Saturday, May 05, 2007



Sunday Chatfests


Meet the Press: ex-CIA dir. George Tenet.

Face the Nation: Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY); Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

This Week: John Edwards (D-NC); Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO); Ted Koppel; roudntable of NYT's David Brooks, Donna Brazile, and George Will

Fox News Sunday: Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT); Rep. John Boehner (R-OH); Southern Baptist Conventions' Richard Land.

Late Edition: Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN); Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Syrian Amb. Imad Moustapha; Iraqi Amb. Samir Sumaidaie; Egyptian Amb. Nabil Fahmy; George Tenet; roundtable of Bill Schneider, Andrea Koppel and Joe Johns


*****UPDATE*****

John from Americablog will be on "Reliable Sources" on CNN about 1015a EST.

My Grievance List

As I sit here on a Saturday night, writing until my fingertips bleed like Peter Townshend after good rendition of Pinball Wizard, here in short order, is what is annoying me:

1) President Bush, the guy who doesn't stop a workout if Al Qaeda is attacking, Iraq is imploding or his underlings are getting the naked hooker massage, is getting love handles. So now he destroys calories like he destroys terrorism? What a ripoff.

2) How with control of both the Congress and White House for only six years, the GOP has destroyed once vital and functioning federal agencies, and made us all more vulnerable to all manner of ills.

3) The "new racism," as David Neiwert calls it, infecting the "race zombies" of the Radical Right these days.

Ok done. Thought I would share. Back to work.

Rocky Anderson Obliterates Sean Hannity

at University of Utah Impeachment Debate






Warning- Just over 2 hours long.

It was a REAL debate, not a Q&A.


If you find any particularly good moments, note the time and leave it in the comments.

I have to beat the dogs, so I will come back and watch later.


Oooops.

A Jill Carroll captor killed, says US military

Monitor reporter doesn't recognize the photo of the man the military says is information minister for Al Qaeda in Iraq.

By Dan Murphy | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

The US military said it killed a senior figure in Al Qaeda's Iraq operation, one who also played a role in the murder of the American Tom Fox, the murder of former Monitor interpreter Alan Enwiya, and the kidnapping of Monitor reporter Jill Carroll.

(snip)

The US military says it doesn't know the full extent of Mr. Jubouri's involvement in Ms. Carroll's kidnapping. Carroll says she doesn't recognize the photo released by the military of Jubouri.


You really need to go read the entire article to get the breadth of bull they are trying to spread.

"Really, he kidnapped you!!" "Nope, don't think he did."

But Carroll was held by a number of men, and the photo of Jubouri doesn't appear to be either Abu Rasha or Abu Nour. She says the photo might be of a kidnapper whom she had taken to be a low-status guard, but couldn't be sure.


From mastermind terrorist plotter/kidnapper to toilet cleaner all in one fell swoop.

Hmmm, let's see. What does the number 28 bring to mind?

Paris Hilton's waist measurement? Nah. Too big.

Percentage of fat in ice cream? No idea. And really, who cares as long as it's
Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche.

My IQ? Maybe.

Why, here's the real answer now!

According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public’s approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.’s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP’s chances for victory in ’08. The NEWSWEEK Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups.





Poaching for Bin Laden


In the jungles of India, local animal trappers have a new breed of client: Islamic militants using the trade in rare wildlife to raise funds for their cause.

Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark report from Assam

Saturday May 5, 2007
The Guardian

(snip)

In recent times, however, the wildlife has attracted a new kind of visitor. According to India's security services, police, intelligence analysts, local traders and forestry officials, Islamic militants affiliated to al-Qaida are sponsoring poaching in the reserve for profit.

These groups have established bases in the formerly moderate enclave of Bangladesh and have agents operating all along the country's porous 2,500-mile border with India.

They have gone into business with local animal trappers and organised crime syndicates around Kaziranga - as well as in parks and reserves in Nepal, Burma and Thailand - in a quest for horns, ivory, pelts and other animal products with which to raise "under the wire" funds that they can move around the world invisibly.


I am surely not the only person who sees this and thinks, "Wow, wouldn't it be GREAT if our troops could go out there and help curtail the activities of these TERRORIST ENABLERS AND SUPPORTERS!!"

Help stop the cash flow? Help protect endangered species?

Nope, sorry, nuh-uh. Our troops have to have their butts stuck dead in the middle of a civil war attracting fire from both sides.

And in the meantime, these guys will be raking in the money.




"Some look at the challenges in Iraq, and conclude that the war is lost, and not worth another dime or another day. I don't believe that. Our military commanders don't believe that. Not even the terrorists believe it. We know from their own communications that they feel a tightening noose -- and fear the rise of a democratic Iraq." George W Bush-- DECEMBER 19, 2005, Speaking after Iraqi elections




Al Qaeda No. 2 Mocks Iraq Pullout Bill
Ayman al-Zawahiri Says Al Qaeda Wants to Spill More U.S. Blood Before America Leaves

By BRIAN ROSS
May 5, 2007

In a new video posted today on the Internet, al Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al Zawahiri, mocks the bill passed by Congress setting a timetable for the pullout of U.S. troops in Iraq.

"This bill will deprive us of the opportunity to destroy the American forces which we have caught in a historic trap," Zawahiri says in answer to a question posed to him an interviewer.

Continuing in the same tone, Zawahiri says, "We ask Allah that they only get out of it after losing 200,000 to 300,000 killed, in order that we give the spillers of blood in Washington and Europe an unforgettable lesson."


Question- Who is it that is "aiding and abetting", "giving comfort to", "playing by the enemys' rulebook", "encouraging the enemy" or "emboldening the enemy"?

The enemy seems alot happier than we are.




When this man is making fun of your candidacy.......



Seems to me you're toast.

Saved by the bomb

Senator McCain has hit upon a solution to all the Republican party's woes: a nuclear war with Iran

Terry Jones
Saturday May 5, 2007
The Guardian

Campaigning in Oklahoma the other day, the Republican senator John McCain was asked what should be done about Iran. He responded by singing, "Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran", to the tune of the Beach Boys' Barbara Ann. (Join the hilarity and see for yourself on YouTube.)

How can any thinking person disagree? I mean, any country with a president who doesn't shave properly and never wears a tie deserves what's coming to it - a lot of American bombs, with a few British ones thrown in to ensure we don't miss out on the ensuing upsurge in terrorism.

(snip)

In 1955 Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell said the world was faced by a "stark and dreadful and inescapable" choice: "Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?"

Senator McCain wasn't bothered by such questions; the human race may be standing on a precipice, but the Republicans have a chance of permanent re-election.

Wonder what Condi would say to this?

"The terrorists claim that they are fighting the forces of occupation, while the occupiers justify their presence under the pretext of the war on terror," he said.

"Therefore, this axis of occupation-terrorism is the root of all problems in Iraq."


Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, in his opening remarks at a regional conference in Egypt on the Iraq situation.

The Cartoons

As usual, Geiger's got 'em. And in his ever-eloquent words:

"It's a good bunch with a heavy concentration on hate-the-troops Bush, mission-accomplished day and George Tenet -- along with two great animations. One is by my friend Nick Anderson of the Houston Chronicle and features Hillary and Barack in a takeoff on the INXS song "New Sensation." The other is a Mark Fiore blast at George "Veto Accomplished" Bush."

So get on over there and enjoy!


Copyright © 2003–2007 Norman Walsh.

It was a Dark and Stormy Day.

Really, the only things this day is good for is breakfast and then a nap. But the grass will be happy.

Desperate to keep doctors from fleeing Iraq, they are not being given their degrees.

Sigh. Just when you think this country has evolved.
CBS comments section closed down because of racist comments on Obama.

I don't know about you guys, but this whole concept of a "War Czar" or "Drug Czar" seems weird and inappropriate to me. Now they have a "Manufacturing Czar"? Oy.

What a bunch of wanker cry babies. Michelle Malkin gest one of her bizarro racist screeds removed from YouTube, and all the wingers scream "LIBERAL BIAS". Squawk.

So they go and make themselves a new video sharing site . Good luck on that one guys, your track record is amazing!!! (i.e. Victory Caucus & Hot Soup)

Local Activists Plan Derby Day Protest Outside Home of Sen. Mitch McConnell

The Courier-Journal reports that supporters of the Louisville Peace Action Community are planning several Derby weekend events, including a protest near the home of Sen. Mitch McConnell:

The group will have a “Derby Mourning” (a silent vigil) near U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s home at Dundee Road and Woodbourne Avenue at 8 a.m. tomorrow. A news release said it is intended as a “wake-up call” for the Senate minority leader’s “never-ending support for the Iraq War.”

I've searched high and low, and I can't find anything more interesting than this.
So you're stuck with on of my fav love songs.

Enjoy.

Friday, May 04, 2007

What a joke.

I had to look at John Stossel & Elizabeth Vargas (Heylo!!! Animate much?) FOR NOTHING?

*Sigh* I could have been watching "What Not To Wear".

In other words kids, ABC outed NO ONE. NADA. ZIPERONI.


*************Speculative Update***************

Of course, I was vast and yon about the intertubes after this happened.
A couple of things I want to mention.

From Atrios.

Here's precisely what Juan Williams said earlier on NPR.

I think the direction has been moving more towards the idea that this could be another sort Jack Abramoff style scandal in which you see that women, prostitutes here or call girls, were given to people as part of lobbying efforts, part of efforts to persuade people to do things on Capitol Hill.


My feeling about this is that it might be involved in the greater Abramoff/Shirlington Limo/K Street deal that is still under investigation.

And from a commenter at Dkos.

I used to work in TV new and noticed something curious about the story. Despite being in production for many days...

Choppy production values suggest extreme haste in editing. This has all the hallmarks of a last minute re-edit.


The giveaway is the very abrupt ending to the story, followed by John Stossel re-appearing on camera and saying simply "we'll be right back", followed by a very n jarring fade to black with no teaser of upcoming stories.

My guess:
This is a re-edited version of the original story. At the last minute, the producers ran into timing problems in making the story fit. Hence, the abrupt ending.

But I think it's wrong to conclude that the story has fizzled, or that ABC has given onto pressure. Much more likely: ABC committed to airing the story tonight, and simply ran out of time. Perhaps it was unable to get comments for other "johns". Perhaps the juicy stuff got hung up in ABC's legal department.


I can honestly say I noticed the awkward transition between segments. This seems very plausible to me. Hell, if it's juicy, it's bound to come out.

Right-Wing Politico

Glen Greenwald gets the goods (yes, I love alliteration) on The Politico.


Oh Dear Lord, Please Make It True...


Evangelicals See an Evolution of Their Own

Movement Seen as Distancing From GOP, Homosexuality, Taking up Global Warming


By BILL REDEKER
May 4, 2007

The evangelical movement has long been considered a powerful political entity. An estimated 65 million Americans consider themselves conservative Christians. Their anti-gay, anti-abortion views are well known as is their support for mostly Republican political candidates.

But times are changing.

Now there are evangelicals speaking out on global warming and supporting adoption. Neither would have been endorsed only a few years ago.

"There's a great deal of foment in the evangelical community right now," John Green, senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life told ABCNews.Com.

(snip)

The implications for the Republican party are not necessarily good.

"I think the Republicans can no longer count on evangelical votes falling into their laps," said Balmer. "There's going to be a die-hard core that will stick with it but on the whole, there will be some shifting on the issues."


The good news you find when trolling for leaks on the ABC D.C. Madam Story!!

(10p EST ABC 20/20. DEAR GOD, LET IT BE SOMEONE SCANDALOUS!!!!)




Someone explain to me why this is a bad idea?

Phones studied as attack detector

By Mimi Hall, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The government is researching whether the best defense against a chemical, biological or radiological attack might one day be right in everyone's hands — or on their ears.

Homeland Security officials are looking into outfitting cellphones with detectors that would alert emergency responders to radiological isotopes, toxic chemicals and biological agents such as anthrax.

(snip)

Since the 9/11 attacks, the government has spent billions of dollars putting sensors along borders, at airports, in subway stations and any other crowded place that might be a terrorist target. The idea is to detect an attack as soon as it happens, evacuate people quickly and get them the antidote or medicine they would need to survive.


Basically you make it optional, maybe even with a $5-10 credit incentive**. Sensors are so advanced nowadays that it could be as innocuous as a sticker type sensor on the phone or case itself.

It's pretty obvious that no matter what you want, if the cell phone company wanted to GPS your position, they could, so use the power for good!

Am I wrong here?

**As I read further down the article, it seems that is the way it was envisioned, as voluntary.

I have a few questions:

Who are the "they" we're fighting in Iraq?

How could the cast of the sequel to "A Chorus Line" ("A Maniacal Chorus Line of Shockingly White Old Men in Simi Valley") face their idol's widow while denying her plea for stem cell research? Especially when some/most of them would most likely benefit from it sooner than later?

Is the rationale for being an evolution doubter that there is a chimp in the White House?

How many of the cast of "A Maniacal Chorus Line of Shockingly White Old Men in Simi Valley" have donated to the D.C. Madam's non-sexual $300 per hour massage "gals"?

Why am I still schlepping 30 minutes to a day job when it's in Seamy Valley?

Why don't people feel the need to take the time to become better informed?

What's up with the national fixation on celebrities?

When I wrote hundreds of jokes for a TV project for the Family Channel, why did Pat Robertson refuse to let me use the term "toilet paper"?

When will this list come to a merciful end?

Now.




Just Say No

To "free" trade with Colombia. The AFL has the depressing statistics about labor leaders and members murdered there, and how this will be yet another deal that will sell American workers out so that Bush cronies can line their pockets with gold bars.

Salon: Cox Can't Get No Respect

Pretty funny considering this Chicago businessman's $1 million spent on his Presidential campaign is more than several of the Republican's "mainstream" candidates have been able to raise...
"In an outrageous affront to free speech in America, the Ronald Reagan Library security broke up an interview between GOP Presidential Candidate John Cox and a KNBC reporter and camera crew, in front of the Reagan Library. This is the second time in a row that the former Chicago Cook County Republican President was locked out of the free speech process. First he was excluded from the MSNBC/Politico.com Presidential Debates. Then when he 'dared' to get independent publicity prior to the debate from which he was excluded, the hammer came down again, and he was kicked off of the Reagan Library grounds -- and had his press pass confiscated!"


Your Tax Dollars Hard At Work......
Supporting The Military Industrial Complex.


The plane that won't die ... or fly
By Miriam Pemberton

Calling the V-22 Osprey a Rube Goldberg contraption does some disservice to the American cartoonist who died in 1970. US Vice President Dick Cheney tried to kill the V-22 in the early 1990s, when he was defense secretary. But it lives on today, and the US Marine Corps announced on April 13 that in September the plane will begin flying its first combat missions in Iraq. A combination helicopter-plane with bells and whistles galore might have appealed to Rube, but he wouldn't have unveiled it in public until he'd made it work.

The V-22, by contrast, was grounded by malfunctioning flight-control systems as recently as a month ago. The latest engine fire occurred in December; no one died (this time) because the plane had already landed.

The saga of unreadiness goes back through this plane's 25 years of development and US$20 billion worth of taxpayer funding.

It is supposed to transport troops around Iraq and go on rescue missions to retrieve them. But its design hampers its capacity for evasive maneuvering. And the guns originally designed for the front had to be moved to the back, partially blocking the doors and making it harder for troops to get on and off.


(snip)

What keeps this thing alive (if not, reliably, capable of flight)? Certainly, there are the obvious suspects of enormous stables of dedicated lobbyists and jobs carefully dispersed in key congressional districts. Then, there's a federal budget process that keeps money flowing in the pipeline for weapons systems the US doesn't need, and fails to examine the big-picture question of what, overall, the US does need to make it safer.


The above is a damning column by an extraordinarily versed expert in the field.
Check out the bio tag.

Miriam Pemberton is a research fellow with Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, and co-author, with Lawrence Korb of the Center for American Progress, of "A Unified Security Budget for the United States, FY 2008".


Sounds like this "A Unified Security Budget for the United States" is something that needs a bit more looking into.

Reminder: This Is Not The First Major Scandal For Mitch McConnell Aide Robin Cleveland

The Village Voice reproduced a note from former Mitch McConnell aide Robin Cleveland in which she approved the job transfer for Paul Wolfowitz’s girlfriend Shaha Ali Riza. Perhaps just as interesting, was that the Village Voice reminded us that the only reason McConnell and Wolfowitz were able to place Cleveland at the $250,000 per year job that she was deemed unqualified for by the Ethics Commitee, and where McConnell and Wolfowitz used her to steer funds to Iraq while circumventing World Bank lending procedures, is that she was recently a central figure in the OMB office Boeing scandal:

Here’s something eerie about Cleveland: She was only available in the spring of 2005 to join the World Bank and start writing personnel memos for Wolfie because her role in the Boeing/Air Force tanker scandal had just doomed her tenure at the OMB. She was a key figure in that Boeing scandal, which ousted a Secretary of the Air Force. Forgotten this particular sorry episode? Here’s a hint from a February 2005 Washington Post story:

Former Air Force secretary James G. Roche violated two military ethics rules when he urged a defense contractor to hire the brother of a senior Office of Management and Budget official while the Air Force was trying to win OMB endorsement of a new $30 billion aircraft leasing program, according to the Defense Department’s top auditor.

Who was the senior OMB official? Robin Cleveland. Who outed her smarmy e-mail exchanges with Roche? Not only the estimable Defense watchdog POGO but also John McCain, starting in 2003.

Cross-posted at DitchMitchKY.com

I Feel Safer Already

Romney: Bin Laden Is Going To Pay And "He Will Die"...

McCain: I'll Follow Bin Laden "To The Gates Of Hell"...

Hmmm...Where have I seen this before, um...That's right:

"Wanted Dead Or Alive."

Here's the not so funny thing. He's alive. And we don't have him. So keep up the John Wayne talk guys, while your boss who you're so hesitant to criticize continues his six-year record of failing to catch the man who pulled off the single most deadly terrorist attack against the United States in our history.



Iran's foreign minister walked out of a dinner of diplomats

Rice-Iranian contacts limited to brief encounters over meals at regional conference
AP | May 4, 2007 08:37 AM EST

SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt — Iran's foreign minister walked out of a dinner of diplomats where he was seated directly across from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, ostensibly because a female violinist entertaining the gathering was dressed too revealingly.

"I don't know which woman he was afraid of, the woman in the red dress or the secretary of state," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday, regarding the actions of Iran's Manouchehr Mottaki.


Sounds like maybe the should send Nancy Pelosi back.
No one walked out on her.


If you're trying to skip breakfast and go off your food for the day, read this.

Politico

Call me irresponsible: I say Romney won

By: Roger Simon
May 4, 2007 12:15 AM EST

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. -- It would be terribly irresponsible to pick a winner of Thursday night’s Republican debate. So I will.

I think Mitt Romney won. And I think John McCain came in second and Rudy Giuliani came in third.

(snip)

He looked and sounded presidential. He hit his talking points. And voters who knew nothing about him before the debate except that he was a Mormon, came away knowing a lot more.


In other words, you could just pop him right into Disney's "Hall of Presidents" and not bother with the robot.

There doesn't seem to be any consensus on the intertubes as to who won last night. I've seen all three of the top contenders plus Paul (he struck a nerve with Libertarians) and Huckabee (seemed sanest of the bunch).

And I so do not get the "Bill Clinton back in the White House..... Good thing or bad thing? question.

Lots more fun to come!!


*Oh, Tommy Thompson now says he "didn't hear" the question about firing a gay person just for being gay. Hmmm, what in the world did he think he heard?

What The ???

I was over at Townhall.com, trying to see what they thought about the GOP debate, when the title of an article caught my eye. It was called "What is it with Jews and guns?" and it was written by Burt Prelutsky.

Most of the article was a hackneyed GOP recitation of how wacky liberals are (he even used the term wacky). At one point, he says that ...


"We know that leftists oppose capital punishment although I, for one, have never heard a compelling argument why a person who takes one or more lives in cold blood should be spared the ultimate punishment."


I thought about mentioning that the Christian Right says every life is sacred, which is why they oppose abortion, and how that very same argument could be used for capital punishment (the Catholic Church actually opposes both abortion and capital punishment, though you'd be hard pressed to hear that from the religious right). So, either Burt thinks that the Christian opposition to abortion isn't compelling, or he can't follow simple logic.

But what really blew me away was his comments about Jews and guns.

Frankly, having given it some thought, I believe the reason that the Left hates guns so much is because of us Jews. With very few exceptions, we are terribly squeamish around firearms. The fear is totally irrational. It’s not just that we think someone will shoot us with our own gats, but that the guns, themselves, are anti-Semites, and will kill us of their own accord.

Sadly, it’s more than that. They also fear those Americans whom they most closely associate with gun ownership; namely, southern Christians.

Even though America is the most tolerant nation on earth, Jews tend to think if terrible things happened to their ancestors in 15th century Spain and 19th century Russia and 20th century Nazi Germany, it can and will happen here. It’s a form of paranoia. But it’s a very strange form. For as we all know, this is a nation of 300 million. So, wouldn’t you think a minority numbering a mere five million, and in constant fear of pogroms, would spend as much time as possible on the firing range?


The shear idiocy of this cannot be underestimated. First, as a Jew, I'm offended. I don't believe guns are anti-semitic. And I more afraid of the damage self-loathing Jews can do to my fellow Hebrews than our "gats."

Second, Jews by and large tend to live near urban centers, such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Those urban centers have been riddled by gun violence. Burt, bubbeleh, maybe Jews have seen the negative side of gun violence, hence their tendency to support gun control. Isn't it possible that Dianne Feinstein's efforts on gun control have more to do with Harvey Milk dying in her arms than Torquemada, eh Bert?

Finally, most Jews I know aren't worried about pogroms here in this country. To even mention this as a possibility shows a warped thinking that goes far beyond dementia. Go to a synagogue, Burt, and you'll hear about problems in Israel, the horrors in Iraq, the genocide in Darfur, and the our dying culture. But pogroms? C'mon. Burt, if you feel the need to sidle up to your right-wing buddies, blather on about tax cuts or something like that, but don't denigrate your own people for a couple of pats on the back.

Thursday, May 03, 2007



Nothing I got except.....


This looks alot closer to what America looks like




than this does.

GOP Debate

Thank God the pain is over. What a silly bunch of people. If you had played a Ronald Reagan drinking game, you'd be Paula Abdul right now. I felt like I was being treated like a child. But then again, that may just be the GOP intellect.

To me, the guy who won, very simply, was Mike Huckabee. He was the funniest by far and seemed real. Romney and Giuliani were calculating. John McCain was the dad I'm glad I never had.

That's it for now.

Greenwald: War as reality rather than cartoon

A very interesting column on the differences between the reactions and studies of the failures of going to war in the United States and Israel:
the contrast between how the Israelis address the failures of their war and the way Americans have addressed our failures in Iraq is depressingly stark. Whereas the Cheney/McCain/ Lieberman/Kristol faction continuously shrieks that recognizing our failures is to aid and abet the Enemy -- and therefore we should simply shut our eyes and yell "Victory!" as loudly as possible until we win -- the Israelis debated the war from the beginning as candidly and critically as can be, and recognized and openly acknowledged that it had gone terribly awry.

(pic from Hotline)

Ha!!! (Chris Matthews laugh)

Hotline


Those small planes circling over the Reagan library were rented by Americans Against Escalation in Iraq

They're bearing two banners: “Republicans, Mission Accomplished?” and “McCain, Mission Accomplished?”



A few things while I prepare to be mesmerized by the GOP candidates debate.

Guess it was a good thing I didn't get that job with Donnelly, huh?
He was one of only 14 Democrats to vote against the Hate Crimes Act. Indiana has been scuffling with it's own version, so I guess he didn't want to be more equitable than his state. (You can see how your Rep voted by clicking on that link)

Sure, things are going SO well with the FDA, they are planning to close 7 of 13 field labs.

The labs check for compliance with federal guidelines, protect consumers from unsafe, ineffective and mislabeled products, and help investigate public health threats such as product tampering, bio-terrorism, food-borne illnesses and contaminated blood supplies.

Several of the facilities helped investigate the recent pet food scare and E. coli and salmonella outbreaks in spinach and peanut butter. On the heels of these crises, the proposed lab closings have been met with strong suspicion.

"In the middle of all these outbreaks and contamination issues, the timing of the proposal is extraordinarily bad," said Chris Waldrop, director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America.


"The timing of the proposal is extraordinarily bad". Huh, rack that up as understatement of the week.

Lookie here!! NYT gives an actual "journalist" (one that did his homework and was skeptical of the build up to the war) a job as Public Editor.

Finally, it's nothing but a rumour, a dirty filthy rumour that should be given no credence whatsoever, gossip is horrible, pay no attention!! (h/t Nicole Belle)

******************UPDATE**************

Party Hound Mary Ellen declares this a Gabbly Night!!
So, forsooth, I second that declaration and shall abscond to http://gabbly.com/www.cliffschecter.blogspot.com!


Honestly, what is up with Susan Collins?

As Democrats start work on a new war spending bill to replace the one President Bush vetoed, at least three Republican senators who opposed the Democratic withdrawal plan said Wednesday that the new bill should include so-called benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet.

"Obviously, the president would prefer a straight funding bill with no benchmarks, no conditions, no reports," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). "Many of us, on both sides of the aisle, don't see that as viable."

Collins, who opposed Bush's troop buildup but balked at the Democratic withdrawal plan, is working on legislation that would require Iraqis to meet certain goals to receive U.S. reconstruction aid.


She won't support the bill we just had up with benchmarks, but said she wants benchmarks and is working on a new bill with benchmarks.

So why didn't you vote for the first bill!!! Ugh, really, I think the faux-moderate, Bush stooges make me angrier than the party-line lunatics sometimes.



CNN Breaking News


-- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has been placed under the protection of the U.S. Secret Service, reportedly because of a threat against him, the Secret Service said Thursday.


I was wrong.

It's not that the bumpkins can't get over the Vietnam War,
it's the whole damn decade of the 60's.

Group Calls on Lou Dobbs Firing After He Compared Immigration Activists To Nazis

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society is calling on CNN to fire Lou Dobbs after he compared the actions of immigration reform activists to those of Nazis:

A Jewish group is calling for the firing of an outspoken CNN anchor, Lou Dobbs, after he accused advocates for illegal immigrants of using propaganda techniques employed by Nazi Germany.

"Comparisons to Nazis — especially in this day and age — are abhorrent," the president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Gideon Aronoff, said in a statement yesterday. " Mr. Dobbs has crossed the line between responsible television commentary and hate-speech propaganda of his own. Keeping him on the air is essentially sanctioning by CNN — which is why we're asking CNN to remove Dobbs from his very public platform."

Historic. 237-180 Hate Crime Bill passes House.

I've had my problems with Steny Hoyer before, but not today.



Perfect. Barney Frank announces the tally & passage.


(h/t to John @ AMERICAblog)


Seems Time Magazine Is A Little Bi-Polar

They have Newt Gingrich do the write up for Nancy Pelosi in the "Time 100" Leader and Revolutionaries......

One wonders what Speaker Pelosi was thinking when she went to Damascus to meet with the Syrian dictator. When the White House asked her not to do it, she would have gained points by cooperating.


But, then they leave GW Bush off the list completely for the first time since he became president.

OUCH. Bin Laden made the list, but not Georgie.

Bob Novak Is Frickin Weird

Yeah, you knew that already, but today's column is just outright bizarre. In the column, he suggests that a movie about a massacre carried out by Mormons in 1857 could hurt Mitt Romney. Forget about the fact that the incident happened 150 years ago, or that it isn't proven that Brigham Young authorized the massacre, just concentrate on this - the movie stars Jon Voight. Who the hell is going to see a movie who's main star is Jon Voight (though I heard Ted Haggard was a big fan of Midnight Cowboy)?

All kidding aside, this column is inappropriate and wrong. Novak uses the pretense of this movie to bring the issue of Romney's religion to the forefront. In this day and age, that just shouldn't happen.

I know one thing for sure - if someone wrote a similar column about Opus Dei, Novak would be screaming "anti-Catholic bias" at the top of his evil lungs. But you can't ask for intellectual consistency from the Prince of Darkness, can you?

The Commander Guy


Can't these people LET GO of Vietnam?

Here in Northern Indiana, the hubbub over Jane Fonda coming to speak at the local YWCA on women's' issues got to such a roar, that she backed out due to "scheduling problems".

Now Joan Baez "disinvited" from performing with John Mellencamp at Walter Reed?

Why Joan thinks she was "disinvited"?

Reached by telephone yesterday at her home in Menlo Park, Calif., Baez, 66, said she wasn't told why she was given the boot, but speculated, "There might have been one, there might have been 50 [soldiers] that thought I was a traitor."

After the concert, Baez said, Mellencamp left her a message to say, "I hope you're not mad at me." Her response: " 'Of course not. It's an honor to be turned down by the Army.' . . . But I would have been happier getting in . . . I thought times had changed enough."


Apparently not.

How To Deal With Bush's Veto Of The Iraq Supplemental

I think this advice could not be more correct.


Don't forget!! If you're home today or someplace where you can stream audio, Cspan will be carrying the James Comey hearing (see below) at 930a EST, and debate on the Hate Crimes bill starts in the House about 10:15a EST.

My prediction? It's going to be an INTERESTING day.


I don't WANNA wait!!

Guardian

MoD opens its files on UFO sightings to public


James Randerson
Thursday May 3, 2007
The Guardian


The Ministry of Defence plans to open its "X-Files" on UFO sightings to the public for the first time. Officials have not yet decided on a date for the release of the reports, which date back to 1967, but it is hoped to be within weeks.
The move follows the decision by the French national space agency to release its UFO files in March, the first official body in the world to do so.

UFO buffs will be keen to find out what officials knew about some of the UK's most famous sightings and whether any action was taken.

One celebrated event - at Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, in 1980 - has been dubbed "Britain's Roswell" after the UFO incident in the US in 1947. At Rendlesham there were several witness reports of a UFO apparently landing. The released files should support or discount claims that radiation was detected at the site after the event.


The truth is out there.... almost.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


They threw George "Macaca" Allen under the bus.....

It was Missouri they were worried about.


2006 Missouri's election was ground zero for GOP
By Greg Gordon
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - Accusations about voter fraud seemed to fly from every direction in Missouri before last fall's elections. State and national Republicans leaders fretted that dead people might vote or that some live people might vote more than once.


The threat to the integrity of the election was seen as so grave that Bradley Schlozman, the acting chief of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and later the U.S. attorney in Kansas City, twice wielded the power of the federal government to try to protect the balloting. The Republican-controlled Missouri General Assembly also stepped into action.


Now, six months after freshman Missouri Sen. Jim Talent's defeat handed Democrats control of the U.S. Senate, disclosures in the wake of the firings of eight U.S. attorneys show that that Republican campaign to protect the balloting was not as it appeared. No significant voter fraud was ever proved.


A concerted effort to keep a D from winning, and yet Ms McCaskill did?
Good job ma'am.


Tomorrow, May 3rd, 9:30a EST on Cspan 3.

James Comey testifies to the Judiciary Committee.

Who is he you ask?

One of the fascinating dynamics in the Justice Department for going on 4 years now has been the tension between the Bush loyalists and those loyal Republicans who still have a shred of decency left.

The poster child for the latter category has been James Comey, the deputy attorney general for part of John Ashcroft's tenure, who appointed his old friend Patrick Fitzgerald as special prosecutor to investigate the Plame affair.

Comey was also the guy who refused to reauthorize the NSA warrant less wiretapping program, forcing the White House to get Ashcroft to sign off on it from his hospital bed. Bush, as is his way, nicknamed Comey "Cuomo."


Mmmmm, I smell barbecued elephant.

George W. Bush Hates Our Troops

Just in case you forgot, this is what George W. Bush said to our troops when he decided to keep them in harm's way and veto their funding:


I do so love it when the Brits get their noses out of whack.

Mark Steel: Blair's downfall: a tale of love and money

Blair's support for Bush was a result of his adoration for the wealthy and powerful


Published: 02 May 2007

Ten years ago today was brilliant. It was a euphoric sunny optimistic morning.
It's hard to remember it like that, just as it's hard to recall you had a wonderful romantic wedding day, if it turned out you'd married a junkie who then sold your furniture and smoked your hamster.


Smoked a hamster? Oh, the visual.

As one newspaper fumed with rage yesterday that "this has been the greatest decade in British history for the very, very wealthy. Under New Labour the worth of the 1,000 richest people in the country has soared by 263 per cent. It has indeed been their platinum age."

And the newspaper complaining about this was the Daily Mail. The Daily Bastard Mail. Once the Daily Mail is moaning that you're too kind to the rich, it's like Posh Spice coming round and saying "Blimey, you're too skinny", and buying you a Twix.


And Blair's' legacy? Same as Bush.... or as Steel imagines Blair musing....

"It's not fair. No one remembers how I helped out Mrs Ambridge at the Post Office with her shingles. Just 'murders murders murders', that's all the bastards go on about. Well, they'll be sorry when I've gone."


Snort. Sure we'll miss you. Like a _____ (fill in blank with disgusting bodily ailment).

Now where's that Twix?

******NOTE****

I just now figured out that Mark Steel is a British comedian. Huh?
Why don't our papers let comedians do op-ed pieces? First John Cleese last week, now this guy.

Jon Stewart syndicated thru McClatchy? Now there's a paper I'd subscribe to!!!

World Bank Ethics Committee Releases Documents On Former Mitch McConnell Aide Robin Cleveland

The World Bank Ethics Committee has released documents that include opinions blasting Paul Wolfowitz for the outlandish salary arranged for Robin Cleveland, the former aide to Sen. Mitch McConnell, who was appointed to a position she was wholly unqualified for.

Page 48: On the terms of Robin Cleveland and Kevin Kellems’ contracts, on Shaha Riza’s salary increase, and on the terms of Karl Jackson’s original contract, we reiterate our contention that Paul Wolfowitz acted with reckless disregard for his fiduciary duties to the Bank, basic principles of HR management, and the reputation of the Bank, by providing outlandish compensation packages to the people closest to him.

Now it also appears the former McConnell aide was complicit in arranging a transfer from a job at the State Department for Paul Wolfowitz’s girlfriend, a British citizen, who received a higher salary than Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice at over $170,000 a year:

Page 97:

Dear Ms. Cleveland:

I am writing to request the transfer of the secondment of Ms. Shaha Riza, British citizen, employee of the Bank, from the
Bureau of Near Eastem Affairs at the US Department of State to the Foundation for the Future which she was in charge
of establishing.

I'm Speechless (For Once)

And apparently we'd all be better off if he were too.

Last chance to get drunk with gimmeabreak!!



Our good friend gimmeabreak has started the 193rd chapter of Drinking Liberally!!

If you live in the area, make sure to stop by, and if you can, get us some compromising pictures!!
(just kidding....I've changed my mind, please send incriminating pics.)


The 193rd Chapter of Drinking Liberally in Pennsauken, NJ will have it's first get together on May 2, 2007 at 7:00.

Where: Kings Row Sports Bar Billiards, 6030 N. Crescent Blvd (Route 130N), Pennsauken, NJ

When: First and Third Wednesdays of every month starting May 2

Who: Hosted by Art and Denise Williams, Location and libation provided by Rick DiMedio and Remo Croce

Details: Kings Row is a stones throw from Philadelphia and convenient to routes 30, 38 and 73 in Jersey.

Extras: Drink Specials for all DLers including the inauguration of the shot ImPeachMint!

http://www.drinkingliberally.org
http://pennsauken.drinkingliberally.org
email: pennsauken@drinkingliberally.org





bumped by Paddy

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the House floor today;

The President said that we are substituting, Congress is substituting our judgment for the judgment of commanders in the field, 6,000 miles away. Wrong again, Mr. President. We are substituting our judgment for your judgment, 16 blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue in the White House. We are substituting the judgment of this Congress for your failed judgment. The American people have lost faith in the President’s conduct of the war. They have said they want accountability and a new direction — this bill gives them both.




From John Edwards.

This is the moment of truth on Iraq. The veto we knew would come has arrived. Congress must now make a decision: cave in to Bush and extend the war, or send back a binding plan to end it.

I asked my staff to create an emergency television ad that would bring the people's voice directly to Congress, calling on them to make the right choice. They worked late into the night and we now have a powerful message ready to go on the air in D.C. as soon as tomorrow morning.

www.johnedwards.com/wethepeople

Is it normal for a presidential campaign to drop everything and focus on pushing Congress to end a war? Maybe not.



Sign the Petition!!!

Over to the right, John Edwards dot com is collecting signatures to send to Congress telling them NOT TO BACK DOWN to Bush.

Go put your John Hancock on it. HERE

You'll feel GOOD about yourself!!

Great Headline

I don't know anything about this reporter Matt Stearns, but the little I know I like.


WHITE HOUSE
Bush's management style allows for incompetence - but not massage
By Matt Stearns
McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON - Apparently, a penchant for massages is the one thing that President Bush cannot abide in an underling.

Arranging a massive pay raise and promotion for a girlfriend? World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz "ought to stay," Bush said. "He ought to be given a fair hearing."

Admittedly muffing management of the Justice Department, then forgetting key details when a miffed Congress demands answers? Attorney General Alberto Gonzales "increased my confidence in his ability to do the job," the president said.

The planning and execution of the Iraq war and its aftermath? Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, former Coalition Provisional Authority administrator L. Paul Bremer and former CIA Director George Tenet kept their jobs long after their foul-ups became apparent. Bush awarded all three the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

But Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias, who quit the day he admitted to getting massages - and only massages - from an escort service?

"He resigned, and it was the proper thing to do," White House spokesman Tony Snow said Monday.

Thus is revealed the management philosophy of the CEO presidency. Favoritism, ineffectiveness and misleading Congress: OK. Massages: Not OK.

Very deeply disturbing.

US 'wants British Pakistanis to have entry visas'

Matt Weaver
Wednesday May 2, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

The American government wants to impose travel restrictions on British citizens of Pakistani origin because of concerns about terrorism, according to a report today.

In talks with the British government, the US homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, called for British Pakistanis to apply for a visa before travelling to the US, according to the New York Times.

(snip)

But today the Foreign Office made it clear would resist the idea. It said it would oppose any attempt to exclude particular ethnic groups from the US visa waiver scheme that allows citizens from 27 countries, including the UK, to travel to the US without a visa for up to 90 days.

(snip)

Mohammad Sarwar, the Labour MP for Glasgow Central, described the proposal as "unbelievable and shocking. Every British citizen must have the same rights. I don't think America has any right to interfere in this way."


The people who took down the World Trade Center were from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon or Egypt. Have similiar restrictions gone out for people with this kind of ancestry?

Oh look, they eased up the restrictions for the Saudis in 2005!!

******UPDATE****

Looks like Lil Mikey Chertoff got his hat handed to him. The original article is still available at the link above, but in it's place at the Guardian site front page is this article.

US entry visa plan for British Pakistanis denied

Go read both the articles and tell me what you think. One item to point out, the author of the first article is just a reporter. The Author of the second article is a DIPLOMATIC EDITOR. heh.

My take from the two articles?

Chertoff tried, the UK said nuh-uh, it got reported and now both of them are trying to pretend it never happened.

The UK by saying they'd never even consider it (true) and the US by saying it isn't going to happen (also true).


Spin baby, spin.


Breaking: World Bank Board of Directors Likely To Issue Opinion On Appointment Of Former Sen. Mitch McConnell Aide Early Next Week

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is facing possible termination early next week for corruption charges surrounding the appointment of his girlfriend to a higher paid salary position than Condoleeza Rice at the State Department, but it appears the investigation into his appointment of Robin Cleveland, the former aide to Sen. Mitch McConnell is heating up. Not only does it appear McConnell helped arrange for her excessive tax-free salary at over a quarter-million-dollars, but that he is using her to steer millions of dollars in World Bank funds to Iraq by circumventing the normal venting procedures for World Bank lending:

Mr. Wolfowitz has clashed with the staff over pay packages and authority he gave to aides Robin Cleveland and Kevin Kellems, whom he brought to the bank from the White House, installed in senior positions and rewarded with open-ended contracts and quarter-million-dollar, tax-free salaries, despite their lack of development experience.

Both staff and management also have raised concerns over what several described as Mr. Wolfowitz’s insistence that the bank accelerate its lending to Iraq and open an office there.

We can only hope that Sen. Mitch McConnell will answer the following questions after the Board of Directors issues its opinion:

Detractors charged that Wolfowitz used his anti-corruption campaign selectively to reward U.S. allies and punish critics.

He antagonized senior managers with his appointments of two advisers, Kevin Kellems and Robin Cleveland, recruited from the Bush administration. Those appointments will also be a subject of the inquiry by the board panel.

Chuck Schumer, DemiGod

Okay, that's probably a bridge too far, but once again, as head of the DSCC, Chuck Schumer is beating the living bejeezus out of his counterpart at the NRSC. This cycle's sacrificial lamb, Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, is raising half as much as Schumer, and in regards to recruiting, doesn't have a "single leg to stand on." Check out this killer opening paragraph.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is facing many of the same problems it battled last cycle, raising about half as much money as its Democratic counterpart and failing to recruit a single major candidate nearly six months after the 2006 elections.

Announcement--Sort Of

Hey boys and girls. I have been trying to blog less, as I have a book deadline and slowly it's been working. Very slowly.

But as I am now in the final month before my deadline, I will become a bit more scarce around here. It shouldn't bother you much, as all the other posters are a good bit smarter than I am anyhow. I will still, however, jump in now and again for a quick post, but the longer ones will have to wait.

A few key things: First of all, I am very happy to announce that Bob Geiger, the brilliant blogger and an all-around fantastic guy has joined me to help write a chapter of my book. Well, actually to write a chapter of my book. Bob is a Senate expert, as you may know, and he has forgotten much more about the arcane and/or disingenuous procedures a certain Senator has used to avoid voting, supporting measures he knows will never pass, blocking good legislation, etc., than I can ever hope to know. So I am very lucky to have him aboard. The book will benefit from his insight.

Second, I will leave you with two great posts you should check out. Scoobie Davis' fantastic analysis of Angry Bernie Goldberg's new book, you know the blow-dried, faux-reporter who blames the left for the fact that he was fired from CBS because he sucked.

Also check out David Sirota's take on the free pass longtime LOBBYIST Fred Thompson is getting from the media. Another great piece.

ONE MORE VERY IMPORTANT POINT: I very much enjoy this participatory media thing. In other words, any of you who have information you think would be valuable to my book on John McCain, consider yourselves part of my research team. I already have received fantastic material from our commenter Basheert, who will be getting many mentions when I acknowledge who was an important part of the production of my forthcoming tome.

That's it. It ain't goodbye. I dig this blogging stuff too much. But I am going to try and limit myself this month, lest I get no sleep at all.



Buh bye Tony. Don't let the doggie door hit you in the .......

Telegraph UK


Brown to be PM in weeks, says Blair

By Graeme Wilson, Political Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:53am BST 02/05/2007

Tony Blair marked his 10th anniversary in office by promising to reveal his resignation plans next week, "Within the next few weeks I won't be Prime Minister of this country. In all probability, a Scot will become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom," Mr Blair told party supporters at a Labour rally in Edinburgh.

(snip)

With the party braced for a disastrous night at the polls on Thursday, Mr Blair is seeking to prevent disillusionment over his own premiership from overshadowing the arrival of his successor.

(snip)

...Mr Mandelson, who is widely seen as one of the architects of New Labour's media operation, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:
"We were perhaps too ready to place emphasis on our management of the media in those early years of government, rather than concentrate on a more policy driven process.
(*ed. note: hmm, sounds familiar)


Well, hopefully this will be the beginning of a new era for the UK, and I wouldn't be surprised of all sorts of mucky stories about the run up to the war start surfacing.

Plus, I really look forward to a Scotsman going at it during the PM "Question Time".



Cliff Comment: Sadly, like the Jaguar-loving Colin Powell, another man who was on his way to being remembered as a great one, and then chose to sell his soul to President Bush and destroy his reputation for the rest of his time on this planet.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Richard Gere, International Sex Symbols

UK Times Online

Iranian President accused of indecencyJenny Booth and agencies
The President of Iran has been accused of indecency after he publicly kissed an elderly woman who used to be his school teacher.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was photographed and filmed by state media stooping to kiss the woman’s hand and then clasping her arms in an embrace, at a ceremony yesterday in honour of Iranian teachers’ day.

According to sharia law, it is forbidden for a man to have any physical contact with a woman to whom he is not related.

(snip)

While the Iranian president is considered an ultra-conservative in the West, this is not the first time that he and his government have been attacked by hardline elements even further to the right along the political spectrum.



News Feed


HOLLYWOOD star Richard Gere, ordered arrested by an Indian court for kissing Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, offered a "sincere apology" today for any offence he caused.

Gere's statement came a day after the court issued an arrest warrant against him for "obscene" behaviour for embracing Shetty and planting several kisses on her cheeks during an AIDS awareness event in New Delhi earlier this month.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

My Lord

Really, I do want to stop blogging for a bit and work solely on my book, so I can finish it and make my publisher send me champagne (or at least I think that's how it works?).

But these guys are really just too much. They, as in the GOP, simply won't let me. You know the "Interior Official" who resigned, which we told you about in an earlier post. It turns out there were "Internet role-playing games" among her various transgressions. Yes, it appears, she sent private government documents to her online hump-buddy.

I could write up something. But just go read Jesus General and laugh your ass off (oh, and give the man some scratch while there, he's holding a fundraiser and any man whose satire is saucier than Paul Wolfowitz' comb deserves our support).

Kentucky Deserves Mitch McConnell To Come Clean On His Role In The Paul Wolfowitz World Bank Scandal

Paul Wolfowitz faces possible termination as the President of the World Bank this week for arranging a job at the State Department for his girlfriend Shaha Ali Riza and for her to be paid a higher salary than Condoleeza Rice. However, the New Yorker profile on Paul Wolfowitz’s tenure at the World Bank reminded us that this is only the latest edition in the Wolfowitz hiring scandals at the World Bank, which many also associate with his hiring of former Sen. Mitch McConnell aide Robin Cleveland:

Wolfowitz hired two American political operatives who were closely associated with the war in Iraq: Robin Cleveland…and Kevin Kellems, who had been with Wolfowitz at the Pentagon. Perhaps inevitably, Cleveland and Kellems antagonized many on the bank’s staff. “Their attitude was: We are brighter than other people, we know more than other people,” a bank veteran who recently left told me. “They were unaccountable because they had no direct-line authority. Officially, they were just advisers to the president, but in fact they were calling the shots.”

Cleveland, in particular, incited hostility. On Capitol Hill, where she had worked for Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, she was known as “the dragon lady,” because of her aggressive approach to negotiations.

The people of Kentucky deserve to hear Mitch McConnell answer the following questions:

1. How many conversations did you have with Paul Wolfowitz about hiring your aide Robin Cleveland?

2. When did the conversations take place and what transpired?

3. Have any members of the McConnell and Chao family financially benefited from investments of the World Bank since the hiring of Robin Cleveland?

Cross-posted at DitchMitchKY.com

VERY IMPORTANT STUFF FROM REALLY SMART PEOPLE



On April 1, Glenn Greenwald wrote about an incredible exchange CATO Institute President Ed Crane had with Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani at a Club for Growth meeting:

Various Republican candidates attended a meeting of Club for Growth, and afterwards, National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru spoke to Cato Institute's President Ed Crane about what they said. This brief report from Ponnuru is simply extraordinary:

Crane asked if Romney believed the president should have the authority to arrest U.S. citizens with no review. Romney said he would want to hear the pros and cons from smart lawyers before he made up his mind. […]

Crane said that he had asked Giuliani the same question a few weeks ago. The mayor said that he would want to use this authority infrequently.


The extremism and utter anti-Americanism of these statements are as self-evident as they are deeply disturbing. The Politico-sponsored GOP debate on Thursday is accepting user-submitted questions, and the one that receives the most votes will be asked. If you want to help put the Republican candidates on the record about this incredibly important issue, go and vote for the below question here (note: the format pushes the questions to the rightmost side of the page so make sure to scroll over). The voting ends tomorrow so make sure to vote as soon as possible.

by SilentPatriot on 05.01.2007 at 03:39 PM

Should the President have power to imprison U.S. citizens without charging them with a crime and without providing them a judicial forum in which they can contest the accusations against them, as the Bush administration did to American Jose Padilla?

Since there is no direct link to each question, the provided link will bring you to a page organized by which questions were submitted most recently. It is currently at the top, but if there are others submitted afterrwards (which will most likely be the case), scroll down and look for this timestamp: by SilentPatriot on 05.01.2007 at 03:39 PM

Since a second round of voting will take place online during the debate, this is just a preliminary voting period to get the question to the next round. If it gets through, we will write another post directing you towards the next vote. If Romney and Giuliani's position on imprisoning American citizens without review bothers you as much as it does me, please vote and help put all the GOP candidates on the record.

UPDATE: With the questions flooding in, the question keeps getting pushed down, now appearing on the second page. You can vote up to three times so make sure your vote(s) count! Just look for the time stamp: SilentPatriot on 05.01.2007 at 03:39 PM Be sure to click the link below the question

LUNACY, YOU GOT SOME 'SPLAININ' TO DO



I am honored and flummoxed (yes, I just wanted to use the word "flummoxed") to be asked to guest post while Cliff is secluded in his new office in his new home with his new baby and his not-so-new computer trying to finish his very new book. I've never done this before, although I am a writer. And I use the term loosely.

So, consider this an opportunity to see what it's like when lunatic off the street is given full rein to run off at the mouth at the expense of the superb quality and decency of an otherwise excellent blog.

And speaking of lunatics, let's make a list of them. That's a relatively easy way to ease into this fish-outta-water blogging thing. Feel free to add to the list. My time is limited, and so is my mental capacity.

The List-o'-Lunatics (and their qualifications):

KKKarl Rove--For putting our entire democracy at risk. And for looking like that.

Gonzo--So much incompetence, too little time and space to go into the redundant details. And for his creepy Peter Lorre impression.

Cheney-- Main Entry: lu·na·tic
Pronunciation: 'lü-n&-"tik
Function: adjective
1 a : affected with lunacy : INSANE b : designed for the care of insane persons < lunatic asylum>
2 : wildly foolish lunatic idea>
- lunatic noun
3 : See Cheney, Richard Bruce

George W. Bush-- Killing small living things as a child; Killing larger living things as an adult; Lifelong influence of The Quaker Oats Man--er, Bar; The Rapture. 'Nuff said.


Rats, Rats, Rats...... Meet Sinking Ship.

Interior official quits ahead of hearing
By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - An Interior Department official accused of pressuring government scientists to make their research fit her policy goals has resigned.

Julie MacDonald, deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, submitted her resignation letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, a department spokesman said Tuesday.

MacDonald resigned a week before a House congressional oversight committee was to hold a hearing on accusations that she violated the Endangered Species Act, censored science and mistreated staff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


SUBPOENA POWER!!! Say it LOUD, Say it PROUD!!!

The Netroots - An Essay

Jonathan Chait has a must-read on the netroots. Some of it is dead on, some of it is exaggerated, some of it is dispiriting, but mostly, it's a fascinating piece. Read, and discuss amongst yourselves.


What the war has cost your state in blood and treasure.

Indiana?

Number of Active Duty Service-Members in Iraq: 2,627

Number of Reserve Forces in Iraq: 1,061

Number of Service-Members Killed in Iraq: 73

Number of Service-Members Wounded in Iraq: 525

Cost of War to the People of Indiana: $5.8 billion

“I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.”

- George W. Bush, 6/5/99

I've Got An Idea!

Let's just turn the whole country over to Rupert Murdoch and get it over with.



As of today, May 1st 2007, 3351 soldiers have ended their mission.





"In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."-George W. Bush May 1, 2003