Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hmm. That Would Be Illegal...

This excerpt from a Lexington Herald Leader article on July 16, 2006 was just brought to my attention:
Early in 2002, Kentucky's political universe began realigning in preparation for the '03 governor's race. That was when U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell brought Fletcher into his Senate hideaway office in the U.S. Capitol and, as McConnell later told the Courier-Journal, formally asked Fletcher to consider running. The request signalled not only the senator's support but also access to his statewide fund-raising and political operation.
And yes, a Senator is not allowed to use his taxpayer-funded office in the Capitol to plan a political campaign.


Sunday Line Up and Other Interesting Things!!!


Meet the Press: Gen. Anthony Zinni (ret); roundtable of NYT's David Brooks, WSJ's John Harwood, PBS' Gwen Ifill, and WaPo's Eugene Robinson.

Face the Nation: VP Dick Cheney (R).

This Week: Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM); Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA); roundtable of Dem strategist Donna Brazile, ex-Pentagon spokesperson Tori Clarke (R), George Will, and ex-Labor Sec. Robert Reich; comedian (and White House Correspondents' Association 2007 dinner entertainer) Rich Little.

Fox News Sunday: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI); Rev. Al Sharpton; Nat'l Security Archive dir. Tom Blanton.

Late Edition: Walter Mondale (D), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ); Sen. James Webb (D-VA); Nat'l Urban League Pres. Marc Morial; pundit Amy Holmes (R); Children's Defense Fund Pres. Marian Wright Edelman; AEI's Richard Perle; Iraqi gov't spokesperson Ali Dabbagh; roundtable of John Roberts, Andrea Koppel, and Jeffrey Toobin.

60 Minutes
: Education in prison on 4/15; 1998 Don Imus interview on 4/15; Duke lacrosse players on 4/15;

The View: Bill Maher on 4/16;

The Daily Show: Andrew Card (R) on 4/16; Sig Hansen on 4/17; Ali A. Allawi on 4/18; Jeremy Scahill on 4/19

The Colbert Report: Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) on 4/16; Elaine Pagels on 4/17; Sean Penn on 4/19; Robert Pinsky on 4/19; Russell Simmons on 4/23; Dr. Andrew Weil on 4/24; David Walker on 4/25; Tom Wolfe on 4/26;

Leno: Tim Russert on 4/18

Larry King celebrates 50 years in broadcasting: Bill Clinton on 4/19; Bill Maher on 4/20


What Was Giuliani Doing Getting Arrested in Cincinnati?

Oh, my bad:

Harphant then said he saw the bikini-clad person hop into a parked blue Ford F-150 pickup truck with red emergency lights on top and he realized the person was a man.

"My wife said, 'It's a lady,' and I was like, 'No, it's not a lady,' " he said.

Harphant then followed the truck as it drove around the park - including by the children's playground - and called police on his cell phone.

"There's a man out here dressed up in a wig and women's two-piece bikini freaking people out in the park," he told a 911 dispatcher...

...Mason Police Officer Scott Miller pulled the truck over. His report states:

"I observed Cole to be wearing a very skimpy woman's ... bikini with two tan water balloons taped to the top to simulate two woman's breasts and a pair of pink Speedo flip-flop sandals."

My Weekly AMERICAblog Column

The Week That Was 4/13/2007

Another Week. More preposterousness to report.

You've done a heckuva job Rudy!

In one week The Rudester has admitted to favoring publicly funded abortion (in winger world, roughly equal to tea time with Mephistopheles), shown he knows not the difference between Sunni and Shia (where have we seen this movie before?) and has displayed zero understanding of how our health care system works. Didn't you get the memo Rudy, being stupid is "out" in Republican circles (or at least being so stupid the PR guys can't cover it up). It hasn't done good things for your party brand, if you hadn't noticed.

Add in a dash of Bernard Kerik and a hint of Mrs. Rudy #3 hanging out at Cabinet meetings should he become prez (Note to Rudy: Republicans don't like women at private gatherings where the serious stuff is to be discussed, you know, like throw weights), and it's been a helluva week for the 9/11 hero. You know, the guy who brilliantly built his counter-terrorist HQ in New York in the most likely spot to be attacked by terrorists (and of course was--and was destroyed).

Although, showing he does on some level understand the Republican base down South, he took a pass on the Confederate Flag and whether southern states should apologize for slavery. Tell 'em you'll name Imus as your running mate, and you might hit the trifecta!

So, ok, he may not hate woman and gays enough to make the South happy, but will hating African-Americans pick up the slack? We'll see, I guess.

I still gotta wonder, however, how soon it is until we get the Rudy Death Watch, much like we've gotten the McCain Death Watch? Polls now show him losing to Edwards by six points in the general election and we also just got this nugget of fun from Rasmussen:
Giuliani has seen his poll numbers decline on several fronts in recent weeks. While he remains the frontrunner in polls for the GOP nomination, his support fell nine percentage points in a week when Fred Thompson's name was added. Additionally, Giuliani has lost his leads over New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama. His favorables have tumbled from 71% in December to 58% today. Giuliani stumbled in a television interview recently and suggested his wife might be an advisor at Cabinet meetings. He also repeated his support for public funding of abortions, a position not likely to help his cause in a GOP primary.
Quick Rudy, time to remind us on 9/11 you were the mayor on 9/11 when the terrorists attacked on 9/11! So what if you can't place Afghanistan on a map and think that under Sharia Law, men have to wear those veils--you know those Birkenstocks--over their heads.

Did you know they also had to cover their heads on 9/11?

Furners

I know it's all cool to not read and ever leave 'Merica, lest you run into someone who speaks a foreign language or believes in science, but we here at cliffschecter.com take a slightly different view.

You could call it un-Republican or a synonym, un-retarded.

We actually realize what happens abroad has an impact here, and around the world. So with that, I send you to a great Kos diary, that will help you understand the stakes, players, media and strategy involved in the upcoming presidential election in France.

Fun Story: Their version of David Duke, a wonderful man by the name of Jean-Marie Le Pen, sometimes gets too many votes for comfort in the South of the country (he actually snuck into the presidential runoff in 2002).

So when I was living in England in 1993, I traveled over to France at least half a dozen times. As I was a college student at the University of Pennsylvania at the time, I wore my typical beat up, blue Penn sweat shirt. One day I was in Paris, and some kids started yelling epithets at me, and I thought they were going to attack me. I had to try and explain in my--at the time--broken French, that Penn was not equal to Pen. A good time for everyone.

Luckily, if I remember that part of my life correctly, I was probably drunk.

We are now the majority.

THE WAR IN IRAQ: THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION VS. CONGRESS
April 9-12, 2007

Even though most Americans believe the recent political stalemate between the President and Congress over the war funding bill is having a negative impact on the morale of U.S. troops in Iraq, most Americans agree with the Democrats in Congress that the U.S. should set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq sometime next year.

Republicans remain optimistic about President Bush’s deployment of additional troops to Iraq and about the prospects for success there. However, a majority of Americans overall believes that the war is going badly, the troop increase is not helping, and that the prospects for success in Iraq are dim. And a record number cite the war as the country’s most important problem.

Justice Makes "False" Statements On Purpose

Josh Marchall linked to an article in Law.com, an interview with former Justice official Daniel Metcalfe. He says some pretty astonishing things about the Justice Department under Gonzalez. At one point, he purposely refused to take part in an op-ed piece because he knew it was 100% false.

The day that I decided to retire, for example, was one on which I was asked to participate in a matter in which a significant part of the department's position was aiming to be -- there's no other word for it -- false. Briefly stated, someone in the White House had determined that it would be a good idea for an op-ed piece on the subject of government secrecy to be prepared, and although its subject matter extended beyond the Justice Department's jurisdiction in multiple respects, it was decided that the Justice Department's Office of Public Affairs would take on that task nevertheless. I was perfectly able to make several corrections and substantive improvements to a last-minute draft that I received but drew a line at even attempting to "improve" a Defense Department-related paragraph within it that was incorrect by a full 180 degrees.
Knowing what the facts of that matter actually were, I flatly refused to aid that part of the enterprise, pointedly observing that the Gonzales-era political appointee who was behind the draft did, in fact, to my own certain knowledge, know them as well. I suppose I can take some small satisfaction that the false part of that "final draft" was then entirely replaced with something that was at least arguably true, but that's hardly the point. (That political appointee, by the way, did indeed receive his promotion, but is no longer in Washington.)
[Editor's Note: The op-ed in question appeared in USA Today on March 13, 2006, and was titled "Committed to Being Open."]
Yes, it became quite clear that under Gonzales, the department placed no more than secondary value on the standards that I and my office had valued so heavily for the preceding 25 years -- accuracy, integrity, responsibility and quality of decision-making being chief among them. Had I stayed as director of OIP, I might have been working for a Monica Goodling protege by now. (emphasis mine)

Andrew Sullivan Rips Cheney

Ouch! Read it, it's a guilty pleasure.

But, again, what's staggering about these Republicans is their total shamelessness. No administration in recent history has presided over anything like the explosion of domestic discretionary spending and pork-barrel spending than Bush and the Republicans in the past six years. And yet only three months into a new Democratic Congress, they expect to be taken seriously for attacking the other side for the same thing. Cheney is a smart man, and a deeply intellectually dishonest one.

Go and brave the "ad" price for admittance to read Bill Mahers column in Salon.
My favorite bit?

So there you have it: It turns out that the Justice Department is entirely staffed with Jesus freaks from a televangelist diploma mill in Virginia Beach.

Most of them young women with very little knowledge of the law, but a very strong sense of doing what they're told.

Like the Manson family, but with cleaner hair.

Governor Corzine

Most of you probably know the story by now. Governor Corzine was on the way to the meeting between Imus and the Rutgers basketball team, and was knocked off the road by a another car, leading to a horrible accident. He is in critical condition, and currently needs a ventilator.

I just want to say of this progressive champion, a man who made millions on Wall Street and still chooses to lead the fight for those less fortunate than himself. We need more like you, governor.

Please get well soon for your own and your family's sake, but also for ours.



Good Morning All!!!!

Once again, picture courtesy of Cat. She inadvertently made me snort this am when I saw she had named this pic "Red Yellow Pretty".

Overcast, chilly & glum here in my corner of Northern Indiana. Great excuse to sit here with my little heater under the desk and root out interesting things for ya'll.
(As if Mike Tyson in a Bollywood movie & Tucker Carlsons' "Match Game" aspirations weren't enough!)

Gosh!!! A Wisconsin US Atty was slated for firing right up until he prosecuted a Democrat on "beyond thin" evidence. Nothing stinky here.

Rep John "Don't F**k With Me" Conyers isn't buying the crap the DOJ is selling.

John McCain is a spineless wussy.

Study: Abstinence Classes Don't Stop Sex. Der.

What? Romney stocking up on hair gel?

Fun-Knee

Bob Geiger has the political cartoons, as usual, and here is his description:

The Saturday cartoons are up and we've got a good bunch today, including more on McCain, troops extended yet again, blaming Pelosi and, of course, Imus. There's a great Mark Fiore animation -- it's MC Rove -- and I'm happy to lead today with Ben Sargent, the Pulitzer Prize winner from the Austin Statesman who just gave me permission to run his work on my site.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sparksmania! Jeff Sessions Implicated In Rove Scandal

If Ron Sparks had any question on what his chances in the upcoming Senate race looked like, this news should put an end to it. One can only wonder what else these mysteriously deleted emails would tell us about the potential plans of Karl Rove and Jeff Sessions to replace US Attorneys not furthering their agenda:

One e-mail message shows the White House urging the Justice Department to call Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, to give him information about the placement of J. Timothy Griffin, a former aide to Karl Rove, as the interim United States attorney in Arkansas.

“WH political reached out to Sen. Sessions and requested that he ask helpful questions to make clear that Tim Griffin is qualified to serve,” said a January 2007 e-mail message from Monica Goodling, a former senior aide to Mr. Gonzales, to other department officials. “Here are the talkers on Griffin, as well as a narrative that can be used by staff, and his résumé. I think it would actually be helpful for all of the Rs to have it.”

For local news on the race, check out the Sack Sessions blog.


Real True Blue Oh My God News.

NPR

Documents Show Justice Ranking U.S. Attorneys
by Ari Shapiro

All Things Considered, April 13, 2007 · The Justice Department sent Congress a new batch of documents about the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys. The documents show Justice Department and White House staffers planning the firings and trying to control the subsequent fallout.

(snip)

NPR now has new information about that plan.
According to someone who's had conversations with White House officials, the plan to fire all 93 U.S. attorneys originated with political adviser Karl Rove.

It was seen as a way to get political cover for firing the small number of U.S. attorneys the White House actually wanted to get rid of. Documents show the plan was eventually dismissed as impractical.

Crazy Woman With Hi-Speed Intertubes Says...


I actually wore out two copies of this cassette.


I might have to reconsider my long standing boycott on psychedelics....

Guardian UK

Tyson to dance his way into Bollywood

Randeep Ramesh in New Delhi
Friday April 13, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

As a boxer, "Iron Mike" Tyson was known for pulverising his opponents with his power rather than dazzling them with his agility. Now Bollywood wants to develop his rather leaden footwork by casting him in a new action film later this month.

The Mumbai film producer Firoz Nadiadwala, whose last movie Phir Hera Pheri - More Fraud - was a big hit in India, is lining up Tyson for a dance sequence in his upcoming film Fool-n-Final.


And hey!!! Didja know that Tyson is Keith Olbermanns cousin by marriage?
Now that you've learned something, you may take the rest of the weekend off.

Briliant Tom Allen Response to Lieberman Endorsement of Collins

This is what you call jujitsu. Lieberman is a liability on Iraq, so make Collins choke on his endorsement. And Rep. Tom Allen's staff did just that (again, from CongressDaily subscription only):

Maine Democrats say the endorsement of Republican Sen. Susan Collins by Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman underscores a central argument in their challenge of the two-term senator next year: the war in Iraq. A political adviser for Democratic Rep. Tom Allen -- an unannounced but likely candidate against Collins -- said Lieberman's support for the war and Collins' support for the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tie her to the Bush administration's politically unpopular war policy.

"I think the Lieberman endorsement is significant. For us, it's a gift," the Allen adviser said. "It paints a picture of Susan Collins with people like Lieberman and McCain, who support the war."...
As my good pal Joe Sudbay over at AMERICAblog put it:

A great Senator? Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman have been complete and total failures at providing government oversight. They were -- and are -- the ranking Republican and Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that has done NOTHING to hold the Bush administration accountable for Iraq or Katrina or any other issue really.

Lieberman and Collins had the opportunity to rein Bush in -- and they didn't. They won't. They support Bush. They support his war in Iraq. No wonder Joe Lieberman thinks Collins is a great Senator. She's just like him.
So it goes.

McClatchy Blog

How these people find the strength to go on each day I don't know.

McClatchy Baghdad Bureau

April 12, 2007
How can they protect us

While Im writing these words, the Iraqi governmental channel is still making some meetings with lawmakers and officials talking about the explosion that happened in the cafeteria of the parliament building while the parliament members are having their lunch.

What I want to say is the following.

If the government couldn’t protect itself from the insurgents attack although they have American security companies and MN F equipped with the best devices, how can this government protect its people.


Now, I don't want to scare anyone, so buck up here for a sec....

While I was perusing the Financial Times earlier....
(you okay? deep breathe)

I found this.


Financial Times


Gender inequality/economic growth

Published: April 13 2007 12:49 | Last updated: April 13 2007 12:49

In the coming struggle to cope with ageing populations and heavier pension liabilities, governments, though they may not realise it, have a secret weapon: women.

Goldman Sachs estimates that closing the gap between male and female employment would boost US gross domestic product by as much as 9 per cent, eurozone GDP by 13 per cent and Japanese GDP by 16 per cent. But there is no inexorable rise in female employment levels. Goldman reckons that increasing female employment accounts for 0.4 percentage points of the eurozone’s 2.1 per cent trend growth since 1995 and projects a further 0.25 percentage points lift over the next 10 years. But relatively high female employment levels in the US have been slipping slightly, and Japan’s low female employment rate remains stubbornly flat – so no fillip for either of those.


The rest of it is behind a money wall, but it gives quite a bit of food for thought.
On the surface it seems self evident.
Where are all those economic supply sider R's calling for more women in the workforce & better pay?

Oh, sorry, they're being held hostage by the Theocrats who piddle themselves over the thought of self sufficient women with money.

Kennedy To Challenge Rehberg In Montana

With Governor Brian Schweitzer and Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus strengthening the grassroots network in the state, it now looks like we may pick up a Congressional seat there as well. Yellowstone County Commissioner Bill Kennedy, who is such a strong candidate that Republicans could not even find someone to challenge him in 2006, filed his papers to run against Denny Rehberg today.
"I've spent the past 14 years in the government closest to the people. I understand the challenges we face in Montana every day. We need to work together to make health care more affordable, to make our schools the best in the country, and to make sure we live up to the promises made to our veterans and seniors," Kennedy said in a prepared statement...

He taught at Colstrip and Billings Catholic Schools and was parish administrator at St. Thomas Church in Billings before becoming director at the Even Start Literacy Program for Billings School District 2. He serves on a variety of local, state and national associations and committees and has served as president of the Montana Association of Counties.

Shadegg Gets a Strong Challenger In Arizona

Given John McCain's ever decreasing popularity, the strong favorability of Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano, and Rick Renzi's continued involvement in scandals, Arizona could be a strong area for Democratic gains in 2008.

Now the one Republican they thought was safe appears to be in trouble. John Shadegg who only sits in a district with a +6 R Cook Partisan Index is facing a strong challenge from attorney Bob Lord, who raised $137,000 in the first quarter. Shadegg has yet to report but started the quarter with under $25,000 cash on hand. Over 13 percent of the district is comprised of veterans who one can imagine are not too happy with some of Shadegg's recent votes.

So It Goes

Well, what a surprise. Let me try and say this the way Kurt Vonnegut might have, in honor of the 20th Century's Mark Twain.

Democrats in Washington supported Joe Lieberman, against a real Democrat Ned Lamont. So it goes. Lieberman attacked them as treasonous for their troubles. So it goes. He got to give the Democrat radio address in response. So it goes.

He has now endorsed his first Republican for reelection, two-faced Susan Collins (CongressDaily, subscription required). So it goes. How long until he endorses McCain or Rudy for president (definitely if Hillary does not get the nomination)?

"I'm going to support Sen. Collins' re-election," he said in an interview with CongressDaily reporters. Lieberman, who was re-elected last year as an independent but continues to caucus with Democrats, added that his leadership PAC has already made the maximum contribution of $5,000 to Collins' campaign.
So it goes.

Warner Raises $500 in First Quarter

You read that right. $500. Not $500,000 but just $500. Looks like Sen. John Warner is going bye-bye. Hopefully, former Gov. Mark Warner will take a shot, because he'd be the instant front-runner.

"Democrats" To Allow Creationism In Kentucky

An extremely disturbing twist in the Kentucky Democratic primary for Governor occurred in a debate last night when two candidates, millionaire businessman Bruce Lunsford (who previously supported Ernie Fletcher and George W. Bush) and Speaker of the House Jody Richards said they would not stop local schools from teaching creationism.

Asked whether public schools should be required to teach creationism, Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford said he would leave the decision to local schools.

"I'm very concerned that we keep making our schools places to set social standards," he said.

House Speaker Jody Richards took a similar stance, saying the legislature should not mandate local curricula.

Be sure to thank progressive State Treasurer Jonathan Miller and former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear for taking a stand and opposing creationism taught in public schools.



The only thing that would make this better is if he had to wear costumes.

Oh my, serious pundit he.

Variety

Carlson to host CBS gameshow pilot
MSNBC anchor tapped for 'Trust'

By JOSEF ADALIAN

Conservative pundit-turned-MSNBC anchor Tucker Carlson is launching yet another new career: gameshow host.

Carlson has been tapped to host "Do You Trust Me?," the quizzer format Phil Gurin ("The Weakest Link") is piloting for CBS (Daily Variety, March 14). Format revolves around strangers forced to put their trust in one another.


(Mary Ellen made me put up the pic, I SWEAR!!!)


What Joe Said.


Salon

It doesn't matter whether Imus apologized, hopes to apologize to the Rutgers women in person, or promises never to utter racist remarks again. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that he has made such promises and apologies before. They were meaningless then and they would be meaningless today. On "Larry King Live," Imus friend Bo Dietl seemed to argue that MSNBC was wrong to let him go before he "had a chance" to speak with the Rutgers team he insulted, and that they should somehow decide his fate. But there is no reason to burden those women with that responsibility -- which rested solely with his employers.

From the beginning, the only relevant question was whether the networks would uphold decent values. Under pressure of conscience or commerce or both, NBC and CBS did the right thing -- and sent a refreshing message that all the excuses in the world cannot change.


Now, if we could drop this navel gazing and talk about something important, it would be greatly appreciated by all.

Lets Hope She Didn't Learn That At Home...

The Hillbilly Report
just posted an old piece from its archives on a July 17, 2003 Albany Times Union story on Mitch McConnell's daughter:
The first sign of trouble came last year when one couple learned their daughter had been strapped into her chair with a leather belt.

Since then, more than a dozen parents have removed their elementary school youngsters amid complaints about disciplinary tactics by one of the teachers at Hawthorne Valley. Punishment included tying the hands of students and taping their mouths shut if they misbehaved.

The teacher who doled it out, Claire McConnell, apologized, saying in a June 24 letter, ``I am sorry for my disciplinary misjudgment, very sorry. ... I request your forgiveness.''


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Reading Is Fundamental

Or at least spelling "president" correctly when that's the office you foolishly think you are worthy of seeking.



The Burning Question.

Maybe it is because I've been asleep on and off today trying to get over whatever the hell this is, but I'm really ticked at MSNBC. I have seen more African-American faces on that channel in the past three days than the past 3 FREAKING YEARS!!!
I've grumbled before over the dearth of good female talking heads with their own shows (Rachel Maddow, PLEASE?), but never really gave much thought to the lack of colour at MSNBC. CNN has a couple black anchors, plus they used to have Zane Vergi who (I believe) is of Indian/Pakistani descent.(she reports now, not an anchor)

MSNBC only has Allison Stewart, but I give them extra doobie points because I've loved Allison since she was on WNN. Always fun when you got home from the bar.

So, my point. Today I was sleeping/listening to MSNBC and woke up for some reason..... and there on my teevee was a HISPANIC talking head!! Oh My.
I can just just see all those MSNBC WHITE MIDDLE AGED MEN who have been scrambling to save their ad revenue this past week humping their electronic rolodexes blind trying to find "DIVERSITY" pundits. Disgusting.

I'm guessing they couldn't find the key to the Super-Duper-Secret-Asian-American-Stash.

Look for them tomorrow.

Would You Be Mine? Could You Be Mine? Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Well, actually I'd prefer if Al Qaeda members weren't. So that's one hostage-taking and one terrorist making national news in the less than two weeks I've been in Columbus.

And to think I lived in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, each for at least four years.

Columbus rocks.

Well, here is a hook to finally get Karl Rove to testify before Congress: his compliance with the Presidential Records Act. As one of many articles notes: "Bush said sworn testimony by White House officials would breach executive privilege -- the right of the president to have confidential communications with his staff -- and vowed Congress would face a legal fight if subpoenas are issued."

Even if we buy that argument, it has nothing to do with White House compliance with the Presidenial Records Act which requires the record-keeping of executive documents. And Congress can haul before it anyone who it believes has not been following the law. (Of course, the Justice Department would have to prosecute the offender. And even if Karl Rove yelled out loud under oath that he killed 5 soldiers in addition to deleting his e-mails, do you think our AG would prosecute him? And wouldn't the President pardon him to boot?)

Therefore, Congress can force Karl Rove to come before it and ask questions about procedure, not about substance. And that is more than OK. Because when Karl Rove shows that he cannot even play by the simplest of laws--duh, don't hit the delete button--what does that say about him and his Boss?

This is what I love about Chairman Waxman's strategy. He is not yelling, kicking, and screaming like a madman. Rather, he is slowly tightening the noose around the administration with levelheadedness that appeals to sensible people. Even hard line conservatives cannot fudge away the clear disregard for a law designed to explain to posterity why important governmental decisions were made and how all Americans can learn from our past governance.

Simply put, the mantra is: good government comes from those who govern well. And when officials cannot even follow rules kindergarteners can understand, why should any American expect our government's fundamental policies to be thought out?


Fire Up The COALS!!! Someones Ass Is Gonna Get Fried!!

TPM

The new details keep coming fast and furious. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) just sent a letter to Alberto Gonzales, who I guess we might call the AG pro-tem. Waxman spoke to RNC Counsel Rob Kelner.

According to Kelner, even after the RNC began saving Karl Rove's emails, in response to orders from Pat Fitzgerald, Rove himself apparently continued to delete the messages himself well into 2005.

This one's pretty fishy.

That As They Say, Is That

CBS Fires Don Imus Over Racial Slur

Stem-Cell Bill Passes Senate

Bob Geiger has a great writeup as he always does on Senate issues. The short summary: The bill passed 63-34, and three Dems didn't vote who would have supported it had the Yays had that one more vote to override a certain presidential veto (Dodd, Landrieu, Johnson).

Thanks to the Republicans for once again showing their paeans to "life" are nothing but empty rhetoric. It's good to know where you stand before a big election, and we now know the simple truth: You hate the elderly, veterans and the infirm. We'll remember that any one of you could have been the 67th vote.

Oh, and thank you to vulnerable Sens. Dole, Sununu, Coleman, McConnell and Domenici, and retiring Sens Allard and Craig (if those rumors are true, as they seem to be), for reminding the public what insulated jackasses make up the core of the GOP elected class.

And if we can get Brad Henry or Brad Carson of Oklahoma to take the plunge, as well as popular Dems in Texas and Georgia, we can add Inhofe, Cornyn and Chambliss to that list (btw, I don't think I have ever seen a bill before, where the two Republican Senators each from both Mississippi and Utah were to the left of the majority of their caucus).

Leahy goes on a tear. And I love it.

While I am not a tech expert, I also know that the actual computers themselves on which the messages were read must also be reviewed. After all, these messages were presumably sent to mailboxes in Outlook or Lotus Notes where they were also read or filed--or were these e-mails only Blackberry to Blackberry? (I highly doubt it!) This means that Congress must also get its hands on the hardware and the White House's (1) hardware policy; and (2) actual computers--both in use and discarded--if it can.

In that vein, I wonder what happens to computers used in the WH after they are cycled through and replaced with new computers. For if there is a repository with Rove's and everyone's old computers, let's get them!

Moreover, what about personal computers that were used for government purposes?

I am curious to hear what people think....

This may be a first on this blog (and possibly a last), but I'm linking to a story at ESPN. The author, Jemele Hill, has a fascinating perspective on the Duke rape case. It's definitely worth a read.

"Fred Thompson is a member of the treason faction of the Republican Party."

So said Joe Wilson today in referring to the man who played a large role in the Scooter Libby Defense Fund (sorry I have no link).

Nobody could have said it better.

Wolfowitz In Hot Water At World Bank

Earlier in the week, I voiced some concerns about Paul Wolfowitz's recent actions at the World Bank and BC expressed his shock to learn that Wolfowitz actually had a significant other to shower favors on. Now it looks like the World Bank's Board of Directors are not too happy either to learn that Wolfowitz set up a job for his girlfriend at the State Department, earning a salary that is higher than Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
Paul Wolfowitz, the president of the World Bank apologized today for his role in arranging a highly paid job at the State Department for a woman with whom he has a personal relationship...

But the World Bank’s staff association said today that Mr. Wolfowitz had “compromised the integrity and effectiveness” of the bank and “destroyed the staff’s trust in his leadership,” and so should resign, The A.P. said...

But the transfer — and Ms. Riza’s salary, which the Government Accountability Project, an independent watchdog group, said is $193,500, about $10,000 more than Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's - only fueled more resentment among bank employees.

The Bush Administration is either incredibly incompetent or a bunch of liars. Both possibilities fit, but I'm leaning toward the latter.

Someone Inform Senator McCain That The Straight Talk Express Derailed In The Senate.......




And Senator Leahy Is The New Engineer.


Keith Olbermann Needs A New Category

My suggestion?
Dumbest Stupid Dumbasses.


Pennsylvania DJ Fired for Repeating Imus' Racially Charged Comments As Part of Contest

By MICHAEL RUBINKAM

ALLENTOWN, Pa. Apr 11, 2007 (AP)— A radio station fired its longtime morning DJ Wednesday after he encouraged listeners to repeat talk-show host Don Imus' racially charged comments in an on-air contest.

Gary Smith told WSBG-FM listeners to call and say "I'm a nappy-headed ho" for Tuesday's "Phrase that Pays" contest, said Rick Musselman, executive vice president of station owner Nassau Broadcasting Partners L.P.

Musselman said three of the listeners who called were awarded tickets to a NASCAR promotion at a local club.

Another Swift Boat Attack From Fox News And Brit Hume

So Brit Hume finds a quote from one professor who has obviously not been following the news and it turns it into callings from anonymous "scholars and political experts."

Some scholars and political experts are criticizing Barack Obama for his response to the Don Imus comments about members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Obama didn't respond to the controversy until Monday night — when he called the comments "divisive, hurtful and offensive."

Princeton University professor Melissa Harris Lacewell tells the Boston Globe Obama missed an opportunity to prove himself to blacks and white liberals — instead letting Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson take the lead.

Can we expect anything more from Fox News than this pathetic attempt to make up a news story? If they had actually been reporting the news, maybe they would have reported this:
Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday became the first presidential candidate to call for Imus to be fired. "He didn't just cross the line, he fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America," said Obama, the only black candidate in the race.

Renzi Being Forced Into Retirement???

With a new subpoena in the US Attorney scandal to investigate if US Attorney Paul Charlton was looking into Rick Renzi's involvement in real estate deals, and his past scandals that saw his supporters make millions of dollars in profits, one has to wonder if his latest FEC report is a sign that he will not seek reelection. Lets hope the MSM further looks into Renzi's lack of desire to fundraise this cycle that resulted in just now filing an FEC report that showed he has $80,561 cash on hand and $494,555 in debt.

Rep. Brad Miller Considers Race Against Dole

The Charlotte Observer reported this morning that Rep. Brad Miller is seriously weighing a campaign for the U.S. Senate against Liddy Dole. Given that Dole is currently losing a hypothetical matchup against Governor Mike Easley and her disastrous 36 percent approval rating, Miller appears to be in very strong position.
Miller, a lawyer just elected to his third term, said he believes Dole is vulnerable.

"I think she will be judged on her record as a politician in 2008 and not judged as a celebrity, as she was in 2002," he said. "And she has simply been a down-the-line partisan Republican on every issue from Iraq to privatizing Social Security to opposing the minimum wage increase and supporting CAFTA [the Central America Free Trade Agreement]."

If Miller were to run, there would be clear differences between him and Dole.

On the war, for example, Dole has generally backed administration policies. This year she offered cautious support for President Bush's decision to send 20,000 more troops to Baghdad.

Miller voted last month for a Democratic bill that would require the U.S. to withdraw its troops by the fall of 2008.

BREAKING: Explosion In Green Zone

From early reporting it seems to have occurred in the Green Zone cafeteria, that's right the one place (the Green Zone in general) that was previously safe to "walk freely" because of all the fortification and troop protection.

Is this another sign of progress Senator McCain?

Has the mission been accomplished yet My Pet Goat..er Mr. President?


Good Morning!!!!

Little tip for you this am. Don't have time to make an appointment with your doctor for a physical? Call 911!!! Nice men (could have been younger but hey) come out, give you an EKG, test your blood sugar, take your blood pressure etc and then leave. It all takes less than 15 minutes 'cause they are in a "rush". (Nice EMTs decided it was vertigo brought on by a bad sinus infection- I thought it was an earthquake)

Pajama Pete is looking like he's headed back to bed in '08.

What exactly would be the male equivalent of this?

Accidents happen, but thankfully it can be saved..... If the Democrats jump on it fast enough.

McCain cutting back on staff? Not a good sign.

Beer, Doritos & Obama? Campaigns may consider Super Bowl ads. Boy, that sounds like fun.

Unintended consequence of rigorous baggage theft measures? "Restroom Patrols of Atlanta Airport Meant to Stop Baggage Theft Result in Indecency Arrests".

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

RIP Kurt Vonnegut

"Slaughterhouse-Five" is a book I will never forget reading as a relatively little dude. One of those formative-years things, I think.

Not only was Vonnegut a poet, but he pissed off the Puritans on the Right. I mean, we all remember that scene in Footloose when Kevin Bacon gets berated because that little Bible-Belt, dance-hating town thinks the book is not a "classic" but "smut" (or something to that effect). Right?...Right?

Ok, I have seen 80s movies way too many times.

In any case, Vonnegut was a genius. And a progressive champion. He will be missed.

Also from the LA Times Poll:
Among GOP voters, 13% wanted the candidates to call for tougher immigration laws.
Who is advising McCain to shy away from taking the lead on immigration reform and why is he listening?

Former Lobbyist Fred Thompson Sneaks Past McCain In LA Times Poll

It looks like Cliff's efforts with The Real McCain are already bearing fruit. This 12 percent showing marks McCain's worst performance in any 2008 national poll, and it goes without saying that the two candidates above him will not be teaching courses on ethics any time soon.
Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani leads the crowded field of announced and potential contenders with support from 29% of Republican primary voters surveyed, followed by Thompson with 15% and McCain with 12%. Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and fundraising powerhouse, had 8%.

The Arizona senator's showing in the poll is his lowest in any national survey to date, marking a new benchmark in his flagging fortunes. The surge of interest in Thompson is a sign of conservative dissatisfaction with the established field of candidates and underscores just how unsettled the Republican race remains.

BREAKING: IMUS Fired From MSNBC

I've heard it from multiple sources now. And read it.

Advertisers were pulling out. I'm guessing the radio show is next.

Inside, I'm crying.

Progressive Governor Candidate Jonathan Miller In Strong Position In Kentucky

State Treasurer Jonathan Miller is moving into solid position as Kentucky enters the home-stretch of its governor's race. The Northern Kentucky Young Democrats announced the group endorsed Jonathan Miller and his running mate Irv Maze yesterday, and the ticket also recently picked up the nod from Change for Kentucky.

Miller-Maze released their second television ad today after releasing their new platform to fight crime in the state. However, the real sign of the grassroots strength of the ticket may be their 937 members of the Miller-Maze Facebook group, nearly more than all of their primary opponents combined!

Everybody Loves Rudy!

I asked a question worthy of the philisophes both here and at The Huffington Post over the past few days. The crux of the question was:

How Dumb Can Rudy Get?

I believe our answer is in: As he has shown all week, he still has ample room to lower bar.

UPDATE: Ok, I was going to leave it at that, but then came across two quotes, including one regarding the Schiavo case, and just couldn't resist:

He said this while in Alabama:

"I will tell you what I believe. If you agree with it, fine. If you don't agree with it, you have a right not to agree with it. If you don't agree, you have a right not to vote for me," he said.
And showed he "will tell you what he believes" by saying this in regard to whether he supported forcing the hospital to keep Terri Schiavo alive against the will of her husband and advice of doctors:

"I believe I did. I don't, I, it's a while ago and I think I said that I thought every effort should be made to keep her alive. I don't know that I supported the, the whole thing to the very end, but I am not sure now."
So now you know what he believed, because he'll always tell you, correct?



Independent UK

Robert Fisk:

Divide and rule -
America's plan for Baghdad Revealed: a new counter-insurgency strategy to carve up the city into sealed areas.


The tactic failed in Vietnam. So what chance does it have in Iraq?

Published: 11 April 2007

Faced with an ever-more ruthless insurgency in Baghdad - despite President George Bush's "surge" in troops - US forces in the city are now planning a massive and highly controversial counter-insurgency operation that will seal off vast areas of the city, enclosing whole neighbourhoods with barricades and allowing only Iraqis with newly issued ID cards to enter.

The campaign of "gated communities" - whose genesis was in the Vietnam War - will involve up to 30 of the city's 89 official districts and will be the most ambitious counter-insurgency programme yet mounted by the US in Iraq.

The system has been used - and has spectacularly failed - in the past, and its inauguration in Iraq is as much a sign of American desperation at the country's continued descent into civil conflict as it is of US determination to "win" the war against an Iraqi insurgency that has cost the lives of more than 3,200 American troops. The system of "gating" areas under foreign occupation failed during the French war against FLN insurgents in Algeria and again during the American war in Vietnam. Israel has employed similar practices during its occupation of Palestinian territory - again, with little success.


Good God, do these people go out of their FREAKIN WAY to find the stupidest, discredited tactics just so things will be so f'd up that they will be able to justify our staying there forever?

I'm not even close to being a "military expert", but my guess would be if the tactic has been DISPROVED time after time, in similar situations and occupations,

IT AIN'T GONNA WORK THIS TIME!!!!!

OhDave You Devil!

Our friend OhDave, who comments here often and like myself, is a Buckeye (I've been waiting for the chance to say that!), has an interesting take on the new Isikoff article on Abu Gonzales, Rove and other assorted cretins.

Is Isikoff getting played?

Another Oldy But Goody

Not Hitch this time. But some no-name, right-wing tard who's on the radio in Denver, bloviating and threatening much like you'd expect the misanthropic, malcontents of the right to do, as they search for certainty in what can be a complex world for My Pet Goat readers.

This particular anthropod, Bob Newman, called for, well, why don't I let my pal Bud of Square State explain:

When Dems won back congress and Murtha started exerting some oversight, this little pipsqueak couldn't stand it can went into a rage one night. He finished the seg with these words: "John Murtha should be hung."
But remember, it's bloggers who need a "code of conduct."

BTW Bud's blog, for my money (or lack thereof), is the best damn progressive blog in Colorado. And as it is an emerging progressive/Democratic state--and I hear we are having some sort of convention or something there in 2008--one you might want to monitor quite often.

The Chicago Tribune notes that Dems--particularly in the Senate--are now shifting to domestic issues in Congress. (here)

Survey Rates Northup Ad One Of The Worst Ever

Mitch McConnell's hand-picked candidate to take on incumbent Governor Ernie Fletcher in primary is now in danger of not even making the primary run-off. After firing her campaign manager, cancelling high-dollar fundraisers because Mitch McConnell had to bring George W. Bush to Louisville to raise money for his own fading reelection hopes, she now is only able to go up on the air with a token ad buy. But what is worse for Northup, is the ad does not appear to be very effective on the few viewers that will actually see it:
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s (R) first ad in his tough primary on the road to reelection is proving effective, while challenger and former Rep. Anne Northup’s (R) ads will need improvement, according to Wilson Research Strategies Inc.

Comparing two ads — Fletcher’s first on the air this year and a spot from Northup’s failed congressional reelection bid of last year — Wilson conducted a survey analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each camp’s early strategy...

The average for the category among that group is a 5.2 rating. Northup’s ad received a 3.8.

“That’s one of the lowest we’ve ever seen,” Wilson said.


Army of Bed Wetting Bens

I remember thinking at some point about "The Bens," and what deity we could have possibly angered to be stricken with serial Bens, all pre-pubic, all nonsensical and all right-wing little troglodytes.

JC, as is often the case, has our answer.

The New York Post (!) breaks a story about Paul Wolfowitz getting a high paying ($200k) job for his girlfriend. The story reads like a typical Bush Administration tale, man abusing power, ignoring long-standing rules to get what he wants.

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz came under heavy fire yesterday for arranging the transfer of his girlfriend to a State Department job that pays almost $200,000 a year.



And while I know I should be outraged, all I kept thinking was "Wait, someone voluntarily sleeps with Paul Wolfowitz?"

A New York Times article this morning about Republican's despairing over 2008 Presidential Elections. These quotes are enough to give a man hope (damn you NY Times!).

Representative Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia, said the Democratic takeover of Congress and the continuing grim news from Iraq had rendered Mr. Bush nearly irrelevant.

“If he plays his cards right, he comes back to relevant,” Mr. Kingston said of the president. “He is marginalized now.”

Alan K. Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming, said the party’s presidential candidates were being whipsawed as they tried to appeal to conservative voters who have a history of strong views on issues like abortion and gay rights. “These tests are destroying the Republican Party,” Mr. Simpson said.

Republican leaders said they saw little chance the party could retain the White House if conditions in Iraq did not improve noticeably over the next year.

“The war in Iraq and public opposition to it has put a pall on Republicans,” said John C. Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri.

Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, said, “As long as the war appears not to be doing well, it’s going to hurt Republicans.”

The biggest problem, several Republicans said, is the disparity between the level of enthusiasm on display among Democrats and that on the Republican side.

“You’re seeing a carryover of the energy and the enthusiasm and the momentum from the 2006 Democratic takeover,” said Representative Adam H. Putnam, Republican of Florida. “Momentum is an important force in sports and politics, and the momentum is clearly on their side.”


Yahoo

Edwards works shift at nursing home

By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 15 minutes ago

NEW YORK - Democratic presidential contender John Edwards toiled on the early shift at the Sarah Neuman Nursing Home in Mamaroneck, a northern suburb of New York, waking patients, serving breakfast and living — for a few hours, anyway — the life of a $14-per-hour health care aide.

Edwards' visit was part of the "Walk a Day in My Shoes" campaign organized by the politically influential Service Employees International Union. In January, SEIU announced it would invite all the 2008 presidential candidates to spend a day on the job with one of its members, most of whom work in hospitals and other health care facilities.

With organized labor one of the most powerful influences in Democratic politics, several of the party's candidates have accepted SEIU's invitation, including Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chris Dodd and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. But Edwards is the first to actually take part in a work visit.

(snip)

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, joined Elaine Ellis, 58, a certified nursing assistant who has worked at the Sarah Neuman home for 18 years. Edwards stopped by Ellis' apartment for breakfast before heading to the nursing home, where they clocked in for the 6:30 a.m. shift.

(snip)

"It shouldn't be just PR," Ellis said. "It should be to educate the people who want to make decisions in the White House about what to do when they talk about health care."


Walk A Day In My Shoes 2008 Website


Very cool. I've done that kind of work and it can be very hard and thankless**.
With his interests in Health Care, it was a good pick for Edwards. I think we should suggest jobs for the rest of them.... any ideas?

**I'm flabbergasted that a Nursing Aide makes $14 an hour. That is unheard of in a facility, at least any I've ever heard of. Maybe private care.

It's Just Too Obvious

I cannot find the proof...but it seems quite obvious to me. Sexual exploitation. Greedy money-grubbing. Arrest record.

This guy simply has to be a Republican.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Oldy But Goody From Hitch

I just came across this, and, well, Hitchens is such a pompous, gin-drenched ass, I thought I would put it up for fun:

"We know very well what the 'grievances' of the jihadists are. The grievance of seeing unveiled women. The grievance of the existence, not of the State of Israel, but of the Jewish people. The grievance of the heresy of democracy, which impedes the imposition of sharia law. The grievance of a work of fiction written by an Indian living in London. The grievance of the existence of black African Muslim farmers, who won't abandon lands in Darfur. The grievance of the existence of homosexuals. The grievance of music, and of most representational art. The grievance of the existence of Hinduism. The grievance of East Timor's liberation from Indonesian rule. All of these have been proclaimed as a licence to kill infidels or apostates, or anyone who just gets in the way." Christopher Hitchens (07/08/2005)
And how are the grievances of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson any different? Ever read their views on why 9/11 happened, Hitch?

JERRY FALWELL: And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."
Ever hear of Timothy McVeigh? Yeah the terrorists on 9/11 were pure evil and should burn in hell. But religious extremism is not limited to one religion. The extreme elements of the Christian Right "hate us for our freedoms" Hitch.

Oh, and good move attacking Iraq. That's really helped the problem you referred to.

Arrogant twit.



Raw Story

Giuliani off the mark on grocery costs
By PHILLIP RAWLS, Associated Press Writer
Tue Apr 10, 6:15 PM ET

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani hasn't done a lot of grocery shopping lately — at least based on his answers about the cost of milk and bread.

Campaigning in Alabama on Tuesday, the former New York City mayor portrayed himself as a fiscal conservative and an aggressive fighter of terrorism who has a lot in common with the Deep South state.

But when asked about more mundane matters — like the price of some basic staples — Giuliani had trouble with a reporter's question.

"A gallon of milk is probably about a $1.50, a loaf of bread about a $1.25, $1.30," he said.


A check of the Web site for D'Agostino supermarket on Manhattan's Upper East Side showed a gallon of milk priced at $4.19 and a loaf of white bread at $2.99 to $3.39. In Montgomery, Ala., a gallon of milk goes for about $3.39 and bread is about $2.

Giuliani was closer to the mark on the price of a gallon of gasoline.

"Gas, I think, is $2.89," he said


Sound Familiar?

Super-Uncontrollable Meta

FIRE F'NG IMUS AND SHUT THE HELL UP.

Carry on.

Uncontrollable Meta

I saw Cliff Meta'd, so here is mine.

Spazzing from "West Wing" withdrawal....
I tried Showtimes "Weeds". FU'!!

Laughing out loud is not something I do IRL,
but this series did it for me.

This clip had been making the rounds when it first came out, but it literally made me laugh so hard today that all the animals ran from the room in terror.

The Latest Addition of "Excellent Emails I've Received!"

I'm quite convinced she digs me:

Hello my friend!!! I ask you read through this letter, to that probably it is your destiny. This letter I wish to begin that I searchfor the love and the man which can make me very happy. Probably it you my friend and then I ask you respond to this letter. I wish to tell to you about myself. My name is Elena and me of 29 years. I have light hair and I wish to tell to you my friend, that at me a charming smile which I wish to divide with you. Therefore I shall be very glad to that having received this letter you will have fine mood. I live in Russia. Tell to me about that where do you live my friend??? I search that only thing for the man which me will love and care of me. I very serious and vigorous woman, which else can give love to my only thing to the man. If you are interested in me and would like to look my pictures I ask to go you on my personal page and I hope, that you will love my pictures.

Please If you want have friendship with me you can write to me at mypersonal e-mail: I dream that I nevertheless shall meet my happiness. I do not lose hope to be happy and loves and I hope, what exactly from you my friend I shall receive the letter. I shall wait very much for your letter and as soon as I shall receive your letter I shall answer at once him and to send you the pictures. I ask you to not forget and write the my dear friend to me on my private e-mail. Sincerely yours Elena.
I mean what's not to love? She is more articulate than the Leader of the Free World, she seems to really have done her research in finding me, and anyone who speaks Russian couldn't be bad.

In any case, I thought about it, but as I am already married, I passed it on to BC.




I've been reading the McClatchy Baghdad Bureau Blog written by their Iraqi reporters for a few days, trying to get a feel for it.
Today there is some special content.

April 10, 2007
The achievements after four years of the liberation


I know I should write this blog yesterday but I just wanted the full four years to pass over. Yesterday Iraqis and the whole world kept talking about the memories of the war and some of the most important political developments in Iraq. Some Arabic reports concentrated on other sides especially the economical ones reflecting the reality in their own way. As an Iraqi, I feel I cant be more accurate than any channel because I lived the four years in Iraq. So lets see some of the most important achievements done by the great Iraqi and American administrations.


Then the reporter goes on to list the various achievements.... Here's a couple.

* Some Iraqis became cleverer and they started to invent new ways in killing each other, stealing each other, hiding weapons, kidnapping and cheating.

* Iraqis never feel afraid of the electric shocks because we have electricity power for only two hours a day or three hours as a maximum. The rest of the day we have to use small Chinese generator that cost something like 100 $ which are not really powerful enough to kill people.


Who knew that there was snark in Farsi Arabic? This gets put in my favs.

A very good (and insightful) read.

Many thanks to Wonkette for discovering some info on my prosective BFF, Monica Goodling. Unfortunately, she already had BFFs when I was merely dreaming of meeting such a wholesome Fifth Amendment loving SWF like her while I was attending a real law school.

However, one key question was answered. Here daddy served as a mililary pilot in Vietnam and then for another tour of duty (kudos to him--we love our vets no matter what their children do). We all know that no one becomes a pilot to become rich--not even ex- Cong. Duke Cunningham who waited to accept bribes as a Congressman, which is much classier. Further, there is no indication that mommy was earning serious coin.

Circling back to the issue of who is paying Monica's legal bills, the answer has become slightly clearer in that her parents are probably not paying tens of thousands of dollars for her defense. After eliminating them, unless there is (1) a rich aunt or cousin somewhere; or (2) a legal defense fund that has not been brought to light, her attorney's fees are being paid for by......

This is particularly important to know because some of her fees were incurred while she was still a DOJ employee.

AG Gonzales gets slapped with a subpoena.

Why do bad things happen to such good people?

The most recent Gallup Poll is clear: Senator Clinton remains the #1 national Democrat. Here are the results between Clinton, Obama, and Edwards assuming no Gore candidacy:

  1. Clinton: 48%
  2. Obama: 23%
  3. Edwards: 14%

As Cubs fans know, pennants are not won in April. Nor are national elections.

Yet Yankees fans also know that some teams look better in April than others. And there is a reason.

But all baseball fans know there is a reason the games are played on the field and not on paper.

A quick thought on the whole Imus fiasco (these are my own thoughts, and don't necessarily represents the thoughts of cliffschecter.com and all herein. Thank you for your patronage).

Imus is basically a jackass. I know folks who listen to him and find him funny, but I never have. What he said is deplorable, and not necessarily any different than other things he has said over the years. He deserves all the condemnation he is receiving. And yes, he does look like the illegitimate 50 year old love child of Keith Richards and Kathy Bates after 6 months in rehab.

On the other hand, it bothers me when left-leaning folks call for him to be taken off the air. Imus is free to say what he wants, and other people are free to listen to it. If you find him offensive, organize a boycott. Go after his sponsors, use the capitalist system we have. If you cut down on his advertisers, he will disappear.

But banishing someone because you don't like what they say is an infringement of the First Amendment. We say some harsh things here at Cliffschecter.com. We will continue to do so, especially regarding the putrid piece of vomitous manflesh named Karl Rove.

It is likely that some will find our tone offensive. But that doesn't mean they have the right to stop us from saying what we believe.

Our capitalist democracy is an amazing achievement. It is a brilliant amalgam of ideas, leading to one of the freest societies man has ever known. We need to be careful of extinguishing even the slightest bit of those freedoms, even with the best intentions.

I look forward to hearing comments on why I am wrong

Obama Storms Past Clinton In South Carolina

A new InsiderAdvantage poll in South Carolina shows Barack Obama with a 34-20 lead over Hillary Clinton, with John Edwards at 17 percent. Clearly, Clinton's strategy of buying votes in South Carolina is not working. After spending $210,000 for the endorsement of state Senator Darrell Jackson, Clinton couldn't even get an invitation to the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus annual dinner. The question now becomes: what early state can she win?

Here is another intersting article from the Chicago Tribune: this one focuses on the effect that the Internets are having on the Presidential campaign of Senator Obama. It makes the valid point that rumor and innuendo are more easily spread through the Internet and blogs. But it does so with a weak story that did not go anywhere.

So what makes the article particularly juicy is that the Chicago Tribune is really (1) attacking the New York Times for lazy journalism (big deal that Obama's pastor went to Libya in 1984?); and (2) protecting its hometown candidate. Combining the two, we can observe the MSM fighting it out on clear, identifiable issues that can be read in or easily inferred from the article itself.

Yet one also gets the sense that by protecting their respective candidates, the newspapers are also placing bets on their hometown candidates. After all, should Senator Clinton or Senator Obama become the Democratic nominee and--dare I dream--then the next president of the United States, what MSM outlets would benefit the most? Thus, the Trib has smartly decided to play defense for the Obama campaign and question the integrity of the NYT.

Conversely, is it possible that the New York Times (and other respected members of the MSM, mind you) is willing to play offense for its hometown candidate outside of the editorial page? Of course, newspapers are able to play largely unfelt tricks (the location of articles within the paper) as well as easily observed tricks (choice of headline) but are they willing to stoop so low as to irrelevant publish Drudge-like attacks as news that leave no fingerprints from the hometown campaign?

You be the judge as Campaign '08 progesses.

A great home town article on Senator Jon Tester. Worth the read.

About Time.

Yahoo

Ohio gov. fears for Guard member safety
By JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press Writer
59 minutes ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio -
Ohio's governor said Tuesday he is worried that National Guard troops who have been told to prepare for a possible deployment to Iraq won't have proper training and equipment.

"These men and women are going to be paying the price, I think, for failure to adequately plan, to predict, and it troubles me," Gov. Ted Strickland told National Public Radio's "Morning Edition".


(snip)

He called on the Bush administration to take steps to assure that the soldiers are properly trained and given the most up-to-date body armor, night-vision goggles and weapons.

"I want to make sure that the soldiers who leave Ohio to go to the war zone have been given every advantage they need in order to be safe," he said.


Good start.

But Strickland and the other 49 Governors need to make a firm stand and DEMAND that their National Guardsmen & women MUST BE "given every advantage they need in order to be safe".

The National Guard is a STATE ASSET, unless Mr Bush wants to pull the Posse Comitatus Act. C'mon Governors!! Let's get some spine.

Interesting Numbers

Things are looking good for Edwards, according to Rasmussen, not so much for Rudy (or Fred Thompson).

So when does the McCain death watch become the Rudy death watch? The media needs a new narrative after all, old ones get soooo boring after a week or so...

Regarding Edwards:

Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards (D) now leads all Republican hopefuls in Election 2008 polls. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Edwards leading former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) 49% to 43%. That’s the first time Edwards has ever had an advantage over Giuliani. During 2006, the man dubbed “America’s Mayor” led Edwards by an average of nine percentage points in Rasmussen Reports polling. In three previously monthly polls during 2006, Giuliani led Edwards by an average of four percentage points.

In the latest poll, both Giuliani and Edwards do well within their own party. However, Edwards has an eight-point lead among voters not affiliated with either major party.

The poll also found Edwards leading the newest face in the race, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (R). In fact, the North Carolinian holds a fourteen percentage point advantage, 50% to 36%. This was the first time an Edwards-Thompson match has been polled. Earlier polls found Edwards leading Arizona Senator John McCain, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Hucakbee.
So Edwards wipes the floor with "actor" Fred Thompson, and beats Giuliani. Maybe this is some of the reason for the latter:

Giuliani has seen his poll numbers decline on several fronts in recent weeks. While he remains the frontrunner in polls for the GOP nomination, his support fell nine percentage points in a week when Fred Thompson’s name was added. Additionally, Giuliani has lost his leads over New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama. His favorables have tumbled from 71% in December to 58% today. Giuliani stumbled in a television interview recently and suggested his wife might be an advisor at Cabinet meetings. He also repeated his support for public funding of abortions, a position not likely to help his cause in a GOP primary.
Quick Rudy, time to remind us of 9/11!

Must I Repeat?

More from that "liberal" newspaper where I happily cancelled my subscription last year. This time from that genius Richard Cohen, who, you may remember, thought we all just made too big a deal of the outing of an undercover agent for political reasons by Republican traitors:

Monica Goodling is not my kind of gal. A graduate of two schools not known for partying (Messiah College and Pat Robertson's Regent University Law School), she would not be my ideal seatmate on a long airplane flight. But for vowing to take the Fifth in the ongoing probe of why and how eight U.S. attorneys were fired, I offer her my hearty congratulations. She knows that in Washington, free speech can cost you a fortune in legal fees.

The standard question about Goodling is: What is she hiding? After all, until her resignation last week, Goodling was the senior counselor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his liaison to the White House. She was at the center of the White House's purge of non-party party people (a pseudo-Stalinist term coined for this occasion) and so she must be hiding something. Maybe.

More likely, Goodling's problem is probably not what she's done but what she might do. If she testifies before Congress, swears to tell the truth and all of that, she will produce a record -- a transcript -- that can be used against her . [...]

No lawyer is going to be thrilled about letting a client testify in today's political environment. Remember, please, that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was not convicted of the crime that the special prosecutor was appointed to find -- who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame -- but of lying to a grand jury. In fact, the compulsively compulsive Patrick Fitzgerald not only knew early on who the leaker was but also that no law had been violated. No matter. Fitzgerald valiantly persisted, jailing Judith Miller of the New York Times for refusing to reveal her sources and, in the end, nailing Libby. It was a magnificent victory, proving once again that there is nothing more dangerous to the republic than a special prosecutor with money to spend.
I have a slightly better idea, Dick, if I may call you that. How about not committing crimes and telling the truth under oath, you know, an important part of our legal system.

Frickin Commie.

Good Morning from Lovely Downtown Indiana.



Thanks Mike. Way to prop up the tourism industry.

Three weeks ago, Republican pollster David Winston wrote in his weekly column in Roll Call (subscription required)

"The honeymoon is officially over. Like a pair of newlyweds back from a week on a warm Caribbean beach, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suddenly have run head-on into the cold, harsh reality of wartime politics. They may have a majority, but the party's marriage of anti-war liberals and centrists seems shaky and sorely lacking in cohesion as Congressional Democrats struggle to find an Iraq War policy on which
they can agree.

Shrewdly, the Democrats kicked off their newly won control with their "100 Hours" agenda, kind of a "Contract with America"-lite, designed to score some quick public relations points with voters without the heavy lifting. Now, the first phase of their takeover is all but over, and the new majority's track record clearly has failed to impress the public.

In two media polls taken in early March by CBS News/New York Times and NBC/Wall Street Journal, Congressional job approval remained at a low ebb with a 31 percent approval rating and 53 percent disapproval. It's worth noting that the Democrats' low marks don't differ from Republicans' job approval of only a year ago when voters in these same polls gave Congress approval/disapproval ratings of 32 percent/54 percent and 33 percent/53 percent, respectively, just eight months before sending the GOP majority packing.

When I first read that passage, I thought Winston was an incredible idiot for making that statement. The Democrats had barely been running the House and Senate for two months, and he was already suggesting the American people had judged them. Of course, he was wrong.

A new AP Poll shows that Congressional approval is on the rise, and much better than the Republicans from last year.

Public approval for Congress is at its highest level in a year as Democrats mark 100 days in power and step up their confrontation with President Bush over his handling of the Iraq War, the issue that overshadows all others.
The poll goes on to show that is President Bush and the GOP that have a problem with Iraq, not Democrats. So basically, every analysis made by David Winston turned out to be wrong, within a matter of weeks. Either he jumped the gun with his column or he is the Republican pollster version of Sanjaya (that means he's a talentless hack, Cliff. It's an American Idol reference). Either way, it will be interesting to see if he bothers to mention this change in his next column.

Of course, it is still to early to decide whether the American people support Democratic efforts in Congress. But it is clear in this poll (and just about every other one I've seen) that President Bush's stance, the de facto Republican stance, on Iraq is opposed by a solid majority of Americans. Winston, like President Bush, refuses to acknowledge that they are on the wrong side. I sincerely hope that continues for another 19 months.

NOTE TO BC FROM CLIFF: While somewhat stupid, I am not culturally retarded, or dead. And I would have to be both to not know who Sanjaya is. All praise Howard Stern on this one, especially if he does indeed achieve his stated goal of bringing that show down by promoting Sanjaya.

SECOND NOTE FROM CLIFF: I guess my sarcasm got lost in translation here. I thought by referring to myself as "somewhat stupid" people would understand that I was just having fun. So for those who have sent emails concerned BC and I are now picking our revolvers and taking our paces, I still love BC--you know in that safe GOP way--and was just kidding around. However, I am rooting for Howard Stern to rid the world of American Idol. Also BC smells.

THIRD NOTE FROM PADDY: Actually, they both smell.