"...somebody named Cliff Schecter, an expert. Never heard of him."-Rush Limbaugh
Saturday, May 26, 2007
The Middle East Looked "Nice And Cozy" For A While?
Yup, President Bush actually said this. Yup, he was trying to discuss the "root causes" of terrorism. Yup, he's an abosolute idiot.
That bird that crapped on him knows more about the Middle East.
Steve Benen has the whole story.
Since it's Memorial Day weekend, I'd like to memorialize a few things:
Let's never forget who saved us from WMD, conceived a prudent, rational plan to spread democracy, went after those who attacked us on 911 and went after them over there so they wouldn't follow us here, liberated the Iraqi people, and, oh, well, you know the rest. Analysts Warned of Iraq Post-Invasion Chaos
Let's remember forever what evil people the Clintons are. CEO Funded Clintons' Travel
Let's memorialize Bush's successful efforts to bring peace to the middle east. Airstrike Targets Hamas Post
Let's remember solemnly how BushCo was so wrongly blamed for leaking the identity of a covert CIA operative, putting her life, as well as the lives of others, in danger and ruining her distinguished career. Special Prosecutor Seeks 30 to 37 Months in Prison for Libby
Let's not ever forget how Bush has made our economy so much stronger. US housing market deteriorates at faster pace than expected
Let's burn into our memories the lengths to which the Bush administration will go to save our environment and protect us from global warming. US Rejects G8 Climate Change Proposal
Let's always recollect how, under this administration's watch, we feel safe and protected in our everyday lives, right down to the toothpaste we use. China Presses US on Food Regulations
Gosh, there's so much more to commemorate, but I hope and I pray with all my might that this brief tribute will make us all stop and think--every single Memorial Day weekend--how very much this judicious, altruistic bunch of patriots has done for America.
Let's never. Ever. Forget.
Nothing for a quiet afternoon but smiles.
From the Secret Policeman's Other Ball, 1982.
Seen at the illustrious (and now defunct) Eastown Theatre, Grand Rapids Michigan.
Many snorts and giggles.
Any Rhode Islanders out there?
This looks like it could get interesting.
Fight over R.I. bridge starts Statehouse gender feud
By Ray Henry, Associated Press Writer | May 26, 2007
PROVIDENCE, R.I. --A female lawmaker in Rhode Island is demanding her colleagues name a bridge for an outspoken woman who helped found the state, a gesture resisted in a House chamber so dominated by men it lacked a women's bathroom until last month.
Lawmakers here routinely crank out honorifics with little fanfare, let alone debate. Not this time.
Critics of Rep. Amy Rice have rewritten her bill and attempted to scuttle it over a plan to name a new bridge spanning the Sakonnet River for Anne Hutchinson, a religious dissident who led hundreds of followers to Rhode Island in 1638 after Puritan zealots banished her from Boston.
"This bill would have passed if it weren't for gender politics," fumes Rice, one of 15 women in the House of Representatives. "For women, we've come a long way, ... but apparently not far enough."
Rice, a Democrat, thinks on this as she walks the corridors of the Statehouse, where marble walls are decorated with portraits of Rhode Island's leading men.
"You walk around the Statehouse, I don't think there's any portrait of a woman," said Rice, a Democrat. "They're all men!"
Hutchinson feuded with the leading Puritan men of her day. She believed that outward signs of piety like church attendance, Bible reading and prayer didn't reliably predict whether a person merited salvation. Only the human heart mattered, and Hutchinson claimed to be a uniquely good judge.**
Neat read in that you infrequently hear about "Founding Mothers" and their impact on our country. This woman sounded like a real corker that deserves a bridge. I hope Ms. Rice is getting support from her constituents.
**pretty much my view
Man, I'm missing Miami today. Cuban coffee..... ahhhh.
Anywho, here's some stuff you should know about this morning. As an aside, let me say that if we are ever threatened by Aliens From Outer Space, wanting to invade our world, just send them an audiofile from any C-Span open phone segment.
That will scare them off permanently.
Iran wants to develop shared oil fields with Iraq
War widows lobby for better benefits
Teen arrested on hate crime charges in cutting of Sikh student's hair during argument
A Tough 5 Months, but Democrats Cite Successes
Castro blasts Bush as 'apocalyptic' after Iraq funding bill clears Congress
Prosecutor urges up to 3 years in prison for Libby
Former Bush Aide Card Is Booed at UMass
Friday, May 25, 2007
Maybe this wasn't a joke.
US rejects all proposals on climate change
· Embarrassment for Blair as G8 draft covered in red ink
· Little hope of any deal at summit in two weeks
John Vidal, environment editor
Saturday May 26, 2007
The US has rejected any prospect of a deal on climate change at the G8 summit in Germany next month, according to a leaked document.
The scene is set for a showdown between the US and other G8 countries who want early action on climate change. Germany's environment minister, Sigmar Gabriel, said the country was prepared to block decisions on other issues unless the US and other G8 members made concessions on the environment.
"America doesn't want to commit to firm goals. We can't put the global future of our children at risk because of the narrow-mindedness of individual negotiating partners."
Surgical Strike Leaves President with Egg on His Face and a Mess on his Sleeve: Update
It was overheard by a local flock of birds that D.C. was all a-twitter about the Bush incident yesterday. As it turns out, one of them has a cousin who resides in a White House tree. According to the cousin, a sprightly chick named Jackie Sparrow (no relation), who has connections in very high places, the whole thing was planned.
America - Where The Torture Is Only Half-Assed
Over at Townhall, there has been a discussion about American torture versus Al Qaeda torture. Dean Barnett, after looking at an Al Qaeda torture manual, writes the following
By all means, read the whole thing. And then ask yourself why there are so many people who can’t distinguish between this stuff, which is real torture, and the attention grab and other enhanced interrogation techniques. Are they willfully obtuse, scoring political points, or just hopelessly morally muddled?
First, it's absolutely hilarious that Barnett would accuse those opposed to torture of being morally muddled.
Second, the general defense of "enhanced interrogation techniques," that it's not as bad as Al Qaeda, is morally repugnant. Be proud my friends, Dean Barnett believes America's new motto should be "America - We don't torture as badly as Al Qaeda."
Finally, I pose a scenario to Barnett (if it seems familiar, I apologize)- What if you had a prisoner, and he knew there was a ticking time bomb that would wipe out an American city. Now, you've already tried waterboarding and electrodes to the genitals, but this individual won't crack. Do you go to the baser techniques of Al Qaeda, like blowtorching skin? C'mon Dean, it will save American lives, and you've already committed a little bit of torture, so why not go all the way? If you believe torture will get you important answers, why would you stop with "enhanced interrogation techniques?" Why wouldn't you use every method to get those answers?
Gee, if you get grilled about your political persuasion and religious beliefs, know that toeing the line will be more important than serving justice and have to answer to chipmunk bosses like Ms Goodling....why wouldn't you want to work for the DOJ?
Fewer candidates apply for positions as U.S. attorneys
By Margaret Talev, Marisa Taylor and Lesley Clark
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's decision to fire nine U.S. attorneys last year has created a new problem for the White House: The controversy appears to be discouraging applications for some of the 22 prosecutor posts that President Bush needs to fill.
Of the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys, 22 are serving without Senate confirmation as interim or acting prosecutors. They represent districts in Alaska, Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, West Virginia and Washington.
In Florida, the panel that's evaluating candidates and making recommendations to the White House has received only two applicants for the vacancy left by U.S. Attorney Paul Perez in Tampa - even after it extended the May 3 deadline to apply. Perez, who resigned in March, left for a private-sector job. He's said that he wasn't forced out.
David Iglesias, the ousted New Mexico U.S. attorney, said that timing may be a contributing factor, but that the administration is in denial if it doesn't believe there are concerns about low office morale, the ability to remain independent or even the odds of being confirmed by a suspicious Senate controlled by the Democrats.
The article goes on and quotes a White House official claiming the reason no one wants to apply is that it is too close to the end of the term. Uh huh, keep on telling yourself that bud.
I'm guessing the #1 reason is no one wants to be mistaken for a Regent University grad.
McCain Goes Bonkers: Obama Says Talk To The Hand
You may or may not have seen John McCain's weak and pathetic response to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's voting againt that supplemental (Senator Dodd did too, but McCain only chose to attack the other two). If you haven't, I bet you can guess. McCain is trying to seem like he's a tough guy to win the support of the Geico Cavemen who make up the GOP base (Romney said something silly too, but then he had to run off to go hunt a varmint for dinner).
So McCain lodged the emboldening Al Qaeda charge, the waving the white flag charge and a few others until McCain wet himself and Cindy had to change his Depends again.
In any case, Obama responded:
Senator Barack Obama released the following statement today in response to statements made by Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney on last night’s vote.You can probably guess which part I enjoyed the most by looking at the bolded portion of our program.
This country is united in our support for our troops, but we also owe them a plan to relieve them of the burden of policing someone else’s civil war. Governor Romney and Senator McCain clearly believe the course we are on in Iraq is working, but I do not.
And if there ever was a reflection of that it's the fact that Senator McCain required a flack jacket, ten armored Humvees, two Apache attack helicopters, and 100 soldiers with rifles by his side to stroll through a market in Baghdad just a few weeks ago.
Governor Romney and Senator McCain are still supporting a war that has cost us thousands of lives, made us less safe in the world, and resulted in a resurgence of al-Qaeda. It is time to end this war so that we can redeploy our forces to focus on the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and all those who plan to do us harm.
In any case, McCain came right back with a nasty retort, which is what tempermental loons are apt to do, going after Obama for his "two years" in the Senate. But you see Senator McCain, you might not want to brag about the kind of experience you've given us, namely the worst deficits ever, the worst foreign policy blunder ever, flip-flops on abortion, evolution, gay rights and Bush's tax cuts, not to mention the older stuff like your private plane rides on the Keating Five Express.
In other words, I'll take Obama's experience. But thanks for playing.
The World's Biggest Star Wars Party
Star Wars fans love to stand in line — for movie tickets, for Billy Dee Williams' autograph, for limited-edition anything. That much was clear Thursday, as a few thousand of them contentedly cooled their heels in a line that wound around the Los Angeles Convention Center on the first day of the largest Star Wars party in history, Celebration IV.
The event, only the fourth official Star Wars fan gathering ever, marks 30 years since a fictional galaxy far, far away burst into our cultural consciousness and gave grown men an excuse to hang onto their toy collections. By Memorial Day, organizers expect more than 25,000 would-be Wookiees and stormtroopers to have joined the party in L.A.
Celebration IV kicked off with a total-immersion program — a free screening of all six of George Lucas' Star Wars films back-to-back, a 17-hour marathon with intermissions, attended by 3,000 extreme fans.
30 years ago, my little brother was VERY luck to have a cool 16 year old sister. I joined the pre-release Star Wars figure club and got the complete set with the Darth Vadar case for Chris for Christmas..... 5 whole months before it came out!!
Wanna bet he was the envy of all his little buds? You know it. Plus, if he hadn't played with the damn things and kept them in pristine condition, they'd be worth a chunk of change.
We Suck, We Really Suck
It turns out that The Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute have signed onto a new report on economic mobility sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The only problem is that the report shows that the very policies these two think tanks have advocated have led to workers doing far less well than the previous generation.
You will find info in the report such as this:
·Growth in after-tax income for the top 1 percent has far outpaced growth for others between 1979 and 2004.Thanks guys for pointing out what we already knew. The free market fetishism you push has been a massive failure. (h/t Tula Connell)
·The United States has less relative economic mobility than many other developed countries.
·Income falls behind productivity. Between 1947 and 1974, productivity and income grew together, but between 1974 and 2005, productivity and income grew apart.
Lost amid the hand wringing over the Iraq vote was the fact that Democrats did indeed pass lobbying reform yesterday. I think it is imperative that the Democrats show the country that they will try to clean up Capitol Hill. They promised to make a change, and this bill delivers on that promise. Now they have to work it out with the Senate, and get the President to sign it.
You Sir Are Correct
John Edwards delivered a great foreign policy speech the other day, on which I will be doing a writeup when I have some time (which, of course, may be never). But in the meantime, here is the email he sent out regarding that travesty of a vote on Iraq last night, in case you didn't get it. Complete with URL for you to go and make yourself heard:
About an hour ago, the Senate caved to President Bush and sent him another blank check to continue the war in Iraq.
This is a serious blow for all of us, but no one lost more today than the troops in the field who continue to sacrifice so nobly and their families still waiting back home.
It's a hard moment, but you and I don't have the luxury of getting discouraged. We must remember: This is not over. For those of us committed to change, it has only begun.
This weekend, thousands of us will take action in our communities to support the troops and end the war. We will speak out in public. We will send care packages to soldiers in Iraq. We will gather letters for Congress and the president. And on Memorial Day, we will remember and honor those who sacrificed everything for their nation.
After tonight, one thing is now perfectly clear: No one else is going to end this war for us. Bush will not listen. Congress will not fight. There's no one left to lead the country now but we the people.
Each of us has a duty and a responsibility to our troops and to each other to do all that we can to end this war. Under the Constitution of the United States of America, we the people are the sovereign and the ultimate deciders--and by all that I know is right we will succeed in bringing our troops home.
Thank you for standing up.
An excellent blog post by Kevin Drum on how the military is fighting the "culture war" instead of keeping us safe.
Dems: Fight Over Iraq War Has Just Begun
May 25, 6:16 AM EDT
By ANNE FLAHERTY
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats may have lost the first round with President Bush on ending the war in Iraq since taking over Congress in January, but they say their fight has just begun.
In the months ahead, lawmakers will vote repeatedly on whether U.S. troops should stay and whether Bush has the authority to continue the war. The Democratic strategy is intended to ratchet up pressure on the president, as well as on moderate Republicans who have grown tired of defending Bush administration policy in a deeply unpopular war.
"I feel a direction change in the air," said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the House panel that oversees military funding.
Let's hope this is just the beginning to the end. If I had a dime for every time I've heard, "Ending the war is very important to the anti-war activists", I'd be a crazy woman with alot of dimes.
Ending this war is very important to majority of U.S. citizens you cretins.
A large majority of the public — 76 percent, including a majority of Republicans — say that the additional American troops sent to Iraq this year by Mr. Bush have either had no impact or are making things worse there. Twenty percent think the troop increase is improving the situation in Iraq.
A majority of Americans continue to support a timetable for withdrawal. Sixty-three percent say the United States should set a date for withdrawing troops from Iraq sometime in 2008.
Vote Early, Vote Often
My pal Sean-Paul Kelley's blog, The Agonist, is up for best blog in the Satin Pajamas Awards best blog contest. It is to celebrate the "Best of The European Blogoshphere," and yet The Agonist is nominated in the category of "Best Non-European Weblog."
I know, that doesn't make any sense to me either. But Sean-Paul provides a valuable service, writing about brilliantly about foreign affairs from a progressive perspective (double snaps, as he's an internationalist from Texas, a place Dick Armey once said he felt no need to ever leave--and wouldn't we all have been the better for it, but I digress).
My man Sean-Paul is also a fantastic radio host, and if he were a conservative would, um, be getting that think tank love that nobody on our side ever gets. So give him his due.
Go vote Agonist!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
May 24, 2007
Rove, Fielding pay mysterious visit to Capitol
Senior White House aide Karl Rove and White House Council Fred Fielding were just spotted leaving a meeting room just off the Senate floor in the Capitol. But neither gave a reason for their trip to the Hill.
Minutes later, Iraq War “Czar” Lt. Gen Douglas Lute was also spotted leaving the Capitol.
When asked what brought him down Pennsylvania Avenue, Rove remained mum, simply smiling and greeting the staffers who quickly surrounded him.
“Something big must be happening” a startled Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said as he watched Rove walk out the building.
-Daniel W. Reilly
posted by Patrick O'Connor 06:15 PM
Just because this made me snort.
via John at AMERICAblog
Cheney's Staff Engaged in Insubordination Against President Bush, an excerpt:
From The Washington Note by Steve Clemons:
"The zinger of this information is the admission by this Cheney aide that Cheney himself is frustrated with President Bush and believes, much like Richard Perle, that Bush is making a disastrous mistake by aligning himself with the policy course that Condoleezza Rice, Bob Gates, Michael Hayden and McConnell have sculpted.
According to this official, Cheney believes that Bush can not be counted on to make the "right decision" when it comes to dealing with Iran and thus Cheney believes that he must tie the President's hands."
Read the whole thing. It's not that long, but it deserves attention.
This, and Cliff's post below about Frist and co., just kinda warms the heart and renews your faith in those rational, prudent, sensible leaders or ours, doesn't it? Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find a wall to bang my head against.
"I don't get tummy aches from gay people,
heck I'll even let them work for me!!
But civil rights for the queers? That makes me gassy."
Romney: I'm Not Intolerant of Gays
By BRENDAN FARRINGTON
Associated Press Writer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Thursday that his opposition to same-sex marriage should not be interpreted as intolerance of gays, who served in his administration when he was Massachusetts governor.
"What you look for in a leader is someone who will welcome and treat with respect people who made different choices and have different beliefs in their lives and have differences. I have nothing but respect and feelings of tolerance for people with differences from myself and feel that way with regards to those who are gay," he said.
I got so cranky after the President's press conference,
I went looking for some smiles.
Japan Tries 'Cell Phone Diet'
Florida tries to wipe out cat-sized African rats
Man with 700 snakes arrested at airport
Is the SAT Inherently Finger-ist?
DNA testing is for the dogs
Man gets 5 years for blowing up toilet
Finally, my favorite of the day (so far).
Man faces felony in underwear thefts
FORT COLLINS, Colo. --A man faces a felony theft charge in the disappearance of more than 1,300 women's undergarments near the Colorado State University campus, police announced Tuesday.
You've Got To Be Kidding Me
Well, if the World Bank develops a division devoted to finding world markets in which to trade on insider information I guess they'll be well prepared with Frist at the helm. Plus, he can always help diagnose outbreaks of disease in developing countries via digital video conference (h/t to Paddy on that one).
My in-depth analysis of the President's press conference
George W Bush is a disingenuous, condescending, repetitive, bullying jackass.
Stupid. Plain stupid. How can anyone think that this is constitutional? Or worthwhile?
A Flagstaff entrepreneur who makes an anti-war T-shirt has inspired a potential new chapter of state law.
Dan Frazier's use of the names of soldiers who have died in the Iraq conflict is the driving force behind Senate Bill 1014, which passed the House of Representatives today on a 57-0 vote.
The legislation would make endeavors such as Frazier's T-shirt production subject to civil liability, and the potential of treble damages, unless the manufacturer had the permission of the soldier or his or her representative, such as a family member or a trustee.
It would pertain to the use of soldiers' names in products, as well as advertising for those products. There are exceptions for such things as news accounts, professional photo exhibits, plays, or other forms of art, as long as they aren't commercial promotions.
Frazier has said he won't stop production of his T-shirts, citing free-speech rights. The T-shirt that drew attention states, "Bush Lied, They Died" with a backdrop listing the names of 3,155 soldiers who have died in the Iraq war.
The bill is headed back to the state Senate to reconcile changes made by the House.
Pearce calls for McCain to resignWow, so this Republican legislator is saying he'd rather have a Democrat in Washington than McCain. Mr McCain, you may have a home base problem. Hint: Go visit your peeps some more. In fact, You may remember some guy named Bob Dole resigned his Senate seat to run for president--if you can't make it back to vote once in a while...well, it's just a thought.
By Daniel Scarpinato
arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.23.2007
PHOENIX — A Phoenix-area Republican legislator called on Sen. John McCain to resign from his seat Tuesday if he continues to miss votes while campaigning for president.
State Rep. Russell Pearce of Mesa also said he regrets supporting Sen. Jon Kyl during last year's election because the senator now supports a comprehensive immigration bill — though he stopped short of calling for Kyl's resignation.
"It's about time we start cleaning house if that's what it takes," said Pearce, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
According to the Washington Post, McCain has missed 43 votes, nearly 50 percent of the current Congress' votes. In comparison, Hillary Clinton has missed less than 2 percent of votes and Barack Obama has missed 6.4 percent, according to the Post.
"We need a senator," Pearce said. "I think if McCain wants to be a full-time candidate and not be at the Senate, he ought to consider resigning."
Asked if he would prefer a Napolitano appointee over McCain, Pearce said: "Even poor representation is better than no representation."
Congrats to VP Cheney, who is now the grandfather to a gay love child, born into his family by his daughter Mary. According to the neanderthals at the Family Research Institute, the kid has a 1/3 greater chance of getting a gay vibe. Here are there stats, with some commentary:
- "Mary, 37, [now 38] is currently 'partnered' with Heather Poe, 45. The median age of death for lesbians is around the late 50's. If Poe and Cheney stay together, odds are this child will lose at least one caretaker before graduating high school." This must explain why Dick Cheney has such bad health--it was his lesbian vibes--mixed with his bad health--that were genetically passed on to Mary.
- "Children of homosexuals testify that day-to-day living is more difficult -- and they are more apt to report personal disturbance as a consequence." Duh--because schmucks like the Family Research Institute harass and hate the gay community. In another newsflash, soon we will hear a report that African-American children also sense racial discrimination at times.
- "A high proportion of lesbian 'partnerings' break apart -- with custody issues haunting the child for the rest of his life." Thank goodness for Britney Spears and her commitment to marriage. Now those are kids who won't have any problems. Oh, did I forget to mention Newt, Bob Livingston, and Henry Hyde have a questionable history about, what was it again? ADULTERY! And even the "great" Ronald Reagan once had a divorce--so clearly, he was a bad person.
- "The child will disproportionately associate with homosexuals -- who are as a class considerably more apt to have STDs and a criminal history, be interested in sex with children, involved in substance abuse, etc." How can I even respond to such nonsense?
- The child will have a much higher probability of learning homosexual tastes (at least a "third of lesbian's children adopt homosexuality)." What are homosexual tastes? I guess I will have to ask Ted Haggard...
But in general, this all poses the big question--how did the Cheneys wind up having a gay child? Was it nature or nurture? Has the Family Research Institute interviewed Dick and Lynne to find out how they "failed" as parents? Have they tested Dick and Lynne's DNA for the gay gene?
Because until the Cheney situation can be explained, I wish that the anti-gay crowd would just shut the hell up.
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Paul Rieckhoff's book is disturbing and important. Click on the link to the left, check out the Iraq and Afganistan Vets For America and his book.
We are super lucky to have such great advertisers. Look over to the right and you can choose between getting General Batiste his job back, supporting the Farm Bill, sending Grandma McConnell back to the farm, building a better website and impeaching Cheney. It doesn't get much better than that.
Please click on all our advertisers (so they will continue to advertise) and if you are thinking of buying something from Amazon, clicking on one of our links to go through benefits us. Each of the books that we have linked to Amazon through are hand picked by The Cliffster himself.
Good for him.
Then there is this guy.....
WASHINGTON - President Bush encourages people to wear seat belts. Whether he routinely does so himself is not as clear. The question arose Tuesday, Bush's first full day back in town after a weekend at his ranch in Texas — where he was spotted driving a pickup truck without wearing a seat belt.
The timing comes just as Bush's government is sending the opposite message. This week marks the launch of law enforcement's annual seat belt campaign, known as "Click It or Ticket."
Later, in his afternoon briefing, Snow was asked again to clarify Bush's personal policy.
"Well, it's always important to wear seat belts, especially when driving slowly on the ranch," Snow said.
He seemed to emphasize that Bush was driving slowly when he had no seat belt on.
"Driving slowly"? So many mean thoughts in head.
Must drink more coffee to banish.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Surprise!!! (not really)
The lauded second half of the Roberts Senate Report.
2003 Intel: Iraq War Will Aid Qaeda, Iran
Senate Report Finds U.S. Intelligence Agencies Warned White House In Early 2003 Of Iraq War Consequences
(AP) U.S. intelligence agencies warned senior members of the Bush administration in early 2003 that invading Iraq could create instability that would give Iran and al Qaeda new opportunities to expand their influence, according to an upcoming Senate report.
For instance, he discusses a paper prepared for a Camp David meeting with the president in September 2002 entitled, “The Perfect Storm: The Negative Consequences for Invading Iraq.” Tenet called the paper a list of “worst-case scenarios,” which included anarchy and territorial breakup of Iraq and a surge of global terrorism against U.S. interests, fueled by deepening Islamic antipathy toward the United States.
He also notes that, in an early 2003 intelligence paper, analysts warned that “a post-Saddam authority would face a deeply divided society with a significant chance that domestic groups would engage in violent conflict with each other, unless an occupying force prevented them from doing so.”
Since 2003, the Senate committee — led by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and now Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. — has been trudging through its investigation of what went wrong, frequently slowed by politics.
No, not a surprise at all.
NYC adds post 9-11 death to victims toll
By Amy Westfeldt, Associated Press Writer
May 23, 2007
NEW YORK --A woman who died of lung disease five months after Sept. 11 was added Wednesday to the medical examiner's list of attack victims, marking the first time the city has officially linked a death to the toxic dust caused by the World Trade Center's collapse.
Felicia Dunn-Jones, a 42-year-old attorney who was caught in the dust cloud while fleeing the collapsing towers on Sept. 11, 2001, died of sarcoidosis, a disease that causes inflammation and scarring in the lungs, on Feb. 10, 2002.
"Mrs. Dunn-Jones' exposure to World Trade Center dust on 9/11/01 contributed to her death, and it has been ruled a homicide," Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch wrote.
The city said the Sept. 11 death toll at the trade center now stands at 2,750.
"Sadly, we have known that Felicia is not alone and that others have died from ailments caused by 9/11," said U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. "I hope that the medical examiner is no longer in denial about the trade center dust. Dr. Hirsch must review the cases of other 9/11 heroes who, like Felicia, died in the prime of their lives."
I would have thought there wouldn't be any question as to whether or not these people would be included in the toll of that day!
But, maybe I'm naive, especially with Rudy! trying to re-write history about these fatalities.
Greg Palast has something to say about Monica Goodling.
From a press release on Daily Kos.
BBC Television’s Newsnight has 500 "missing" Rove office emails including a series of self-incriminating notes which provide "the keys to the kingdom" behind the prosecutor firings.
In the opening to today’s testimony before Congress, Monica Goodling, former Department of Justice White House Liaison, testified that Deputy Attorney General Kyle Sampson lied. At issue was, says Goodling, Sampson’s denial "that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote ‘caging’ during the work on the President’s 2004 campaign."
The BBC reporter explained that ‘vote caging’ is a crime; Tim Griffin directed it; Karl Rove, Goodling and Sampson knew it, yet Rove demanded the appointment of Griffin as the US Attorney for Arkansas.
‘Caging’ was a 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign scheme to challenge, on false evidence, the right to vote of tens of thousand of Black voters.
Presidential Candidate Chris Dodd has this ad out
and a follow up....
Neither Cliff nor I are endorsing any candidate at this point, and we sure as hell aren't endorsing this stupid supplemental bill with all the teeth removed. It should not be voted for.
D: You talk really fast, dear.
M: Thank you soooooooooooo much! Jesus loves you. Did I mention I graduated cum laude? Ow--mah--gahd! This room is, like, sooo big! Awesome plasma screen! Hieeee, CSPAN!! Hi photo guys! Do I look okay?
Chair: Order! Order! Photographers, for the last time, get your butts outta here! We can't see Ms. Goodling. Someone get her a booster seat.
M: Call me Monica, 'kay? 'Kay. 'Kay? 'Kay. I mean, like, "Ms." makes me sound...old. Ew.
D: You committed a crime, Monica.
M: Is that bad? I mean, like, I just broke a rule.
R: And you didn't mean to.
M: I know. Like, serious.
R: We believe you, Precious.
D: It's a law. You broke a law. It's called massive election fraud. You politicized the hiring and firing of U.S. Attorneys.
R: There, there, Monica. We know how hard it is for you to sit in that awful chair at such a big table, answering all of these questions. Uncle Republican will protect you and care for you and give you lots and lots of compliments. You are so cute! Who does your hair?
M: Did my voice just squeak? OMG, is my voice too high? Uncle Republican, do I sound okay?
R: Adorable, Cupcake. Your voice couldn't be more endearing if it belonged to Jenna Bush herself.
M: Ooo! Ooo! Call on me now! I know how to spell Issa! I-S-S-A!
R: Good job! You are a special young lady!
M: Wanna know how you can tell I'm honest? I graduated from Regent! And we were all rilly, rilly religioius and stuff. And everyone who goes there is good and kind and cares about people and junk. There's, like, 150 more of us from Regent who got hired besides me. ::counts on fingers:: Wow, that's a lot. Regent pretty much sucks as a law school, but we're all rilly nice. How's my hair?
R: You can't question a Christian grad from Regent. It's just not...Christian. Besides, she's so cute and fun and friendly and Regent is a friendly school. John Harvard was a young minister. See? Harvard's just like Regent! The whole country is just like Regent. We're all Christians now! Let's pray.
D: What did Karl Rove ever say to you, ever, in your whole life, ever?
M: I forgot. I mean, we used to pass notes and stuff. And,like, if he'd ever learn to text message, it would be sooo cool, cuz, like, texting rocks. And then Karl and I could be, like, bff!!! But, okay, yeah, I forgot.
R: You anti-Christian guys on the other side of the aisle forget stuff, too! And we hate you.
M: Me too! Psyche!!! Not rilly!! I like EVERYone cuz I have good values and junk.
R: Bill Clinton did bad, bad things, Monica. Can you say, "Bill Clinton is a bad man"?
M: Will you be my Grampa?
D: Tell us about Tim Griffin.
M: He's HOT. And, like, he totally slipped in cuz of that whole Patriot Act thingy. And he was totally into caging.........oops. Wow. Did I say that out loud? My bad. But it's cool. It's just like a direct mail thing, right? Psh! Big whoop. And it's not like caging's a bad thing, right? I don't even know what it means.
R: Cookieface, you are so amazing and brave and superduper for sitting at the big table. We love you. We want to adopt you.
M: Thanks Unca Republican! Oh! Em! Gee! Can I add you to my MySpace?
R: This is nothing but a fishing expedition.
M: Fishing? Weeeeeeeeeee! I love fishing!! Can have some McNuggets?
D: Will you just answer some of our questions? Accurately?
M: You're not the boss of me! This chair hurts. My hiney's asleep. Do you hate me?
R: Point of order! We love you, Punkin!
M: Cool! What does "scripted" mean?
R: This is a circus without a cause!
M: Ooo! Ooo! I love the circus! Is Unca Sensenbrenner a clown? Can I honk his nose?
D: Who compiled the list of U.S. attorneys to be fired?
M: Kyle Sampson. He's a doodyhead. How many more minutes? It's time for my nap.
R: You're a kind and quiet girl, and now America can be proud of you like I am. Politics had nothing to do with any of this, right, good, quiet girl?
M: RIGHT, Unca Republican!
R: Good job. The entire Justice Department is innocent and you just proved it. Now let's get on with the people's work of defrauding America.
R: I am so impressed with you. You are so sincere and conscientious. We're honored by your presence. You're trying to make a better world for your fellow human beings. Will you be our honorary niece?
All Rs: Amen.
M: I rilly, rilly heart you, too, Unca Repbulicans! How's my makeup?
D: Final thoughts, Monica?
M: Kyle Sampson and Paul McNulty are weenies. God is good. I gotta go. Calllll meeeeeeeeeee! Oh, and Gonzo's a big ol' liar. But, like, he's rilly, rilly kind and nice and junk, but his nose is growiiiiiiiing! UH-oh for him!!! Gotta talk to my lawyer now. 'Kaybye.
Why Can't Bob Shrum Just Go Away?
Unlike Cliff, I'm not a huge fan of John Edwards. There are a myriad of reasons, but the bottom line, he just doesn't do it for me. But the treatment he's getting from Bob Shrum is despicable.
Shrum is writing a new, tell all book. I think the title should be "O-fer, How I've Managed To Lose Every Presidential Race I Touch," but hey, no one's asked me for my input. Unfortunately, the book is damaging, as Shrum takes a ton of potshots at Edwards.
Shrum went on advising Edwards for several years, including as Edwards was contemplating his vote on the fall 2002 Iraq war resolution. In the one passage of the book already widely leaked, Shrum recounts how he and other political advisers pushed Edwards into a vote for the resolution that Edwards--and, even more so, his wife, Elizabeth--didn't want to cast. The episode didn't make Shrum look great. But the real damage is to Edwards, who comes across as a cipher taking orders from his handlers. As Shrum puts it: "[H]e was the candidate and if he was really against the war it was up to him to stand his ground. He didn't."
The amazing thing about the previous paragraph is Shrum is criticizing Edwards for taking his advice. I agree, to an extent, that any candidate who takes Shrum's advice should be criticized.
As a consultant, I can honestly say I don't know a single other consultant under the age of 45 who doesn't despise Bob Shrum. He's an unethical huckster, a smarmy self-promoter and an anachronistic hack who hasn't made a decent ad since the 1980's. He's done more lasting damage to the party than any single other person I can think of. He's our version of Fredo Gonzalez, a person who so damaged his name that he can't possibly slink away. Let's hope this is his last slimy effort to remain in the spotlight.
(HT- The Daily Dish)
Just a couple of drive by things....
Novak Says His Plame-Case Legal Fees Were About $150,000
By E&P Staff
Published: May 23, 2007 12:49 PM ET
NEW YORK Columnist Robert Novak said he personally paid for most of the $150,000 or so in legal fees required to defend himself in the Valerie Plame case, according to a Wednesday article in The Providence (R.I.) Journal.
Um, WAAAAAAAA there buddy.
Bad publicity? Millions. Lawyer fees? 150k.
Outing a Covert CIA Officer? Priceless.
Must have been some good eating!!
Fisherman shot during Ga. tournament
May 23, 2007
GREENSBORO, Ga. --An 86-year-old man didn't want anyone getting too close to his fishing lines, so he took a few shots at a pair of fishermen competing at a tournament, authorities said. One of them was hit in the arm.
I gave up on listening to the Monica Goodling testimony early in. Sorry, but she sounded like a freakin' chipmunk and really annoyed me. You can get round ups of what happened here and here.
IAEA Report Contradicts Major Media Narrative On Iran
Shocker. See Paddy's post below on the nine U.S. warships entering the Gulf area. The Bushies and media are drumming up another war.
And why not, the current one's worked out so well.
Bush's consumer nominee withdraws
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush's pick to head the Consumer Product Safety Commission withdrew his nomination Wednesday amid strong opposition from some Senate Democrats.
The White House said it was reluctantly accepting the decision by Michael Baroody after "some members in the Senate rushed to judgment."
Baroody is a lobbyist for the National Association of Manufacturers, and his critics on Capitol Hill said he would not provide the leadership the agency needed in order to protect consumers.
Democrats also had raised questions about a $150,000 payment that Baroody would have received when he left the lobbying group.
And you helped!! Pat yourself on the back.
Now we've just got to keep an eye out on those "recess appointments".
China Requiring Bloggers to Register
Wednesday, May. 23, 2007 By AP/ALEXA OLESEN Article ToolsPrintEmail
(BEIJING) — New rules by a Chinese government-backed Internet group maintain strict controls over the country's bloggers, requiring them to register with their real names and identification cards.
The guidelines from the Internet Society of China, a group made up of China's major Internet companies, contradict state media reports this week claiming that China was considering loosening registration requirements for bloggers to allow anonymous online journaling.
The society's new draft code of conduct seen on its Web site Wednesday says Web log service providers must still get their users' real names and contact information.
Critics say the requirement violates a blogger's right to freedom of expression and puts them at risk of punishment or imprisonment if they post controversial opinions about politics, religion or other issues.
Our good friend Tom Schaller wrote a great article for Salon.com on the GOP Immigration crack-up. Money quote ...
Immigration is especially perilous for the GOP because it is what might be called a "double-edged" wedge issue. It not only pits the party's base against a large and quickly growing pool of potential new Republicans -- 41 million Hispanics -- but also pits two key parts of the existing base against each other. The Wall Street wing of the GOP, which finances the party, wants to keep open the spigot of pliant and cheap Spanish-speaking labor. It finds itself opposed by much of the Main Street wing, which provides millions of crucial primary and general election votes and would like to build a fence along the Mexican border as high as Lou Dobbs' ratings or the pitch of Pat Buchanan's voice. And it's simply impossible for any political party to win if it has to choose between money and votes.
Nine U.S. warships enter Gulf in show of force
By Mohammed Abbas
Wed May 23, 4:53 AM ET
ABOARD USS JOHN C. STENNIS (Reuters) - Nine U.S. warships carrying 17,000 personnel entered the Gulf on Wednesday in a show of force off Iran's coast that navy officials said was the largest daytime assembly of ships since the 2003 Iraq war.
U.S. Navy officials said Iran had not been notified of plans to sail the ships, which include two aircraft carriers, through the Straits of Hormuz, a narrow channel in international waters off Iran's coast and a major artery for global oil shipments.
"What is special about this is that you have two strike groups. Everybody will see us because it is in daylight."
Most U.S. ships pass through the straits at night so as not to attract attention, and rarely move in such large numbers.
Navy officials said the decision to send a second aircraft carrier was made at the last minute, without giving a reason.
Sabre rattling and territory marking at it's finest.
It would be nice if we could finish one war before starting another though.
10:15a EST on Cspan 3 or Radio Ms Monica Goodling in front of the House Judiciary for fun times and frolics!!
Like Keith said, at least we'll get a new picture out of it.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
EUROPEANS TALLER ON AVERAGE
Bad Health Care, Deficient Welfare Keep Americans Short
For years, researchers have been wondering why Americans stopped growing. US citizens were among the tallest in the world up until World War II. But since then, heights have stagnated while Europeans have been getting taller and taller, with the average American now between two and six centimeters shorter.
A new study published in the current issue of the Social Science Quarterly by researchers from Princeton University in the US and the University of Munich in Germany indicates that the difference may have to do more with politics than biology.
Specifically, the study, which involved the statistical analysis of demographic and health data collected between 1959 and 2002, concludes that the spotty US health-care system and weak welfare net could explain why Americans have stopped growing.
"We surmise that the health systems and high degree of social security in Europe provide better conditions for growth than the American health system, despite the fact that the system costs twice as much," said study co-author John Komlos from the University of Munich in a statement. "There are also indications that American diets are deficient in several areas."
This and having read earlier today this, THEN listening to fTucker NOT understand how someone who has to live on $3 a day of pasta and bread can still be "hungry"?
This country is full of morons.
I'm a HUGE penny pincher. I know what $3 a day can buy you. And it's STARCH, SUGAR AND SALT. Your body can STARVE to death on that crap.
Nutrients? We don't need no stinkin' nutrients.
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Paul Rieckhoff's book is disturbing and important. Click on the link to the left, check out the Iraq and Afganistan Vets For America and his book.
The "Give Peas A Chance" ad to the right is very deserving of a moment of your time. The Farm Bill is important, go learn about it. Sign the petition.
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That means GREAT reading!!
Huge Progressive Win
You've probably seen just a bit of blogging here about Kentucky over the past month or two, with the Hounddog a Kentuckian by birth and my having worked on two races there a few years back.
Today, however, is a huge victory for all progressives. Just like in the case of Joe Lieberman, Democrats have chosen to reject another triangulating, corporatized Dem in the primary for governor today in the Bluegrass State, and chosen moderate/progressive (and as importantly proud Democrat) Steve Beshear.
Meanwhile, the GOP has chosen to give indicted Governor Ernie Fletcher the nod for another run, effectively ending former Congresswoman Anne Northup's career and deliverng a harsh blow to the McConnell machine in Kentucky. The only suspense left is whether Beshear will remain above 40%, so there will not be a runoff (right now with 99.4% of precincts in, he is at 40.9%, so there is a good chance this will happen).
Next stop the Governor's mansion and then onto beating corporate whore Mitch McConnell in 2008!
The "other Monica"--Monica Goodling--will be confounding the Judiciary Committee
at 7:15 a.m. Pacific (that'll show all you east coasters)
Or maybe she'll actually honestly and openly share some worthwhile information.
Wouldn't that be novel?
From the White House official web site, which, for some reason, Blogger won't let me link to:
For Immediate ReleaseMay 9, 2007
Office of the Press Secretary
Purpose(1) This directive establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. ...in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.
(b) "Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions...
Think: Earthquake, hurricane, attack, or ANYTHING that Bush deems might "disrupt" the U.S. population, environment, etc. Hmmmm. Wonder which one he'd choose? After all, he is the Decider.
(e) "Enduring Constitutional Government," or "ECG," means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President ...
Okay. Check that out carefully. Bush calls all the shots. The president, and only the president, "coordinates" everything. Yes, everything. He didn't call himself the Commander Guy for nothing.
(6)...In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator.
The APHS/CT at the moment is Ms. Frances Fragos Townsend. She'd be his Number Dos in the event of a "disruption". Bush and Townsend would be quite a team.
According to Wikipedia, during an appearance on the May 8, 2007 edition of CNN's "Situation Room", she acted as an apologist for the Bush Administration. However, I'm pretty sure neither one of them would apologize to us for anything they would undertake in the event of what King George would calculate, er, rule...um...regard as "a catastrophe".
Bomb Plot Thwarted at Falwell's Funeral
Virginia authorities arrested a Liberty University student in what officials said was a bomb plot intended to disrupt protesters at the Rev. Jerry Falwell's funeral service. May 22, 2007
Even in death, the Rev. Jerry Falwell rouses the most volatile of emotions.
Authorities arrested a Liberty University student for having several homemade bombs in his car.
The student, 19-year-old Mark Ewell of Amissville, Va., reportedly told authorities that he was making the bombs to stop protesters from disrupting the funeral service.
The devices were made of a combination of gasoline and detergent, a law enforcement official told ABC News' Pierre Thomas. They were "slow burn," according to the official, and would not have been very destructive.
Three other suspects are being sought, one of whom is a soldier from Fort Benning, Ga., and another is a high school student. No information was available on the third suspect.
Authorities were alerted to the potential bomb plot by a concerned relative of Ewell.
Wonder how much play this "act of terrorism" is going to get in the MSM?
Nice Christian, Liberty University student making bombs to "scare" those evil protesters? Hmmmm.
What if he was targeting these guys?
Anti-Gay Kansas Church Members Plan to Attend Falwell Funeral
The controversial anti-homosexual Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., plans to "preach" at the funeral of Rev. Jerry Falwell, according to its Web site.
No timetable for Iraq, but Harry tries to say it's good for us.
REID: First of all, it hasn't been determined what we're going to have in that. But keep in mind the progress that we have made.
Even the Republicans now have timelines. Remember, they wouldn't accept our timelines in the bill that was vetoed? And they're talking now about a plan B, which basically is what was in the vetoed bill. So I think we have to look at the progress that has been made. We now have the timeline that the Republicans have set, and that's this September.
Oy. I hope they have an end run plan, 'cause this looks awful.
fTucker just said,"The Democrats bend over to Bush and say, "Please sir, may I have another?""
If fTucker is getting hot and bothered, it is NOT good for us.
A wonderful piece on Senator Durbin, Illinois' "other Senator."
Never say you didn't learn anything useful from this blog.....
5-second dropped-food rule debunked
Good news for sloppy chowhounds - that food you dropped on the floor is still safe to eat 30 seconds later.
By Chris Reidy, Globe staff
In the interest of culinary science, student researchers at Connecticut College conducted exacting experiments in the dining hall and the snack bar to see how long it takes for food dropped on the floor to attract rogue bacteria, the New London college said in a press release today.
Working under the supervision of assistant professor Anne Bernhard, the two cell-and-molecular biology students experimented with samples of wet food (apple slices) and dry food (Skittles candy); food samples were left on the floor for various intervals, then analyzed for contamination, the college said.
According to Goettsche and Moin, the results of their research showed that people can wait as long as 30 seconds to pick up wet foods and even longer for dry foods.
Another potential finding perhaps: Either rogue bacteria don't particularly like Skittles or the candies are impervious to their immediate depredations; in the students' research, nearly five minutes elapsed before Skittles on the floor showed a bacterial presence.
In a statement, Goettsche said: "The five-second rule should probably be renamed. You actually have a little more time."
Moral of this story? Eat more skittles.