23." It's that new "psychological thriller" starring Jim Carrey about how a "man's life unravels" when he comes across a book with that very title.

Psychological thriller. Man's life unraveling. The number 23. Where have I seen this before?

Oh, right, The King of Crawford's current approval rating for his Iraq policy. That's right, only 23% in a new New York Times poll support Bush's bridge-to-foreign-policy-nowhere that increasingly seems like it was conceived by Mo, Larry or Curly (my bet's on the latter).

I'm not sure, but am guessing coming down with a case of the crabs, John Tesh's poetic lyrics set to song, and that astronaut with the adult diapers all have higher approval ratings.

It would be funny, if not so tragic. This week a young boy who needed a tooth extraction which cost 80 bucks, couldn't get it because he had no health insurance, and DIED because the bacteria spread to his brain. No, not in Sri Lanka. Or Zambia. But right here in Maryland.

This while that portly pile of gelatinous goo known as our vice president rips Americans off millions with his reach-around friends at Haliburton, George W. Bush and his borderline-retarded daughters never hold an honest job in their lives and the rest of the kleptocracy "slow bleeds" American workers (see the recent threats to block Homeland Security funding by the GOP if we dare give the 43,000 TSA workers bargaining rights)...well I had better stop before I go searching in the street for a random conservative to pummel.

So we may not have money for our citizens, but George W. Bush's deranged visions of Middle East kumbaya and Bill Kristol's sticky-pantsed dreams of Iraq's government resembling debates in the British Parliament, that we have billions and billions to throw at.

And now onto that party I am supposed to be able to respect. The Democrats. What the hell is it with you guys? I mean really. There are some notable exceptions. But the rest of you, when will you stop acting like a 29-year old blond locked alone in room with Don Sherwood?

Reminder: You won in 2006. Your vision triumphed. Conservatism was dealt a death blow. You have the chance to create a lasting majority, which sadly, is largely possible because of the death and destruction caused by LieberBushMcCainConnell.

So govern on this issue for Christ's sake! It is morally right, it is politcally right. You'll survive being left off of Dr. Dobson's Christmas list. Ted Haggard's parties are much more fun anyhow.

Please represent the 77% of us who have realized that George Bush is to Iraq what The Urinator is to Walter Reed.

This is just a gem. I will be linking a lot to Mr. Stark, I suspect, in the next few days.

Oh that boy can do funny photo!